With all the hype surrounding the new technology of variable speed pool pumps, it’s no wonder that people are curious about them. Anything new or any change can actually invoke fear in some people. The ol’, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. Well, perhaps your swimming pool pump actually is broken. Or maybe you are tired of the high energy costs of your old fashioned single speed pool pump. Either way, a variable speed pump is probably for you.
What is a Pool Pump?
A swimming pool pump consists of two parts. One is the dry end, which is the motor, and should never touch water. The other part is referred to as the “wet end”. This is known as the pump housing or volute. This is the part where your pump basket is located. It is where the water is pushed back into your swimming pool. When you place these two parts together, viola! We have a swimming pool pump.
A swimming pool pump is a crucial piece of equipment on any swimming pool. Unlike heaters, salt cells, in-line feeders and the like, they are not optional. You own a swimming pool? You own a swimming pool pump. The other required piece of equipment on any swimming pool is a pool filter. These come in three different styles: diatomaceous earth, cartridge and sand. Regardless of the type of pump you have or the type of filter you have, these two pieces of equipment work hand in hand to keep your swimming pool water clear, comfortable, and most importantly–safe. This is because a pool pump circulates the water through your plumbing line and through the filter, catching dirt and debris, before returning it to the swimming pool. It also mixes the chemicals. Chemicals are only active when the water is moving. When do we need our chemicals the most? During the hottest part of the day. Those of you running your pump at night to “save money” are probably owners of a single speed pump.
Single Speed Pumps
Single speed pumps are being outlawed in most States. This is because of the high energy consumption. Sure, they are cheaper to buy, but they end up costing you a fortune to operate. This causes many swimming pool owners to not run their pool pump as long as they should or try running it at night. These “saving money” attempts typically end up in cloudy or murky water, algae or worse, someone getting sick or injured. A swimming pool where the main drain is not visible is a drowning hazard. Got algae? Algae treatments can get expensive. So all that money you “saved”? It went towards chemicals instead.
Single speed pumps work at just that: a single speed. They run at 3,450 revolutions per minute (RPMs) regardless of horsepower. No pool needs to run that high for that long. These energy-guzzling machines utilize only windings in their motors which make them loud. So loud, in fact, they can be compared to being on a subway train!
Variable Speed Pumps
Whether you are the proud new owner of a variable speed pump (VSP) or in the market for one, you are probably wondering if they are worth it. Will they really save you money? The answer? Yes and yes! Variable speed pool pumps do just that: run at varying speeds. We run our pool pump on lower RPMs for longer periods of time, thus consuming less energy. Even if we were to run our variable speed pump at 3,450 RPMs, say for spa jets or a water feature, it would still consume less energy than a single speed pool pump.
Variable speed pumps, in addition to windings, use a permanent magnet motor. This total enclosed, fan-cooled motor loses less heat,and pulls less energy. If you have ever touched the motor on your single speed pump…ouch! It’s hot, right? That, my friends, is energy loss. More energy=more money. VSPs are also quieter. The sound of a variable speed pool pump can be compared to “moderate rainfall”. Ahh…the tranquility.
By running our variable speed pump at a variety of lower RPMs we are consuming less energy. Did you know that behind your air conditioner, your single speed pool pump is the most expensive thing to run? Not anymore. Less energy=lower electric bill=less money spent. The average homeowner will save approximately $70 a month on average. Maybe more depending on your region. I cannot think of any other piece of equipment that actually pays for itself.
Are Variable Speed Pumps Expensive?
They sure can be! If you were to go and get a quote from your local swimming pool supply chain on a VSP you would be in the thousands. Granted, it would still pay for itself, but it would just take longer. If you think you have to go this route to get a good quality, brand name pump, think again. The American-made, household name of Black & Decker makes variable speed pool pumps! And not just for in-ground pools, but above-ground pools as well. Their 2-hp VSP is all the talk in the pool industry. This is due to its high craftsmanship, crazy five-year warranty and ridiculously low price tag. If you haven’t purchased your variable speed pump yet check it out here