It it worth cleaning your return pump? 17% energy savings and 7% more flow say yes

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Magoo

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For those interested, captured below is the before and after for energy (watts) and flow rate (GPH) when cleaning return pump.

This energy reduction will save about $35 annually.

Granted have higher head pressure than some as it’s a basement sump going up about 10’.
Also it’s been a few years since a good cleaning.

But if you want to save a few bucks and get some additional water changeover, give your return a quick clean.

Pump is a Pam World 150PS, for what it’s worth. Thing is a champ.

F5D31E21-1A60-4D89-A87D-973FCCDDB7C1.jpeg
 
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Magoo

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I noticed a huge difference when cleaning the return and it wasn’t very dirty either.
Just make sure you have some salt water ready to add to display as your level is chance to drop with the faster flow, I was caught out!
Lol yeah. I had to quickly run to the basement to open the herbie siphon valve another turn as the DT was about to overflow with the additional volume.
 
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I usually just focus on the skimmer internal surfaces. Maybe I’ll pay more attention to the skimmer pump and see if a clean increases performance.
My skimmer is nasty after 6 months and the pumps not much better.
The air silencer gets plugged with salt and reduces performance.
I know it needs cleaning when my dc pump has to be increased.
Other than that my skimmer never needs adjustment for at least 6 months.
 
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Magoo

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A more challenging project that will probably help just as well is cleaning out the return and drain plumbing. It is amazing all the growth they can get after a few years.
I have 75’ of flex tubing between the three lines.
How do you getting that clean....
 

JayLu

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I use the same pump for my return. I kind of watch the bubbles coming into the sump and over time when they slow down enough, I know it is time to clean the pump. I never really thought about the cost savings; that is nice. Thanks. For the Pan World pump - my pump has been running for 7 years now, with no signs of failure. Gotta love it.
 

ca1ore

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Lol yeah. I had to quickly run to the basement to open the herbie siphon valve another turn as the DT was about to overflow with the additional volume.

If that’s true, you don’t have the overflow configured properly. Whole idea behind an emergency is that it can handle all flow if the siphon gets blocked.

PW 150 is a very good pump, I use one on my skimmer.
 

ca1ore

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Curious what you mean by ‘cleaning’? I run a PW250 as my main return (also from a basement sump). I back flush it occasionally to remove debris like chaeto when the flow meter readings drops, but I’ve seen no degradation of performance otherwise. I do run oversized plumbing, which makes a big difference, so perhaps that’s less vulnerable to gunk buildup.
 

Tastee

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I have 75’ of flex tubing between the three lines.
How do you getting that clean....
If you can temporarily isolate the lines and/or pumps from the tank you could attach them to a small reservoir and run Citric acid through them in a closed loop for an hour or so then flush with RO. Your tank would obviously have to be ok without turnover during that time, but your power heads should keep the oxygenation up.
 

laverda

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I have 75’ of flex tubing between the three lines.
How do you getting that clean....
You definatly have to get creative for a run that long. Cycling the pump on and off a few times will get rid of some of the softer build up. As already suggested running citric acid or vinegar in a loop would be one way. If not practical perhaps seal the lower end and fill the hose from the top with citric acid and let sit before draining and flushing with old salt water.
Pulling a brush through using a string. Just let gravity carry the string to the bottom when you turn off and disconnect your return pump. I would do a long string with the brush securely tied in the middle so you can bull it both ways a few times. Hope this helps.
 
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MnFish1

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Curious - I can see where cleaning the pump would lead to more flow - but I cant see how cleaning the pump would lead to an energy savings...? I mean - its still the same pump - using the same energy - its just less efficient? what am I missing
 

Reef.

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Curious - I can see where cleaning the pump would lead to more flow - but I cant see how cleaning the pump would lead to an energy savings...? I mean - its still the same pump - using the same energy - its just less efficient? what am I missing
I see what you mean, maybe it would be better to say a clean pump makes sure you get your moneys worth, instead of the power being using to try and turn the propeller it’s used to move the water.
 

Joe31415

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tie some string to a cleaning brush, on the other end of the string tie a weight, then drop the weight down the tube, then pull the cleaning brush through.
If it's not a straight run, another electrician's trick is to use a (very light weight) string tied to something like a cotton ball. Stuff it in one end and use a vacuum to pull it through to the other end. I though the person (an electrician) telling me this was just telling me one of the tricks of the trade until I was at Grainger one day and saw a kit for it. It's a 5 gallon bucket with a long string (or maybe monofiliment), some attachments for connecting a blower or vacuum to the conduit and a bunch of pistons (as they call them) for sucking/blowing down the line.
 

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