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Do Variable Speed Pool Pumps Save Money

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Is It Better To Run Pool Pump At Night

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

Running the pump at night should only be when you are doing a major chemical treatment such as algae clean-up. Your pool is more vulnerable during the day, plants don’t grow at night the way they do during the daythat’s true of ALL plants including Algae.

Does pool pump use a lot of electricity?

Outside of the air conditioner, the pool pump is the largest electricity consumer in the average pool-containing home. According to the study, at the national average of 11.8 cents per KWh, a pool pump alone can add as much as $300 a year to an electric bill.

How much electricity does a 1 hp motor use?

A 1 HP motor is supposed to deliver power equivalent to 746 Watts, or in other words, the rotational mechanical energy delivered by the shaft of the motor is rated to be equal to 746 Watts or .

How much does a pool add to your electric bill?

A typical backyard swimming pool using a 1100 watt pool pump can add up to 17% to an electricity bill. This cost can be offset by installing solar panels, which can also add value to the house.

How many amps does a 1hp pool pump draw?

Since it’s an aboveground pool pump it’s an uprated model and probably draws in the neighborhood of 10 to 12 amps at 120 volts. Depending on your plumbing it may draw less.

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What Is A Vs Pool Pump

Also known as multi-speed pumps, variable-speed pool pumps are one of three types of swimming pool pumps you can buy.

  • Single-Speed Pool Pumps are the entry-level and the least expensive pumps that operate at full horsepower whenever you turn them on.
  • Dual-speed pumps let you choose low- or high-speed operation. Choose the low setting to save power and money when youre simply filtering the water. Choose the high-speed setting when youre doing more demanding tasks, such as vacuuming or adding chemicals.
  • Variable-speed pumps let you control the speed, whether low or high or anywhere in between. Most of these energy-efficient pumps are powered by a different type of motor than the first two, called a permanent magnet motor. This type of motor is used in magnetic resonance imaging machines and electric cars. Its typically more efficient than the induction motors in single- and dual-speed pumps.
  • Some newer variable-speed pumps feature drop-in replacement, making the upgrade simple. Some of them can even be programmed to operate at optimal speeds for certain tasks, such as filtering and running deck jets. Theyre also more reliable than the other two types of pumps.

    How Much Do Variable Speed Pumps Save You

    By reducing the speed of the impeller, variable speed pumps greatly reduce the power needed by the pump. This effect is known as the Affinity Law. Using it we can see that by reducing the speed of the impeller by 1/2 we also reduce the power required to operate the pump by almost 90%!

    To demonstrate the savings you can expect to see in a pool, lets look at a real world scenario. Lets say right now youre running a single speed pump 12 hours a day, during the day. Using the current average on-peak hydro rate in Ottawa , that single speed pump will cost you around $3.20 per day. Running the pump exclusively during off peak hours will still cost you $1.80 per day.

    Replacing that pump with a variable speed pump running at half speed reduces that cost to around 30 cents per day. That said, running the pump at half speed means that only half the amount of water will go through the pump. This means that we will have to run it 24 hours per day to properly filter the water. This brings our total cost to around 60 cents per day .

    If you are interested in how much money you can actually save with a variable speed pump, check out Hayward® Pools energy calculator. You simply enter your postal code and the size of your pool and it will help show you how much money you could be saving!

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    Is A Variable Pump Right For Your Small Pool

    As you can see with the size pool in our example, you could keep your variable speed pump running the entire day and save approximately $192 a year. Whats more, because your pool pump would be running full-time, it would help distribute your pool chemicals more evenly and contribute to the overall health of your pool.

  • Electric Rates by State Electric Choice
  • Longer Warranty Means Peace Of Mind

    Zodiac Blog

    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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    Small Pools The Affinity Law And Energy Costs

    Before we get into the numbers, lets talk laws, specifically the affinity law. In a nutshell, this law consists of three formulas that allow us to predict the performance of a pump at a different speed or diameter impeller, which is exactly what were talking about here.

    For our example, we will use a small swimming pool that is 13 x 26 and 4 deep. Keep in mind that because we are talking about using the variable pump at low speeds for much of the day, these calculations are only effective for small pools. Larger pools need higher speeds, which result in more kWh and higher energy costs.

    Speaking of kWh, we will use .013.31 cents per kWh for these calculations, todays national average.

    The first thing we need to do is calculate the pool volume. This is the amount of water that a swimming pool holds. We used the handy calculator at SwimmingPool.com to arrive at 10,140 gallons for this size pool.

    Next, we need to determine how many gallons of water your pool should filter every day. The industry standard is the total volume times three, so that means for this size pool, it should filter 30,420 gallons a day.

    Final Thoughts On Variable Speed Pumps

    Here are some other considerations you need to make when selecting your swimming pool pump.

    Flow Rating

    Every filter can withstand a particular level of water flow. To figure out how much horsepower is acceptable for your pump, you need to find out the flow rating of your filter.

    Size of the Pipe

    If the PVC pipe of your pool has a small circumference, then it wont be able to handle the horsepower of your pump. A lot of the older swimming pools have PVC pipes with a 1.5 diameter. This would not be big enough to accommodate the fast water flow of a pump with high horsepower. Pipes that are 3 inches or 2.5 inches in diameter are needed for faster pumps, which are pumps with over 1 horsepower.


    A faster pool pump isnt always needed. Even if you have big PVC pipes to accommodate a fast pump, your pool may not need it. Youll just end up wasting money and energy if you purchase it.


    Pool pump models come in 230 volts or 115 volts. The voltage of your pump can be tested with a multimeter. The pump timer has output terminals where the multimeter can be used. Of course, if handling electrical devices like these are not your cup of tea, then just have a pool professional do it for you.

    Mount on Top or Side

    Remember that a variable speed pump provides more filtration, energy savings, more reliability, and less noise. That is why it is a great investment to make.

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    Can You Save Money With A Variable Speed Pool Pump

    The equation is simple.

    Single-speed pumps operate at only one rate even though that speed may not be necessary for a particular task. But there is nothing you can do. And as a result, your pump supplies greater flow than required at least 90% of the time.

    End of the day, you pay for the energy more than you really consume.

    One of the best features of the multi pace pool pump is you can vary the RPM. You lower the RPM when you are dealing with a low-powered pumping task. According to the Pump Affinity law, if you reduce the RMP by half, the pump will use 8-times less energy.

    Think how colossal the savings will be. Lets not guess and do some high school math.

    Youll Have More Control Over Water Features

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

    Do you have a spa, waterfalls, water features or other fancy stuff attached to your pool? A variable-speed pump allows you more control over the flow of water through these features. Take charge of how fast the water flows through your spa or fountain with your new efficient pool pump. New variable-speed pumps allow you to dial your pump up or down to the exact RPM you need.

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    Energy Savings Equals Money In Your Wallet

    The number 1 benefit of a Variable Speed Pool Pump is energy savings. The savings come from the Variable portion of the VS Pump. By lowering the RPMs, the pool pump will consume less energy. As energy consumption goes down, the money in your wallet goes up.

    Screenshot of Pentair Energy Savings Calculator Using a Variable Speed Pump

    A common misconception is that more is better – this is not always true when it comes to pool pumps. An overworked pool pump will consume more energy and potentially fail prematurely.

    This simple Energy Calculator from Pentair will give you a basic understanding of just how much money you can save. If you have a water feature you can create even more savings by using a VS Pump to control your water feature as well. Take a few minutes using the calculator and see how much money you can save.

    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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    How Many Hours Should I Run My Variable Speed Pool Pump

    Well, your variable speed pool pump will be required to run 24/7. This ensures your pool is getting efficient water circulation. Even running it wont cost you an excess electricity bill like the single pool pump. So, you dont have to worry about the excess cost here. Run the pump for 24 hours and get good filtration, air circulation and chemical protection. However, sometimes I prefer it to run for 10 hours and still get impressive service.

    Do I Have To Buy A New Pool Pump

    Variable Speed Pool Pumps

    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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    How Long To Run Your Variable Speed Pool Pump

    When people upgrade from a single speed pool pump to a variable speed pool pump they often continue to run their pump from eight to 10 hours a day, just as they did with their single speed pump. However, it is important to note that a variable speed pool pump should ideally be running 24 hours a day to ensure proper and optimal water circulation.

    When your pool pump is not running, the water is sitting stagnant in your pool allowing bacteria to survive and grow. Additionally, any method of water disinfection you use is not able to work properly when your water is not circulating. This can lead to health hazards because even if you turn the pool pump off only when you are not using the pool, once you turn the pump back on it will take some time before that stagnant water is fully disinfected.

    While running your pool pump 24 hours a day may subtract from some of the energy savings you gain by switching to a variable speed pool pump, it will be worth doing in order to have peace of mind that your pool water is healthy.

    How Long Should You Run A Variable Speed Pool Pump

    Ideally, you can run a variable speed pump 24 hours long. If youre not willing to spend that, go for 10 hours at least. If youre running the pump for 12 hours, try to keep it at a higher speed for 4 hours. The left 8 hours can be run at a slower speed. Then, you can get efficient filtration, purification at an affordable energy cost.

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    Will Everything Work Well At Lower Flow Rates

    Good question!! If you have water features such as a spa that overflows into your pool, or a water fall that runs all the time or sheer descents, then you may need to run the pump at a higher speed to make these work properly. We can also adjust the valves to push more of the water to these features.

    We will generally also program the pump to a slightly higher speed for 2-3 hours per day to create a cleaning cycle to coincide with the run time on the automatic pool cleaner so that the skimmers and the main drain more effectively pull in the debris.

    With a variable speed pool pump, there is a balance between economy and performance.

    If you choose maximum energy savings, you will probably save 75% or more on your pool energy costs, but your pool may not stay as clean. If you choose maximum performance and run the pump at higher speeds, you will keep you pool as clean as you did with your old single speed pump, but you will still save 40 50% on your pool energy costs. Either way . . . YOU WIN!!

    How Much Are You Saving

    When Does A Variable Speed Pump Not Save Money?

    At first glance, the savings is or $160.5. Its a massive figure if you consider annually. You will save $1926 on your utility bill. And let me add, it is just an AVERAGE scenario. The bigger the pump, the higher the savings will be.

    But the most significant difference in my view is the time of operation. The amount that keeps a variable speed pool pump 24-hours a day for a month will make any single speed pump run only 3-hours a day.

    It means you are getting 630-hours of operational time at the same cost from a multi-speed pool pump that its single RPM counterparts.

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    Benefits Of Buying A Variable Speed Pool Pump

    A variable speed pool pump could save you up to 90%* on your energy costs compared to a conventional single- or two-speed pool pump. They are often quiet when running and many offer built-in programming features and better filtering capabilities. Variable speed pumps consume less power and pay for themselves over time typically in 2 years or less. In addition, it can qualify you to receive public utility rebates. Plus, starting in July 2021, new U.S. Department of Energy minimum efficiency regulations will make variable speed pool pumps the only option for most pools.

    Try more pool calculators

    Single Speed Pump Vs Variable Speed Pump

    • First the motors aren’t the same. VS motors are permanent magnet motors, single and two speed are induction motors. PM motors are 3-6% more efficient at any speed.
    • If you close a valve on the discharge of the pump you have additional pressure drop in the system that uses horsepower to overcome the higher system pressure drop.
    • If you slow the pump down the power consumption is greatly reduced. This is because of the Affinity Laws. Simply stated they are:
    • 1. The flow varies proportionally with the change in speed. This means that twice the speed is twice the flow. One-third speed is one-third the flow.
    • 2. The pump head varies with the square of the change in the speed. Two times the speed is four times the head generated. Eighty percent speed is 64 percent the head generated.
    • 3. The power requirement varies by the cube of the change in speed. Two times the speed would burn eight times the power. One half the speed would require one-eighth the power to drive the pump.

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