This is our definitive guide of the variable speed pool pump – read on! We know that choosing the best variable pool pump can be an arduous task due to the array of products available online. That is why we have searched, gathered information, and shared reviews of the best pool pumps in the market. We have reviews the features in detail in a language that is easy to understand.
Buying a Variable Speed Pool Pump
Swimming pools are fun to use during the warmer months of the year. After staying indoors throughout winter, it makes an excellent focal point for the family, where they can have an enjoyable time. You can play pool games with kids, watch the stars at night, and throw pool parties with friends or colleagues and have an enjoyable time. Unfortunately, such fun, as everything else that is good in this life comes at a price that you should be willing to pay.
The Single Speed Pool Pump
Whenever you are setting up a pool, you should calculate the money that you will need to set one up and maintain it to keep it working well. Doing this initial legwork will help you to understand whether you will need a pool in the first place. For instance, one of the major components that you will need to keep your poor working seamlessly is a pool pump. They wear out over time, so you should always be ready to replace your stock one to keep the pool working seamlessly. From the available data, variable pool pumps seem to be the best. However, we have looked at your other available options as well.
Different Types of Pool Pumps
The variable speed pool pump is the most reputable model in the market but two speed and one-speed models are equally popular and beneficial. If you have an old pool at home that needs a bit of love and care, you probably have a single speed pool pump now. If the pump is old and inefficient, you will gain multiple benefits by switching to a variable speed model today. We have reviewed the mode of operation of each time to better your understanding.
Single-speed pool pumps are old-fashioned accessories that have recently been unearthed in multiple archeological dig sites all over the world. While this fact might seem like overkill, these pumps have been in use for decades now, and the model in your pool might be as old as you are or older. The pumps have an induction alternating current (AC) motor that generates a magnetic field and electromagnetic induction that spins it to generate torque. Even though effective, the system generates a loud, deafening noise that irritates users.
Hayward SP2610X15 Super Pump | Single-Speed
Even though single speed motors are cheap, they have a basic structure with one major flaw – their motors work at one constant speed. Old motor with this system can cost you a heft amount of money in electricity bills as it has to be on every time to work. We will delve into the details of the specifics of its costs later, but just know that using one will cost you a significantly higher amount of money every year. It will burn a hole in your wallet and bank account.
Two-Speed Pool Pump
We will not spend a lot of time talking about the best two-speed pool pumps; because they mimic single-speed pool pumps in many ways. For instance, like single-speed pumps, they use inefficient induction-style motors – even though slightly advanced. Moreover, from their name, these motors run at two different speeds. One speed will save you cash, unlike ancient single-speed ones, while one is equally as bad – it such money from your wallet and bank account faster than you will ever be able to replenish it.
Hayward SP15932S Power-Flo Matrix | Dual-Speed
Do you want to know how much money you are wasting whenever you are using a single speed pool pump at home? Overall, depending on your area and size of your pool, you waste around 1800-2000 dollars every year with a single-speed pool pump. A two-speed pump will save you 30-50% of the amount. However, because most homeowners prefer to use them at low RPMs most of the time and high RPMs when heating or cleaning pools only, the running costs can be higher, at times comparable to most single speed pumps.
Variable Speed Pool Pump
This is an interesting choice. From the reviews of the features and benefits that we have reviewed herein, it is evident that you will be making the correct decision by ordering one today. Before we delve into its mind-blowing technical details, it would be good to know that variable speed pool pumps use a permanent motor, unlike single and two-speed models that use induction style motors. Permanent motors are durable and can generate significantly higher torque at all speeds compared to induction motors for one reason – they do not work at a constant speed. As the name suggests, you get variable speeds, which saves you a significant chunk of money every year.
Variable speed pool pumps have customizable designs that you can manipulate to perform at your preferred speed and to deliver your desired flow. For the best results, set your pump to operate at a lower speed to lower wear and tear while maximizing output. The permanent motors that they use are super-efficient at all speeds so you do not worry about easting electricity.
Benefits of Variable Speed Pool Pumps
By now, you have an idea of how most pool pumps work, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. The best variable speed pumps not only work at variable speeds but also offer a plethora of other benefits that most users appreciate. By reading through this article, you will realize what you have been missing all this while lacking a variable speed pump. We have reviewed the features of some of the best brands, their benefits, and their impact on lives.
The huge amount of cash that you will save
Even though variable speed pool pumps cost a lot of money at the forefront, they save users a lot of money in the end. From the data of many studies, standard models are over 90% efficient, translating to significant cost savings. You can change the speed at which they operate at any time, which is cool. Moreover, because their motors rub cool, they lower power wastage, which saves people a lot of money in wasted power costs over their lifespan. Overall, 90% of $2000 is $1800 is cost savings – money that you can spend on gifts for your family members during occasions such as Christmas and the New Year.
They Will Last You A Lot Longer
Both dual and single speed pool pumps can last for over half a decade – plus or minus a few years. Over these years, they will cost you a significant amount of money in lost revenue, which you could have channeled to other projects. If you decide to upgrade the system with a variable speed motor, you will get up to three times the lifespan of your existing one before replacing it. Therefore, even though you pay close to three times the price of a single or variable speed pump, you could have used three single-speed motors over its lifespan, which translates to significant energy savings and cost-saving – pure profit.
You Will Not End Up Going Deaf from the Noise
The motors of most variable speed pumps operate at around 600-3500 RPM. Therefore, even at full speed/power, they are significantly quieter than single and two-speed models. At lower speeds, where you will be using one most of the time, variable speed pool pumps are virtually quiet and hard to hear even if you are very close. Moreover, because they do not vibrate as much as other models do, their components are quieter and last significantly longer than dual/single-speed models that vibrate so hard that they might jump off the ground.
Noise Decibel for the IntelliFlo | Based on the distance
The Totally Enclosed Fan Cooled (TEFC) Motor
The best variable speed pool pumps have a fully enclosed design with a fan that keeps its interior cool. The system works seamlessly due to the robust permanent motors technology that some of the best brands use. If you are planning to order a variable speed pump with TEFC, we have evaluated a few benefits of this system in detail that might help you to make an informed decision. The enclosed motor, for instance, is super quiet. Moreover, the pump lasts significantly longer than other types due to the protective enclosure on it.
Controlling Your Pool Pumps Digitally
If you are using your pool’s filtration system to boost water flow, you should consider running your pump at around 1000 RPM. If you are using a heater or suction cleaner, boost its power to around 2500 RPM, while spas might require even higher RPMs to work efficiently. Adjusting the RPM manually is possible but takes a lot of time and effort. However, via their digital systems, you can control their performance automatically. You can set multiple pre-determined speeds with timers or let the pool pump adjust speeds on its own.
Advanced Diagnostics Built Into the Pumps
Basic single speed pool pumps work at a constant speed until you switch it off or its system burns out. Burnouts are not common with variable speed models as their advanced diagnostics monitor and adjust their systems automatically to optimize their performance. Whenever the pool pump is running hot or the voltage fluctuates to a dangerous level, most variable pumps will let you know so that you can correct them. Other models shut down to prevent damage.
The Best Variable Speed Pool Pumps
We have highlighted the general benefit of variable speed pool pumps thus far. However, as you probably know by now, different types of different experiences. While their mode of operation is largely comparable, you might experience subtle differences in functionality or performance depending on the type in your possession. This article has covered some of the best models to date. If you need one, our top ten picks offer the best experience in homes.
Whisper quiet and inexpensive to operate, making it a must-have pool pump.
- ENERGY STAR Certified design meets the strict energy efficiency guidelines from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Delivers energy savings up to 90% compared to traditional pumps*.
- Eight programmable speed settings with a timer ensure that the pump works optimally (duration and speed).
- The permanent magnet motor has an ultra-efficient design that reduces vibration and noise, boosting its efficacy and pump life.
- Significantly quieter operation – under 45 decibels, which is four times quieter than single and dual-speed pumps. **
- Has a Totally Enclosed Fan-Cooled (TEFC) design with a low average operating speed, making the IntelliFlo very quiet.
- Supports EasyTouch, IntelliTouch, and SunTouch Pool Control Systems; digital spa/pool controls for pumps, lighting, heating, water features, and spa jets.
- A built-in diagnostics system boosts the service life of the pool pump.
Overview | Pentair IntelliFlo 011018
The low noise output of this variable speed pool pump is a secondary benefit. If you are conscious about your spending, it is an excellent pick as well, as this quiet variable speed pool pump will cut a significant chunk of a pool’s budget for two reasons. Its TCFC design and variable speed system maximize efficacy. If you need actual numbers, this variable pool pump generates 45 decibels of noise, which is quieter than an electric toothbrush or a refrigerator.
Another great attribute of the IntelliFlo variable pool pump is its reliability. Unlike standard models that break down without warning, expect years of great service from this one without structural damage or the need for many repairs over its lifespan. In addition, you can calculate your spending on pool maintenance as the screen (LCD) on this pump tells you the amount of power that it is using every time. The eight-speed system can satisfy most of its users.
The IntelliFlo pool pump has a timer that you can use to customize how fast or slow it works at any given time, which eliminates the need for manual setup.
Moreover, because you are getting an advanced pool pump, you can use it in most basic swimming pools and advanced models with lighting, spa jets, and heating, to name a few. Finally, the built-in diagnostics of this pool pump will keep the pump and a swimming pool by extension working well all the time.
- Download or View the Pentair 011018 variable speed pool pump’s MANUAL.
- Download or View the Pentair 011018 variable speed pool pump’s BROCHURE.
- Can outperform most full-rate pool pumps (up to 1.5 HP full rate) or 2.0 HP max-rate.
- Pays for itself faster than larger and costly variable-speed pumps.
- Has a Totally Enclosed Fan Cooled (TEFC) permanent magnet motor that is efficient and very reliable.
- Has a programmable digital interface with a 24-hour clock (programmable) and eight custom timer functions (SP3200VSP only).
- For enhanced pool management, you can control it using Hayward (SP3200VSPND only) or a third party (SP3200VSP only) spa and pool control systems, without installing/requiring additional accessories.
- 2-inch x 2.5-inch union connections ensure quick and effortless installation and servicing easy.
- Has a second base for retro-fitting TriStar and Pentair WhisperFlo (SP3200VSP only).
- The digital control interface works in four different positions on the pump, independently, or wall-mounted.
- The extra-large no-rib basket design makes removal of debris a breeze, which ensures a longer wait time between cleaning.
- Its motor drive has built-in overheat and over-voltage protection. The drive can withstand temperatures below freezing without problems.
Documents for the Tristar VS variable speed pool pump:
Overview | SP3200VSP | Variable Speed Pool Pump
If you need an amazing variable speed pump, Hayward, as Pentair and TriStar VS brands, have reputable products that have taken over this niche by storm. Therefore, if you have a damaged or low-grade pump (cannot achieve 1.5 for full-rate or 2 for max-rate) that you are planning to replace, these are top picks. Even though it is the same size as other reputable brands in this niche, it comes at an affordable price and delivers significant cost savings over time.
Installation and Start-up | Video
This product has universal union connections that ease its installation in most pools. Servicing it is also a piece of cake whenever it exceeds its service life, while its digital interface has a programmable 24-hour clock and eight-speed settings that you can customize to maximize its efficacy and save you time and money. The only downside is that the pool pump cannot optimize its performance automatically – a critical feature in more advanced models.
These products lack a second base, which you will require to be able to hook it up with the TriStar VS or the Pentair WhisperFlo. However, even though you do not get the bells and whistles found in advanced and expensive pool pumps, you are getting a decent variable speed pool pump that delivers in most areas. If you are planning to replace an old single-speed pump, this model will not only serve you well but also save you tons of money over its lifespan. As such, buying one is one of the best financial decisions you can make in your life.
Benefits of running your pump at low speeds:
- Saves electricity and therefore money,
- Improves filtration – most filters can pick smaller particles better when the flow of water is slower,
- Quiet motor/system,
- Reduced Total Dynamic Head eases stress on equipment such as filters, which lengthens the length of the equipment,
- ENERGY STAR Certified design meets strict power efficiency requirements by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Programmable pump speeds to suit different needs such as cleaning, filtering, spa jets, heating, and water features, to name a few – this lowers energy costs at home by up to 90%.
- SVRS model is compliant with the Virginia Graeme Baker Safety Act.
- In-built diagnostics prevent premature failure of the IntelliFlo pump due to overheating, voltage spikes, and freezing (you get priming protection with the SVRS).
- Has novel priming protection that does not require SVRS calibrations to work well. You cannot turn of SVRS, though.
- Password protected safety lockout feature on the SVRS model prevents unauthorized personnel from changing the pump speed settings.
- The SVRS model has an adjustable minimum and maximum speed. IntelliFlo works within the specified range to boost safety and longevity.
- Supports EasyTouch, IntelliTouch, and SunTouch pool control systems.
- UL/ETL listed as an ASME A184.108.40.2062 and NSF Certified device.
- Super quiet at 50 Hz or 60 Hz input power.
Constant flow/speed at both 50 Hz or 60 Hz
Download or View the IntelliFlo VS+SVRS 011017’s MANUAL.
Overview | IntelliFlo VS+SVRS 011017
This version of the IntelliFlo is among the few models in this niche that notifies you whenever it has a blocked drain. Whenever it detects a blockage, it shuts down automatically, letting you resolve the issue before resuming its job. If you do not know what SVRS denotes, it refers to the ‘Safety Vacuum Release System’. The system comes in handy in areas with a lot of trees or debris as it protects pool pumps from clogging quickly while cleaning pools.
You should adjust the speed of your pool pump accordingly for it to work in different conditions. The IntelliFlo VS+SVRS, for instance, have different speeds for heated/lighten up pools or spas, which we have talked about herein. Set this accordingly to maximize its performance in your setting and lower the risk of premature damage. By doing this, pool maintenance will be a piece of cake for you. Moreover, you minimize unnecessary spending over time.
As with other pool pumps with onboard diagnostics, this product keeps an eye on common voltage irregularities, freezing, and overheating to prevent damage. However, with the VS+SVRS model, you get extra priming protection which boosts its safety further, speed controls (minimum and maximum), and password protection that stops other people from fiddling with your settings. Pool pumps are expensive to operate. Do not let anybody to mess around with its system or settings and cost you even more cash on maintenance in the end.
- Hydraulic isolator separates pumping and priming water to ensure faster priming and little turbulence-free to boosts its efficiency.
- Its TEFC design shields the motor from harsh elements, extending its life.
- Eight-speed settings that you can schedule with timers.
- The LCD screen has a rotating keypad for programming its system.
- Have union connectors that fit 2.5 inches or 3-inch plumbing.
- Oxidation-resistant diamond seals with self-retaining EPDM rubber grommets that ensure a tight and durable seal.
- Has an efficient Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PMSM).
- Has optimal speed control.
- Can withstand outdoor environments/weather
- Totally Enclosed Fan Cooled (TEFC) Motor.
Overview | Pentair IntelliProXF 023005
Most people believe that IntelliProXF is one of the best variable speed pool pumps in the market for saving money in homes. Therefore, if you have a pool at home and want to lower maintenance costs, this is one of the best products to use. The manufacturer has come up with innovative improvements to its design and internal components, including passageways, which ensure a smoother operation in pools. It boosts water flow with little heat and noise.
Once again, this variable speed pump has a robust LCD screen to displays the wattage while in use. You also get a rotating keypad that you can use to program or customize its system and a hydraulic isolator that separates the priming and pumping water. This way, it not only primes faster than other brands but also ensures that flow is smooth, boosting its efficacy as a result.
The diamond seals of this pump have a self-retaining EPDM rubber grommet that resists oxidation over time. Even though small, they not only boost the efficacy but also the functionality of this one of a kind variable speed pool pump. These and many other novel features make it one of the most efficient pool pumps to date. It is the top choice for people who love pools but do not want to cause harm to the environment. The quality of the product is one of a kind.
- ENERGY STAR Certified and compliant with industry regulations including Title 20 and APSP 15; eligible for local utility rebates.
- Install in any application: in stand-alone mode, with Hayward automation* (including OmniLogic), or with competitive control systems (via relay control).
- Permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) motor offers incredible energy efficiency and reliability.
- Fully programmable, digital control interface rotates to four different positions or mounts to the wall for more convenient access and viewing.
Overview | Hayward Max-Flo VS SP2302VSP
The Max-Flo VS is a medium-head pool pump that is slightly smaller than the larger, full-size brands common in stores. It supports both 1.5-inch and 2-inch plumbing connections and takes very little effort to set up in pools. Moreover, compared to single speed pumps, you save up to 80% of power, even though it comes at an affordable cost compared to other variable speed pumps. You get everything that you will need to set up a functional pool system at home.
This pool pump comes in several voltages, including 230V and 110V models. Its basket has a large and transparent design that enables you to see when it is almost full for easy emptying. The interface is clear as well, which simplifies the operation of this device. Finally, its intuitive wiring compartment enables you to set up its electrical system issue free, making it a worthwhile purchase.
The Super Pump VS (SP2602VSP) is also worth mentioning, as it is practically the same as Hayward Max-Flo VS in terms of style and function. However, it performs better with smaller 1.5-inch plumbing, compared to the Max-Flo VS, which supports larger plumbing. Therefore, if you are upgrading a pool pump on a budget, these worthy variable speed pool pumps will not let you down.
- Fully enclosed design with a permanent magnet motor.
- Innovative hydraulic system.
- SVRS model complies with the ASME 112. 19.17 Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS) standard.
- A self-contained, fully programmable system with eight custom speeds and a built-in 24-hour clock/timer.
- Works with Hayward and other third party spa and pool control platforms found in homes and commercial settings. You do not need additional pool accessories for it to work.
- Its digitally controlled interface works in four adjustable positions – mounted on walls, removed, or on the pool pump.
- Extra-large no rib basket design that traps a lot of debris for easy removal, extending the time between cleanings.
- The motor drive includes temperature and over-voltage protection. You can use the drive in all environments, including freezing, issue free.
- Highly energy efficient at all speeds.
- The SVRS model exceeds the recommended ASME/ANSI standards by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.
Features of all Hayward Variable Speed Pumps:
- ENERGY STAR Certified designs comply with Title 20 and APSP 15 industry standard and are therefore eligible for local utility rebates.
- Has a stand-alone mode that is easy to install in most pools. It also supports Hayward automation (including OmniLogic) and competitive control systems (via the relay control).
- Has a totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) permanent magnet motor that is super reliable and power-efficient.
- Has a fully programmable system via a digital control interface, which you can rotate and mount in four positions on a wall for easier access.
Overview | Hayward EcoStar VS SP3400VSP
According to Hayward, the EcoStar VS is a powerful variable speed pool pump that delivers memorable results. While this is a slight exaggeration from the company, it remains of its top-rated products in the market. The system has an in-built Safety Vacuum Release System that enables you to sleep easy knowing that it will shut down automatically whenever its system clogs or malfunctions. Therefore, expect the best experience from one for many years.
Hayward EcoStar VS has a large basket that traps leaves and other debris, stopping them from clogging and ruining your system. Therefore, if you order a premium model with an encased TEFC motor, the motor will serve you seamlessly for years in most settings. Because the system operates at a slow speed in pools, filtration of both large and small debris from pools is seamless.
The digital interface and fully programmable system of this pool pump adjust the speed of the motor up and down to maximize the performance of the pump. As a bonus, the interface has a transparent design that you can mount to a wall and check easily even at night. Finally, the pump’s versatile design can work well with spa controls and pools, including low-cost third party models that most people have at home. You do not require Hayward products for this product to work. The digital control interface is stylish too.
- ENERGY STAR Certified design meets stringent energy requirements by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Average cost savings of about $1,500 every year.
- Offers up to 90% energy savings compared to other pumps.
- Near-silent system (lower than 45 decibels).
- Programmable speeds (eight) with a timer that you can use to control speed in real-time; optimize speed, boost efficacy, and lower costs.
- The permanent magnet motor has a hyper-efficient design that mimics those in hybrid cars.
- You can adjust the motor’s speed to suit the requirements of your pool in real-time.
- Totally Enclosed Fan-Cooled (TEFC) motor has a quiet design that runs cool and lasts for long.
- Built-in diagnostics safeguard that boosts the longevity of the pump.
- Offers better energy savings than similar pool pumps in the same family.
- Has an integrated keypad. You do not spend money on a separate one.
- Have digital controls and exclusive software for programing its system.
- Compatible with EasyTouch, IntelliTouch, and SunTouch Pool and spa controls for managing pumps, lighting, heating, water features, and spa jets, to name a few, from almost any location.
Overview | IntelliPro P6E6VS4H-209L Ultra-efficient Pump
The Pentair’s variable speed technology has taken over the swimming pool nice since it was available a few years ago. However, it has undergone numerous improvements over the years, with the IntelliPro ranked among the best models to date. Unlike some brands that offer you full control over speed, this model is different. While this sounds like a con, it is not, because the system can change speeds automatically saving you a lot of time and energy.
Therefore, the product tales the hands-off approach a notch higher, making it fun to use. You can override its automated settings when needed, though. Use the integrated keypad to make your desired changes to the pump. Unlike cheap modes that require you to buy add-on items such as keypads to achieve this, this model will save you money and make pool cleaning fun at the same time. It comes ready to use. Set up and usage instructions are seamless.
Like the other pool pumps from this brand, that we have looked at today, this product is easy to connect to third-party and in-house digital controls use to manage different aspects of pools. You can use such controls to manage items such as lighting and heating from anywhere including your tablet or smartphone. You do not have to be close to your pool or the pump for such add-ons to work. The IntelliPro is also quiet (under 45 decibels), and have a plethora of advanced features that are missing in other variable speed pumps.
Something to Should Be Aware Of
Did you know that many states have started regulating energy use in pools? They know that the power hogging single speed pumps that some people have at home are bound to cause problems in the future, if they do not regulate their use now. Therefore, there will come a time when everybody with a poll will need a variable speed pump to use it legally. It is not all gloom though for people with single-speed pumps and cannot afford variable speed ones. Most of these devices are now eligible for rebates; therefore buying one will no longer be a challenge. Check with your home state for more details.
Switch to a Variable Speed Pool Pump Now
The only downside to buying a variable speed pool pump is that they are costly. You will need a fat wallet to afford an original one, but as we have elucidated previously, they will pay for themselves and save you money in the long term. Moreover, you will have an enjoyable time using your pool as variable speed pumps are quieter and more efficient than single-speed models are. Archaic pool pumps should be outdated like steam engines and cassette tapes. Buy and use a variable speed pool pump, as they offer the best results.