You may have heard pool industry professionals talk about variable speed pumps and are wondering what all the fuss is about. Read on to discover some other benefits that you may not have considered.

Single speed pumps only run at one constant high speed, but a VS pump is able to change the RPMs (revolutions per minute) of the motor in order to be more efficient. These versatile pool pumps run more smoothly and are generally more durable than their single-speed counterparts, which can save you money in the long term.

How Does a Variable Speed Pump Work?

The advantage of a variable speed (VS) pump is that it can change its operating speed. Certain models will adjust the RPM based on the number of gallons per minute your swimming pool requires.

Most pool owners will set a lower, more efficient operating speed, but you still have the ability to set timers to control the speed automatically as well. For example, you may want to increase the RPMs while your automatic pool cleaner is working to help it clean more efficiently, and then return the pump to the lower, more efficient speed afterward.

A Variable Speed Pump Will Save You Money

Outside of your home's AC system, a single-speed pump is the most expensive energy cost for inground pool owners. The main draw of a variable speed pump is the savings on your electric costs and long-term maintenance, up to 90% in some cases.  This table shows the average savings with a variable speed pump in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas.




Florida, Georgia, Alabama


*Savings based on using the Pentair pool pump savings calculator using an Intelliflo VSF vs. 1.5 HP single speed pump for a 20,000-gallon pool with the pump running 8 hours a day at 1,400 RPMs, at 12¢ kwh for 12 months.




*Savings based on using the Pentair pool pump savings calculator using an IntelliFlo VSF vs. 1.5 HP single speed pump for a 20,000 gallon pool with the pump running for 8 hours a day at 1,400 RPM’s, at 9¢ kwh for 12 months.




*Savings based on using the Pentair pool pump savings calculator using an IntelliFlo VSF vs. 1.5 HP single speed pump for a 20,000 gallon pool with the pump running for 8 hours a day at 1,400 RPM’s, at 12¢ kwh for 12 months.


As mentioned above, you can proficiently keep your water circulated, disperse pool chemicals effectively and extend the life of your pool's filter, all for less. Another money-saving feature is their durability. A variable speed pump runs at a lower speed, putting less strain on its internal components. This means you spend less money on replacing parts and motors.

How Efficiency is Measured

Pool pump efficiency is now be measured using WEF1. This new term, used to compare efficiency, stands for weighted energy factor. Think of how MPG is used in cars. All pumps will be labeled this way. WEF is derived by dividing the flow by the power consumption of the pump.

Other Advantages of Variable Speed Pumps

Variable speed pumps are noticeably quieter than single-speed pumps, about four times as quiet on average. This is due to their totally enclosed structure and the fact that they can run at lower speeds and maintain their efficiency. The totally enclosed fan means that the motor is also protected from water, which helps prevent the pump from being shorted out. Many people find that variable speed pumps far outlive single speed. In many cases, the cost of the pump will repay itself in just 1-2 years, based on the above factors. Certain areas may also offer energy rebates for these energy efficient pumps.

Intelliflo Variable Speed Pool Pump

Smart Phone. Smart Home. Smart Pool.

If you are a technology fan, you can extend the benefits of a connected home to your swimming pool. Certain pump models interface with your pool’s automation system, allowing you to set timers and control certain functions remotely using a smartphone or tablet. Some variable speed pumps are even compatible with voice assistants such as Alexa and Google Home. Some also have an automation system already built in such as the Hayward TriStar VS 900 Omni Pump Automation System.

Adjustable Speed Pumps

These types of pumps work similarly to single and dual speed pumps, but programming allows them to run at specific speeds at different times, saving energy and money. Adjustable speed pumps are highly efficient and work quietly, unlike older single-speed pumps. By setting a custom schedule, you can get great efficiency and only run the pump when you need to. Even at the highest setting, these pumps are still quieter than single and 2-speed pumps. Pumps in this category meet or exceed DOE requirements for energy efficiency. These pumps also offer considerable savings compared to variable speed models.

Get Help from the Experts

The smart move would be to switch now and start saving money immediately, but if setting up a variable speed pump seems a bit overwhelming, don’t worry. The experts at Pinch A Penny can help you install and set up your new pump. Pinch A Penny techs are professional and knowledgeable and will make the process a breeze. Additionally, most pumps include a 3-year protection warranty.

Want to talk to an expert about variable speed? Click below to find a store near you!


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