The Benefits of a Variable Speed Pool Pump

If you’re building a swimming pool, choosing the pump that will serve as the heart of your pool’s circulation and filtration system is one of your most important decisions. Although it can be tempting to buy the cheapest pool pump that can keep up with your pool’s circulation needs, it might be a good idea to look at a little higher up the ladder. For instance, a variable speed pool pump makes an excellent choice for a swimming pool pump and may not be standard with all pool builders.  Variable speed swimming pool pumps are more expensive than single or dual speed pumps, but their extra features and long-term energy savings often make them a better option.

Here are a few tips to consider if trying to decide between a variable speed pump and a single or dual speed pump.

Energy Use
Variable speed pumps are more efficient than either dual-speed or single-speed pumps. Fixed-speed pumps can’t adjust to the real-time demands of your pool, so they always have to put out their maximum power.  Maximum power translates into a lot of wasted energy.

Most of the time, the filtration and water circulation needs of your pool will be minimal. A variable speed pool pump can adjust to this in real time.  They dynamically adjust the flow rates so that you’re not pumping massive quantities of water through your plumbing when you don’t need that much flow. Dialing down output when high power isn’t required allows variable speed pumps to use up to 90% less energy than fixed-speed pumps. The long-term cost savings can be impressive, especially if your electric bill is already expensive.

Because of their limited operation modes, you only have two options for single-speed and dual-speed pumps: on or off. If you don’t plan on running your pool pump all the time, you’ll need to purchase a separate and expensive pool timer to turn the pump on and off for you.

Our favorite is the IntelliFlo, a Pentair variable speed pool pump.  The IntelliFlo includes a built-in controller that allows you to program flow patterns for your pool. You can slow the pump at night and ramp it up during the day or schedule a special high-flow period if you run your pool cleaner off of your pump. Some Pentair pool pump controllers even include a wall-mounted control panel, allowing you to control your pump without physically accessing it.

Single-speed and dual-speed pumps always operate at high speed, creating loud noises that can sometimes be irritating to yourself, your pool guests and even your neighbors. Other than installing noise-dampening materials around your pump, there isn’t much you can do to reduce the noise from fixed-speed pumps. However, a variable speed pool pump allows you to adjust the power output of the pump; if you want to reduce your pump’s noise level, you can simply reduce its power and the noise will naturally fall.

If you’re researching this information because you’re building a swimming pool, we hope we’ve outlined a few tips to help you buy the right pool pump for your needs.  Check out our other swimming pool pumps.

American Pools & Spas exclusively carries high-quality Pentair pool pumps, and our expert staff of experienced pool designers and builders can help you with all of your Florida pool needs. We encourage you to visit our indoor design center that will introduce you to all the products necessary to create the backyard oasis you’ve always wanted.  Put our experience to work for you. Please contact us at 407-847-9322 to schedule a free design consultation.