Any reasons why I can't use a swimming pool pump for my aquarium?

victor_c3

Premium Member
My brother just bought a house and it came with an above ground pool. Him and his wife were not interested in keeping the pool so they tore it down. The previous owner just replaced the pump before they sold the house and it has only been used maybe a few weeks at best. My brother just gave me the pump as he has no use for it at all.

Is there any reason I can't use a pool pump for my main system pump for my upgrade plans? In general, would swimming pool pumps work in salt water (I know salt water is considered mildly corrosive)

It's a 1 horsepower pump and can pump up to 50' of head. At 20' of head it hits 5160 GPH. The room I want to use in my basement to setup my 250 gallon sump/frag tank (I'm planning on slowly upgrading my system to support a 120 and then a 260+ gallon display tank in the next 2-4 years [as soon as my corals outgrow my tank]) is about 26' feet of plumbing away and this pump would be perfect for what I want to do.

Any ideas?

Thanks!

Victor
 

jener8tionx

New member
First, if it has been in a swimming pool, there is probably a chemical residue. Chlorine in your display would be no good. Second, the pump is not designed for saltwater and would probably corrode quickly running the pump. my $0.02
 

rkelman

New member
I would contact the maker of the pump and find out if it can handle salt water. Usually the seals etc are different not just the metal.
 

LobsterOfJustice

Recovering Detritophobe
Yeah contact the manufacturer. It could be fine though - a lot of these pumps are designed for multiple uses. As long as you rinse out the pump there should be no chemical residue (especially not chlorine - which evaporates anyway).
 

billsreef

Moderator, 10 & Over Club
Premium Member
What's the pump? Most are safe, but some need to have certain seals and backing plates changed out. A good rinsing and drying will take care of any chlorine residue. BTW most of the pumps used for large tanks and even aquaculture set ups are swimming pool/jacuzzi pumps ;)
 

n2585722

Active member
My 2 cents is that would be way too much pump for the size tnaks you have listed. I had a 24 foot pool and the pump would shoot a stream clear across the pool if aimed upward. You may end up with all of your water on your floor. The one I had metal was exposed to the water stream. Also I wouldn't trust what chemicals were exposed to the pump. If you use it replace ALL parts that are exposed to the water stream.
 

victor_c3

Premium Member
Thanks for the replies. I'll contact the manufacturer as I scoured their webpage this morning and couldn't find any reference to salt water.

The pump is a hayward pool products Power-Flow Matrix model number number SP550072.

As far as too much flow goes, I've already brainstormed that if I have too much flow I'd could just divert some of the flow to an additional 200+ gallon tub that would get circulated through my sump. I've found a website that sells different fiberglass and polyethalyne tubs for aquaculter purposes really cheap. They have several 200 gallon tank options in the $400-$500 range. The price I'd pay for a new pump with less flow is about the same as I'd pay for one of these tanks. If I end up going the route with an extra water holding tank then I'd end up with that much more water volume for my system. The room in my basement is a good 8' x 12'-15' so I have plenty of room for extra tanks.

oh yeah, a link to the aquaculter page:

http://www.aquaticeco.com/categories/Tanks--Liners/97/0/ (this is the page with the tanks/tubs

or try the main site at:

http://www.aquaticeco.com
 

billsreef

Moderator, 10 & Over Club
Premium Member
If the pump head construction is anything like the super pumps, your good to go ;)
 

Spartanman22

New member
It should be fine. Lots of pools use salt nowadays versus chlorine so most newer pool pumps should be designed to work for both.
 

chucksta1

Premium Member
Oh yeah... It will work... It's just wwwaaayyyy overkill. a 1 hp with no restrictions will spit out over 1.5 gallons per second. It will also spit out copious ammounts of hot air out of the motor vents and add a lot of heat to the water. Also, it is designed to have a certain amount of restriction on the outflow, ( think pool jets). when there is no restriction on the outflow, you may have cavitation issues on the intake side. It'd do-able, but personally, I'd go with something more application specific, like an Iwaki... around a hundred bucks used on ebay. You could probably sell the pool pump for more than that.
 

rkelman

New member
"It should be fine. Lots of pools use salt nowadays versus chlorine so most newer pool pumps should be designed to work for both."

Should be fine is not good enough when you have thousands of dollars and countless hours invested... Many pools are still using chlorine additives. I don't know alot about the new setups but isn't the salt just an additive for the chlorine generator? I don't think the pools are "salt water"
 

n2585722

Active member
Also don't forget pool pumps are loud. I could here mine inside the house with the air conditioner running. I don't think I would want that noise inside.
 

Marklu

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13350967#post13350967 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by rkelman
"It should be fine. Lots of pools use salt nowadays versus chlorine so most newer pool pumps should be designed to work for both."

Should be fine is not good enough when you have thousands of dollars and countless hours invested... Many pools are still using chlorine additives. I don't know alot about the new setups but isn't the salt just an additive for the chlorine generator? I don't think the pools are "salt water"

No, they actually have saltwater pools. One of my buddies has one. Its not extremely salty, but you can taste it and feel it on your skin. I thought he was kidding when he first told me, but sure enough...
 

ludnix

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13352237#post13352237 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Marklu
No, they actually have saltwater pools. One of my buddies has one. Its not extremely salty, but you can taste it and feel it on your skin. I thought he was kidding when he first told me, but sure enough...

The salt is dumped into the pool so that the chlorinator can convert it to chlorine, the water can be salty but the process is used to convert the salt to chlorine. The salt in the water is nowhere near the levels of the ocean.
 

JustinReef

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13350967#post13350967 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by rkelman
"It should be fine. Lots of pools use salt nowadays versus chlorine so most newer pool pumps should be designed to work for both."

Should be fine is not good enough when you have thousands of dollars and countless hours invested... Many pools are still using chlorine additives. I don't know alot about the new setups but isn't the salt just an additive for the chlorine generator? I don't think the pools are "salt water"

My parents pool is "saltwater". They refuse to use chlorine. There is also something else they add to the pool but its organic. I have heard of quite a few people switching to natural, no chemical pools actually.

Not a very high salinity though.
 

aslavatortin

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13352533#post13352533 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by ludnix
The salt is dumped into the pool so that the chlorinator can convert it to chlorine, the water can be salty but the process is used to convert the salt to chlorine. The salt in the water is nowhere near the levels of the ocean.

The saltwater pools they are talking about are 100% chlorine free. The city pools where I live are converting to them.
 

victor_c3

Premium Member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13354475#post13354475 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by prickles
Are you sure there are no copper/brass parts in the pump?

Actually, that I didn't even think about and I don't know about.

That'll be a show stopper. I'll have to find out about that one!
 

Dino

Freak of Nature
Staff member
RC Mod
:) I'd worry about a few of the things mentioned so far as well. I don't know about that specific pump but we have a big in ground pool that we use much more than just chlorine in. I'd have to look on the bottle just to see what the ingredients are but in the spring we use a really powerful algeacide that can take water that is BLACK and turn it sparkling clear within hours with only a few drops to 24,000 gallons. Our pool pump is pretty loud and it adds quite a bit of heat too (on a 24,000 gallon pool it'll keep it 5-10 degrees warmer than when it isn't running).

As has been said, you can try it - but it might be more hassle than its worth. :)
 

RicksReefs

New member
reading that it has a noryl impellor, I bet it has a brass insert in it for screwing onto the motor shaft. if it does, it's no good for SW.
 
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