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Are Variable Speed Pool Pumps Worth It

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What Is The Best Variable Speed Pump For My Pool

Leslie’s Pool School – Is it Worth Cost to Upgrade to Variable Speed Pump?

The first thing to note is that there are high flow VS pumps, like Pentair Intelliflo and Hayward Ecostar, and medium flow VS pumps like Hayward Superpump VS and Pentair Superflo VS. We also have new variable speed pool pump models by Waterway and Jacuzzi.

The second thing you may have just noticed, is that many manufacturers have taken the chassis from their most popular models, and added the variable speed motor, recognizable by the drive, or the square box sitting atop the motor.

If your current pump is available in a VS version, that would be the simplest installation. This is because the plumbing will line up, the flow characteristics will match your current pump, and it will also match the design flow rate of your pool filter.

If your current pump has not been converted into a VS model, check the flow curves to select a VS pump that has similar flow rates based on the flow curve.

VS pumps are available in a range of 1.4 HP to 2.7 HP. Buying a VS pump that is too large for your filter and plumbing will not save as much energy as hoped, and can cause cavitation issues. See more here:;Best VS Pool Pumps

Is A Pentair Or Hayward Variable Speed Pool Pump Better

Both brands have their own set of advantages. According to pool owners, the Pentair variable speed pool pump is more energy-efficient, hence costing you less to run over its 5-year lifespan. On the other hand, Hayward has a reputation for manufacturing long-lasting pool pumps that last for over 60 months with regular use.

Are Variable Speed Pumps Worth It Benefits Of Variable Speed Pumps

The best variable speed pumps are highly effective at facilitating proper pool water circulation, an essential to swimming pool maintenance. But are they worth it? Read on to learn more.

Pump operations, such as the circulation time and flow rates, directly affect how effectively your pool water circulates. Simply put, the quality of circulation increases as the number of times all your pool water turns; that is, passes through the circulation system.

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How To Program Variable Speed Pool Pumps

With modern technology miracles, you can now get variable speed pool pumps with built-in programming that support energy-efficient usage.

What we mean by this is that there are many of these pumps;will automate to work for everyday needs in the pool. Such demands can include filtration, powering deck jets, or;robotic cleaning.

The benefit of having automation on your pool pump is that you don’t have to think about switching speeds all the time for specific tasks. The pump will automatically change speeds once its completed a task.

Say, for example, you want the pump to run on high to give the pool a proper cleaning. After it runs the program to high powered clean, it will go back to a low power setting or turn off for a period.

And the best part is if you can set a timer on a standard pool pump, then using the built-in programming features shouldn’t be any cause for concern. The controls are typically straightforward to comprehend.

Are There Exemptions Or Exceptions


Yes, there are some exceptions. As of now, the DOE is primarily concerned with pumps used on inground pools.;There are no minimum efficiency requirements for:

  • Pool pumps with greater than approximately 2.5 HHP.
  • Waterfall pumps, manufactured and labeled as a waterfall pump.
  • Integral sand and cartridge pump and filter units used on portable pools.
  • Rigid spa filter pumps and circulation pumps.
  • Pressure cleaner booster pumps are included in the new DOE regulations and must meet minimum efficiency requirements. That said, most single speed pressure cleaner booster pumps will be compliant with the efficiency standards. In addition, many non-self-priming pumps used for above ground pools will fall within the minimum efficiency standards for single speed pumps. These will still be eligible for manufacture.

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    Comparing Variable Speed Pool Pumps Vs Single Speed

    No matter what size pool you have, variable-speed pumps can help you save energy and save money over single-speed pumps. Even if you keep your single pump running for about 4 to 5 hours a day, then turn it off, the savings dont compare.

    A variable pumps saving potential and energy conservation far outweigh the money you save by turning off your single-speed pump. The Department of Energy certainly thinks so too: Its new regulations require that new or replaced pumps in most pools be variable speed.

    And perhaps more importantly, even with a small pool, you can save almost $200 dollars per year!

    Follow along as we do the math and show you how a high-speed pump can better service your pool and reduce its amount of energy consumption, even when you leave it on 24 hours a day.

    Should I Upgrade To A Variable Speed Pump

    Many homeowners worry if it’s worth the time and money to upgrade to a variable-speed pump. The ability to simply turn down your pump reduces energy use, but there’s more to it than that. Before you spend the money on a flashy new variable speed pool pump, find out how it can help you save money.To keep your pool water clean, pool pumps don’t have to run at max speed all of the time. In reality, when filtering water, your pump can operate at a far lower speed than when performing more demanding tasks, such as running a water feature.

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    Variable Speed Pool Pumps Vs One And Two Speed Which Is Best

    If you are considering a new pool or even replacing your existing pool pump, you’re probably wondering which type of pool pump and filter system best meets your needs.

    That’s a great question, and you’ve come to the right place to get some answers!;

    There are three general types of pool pumps: single speed, two speed, and variable speed.;

    Variable Speed Pumps: The Future Of All Pool Pumps

    How Much Money Can I Save With A Variable Speed Pool Pump?

    Variable speed pumps run at different speeds and can be completley programed to run at all times of the day, at different speeds as well. They are the most expensive pump in terms of up front purchase price is concerened due to the motor and programing options. Instead of the use of an induction motor like single or dual speed pumps, the variable speed pumps utilize permanent magnet;motors, similar to those found in hybrid cars, which can;save the average pool owner up to 90% in energy costs. Which means variable speed can typically pay for itself in 2-3 pool seasons!;In addition;these motors on low to mid speeds will be significantly quieter. Customers;often remark that they cannot hear the pump running at;all, which in turn makes their backyard experience more tranquil and peaceful. Also variable speed pumps are fan cooled and have a longer life expectancy than single or dual speed pumps

    Programing features:; Variable speed pumps distinguish themselves by being fully customizeable in terms;of running timed programs. If you have water features such as ;Waterfalls, Spill Overs or even a fountain. The variable speed pump can be programed and different speeds to make sure all are running at proper pressure even at specific times.

    Hopefully this helps you figure out which pump is set up for you and your pools needs!

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    Save Energy And Dollars With A Variable Pool Pump

    If youve been considering buying a variable-speed pool pump, youve probably heard it could save you money on energy costs. But in case you arent sure that the potential savings are worth the cost or how much money will a variable speed pool pump save in utility expenses, below is some information that might help.

    The Pump Affinity Law is a term used to express the relationship between motor speed, flow rates, and energy consumption. While some energy savings come directly from improved motor efficiency, the majority of energy savings gained by replacing a single-speed pump with a variable speed pump is due to the Pump Affinity Law. This law quantifies that power consumption drops at a nonlinear rate as you reduce pump speed and water flow. When you cut the motor speed in half, the flow rate is also reduced to half, but the power consumption of the pool pump is reduced to 1/8th of the original draw. The following chart demonstrates how the pump speed and flow rates directly impact power usage. Remember, most single-speed pumps have a standard 3,450 rpm speed that cannot be adjusted, even when a flow rate is much less than 66 gpm is required, as depicted in the example in the table below from the Department of Energy.

    Longer Warranty Means Peace Of Mind

    You can rest easy when spending more money to purchase a VS Pool Pump. Most reputable manufacturers offer longer warranties such as 2 and 3 years on Variable Speed Pumps. This is compared to a standard 1 year warranty on single speed pumps and motors.

    Here is something to consider – a properly programmed pump could potentially pay for itself in energy savings before it is out of the warranty period. Thats impressive.;

    That being said, warranties are much different for VS Pumps purchased from online retailers. These warranties are generally much shorter, in some cases 30 days, or they may have certain stipulations such as parts only warranty , or the piece of equipment must be installed by a professional.

    As of 2019 Jandy Pool Products is working to prohibit the online sale of what they consider technical products . We understand that the internet has very good deals to offer, just be cautious of what you are really getting with your purchase.;

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    Do They Offer Value For Money

    Yes, they certainly do! Apart from the fact that you can switch down the pump’s power to save energy and cash, there are other benefits to consider when thinking about buying a variable-speed pool pump.

    If you just want to filter your water, you can switch the pump right down to the point where it’s using a minimum amount of energy.

    Pool Pumps: Why Speed Matters

    Swimming Pool Pump ECO

    Your pool pump serves as the driving force behind essential equipment such as your pool filter and your pool vacuum — and it even provides power for fun extras such as water features. Of course, not all tasks and equipment require the same amount of power. For example, vacuuming your pool;requires a higher, more powerful speed than simply running your pool filter.;

    Why not run your pool pump at full speed all the time? For one thing, it costs more: The higher the speed setting, the more energy youll use and the more energy you use, the higher the cost of operation. Running your pump at a higher speed will also result in more wear and tear, which means youll end up paying more for repairs and maintenance. Whats more, its unnecessary: Theres no reason to run your pump on high all day, every day.;

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    Variable Speed Pumps Are More Energy Efficient

    Suppose a single-speed pump runs at 3450 RPM for 8 hours daily and a variable speed pump runs at 2400 RPM for the entire day . Assuming the pool size is 20,000 gallons, and the cost of energy is $0.10/Kw-hr, the following compares the pumps operations.

    • Pump Speed

    The numbers to note from the above example are the monthly cost of running each Pump and the estimated turns per day. Notice that a variable speed pump turns over water more than twice as often as the single-speed Pump, at roughly the exact energy cost.

    What Are Variable Speed Pool Pumps

    Variable speed pool pumps, also known as multi-speed pool pumps, are one of three pool pump types available to you.;

    Single-speed pumps;are one of the options, and the name is pretty self-explanatory. You can’t change the speed of the pump, and they constantly operate at their full potential. These are typically the cheapest pool pump option on the table, but running them can be expensive in the long run.

    Dual-speed pool pumps;offer you two-speed options of high and low. The low setting on these pumps allows you to lower energy usage and therefore costs. The high setting is helpful for specific cleaning tasks, while the low setting is suitable for just pool filtration.

    Variable speed pumps;enable you to control the pump’s speed precisely between the low and high-speed settings. Think of this type of control like the one you use to dim lighting in a room.;

    Unlike the other two pump options we just mentioned, variable speed pool pumps tend to have a different type of motor , which is conducive to being precisely controlled.;

    Another great thing about;magnetic motors;is that they have high energy-saving properties. This is why they are also used in electric cars, for example.

    Furthermore, many new versions of variable speed pool pumps have the availability to be upgraded. Many simply use a drop-in placement system where the old motor can be switched out for a new one.;

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    Additional Controller Or Timer

    A consideration when looking at dual speed pumps is that in most cases you will need to purchase a separate dual speed timer. The price of this timer ranges between $140-$200 based on your current set up. If your pump is turned on and off by a standard yellow dial timer then you would go the $140 route which is a second timer which controls the switching between high and low speeds where your original timer would be for turning the power on and off to the pump. If you dont have a timer for your pool or your project is the construction of a new pool then you would need a two clock timer which is the $200 timer. In most cases, for pools with automated control systems, an additional timer is not needed. There are a few systems like the Jandy Aqualink which require a special dual speed relay.

    Is A Variable Speed Pump Worth The Investment

    Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pool Pump |


    I live in Sonoma, CA. I have a small in-ground pool in my backyard. It is 12′ x 20′ with a six foot deep end and about 3′ shallow. I estimate it to be about 10,000g. The pool was built in 1978 and I had it re-plastered about three years ago. I would like to replace the original equipment pump this spring. I have an 8 year old Sta-rite cartridge filter. I am wondering if a variable speed pump is worth the extra expense? I have no heater or solar so I don’t anticipate I need much more than 3/4 hp if I go with a single speed pump. We swim from about April to September. I cover the pool and shut everything down during the off season to save energy. I run a Polaris 360 Vac off the main water outlet from the pump so possibly looking at 1 hp. I’m having a tough time swallowing the $800-$1000 cost of a V.S. Pump, while I can get a Quiet Flo Plus 1hp for around $300. Any suggestions are welcome!

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    Flexible Programming Equals Better User Experience

    In order to get the benefits from upgrading to a VS Pool Pump it MUST be installed and programmed correctly. This technology is fairly new, and let’s be honest, most pool guys/gals are not what we would consider early adopters. They tend to get stuck in the past. This causes them to avoid wasting time getting educated on the benefits, proper installation, and programming of these pumps.

    Lets use a Pentair Intelliflo VSF Pump for this discussion. This pump can be installed stand-alone or connected to a pool automation system like the Pentair IntelliCenter . If it is installed as a stand-alone unit the pump is controlled by a drive on the unit. From this drive you have tons of different settings, schedules, speeds, etc that you can setup. This gives you the flexibility to set the pump how it best fits your swimming pool.;

    If you install the pump with automation, like Pentair Intelliflo VSF Pump connected to a Pentair IntelliCenter, the automation system becomes the control for the pump.;

    Typically the automation systems have friendlier user interfaces that make controlling the pump much easier. Using the IntelliCenter, for example, is very similar to using a tablet or smartphone.

    Other benefits of the automation system can include freeze protection, interlocks, and mobile control. With some systems you can now control your automation system with your Apple Watch or by using voice with your Amazon Alexa or Google Home.;

    Do I Have To Buy A New Pool Pump

    Not necessarily. If your current pump fails, you’ll be given the option to upgrade to a more efficient unit. For example, you might want to purchase a variable speed pool pump. However, if you want to replace your pump with another large single speed model, you’ll still be able to do so. That is, as long as you can find one. After the July 19 cut-off date, manufacturers will no longer be able to produce pumps that don’t meet the efficiency requirements. That doesn’t mean they can’t be sold by retailers. However, leftover inventory of non-compliant single speed pumps is expected to deplete quickly. It will get harder and harder to find one after the regulations go into effect.

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    What Is A Variable Speed Pump And Why Should We Consider One

    While this guide is primarily about variable speed pumps, its important to understand the alternatives. When considering a new pool or even replacing your existing pool pump, you’re probably wondering which type pool pump will best meet your needs. Great question! Here are a few points to consider when choosing the right energy efficient variable speed pool pump.

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