Do Variable Speed Pool Pumps Really Save Money?

When you think of saving from an electrical device, it’s not only about utility bills. The calculation also includes installation, maintenance, and many more.

If you consider everything, a variable speed pool pump indeed saves a lot more than its single-speed counterparts. In fact, the multi-speed pump saves around 90% more.

However, I won’t recommend you to trust me blindfolded. Let’s get into the nooks and corners of this pump issue and decide based on facts and figures. What do you think?

How Does a Variable Speed Pool Pump Work?

Well, it pumps water. Obviously, it is the sole purpose of the device. However, how it pumps the water makes the difference.

Multi-speed pool pumps use Permanent Magnet Motor (PMM) to do all the hard works. Unlike the conventional motors that use extra electricity to create a magnetic inside, these PMMs’ come with built-in permanent magnets. So the multi-speed pump uses less energy than single-speed pumps to operate.

Do Variable Speed Pool Pumps Really Save Money

You can vary the speed of PMM more easily than a conventional motor. It will make different pool operations like spa jet, sand filter backwashing, pool sweeping, running a chlorinator, and water circulation through the heater easier.

Can you Save Money with a Variable Speed Pool Pump?

The equation is simple.

Single-speed pumps operate at only one rate even though that speed may not be necessary for a particular task. But there is nothing you can do. And as a result, your pump supplies greater flow than required at least 90% of the time.

End of the day, you pay for the energy more than you really consume.

One of the best features of the multi pace pool pump is you can vary the RPM. You lower the RPM when you are dealing with a low-powered pumping task. According to the Pump Affinity law, if you reduce the RMP by half, the pump will use 8-times less energy.

Think how colossal the savings will be. Let’s not guess and do some high school math.

Cost of a Single Speed Pool Pump

An average 1.5 HP pumps with 3450 RPM working at 230-voltage and 9.5-amp settings consume (230 X 9.5) or 2.2 kW. And the typical turnover time of a single speed pump is 24 hours.

If I consider the national average of the US energy bill, which is $0.12/kWh…

1-hour running cost of the pump will be $ 0.26 (monthly energy bill will be $7.8)

3 hours running cost of the pump will be $ 0.78 (monthly energy bill will be $23.4)

6 hours running cost of the pump will be $ 1.56 (monthly energy bill will be $46.8)

12 hours running cost of the pump will be $ 3.12 (monthly energy bill will be $93.6)

24 hours running cost of the pump will be $ 6.24 (monthly energy bill will be $187.2)

Cost of a Variable Speed Pool Pump

The best thing about the multi-speed pump is you can vary the speed. And each time you reduce the speed by half, it will use 8-times less energy.

Let’s imagine you will use the variable speed pump at its full RPM for 2-hours for any high-speed operations. The pump will run on 1725 RPM 10-hours of the turn over time. This is when you are just pumping the water into the pool. The rest of the 12-hours will require the only circulation so that you can run at 862 RPM.

According to the Pump Affinity Law, the multi-speed pump’s Energy cost will be like the following.

At 3450 RPM, Energy cost $0.26 per hour.

At 1725 RPM, Energy costs $0.0325 per hour.

At 862 RPM, Energy costs $0.004 per hour.

If you calculate for the imaginary scenario, the total daily cost will be (12 X $0.004) + (10 X $0.0325) + (2 X $0.26) or $0.89 per day. The monthly energy bill for the pump will be $26.7.

How Much Are You Saving?

At first glance, the savings is ($187.2 – $26.7) or $160.5. It’s a massive figure if you consider annually. You will save $1926 on your utility bill. And let me add, it is just an AVERAGE scenario. The bigger the pump, the higher the savings will be.

But the most significant difference in my view is the time of operation. The amount that keeps a variable speed pool pump 24-hours a day for a month will make any single speed pump run only 3-hours a day.

It means you are getting 630-hours of operational time at the same cost from a multi-speed pool pump that its single RPM counterparts.

Factors to Consider While Calculating Savings


PMM is a bit more expensive than any conventional motor. So, you will end up paying more for a multi RPM pool pump. However, the extra investment will return very soon, and you will know how.

If you can save around $2000 per year for an average pump, think how much it will be the savings for a heavy-duty one. It will take no time to get the ROI.


As the operation, variable RPM pump maintenance is expensive too. The spare parts are relatively modern and cost a little more extra than any other pumps.

Yes, you have to be ready for some extra costing for maintenance. But the pump is highly efficient, and it is unlikely to face any issues soon after purchasing.


Multi RPM pumps not only run on low energy but also on low head pressure. It means the pump has to work less to counter the pressure and pump the water. This makes the pump run longer with four times more efficiency.

Friction Loss

Low power and head pressure ensure minimum friction in the pool plumbing. Any pump will love the scenario. They have to put less pressure on the motor to supply more water.

Do variable speed pool pumps really save money?

Yes, a variable speed pool pump will help to save your energy cost. They are a comparatively more money-saving option than a traditional single-speed pump  It allows you to control the machine on different levels. You will get to change the machine power over the surface requirement. This way you can get quiet and energy-efficient performance without wasting any extra cost.

How many hours should I run my variable speed pool pump?

Well, your variable speed pool pump will be required to run 24/7. This ensures your pool is getting efficient water circulation.  Even running it won’t cost you an excess electricity bill like the single pool pump. So, you don’t have to worry about the excess cost here. Run the pump for 24 hours and get good filtration, air circulation and chemical protection. However, sometimes I prefer it to run for 10 hours and still get impressive service.

What about when I Need To Increase The Speed Of The Pump?

Try to speed up the pool pump in the non-peak hours, It’s around 9 pm and 8 am. During this time, the energy cost might seem low. Variable speed pool pumps are generally lower in energy cost. Speeding up the machine will certainly charge you more for energy. So, if you do it during the non-peak hours, you can save quite a lot of money.

How long should you run a variable speed pool pump?

Ideally, you can run a variable speed pump 24 hours long. If you’re not willing to spend that, go for 10 hours at least. If you’re running the pump for 12 hours, try to keep it at a higher speed for 4 hours. The left 8 hours can be run at a slower speed. Then, you can get efficient filtration, purification at an affordable energy cost.

Final Verdict

Are you still asking whether variable speed pumps save Money or not? Well, they save and save a lot. So do not keep any hesitation in mind and go for the variable RPM machine to keep your whirlpool and wallet happy.

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