Are Variable Speed Pumps Worth It? — Benefits of Variable Speed Pumps
The best variable speed pumps are highly effective at facilitating proper pool water circulation, an essential to swimming pool maintenance. But are they worth it? Read on to learn more.
Pump operations, such as the circulation time and flow rates, directly affect how effectively your pool water circulates. Simply put, the quality of circulation increases as the number of times all your pool water turns; that is, passes through the circulation system.
Variable Speed vs. Single-Speed Pumps
Pool pumps are available in two types: single-speed and variable speed. As the names suggest, a single-speed pump features only one speed, whereas a variable speed pump lets you adjust the speed. Single-speed pumps typically operate at a speed equal to the maximum speed of a typical variable speed pump.
Consequently, a variable speed pump lets you circulate your pool water at a low flow rate for longer durations than you would on a single-speed pump without increasing energy consumption. So, variable speed pumps are more energy-efficient than single-speed pumps. A study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory supports this conclusion.
Variable Speed Pumps are More Energy Efficient
Suppose a single-speed pump runs at 3450 RPM for 8 hours daily and a variable speed pump runs at 2400 RPM for the entire day (24 hours). Assuming the pool size is 20,000 gallons, and the cost of energy is $0.10/Kw-hr, the following compares the pumps’ operations.
- Pump Speed (RPM)
- Single-Speed Pump: 3,450
- Variable Speed Pump: 2,400
- Daily Hours of Operation
- Single-Speed Pump: 8
- Variable Speed Pump: 24
- Monthly Cost
- Single-Speed Pump: $45.94
- Variable Speed Pump: $45.49
- Estimated Turns Per Day
- Single-Speed Pump: 1.58
- Variable Speed Pump: 3.22
- Estimated Gallons Per Minute
- Single-Speed Pump: 66
- Variable Speed Pump: 45
(The source of these figures is the U.S. Department of Energy.)
The numbers to note from the above example are the monthly cost of running each Pump and the estimated turns per day. Notice that a variable speed pump turns over water more than twice as often as the single-speed Pump, at roughly the exact energy cost.
24-Hour Circulation at No Extra Cost
So, given a variable lets you circulate your pool water continuously, should you? Yes! Here’s why. A variable speed pump
- prevents your pool water from becoming stagnant and facilitating the growth of bacteria and algae.
- facilitates the effectiveness of your pool sanitation system.
- facilitated filtrations, which eliminates the large particles on which algae and bacteria thrive.
Moreover, 24-hour pool water circulation reduces the wear and tear of the salt cell in the salt system as higher circulation lowers salt production. Tab feeders and bromine/chlorine injectors also benefit from the continuous circulation of variable speed pumps because you need less sanitizer to achieve a stable sanitizer concentration.
A Worthwhile Investment
Even at a higher initial cost than single-speed pumps, the best variable speed pumps are the superior investment because they offer prolonged filtration, more water turnover, and lengthier sanitation durations. These benefits make it easier to maintain your pool.
Ultimately, variable speed pumps offer energy savings that justify their relatively high initial cost over the medium to long term. So, to answer the question at the beginning of this article: Yes, variable speed pumps are certainly worth the investment.
Do we have you convinced? Are you interested in variable speed pumps? Get in touch with BPS, The Backyard Pool Specialists today. We would love to assist you.