The simple and truthful answer is , YES! Absolutely! They are not referred to as Energy Saving Pumps for no reason. Energy Saving=Less Energy Used=Lower Utility Bill. But let’s talk a bit about the how’s and the why’s, shall we?
What is a Pool Pump and What Does it Do?
Every swimming pool has a swimming pool pump. The pool pump is like the heart of your equipment pad. A pump constitutes two major components: The wet end and the dry end. The wet end is where the water flows. It is where your pump basket is and has a clear lid covering it. The housing it sits in is also known as a volute. The dry end is simply the motor. When you put these parts together, Viola! You have a swimming pool pump. Inside your pump there is what is known as a pump seal, or a mechanical seal. This is a two part ceramic seal that keeps the water from getting through to your motor. When this starts to go bad from wear and tear, you will usually see water dripping from around the middle of your pump. This is nothing to ignore. The longer this goes on, the more damage it can cause.
In a swimming pool, the water is drawn from the pool from your skimmer, main drain, or a combination of the two. If you have an automatic pool cleaner plugged into your skimmer the water is sucked through the cleaner. Once it hits your system, the pool pump pushes the water through your various pieces of equipment. Some optional ones are a salt cell, heater and an in-line chlorinator.
One piece , like a swimming pool pump, that is not optional, is your pool filter. In the filter, dirt and debris get caught, helping to keep your swimming pool clear. The pool pump also mixes and activates the chemicals so they are effective. When do we need our chemicals to be effective? Well, during the hottest part of the day.
A lot of folks are trying to save money” by either not circulating their pool as long as they should, or running it at night. This causes problems in the pool such as murky water, which is a drowning hazard by the way, and oftentimes a green or yellow build up of, gulp, algae. So, any money that was “saved” goes towards expensive chemicals, algae treatments, and in severe cases, a drain with or without an acid wash. If you are a homeowner trying these tactics, my guess is you are the owner of a single speed pool pump.
Single Speed Pool Pumps
Outlawed in some states due to the high energy consumption, single speed pumps do just that: run at a single speed. This speed is measured in revolutions per minute, or RPMs. A single speed pump runs at 3,450 RPMs. This is overkill for most pool set ups. Single speed pumps utilize windings and lose a lot of heat aka energy, from it escaping from the motor. Have you ever touched your pool pump motor? Ouch, right?
They aren’t all bad. If you live in a state that still allows them, they are great as booster pumps for spas, water features and slides. Check out this affordable single speed pump. The great thing about it is it is a retrofit for the Pentair Whisperflo..
Variable Speed Pool Pumps
Variable speed pool pumps have so much to offer, I literally get excited writing about them. No joke. Let’s start with how they operate. Variable Speed (Energy Efficient) pumps do just that: run at varying speeds. These speeds, as we talked about above, are measured in RPMs. With a variable speed pump, we have the luxury of running our pump at a variety of lower speeds for our pump run cycle. Less RPMs=Less Energy=Lower Utility Bill= More money in your pocket. Are you digging these formulas as much as I am?
Variable speed pumps utilize windings in conjunction with a permanent magnet motor. The same magnetic source that a medical MRI machine would use. It is also encased in a totally enclosed, fan cooled motor. So no more heat is unnecessarily escaping from the motor.
Even if you were to run your variable speed pool pump at the same speed (RPM) as your single speed motor, (3,450 RPMs) say for your spa or a water feature; You would STILL be saving money because they utilize less energy!
Since we are moving the water at a slower speed, we need to run it longer. After all, our pool gallonage has not changed. We still need to accomplish what is known as a turnover. A turnover is when the volume of water equal to that in the swimming pool passes through your filter. Typically 1 time in a 24-hour period will suffice. So am I telling you with a straight face that you can run your pump longer for less money?? Yes, siry, Bob.
Variable Speed Pumps are So Expensive!
You won’t get an argument from me there. I will change that fact a little, however. Variable speed pumps can be expensive. It all depends on where and how you shop. A local pool store, such as the pool store I operate, has no choice but to charge nearly $2,000 for a name brand variable speed pump (VSP). And that is not including installation, folks. Even your friendly pool guy offering you his discount is still going to be more than you need to pay. What is the solution?
What if I told you that you could own a name brand, reliable, easy to install variable speed pump that comes with a crazy five year warranty for HALF of what, ahem, those other guys are charging? I kid you not. The American-made, household brand name of Black & Decker has extended their decades of well built equipment to the swimming pool industry. They are here and taking over the market. With a variety of sizes, which is measured in horsepower, you are sure to find a pump that fits your pool and your budget. Check them out here.
Have an above ground pool? Don’t feel left out. They have got you covered as well.
Lastly, these pumps are Energy Star Rated and may qualify you for a utility rebate. If the Department of Energy is involved, we mean business when it comes to saving energy. See you poolside!