Variable Speed Vs Single Speed Pool Pumps
If you have a pool in Australia, you know that keeping it enjoyable also means keeping it as clean as possible. Those who choose to ignore maintenance are walking down a path of using a swimming pool that simply isn’t sanitary for humans.
Certain pool equipment is a must-have and this includes your pool pump, which is a big part of your filtration efforts. The challenge is choosing a pump since different types may all sound appealing.
There could also be a situation where they don’t necessarily sound appealing because you don’t know too much about them and need help deciding.
Today is all about helping you understand single-speed pumps and variable-speed pumps, which means by the time you’re done reading, you should know exactly which one you want in your pool.
What’s the Biggest Difference Between a Single Speed Pump and a Variable Speed Pump?
Technically speaking, there’s a lot that differentiates single-speed pumps from their variable-speed counterparts, as you’ll see. However, the operational speed would be considered the fundamental difference between the two.
As the names imply, the single-speed option has a motor that will always run at one fixed speed, while a variable-speed pump has a motor that is designed to run at different speeds based on preference or automatic operation, depending on the model and its features.
Single Speed Pumps
Single-speed pumps are the traditional option on the market, as they have been around for quite some time. Even with the availability of other options, there are still many Australians who would much rather have a single-speed pump.
As stated before, the motor will consistently run at one speed. The problem is that this speed needs to be high enough to do the job well. Therefore, there are no energy savings since it can’t drop below that speed when conditions don’t require so much intensity. However, it does have the lower upfront cost of the two options.
Bear in mind too that single-speed pool pumps can be pretty noisy, so operating them at off-peak hours to take advantage of energy savings is also often not an option.
Variable Speed Pumps
As far as cutting-edge technology goes in the world of pool pumps, nobody can beat variable-speed designs. Their initially high pricing makes some wary to purchase them but there are still many pool owners who are willing to pay the price for the improvement in performance over the single-speed pumps.
The flow rate setting is adjustable between different speeds and these can often be adjusted on a timer, automatically, or even remotely. Your turnover rate can also often be adjusted, which you can set based on the time it takes to filter the whole pool.
Including permanent magnet motors in the design was also a great choice considering the greater efficiency displayed when compared to conventional induction motors.
As you’d imagine though, the parts that a variable-speed pump may need can be pretty expensive. Additionally, compared to a single-speed pump, the amount of time repairs can take is very extensive.
What Are the Advantages of a Single Speed Pump?
So, what are the reasons you’d want to get your hands on a single-speed pump?
These pool pumps are known for being reliable as they have been for many years. They have been doing a great job since 1975, and this also means that manufacturers have consistently been improving them with the knowledge and technology available during each timeline.
Make no mistake, you’re not going to be struggling to find a variable speed pump if you’re interested in getting one. However, you’ll find that single-speed pumps are very widely available. A part of this could be based on its history and being a point of preference for many pool owners.
As indicated before, what you need to pay upfront for these pool pumps is lower than the charge for variable-speed pumps. The difference is actually staggering. If you were to take a single and a variable speed pump of the same size, you may find that the former is as much as $1,000 cheaper.
Of course, you can’t make all your purchasing decisions based on cost alone, but you must admit that’s a pretty significant difference.
What Are the Advantages of a Variable Speed Pump?
Now, on to some of the factors that would make you prefer a variable-speed pump instead.
Overtime Cost Saving
With the capabilities built into a variable-speed pump, your energy savings can be as high as 80% more than you would get with a single-speed pump. Therefore, you will likely end up with this version being cheaper over time. Lower speeds can be used when necessary, and scheduling allows you to use it at the most optimal times.
Noise levels are incredibly important in the pool pump decision. You don’t want to drive yourself or your neighbours crazy, especially since the latter can result in the kind of conflict you’d likely rather avoid.
The decibels here, thanks to the slower speed possibilities, are much lower than those of single-speed pool pumps. This means off-peak hour operation is no problem for you or anyone else.
Installation and Programming
The installation side of things with a variable speed pump is very easy. Additionally, the fact that it can be programmed makes your life a lot easier. Being able to effectively set and forget your pump means keeping your pool clean becomes a much less involved and more convenient process.
Since it’s possible to reduce the speed of the pool pump, you can mitigate it having to work as hard as it could every time it’s on. Therefore, the amount of wear and tear the motor experiences is not as significant as other options.
Better Filtration System
Many people may not be aware of the fact that the best performance in water filtration comes from the slower rates. The steady pace means that the process will not be affected by as much turbulence. Of course, being able to adjust in real-time means keeping filtration optimal.
Here’s an interesting fact about more traditional pool pump designs. If you were to run one all day, there would be as much greenhouse gas produced as you’d get from a large car. Bear in mind that though there’s a base figure for the revolutions per minute (RPM) that the motor is capable of, it will often be running at a higher speed to do its job effectively.
Yet again, the capability of variable speed pool pumps comes to the rescue here, being more eco-friendly because of the less intensive operational method. Sure, the filtration cycle may take a little longer, but isn’t the benefit of helping the environment worth it?
Is a Dual Speed Pool Pump the Same as a Variable Speed Pool Pump?
This is a misconception. Dual-speed pumps or two-speed pumps are not the same thing as variable-speed pumps. Sure, they’re a step up from a single-speed pool pump, but they only feature two speeds. Variable speed pumps will feature more than two speeds, alongside better technology.
Dual-speed pool pumps are the middle-of-the-road options. They have decent energy efficiency since they’re not running at maximum capacity all the time, and they would be cheaper upfront than variable-speed designs, while being cheaper over time than single-speed pumps.
It’s a middle-of-the-road option that can be great for certain applications, provided that the operational speeds offered are desirable.
Are Single Speed Pool Pumps or Variable Speed Pool Pumps Right for You?
With all the information given, this is the key question. Between high-speed and low-speed, from energy efficient to energy, hungry, which one is best for you?
Well, that all depends on what’s important to you. If your decision is going to be based on capability, then you’ll want the variable speed pump since it is such a technological step up from its counterparts.
What about cost-effectiveness? Well, a variable speed pump is cost-effective over time. However, if you have a lower budget and need something you can afford now, then a single-speed pump is your go-to.
In most cases though, unless you’re a huge fan of single-speed pool pumps, getting a variable pump is the way to go.
They’re better for the environment, allow for more energy savings, have more technological features, last longer, and even contribute to better filtration with a slower pace.
The choice between a single-speed pump or a variable-speed pump, while difficult for some, is a no-brainer for others. In terms of sheer design and features, it’s hard to argue the fact that variable-speed pumps outclass their single-speed counterparts.
Sure, single-speed pumps are repaired faster and cheaper to buy at the onset, but they’re pretty inefficient in comparison.
Still, the final say is yours. Whether it’s budget, model preference, or feature set, you have to buy what makes you comfortable.