Saving Money With Variable Speed Pumps  

by Pool Builders on 11-29-2012 in Articles

Pools can be a costly luxury - with yearly maintenance, costs of cleaning supplies, renovations and one of the biggest money eating culprits: energy consumption. Energy use can depend on the size of your pool, by how much debris enters the water, and can increase if you have other water features like a running waterfall or a Jacuzzi. For typical users, a pool and its yearly needs is plenty to deal with but a device that every pool is equipped with may be wasting your hard-earned buck.

Speed pumps have an important function for pools as they are used to circulate water so the filter can do its job - clean. A negative for some pumps is the number of programmed speeds available delivering the water flow. One or two speed pumps draw more energy than is required to circulate the water in a pool. Essentially, the single speed pump is designed to handle the most difficult task at all times: running a pool cleaner or a waterfall. It's not necessary to run a pool cleaner at all times and if you don't own a waterfall, then you may be throwing money into the wind.

Enter: variable speed pumps. Variable speed pumps can be programmed to function at different speeds to provide the correct water flow for each task that is performed. Variable pumps utilize software to automatically adjust their speed when a task requires more water flow. If a waterfall turns on, the pump will recognize that a device needs more water pressure to perform its duty, thus the pump will ramp up its speed to accommodate. When the pump isn't being utilized for more demanding tasks, the pump will return to a slow speed that is perfect for circulating and filtering water.

Slower is always better on the wallet and better for the health of other devices like the filter, heater, chlorinator and other equipment that depend on a water pump. Initial costs for a variable speed pump are higher but when you starting adding up the savings in energy consumption, those initial costs are usually recouped by the end of the second year.

Numbers associated with the amount of money one can save on energy consumption in one year are quite impressive. There are several variables at play here: weather conditions, filtration needs, pool volume, water quality, local environment, covering used, but on average you can expect to reduce energy consumption by 30% to 70% annually. Calculating exact annual savings won't be possible until a variable pump is actually installed, but comparing the numbers of a single speed pump (if that is what you use) to the literature provided with a new variable pump will give you an idea what to expect and perhaps encourage you to invest in a variable pump replacement.

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