Over the last few years, the idea of variable speed pumps has really taken off. Everyone has become more conservative about how and where they want to spend their money, and with rising energy costs, these types of pumps can really help consumers to save money.
Variable speed pumps are by no means a new idea, they have actually been around for a number of years. That being said, in a time when people are trying to save money, the sticker shock of a new variable speed pump can be a little alarming.
However, variable speed pumps can save you up to 90% on energy costs. This means that after about two pool seasons, the pump has virtually paid for itself with all the money you save on your hydro bill (compared to a traditional single speed pump). This stays true, even if you currently aren’t running your traditional pump 24 hours a day.
Because you tend to run these pumps at a lower speed the majority of the time, they are also much quieter than a traditional pump!
How Much Do Variable Speed Pumps Save You?
By reducing the speed of the impeller, variable speed pumps greatly reduce the power needed by the pump. This effect is known as the Affinity Law. Using it we can see that by reducing the speed of the impeller by 1/2 we also reduce the power required to operate the pump by almost 90%!
To demonstrate the savings you can expect to see in a pool, let’s look at a real world scenario. Let’s say right now you’re running a single speed pump 12 hours a day, during the day. Using the current average on-peak hydro rate in Ottawa (15.6 cents/kWh), that single speed pump will cost you around $3.20 per day. Running the pump exclusively during off peak hours will still cost you $1.80 per day.
Replacing that pump with a variable speed pump running at half speed reduces that cost to around 30 cents per day. That said, running the pump at half speed means that only half the amount of water will go through the pump. This means that we will have to run it 24 hours per day to properly filter the water. This brings our total cost to around 60 cents per day (based on the current overall Ottawa Hydro rate of 11.18 cents/kWh).
If you are interested in how much money you can actually save with a variable speed pump, check out Hayward® Pool’s energy calculator. You simply enter your postal code and the size of your pool and it will help show you how much money you could be saving!
What About When I Need To Increase The Speed Of The Pump?
Most variable speed pumps can be programmed to operate at set speeds to deliver the correct flow for each task they perform. For example, when backwashing your filter, you would need to run the pump at a higher speed then when you just want to circulate or filter the water. Simply select your preset “backwash” or “high speed” setting and perform your backwash. After you are done, go back to your “filter” or “low speed” setting to maximize your savings.