What is Arizona's Pool Motor Law?

Arizonas New Pool Motor - Pump Law

Arizona’s Pool Motor Law or

(How to Screw Thousands Upon Thousands of Arizonians)

(You may want to send a copy of this to every pool owner you know.)

ARS 44:1375.02

(b) Motors with a total horsepower capacity of one or more shall have the capability of operating at two or more speeds with a low speed having a rotation rate that is no more than one-half of the motor's maximum rotation rate and shall be operated with a pump control with the capability of operating the pump at two or more speeds. Residential pool pump motor controls that are sold for use with a two or more speed motor shall have a default circulation speed setting no more than one-half of the motor's maximum rotation rate. Any high speed override capability shall be for a temporary period not to exceed one twenty-four hour cycle without resetting to the default setting.


What This Means

    Before you freak out, while you are now "required" to buy replacement pumps/motors with multiple or variable speeds, spending double or more than you would have on a single speed, at least most pool filter pumps and motors offer the "ability" to override the 1/4 - 1/2 mandatory lower speed the government in AZ now requires. BUT BE SURE YOU CAN BEFORE YOU BUY A REPLACEMENT! If not, you are going to hate life. Why?


            Every existing pool was designed to keep the pool clean was given a motor/pump that was sized appropriately to do just that. If your pool needed a 1 H.P. motor, that’s what you had put in. If you needed a 2 H.P. motor because you had a 35,000 gallon pool with 3 drains, 2 skimmers and 12 return lines, (Or one in line floor head system), that’s what you had put in. If some idiot attempted to replace your old pump/motor with a new one with half the output, the home owner sued because nothing on his pool worked, the pool was always a mess, the pool was constantly green … and the company that put in the undersized component ended up eating that cost, and had put in one designed to work on that pool. (In an ideal world ... or the customer was out of luck.)


            Enter your Arizona legislators to make what any pool man, or homeowner would call gross negligence, and sheer lunacy, … LAW! Well, we need to save electricity, half motor speeds saves electricity, right? Wrong.


ANY reduction in horsepower has an exponential, and detrimental, effect on your pools performance.


1)    What This Means:


a)     This means that if you were to simply replace your existing motor with the EXACT SAME maximum H.P. as your current pump in motor:


i)       It will about double(or more) the cost of “installing”, over a single speed motor of the same maximum speed. (Remember you need the automatic controls on the motor as well. Those aren’t cheap.)

ii)  It will be impossible for you to keep your pool “As Clean”, on lower speeds, as it did on the “higher” speed your pool was originally designed for, even if you have a sand, or cartridge, filter and you run it 24 hours a day. So having variable or multiple speed pumps really does nothing but add cost, complexity, and more electronics exposed to Phoenix temperatures.

1) You cannot move particles of dirt and debris in your pool around to skimmers and drains well with a pump/motor operating at ½ of the water volume that does work properly. IT CANNOT BE DONE. For example: take one of those old fashioned hand held “pinwheel” toys that spun when you blew on them. Blow just hard enough to spin the pinwheel. It spins, right? Now blow ½ as hard. No spinning, right? Dirt, on the surface or on the floor, has inertia JUST LIKE A PINWHEEL DOES. What will move dirt around effectively WAS the water flow generated by your OLD pump and motor. What WILL NOT FUNCTION PROPERLY is a pool operating at ½ that speed.

2.) If you have a suction side cleaner, or a floor head system that is integrated with your pool filtration system, your cleaning system will now ONLY function when the customer MANUALLY turns the booster button on, unless the replacement motor has the ability to program the exact same operating times as with the original single speed, and you can set it to operate AT THAT SPEED for that entire time. For some variable / multi speed pumps/motors, after 24 hours, the settings will revert back to it’s slower RPM "non-functional speeds", so be sure of what you are getting and GET IT IN WRITING BEFORE changing your old pump/motor out. If you don't "MAKE SURE":

iii.) It means that your pool cleaner, that runs from your pool filtration pump, that “was” automatic, is now 100% manual. It will only clean your pool WHEN YOU, the customer overrides the system, and then ONLY for a MAXIMUM of 24 hours.  

iv.) It means that all cleaning systems designed to run off of your pools existing filtration system are now obsolete. Floor head systems won’t work, energy systems won’t work, … Whammo! The government forces you to change out your existing cleaning system AS WELL AS your pump / motor / control system. For many pool customers, that want their pool clean all the time, who will not be happy with a pool that is twice as dirty, or more, all the time, this means that they will have to install different cleaning systems with their own booster pumps. $1500 - $2000 bucks on average. Add that to double, or more the cost of the filter pump. Can you say $3000-$4000 to keep the pool just as clean as it would have been with the $500-$600 one speed motor replacement? But you are saving electricity at half the speed, right. Nope. Because of lower water flow, and lower circulation, it will take more than double the operating time at the lower speed to get “close” to the same amount of filtration. Assuming that you do not have to change out your filter to accommodate the longer operation time as well.(Can you say "bye, bye", to another $1000 for filter replacement?) Can you say higher electric bills/usage as well?

v.) Without an “upgraded” cleaning system, since the pools will be dirtier ALL the time, the time to clean them every week will increase. (Can you say higher pool service costs? More time to service pools means pool men can service less pools in the week, and the need to charge customers more to make the same money, which translates to higher service costs for you the home owner. Also, lower water circulation speeds means less water force (Mass X Acceleration) and thus less dirt and debris is stirred up, making for more staining and discoloration of the pool’s surface. Your cost for pool service will increase, while your satisfaction, because your pool can no longer stay clean, increases, and dissatisfaction, with the pool man you have been happy with for years, increases. Not to mention the extra acid washes, lessened pool surface life, … Are you happy with your legislators, and major pool company lobbyists yet?

1.) As an example, if you had to vacuum your pool once a week to keep it looking decent, at 1/4- 1/2 the H.P. and now having a non-functional cleaning system, your pool may reach the same level where it "needed" to be vacuumed once a week, EVERY SINGLE DAY. In other words, the amount of dirt and debris left in your pool after one day might be equal, or close to, that which accumulated after 7 days. (God help us all during monsoon season.) Remember, suction cleaners will not function at half the suction they run on now.

vi.) If you do not make sure that the replacement pump/motor can be "set" to operate for the entire operation time at the higher speeds(Contrary to the law), and you get one that you cannot set, you are going to hate life. For pools that already struggle to stay clear during the summer months, your pool, if you follow the law, will ALWAYS be a swamp. Why? Say that your water volume is large, or your pool equipment setup (Floor heads, Older cartridge filter elements, Pool hasn't been COMPLETELY drained in over 3 years, ...) is such that you already have struggles with water clarity and algae in the water every summer, with normal operating times for your current single speed pump/motor. The normal solution is to increase operation times. I have a customer with a 40,000 gallon pool, floor heads only (No Returns) and a 2 H.P. motor. We need to run his system 18 hours a day, at 2 H.P. during the summer months in order to keep his pool water clean and clear. At ½ that water volume, not only will his integral floor head cleaning system not function at all, but we would have to run his equipment 36 hours "every day" to get the same water clarity. We just rendered everything in his pool completely useless without a major pool remodel, separate pumps, motors, electrical, timers, suction lines, new cleaning systems, replacing the filter… This is a $5000 - $10,000 remodel to make this pool functional when the current motor dies. Since they are retired, and can’t afford that, they either have to run their equipment at least twice as long, (Let’s see, there are 24 hours in a day, we need 36 to keep the water clear.) and pay an extra $50 a month for my time to keep the pool clean. Wait. He CANNOT run his equipment enough to be able to keep his water clean. You can’t run your pool 36 hours a day. His pool WILL turn green, and no pool man in the world can help him. (Again, make sure you are getting a replacement pump/motor that can override the Law and be programmed to run on the higher speed the entire time!)

1.)    While D.E. filters remain the BEST THERE IS for maintaining water clarity, filtering out particles, including dirt, algae, containments, … there is a drawback. They CANNOT run continuously. The most they should run is 6-8 hours on, and 2-3 off. This means a D.E. filter setup can ONLY be run a maximum of about 18 hours a day AT ANY SPEED. (6hrs. on 2 off, 6hrs. on 2 off, 6hrs. on 2 off) If you already “Needed” to run your system more than 10-12 hrs. a day, you can no longer use your D.E. filter properly. You will need to replace it with a sand or cartridge filter (Note: Please for your sake, DO NOT get a cartridge filter. It will cost you more than this 2 speed, or variable speed, fiasco will. See “cartridge filters” at solvemypoolproblems.com ) This leaves sand as your only cost effective option, and, if you are going from D.E. to sand, you need to run your equipment about 20% longer than D.E. and it still won't be as clear as the D.E. for the same operating time. (D.E. Filters out 4-6 micron sized particles. Sand filters only filter out 30-35 micron particles. ) 


A Awesome Pool & Spa Service & Repair (480) 688-0659.


No, I will not tell you the name, model, or any information about the equipment, either over the phone, or by e-mail, so don’t ask.


The government likes to close down loopholes, even in stupid laws. I do not want to lose this low(er) cost, simple to override, system for all of my clients by blabbing online, or chatting over the phone (With someone who might work for the government.) about what it is.


If you are local in the Phoenix AZ area, call me. I will simply quote you a price, and install the system if you wish me to do so. Once installed, should you choose, “you” can ruin it for others by sharing with everyone, should you so choose. Yes, you will be able to easily violate the law, (In about 30 seconds), “if you want to”. I won’t touch it. Again, I will fully comply with the current law. What you do after I install the equipment and leave is your business. I will fully comply with this, and every stupid law my government puts out, to the best of my ability, with the least harm to myself and the customers I work for.

            By the way, if they do find out, and remove this option, you may be stuck trying to find new pumps and motors with a high speed that is double your current speed, and a low speed that is equal to your current speed. (Good luck with this. Currently there are no 2HP-1HP, 3HP-1 ½ HP, or 4 HP-2HP 2 speed motors that I can find. I have looked.)  This would be another option, since you could operate them 100% on the lower speeds, that lower speed would be the same as your current speed, and they would fulfill the requirements of the law, (NOTE: you could NEVER operate them on the high speed. I wouldn’t even hook up the high speed. If activated it would ruin plumbing and equipment.)  


            But this option, even if we could find it, would cost you, the customer more than $1500 dollars minimum, and over $2000 for the larger sized pumps and motors, to do what would have cost you less than $500 to replace your current single speed motor, like the one you already have.


            Considering this is the next option, if the government removes the equipment we install from the market, you understand why we do not release that information over the phone, or internet.


          To summarize, as a result of compliance with the law, your pool will not run properly, your costs for “less” performance greatly increase, and the only solution available requires you, the home owner, to bypass the law completely while spending more money. By the way, even if we do find a two speed pump with the low speed equal to your current pumps speed, when operating a 2 speed motor ONLY at low speed, it will be less energy efficient than the single speed motor you already had. A single speed energy efficient motor at 1 HP uses less current than a 2 speed motor (2 HP-1HP) on low speed (1 HP). In other words, while this would, (If you could find one.) actually allow you to fully comply with the law, it would WASTE electricity. What was the reason the law passed again? So the pool equipment manufacturers could make money hand over fist? So we could soak the homeowners with swimming pools for big bucks, while making everything worse?



            So, for your pool to work the same, you spend a lot more, or violate a law, and if you comply, you will actually use more energy than you would have if you just replaced your motor with the same thing that was in your pool in the first place. Your government at work ...


By the way:

Call your legislators and thank them for their help.