I have ABSOLUTELY no need for a VS pump ..... right?

Steve #1

Active member
May 31, 2007
42
TEXAS
A few weeks ago I posted about my 30 year old SuperPump and it's issues. The only suggestion I got was to replace it with a VS pump. I've been running the pump since then and trying to decide what to replace it with. Yesterday I turned it on let out the magic smoke, so I guess I can't put it off any longer. :sneaky:

So, I have a very pool basic setup. 17.5K Gal, DE filter (also 30 years old), Hayward 6060 (start windings died about a week before the SuperPump started to go so about to replace the motor). No spa, heater, SWG, or water features. I have a variable rate electricity plan and a home automation system that runs the pump when power is cheap.

The only benefit I can see for the VS is the slightly more efficient motor at the same flow rate of the single speed but it will take a long time to make it worth it. Am I missing anything here?
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,637
Prosper, TX (DFW)
It just gives you more flexibility to run your pump lower for longer periods.

For example, I'm running mine now at 1400 RPMs and it is using 127 watts, which is the equivalent of a ceiling fan. That way I can be skimming and producing chlorine all day without worrying about an impact to the electric bill.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lineman7

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
709
Orlando
A variable speed pump will be slightly more efficient at the same flow rate of the single speed pump, but much much more efficient at lower flow rates. For example, your single speed pump might draw 2500 watts (or even more), but a variable speed pump running on low speed could draw less than 150 watts. So you could run the variable speed pump for nearly 17 hours for the same power cost as running a single speed pump for 1 hour. If your power rates are cheap already then it might be a little longer payback period, but a variable speed pump will be much cheaper to operate.

You could also look at a two speed pump. It’s not as flexible as a variable speed, but it’s also not as expensive, so you can get some of the cost saving benefits without spending quite as much.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hootz and Yev

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
34,349
Sebring, Florida
Your not missing much. VS pumps are oversold on this forum because the proponents are willing to take trade the front money for the niceties. I don't disagree with that but I don't like the front money.

For me, a GREAT compromise is the 2-speed......same efficiency on low and saves hundreds on the front money.

I am in the minority but that is what I would invest my money in.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,127
Bedford, TX
Steve,

The key is how long are you running the pump now and what that is costing you... You are correct that a VS pump is not for everyone.

I would suggest a 2-speed pump.. When run on low speed it would save you about 75% of the cost to run a single speed pump.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lineman7

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
709
Orlando
Looking at the power costs, say that you pay 12 cents per kWh. If you run your single speed pump for 8 hours a day and it draws 2500watts, then that’s 20kWh per day, or 600kWh per month, for a cost of $72 per month.

On the other hand, if you run a variable speed pump at a low speed for 24 hours a day. If it draws only 150 watts, that’s only 3.6kWh per day, or 108kWh per month, for a cost of $13 per month. Plus you get the benefits of the pump running constantly.

So even at a reasonably low electricity cost you could save nearly $60 per month.
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
6,444
Central MD
You don't have features requiring a VS pump. Nor those that would cause you great benefit. If your only reason to do it is if the math work, do the math. You need to know your electricity rate (including distribution charges) per KWH, watts used by your current pump, watts used by a sample VS pump (my VS uses 160 watts for 1700 RPM's), run time, and any potential utility rebates. Then determine if the payback period is worthwhile. One item not mentioned is that the VS pump running slowing will be almost silent while a single speed pump is decidedly not. Of course you can also throw a 2-speed pump in that payback calculation also. If you want to get started on the math and then put it up here for review, feel free.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Steve #1

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
4,293
Fletcher, OK
I have an awesome 2 speed pump that I love but I am contemplating getting a VS pump just because of the cost savings and I am saving using it on low all the time for 8 hours a day.. on low you can barely hear it, on high you can hear it 15 feet away...


The VS is only 200 more and can go slower speed then the 2 speed can saving more money, how long to save 200 dollars, maybe a year or 2?? Always, always, always put a surge protector on VS pumps, they hate lighting like no other....

 

Steve #1

Active member
May 31, 2007
42
TEXAS
You need to know your electricity rate (including distribution charges) per KWH,
That's what makes it difficult in my situation. My delivery charge is 3.6¢ but because my rate is variable, I've seen it range from -3¢ to $11 but average is about 3¢. When I use electricity can have more impact than how much I use.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,509
NY
I ended up with a VS because the PB told me he would spare no expense and to use someone else if we wanted to cut the budget. He delivered as promised and it’s all I’ve ever known. I will be building another pool once the dust settles from moving and it will be on the top of my list, But not the SVRS part. 2 drains removes the need for it and it has tripped 1000 times for the 0 times it was needed.

The 2 speed pump works as a best of both worlds for most people, It has most of the savings and a better price point. We have high electric rates and I have no telling how high they will end up over the lifespan of the pump. The last few years the costs actually went down due to the Solar boom and less Electric bought from other regions at a premium price, but it’s been rising again lately and I’ll spend now just to be better off later.
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
6,444
Central MD
That's what makes it difficult in my situation. My delivery charge is 3.6¢ but because my rate is variable, I've seen it range from -3¢ to $11 but average is about 3¢. When I use electricity can have more impact than how much I use.
Sure. You need to pick a time you plan to use it and run the math. Or pick two or three of the most likely scenarios and average the cost savings of each for your payback period.
 

homegameroom

Bronze Supporter
Sep 23, 2015
268
Sunrise,FL
Someone was trying to sell my neighbor a VS pump. We sat at the kitchen table and worked out the numbers. The cost benefit for him was well beyond the expected life of the pump (of course, this was the pool company's motor and labor cost).

Everyone's situation is unique - do what is best for your wallet and your pool. And don't forget that you probably don't need to run your pump 8 hours a day. I run my single-speed old fashioned pump 1 hour a day off-season and 2 hours a day in season.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
32,995
Laughlin, NV
One more data point, in July 2021 this becomes moot. Federal regulation will require all pool pump motors 1.1 THP and above to be multi speed. So great if you get a single speed motor now. Next replacement, you get a multi speed.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Steve #1

Lineman7

Silver Supporter
Jun 26, 2017
22
Snyder, TX
Your not missing much. VS pumps are oversold on this forum because the proponents are willing to take trade the front money for the niceties. I don't disagree with that but I don't like the front money.

For me, a GREAT compromise is the 2-speed......same efficiency on low and saves hundreds on the front money.

I am in the minority but that is what I would invest my money in.
Good report. I asked my PB about a variable speed pump. He said... "nah you want a 2-speed. It'll save ya the upfront cost over a variable speed and its all ya need."

Glad he isn't just trying to hit the pocket book.