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Best Variable Speed Pool Pumps in 2020 – Reviewed

Whilst most people would prefer the versatility and performance of a variable speed pool pump, not everyone realizes just how affordable they can be. This still doesn’t mean there is a need to compromise on quality with some of the best products on the market. being well within most people’s budgets.

The reward is in a clean pool with plenty of fresh flowing water at the owner’s disposal. Not to mention, the savings on your bills as these are the most efficient pool pumps available. This is only possible when you pick up a quality product and whilst all companies make the right noises, not all of them can deliver. Because of this, we have selected some of the best variable speed pool pumps available, and there is something for every need.

Quick Summary of Best Variable Speed Pool Pumps

 Editor’s Choice 
Pentair 011012 IntelliFlo VF High Performance Pump  (review)
 Best Quiet Operation 
Pentair 011028 IntelliFlo VS Pool Pump, Almond  (review)
 Easiest To Use 
Hayward W3SP3206VSP TriStar VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump, 2.7 HP  (review)
 Best Budget 
XtremepowerUS 75039-2 2Hp Dual Speed 230V Swimming Spa Ground Pool Pump, Black  (review)
 Best For Above Ground Pool 
Blue Wave NE6183 Tidal Wave 2-Speed Replacement Pump for Above Ground Pool  (review)
 Best Value 
Pentair 340043 SuperFlo High Performance Energy Efficient Two Speed Pool Pump  (review)

Reviews

Editor’s Choice: Pentair 011012 IntelliFlo VF High Performance Pump

A hardworking and intelligent variable speed pool pump from Pentair, it can be programmed to lower the speed during certain tasks to make sure it is energy efficient. Also, it can up the ante when more power is needed, and it knows when. It is designed to deliver only the exact quantity of water during any task to help save money on energy bills and it can be adapted for use in a spa, pool, or other body of water.

Because it remembers the schedule and is easy to program, this is one for the experienced and a beginner. The LCD screen is one of the simpler to navigate but its strength remains in its efficiency and the ability to distribute the ideal amount of water for each task.

PROS:

  • Energy efficient
  • Easy to program
  • Various speeds for different tasks
  • Adjusts to pool conditions
CONS:

(none)

Best Quiet Operation: Pentair 011028 IntelliFlo VS Pool Pump, Almond

A quality product from one of the most reputable brands in the business, this is a variable speed pool pump to rival any other. It is easy to operate thanks to the control keypad that can be rotated and can even be wall mounted if necessary. The menu is easy to use making it one of the better products for getting to grips with, even if you lack the experience of someone who has owned a pool for years.

Oen thing everyone wants from a pool pump is quiet operation and thanks to the enclosed fan, that is what this product gives you. The 8 programmable speed settings ensure this can help save up to 90% on bills and the built-in timer means it works seamlessly.

PROS:

  • Saves up to 90% on energy bills
  • 8 programmable speed settings
  • Built-in timer
  • Easy to install and use
CONS:

  • Can be tricky to reprogram at first

Easiest To Use: Hayward W3SP3206VSP TriStar VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump, 2.7 HP

Another product that can save up to 90% on energy bills every year, this is worth the initial investment for that alone. in some areas, it can make the owner eligible for utility rebates which are something to check once it is installed. It features an upgraded motor to ensure it is quieter than previous models and it is ideal for medium-sized pools. Because it is compatible with most systems, there shouldn’t be much in the way of rewiring, and installing is easy.

The digital interface makes adjusting the settings simple and because it has a 24-hour programmable clock, it is known for being an easy product for a beginner to get to grips with. The on-board diagnostics make sure that troubleshooting isn’t a daunting task so any temperature fluctuations or priming failures are easy to deal with.

PROS:

  • 90% more energy efficient than a lot of the competition
  • Easy to install
  • Digital interface is simple to use
CONS:

  • Not as quiet as some of the others available

Best Budget: XtremepowerUS 75039-2 2Hp Dual Speed 230V Swimming Spa Ground Pool Pump, Black

For anyone with a restrictive budget, this in-ground variable speed pool pump is a good product for making sure you have clear water at a lower price. What it doesn’t offer in terms of versatility it makes up in ease of use. With a switch to move between the two speeds, you can tailor it to match your operating needs. Still, it can be made to work at rates that are up to 25% more efficient and is perfect for a small pool or spa.

It has enough strength to keep water hygienic in smaller pools and is pretty quiet considering the price. It isn’t going to beat a lot of the competition in terms of ease of use or performance but when you’re on a budget, it does a decent job.

PROS:

  • Affordable price tag
  • Easy to switch between speeds
  • Two speeds
CONS:

  • Can be tricky to install and not as easy to use

Best For Above Ground Pool: Blue Wave NE6183 Tidal Wave 2-Speed Replacement Pump for Above Ground Pool

Although it only offers two speeds, this is all a lot of above ground pool owners need. Because of the attractive price, it isn’t going to set you back much initially and gives a reasonable 1.5 HP to keep fresh water flowing. It can be installed vertically or horizontally and can be fitted to most pool systems and has energy-saving efficiency.

The 1,750 RPM low speed is to be used normally then switch it up to the top speed of 3,450 RPM top speed when vacuuming and switching speeds is easy via a rocker switch at the rear. There isn’t anything fancy about this variable speed pool pump but it does exactly what you need it to, and keeps things simple for above ground pool owners.

PROS:

  • Easy to use
  • Can be installed vertically or horizontally
  • Simple rocker switch to change speeds
CONS:

  • Only two speeds

Best Value: Pentair 340043 SuperFlo High Performance Energy Efficient Two Speed Pool Pump

For a simple variable speed pool pump, sometimes less is more. This is what you get here with only two speeds at your disposal but it does mean a Pentair pump can be purchased for a reasonable price. Still, it is an energy-efficient product that is made from thick parts to ensure it lasts a long time and it is this housing that helps to make it quieter when in operation.

Made for in-ground swimming pools it is a 1.5 HP pump and is energy star certified. It can be used with saltwater pools and although installing can be a little tricky for complete beginners, it shouldn’t take long to fit it.

PROS:

  • Energy efficient
  • Quiet operation
  • Good value
CONS:

  • A little tricky to install

Variable Speed Pool Pump

We all dream of a low-maintenance pool and although you have to add the chemicals and give it a vacuum, a lot of the hard work of keeping a pool clean is done by the pool pump. Some products are more suitable for your pool than others but something that is always a good idea is finding the best variable speed pool pump.

They differ in what they can offer so to find the best product for your needs, we have created the following buyer’s guide. By the end of it, you will be able to ensure your pool is clean, and your energy bills are lower.

What To Look For In A Variable Speed Pool Pump

Quiet Operation

Although they need to work hard to pump all that water around, no variable speed pool pump needs to interrupt your relax by the pool. Some brands promise whisper-quiet operation and these are the ones to go with if they meet your other requirements.

One of the main benefits of a variable speed pool pump is that some of the low settings are more subtle but you do have the high-speed in your back pocket should the pool water need them.

Right Pool Size

Some variable speed pool pumps are designed for use in smaller bodies of water whilst others with higher output are good for larger pools. Make sure you know how many gallons your pool accommodates so you can match it to the brand of variable speed pool pump that you have your eye on.

Built-In Timer

Being able to set the timer to work at certain times of day can ensure you always have crystal clear water. although you might want it to run throughout the night, you need adequate time between cycles so the pool is always as clean as possible.

It also means you can set certain speeds at different times of day which can also save you money on your energy bills.

Horsepower

This is what links from pool size suitability. The horsepower is what ensures it can push the right amount of water around to keep it clear and hygienic. A medium-sized pool will usually require around 1.5-2 HP.

Warranty

Although you hope to not need one, a warranty helps to protect your purchase. Things can go wrong, even with the most reputable brands so look for a year or two coverage as a minimum.

Note that a lot of warranties are only valid should you get a professional to install the pool pump. When someone who knows what they are doing plugs it all in and set up the variable speed pool pump, things are less likely to go wrong.

Easy Installation

Although this is something you will probably want to consider using a professional for, easier installation can mean you can get it up and running faster. Having the right mains to match the requirements of the pool pump is important but it is also a quick fix.

Filter Flow Rate

Matching your pool pump to the flow rate of your filter is important for continuity. Most of the time you will find the maximum flow displayed when looking for a pool pump. If the pump has a maximum output that is double the filter then this is not going to be suitable and can end up damaging the filter.

Safety

Not to be neglected, some brands are better when it comes to safety features than others. Generally, you’ll get a product that is protected against the hazards and fluctuations of the chemicals and voltage.

Also, look for a product that has an auto shut off that includes when it can sense blockages.

What Are The Benefits Of A Variable Speed Pool Pump?

Although they can be fine for some pools, a single speed pool pump is too basic and can cost a lot more to run. Even the dual speed pool pumps are only good to an extent.

The main benefit is that they can be set to expend less energy so you save money on your bills. Also, with more settings, you can set the pump to work in a low setting which will mean it is quieter. They are also considered the most reliable of the different types of pool pumps available.

In some states, there are energy efficiency laws. This is where a variable speed pool pump is a good idea because it can keep you on the right side of the law.

Is A Variable Speed Pool Pump Worth It?

Although the initial outlay might be higher in some models, the savings more than make up for it before too long. The more efficient pool pumps can cost double but within a year or two, they pay for themselves.

They can work for longer periods without costing you more money which also means the water is cleaner for longer.

How Many Hours A Day Should I Use My Variable Speed Pool Pump?

If using the medium speed setting on a variable speed pool pump you should find yourself using it for 7-8 hours a day. This will keep your water clear and free from algae.

Sometimes there is a need to use it a little more, particularly in the summer months when you are using the pool more and there are more oils from the likes of sunscreen that need to be filtered out.

Is It OK To Run A Pool Pump 24/7?

There is no need to run a pool pump for this long. Around 8 hours a day is enough to keep the water in a top condition even in months where you use it more frequently.

Using the pump for too long will be a waste of energy and your bills will soon show you why.

Are Variable Speed Pool Pumps Energy-Efficient?

Yes. Because they can vary their output, a variable speed pool pump can be used for longer periods and still save you money on energy bills compared to a single-speed unit.

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