A short summary of our findings
When it comes to pool pumps, horsepower and performance aren’t the only things that should be on your checklist. Pool pumps consume a lot of power, so electric bills become a big problem in the long run. Fortunately, one of the products we examined – Pentair IntelliFlo Pool Pump – is a perfect choice for power saving. Its price is rather steep, but we think that it is definitely worth the money in the long run.
But for those who can’t spend a thousand dollars on a pool pump, we additionally reviewed two much cheaper, albeit not as energy-efficient options. They are good in terms of performance and functions but not the best when it comes to power saving.
Pentair IntelliFlo Variable-Speed High-Performance Pool Pump – Top Performance
If you are looking to save as much money on power as possible, Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed pool pump is a great choice. Its powerful 3hp motor features 8 programmable speed settings to allow you to accurately adjust the pool pump to your requirements. Paired with timer settings, this piece of machinery could allow you to achieve up to 90% in energy savings. While this pump costs quite a bit up-front, it will save you large sums of money in the long run.
What’s also wonderful about this pool pump is that it is compatible with a variety of digital pool/spa control software and systems like IntelliTouch, SunTouch Pool Control Systems, and many others. And in case you are worried about the noise level, the magnetic motor of this pool pump produces only 45 decibels of sound, which is about 4 times quieter than with typical 1.5hp single-speed pumps.
Hayward SP2607X102S Super Pump 1 HP Pool Pump – Best Bang For your Buck
Designed for in-ground pools, Hayward Super Pump Pool Pump comes in two versions – single- and dual-speed. Our pick is the dual-speed version thanks to its energy saving capabilities. While the two-speed Super Pump 1hp pool pump isn’t as versatile as the variable-speed IntelliFlo, it could allow you to greatly save money in the long run with much lower up-front costs.
This pool pump isn’t as functional as Pentair’s unit, but it does have some very useful features. It is designed to allow for easy maintenance: with its large debris basket, easy-to-remove strainer cover, and the heavy-duty motor, Hayward’s pool pump will be a breeze in use. And yeah, thanks to its dual 115/230V voltage, this pump will work with a wider range of pool wiring systems.
Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump – Economy Pick
Being a single-speed pool pump, Intex’s product is the cheapest up-front, which is why we chose it as our Economy Pick. While it may be not as energy-saving in the long run as the other two pumps, you could still save some power thanks to the inbuilt 24-hour timer function.
Remarkably, this pool pump has 6 functions in it: it can filter, backwash and rinse, drain and close, and recirculate the system. This pool pump is actually a sand filter as well, which is reflected in its product name. Designed for above-ground pools, this 3,000 GPH pool pump could be the best choice if you are looking for an affordable unit.
Factors to Consider When Selecting a Pool Pump
Before you go ahead to select a pool pump to buy, you need to have a number of things in mind. For those who are just beginning with pool pumps, let us explain their important product features one by one.
Types of Pool Pump
The most important factor to take into account is the type of the pool pump. There are three main types of pool pumps: single-speed, double-speed, and variable-speed. They differ not only in performance but also in power consumption, so it is exceptionally important that you know your needs and budget capabilities before choosing one of the types.
Single-Speed vs. Double-Speed vs. Variable-Speed Pool Pumps
Single-speed pumps are the cheapest up-front, but they are the least energy-efficient units since they always work at one speed, i.e. at their peak. On one hand, a single-speed pool pump will provide great water circulation at all times, but on the other, it will be noisy and won’t allow you to save energy.
Two-speed pumps provide slightly more versatility in terms of power saving. These pool pumps typically operate at high 3,450 RPM and low 1,725 RPM. You may think that you cut your power usage in half when using half the power, but that isn’t the case in reality. Have a look at this table provided by the US Department of Energy:
|Speed (RPM)||Flow (GPM)||Power (W)|
This is called the affinity law. As you can see, reducing the RPM by just 450 cuts the power consumption nearly in half. And if you were to use the low 1,725 RPM setting in a double-speed pump, you would consume only about 250W of power.
Needless to say, the affinity law allows you to save enormous amounts of energy with double-speed pool pumps, which is the main advantage of such systems. However, because double-speed pumps don’t allow you to flexibly adjust the speed, they won’t save you as much money as variable-speed pumps.
A variable-speed pool pump is the best bet when it comes to energy saving. Firstly, with multiple speed settings, they can allow you to go as low with the RPM as you wish, which would drastically reduce your power bills. Secondly, you would be able to choose an optimum speed to ensure both appropriate water circulation and energy consumption.
The main disadvantage of variable-speed pumps is their steep prices. However, in the long run, they can help you save hundreds of dollars per year. And the bigger your pool, the more noticeable the energy saving will become.
What Pool Pump is Best For My Existing Filter?
Pump housing mount
To make a pool pump work with your filter system, you need to make sure that the housing mount of the pump will be compatible with it. It is quite easy, fortunately.
There are two types of housing mounts: top and side. In case the intake of your filter is located above the ground pump, then you need a top-mount pool pump. If the intake is on the same level, a side-mount pump would be the right choice.
Pump Motor Voltage
The required motor voltage will depend on the voltage your pool is wired for, which is mostly either 220V or 110V. Both voltages don’t differ in power consumption. However, 220V pumps run at lower temperatures and don’t get loaded as much during startup. And besides, most pumps and replacement motors are set for 220V. Thereby, if you will be installing new wiring, make sure to go for 220V.
Ideally, you would want to pick horsepower that suits your filter system and the swimming pool. However, it is better to have some excess of it than to be underpowered. An underpowered motor will strain more when doing its job, which could drastically shorten its lifetime.