How to pick a Variable Speed Pool Pump
One of the most important components of any pool – above ground or inground – is the pump itself that works to circulate water, keeping everything fresh and not allowing the water to stagnate the way it would have if left uncirculated.
Unfortunately, for one reason or another, many of the pumps that come with pool setups are nowhere near as effective as they could be or as they should be. Some of them have obviously been designed to offer the lowest level of performance possible just to get the pool out the door and installed, and others are using old technology that is nowhere near as effective or as efficient as today’s top solutions are.
Thankfully though, with a relatively small investment, you can get your hands on one of the best variable speed pool pumps available right now and dramatically improve not only the quality of your swimming pool but also cut down significantly on the amount of time you spend cleaning and maintaining it.
Below we highlight our three favorite variable speed pool pumps, three of the top options on the market today and three options that you can’t go wrong with!
1.Hayward SP2610X15 Pool Pump
This variable speed pool pump is widely considered to be the very best pool pump on the planet, the industry-standard – the gold standard, at that – for more than 20 years and a quality piece of technology you’ll be able to rely on for decades to come.
Capable of producing between 600 RPMs and 3450 RPMs (depending on what the speed setting has been set to), you’ll be able to flush a tremendous amount of water through your system with the help of this pump – or dial things back a little bit to conserve on energy when you aren’t using the pool as regularly as you might have been during the middle of the summer.
Installation with this particular pump is about as simple and as straightforward as it gets. There isn’t a lot to establishing this pump in your already existing aboveground or inground swimming pool, and most find the entire project to be as close to a “drop in” set up as possible.
On top of that, this pump is widely regarded as one of the most energy-efficient options money can buy. You won’t ever have to worry about this variable speed pump chewing through your electricity the way that some of the single-speed pumps might.
Combine all of that with the legendary durability of this equipment – and everything from Hayward, really – and you’re looking at something special, certainly one of the best variable speed pool pumps on the market today.
- Effortless installation
- Nearly silent running
- Durable and reliable
- Efficiently moves a tremendous amount of water even on the lowest settings
- Some circuit board issues with older models
- Does not feature “racecar” circulation speeds at the higher end
As far as pricing is concerned, you’ll never feel like you are spending a mountain of money on this water pump for your pool. It isn’t exactly the least expensive option on the market today (but what industry leader is), but it isn’t going to break your bank account, either.
“I don’t think I’ll ever have to buy another swimming pool pump for the rest of my life”
“Near silent running, especially useful when entertaining or swimming at night”
“So energy efficient you’ll wonder if it is adding anything to your monthly electricity bills at all”
This is a top-tier piece of technology across the board and certainly one of the best swimming pool pumps money can buy.
2.Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo
Another top-flight option and certainly one of the best variable speed pool pumps you could find on the market today, this particular choice is a 3 hp motor with plenty of “juice” to move an almost unbelievable amount of water without breaking a sweat or bogging down.
It certainly doesn’t hurt that this model is 100% certified by Energy Star. This should give you the confidence to run this variable speed pump all summer long without worrying about spending as much on your electricity bill as you did to install your entire swimming pool in the first place!
Eight different programmable speeds allow you to fine-tune this variable speed pump to your exact specifications, determining exactly how much water this system circulates that any one particular point in time so that you can effortlessly maintain your pool all year round.
The durability of this system is second to none as well thanks to the fact that it leverages the latest and greatest, technology, and hardware to bring variable speed pumping power to you for a relatively low initial investment. You’ll get years and years of use out of this pool pump for sure.
- Near silent, even when running at higher speeds
- Eight different pre-programmable speed settings for fine-tuning
- LCD control/display module is easy to use and intuitive
- Skyhigh efficiency rating
- Initial installation instructions can be a little bit confusing at times
- Low-power speeds are a little bit louder than higher power speeds
As far as pricing is concerned, this particular model is really “middle of the pack” compared to other pool pumps while offering a lot more in the dependability, reliability, efficiency, and performance departments. You won’t ever feel like this was a bad bargain.
“Set it and forget it capabilities that I appreciate during the heat of summer”
“Top-tier construction materials show this will work for years to come”
“Almost completely silent operation is so much nicer than high-speed pumps that really scream at the top end”
You’ll never feel disappointed with this quality pump, especially since it offers eight variable speed settings, sky-high efficiency ratings, and the ability to move a tremendous amount of water with near-silent operation going forward.
3.Pentair 342001 SuperFlo
If you are sick and tired of having to regularly upgrade your swimming pool pump every couple of seasons and want something really dependable – REALLY dependable – then you need to look no further than this particular option.
Simple and straightforward to install, this three-speed swimming pool pump is going to give you plenty of power, plenty of efficiencies, and plenty of dependability for years and years to come without ever threatening to put a dent in your bank account.
One of the coolest features of this particular model is that it includes a self-priming system that eliminates any potential for air to get into the pump while drawing water, even if the source of water is tremendously lower than the pump itself.
This illuminates a lot of the headache and hassle you might have had to deal with a lot of other pumps but it also extends the durability of this system significantly compared to the rest of the pack.
On top of that, this pump includes a “built-in memory” that guarantees that even if the power to this pump is somehow shut off or interrupted it will still reboot with all of the settings that you had already preprogrammed maintained. You won’t have to worry about going back and reconfiguring everything and hoping that you got it exactly the way you had it before.
- Self-priming functionality guarantees that there’s no air causing backfires in this system
- Pump memory promises that you won’t have to reconfigure your system in the event of a power outage or interruption
- Super energy-efficient and capable of moving water through multiple speeds
Only has three speeds compared to other options
Compared to the rest of the pack, this particular option is actually significantly less expensive – by a couple of hundred dollars. The fact that you’re able to get your hands on a top-flight variable speed pump like this one for so much less than competing options isn’t something to take lightly, especially if you don’t want to spend a mountain of money on this kind of component going forward.
“Installation was almost effortless even though I hadn’t ever installed a swimming pool pump before”
“I had this pump running at 1400 RPMs and couldn’t hear a thing. This is such a huge difference compared to my older pump, and it circulates way more water as well”
“I don’t feel like I am wasting a pile of money every month on energy bills running this system at its highest speed thanks to its Energy Star certification”
All things considered, this is easily one of the best variable speed pool pumps money can buy – and it also happens to be considerably less expensive than many of the other top options out there on the market today. Strong, durable, and nearly silent you just can’t go wrong pulling the trigger on this purchase.
Each of the three top pumps that we highlighted above is well worthy of consideration and all of them are going to provide you a sky-high return on your hard-earned money should you choose them as your next pump system.
There are a lot of different things you want to think about before you decide which one is best for you (how much you want to spend, what features you’re most interested in, how important durability and reliability is, etc.) but each of these options are so similar to one another that it really feels like you can’t make a wrong decision.