Pumps, Variable vs 1 and 2 speed

Have you ever wondered which type pool pump will best meet your needs?

There are three types of pool pumps: single speed, two speed, and variable speed.

Single Speed Pumps, the Old Standby

Single speed pumps are your traditional pool pump and have been in use for decades.  Once turned on, it runs at a constant speed.  These are the least expensive to purchase, however they are extremely noisy and inefficient.  It has been said that a single speed pool pump is the most expensive appliance in most homes.

Two-Speed Pumps, a Step in the Right Direction

A Two-Speed pump is a variation of the single speed pump, in that they both use what’s known as an induction style motor.  The difference is that a two-speed pump has a low speed option, which is far more efficient than running the pump on high speed all the time.  Many hot tubs use 2 speed pumps.

If you’re wondering when to run the pump on high vs low speed, most folks run two-speed pumps on low speed 24/7 and turn the pump to high when vacuuming the pool, running a heater (becuase it needs enough flow), or when leaves are falling and they want to blow them towards the skimmer(s).  2 speed pumps are quite a bit more expensive to purchase than single speed pumps and last the same amount of time, which is typically 3-8 years.  On average, a two-speed pump will save about 50%-70% on energy cost compared to a one-speed pump. Therefore overall a good choice in pumps although you do have the up front costs.

Variable Speed Pumps, a Modern Marvel

Variable speed pumps are an entirely different species.  Unlike the inefficient induction motors used in single and two-speed pumps, variable speed pumps utilize what’s known as a permanent magnet motor.  This is the same type of motor used in electric cars.  They allow the user to “dial in” the exact flow rate they need for their pool allowing them to capitalize on the golden rule of pool circulation: slower is better.   The idea is that by reducing the flow rate of water, there is less friction, which makes the entire system dramatically more efficient.

They are also much quieter, vibrate less, run cooler, last longer, are digitally controlled, and have advanced diagnostics.  Basically, variable speed pumps are the Cadillac of pool pumps, and most studies show that they are 90% more efficient than standard one-speed pumps.

Don’t you think it’s time to consider changing your existing pump to variable speed?  Or if you are considering a new pool install this is the perfect time/way to save on energy costs.

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