How to Save Money With a New Pool Pump

by Pool Builders on 04-03-2010 in Articles

You can save money on your pool operating cost and improve performance!

As a pool owner, you already know that proper pool water circulation and filtration is one of the most essential factors to manage the quality and clarity of the water in your swimming pool. With all the different types of pool pumps currently available, choosing the right one for your pool can be a bit overwhelming. The following information provides the facts you need to make an informed decision for your next pool pump purchase.

Factors in Choosing the Right Pool Pump

The first and most important factor in choosing the correct pump is your current pool filter. The type and size of your pool filter, along with your pool capacity and the plumbing line diameter, all determine the type of pump that is right for you. If you wish to use your pool pump for more than just water filtration, such as various water features, this will also determine which pump is right for your pool.

When it comes to matching a pool pump with the filter, here are some simple facts to consider:

Sand filters require a much faster water turn over or flow rate than do cartridge or diatomaceous earth (D.E.) filters. Sand filters are currently the most popular filters and are easier to maintain than D.E. filters, although D.E. filters strain out finer particles.

D.E. and cartridge filtering is adversely affected if you use a pool pump that has a high flow rate.

When replacing existing pumps, we always recommend that you replace it with one that matches the same voltage, horsepower, and similar water flow rate as your old one to avoid possible filtering issues.

Single Speed versus Variable Speed Pool Pumps

Most pool owners have a standard single speed pool pump. Single speed pumps are just that -- they pump at only one speed. However, having only one speed means that when the pump is turned on, it uses the maximum amount of electrical energy available to it. Electrical energy consumption and the cost of operation are determined by the pump size, in horsepower, and the R.P.M., or speed. With a standard pump speed set to 3450 revolutions per minute (R.P.M.), the single speed pump uses quite a bit of energy. Because the pump has only one speed, you can never save on your energy bill from month to month unless you simply shut the pump completely off.

Two-speed pumps, on the other hand, are becoming more popular because they use less energy and therefore have a much lower cost of operation. When set to low speed, a two-speed pump runs at approximately 1750 R.P.M. - a satisfactory speed for many pools and spas. If necessary, the speed can increase to the standard 3450 R.P.M. Many spas are equipped with two-speed pumps, using the low pump speed for filtration and the higher speed for water therapy and fast jet action.

Why a Two-Speed Pump Will Save You Money

In simple terms, without getting into the details of pool pump physics, a pool pump energy needs increase or decrease at four times the rate of change made to the pump speed and power. In other words, when you reduce a pool pump speed to half (50%) of full speed, the kilowatts needed reduce to only one-eighth the energy required for a standard single speed pump.

Therefore, for half the rate of speed, you quadruple your energy savings! If your single-speed pump costs approximately $50.00 per month, you can expect to to pay only $7.00 per month by replacing your single-speed pump with a two-speed pump.

Will running a pump at half speed still properly filter the pool? The simple answer is yes, absolutely. In nearly all cases, running at a lower speed still provides plenty of filtration for pools and spas.

Save Even More with a Variable Speed Pump

With a variable speed pump, you can enjoy even greater cost savings. Unlike a two-speed pump, a variable speed pump also allows you to control the desired speed and/or flow rate. This extra control, in turn, can reduce your electrical cost even further, up to 75% compared to a single speed pump.

Variable speed and variable flow in-ground pool pumps work with any type of pool filter or flow requirement by allowing you to set the exact flow you want. The pump R.P.M. can adjust to deliver flow rates from the equivalent of a one-half to three horsepower pump.

The Bottom Line

You can save at least half the cost of your investment in the new equipment using an energy saving variable speed or two-speed pool pump. In a short period of time, an energy saving pool pump will pay for itself by reducing your electric bill. You will be able to relax in your pool this summer knowing that you have made a good investment, you are saving money, and you are doing something good for our environment.

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