Here's How to Calculate the Cost of Running Your Variable Speed Pool Pump

So you are looking at the cost of running a variable speed pool pump.  Either you are still a single speed pool pump owner and tired of paying the high electric bill, your pool pump needs to be replaced due to malfunction or you are the proud owner of an energy efficient, variable speed pool pump.  Still not sure if a variable speed pump is right for you?  Let’s look at some info.

Single Speed Pumps

Single speed pool pumps are known as energy-guzzlers.  This is due to a few reasons.  One, the name says it all.  They only run on a single speed. This speed is measured in revolutions per minute. (RPMs).  Single speed pool pumps only run at 3,450 RPMs.  This is much higher that a pool needs constant circulation to be.  The motor uses windings only and a lot of heat, aka energy, is also lost from the motor.  Have you ever touched your swimming pool motor?  It’s hot, right?  You won’t see that with a variable speed pool pump.

A lot of States are requiring variable speed pumps.  If the Department of Energy is getting involved, we know that they must be an issue.  A lot of utility companies are even offering rebates on variable speed pool pumps, but they must be Energy Star Rated.  Like this one 

Variable Speed Pool Pumps

Variable speed pool pumps (VSPs) run at just that: varying speeds.  They can be taylor programmed to run at a variety of RPMs to suit your swimming pool’s circulation needs.  They run at lower speeds for longer amounts of time, consuming way less energy.  In fact, they are SO energy efficient that even if you were to run your new VSP at the same 3,450 RPMs as your single speed pool pump, you would still save money because the motor requires less energy.  

On a variable speed pool pump, you are getting a totally enclosed, fan-cooled motor.  So no more heat loss.  It also is a permanent magnet motor so it uses magnets in addition to windings.  Very similar magnets used in MRI machines in hospitals.

How to Calculate the Cost

  1. First, you’ll need to locate the voltage and amperage rating on your pump.  These will be on a label on the motor.
  2. Next, you will need to take the voltage rating and multiply it by the amperage rating.
  3. Take this number and convert it to kilowatts.  It’s simple.  Just divide by 1,000.
  4. Decide how many hours a day you will be running your pump.  If you are running it at say, 3 different speeds, you will use this formula once for each speed and add them up.

Multiply the hours at that speed by the kilowatts per day (or time frame at this speed).

  1. You’ll need to know the cost your specific utility company charges per kilowatt.  You’ll then multiply the kilowatt per day by the cost per kilowatt.  Not sure how much your utility company charges?  You can check your recent statement or even call them.  A phone call is especially helpful if they “tier” certain times of the day to a higher rate.

Are Variable Speed Pool Pumps Expensive to Buy?

They certainly can be.  It depends on where and how you shop.  Big box supply chains will charge a couple of grand for a name brand variable speed pump.  And that is just for the pump itself!  Even your friendly pool professional can only offer a so-so deal.  You can get a quality, American-made variable speed pump for about half of what those other guys charge.  They are easy to install and come with a crazy five year warranty!  And it is a brand name you have known and trusted for years!  I kid you not.  BLACK + DECKER makes a killer variable speed pool pump for both in-ground and above-ground swimming pools.  Save money on your purchase and save money on its operation.  Sounds like a winning combo to me.  Check them out here. 

See you poolside!

How long should the pool pump operate daily, and how should we cut the energy cost of it? Learn here.