Are you worried your pool pump is using far too much energy? Looking to replace an old pool pump? Is your pump not working up to snuff anymore?
Years ago, when you built a pool you were often given the option of a single or two-speed pool pump. Your technician probably showed you the two settings you’ll use: slow for filtration and fast for vacuuming/pool cleaning. Over the years the pump has served you well, but recently you noticed it’s not working up to the standard it used to or your energy bill seems a bit high. Unfortunately, your pump is likely worn out or you bill really is too high.
Two Speed Pumps
The older pumps were designed to handle the basic functions required to upkeep a pool, not to meet your variable needs as a homeowner. Many of these pumps were also designed before true energy conservation became a buzzword in California.
Here’s how they work:
- The first setting is for basic filtration regardless of the size of your pool. Many pumps are designed to meet varying pool sizes so there isn’t any customization about overall functioning. What you see is what you get, even if it’s too strong for a pool of your size and is therefore wasting money.
- The second setting is for cleaning. Considering you don’t need to do this for very long or that often, it isn’t a huge money waste. However, if you use this setting for other functions like jets you probably aren’t getting the optimal quality or are burning your pump out too quickly since it’s not designed for such heavy use.
Variable Speed Pumps
Recognizing that pumps were burning out too quickly or wasting energy, manufacturers created variable speed pool pumps. Their features include:
- A variety of speeds and pressure recognition sensors to adjust for your pool needs. For example, its basic function, filtering pool water, requires a very low setting. Yet, once you attach a vacuum hose, the system recognizes that it must increase speed to vacuum the pool.
- You can also pre-program settings for jets to enjoy the gentle or vigorous massage of your sitting areas in your pool.
- Some estimates show they can be up to 90% more efficient than single or two speed models.
- Because they operate at the most efficient speeds at all times, particularly a lower speed for filtration, they won’t burn out as quickly as two-speed pumps thus extending the life of your equipment.
- Since they are so much more efficient, there are a variety of rebates available for upgrading your system.
Which pump you need really depends on the size and use of your equipment. If you size your pump appropriately from the beginning and only want to filter and clean your pool, a two-speed pump may be perfect for you. On the other hand, if you have a larger system and more complicated equipment, like fountain jets and massagers, you should look into variable speed pool pumps. Both offer advantages and disadvantages that any homeowner should take into consideration.