Traditional pool pumps are equipped with induction motors and offer two speed settings. One of these two speeds must be selected in order to circulate the water in the pool. Though traditional pumps will get the job done, they unfortunately use up a lot of energy. Variable speed pool pumps will also get the job done, but may use as much as 90% less energy than standard varieties.
The key features of variable speed pool pumps include:
- Permanent magnetic motor
- Variable drive technology
- Built in digital intelligence
These pumps allow for specific programming for specific tasks. Each task, such as running a pool cleaner, will require a specific amount of power. There are thousands of flow rates to select from. By selecting the minimum amount needed to perform each task, energy will be saved. Energy savings of over $1,000 per year are possible once you have switched out your old pump to a new variable speed model. Check out the Pentair website for a calculator showing you just how much you can save by upgrading to one of these variable speed pool pumps.
Yes, the pump will run longer when operating at a lower speed. In order to understand how this is actually better, compare the use of one of these pumps to driving a car. Traveling at 80mph will certainly get you from point A to point B faster than traveling at 40mph. However, you will burn much more fuel in doing so. Simply put, it will take less energy to move the water at a slower pace than to attempt to move it quickly.
While saving energy is certainly advantageous, there are other benefits to consider. Variable speed pumps tend to be much quieter during operation than traditional models. Since the pump will not be forced to operate at higher speeds, it may last much longer than a traditional pump. This lower output may also help other crucial pool parts last longer. A longer lasting pump and pool equipment will certainly work to make a switch a wise investment.
When adding a new water feature such as a waterfall to your pool, the pump can easily be set to run at the optimum speed for the exactly water flow required for your design. These pumps will work with solar energy systems and will not drain energy supplies nearly as fast as a one or two speed pump. While you have the flexibility to adjust the settings, the pump itself will be capable of making changes of its own. Built-in diagnostic features allow the unit to in some way protect itself from common problems such as overheating, freezing, or burning up due to power surges.
In some areas, rebates are being offered to those who choose to have a new variable speed pool pump installed. SDG&E is offering a rebate of $200 on specific pumps. A full list of qualifying pumps can be found here: http://sdge.com/rebates-finder/pool-pump-and-motor-rebates. The city of Poway is offering an additional $300 rebate to residents who make the switch to a variable speed pool pump. Check with your individual city in order to determine if additional rebates are being offered.