CHOOSING A POOL PUMP
1-SPEED vs 2-SPEED vs VARIABLE SPEED
Single Speed Pumps
Single speed pumps are your traditional pool pump, once turned on, it runs at a constant speed. These pumps cost the least but are the most expensive to operate. They have the potential to be the noisiest pumps on the market and are not very efficient when it comes to seasonal use for your pool. Single speed pumps have the potential to cost over $1,400 per year to operate (depending on how long your pool season is). The life of these pumps is generally 3 to 8 years.
Two-Speed Pumps, Slightly Better
A two-speed pump is similar to a single speed pump because it uses an induction style motor. The difference is that a two-speed pump has a low-speed option which is more efficient than running the pump at high speed all the time.
Normally when someone has a two-speed pump they will run the pump on the low setting for a majority of its use. There are only a few times that the pump actually has to be set to high and that’s when the heater is running (because the heater needs a certain amount of water flow to operate properly) or when you are using the system to vacuum the pool. These pumps cost considerably more money compared to the single speed pumps but will save around 50% – 60% on the energy cost and have about the same life expectancy.
Variable Speed Pumps, Best
Variable speed pumps utilize a magnet motor system unlike the inefficient induction motors used in single and two-speed pumps. They are programmable for up to 8 different speed settings, allowing you to set exactly how fast you want the pump to run, for how long, and when to switch. This makes these pumps far more efficient than the single or two-speed pumps which allows you to make sure your pool circulation is nice and slow, not only costing less but making the rest of your system dramatically more efficient.
They are also much quieter, vibrate less, run cooler, last longer, are digitally controlled, and have advanced diagnostics. Variable speed pumps are the best pool pumps and most studies show that they are 90% more efficient than standard one-speed pumps. This typically equates to an operating cost of approximately $20 - $30 per month (compared to the operating cost of a single speed pump which is near $7 per day).