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Top 10 Best Variable Speed Pool Pumps Reviewed In 2018Last Updated March 1, 2018
This page is a buyers guide and includes industry professional advice and variable speed pool pump reviews to help you choose the best pump for your specific pool application. These pump reviews are accurate and up to date including the best pool pumps of 2018. If you are shopping for a single speed pump read the single speed pump reviews and buyers guide section that covers both above ground as well as inground pool pumps.
In the world of variable speed pool pumps the major three brands are Pentair, Hayward and Jandy. Pentair was the first company to introduce the concept of a variable speed pump to the market and many pool experts would argue that the Pentair Intelliflo is the highest quality pool pump on the market. Hayward released the Ecostar variable speed pump and Jandy released the FloPro VS shortly afterwards to compete in the market for extremely energy efficient pool pumps that are dramatically quieter than their traditional single speed counterparts.
№1 – Sta-Rite 343001 SuperMax VS Variable Speed Pool Pump
This Energy Star certified variable speed pump is designed to be cost-effective. It works in standard pools that require up to a 1.5 hp pump and has 50 and 60 Hz and 110-230v capabilities.
The Sta-Rite 343001 SuperMax has 24-hour memory retention and a real-time clock. It’s capable of override and has three speed settings.
№2 – Jandy JEP 2.0 ePump, Variable Speed 2-Horsepower Pump
The Jandy JEP 2.0 ePump is extremely quiet and efficient, and its motor has a long life. It comes with a one-year warranty.
This pump has 8 variable speeds, five control system options, and an enormous trap basket. There is also a 1.5 model available.
№3 – Hayward SP15932S Power-Flo Matrix 1-1/2-Horsepower 2-Speed Above-Ground Pool Pump
This energy efficient pump works well for on- and above-ground pools. The heavy-duty motor has a long-lasting integrated automatic thermal protector.
There is a protected rear-mounted switch to start the motor. The pump generates vertical discharge orientation to horizontal. It comes with a large strainer basket and drain plug.
№4 – Hayward SP2302VSP Max-Flo VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump
The Hayward SP2302VSP is one of the most energy-efficient pumps available and is eligible for local utility rebates. The motor is efficient, durable, and quiet.
There are an extra-large basket and a new time-clock. The motor has a permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) design that cuts power consumption.
№5 – Hayward SP3400VSP Speed Pool Pump
Another well-liked Hayward pump is the SP3400VSP EcoStar, which features a permanent magnet, TEFC motor that keeps water running smoothly and produces little noise.
This pump can be installed with Hayward automation, in stand-alone mode, or with competitive control systems. It is automatically protected from brownouts, voltage spikes, priming failures, and extreme temperatures.
№6 – Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo Variable Speed High-Performance Pool Pump
This Pentair pump is built to save you 90% energy consumption over its competitors and is a 3-hp, 230-v machine that runs quietly.
There are 8 programmable speed settings, a built-in timer, and built-in diagnostics. Motor speed can be matched to your pool’s needs. This pump also enhances chlorinator and filter performance and reduces algae build-up.
№7 – Pentair 520555 IntelliChlor IC40 Salt Chlorine Generator Cell
This generator continuously recycles the salt used to create chlorine in a pool, reducing your amount of daily upkeep. The IntelliChlor is self-cleaning and produces up to 1.4 pounds of chlorine each day.
IntelliChlor IC40 works in pools up to 40,000 gallons and can work between 220-240V. It comes with a 10-foot power cord.
№8 – Pentair 340039 SuperFlo High-Performance Single Speed Pool Pump
This single-speed 1.5hp pump is quiet and cost-effective. It starts up easily with the self-priming feature and comes with a one-year warranty.
Hydraulic noise is minimized by the pump’s internal design. Hydraulics are well-engineered, the 56 square flange motor is durable, and the body parts have thick walls.
№9 – Hayward SP2610X15 Super Pump 1.5-HP Max-Rated Single-Speed Pool Pump
This 1.5hp pump is known to be reliable and efficient. It is easy to service since there is a quick 4-bolt access area for the internal components. The strainer is see-through so you can know when there is a lot of debris in it.
The strainer’s cover can be easily removed using the swing-away hand knobs. There are no loose clamps or parts. The 110-cubic-inch basket can hold excess leafs.
№10 – LX Series 1-1/2-Horsepower Above-Ground Pool Pump with Cord
The best pool pump for 2018 is the Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo, which is a 1.5hp pump meant for above-ground pools only.
The pump has a clear cover and has reinforced thermoplastic housing for year-round protection. The debris basket is a whopping 118-cubic-inches. The double-sized seal is heat-resistant and 100% drip-proof.
What is a Portable Basketball Hoop?
A portable basketball hoop is a standalone unit that includes a pole, base, rim and backboard. The base can be filled with either sand or water and typically has wheels on one end for moving from one place to another. They are very popular for putting in driveways for the kids to play basketball with as they don’t require a post to be installed into the ground or concreted in.
They are not as solid as in-ground posts, however, a good quality portable basketball hoop can handle recreational play and even harder play between adults. As long as it is assembled correctly and the base is filled, it provides plenty of stability for enjoyment.
The Popularization of Basketball at Home
The NBA was founded in the 60s but even into the 80s basketball wasn’t the popular sport it is today. Not many people had access to a basketball court and having one at home definitely wasn’t common at all. This all changed when the heavy hitters in the industry decided to create something that people could use to have fun with the sport from their own backyards. This is when the portable basketball hoop was born.
Two major companies, Lifetime and Spalding, were the first to come up with this concept. It started with a simple backboard and hoop that could be mounted on the outside of garage doors. While this was a popular method, they further developed the idea and designed a completely independent system that packed up in one box and contained everything a person needed to set up a portable basketball hoop including the base and pole.
They made it even more appealing by adding the capability of adjusting the hoop height and the popularity of having your own basketball hoop system exploded. Now you see them everywhere and many people have them in their driveways and even at the office or loading docks of companies to add some stress relieving exercise for the employees during break times.
The Benefits of Having a Hoop
There are many benefits that a family can receive by getting a portable basketball hoop. It’s a sport that can be played by anyone of any age and it’s been around for a long time. Many people only like to play it for recreation or on a rare occasion. Some love to set up trick shots and have fun that way. Others are a little more serious and want to have basketball games with friends or family. And then there is the person who seriously wants to perfect the sport, especially shooting, and will use it to practice for hours at a time.
Whatever your reason is for liking basketball, the portable basketball hoop enables all of these reasons to be fostered. There are many other benefits as well.
Introducing your child to sports
A normal sized basketball hoop is way too tall for a young one of 4 or 5 to play with but with the adjustable height, it can be lowered to its lowest height and young children can begin to learn the specifics of a sport that will stay with them throughout their lives. The great thing about portable basketball hoops is that as your child grows and increases their skill, the hoop can be raised to higher and higher levels until it is at the standard height.
Having a portable basketball system at home enables kids, teens and adults to learn all kinds of new skills they may not have had before. Your arms and legs will become stronger, your agility will improve, you’ll become faster and can even learn things about discipline and competition.
Get Healthy. Stay Healthy.
Childhood weight problems are at an all time high and it is largely due to the inactivity of kids in today’s society. Instead of running around playing chase and doing various sports, children are sitting in front of video game consoles and computers. Having a portable basketball hoop is a great way to incorporate exercise into your child’s life without it feeling like exercise. Before you know it, they’ll be slimming now from the new activity and you won’t have to have them diet at all. (Diets for children are not a good idea due to their growing bodies) It’s especially effective if they see YOU out there too so be sure you’re setting a good example.
Sometimes a child will really take to basketball and want to become serious about it. Having a portable basketball hoop at home allows them to practice on a daily basis and improve their skills and performance. It is a must for anyone who wants to play basketball on a competitive or professional level.
The Components of a Portable Basketball Hoop
All portable basketball hoop systems come with a few standard components. Depending on the type of component it is, there will be some variations among different types of units. – this is the circle that the ball goes through to make a basket. It’s usually made of metal of some kind like steel, and there are two types that are the most common: breakaway and spring-loaded. Both of these styles detach themselves from the backboard when too much pressure is exerted on the rim. This prevents damage to the backboard. The standard size of the hoop is 18 inches and the thickness is usually 5/8 to ½ inches. Most people who play basketball play with standard sized basketballs, so almost all hoops will meet these specifications.
The part of the system that the hoop is attached to is the backboard. Backboards will vary in material and size and also in color variations as well. The professional dimensions for a backboard are typically 45” to 50”. For beginners and causal players the board can go all the way up to 72”. Materials for the backboard can be anything from Plexiglas to resin. They are most commonly either fan shaped or rectangular. The shape of the board also has to do with the skill of the player. Beginners seem to do better with rectangular backboards and they offer more space for them to shoot and bounce the ball off of.
This is the part that is attached to the bottom of the hoop. There are many different variations in nets from model to model. The length can range from 15” to 18” and the thread count can be anywhere from 30 to 120. They can also range in color from plain white to red, white and blue.
There are two basic types of portable basketball hoop systems: crank and pneumatic. Crank styles provide the user with a lot more durability and accuracy but the pneumatic styles are much easier to assemble and adjust. One potential problem with pneumatic styles is that they can develop small holes that allow the air inside to leak. This can hinder the accuracy of the shoots.
What are You Looking For in a Basketball Hoop?
If you’re looking for ease of installation, you will love a portable basketball hoop. Once they are put together, you can move them to different locations via the wheel casters that are on the bottom of the base. Some units might be a bit challenging to put together initially but there is the option of hiring someone to put it together for you. Many people do this and are extremely happy with the speed in which the professional assemblers get the goal together and up.
You can get a lot of stability from your portable basketball hoop by filling the base with sand if you are fairly certain that where you put it, it will be staying for a long time. You can also use water, but sand is heavier and weighs down the base better than water and allows for a bit rougher play.
There is no need to mix cement the way you would have to do for in-ground poles. With the portable basketball hoop, you can typically get it assembled and ready for playing within a few hours. For additional stability, you can add additional sandbags to the base on top of what you use inside. In fact, many customers who buy a portable basketball hoop will fill the base with water and then add sand bags to the top of the base. This makes the base able to be emptied in the event you need or want to move it, and the extra sand bags on top give it even more sturdiness.
This type of basketball system is great for people who may have to move a lot due to their jobs. Since the system can be folded or taken apart and the base emptied, you don’t have to leave it behind. You don’t want to disassemble it all the way, but you can take it apart some to make it better able to be loaded onto a moving truck.
If you ever need to store your portable basketball hoop, you will love the ease in which the system can be stored. It doesn’t take up a lot of room either. These portable basketball hoops are not as expensive as some other systems although you can purchase high end portable basketball systems that have a lot of features or special materials that will cost a lot more. A quality system can be just as durable and will last just as long as the in-ground systems do with the proper care.
What Height for the Goal is Good for Your Child?
When the portable basketball goal will be used for only adults, it can be kept at the standard 10 foot height. If children only are using it, or both adults and children will be using it, you want to make sure that the unit your purchase is able to be adjusted easily. Most units adjust from 7 feet to 10 feet. There are even a few that lower as low as 5 feet. If it’s not adjustable, then the young members of your family won’t be able to play and enjoy themselves as well.
So what height is the right height for the goal for your child to have fun? It depends on the age of your child. If you have elementary age children you will want to lower the goal to 7 feet for them to truly enjoy playing with it. You can raise it to 8 or 9 feet for children that play in youth basketball leagues and standard 10 feet for children in Junior high and above.
Adjusting your basketball hoop can be done through different methods depending on the model you purchase. Your instruction manual will explain exactly how to adjust your particular type of portable basketball goal. The two most common are hydraulic and springs. Springs can last a long time and are one of the easiest and most reliable methods for adjusting the basketball hoop. The hydraulic system is most often used on smaller backboards and can be a bit difficult or awkward to work with.
You want your portable basketball hoop to last as long as possible and it can with the right care and maintenance. It doesn’t require a lot, but there are some things you can do that extend the life of your goal and keep it in good condition.
Taking Care of the Rim
The rim of the basketball hoop is very unlikely to wear out, but they can rust or get bent or broken by the unit falling over onto the rim, or by people dunking or hanging on it. These units are meant to be kept outside, but weather can still ruin your goal, especially wind. If the goal gets blown over during a windstorm, the rim can be broken off or irreparably bent. If you are not able to store the unit in the garage somewhere during a horrible storm like a hurricane, then tilt the basketball unit over onto its side so it can’t blow over and consider taking the rim off until the storm passes.
If you want to ensure that your portable basketball hoop won’t rust get into the habit of covering it during rain storms or periods of non-use. It may seem like overkill but protecting it from the elements can prevent rust and other weather related damage to be caused to your basketball hoop system.
In the instruction manual of your basketball hoop system, there will be some maintenance tips for your specific unit. Follow these and that will also extend the life of your basketball hoop system. It will also have some information about the amount of weight the rim can hold during dunking so pay close attention to that as well. Maintenance will include things like tightening bolts, lubricating the parts that are removable and other suggestions that you should heed.
Also make sure to adjust the height level periodically even if you don’t have children who need it lowered. This prevents the height adjuster from getting locked into one position in case you ever DO need to lower it for some reason.
Choosing the Right Size Pump for Your Pool
Start by figuring out the average depth of your pool. Take a measurement of the depth in the shallow end, and another measurement of the deep end. Add these numbers together and then divide by two to get the average depth. Now measure the length and width of your pool. Multiply length x width x average depth, and this will give you the volume of your pool.
The turnover rate is the amount of time it takes to pump all the water in your pool. For example, if you have a 30,000 gallon pool, the turnover rate is the amount of time it will take to pump 30,000 gallons of water. If you want the water in your pool to turn over once every eight hours, you will need to divide 30,000 divided by 480 (there are 480 minutes in eight hours) and this will give you a total of 62.5.
Nothing can beat the joy of jumping into the pool at the end of long cold winters. Playing with your kids, throwing pool parties or simply swimming under the stars are just some of the beautiful experiences you can enjoy. Alas, just like everything else, enjoyment comes at a certain cost and in the case of swimming pool it is a bit on the higher side. The maintenance system of the pool has to be very good to enhance the swimming experience by keeping the pool free of debris, dirt, and bacteria. The pump and the filtration system of the pool play a vital role in keeping the pool clean. A pool pump is a simple gadget but it is the core of your pool’s maintenance system.
Why Do You Need A Pool Pump?
Water pumps have been a very important part of our lives and in today’s time, most of us have to deal with pool pumps. A pool pump is used to circulate water through the pool filtering system to minimize algae growth and eliminate debris. It mixes chemicals and filters water keeping the pool clean. To ensure that the filtering system operates efficiently, one needs to select the correct pump for the pool. If the pool pump is too small, it will have a difficult time in circulating water and will run less efficiently. When operated correctly, it reduces the energy cost required for maintaining the pool and also results in sparkling clean water with nearly no debris or contaminates.
Best Single-Speed Pool Pump
Single-speed pumps are the most commonly available pumps in the market and operate on induction motors. Depending on its horsepower, the motor spins the impeller at a certain fixed speed. This type of pump usually runs on either 120 or 220 standard voltage. Single-speed pool pump will run with only one constant speed that cannot be increased or decreased when the unit is in operation. It has a standard speed of 3450rpm and can be controlled by simply using on and off mode. It can fill or empty the pool immediately. Single-speed pool pumps come in various horsepower and are quite effective.
Best Two-Speed Pool Pump
Two-speed pool pumps or Dual-speed pool pumps, as the name implies, have two speeds and operate on induction motors. It functions similar to single-speed pool pump with the only difference that it has high and low speeds. The low speed is usually set at 1725rpm and the high speed will be double at 3450rpm. 2 Speed pool pumps use a toggle switch or a frequency inverter. The low speed is usually used for basic functions like circulation and filtration and the high speed is used for emptying the pool when running simultaneously with swimming pool heaters and other operations that require more power. They are more popular than the single-speed pool pump for their energy-saving reason.
Best Variable-Speed Pool Pumps
Variable-speed pool pumps are the latest in the category of pool pumps. They use permanent magnet motors and allow the speed to be exactly adjusted to the desired flow rate. They offer many speeds between off to high hence providing the greatest amount of flexibility. This creates less friction on the filter, piping, and accessories, allowing the pool to run at a much lower energy as well as less wear and tear, saving money and increasing the lifespan of the pool equipment. Variable-speed pool pumps can operate at as low as 600rpm and as high as 3450 rpm and any speed in between.
The flow rate is measured in GPM that stands for gallons per minute. The flow rate means the amount of water the pump can process in a set amount of time. In order to choose the right pool pump, you need to know the minimum and maximum flow rate. To circulate entire water in the pool through the filter within a certain number of hours, the minimum flow rate must be maintained. It is also known as turnover time and usually, 8-10 hours is considered a good turnover time for a home pool. You can establish your required flow rate once you know the required turnover rate.
Plumbing Pipe Sizes
It is considered the most overlooked part of a pool project. There are different sizes of pipes such as 1.5”, 2.0”, 2.5” and 3.0”. Ideally, you should put a larger pump on a pool plumbed with a larger pipe but putting a larger pump on a pool with a smaller pipe can cause damages. If you install a two horsepower of the pump and let the water flow through 1.5” of pipe, it will cause strain on the pipe due to the amount of water moving through the pipe which would be more than it can bear. Simply put, bigger pipes can handle a large volume of water and smaller one less amount.
Choose A Pump With Strong Warranty
Needless to say, you should go for the brand that offers longer warranty period on the pool pump. The most of the well-known brands like Hayward, Pentair, and Jandy pool pumps offer a one-year standard warranty. However, if you dig deeper you will come to know that there are brands like EcoPump that offer a three-year warranty on its pumps. No, there is no catch behind it, however; it would be interesting to know that most of the expensive pumps have onboard electronic circuits which have a high probability of failure. On the other hand, it does not happen with the pumps that have simple switches.
Easy To Install & Operate
You need to choose a good pool pump that is not just easy to install but also operate. Though some brands offer installation that may be part of the purchase, some may charge you for it. It is recommended to get the pump installed by a professional to prevent voiding or lessening of the warranty period. The correct operation of the pool pump is equally important for its longevity. Obviously, if you operate incorrectly, your energy charges will go up and it may cause damage to some of the electronics part which the warranty may not cover. Always thoroughly read owner’s manual before installing and operating the pool pump.
Horsepower And Voltages
The residential pool pumps usually come in different pump sizes from 0.5 to 3.0 horsepower. You need to figure out the least powerful pump that gets the work done since it will help in saving the operating costs in the longer run. Moreover, running the pool pump for only eight hours will increase your savings phenomenally. The equally important factor is the voltage supplied to the unit. Higher horsepower pumps mostly operating in 230v only. This means that if you have 120v standard household current available, you will not be able to run a larger pump. Therefore, you need to have right voltage input to operate the right kind of pump size.
How Does A Pool Pump Work?
Now that you know the essentials of the pool pump, let’s look at how it works. Your pool pump and filter add a ‘closed loop’ system. It starts by drawing water from the pool and the skimmer. Then, it is delivered to the pump and motor. Once it reaches the pump, the water goes through an initial filter known as the “strainer pot basket”. This can take away most trash from the water before sending it on to the pump housing. It then passes via the motor to your pool’s cartridge filters that take away any remaining trash and contaminants from the water. Next, the water is passed onto your pool’s heater, to heat the water to the required temperature. When it reaches the acceptable temperature, it is passed onto a chlorinator and sent back to the pool.
Saves Energy Saves Money
Research has proved that a pool pump can be responsible for contributing as much as 30% to your household bills. However, if used smartly and efficiently they save energy as well as your money. By getting a professional’s opinion about the type of pool pump that is suitable for you, you will save energy as well as money. Smaller sized pumps are highly efficient and effective in doing the job and meanwhile being easy on the energy consumption as well as the monetary expenditure. Furthermore, running your pump at a lower speed cycle saves abundant amount of energy and obviously your money.
Long Life Span
The pool pump like any other machine needs proper care and maintenance. However, by paying a little attention to the filters of the pool cleaner, the life span of the pool cleaner gets enhanced considerably. Also by employing a smaller sized pump, the wear and tear of the pump is reduced. By making sure that your pool pump is as per the requirement of your swimming pool you will automatically ensure a longer life span of your pump. Life span of your pump also depends on the speed at which you operate your pump. Research has established that operating your pump on a variable speed guarantees longer longevity of the pool pump.
Unlike most motor operated machines a pool pump does not create an unbearable amount of noise. It is imperative to keep the pool pump in a good condition and running smoothly in order for it to operate noiselessly. The filter of the pool pump must be regularly and laboriously cleaned in order to ensure that the pump keeps running smoothly and noiselessly. Reducing the speed of the pool pump is also an effective way to diminish the sound produced by the pump.
Avoid Algae Build-up
It is advised by professionals that the pool pump must be kept running for a minimum of three to four hours each day in order to have a sparkling clear and hygienic swimming pool. Apart from cleaning the debris and dirt, the pool pump also ensures that there is no built up of algae on the floor as well as the wall of the pool. The pool pump when operational works vigorously to filter the entire water of the swimming pool. By continuously filtering the water of the pool, the pool pump ensures there are no algae built-up at all.
Achieves Clean Water
The purpose of a pool pump is to keep the water of your swimming pool crystal clean, safe and hygienic for use. By constantly functioning for the allotted time period every day, the pool pump efficiently ensures that you have clean, purified and hygienic pool water by keeping the pool debris and algae free. Make sure you run your pump at a slower speed to attain best results.
Considering Speed When Choosing a Pump
Speed. Pool pumps come with different options of pumping speed: low, medium, and high, which are all necessary when you need to regulate the pumping speed depending on the status of the swimming pool to save on power consumption. Remember:
Hayward SP2602VSP Variable-Speed Pool Pump, which according to my own experience with pool pumps is the best variable speed pump designed with great energy saving Permanent Magnet Motor, which uses a permanent magnet to spin the rotor as opposed to induction motors used in a single or dual speed pool pumps that need extra electric power to induce magnetic field into the rotor to spin it.
Also, the largest energy saving that comes with this Haywards PMM pool is the ability to program and reduce the flow rate to match the required pool pumping needs. Here is a detailed study by U.S. Department of Energy on how a variable speed pump saves pumping energy by 50% to 75%.
The Size of Your Pool (in Gallons) Matters
One of the most important things to consider is the size of your swimming pool in gallons. Use a standard pool gallons chart or an online pool water volume calculator to determine your pool’s size.
You should then divide the total gallons your pool contains by 8 (the number of hours a pump should take to circulate the entire pool) to get the flow rate per hour you will need your pump to have.
Types Of Pool Pumps
Pool pumps are available in three main types: two-speed, four-speed, and variable-speed pumps, and can differ in how much speed control they give you. Here is a list of the main pool pump types for you to compare:
Single-Speed Pool Pumps: This golden oldie is the original pool pump induction motor design. Easy to use and the most cost effective, these traditional pumps make a great standby pump.
Two-Speed Pool Pumps: Two-speed pool pumps also have induction motors but have two speed settings: fast settings for cleaning and slow speeds for daily filtration. Offering longer life spans and cheaper running costs, two-speed pool pumps are a popular choice.
Variable-Speed Pool Pumps: Built with permanent magnet motors, variable-speed pool pumps have a variety of speeds and allow users more control over the flow rate. They are considered the most efficient pool pump type.
A Little Background
Well, here comes Energy Star. Finally, last year, the voluntary organization that tests many household appliances came out with a list of Energy star rated swimming pool pumps and it turns out that those who passed have either a dual, multi or variable speed motor.
So in response to the question, Do variable speed pumps really work, your quick answer would be a big yes (but so do dual and multi speed pumps)
So What Do You Need To Change In The System?
I can not underestimate the importance of changing the way you run your pool. The main reason why people may start to complain about their variable speed pool pumps not really saving as much energy as a company claims is because they have been running it the wrong way.
Check out the best-rated Energy star pool pumps in the market.
Enclosed motor – Not only does this contribute to the quietness of the motor, but it also protecs it from the elements and bugs! This means it lasts longer than traditional motors.
Already, California now has a law that pool pumps with greater than 1 THP must use dual or variable speed pumps. Not long now, and many other states will have this law too.
Different Pump Features
The first thing you’ll notice in your research about pool pumps is that their power is commonly measured by horsepower (hp). The greater the horsepower, the greater the volume of water the pump can move.
You have plenty of choice when it comes to your pump’s performance, varying from as little as .75hp to as much as 2.5hp. But you have to be careful in your choice; a pump too large can do damage to your pool just as a pump too small can be completely ineffective. See below to find out how to calculate the right size for your pump.
A general rule is that the larger and deeper your pool is, the more powerful the pump will need to be to move the water about effectively. This is normally measured as litres per minute or L/min.
The pool pump can use up to 70% of your pool’s total energy consumption, which means it pays off to factor energy efficiency into your purchasing decision.
A multi-speed or variable-speed pump, though slightly more expensive, is generally more energy efficient since it is able to adjust its speed for various jobs. Some even come with automatic controllers which switch the pump’s speed between tasks.
For example, variable-speed pumps (such as the E3 variable speed pump) can use a higher speed during heavy pool vacuuming, but adjust to a lower speed during the regular filtration cycle. Fixed speed pumps on the other have work at the same capacity regardless of the job – and thus can consume much more energy.
Picking the right pump
Now you understand the speed and power variations in the pump, it’s time to learn how to calculate which pool pump is best for your pool. Don’t worry: a calculator can do most of the work for you.
The calculations you’ll make for your pump typically determine how much water your pump will need to move per hour (called the flow rate). You’ll need to know your pool’s capacity, turnover, maximum flow rate, and resistance.
It’s important you get your calculations right; an inadequate pump can lead to damaged filters and cloudy water.
If your pool is a new installation, luck would have it you should know its volume. Otherwise, you may have to calculate it.
First you have to determine your pool’s surface area. If you have a rectangular pool, it’s easy: simply multiply its length by its width. With an irregularly-shaped pool, you may need more help (don’t worry, that’s what we’re here for – see below).
Next you’ll need to figure out your pool’s depth, which is easy if the pool floor is level. If it isn’t, add together the maximum and minimum depths and divide by two to reach the average depth.
Finally, you’ll reach your pool volume figure by multiplying your average surface area with its average depth. Times that by 1,000 and you’ll have your volume in litres.
To find out the best flow rate for your pool, you’ll have to divide your pool’s volume by the turnover rate in minutes.
So for example, if your pool volume is 60,000 litres and your turnover rate is 7 hours (or 420 minutes), you want a pool pump that can turn over about 140 litres per minute. This isn’t much, so a pump with 0.75hp is best for this job.
It’s always best to choose a smallest pool pump size for your pool so you don’t risk the potential damage a larger pump can cause.
Once you’ve figured out your flow rate, you need to finally calculate the water resistance in your pool. This resistance is ‘friction loss’ created as the water passes through the pool’s circulation system.
You will need to add up the sum of all your various pool equipment’s friction loss. Every bit of pool equipment creates resistance to water flow, including pipes, filters, heater and pools cleaners. Not just that, the size, lengths, and types of equipment can affect your total amount of resistance (called, confusingly we admit, ‘feet of head’).
It’s quite simple: the greater your feet of head, the stronger the pump you need.
Charts should come with all your equipment detailing how much resistance it provides. You should then be able to tally up the total to come to your total amount of resistance.
If this isn’t the case, using a pressure metre you can gauge the pressure of water flowing into the tank and multiply it by 2.31.
Next gauge a vacuum reading on the pump suction line. Times that by 1.13.
Add the two numbers together. The final number is measured as feet of head.
Pump manufacturers supply performance charts that help you determine which model and horsepower is best for your pool.
The speed classification of pool pumps is as follows:
Utilizing second-hand pool pumps is not recommended since they may be unstable and volatile. Instead, it is advisable to use brand new pool pumps that come straight out of the box. But, if you are working on a tight budget and have no other choice but to use a second-hand pump, it is important for you to ensure that it is in good condition. You should also make sure to confirm if the wiring of the motor were not rewound.
SINGLE-SPEED POOL PUMP
These pool pumps feature a motor running on 120 volts, for domestic markets or 220 volts. These pumps only have one constant speed that cannot be reduced or increased while they are being used.
The standard speed of single-speed swimming pool pumps is at 3,450 RPM. It only features an on or off switch.
Single-speed swimming pool pumps are ideal whenever you only want fill the pool with water or remove the water in no time. These pool pumps also have different power outputs and are particularly efficient.
DUAL SPEED OR TWO-SPEED POOL PUMP
Dual-speed or two-speed water pumps feature speed ratings as determined by the manufacturer. While operating these pumps is similar to operating single-speed pumps, they feature two speed ratings, low speed and high speed. The low speed rating of these pumps is typically at 1,725 RPM. On the other hand, the high speed is at 3,450 RPM, which is twice as fast as its low speed.
To change the speed of these pumps, you have to use the frequency inverter or the toggle switch of the pump. Pumps with a frequency inverter are quite costly and normally feature a high capacity motor or an industry-level motor with a three-phase connection. While pumps with toggle switches are suitable for use at a home swimming pool, these may require a significant initial investment. Using these pumps may also result in higher power costs for a long period of time.
The low-speed setting is suitable for basic operations, including filtration and circulation. On the other hand, the high-speed setting is normally used when it is necessary to empty the swimming pool. But, when these pumps are operated together with pool heaters and other equipment, they will require more power.
These types of pool pumps are the most flexible since the speed of the pump can be readily adjusted according to your preference based on what you need to do on your swimming pool.
Variable speed swimming pool pumps feature multiple speed options. This means you can set the speed of the pump based on what you need to do, as determined by the standard speed options set by the manufacturer. Variable speed swimming pool pumps are easier on the pocket compared to single-speed pumps and dual-speed pumps.
A standard size swimming pool can store up to 25,000 gallons of water. Emptying these swimming pools can take around six hours to complete when you use a 2HP single-speed or dual-speed pool pump running at 3,450 RPM. At this rate, these pumps can remove nearly 60 gallons of water per minute. These pumps will also use around 12,000 watts of power.
In contrast, a variable speed pump running at a low speed and power rate or a 1.5HP variable speed pool pump with a rating of 1,200 RPM. Since it can remove 22 gallons of water per minute, it will take the pump around 18 or 19 hours to empty the swimming pool. However, its power consumption is only 2,000 watts, which is a significant savings for owners of swimming pools.
THINGS TO CONSIDER IN CHOOSING THE BEST POOL PUMP
Before making a purchase, there is something that must be taken into account. These factors include:
Answering the above questions will help you easily find the best pool pump. The volume of water you pool can hold can tell you what horse power a pump is required. Generally, pool pumps for domestic use have a motor between 1 to 2hp. If you think a 1-hp motor is not powerful, you can choose a 1.5-hp motor, or a larger one. Mostly, they are powerful enough for the pumping job.
How many people will use the pool also will influence the maintenance. The more the users, the more frequent the maintenance. This means pumping out water and cleaning the pool and then pumping in the new water become frequent. If this happens frequently, you really need a more powerful pump to do the job. Mostly, a 2-hp pool pump with a single-speed is qualified. This can make the pumping more quickly.
Sometimes, you are prone to choose a 2-speed pool pump for a 2-setting maintenance, low setting and high setting, making it perfect for intermittent service.
If you have a large pool and many users will use it and there is heavy debris, a heavyweight pool pump is required. Of course, it pumps must offer variable speeds. This type of pool pumps is not a single pump. It sucks water and gets water filtered in different speeds. Its elaborate operation will result in a satisfactory effect.
When using a new pool pump, you really need to understand its functions, operation, capabilities, maintenance, programming, and even potential risk. After you know these, you can take a good use of your pump.
For users, it is also needed to take a chance to educate them. They should know the signs of an unclean pool and they also should know something about how to maintain a healthy environment while swimming.
The last step is to know how much energy the new pump will use. You can compare it with your old pump. The comparison will help you understand the optimum pump use better.
Sizing the pump
The larger the single speed pump, the greater pumping and maintenance costs. Therefore, for increased efficiency, select the smallest-sized single speed pump possible for your swimming pool. The DOE has stated that a single speed pump no larger than 3/4 horsepower (hp) should be adequate for most residential pools. When running 24/7, this is the least efficient pump with greater energy costs over time. By cutting pumping time to six hours or less (or the adequate amount of time needed to keep water clean) and decreasing the hydraulic resistance, energy cost savings can be achieved.
Operating the pump
It is very important that, once installed, a variable speed pump be calibrated to provide for adequate filtration, circulation, and water quality while using the lowest possible speed. After the pump has been started and is successfully circulating water through the filtration system, filtration flow rates need to be verified. “Water is supplied to the pump from both the skimmers and main drains; however, the skimmers should supply the majority of the flow. Main drain flow should complement the skimmer flow but should be minimized to prevent suction entrapment hazards. The main drain and suction covers should be visually observed. A broken or missing drain cover poses a serious health risk and should be replaced immediately, even before the pool is returned to service.” (From Measure Guideline: Replacing Single-Speed Pool Pumps with Variable Speed Pumps for Energy Savings
What about filtration?
Filtering is a major cost of owning a swimming pool. Try reducing your filtration time to six hours per day. If the water does not appear clean, increase the time in half-hour increments until it does. As little as three hours of pump operation a day can maintain water clarity depending on usage, weather, and debris. On average, this could reduce the electricity demand for pumping by 60%. The Florida Building Code 5th Edition (2014), Residential, Chapter 45 Private Swimming Pools, Section R4101.20 Filters, states that the “components shall have sufficient capacity to provide a complete turnover of pool water in 12 hours or less”. That does not mean it has to pump for 12 hours but must be mechanically capable of doing a complete turnover of pool water in 12 hours or less, if needed. : If you use the services of a maintenance staff, make sure that they do not change the timer’s settings and make them aware of your end goal.
Keep the intake grates clear of debris. Clogged drains require the pump to work harder, which uses more energy. Clean your filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Sometimes the operating sound of the pump changes and is detectable when it is under more strain.
Note that in addition to chlorine, which is often used to maintain sanitary swimming conditions, a number of alternatives are now on the market. Be sure to check them out with regard to your particular pool and location.
What about pool heating?
Options for heating the pool include solar energy, fossil fuels (LP gas, natural gas or oil), and heat pumps. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages. Solar pool heating is the most cost-effective use of solar energy in Florida. A comfortable water temperature for swimming is 78 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. As with home heating, each degree of rise in temperature increases energy costs.
Heat Pump Pool Heater
Heat pumps do not generate heat; they use electricity to capture heat and move it from one place to another. Heat pump pool heaters generally cost more than gas pool heaters, but they typically have lower annual operating costs because of their higher efficiencies. With proper maintenance, heat pump pool heaters typically last longer than gas pool heaters. The
Florida Building Code 5th Edition (2014), Energy Conservation requires that heat pump pool heaters have a minimum coefficient of performance (COP) of 4.0.
What about licenses?
It is important to use a swimming pool contractor licensed to perform service in Florida. See the definitions of pool related licenses under references and resources at the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations website.
You can verify a license searching by name or license number at the DBPR website under “verify a license”. In addition to verifying licenses, be sure to check for any charges of unlicensed activity.
You can search for information about the business entity (corporation or other form of business, length of time in existence, etc.) and for other or previous affiliations by searching under the company’s name at the document searches portion of the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations free online search service.
Your local county or municipal building department may provide verification of local or state license or any known problems. See the government section of your telephone book—look under “building,” “plans,” “inspections,” or “zoning.”
Your local court records office may allow you to search under the individual and/or business name to see if any litigation has been filed or is pending against the individual or company. See the government section of your telephone book—look under “courts” or “clerk of court.”
For any professional or trade association membership listed by the individual/company, you can usually verify the existence or validity of the entity with a simple online search.
Ready to Buy?
We admit this is a lot to take in and can be difficult to deal with on your own. But as we’ve already said, that’s why we’re here.
At the AOL Pool Shop, we have swimming pool experts who can help you out with all your needs. We can help calculate the sums, choose the right pump and even install it for you. Find out more about our professional pool service here.
If you can afford the up front cost of a variable speed motor, it will clearly pay for it self in a short time by the way of energy savings. It is more than a green solution, it is financial responsible choice.
These motors are designed for In-ground pools, having said that, they will work on above-ground pools and make more sense that the majority of the garbage that is currently being offered for above ground pools. Not only do you get the energy savings, but you wont have to replace your pump in 3 to 5 years.
We are available to install your new pool pump if you live here in the northern section of Massachusetts. Thanks for taking the time to read this pool pump brand and energy audit. Please leave comments below.
So, TOP10 of Variable Speed Pool Pumps:
- №1 — Sta-Rite 343001 SuperMax VS Variable Speed Pool Pump
- №2 — Jandy JEP 2.0 ePump, Variable Speed 2-Horsepower Pump
- №3 — Hayward SP15932S Power-Flo Matrix 1-1/2-Horsepower 2-Speed Above-Ground Pool Pump
- №4 — Hayward SP2302VSP Max-Flo VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump
- №5 — Hayward SP3400VSP Speed Pool Pump
- №6 — Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo Variable Speed High-Performance Pool Pump
- №7 — Pentair 520555 IntelliChlor IC40 Salt Chlorine Generator Cell
- №8 — Pentair 340039 SuperFlo High-Performance Single Speed Pool Pump
- №9 — Hayward SP2610X15 Super Pump 1.5-HP Max-Rated Single-Speed Pool Pump
- №10 — LX Series 1-1/2-Horsepower Above-Ground Pool Pump with Cord