Traditional pool pumps are single speed versions, meaning they run at one speed, all the time. The normal running speed for a 1 hp single speed pump is 3450 rpms, pumping about 50 to 75 gallons of water per minute. These pumps usually run about 6-8 hours a day for proper water filtration.

The main problem with single speed pumps is that they are very energy inefficient. In fact, these pumps are often a home’s highest user of electricity, outside of the HVAC system. Even in Florida, where our electrical cost is only about $0.11/kwh, a 1 hp single speed pump costs about $0.20/hour to run – or about $1.60/day. That equates to $584 yearly!

Newer, updated pool pumps are very energy efficient and called variable speed pumps. With a variable speed pump, you can change the speed of the pump’s rpms. It turns out, when you cut the running speed of the pump in half, the energy consumption drops to 1/8th of what it was prior. This is due to the Pump Affinity Law, an engineering principle.

Using a variable speed pump to drop the pump speed in half and, subsequently, the flow rate down to 25 – 35 gallons a minute, we can reduce our electrical cost to only about 2.5 cents per hour or about $0.30/day! That is a huge savings, amounting to about $350 or more annually.

One other significant advantage of variable speed pool pumps is that they operate very, very quietly – you can hardly hear them running. Variable speed pumps also last much longer than a single speed pump, generally 6-8 years+. They come with either a 2 or 3 year warranty, dependent on model.

The best brand of variable speed pumps are made by Pentair. Their most popular models are the SuperFlo VS and the IntelliFlo VS. Both these pumps come with a built-in timer system to control when the turn on/off and what speed they run. They even have the ability to set different programs to have the pump run at a higher speed in the morning, to run a vacuum system for example, and then drop down to a lower speed for general filtration.

A new variable speed pool pump has an investment cost of $1,300-$1,650 installed, dependent upon model. Based on annual energy savings, the pumps will ‘pay for themselves’ in 3-4 years. A single speed pool pump costs about $550 installed for comparison purposes.

The Pentair website (www.PentairPool.com) has an excellent energy calculator to show what your specific energy savings could be with a variable speed pump. Their site also has details and brochures on all their pumps and equipment.

On-Time Pool Service stands ready to assist you with any pump or pool equipment needs. Just call our office at (941) 224-0404 to set up a free consultation or email us at info@OnTimePoolService.com