Are New Pool Pumps More Efficient?

If you are a swimming pool owner, you have various pieces of equipment in your equipment area.  While some of these are optional, such as a salt system or a heater, some are not.  A pool filter is required.  A swimming pool pump is also required.  Water is drawn from various places in your pool like, the skimmer and main drain, into the plumbing system. It makes stops at the various pieces of equipment and then is pushed back into the swimming pool by the pool pump.  It is a crucial part of your swimming pool’s operating system.  Pumps help mix the chemicals effectively and make sure all the water gets cleaned by going through your filter.   When all the water goes through the filter, this is known as a turnover. A common turnover rate for residential pools with a single speed pump is 8 hours.  With a variable speed pump, since we run the pump at a lower speed, we run it longer, therefore increasing the amount of time it takes to accomplish a turnover.

Single Speed Pumps

Single speed pumps move your swimming pool water through your system at just that:  a single speed.  At a Revolution Per Minute (RPM) of 3,400, they are quite the energy guzzlers and can be very expensive to operate.  While traditionally lower in price than a Variable Speed Pump, what you “save” on the price of the pump will go towards your electric bill. If a single speed pump meets your needs then I recommend going with the name brand Blue Torrent.  This one in particular is a direct swap out for a Pentair Whisperflo at about a third of the price! Single speed pool pumps are illegal in states like California due to the high energy consumption. If allowed, single speed pumps can be great for booster pumps, water features and above ground pools.  (Although BLACK + DECKER makes a killer above-ground variable speed pool pump)

Two Speed Pumps

These swimming pool pumps are a tad more efficient than a single speed pump. They are also great for water features.  Much like the single speed pump runs on one fixed speed, the 2-speed pumps run on two different set speeds.  These speeds are high and low. You may require an automation system to change between the 2 speeds.  When you are running the pump at a lower speed, you are in energy saving mode and will notice a drop in your power bill. Typically around 80%

Variable Speed Pumps 

Also known as Energy Efficient Pumps here is where the real money savings come in.  SInce they are adjustable to run at essentially any RPM up to that particular pump's maximum horsepower (HP).  For example, a 1.5 hp variable speed pump would not exceed 1.5 HP when turned on high, aka 3,400 RPMs. Variable speed pumps can be used in any setting.  They work well on water features because you can slow down the RPMs so that the noise from the feature doesn’t undo the peace and tranquility you were going for when you installed it.  You can also ramp up the RPMs, say, if you were going to use your spa.  We want as much force as possible when those jets hit our sore bodies, right?  The pumps themselves are also more quiet, with an enclosed fan-cooled motor.  

Team Variable Speed

When you make the intelligent decision to upgrade to a variable speed pump (VSP) you want to get one that is Energy Star  Rated.  These pumps meet the energy output requirements to qualify you, the homeowner, for rebates from local utility companies.  Check with your utility company for their requirements. These types of swimming pool pumps actually put money back into your pocket!  They are 90% more efficient than a single speed pump.  This means less power consumption and lower electric bills.

Did you know that a variable speed swimming pool pump can also help extend the life of your other equipment and plumbing?  This is accomplished due to the lower pressure of the water circulating through your system.  

Most homeowners with a single speed pump tend to not run it long enough to properly filter the water.  This attempt to save money actually results in a number of problems.  For one, your water won’t be as clear because you are not accomplishing the proper turnover rate.  Your chemicals only work when the water is moving, so low pump run times with a single speed pump can make you susceptible to annoyances such as cloudy water and algae blooms.  Repairing these problems involve spending money on expensive chemicals.  You are also prone to water borne bacteria if you do not properly circulate the water.  How awful would it be if a family member or friend got taken ill from trying to have fun inn your backyard swimming pool? Yikes!

If you have shopped around for a VSP either through your local pool store or through your pool cleaning professional, you have probably gasped at the prices.  While they are worth every penny, why not spend less pennies and achieve the same result.  There is a ton of positive hype surrounding the AMerican made, name brand BLACK + DECKER.  They make several variable speed swimming pool pumps.  With a removable base they can be plug and play with your existing pump, meaning less plumbing required.  The best part?  They are about 50% less expensive than other name brand pumps.  Check them out! 

Whatever pump you decide to go with, it is a crucial part of having clean, inviting and most importantly, healthy water.  See you poolside!

Check this unboxing video 

This article provides information on what pump size you need for your pool. And if you want to know the ideal schedule for your pool pump, read this article.


*Hayward® and Hayward® Pool Products are registered trademarks of Hayward Industries, Inc. Asia Connection LLC has no affiliation with Hayward Industries, Inc.

*Pentair® and Pentair® Pool Products are registered trademarks of Pentair® Ltd. Asia Connection LLC has no affiliation with Pentair® Ltd.