Is Variable Speed Pump Worth It for New Jersey?

chris87

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2015
85
Voorhees, NJ
I need to replace my motor, and I’m wondering if a variable speed pump is worthwhile for New Jersey in terms of cost savings. I usually keep my pool open May to September. I previously had a single speed that I would run from 8 to 6 (which is probably too long from what I’ve been reading). The pool is ~30,000 gallons with a CV460 filter and a Fusion Soft 1400 SWG.

Would my Polaris 360 still run okay? It’s powered by a return line (not a separate booster pump).

Would upsizing the impeller help at all? I’m not sure why I have a 1.5HP impeller with a 2HP pump.
 

BassPlayingDude

Gold Supporter
Jun 13, 2018
439
Media, PA
Pool Size
9000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
SE PA here .. My pump is really old, and when it finally gives up the ghost I am definitely going to go VSP, and also add a SWCG at the same time. It is my understanding that a VSP can save you 30-40% in electricity consumption for the same amount of turnover, because you can set it to run at high speed for an hour or two to let the skimmer clear the surface, then switch into low gear for the rest of the runtime just for water turnover.
Many people on here have reported that you use far less electricity even with longer runtimes at lower RPMs. Not sure how it would affect the Polaris.
 
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sduda210

Member
May 19, 2020
17
Dorothy, NJ
I'm about 20 miles east of you. I replaced the motor on my 2 HP super pump with a 1.65 hp V-Green motor. To measure electricity usage, I have an emporia Vue system installed in my electrical panel.

I believe I ran the old pump 10-12 hours a day and it cost me about $100 a month in electricity. I run the new pump 10 hours a day. During the week when I have the cover on I set it at the lowest speed that allows the salt system to run. When the cover comes off I run it faster for skimming purposes.

I've had my pool open all May and the VS pump used right around $20 in electricity. In my case my pool pump was way oversized. If your pool pump is closer to the correct size, you will not see the same amount of savings. Either way, a VS pump is well worth it with the cost of electricity in NJ
 

BassPlayingDude

Gold Supporter
Jun 13, 2018
439
Media, PA
Pool Size
9000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I believe that SE PA is in a pretty similar electricity situation to you. We get most of our power from Limerick and Peach Bottom.
Every time I watch the old Simpson's episodes with Homer asleep at his console, it makes me nervous to think there might be a Homer working at one of these...

homer asleep.jpg

limerick.jpg
peachbottom.jpg

Limerick cools via the Schuylkill, Peach via the Susquehanna.
I definitely see at least a $100 a month increase in my electric bill when I open my pool.
 
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chris87

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2015
85
Voorhees, NJ
I'm about 20 miles east of you. I replaced the motor on my 2 HP super pump with a 1.65 hp V-Green motor. To measure electricity usage, I have an emporia Vue system installed in my electrical panel.

I believe I ran the old pump 10-12 hours a day and it cost me about $100 a month in electricity. I run the new pump 10 hours a day. During the week when I have the cover on I set it at the lowest speed that allows the salt system to run. When the cover comes off I run it faster for skimming purposes.

I've had my pool open all May and the VS pump used right around $20 in electricity. In my case my pool pump was way oversized. If your pool pump is closer to the correct size, you will not see the same amount of savings. Either way, a VS pump is well worth it with the cost of electricity in NJ
This is very helpful. Thank you. I'm also looking at the V-green.
 
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chris87

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2015
85
Voorhees, NJ
SE PA here .. My pump is really old, and when it finally gives up the ghost I am definitely going to go VSP, and also add a SWCG at the same time. It is my understanding that a VSP can save you 30-40% in electricity consumption for the same amount of turnover, because you can set it to run at high speed for an hour or two to let the skimmer clear the surface, then switch into low gear for the rest of the runtime just for water turnover.
Many people on here have reported that you use far less electricity even with longer runtimes at lower RPMs. Not sure how it would affect the Polaris.
Thank you! I'm heading in the same direction.
 
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cj133

Well-known member
May 6, 2018
482
NJ
I'm using a 2 speed pump and I'd never go back to single speed.
I run it all day and night in low speed so the skimmer doesn't miss anything long enough for it to sink. When I vacuum or add acid I use high speed.
 

BassPlayingDude

Gold Supporter
Jun 13, 2018
439
Media, PA
Pool Size
9000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I'm just such an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" kind of guy that I'm having trouble pulling the trigger while my old beast keeps churning away.
 

IUsedToSail

Bronze Supporter
Jul 22, 2020
85
Maryland
I believe that SE PA is in a pretty similar electricity situation to you. We get most of our power from Limerick and Peach Bottom.
View attachment 340010
View attachment 340012

Limerick cools via the Schuylkill, Peach via the Susquehanna.
I definitely see at least a $100 a month increase in my electric bill when I open my pool.


You might remember the "STOP THE PUMP" in the Bucks Co/Mont Co region back in the '80s. :)

I switched to a variable speed pump from a Hayward 1.5HP Super Pump last summer a few months after we purchased our house. It was costing me about $2 to run the pump 12 hours a day, I'm now down to a about 55 cents a day on a 12 hour run time.

I opened the pool a little early this year and probably wont close until late October. Over that 180 day period I figure the pump will save me a about $260 over the cost to operate the old Super Pump.

I paid ~$650 for new pump last Summer, the power company had a $400 energy rebate. My break even point on the OPEX savings versus the capital expenditure should happen mid Summer considering I got to use the pump for a few months last season. So from a cost perspective it was a no brainer, however since I installed it myself so I did't have any labor costs just about $200 in piping material for the pad which needed to be redone anyway.
 
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BassPlayingDude

Gold Supporter
Jun 13, 2018
439
Media, PA
Pool Size
9000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
You might remember the "STOP THE PUMP" in the Bucks Co/Mont Co region back in the '80s. :)
Nope! I moved here to DelCo from DC in 2016. I did grow up in the Susquehanna Valley though, so I do remember as a kid back in '79 after we moved to Maryland, all my relatives freaking out about the Three Mile Island incident... I had relatives living in Selinsgrove, Bellefonte and Middleburg .. all within a 50 mile radius of Three Mile.

3mile plume range.PNG

President_Carter_Three_Mile_Island.png
 
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chris87

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2015
85
Voorhees, NJ
I think my biggest question right now is whether to keep the existing pump and do a retrofit (about $800 total) or just swap the whole thing with a Pentair IntelliFlo ($1400). For some reason, I feel so guilty about getting rid of the original pump (American Products Ultra-Flo). It has been so low maintenance and has served me well. I'm sure it was made in the USA, hopefully the new Pentairs are as well (minus the motor).
 
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cj133

Well-known member
May 6, 2018
482
NJ
I think my biggest question right now is whether to keep the existing pump and do a retrofit (about $800 total) or just swap the whole thing with a Pentair IntelliFlo ($1400). For some reason, I feel so guilty about getting rid of the original pump (American Products Ultra-Flo). It has been so low maintenance and has served me well. I'm sure it was made in the USA, hopefully the new Pentairs are as well (minus the motor).

How old is the current one?
 

reggiehammond

Gold Supporter
Oct 4, 2020
356
Fort Worth, Texas
Pool Size
30000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60 Plus
I think my biggest question right now is whether to keep the existing pump and do a retrofit (about $800 total) or just swap the whole thing with a Pentair IntelliFlo ($1400). For some reason, I feel so guilty about getting rid of the original pump (American Products Ultra-Flo). It has been so low maintenance and has served me well. I'm sure it was made in the USA, hopefully the new Pentairs are as well (minus the motor).
Just for your math; my Intelliflo VSF running 1450rpm uses 196 watts. If I run it 24 hours a day (I do), it costs me $.39 at $0.083/cents per kWH.
I'm actually running it lower than that now (1100rpm) but don't remember the wattage, I think it is just shy of 100 watts.

The math on VS pumps against your electricity cost can make it a no-brainer pretty easy.
 

cj133

Well-known member
May 6, 2018
482
NJ
Super old. It’s the original pump from 1995, so it definitely doesn’t owe me anything :).

Well, if it helps at all I consider 1995 to be "modern junk" so go ahead and chuck it for a variable speed pump. ;)
 

Shirker

Well-known member
Jul 2, 2014
690
Athens, GA - USA
Pool Size
19000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
SE PA here .. My pump is really old, and when it finally gives up the ghost I am definitely going to go VSP, and also add a SWCG at the same time. It is my understanding that a VSP can save you 30-40% in electricity consumption for the same amount of turnover, because you can set it to run at high speed for an hour or two to let the skimmer clear the surface, then switch into low gear for the rest of the runtime just for water turnover.
Many people on here have reported that you use far less electricity even with longer runtimes at lower RPMs. Not sure how it would affect the Polaris.
90% of the time I can run my VS pump at between 800 & 900 RPM. That is fast enough to trigger the flow sensor on my SWCG and give me OK skimming. That setting consumes less than 60 Watts. That's is latterly like running a light bulb (granted an old light bulb :) ). I run at about 2400 RPM for about an hour each day better skimming.
 

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