If you've had a pool for a while, you've probably heard about variable speed pool pumps. Variable speed simply means that a pool pump is capable of moving the water at more than one speed. Before 2008, nearly all inground pool pumps sold were highly inefficient single speed models. Single speed pumps are generally high horsepower. High horsepower pumps move water quickly and create a lot of friction and head pressure which increases power consumption dramatically. Making the decision to get a pool pump with variable speeds is easy. Choosing which pump to buy is the hard part.You'll find a lot of conflicting and inaccurate information out there. Some companies will try to convince you that you need 3,050 speeds to save energy. We'll help you navigate the facts so you'll invest in a pump that will both save you a ton of money and last for a long time. Whether you know it or not, you're the best person you know to choose the right variable speed pool pump.
Traditional pool pumps require a hefty 1,600 - 2,000 watts of power. That's why the biggest opportunity for power savings is not with your home air conditioning system, but with your swimming pool pump. Studies show that the latest variable speed pool pumps can save up to 90% over the old single speed pumps. But what kind of variable speed pump should you get? First, any pump capable of moving swimming pool water at two or more speeds is capable of saving energy. However, to get the most savings, you'll need to go with either an EcoBoost dual condensor motor or a variable frequency drive (VFD). There are two types of VFD motors. The first type is a commercial grade VFD. A commercial grade VFD is mounted away from the motor in the controlled environment of a NEMA enclosure. Please visit our Leaf Pump website for more information on commercial grade VFD pumps. The second type of VFD pump is called a residential grade VFD. Residential grade VFD's are mounted on top of the motor to save costs. The problem is that microprocessors are sensitive devices, and may be damaged by heat, moisture and vibration. You'll notice that residential grade VFD's have one year warranties. EcoPump does not offer residential grade VFD's due to these inherent problems. EcoPump does offer commercial grade VFD's and dual condensor motors. Both have three-year warranties. A dual condensor motor is about 40% less than the cost of a commercial grade VFD such as the Leaf Pump. Residential pool owners who choose a dual condensor motor will get similar energy savings as the more expensive VFD motors. Compare models and pricing for our EP line of dual condensor motors.
Some pump manufacturers would like everyone to believe you need 3,050 different speeds on a residential pool pump. While we do offer this capability on our variable speed pool pumps, it's simply not necessary for most pool owners. How many residential pool owners need 3,050 different speeds? The vast majority of pool owners need two settings. A low-speed for circulating pool water or heating pool water. This is where most pool pumps will remain over 95% of the time. A second speed is commonly needed for vacuuming the pool, either with a hand vac or an automatic pool vacuum. Some argue that infinitely variable speeds are needed to operate other features like waterfalls. The vast majority of pools have separate pumps for waterfalls. And if your pool doesn't, simply choose a pump that has the correct speed for your waterfall. We recommend the EcoPump series for most residential pools. If you truly need more speeds, consider our Leaf Pump with commercial grade VFD.
It is considered a best practice to mount and position VFD's away from the motor to protect it from heat, moisture and vibration. However, a remote mounted VFD will nearly double the price of a residential pump. That's why we usually recommend dual condensor pumps for residential use. Commercial pool pump installations are a different story. A remote VFD adds nearly 100% to the price of a residential pump but only 25% to a commercial pool pump. Some manufacturers resort to placing the VFD on the actual motor to save costs. Onboard computers may sound cool at first, but the heat, moisture, and vibration makes them prone to failure. That's why all pumps with onboard computers have one year warranties. Onboard computers and moisture don't mix. [Google: variable speed + poor warranty + unrepairable] or just click here to read reviews. If you truly need a VFD motor, visit Leaf Pumps.
VFD's used to be the only option in efficient swimming pool pumps. Studies show they are efficient, but the marginal savings over the newer Dual Condensor Motors does not justify the increased cost for residential applications. (Commercial applications are a different story.) A pool pump with a remotely mounted VFD can cost 50% more than a Dual Condensor Motor. Studies have found than the energy savings on both types of pumps are almost equal, usually within 5% - 10%. The additional cost would require about 9 years to recover.In contrast, Dual Condensor Motors such as the one found on the EcoPump EP series have a 3 year warranty and can be extended to five years.
First-generation programmable, VFD pumps put both the microprocessor and VFD onboard. But that makes them prone to premature failure. And repairing those onboard electronic circuits can cost as much as a new pump. [Google: variable speed + poor warranty + unrepairable] or just click here to see the reviews. EcoPump has no unreliable onboard electronics and does not need complicated programming. The EcoPump EP line of pumps can be controlled with a very simple and inexpensive 3-way switch ( $29.95 including weatherproof enclosure). EcoPump offer near equivalent savings without the added expense and complicated electronic controllers of other variable speed pool pumps.
EcoPump is designed to easily replace your existing pool pump. No complicated and expensive controller is required. EcoPump is versatile. It even works with a simple 3-way switch. A simple 3-position switch is all it takes to control the circulate, vacuum and off positions. But EcoPump also works with an existing two-speed timer or any third-party automation controller. No matter what type of existing setup you have, EcoPump energy efficient pool pumps are simple and easy to integrate.
There are no set standards when it comes to variable speed pool pumps and energy efficiency. There is no rating system for variable speed pumps. This makes it rather difficult to compare one pool pump to another. Unless you know the secret. The secret enables you to easily calculate the power that your pump will use, using simple math. To find out how much electricity a 230 volt pump will use, simply multiply the pump's amp rating by 230. It's that simple. Once you know the watts, comparing variable speed pool pumps is easy. See our pool pump reviews if you would rather skip the math.