The Ins and Outs of Variable Speed Pumps



Most swimming pool owners would agree that their pool is a great addition to their home. Pools add value to a home, they are great for entertaining, and they provide homeowners with a place to relax and enjoy those hot summer months. However, the cost of running a swimming pool can be high.

The average swimming pool pump can use as much energy as all other home appliances combined. They can cost $1,000 per year or more to run! A new type of pump, though, solves this problem. Variable speed pumps can cut energy costs by up to 90%, operating on just pennies per day. Installing a variable speed pump can save a swimming pool owner up to $1,500 in utility costs every year.

Our favorite variable speed pump is the Pentair IntelliFlo. These pumps use a unique, advanced motor technology that provides a base savings of 30%. IntelliFlo uses a permanent magnet motor, like the ones used in hybrid cars, instead of a traditional induction motor. These types of motors are more energy efficient and will save you money right off the bat.

IntelliFlo is a smart pump. It comes equipped with variable speed capability, digital controls, and proprietary software that allow custom programming of ideal pump speeds for the specific tasks of your swimming pool. The speed of the pump will automatically adjust for filtering, heating, cleaning—even spa jets, waterfalls, and more. Older, one-speed pumps come with an unchangeable preset speed. This speed is almost never the optimal speed for any of the tasks of a swimming pool. We all know from driving a car: slower speeds are more efficient. When pump speeds are reduced by half, energy consumption is just one-eighth of what was previously used. Even “high efficiency” single-speed, two-speed, and multi-speed pumps that cannot be adjusted are substantially less efficient than a variable speed pump.

Another benefit of the IntelliFlo pump? It is unbelievably quiet. The permanent magnet motor that gives you outstanding energy savings is also a totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) design. Because of this, and the slower operating speeds, IntelliFlo is the quietest pump you can install. When running at a typical speed, you can barely hear the pump.

IntelliFlo also has a longer trouble-free service life than conventional pumps. The advanced motor produces less heat and vibration, and the TEFC design protects against the threats of an outdoor environment. The pump features built-in diagnostics that detect and correct conditions that cause premature failure. This protects against overheating, freezing, and voltage irregularities.

Whether you’re building a new swimming pool, need a new pump, or looking for a way to cut costs, a Pentair IntelliFlo variable speed pump is a great idea. While a variable speed pump does cost a bit more up front, the pump will pay for itself in the first year of operation. It is a great way to save money on utilities and do your part to go green.