Variable speed pumps? Are they as good as they claim?

abake

Active member
Apr 5, 2017
31
leesburg fl
#1
Does anyone have one themselves. Are the savings between variable speed and single speed really that great? And would you say the high upfront cost offsets itself with the savings?
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,194
Quaker Hill, CT
#2
The short answer is yes a VS pump really will save you that much money and they work very well.

Depending on your pool and equipment a 2-speed pump can be a cheaper alternative to VS while still getting the electrical savings. Please add some info to your signature about what kind of pool and equipment you have. It helps us help you.
 

Rollercoastr

Gold Supporter
May 18, 2016
804
West Bloomfield, MI
#3
I recently replaced a single-speed 1.5 HP 3450 RPM pump with a Pentair SuperFlo VS. The old pump pulled over 2000 watts and everything was always at hovering at the skimmer: floating lights, kickboards, floats, toys etc. I have the SuperFlo programmed to run at 1,200 RPM for daily circulation. At that speed it's nearly silent and uses 170 watts. The skimmer isn't very effective at that speed however, so when necessary I run it at 2,800 RPM which pulls 1,080 watts. The surface stays clean, but I can have items float in the pool without immediately heading for the skimmer.

I have an app that monitors energy consumption in my house in real-time. The difference is impressive. No regrets.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,547
Bedford, TX
#4
A,

Just for reference... To run my 3 HP Intelliflo, 24/7, costs me less than $20 a month.

When it is running at 1,200 RPM it only uses 175 Watts of electrical power and it is so quiet that I have to almost touch it to make sure it is still running...

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
24,993
DFW, TX
#5
I love my VS pump. When it bites the dust I will order another before the sun sets. I run mine 24x7 in spring and fall for loaves and tree debris skimming, filtering and making chlorine. It runs at 1100 rpm and uses 150 watts. At 10.25c/kWh it costs less than 12 bucks a month to run 24x7.
 

simo711

Bronze Supporter
Apr 19, 2017
71
Macon, GA
#6
I am having a new pool installed and the installer told me that because of my pool size (13,500 gallon rectangle SW pool) I did not need a VS pump and that I would not see price savings for many years down the road. He also informed me that VS pumps tended to break within 2/3 years. I called another place to verify his information and was told the same thing. I, like Abake, am curious on if VS pumps are as good as they claim.
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,194
Quaker Hill, CT
#8
Simo711 I don't think your builder has very good information or your best interest in mind. Any size pool will save money on electrical cost with a multispeed or VS pump. There is plenty or real world unbiased data on here to back that up. It's not a gimic it's based in real science and numbers.
 

Divin Dave

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 2, 2013
5,189
Longview, Texas
#9
I have a Pentair 3HP VS Pump. Its super quiet, and like Jim, I run mine 24/7 and costs about 20 a month. If it died tonight, I would buy another one just like it immediately.
 

simo711

Bronze Supporter
Apr 19, 2017
71
Macon, GA
#10
I had a strong feeling about that. Sigh. It's unfortunate because there is only 1 builder in my city.

1. If I have the 1HP Max Flo single speed pump installed, could I upgrade later or would it be a huge hassle (more money)?
 

GaryT58

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 26, 2016
571
Monroe, GA
#12
I replaced my single speed 1hp Pentair SuperFlo with a 1.5 HP SuperFlo VS. In the peak of summer, I run my pump 24/7. I saved about $90/month.
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,194
Quaker Hill, CT
#13
I would get the pump you want up front and not spend the money on the single speed. Not only will you be paying for the pump but all the electricity it uses until you change. At the very least a 2-speed pump is a much better option than a single speed. I told my builder to take the cost of the pump out of his price. They were going to charge me 300 for a single speed 1hp pump. They had no issues with me supplying my own pump.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,547
Bedford, TX
#14
I have a Pentair 3HP VS Pump. Its super quiet, and like Jim, I run mine 24/7 and costs about 20 a month. If it died tonight, I would buy another one just like it immediately.
Dave...

Since you would be dead, I think you mean your wife would buy a new pump immediately.. :laughblue:

In my case the priority would be..

1. Buy new pump
2. Feed cat
2. Bury husband

Jim R.
 

richierich

Bronze Supporter
Jul 12, 2013
579
Long Island, NY
#15
I recently replaced a single-speed 1.5 HP 3450 RPM pump with a Pentair SuperFlo VS. The old pump pulled over 2000 watts and everything was always at hovering at the skimmer: floating lights, kickboards, floats, toys etc. I have the SuperFlo programmed to run at 1,200 RPM for daily circulation. At that speed it's nearly silent and uses 170 watts. The skimmer isn't very effective at that speed however, so when necessary I run it at 2,800 RPM which pulls 1,080 watts. The surface stays clean, but I can have items float in the pool without immediately heading for the skimmer.

I have an app that monitors energy consumption in my house in real-time. The difference is impressive. No regrets.


What app is that? Is it through your power company? I'd love to hear about that
 

Rollercoastr

Gold Supporter
May 18, 2016
804
West Bloomfield, MI
#16
Yes, it's provided by our local power company to customers with "smart meters". The meters themselves have some controversy for radio emissions, but the data they provide is useful. I initially had access to hourly data, but I later installed a "bridge" in my house that makes it real-time. I discuss more in this thread: I feel judged...
 

slickraft

Well-known member
Oct 7, 2016
219
Phoenix
#17
I made the change and I'm happy.

I had a perfectly working single-speed 3/4 HP pump on my 12,000 gal IG pool but wanted the extra features of the VS pump, not just the energy savings. I can't imagine ever returning to a single or even 2-speed pump.

I got the Hayward SP2303 1.65HP because I have a smaller pool with no fancy water features. I love the flexible onboard programming, the remote mount option for the display and if desired, the ability to run from a separate programmable panel. The option with a VSP to run nearly silent for long periods of time at low flow is great. The only complaint I have is that the pump always starts in a high RPM "priming mode" to be sure any air is purged before running at lower RPM settings. That is a minor issue compared to all the other benefits.

I found the best deal at a online seller in Las Vegas plus I got a utility rebate of $100 so it was $561 delivered after rebate.
Upgrade to SP2303VSP Max-Flo? Opinions for a simple IG, non-SWG pool in Phoenix
 

DeanP66

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2014
702
San Jose, CA
#18
slickraft,

That sounds like the same deal I got for my friend a couple of months ago. She is very happy with both the sheer silence of the pump and and monthly electrical savings ($75/month). I got the Tristar version SP3202VSP for my pool a month earlier and love it as well. It's a tad bit bigger and it uses 2" fittings but otherwise, it's virtually identical to yours. The savings have been astounding. I used to run my 2 year old Super Pump for 5 hrs/day to the tune of 320 kWh's a month. With my new VS pump, I run it for 18 hrs/day at 1000 rpm (57 watts) to the tune of 31 kWh's a month. We're in the high tier with our power company so every kWh saved lowers our bill by .40. So we're saving over $115 a month.:D:D:D