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Do I Need a Variable Speed Pump for My Pool

Do I Need a Variable Speed Pump for My Pool

Once you have had time to get to know your swimming pool, there is no doubt that the question, Do I need a variable speed pump for my pool, will come up. It's a great question because after all your pump is the heart of your swimming pool. Before we can answer this question, we must first ask a preliminary question. What is your objective? Are you attempting to:

  • Conserve energy
  • Lower long-term costs
  • Support one or more water features
  • Save money up front
  • Turn your water more efficiently

There are some of the most common objectives when addressing the variable speed pump question. 

Conserve Energy

swimming pool pump and filter

One of the nice benefits of switching to a variable speed pump is energy conservation. The Great Backyard is headquartered in scenic Chattanooga TN. Around here we generate most of our electricity burning coal. Additional sources include Hydro-electric, nuclear, and a smidge of solar. 

Since burning coal is a relative cheat but dirty way to generate electricity, you might be interested in improving the efficiency of your home and pool. Replacing your existing single speed pump will make your home more efficient, requiring less electricity and thus requiring less coal. 

If your goal in to conserve energy or to lower your homes carbon footprint then you should consider a variable speed pump. 

Lowering Long-term Cost

Another nice benefit of moving to a variable speed pump is reduced long-term

variable speed pump

cost. Interestingly, variable speed pumps running for 24 hours a day consume less power than the same size single speed pump running for 5 hours a day. The water turnover is the same but the power required is different. 

A variable speed pump at 24 hours a day will turn the same amount of water as the single speed pump at five hours a day but with a much lower average RPM. This is the special sauce. The water turnover is the same over 24 hours but the power required is much less. Pool owners can reduce power consumption by up to 40% using a variable speed pump. 

Although 40% is significant, the realized annual savings would only be between $100 - $200 per year. At this savings, it would take three or four years to cover the difference in cost between pumps. 

Support One of More Water Feature

pool water feature

Your pools water features increase the amount of pumping power required to move your water. The more water features you have, the greater the power demand. 

The need to support multiple water features is probably the best reason to install a variable speed pump. The variable speed pump is designed to increase RPMs each time an additional water feature is turned on. This increase in power output will support the flow required to power all of your water features. And, your variable pump will automatically accelerate and decelerate as water features come on and off line. 

The truth is, if you have multiple pump-driven water features around your pool, you need to invest in a variable speed pump. 

Save Money Up Front

If your goal is to save money up front then you probably don't need to move to a variable speed pump. Almost without exception, the same horsepower single speed pump will cost less than its variable counterpart. 

Turn Your Pool Water More Efficiently 

Your pools water quality depends on its circulation. Your pool water should turn

over around 3 times each daily. If your goal is to accomplish this in the most efficient way, you should consider moving to a variable speed pump. Keep in mind, we're talking about efficiently not speed. A single speed pump can turn the water more quickly in a short amount of time because it will be running at a constant RPM pushing water quickly around your pool. The variable speed pump can accomplish the same amount of turn over a longer period of time at a much lover average RPM. 

If you are aiming for the quickest turn possible, you should stick with a single speed pump. However, if efficiency is your goal, you can't go wrong by upgrading to a variable speed pump. 

The important thing to remember is that your pool chemicals need to be circulated through your pool water. In addition the water needs to be filtered. Your pump is the heart that accomplishes both of these. Check your pump regularly to make sure you have proper circulation and you will be rewarded with clean clear pool water. 

Check out our selection of pool pumps. We have rigorously test every pump we carry and stand behind the quality, price, and manufacturers warranty.

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