Most North Texas pool owners have heard that a variable speed pool pump will save them money. But how? And how much?
How Does a Variable Speed Pool Pump Work?
How a variable speed pump pumps the water is what sets it apart from a single-speed pump. Multi-speed pool pumps use a permanent magnet motor (PMM) to operate. A permanent magnet motor is a kind of motor that uses permanent magnets in addition to windings on its field, as opposed to windings alone.
Because of PMM, the variable speed pump uses less energy than a single-speed pump to operate. In addition, a variable speed pump enables you to adjust the flow rate of water through your pool’s circulation system, unlike single-speed pumps with only one speed. (In general, the speed used by a single-speed pump matches the maximum operating speed of a variable speed pump.) In short, a variable speed pump is able to circulate a swimming pool’s water at lower flow rates for a longer period of time without added energy consumption. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory studied both types of pumps and stated that variable speed pumps provide substantial energy savings over single-speed pumps.
Why 24 Hour Circulation is Superior to 8 Hour Circulation
- 24-hour circulation works more effectively to prevent stagnant water that encourages algae and bacteria growth.
- 24-hour filtration is more effective in removing the big particulates that bacteria and algae feed on.
- It allows the sanitation system to treat the water more often.
- It benefits saltwater pool systems: the salt production can be reduced, in turn reducing the wear and tear on the salt cell.
- It is also beneficial for chlorine/bromine injectors and tab feeders. Less sanitizer is needed, which permits a more stable sanitizer concentration in your swimming pool.
Can a Variable Speed Pool Pump Save You Money?
Single-speed pumps operate at only one rate. As mentioned above, the rate of a single-speed pump typically correlates with the top speed for a variable-speed pump. However, that top speed may not be necessary all the time and in all situations. As a result, your pump supplies greater circulation than required at least 90% of the time, which means you’re paying for more energy than you need to get the job done. One of the key advantages of a multi-speed pool pump is the ability to adjust the RPM to fit the task at hand. And each time you reduce the speed of a variable speed pump by half, it will utilize eight times less energy.
How Much Can You Save?
It depends on the size of the pump and the size of your pool, really. Annual savings can be significant. In addition, the savings in the time of operation is huge. The amount of energy powering a variable speed pool pump 24 hours a day for a month will only power a single speed pump for 3 hours each day.
A variable speed pump also runs on low head pressure. Low head pressure means the pump doesn’t have to work as hard to counter the pressure and pump the water. Low power and head pressure also mean less friction in the pool plumbing. Less pressure is needed on the motor to supply water. This means that the pump can operate longer with four times more efficiency. In general, you can save 40-60% on your monthly electric bill with a variable speed pump.
A multi-speed pool pump is more expensive than a single-speed pump because PPM motors are more expensive than conventional motors. Because variable speed pumps are a newer technology, the parts and cost of maintenance and repair are also a bit more expensive than single-speed pumps. However, their high efficiency and performance make them an investment with a big return.
There’s no question that a single-speed pump is a little cheaper than a variable-speed pump. However, in addition to the energy savings, there’s the benefit of easier pool maintenance to consider. Extended filtration and prolonged sanitation times will allow you to enjoy your pool more and make maintenance less burdensome. At the end of the day, there’s no reason to settle for the bare minimum performance of a single-speed pump when a multi-speed pump can provide you with so much more.