We receive many calls from local pool owners asking what kind of pump they should be looking to replace their old worn out pump with. With advancing technology in the pool pump industry, there are now multiple options. Most of our clients are concerned with dual speed or variable speed pumps. So, we decided to dive in and start to explain the benefits of each to help you decide what you may want to upgrade to when the time comes.
Those are some pretty big facts to have to get clean in your mind before we even begin! But now that we have that clear, let’s take a closer look at these swimming pool pumps to help demystify their uses and usefulness to you!
Well, this is the hard part. With the dual speed pump you will pay significantly less up front but much higher over the life of the pump. While the variable speed pump will cost you significantly more upfront but over the life of the pump will cost you less in energy usage plus you will be able to fine tune your flow rates which you cannot do with a dual speed pump.
Well, this one is fairly simple. Because you can run the dual speed and variable speed pump at a lower speed for a longer duration, this will pull less energy than running it at a higher speed for a short time. Let’s say you lower your pumps RPM by 50% over a longer period of time, you will see a 75% increase in your energy savings. Now this is all well and good but we must consider the cost of your energy. We know that energy cost varies widely from area to area and this is a good metric to consider when choosing a pump. It is generally known that New York has a higher rate for electricity so this is something to keep in mind when making a decision.
Well, let’s face it, winter means that your pool water will freeze therefore making running your pool pump year round impossible. Also, for the record, we do not recommend you try to do so, unless of course you REALLY just want that old pump to wear out so you can replace it. But joking aside, this does mean that it will take longer for your to “break even” on the expense of one of these pumps since you will not be running it year round. Without knowing exactly how much you pay per kWh it is hard to say what your exact savings will be but it is very safe to say that you will save money with a dual speed pump and significantly more with the variable speed pump!
This is entirely dependent on your pocketbook. Both are excellent options as far as energy savings goes. However there is a pretty big difference in upfront cost. If you can afford to make the leap to a more expensive upfront cost then we highly suggest that you choose the variable speed pump. However, there are more things to consider before you completely settle on one!
It is not uncommon to see your power company offer a rebate if you have a variable speed pump installed since it is the least energy consuming of all pump choices. If you happen to catch one of these rebates, this alone has the potential to make the upfront cost of your variable speed pump less than that of a dual speed pump.
If you have one of those amazing pools that could be featured on HGTV with all of the bells and whistles and add ons like waterfalls, water features or a spa then variable speed is pretty much your only option to be able to handle all of those extras. You will need to be able to control flow rates with your pump to operate all the features efficiently.
This is super important information to have when you are considering this type of upgrade. There is no need to upgrade just your pump if you pipe diameter cannot handle the potentially higher flow rate. So if you have a 3 HP variable speed pump and only a 1 1/2″ pipe with a max flow of 60 GPMs then most of the higher speeds of this pump will be unable to be used as the pipes will not be able to handle the high flow.
Especially important when looking at dual speed pumps in particular, you will most likely need to purchase a separate dual speed timer. This is, of course, an add on to the price of the pump (it’s not looking so cheap now is it?).
It is known that a larger pool will need a larger pump and this means that the operational cost is much higher. So if you have a large pool the variable speed pump will be your energy savings savior!
If you are the complaint of the neighborhood with the sound of your pump keeping the neighbors up all night then making this switch will appease everyone! You will save money and your neighbors can finally sleep! Of course to keep everyone ultra happy, the variable speed is the best choice for quiet operation!
This decision is most likely the most expensive energy consumer in your home so it makes sense to keep all of what we explained in mind when it comes to overall expense. We always strive to help you minimize the expense the best way we know how and we personally err on the side of pay a tad higher upfront and then reap the savings over the lifetime of your pump. While the final decision is all based on the cost of your energy and how often you use your pool, we do hope that this article has been helpful for you to come to a decision. If you need further information please do not hesitate to contact us!