Energy consumption is often one of the most crucial details when you are looking to purchase any new piece of electronic equipment - especially when it comes to pool pumps.
The cost of running a single-speed pump can often mean that you will have to opt to run it for shorter periods of time, meaning that your pool water will not get turned over as often as it should. This can lead to a series of potential health risks if left untreated.
Not only that, but the neglectful use of single-speed pumps can lead to further issues with the pool itself. Such neglect can lead to high sanitizer concentration in the water which can lead to a breakdown in the pool’s chlorine injectors, as well as a higher risk of algae and bacteria build up if the water remains stagnant for prolonged periods.
So for clear results, and even clearer pool water, you need to take the plunge and invest in a variable speed pool pump! These pumps allow you to regulate your water turnover with minimal effort for maximum results - all while keeping your costs at sea level.
But who wants to spend all their time looking through page after page of results on Amazon, when you could be relaxing by your freshly cleaned pool! You want to find the best options as quickly as possible, so you don’t end up drowning in your electricity bills!
That’s why we’ve done it for you! Below you will find a list of our top 10 variable speed pool pumps on the market today. We have also included a useful buyer’s guide, so you know what to look out for if you have some more specific requirements, and we’ve also included some frequently asked questions, to help with first-time purchases.
OUR TOP PICK
The SuperFlo VS Variable Speed Pump from Pentair is powerful, easy to set up, and quiet - making it one of our top picks in the variable speed pump market.
By moving water at lower speeds, Pentair boasts that this pump can reduce your costs by as much as 80%, compared to single-speed pumps.
The SuperFlo VS also comes with a highly advanced digital display and an onboard 24-hour clock that works in real-time.
This makes it easy to regulate and monitor to suit your needs - with three different programmable speed settings, as well as an override speed for a quick turnover before your friends come round for a swim.
- Easy to install - The easily accessible wiring compartment makes connection no problem.
- Huge energy savings - By moving water more efficiently at low speeds.
- No rewiring necessary - Automatically recognizes and adjusts to different voltage inputs.
- Expensive - A high initial cost, but can be made up for in savings on bills.
The XtremepowerUS is a self-priming pump, purpose-built to last longer and be more durable than other pumps. Made with a corrosion-proof polymeric material, and with a high-performance motor, the XtremepowerUS provides a smooth life cycle.
With 2 horsepower, this is certainly a powerful pump, but it knows how important noise levels are, and at lower speeds it is practically silent. This means you can sit back and relax, without having a noisy pump ruin your day.
- Built to last - Corrosion-proof polymeric material allows for a sturdy pump.
- Extra-large debris basket - Allowing for an even cleaner pool.
- 2pc-Union Fitting - This means you can use it in swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas.
- Wiring difficulties - Wiring instructions can be difficult to read.
VIVOHOME is a relative newcomer in the pool pump market, having only been established as a brand in 2015, but has already expanded throughout the United States. They seek to provide premium products that are built to last.
VIVOHOME offers a pump with a focus on engineering, featuring an impeller that maximizes water flow, and reduces noise. With a copper wire motor, the VIVOHOME pump is more energy-efficient, has a longer service life than more common motors, and self-primes.
- Self-primes - Saving you time and effort.
- Water resistance - can withstand liquid temperature up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Overload protection - Prevents overcurrent running to stop equipment overheating.
- Not for use or sale in California - Due to motor limitation required by CEC.
Hayward offers perhaps one of the sleekest designed pool pumps in the TriStar VS, with a matte black finish and an integrated control panel that allows for easy programming.
The TriStar VS also offers up to eight different custom timer settings, allowing you to have a vast range of control over its operations.
Not only that, but Hayward suggests that you can save up to 90% on pool-related energy costs, in comparison to single-speed pumps, through the use of the TriStar VS.
As well as that, its energy star rating means owners of this pump could be entitled to rebates from their local power companies - however, this, of course, depends on a variety of external factors.
- Totally enclosed fan-cooled (TEFC) motor - Making this pump reliable and built to last.
- Eight customizable settings - Allowing you to find the right option for every occasion.
- Energy-efficient - Variable speeds throughout the day mean more efficient energy usage.
- Short life span - This pump seems to run well, but not for as long as others on the market.
PWS provides us with the first solar-powered pump on this list, which means even more into the prospects of savings on your energy bills. This also makes it a great choice for anyone that is more environmentally conscious.
Not only this, but the PWS pump has an incorporated water shortage detection system. This means that if your pool water level falls below a certain level, or if the header tank is full, it will automatically switch off the pool intake.
- Solar-powered - Leading to a reduction in energy costs, and makes for a more environmentally-friendly pump.
- Water shorted detection system - This automated system takes care of your pool for you.
- Controllable rotary dial - Allows for exact control of the pump’s water output.
- Solar panels not included - Meaning you will have to buy and install your own.
Another Pentair pump, the IntelliFlo i1 pump showcases a totally enclosed fan-cooled motor that ensures that the pump works in silence, and protects it from the elements.
This unique in-ground pump is made to ensure high-quality flow rates, especially in areas that might have restrictions on pump flow rates.
This in-ground pool pump is designed to maintain excellent flow rates especially in areas that restrict pump flow rates. Its versatile hydraulic design reduces flow rates while providing energy savings.
The permanent magnet motor runs cooler and produces less vibration than induction motors.
The IntelliFlo i1 also includes a built-in diagnostics detector, within its onboard monitoring system, that allows the user to identify premature wear and tear, and protects the pump for a longer service lifespan.
- Longer service life - This pump has a built-in diagnostics detector to protect the pump.
- Smaller size - This makes this pump ideal for pools with smaller plumbing systems.
- Very quiet - So you won’t be disturbed while you relax.
- Must be run at high speeds for full usage - To get the full use of this pump, it should be run at full speed which can affect energy usage and noise levels.
Hayward is a notable brand when it comes to outdoor appliances, so it’s no wonder that they also have more than one pump on this list.
What sets the Power-Flo Matrix apart from other pumps on this list is that while most pumps are geared towards in-ground pools, this one is specifically for above-ground and on-ground pools.
The Power-Flo sports an industrial-sized strainer basket, allowing for the collection of large amounts of waste - making it perfect for those who want a pump that requires minimal maintenance.
It also has a high-end, heavy-duty motor with an integrated operating system and thermal overload protectors. All this comes together into one pump that is built to withstand years of usage.
- Quick disconnect pipe connection - Making it easy to set up.
- Industrial sized strainer basket - Allowing for easy collection of waste.
- Wide opening pipes - This prevents debris from clogging during cleaning.
- Hard to remove lid - The lid around the basket can be very tight, making it hard to remove on occasion.
One of the first variable speed pool pumps in the industry, the IntelliPro from Sta-Rite provides one of the highest horsepower of any pump, making it a very powerful tool.
Using a magnetic motor, similar to what you might find in an electric car, this pump provides a high satisfaction rate to go with its high speeds.
The IntelliPro features a built-in self-diagnostics test, making it more protected from excessive usage than other pumps on the market. This works in unison with the pump’s real-time control panel that allows you to adjust water pressure at will.
- Powerful magnetic motor - This pump features a 3 horsepower motor, which is more powerful than most pumps on this list.
- Real-time adjustments - Making this pump ideal for quick changes in pressure and speed.
- Energy-star certified - Meaning this pump is certifiably energy efficient.
- Hard to track down - As this is an older pump, it can be hard to find one in newer condition for sale.
The MaxFlo pump from Hayward is unique in the market, as it is the most efficient of its kind - according to testing from EPA Energy Star - making it one of few pumps that could be eligible for utility bill rebates.
It has a hydraulics-designed motor, capable of 1.65 horsepower output - making it incredibly quiet, with its slower speeds being operated as the pump’s stealth mode.
The MaxFlo also offers a fully programmable control board and digital interface, that rotates 360 degrees or can be wall-mounted, for ease of access.
- Adjustable control panel - The option to change to rotate and mount the control panel makes this pump far more accessible than other models.
- Certifiably energy efficient - This pump has been tested and is proven to be more energy-efficient than single-speed pumps.
- Stealth mode - The MaxFlo is so quiet, you’ll have no trouble with noise pollution.
- Corded electricity source - The corded electricity power source can be problematic if exposed to high quantities of water.
Thermally protected to be a multipurpose pump, the Topway can be used for swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas - both indoor and outdoor.
The Topway has been awarded a UL certification to ensure that standards of safety have been met. This can give customers ease of mind that the product is satisfactory in both outputs and manufacturing.
With a filtration basket that makes up the majority of the pump, the Topway is designed for quick and easy cleaning - for a wide range of differently sized bodies of water. Despite this, the Topway is a small, discreet pump that will not take up lots of space while in operation.
- Thermally protected - Making it ideal for use in different climates, as the pump will automatically switch off if close to overheating.
- Versatile uses - This is a pump that has been specially designed for a variety of uses, such as pools, hot tubs, and spas.
- Discreet sizing - This is a smaller pump than others on the market.
- Possible rusting - The exposed bolts on this pump can rust easily if not maintained.
Best Variable Speed Pool Pump Buying Guide
With all the options available, it can be difficult to find the pump that best suits your specific needs - but, hopefully, this will make the decision-making process easier for you.
Pool pumps can have a service life of up to 10 years, and so you want to be sure that you are committing to the right product for you. We’ll then be moving on to more frequently asked questions associated with variable speed pool pumps.
The first question you have to ask is the type of pump you want to invest in - this being in terms of usage. While several pumps can be used for multiple purposes, such as pools, hot tubs, or spas, it is also important to identify if you need in-ground or out-ground pumps.
This will depend on what you need the pump for, and should hopefully be obvious. You may also need to find a pump that caters to solar power if that is the route you wish to take.
Speed And Horsepower
Another key feature that one has to consider when looking at pool pumps is the speed and horsepower of the product. These typically come hand-in-hand, as the higher the horsepower, the higher the maximum speed.
This is a key aspect of the pump, as it dictates how effective it will be at regulating your water, what speed you’ll want to set it to, and can affect how loud the pump is while it’s on.
It is very often that the higher the speed of operation, the louder the pump becomes, and so this should be something you factor into your decision-making process.
Level Of Control
The final key factor that should be taken into consideration is the level of control you have over the pump. Many pumps on the market today come fitted with fully integrated and programmable onboard units that allow the user to control the speed of the pump, and how long it stays on.
More high-end pumps also allow several different functions and routines to be programmed into the pump's control system, meaning there is less need to change the speeds manually.
Best Variable Speed Pool Pump - FAQ's
Is a variable speed pool pump worth it?
The most obvious answer here is a resounding “YES!”
Variable speed pumps require less effort to operate and maintain, provide better care for your pool, and typically run at the same cost, or cheaper than single-speed pumps.
How does a variable speed pump save me money?
Variable speed pumps can be used at a range of speeds, according to a preset routine, making them vastly more energy-efficient than single-speed pumps.
This means that they’ll be working more effectively, in the same amount of time as a single-speed pump. As such, the usage of less energy means an associated reduction in utility costs.
Some pumps even offer solar panel consumption, making them even more cost-effective to operate. This can even lead to users receiving rebates from their local utility companies.
Are variable speed pumps quieter?
Variable speed pumps often spend the majority of their time operating at slower speeds than single-speed pumps. The result of this is that their motors produce less noise, as they are not operating at their maximum capacity.
It is important to note, however, that variable speed pumps can increase in volume if turned to a higher speed. This may not necessarily be louder than a single-speed pump, but is something to consider when making a purchase.