Although many pool owners use a pool pump with an induction motor, these type of pumps aren’t really very efficient. If the pool owner really wants a high-quality pump that’s energy efficient, lasts a long time and does a great job at circulating the water in their pool, then they’re probably going to want to purchase the best variable speed pool pump they can afford.
A good variable speed pump provides the pool owner with substantial energy savings over the life of the pump, and they’re usually easier to maintain than pumps powered by induction motors. That’s why we’ve decided to review ten of the best models currently available and list them for our reader’s convenience.
Best Variable Speed Pool Pumps
10Hayward Max-Flo VS Pool Pump
When variable speed power is absolutely needed, this high-quality pool pump is ready to answer the call. This model uses proprietary Max Flow technology to deliver the pumping efficiency that pool owners require out of their pumps. This model uses a TEFC motor that’s not only powerful but also delivers reliability and energy efficiency as well. And since this model has a digital interface that allows it to be programmed by the user, this pump will operate the way the user needs it to operate each and every time it’s used. All of which makes it the best variable speed pool pump currently available and one that’s worth looking at by pool owners.
9Pentair Intelli-Flo High-Performance Pump
Flexing power that other pumps can only dream about, this high-performance 3-HP pump is ready to handle just about any job. Even though this model has more power than many of the other pumps on this list, its Energy Star Compliant, so it won’t drive up the pool owner’s electricity bill. In fact, this model uses up to 90% less electricity than traditional single-speed pumps. Other features found on this fascinating model include 8-different speed settings, speed settings that are user customizable and a built-in diagnostics system that helps to increase the service life of the pump.
8Pentair Super Flo VS 1.5-HP Pump
One of the main advantages of using a pump with variable speed control instead of single-speed control is that it costs less to operate. And no pump proves this more than this model. It’s designed to only cost pennies a day, so the pool owner doesn’t have to worry about their electricity bill being driven sky-high. This model isn’t just about the savings, however. It also has a number of other features which make it an effective pool pump and one that’s easy to use. Some of these features include a real-time clock with 24-hour memory, an intuitive user interface, and three different operating speeds for convenience.
7Hayward TriStar 2-HP Dual-Speed Pump
This pump has numerous features which allow it to outperform the competition. This model has an extra-large basket that can go a longer period of time in between cleanings, and its rigid construction allows it to operate even under heavy load. This model features a special Tri-Lock design that helps to keep the strainer exactly in its place but is also easy to remove without the use of tools. Inside of the pump is a quality impeller that’s been balanced for optimal performance and a power-end assembly that can be removed, if necessary, by the removal of just a few bolts.
6Hayward 1.85-HP TriStar VS Pump
This 1.85-HP pump is designed to be a direct replacement for pool pumps that fall between the 1.5-HP to the 2-HP range. This product is designed to be easy-to-install and most users will be able to install it quite easily. It’s a pump that’s fully-programmable and has a speed range that falls between 600 RPM and 3450 RPM. One of the main design features of this pump is that it features a permanent magnet in it that allows it to deliver exceptional performance, and to deliver incredible energy savings over its lifetime as compared with single-speed pumps.
5Xtremepower US Energy Efficient Pump
Although this pool pump may not be the most powerful model available, what it lacks in power it more than makes up for in energy efficiency and cost. This model has two distinct speed settings that allow the pool owner to select what’s appropriate for their pool setup. This model also features an oversized strainer basket that’s equipped with a see-through lid that allows the user to keep track of whether it needs to be cleaned out. Another positive feature that can be found on this inexpensive pump is that it’s quieter than comparable models, so it provides a better swimming experience.
4Pentair IntelliFlo VS-Plus Pump
This variable speed pool pump has numerous features which make it a useful tool for just about any swimming pool. It has a built-in safety vacuum release system that automatically detects drain blockages and works to automatically turn the pump off until the blockage is resolved. This model also has an enclosed fan-cooled design that is EPA energy star compliant and is easy to install. Other features that can be found on this two intake pump include an intelligent onboard computer system that allows the user to have complete control over the system and to set its minimum as well as maximum speeds.
3Xtremepower US 1.5-HP Pool Pump
Even though its name may make most pool owners think that this pool pump is designed for some pretty heavy-duty pool setups, in reality, this pump is just the item that most standard pools need. It’s a 1.5-HP model that can be used with cartridge, sand and DE pool filter systems. This pump features a clear cover that lets the user keep track of when the basket needs to be cleaned, and it has 4 different programmable speed settings for maximum efficiency and performance. Additional features found on this model include an LCD screen that displays speed and wattage consumption settings and a 24-hour time clock that allows the user to manage timers.
2Blue Torrent Pumps Energy-Star Pool Pump
This Energy-Star compliant pool pump is designed to save the pool owner hundreds of dollars every summer on their electric bill. It’s a 1.5-HP pump that delivers up to 80% the energy savings of most traditional pool pumps. It’s designed to be directly wired into the electrical system and has a super quiet motor that quietly performs day in and day out. Its motor is completely enclosed as well, which means that all of its important parts stay clean and dry. And because it has a special touchpad, this product is easy enough to be used by just about anyone.
1Proline E71-II VHV Pool Pump
This well-designed variable speed above ground pump has many of the features that pool owners need their pump to have. This medium-head model features a 5/8-inch ceramic shaft seal that’s easy to replace when it’s reached the end of its service life and can withstand temperatures up to 150-degree Fahrenheit. This shaft seal is also resistant to ultraviolet and non-corrosive chemicals, which further adds to its durability. It also has an impeller with a dielectric shaft seal, so that it’s electrical components are fully segregated from the pool water. And finally, it has a clear locking lid that’s easy to open for service.
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Buying The Best Variable Speed Pump
Anyone who looks over our list of the top ten best variable speed pumps knows that these types of pumps come in several different designs and with different options. And this can make it difficult for a person to choose the one that’s best for them. Therefore, to remedy the situation, we decided to write this guide on how to buy a variable speed pump. It’s designed to give our readers everything they need to know to buy one of these pumps with confidence.
How Are Variable Speed Pumps Different?
When it comes to pool pumps, pool owners have three different options available to them: Variable Speed Pumps, Dual-Speed Pumps, and Single Speed Pumps. Although variable speed pumps are more expensive than either single or dual-speed pumps, they do have a number of features that these other two types of pumps can’t beat. Let’s talk a closer look at them and see how they differ from other pumps.
- Single Speed Pumps – These pumps always run at full speed, so they’re not the most energy-efficient and may wear out quicker than other types of pumps.
- Dual Speed Pumps – These pumps allow the consumer to choose one of two modes: either low-speed or high-speed operation. This allows the consumer to choose the low setting for day-to-day filtering to save money, or to set it to high so that tasks such as vacuuming can be done.
- Variable Speed Pumps – These pumps give the consumer several operating options, so they can choose what’s right for them. That makes these pumps more energy-efficient, easier to use and more convenient than other types of pumps.
The Benefits Of A Variable Speed Pool Pump
With the cost of variable speed pool pumps being slightly more expensive than either single or double-speed pumps, some consumers may be wondering why they should bother buying one at all. And that’s a reasonable thing to consider, but consumers should be advised that these types of pumps do convey some pretty significant benefits to the pool owner. To illustrate our point, we put some of the more common benefits below for easy reference.
- These Pumps Use Less Power – A big benefit of these pumps is that they consume a lot less power than other types of pools. Some of these pumps are so energy-efficient they use anywhere from 80-90% less energy than single-speed pumps. Over the lifespan of the pump, that’s significant savings that most pool owners won’t want to miss out on.
- They May Qualify For Rebates – Another benefit that these pumps provide to their owners is that they may help them qualify for rebates from their local power company. In some areas, electric companies give consumers who purchase these pumps and other energy-saving devices special rebates. All the pool owner needs to do is check with their local power company and see if such rebates are available.
- Some Areas Mandate Pool Pump Types – Avoiding fines is another feature that variable speed pool pumps may or may not provide to the pool owner. Some localities have building codes that require the pool owner to either install a dual-speed or variable speed pump. Therefore, the consumer needs to think about local regulations before they run out and buy a new pool pump.
- They Are Quieter – Another benefit of these variable speed pumps are that they’re usually quieter than single-speed pumps. Many single-speed pumps run at 3,450 RPMs, so they’re capable of making quite a bit of noise. And since variable speed pumps can be set to low-speed during nighttime hours, these pumps are less likely to disturb the neighbors while they’re trying to sleep.
- Some Of Them Can Be Programmed – Since these pumps are more likely to contain advanced features than other types of pumps, they’re usually equipped with programming options. This helps to make the pump easier to use by automating many of its features. That way, the pool owner doesn’t have to try to keep track of whether they set the pump to high or low, or when they did it because the pump will take care of it for them.
Choose A Pump According To Pool Type
The first thing that any pool owner is going to want to look at when they’re searching for a new pool pump for their pool is whether a particular model is suitable for their pool. Some pool pumps are only designed for inground pools, and other types of pumps are suitable for above-ground pools. Therefore, the consumer must take the time to find the one that’s appropriate for whatever pool they might own.
Consider The Pump’s Power
The next thing any pool owner is going to want to figure out is how powerful a pump they want to buy. The right size variable speed pool pump will do a great job of filtering pool water or running accessories such as pool vacuums and do it without using too much energy. The wrong size pool pump can overwhelm too small of a filter and just ends up wasting energy in the process. Therefore it’s best to choose the pump with the right amount of power. Some fairly simple calculations can be used to determine what size pump is right for a person’s pool according to pool size, but there are also several calculators available on the Internet that will help consumers choose a pump with the necessary amount of power.
Choose The Pump’s Voltage
Another thing that has to be determined is whether a 110-volt or 220-volt variable speed pool pump. The vast majority of above ground pools require a 110-volt pump, but there are exceptions to that rule. And many inground pools can use either 110-volt or 220-volt power connections, so the pool owner needs to determine which one they have, so they can buy the right variable speed pool pump for their needs.