Variable Speed Pool Pumps – Energy Efficient Pool Pumps and Filters
Posted by Norman Fong
Swimming pool pumps use a ton of electricity. It is estimated that they use up a shockingly high percentage of all residential power and use almost 1500 kWh of power each year. Spa pumps and heaters use up to 2250 kWh of energy every year. The pool pump uses most of the power, so finding energy efficient pool pumps is very important. It pushes water through filtration units and has not changed in many years. New variable speed pool pumps are now available. They are energy efficient and are quieter by running motors slower, but run for longer periods of time.
Pool Pump Power Usage
A typical 1 1/2 HP single speed pool pump uses almost 5000kWh (392kWh per month, 8hr a day) of power a year or $1159. A two speed model uses 3431kWh to accomplish the same task at a cost of $789, saving $370. Variable speed pool pumps, which can run at many slower speeds, like the Intelliflo will use even less energy, resulting in savings from $620-1360 a year according to the company. This makes it the most efficient pool pump right now.
Running a pump at the lowest speed 24/7 costs the same as running a regular pump for 1 hour. The water is pumped at a slow trickle speed. Energy rates keep rising, so this delta will only increase in the future. Keep in mind you will need a new controller to control the variable speed pool pump. Note: After having lived with one for a while, you may find that you cannot run it at the slowest speed due to your pool’s plumbing. Our salt cell displays a low flow red light if our speeds are too low.
Variable Speed Pool Pump Cost
A new multi speed pump and controller will cost from $800 to $1500 plus $500 – $800 for installation. A $100 rebate is available from PG&E Energy Efficiency rebates and many other electric utilities, making payback time in 2 – 3 years. Another benefit with a variable speed pool pump is that it makes a lot less noise when running, so we can run it from midnight to 7 AM when the power rates are at the lowest. Timing is adjusted in the spring and summer when our solar water heater is run. A time period from 10 AM – 3PM, when the sun shines, is added.
Multi Speed Pool Pumps
There are 2 speed models and variable speed models. The variable speed pool pumps are obviously the most versatile. Variable speed models are more important if you have a solar pool heating system or use your pool heater often. In these scenarios, you might need to increase pump speed to accommodate the additional items. Look for programmable controls to handle these speed changes. California and other states require variable speed pool pumps on all new installations.
Pentair Pool has a Pool Pump Cost Savings Calculator to show variable speed pool pump savings and energy efficient pool pumps. Their Intelliflo VS-3050 variable speed pump costs $1100 plus installation. It uses permanent magnet motors like a Hybrid car, to save additional energy. If you have a intelligent pool controller and solar heating, it may need a new chip ($250) to support the variable speed pump. Make sure the installer uses high temperature compliant cPVC piping into and out of the new pump.
If you buy a new controller for the variable speed pool pump, also consider switching to Salt Water swimming pools at the same time. An advanced controller like the Easytouch handles both.
Check out this pool pump video:
Swimtown Pools – Over a decade of experience in the pool and spa industry and carrying more than 3,000 products at wholesale products including pool chemicals, pool safety covers, heaters, cleaners and commercial products.
Savior – Solar Pool Pump and Filter System, is a 100% Solar Powered pool pump and filter system.
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