Variable vs Single Speed Pumps
If you own a pool, you need a reliable pump to provide ample circulation for keeping your pool water clean and healthy. The pump is necessary for supplying the right amount of pressure for circulating the water through your pool’s filtration system and back into the pool. Without that pump, your equipment can’t possibly maintain the pool effectively and the water won’t be sanitary for use.
But many of our customers ask us if there is a marked difference between using a single speed or variable speed pump and they always want to know which of these options is the better choice for their pool. We can tell you how they are different from one another, but the decision for choosing one over the other is entirely up to the customer. Pools come in all sizes and whether your pool is made of concrete or fiberglass, the choice of a variable or single speed pump will depend largely on the specifications of the pool, the filtration system that has been installed, and other variables specific to the customer and the location of his or her pool.
The Main Difference Between Variable and Single Speed Pumps
As you may have guessed by now, the main difference between them is obvious. A single speed pump operates at one speed, the variable is a programmable version that can operate at different speeds when needed. Most pools are equipped with the single speed version though more pool owners are choosing to have variable speed options installed.
Remember this is all about circulation of your pool water. So a single speed pump may be sufficient enough to circulate the water in your size and type of pool through the circulation system throughout the course of the day.
Why is Circulation Important?
Regardless of your pool’s sanitation and filtration equipment, proper circulation of the water helps to combat the harmful contaminants that can make your pool unhealthy and limit the enjoyment of your investment. Many pool owners will prefer to have constant circulation of the water as it fights against the growth of algae and bacteria and allows for more thorough filtration and sanitization of the pool water.
However, pool owners may also want to choose when and how often that circulation occurs. A variable pump allows you to increase or decrease how many times the water is circulated through the system. Water flow rates for extended periods of time can increase the circulation and resulting benefits of less bacteria. A single speed pump works at the same speed at all times. By comparison, the single speed pump typically operates at the highest speed rate offered by a variable speed pump.
Advantages of Single Speed Pumps
Pool owners will typically select single speed pumps for the following reasons:
Single speed pumps are usually far less expensive to purchase than a variable option. They typically run about $800 to $1000 cheaper variable speed pumps that operate at multiple flow capacities. Keep in mind that you may find yourself spending a bit more in the long run in energy costs to operate a single speed pump.
Single speed pumps are not as complicated to manufacture nor operate. That makes them more durable and reliable without the concern for breaking down or malfunctioning at the worst possible time – when you and your family want to use the pool on a hot Saturday in the summer. Single speed pumps have demonstrated long life-spans.
Advantages of Variable Speed Pumps
Pool owners will typically select variable speed pumps for the following reasons:
As we’ve stated, the upfront expenses for a variable speed pump are often higher than with their single speed counterparts. However, the overall operating costs are lower. You will save money on energy costs when you have a variable speed pump installed for circulating the water in your pool. The savings will be enough to pay for the more expensive pump option in just a couple of years.
Variable speed pumps have been designed to work quieter while using less power. These pumps are not as loud and noisy as single speed pumps and that can make them more appealing for pools built in backyards of tight-knit neighborhoods where the sound of a loud pump might be bothersome to the residences beyond your property line.
Pool owners will opt for a variable speed pump because of the ease and convenience it offers. Just set it and forget it. Automated systems have only grown in popularity with pool owners as every task associated with maintaining the pool has been upgraded. The same is true for variable speed pumps, you can program the speed and how many hours you would like it to operate at that setting and the pump does the rest.
So Which is Best?
Now that you have all of the facts on single and variable speed pumps, you can decide which one is the right fit for your pool, your equipment, and your wallet. Consider all of the above factors when making your choice and you will be sure to have a clean and healthy pool ready for use anytime you and your family want to cool off on a hot day.