Variable Speed Pool Pumps - The Future of the Swimming Pool Industry

by Pool Builders on 09-30-2009 in Articles

Only the most energy-conservative owners of swimming pools truly realize the high energy usage of their own pool equipment. In fact, the pool motor is actually one of the most energy demanding appliances they have in their house. That's because most swimming pool pumps use very energy-friendly single stage motors that run at 1HP and up. With electricity supply in abundance, and energy conservation a low priority - this has been the industry standard for years.

My existing pool and spa pump is using how much electricity? A study recently found that to run California's 1.2 million swimming pools requires approximately the same production as one nuclear power or two conventional energy plants (study by Davis Energy Group for Pacific Gas & Electric - 2004). Imagine the energy usage of ALL the swimming pools across the United States, and how this much impact our electricity conservation efforts. Arizona too has an incredible count of residential pools per home, which is why Arizona pool builders are looking for new, greener alternatives for pool equipment and pool pumps.

The solution? Pumps that work smarter, not harder. In the past few years, swimming pool pumps and motors have been part of a huge electricity-saving improvement effort. The variable drive, variable speed pool pump has revolutionized the pool industry and its efforts to save and conserve energy. By using permanent magnetic motors, these new pool and spa pumps have been designed to use less energy. Permanent magnet motors (like those used in hybrid cars) provide a typical 30% base savings compared to induction motors. By simply programming the pump to work at the least required speed for each pool task (heating, cleaning, circulation, waterfalls, etc.) energy reduction can be as much as 90%!

By operating a pool pump at its slowest speed necessary to complete a job, it will dramatically cut the energy consumed (simply because it takes less power to push water slowly than rapidly). Did you know? The simple reduction of speed by 1/2 can reduce the energy necessary to 1/8 - to perform the same pool task. Simply put, these new pumps allow the pool owner to program and "dial in" the pump speed to achieve the minimum electricity use.

Energy Savings of $620 to $1,350! According to Pentair Pool and Spa, their IntelliFlo and IntelliPro variable drive pumps routinely reduce energy use up to 90%, depending on the models and circumstances for average savings of $620 to $1,350 annually. Because the cost to replace your old pump is about equal to what you will save (based on swimming pool usage over 1 to 2 years), many pool owners are having their old pumps replaced.

Electricity delivery charges are even higher in Arizona, and with Phoenix's huge swimming pool count, this new swimming pool pump has become an absolute necessity for Arizona pool builders when designing swimming pools. The recent attention to energy-efficient products makes switching to a GREEN industry pump even more desirable in California too.

Specific Examples of how IntelliFlo pumps by Pentair can be integrated in your pool:

First and foremost, this pool pump can be used for an in-floor cleaner system pump, and set at 3000 RPM's, which is equivalent to a two horsepower (2HP) pool pump. The same swimming pool pump can be throttled down to a 1/2 horsepower pump to circulate & filter the water of the pool and spa. With a simple push of a button (and some pool automation systems), this same pump can be used for spa boosters in both a slow AND high speed mode!). Another practical use is the ability to control the flow of a fountain or pool water feature (it is also known to be used by high end residential Phoenix landscaping companies to control the sound & flow of custom landscape water features and fountains). The IntelliFlo Pentair pump can be programmed for multiple speeds - giving you a low speed waterfall for a quiet evening outdoors, or you can crank it up for MAX PRESSURE for a family gathering!

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