Why Using a Variable-Speed Pool Pump is the Best Choice You Could Make

Here goes the one piece of advice I hope to pass onto to every pool owner: seriously, get a variable-speed pump. This will change your life—and if not change it entirely, then greatly improve it. The fact of the matter is that a variable-speed pump is the best decision any pool owner can make, for the purposes of saving money and optimizing performance. Want to know how? Let’s do a deep dive—together.

First, Know Your Pump Types.

I’ve already talked about how to find your perfect pool pump, but consider this a shortcut. In the years since their invention, pool pumps have evolved big time. The days of having only single-speed pumps on the market are over—and that’s a tremendously good thing. Now, you can find three types of pumps: single-speed, dual-speed, and variable-speed. Of course, you’ll soon understand that last one as one cut above the others.

Single-Speed Pumps

These pumps were the first engineered, and remain the most basic type available. A single-speed pump’s motor spins the impeller at one fixed velocity, which is determined by its horsepower—meaning it has no option to adjust to the needs of your specific pool. As a result, single-speed pumps are known to result in higher energy bills and environmental impacts.

So why are single-speed pumps still so widely used? On the surface (that is, without factoring in energy costs), they’re the most budget-friendly—but you’ll be paying much more over time. Bummer, right?

If you’re looking for a replacement and want to stick to single-speed models, look for one marked as a replacement for your former pump, such as this Blue Thunder Typhoon In Ground Single-Speed Pump.

why using a variable speed pool pump is the best choice

Dual-Speed Pumps

A step above single-speed and a step below variable-speed, the dual-speed pump has two speeds: low and high. The low will save on energy costs (though not nearly as much as a variable-speed pump) and the high will be similar in performance to that of a single-speed pump. It’s a step in the right direction, but there’s no reason to not go all the way.

Ta Da! Variable-Speed Pumps

Meet your new companion to a crystal-clear pool and a full wallet. Instead of running at full horsepower like single-speed pumps, variable-speed models allow you to control the speed of the motor according to your specific needs.

While initially more expensive to buy than single-speed models, variable-speed pumps (also known as multi-speed pumps) will save you more than the difference of cost over time—and typically pay themselves off in energy costs in under one year. Hence, they’re an actual investment—with the return of any stockbroker’s dreams.

But Big News: New Federal Law Requires Variable-Speed Pumps.

So there are three types of pool pumps on the market, but that’s about to change—at least in the United States. New federal pump laws via the Department of Energy Regulation is due to roll out in 2021, and they’re coming for single-speed pumps.

The new regulation requires that self-priming pumps past a certain horsepower meet an established performance standard. Even dual pumps with horsepower between .7 and 2.5 are excluded. Right now, that standard is only satisfied by variable-speed pumps.

Wondering if your pump is self-priming? Chances are it is—most pumps on the market are (though if something goes wrong, you should know how to manually prime your pump).

So not only have variable-speed pumps always been my first recommendation, but they’ll also soon be required by law. You bet I’m feeling pretty validated right about now.

Since variable-speed pumps only save more with time, the sooner the better. Get the 1.5 HP Variable Speed Blue Torrent Thunder In-Ground Swimming Pool Pump—it has major versatility from slow to high-powered, and also comes with an industry leading warranty.

why using a variable speed pool pump is the best choice

Not Just Required by Law—Your Wallet Will Thank You.

Since it’s always my goal to save pool owners money, this is where it gets good. A variable-speed pump is a great long-term investment, thanks to the energy it saves, its rebate eligibility, and the standard of maintenance it brings to your pool.

It’s All About Your Energy.

If you’ve been in the game long enough, you know that owning a pool is all about tracking your energy bill. Since it’s typical to run your pump eight hours a day, the energy required to push your water through its circulation system racks up, and quick.

Variable-speed pumps were designed to solve this problem. They’re often part of the Energy Star program, meaning they are certified by both the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to use less energy, and ultimately, save you on your monthly bill.

And we’re not talking a few cents here. Although variable-speed pumps are more expensive to buy than single- or dual-speed pumps, they typically pay off their entire price tag in under six to twelve months. It’s like getting a free pump fairly soon after installing—and then some.

You’ll Get the Rebates of Any Pool Owner’s Dreams.

This is where it gets fun. The right pump will also qualify for utility rebates, such as this Blue Torrent Energy Star Variable Speed Pump, which also includes a two-year warranty. Bonus: you’ll also be hard-pressed to find a more affordable model. Of course, you’re welcome to try.

Want a better sense of the actual rebates you’re eligible for with a variable-speed pump? I don’t blame you. This is exactly why I designed the PoolPartstoGo Rebates Calculator. Head there to learn how your state is sweetening the deal.

why using a variable speed pool pump is the best choice

Keep Your Pool Clean with Extreme Filtering—And Save Even More.

Lower speeds allow the motor to run quieter, and for your pool water to be filtered more thoroughly. This means that your pool is in the top-most shape any pump can provide, and many of the costly issues that come from a lack of thorough circulation—I’m looking at you, bacteria and algae, and you, stains from chemical buildup—are effectively avoided. You don’t need them, anyway.

A variable-speed pump will reduce the effort required to clean your pool, but even that can be reduced even further. Use the 360-Degree Bristles Blue Torrent Pool Brush to get those hard-to-reach corner—without hurting yourself in the process. As customer Myron Hendrick says, “The brush does an outstanding job.”

But Wait, There’s More: Features to Make Your Life Easier

Okay, so now you understand why using a variable-speed pump is the only sensible decision for any pool owner to make, both financially and legally. But other than saving you money and complying with U.S. federal law, it’s also worth noting that variable-speed pumps have a superior design. They’re made to last the longest, operate the quietest, and have a range of programming abilities typically unseen in single-speed pool pumps.


Part of what makes a variable-speed pump such an energy saver is the motor technology itself. Unlike other pumps which use an induction motor, variable-speed pumps use a permanent magnet motor—the same used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines and electric cars. The magnet motor creates less friction than induction motors, which increases efficiency and ensures that the variable-speed pump is built to last. Move over, Tesla.

why using a variable speed pool pump is the best choice

Noise Be Gone—or At Least Very, Very Quiet

Noisiness can be a mark of a problem with your pool—but it can also be just a normal feature of single-speed pumps. Another benefit of a variable-speed pump is its ultra-quiet operation. Prefer to program your pump to turn on in the middle of the night so you can swim in still waters during the day? No problem—and you won’t jolt awake at night at the racket.

The quiet operation of variable-speed pumps isn’t just because they’re often running at a slower speed. It’s also because of the permanent magnet motor. And that’s some tech we can all get behind.

Get with the Programming.

Many variable-speed pumps also have built-in programming features that further increase their energy efficiency. Just program your pump to the specifics of your pool, and they’ll use just enough power to perform their task—meaning that they switch speeds automatically. You hear that? That’s the sound of money stacking up in your bank account.

I’ve had my say. Are you ready to take the leap? My top recommendation is the 1.5 HP Variable Speed Blue Torrent Thunder In-Ground Swimming Pool Pump—it has expert programming options, comes with a lifetime warranty, and can be high-powered when you need it to be. Plus, it’s the most affordable variable-speed pump you’re likely to find. As customer Eric D writes, “Great pump! Great price!”

why using a variable speed pool pump is the best choice

So You Got Your Variable-Speed Pump. Now It’s Smooth Swimming.

You made sure you got a pump the right size for your pool and you’re now in ultra-clear, safely sanitized, and quiet waters—with a mind free from worry about your next energy bill. Welcome to the variable-speed life. And you only have more days like this to look forward to. The best thing about these pumps? They just save more over time. So enjoy today—and all the days and summers to come.


Should you run your pool pump 24 hours a day? Learn more by reading this article. What size pump do you need for your pool? Learn more here.

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