What’s Up with Variable Speed Pool Pumps?

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So maybe a neighbor or your pool guy has mentioned the idea of upgrading your pool equipment with a variable speed pump and you are wondering if this is legitimate and worth the expense?  Here is my take on it.

The Arizona Legislature passed Title 44 and included it into the Appliance and Equipment Energy-Efficiency Standards of the Arizona Revised Statutes. Within Title 44 are new efficiency standards for residential pool pumps, pool pump motors and portable electric spas, which went into effect on January 1, 2012.

What does this mean for pool owners? While it does not affect any pump currently installed on an in-ground residential pool, any newly installed pumps (including replacements – not rebuilds) that are one horsepower or greater are required to meet the new energy-efficiency standards. Dual-speed pumps are the minimum efficiency for pool pump installations and inefficient single-speed pumps are no longer allowed.

Single-speed pool pumps are running full-blast (3450 RPM) all the time – with no option to dial back to a lower level of energy when all you need is to circulate the water, which is most of the time.  Circulating at a lower speed uses much less energy and is better for your filter and plumbing.   When you need more volume to run your cleaner or waterfall, you have the ability to ramp up the pump on for the time needed.

According to the FTC, the average single speed pool pump uses about 3285 Kilowatt Hours per year – more than all your appliances combined and second only to your AC or heat pump.  That’s a huge waste of energy, and it’s costing you about 80 percent more in electric bills than you should be paying.  If your per kWh rate is 16 cents this means a savings of around $1,500 per year.

We have installed a number of these pumps and every owner to date has been happy with the energy savings.  Also, both APS and SRP currently offer rebates for making the change.

Bottom line, variable speed pumps are an investment that will save you money and are well worth considering.

Variable Speed Pump comparison charts