Last Updated: December 6, 2020

What is a Variable-Speed Pool Pump?

Written By: Pool Care Guide

Variable-speed pool pumps are like regular pool pumps except they are better in pretty much every way. They are more powerful, more durable, easy to upgrade, and of course, you adjust the flow rate to whatever suits your needs at the time. 

They are also known for being very economical...once you get past the uneconomical price tag. Studied statistics have shown that they usually pay for themselves within two years of use. Not only will your monthly electricity bill go down, but there are usually tax incentives to push pool owners to make the switch. It’s a better product that puts money back in your pocket. What could be better, right?

Variable-Speed Pool Pump vs Single-Speed and Dual Speed

We don’t want to delve deeply into the single-speed and dual-speed pool pumps because that isn’t what this article is about. However, we felt the need to mention that they exist, so the casual reader can have something to compare the variable-speed pump against.

Single-Speed Pool Pump

The cheapest breed of the three pool pumps, but it certainly has the most heart; Single-speed pool pumps have one mission, and that mission is to run at full power till the day it gives out. Because it runs at the full capacity of its motor at all times, it will run that motor down faster.

Dual-Speed Pool Pump

There is a little more flexibility here. These are equipped with high and low power settings, so they are a bit more versatile. There are situations when low power and high power become more appropriate, so this is actually a useful upgrade. For example, high-speed is very useful when you are adding pool chemicals. The low setting will be good for times of the year when pool contaminants are less of an issue. It saves a bit of money which pretty much everybody can appreciate. 

Variable-Speed Pool Pump

Same Motor Type As Electric Cars - Quiet, Efficient, Reliable

Of the three pool pump types, variable-speed pool pumps use permanent magnet motors. Those motors have been made famous in the last couple of decades thanks to the recent uptick in electric car manufacturing by renowned companies such as Tesla, Rivian, and Chevrolet. These variable-speed pool pump motors are dependable, very efficient, and quiet.

Fine control of Pump Flow Rate

Variable-speed pumps have a maximum power setting and give the owner the capability of incrementally increasing or decreasing its power output. They’re also highly customizable. The downside is that they are also the most expensive of the three. 

If you have a single-speed pool pump, you are likely very aware of how noisy they are. The single full-power setting can be very disruptive to your sleep and the native ambiance. With many of these variable-speed pumps, you can often set timers to set them to a lower and quieter setting.

Additionally, certain pool maintenance tasks benefit from different flow rates, so fine flow-rate control becomes quite useful. Some of these pumps have programmable settings that allow you to easily switch the flow rates to accommodate whatever task you are performing.

Energy Efficient

Because of the initial high cost of these pool pumps, we want to expand a tad bit on the efficiency aspect and its money-saving repercussions. The savings stack up quickly. People have found that they save as much as 83% of their annual electricity costs. That’s why it only takes two years to pay for itself.

If you aren’t worried about your electricity bill, you can crank up the power and filter the pool quickly. It’ll still be more efficient than other pumps. However, if you don’t mind letting the pump take its time, you can save even more money in the energy-efficient low-powered mode.

Regulated in Some Regions

In some regions, the government requires its citizens to use these variable-speed pool pumps. It might be wise to look up your local ordinances to see if you actually have the choice regarding what type of pool pump you purchase.

Some Other Factors to Consider

If you decide that this type of pool pump is right for you, there will be a few other purchasing factors that you will need to consider. The flow rating, horsepower, pipe size, voltage, and whether you need a side mount or a top mount. We go over all of these factors and more in our guide “What Pool Pump Do I Need?

You may also like these articles

Pool Care Guide Logo
Copyright © 2022 Pool Care Guide
Contact Us
Pool Care Guide is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram