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Jul 26

Variable Speed Pool Pumps Make Heating Your Pool More Cost Effective

Pentair Pool Equipment Massachusetts

You have heard us talk about the benefits a variable speed swimming pool pumps before on this blog, but there is one other cost saving benefit I wanted to cover in a little more detail, pool heating. How does the combination of an electric heat pump and a variable speed pool motor work to heat the pool even more efficiently than using a standard single speed pump.

This conversation all came about when installing a new Hayward Ecostar pump onto an existing pool with a previously installed heat pump. Now in order to get the best energy savings out of the variable speed motor we want to run to pool pump 24 hours a day at a much lower RPM. A standard 1 hp single speed motor will run at roughly 3450rpms. This is fine but it takes a lot of electricity to keep that pump running at 3450rpms all the time, and you really don’t need to be pumping the water that fast in order to clean the pool. With a variable speed pump we can crank that down to say 1250rpms, run it 24hrs a day still turn the water over enough to filter and clean the water effectively and save about 75%-90% a month on our electric bill.

So how does this relate to heating the pool more effectively?

When installing this new motor with and existing heat pump and running the motor at a lower speed the customer was concerned as to whether the pool pump would supply enough flow for the heater to kick on? The heat exchanger requires a certain amount of flow in order to turn on, if the chamber isn’t filled with water the heat exchanger could burn out. This is why many times when the pool heater does not work is due to the filter being dirty causing not enough flow to get through the system.

However even on a lower RPM speed setting the Hayward Ecostar supplies plenty of water to the heat pump and allows it to fire. We set the pump for low speed at 1150rpms on this install and the heat pump fired right up no problems. Not only did it supply enough water to the heat pump but because the water is flowing through the heat exchanger at a slower rate it is heating the water more thoroughly.

Because the water spends more time in the exchanger during each pass through, it does not need to stay on as long to bring the pool up to temperature. The variable speed pool motor is allowing you to not only save electricity on filtering your pool water but also on heating it! If you have a gas heater the same principals hold true meaning you will use less gas to heat the water.

Hayward EcoStar Video

This means instead of turning over every particle of water 3-4 times to bring the pool to 80 degrees it can do it in 2 turnovers, which drastically cuts electric and gas costs.

This is just one more reason we have decided to include a variable speed pump in all our new pool installations. We use the Pentair Intellipro as seen in the picture above with the Pentair Ultratemp heat pump in our installations. We also install the Hayward Ecostar pump in situations where we have a Goldline Hayward Automation system as was the case in the installation mentioned in this article.

If you have questions regarding variable speed pool pumps or electric heat pumps please leave a comment below and we will be happy to get back to you as quickly as possible.

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4 Comments

  1. Amy Winters
    May 17, 2019 at 6:26 pm · Reply

    I think that it is great that there are ways to make sure pool pumps are heating and cost-effective for the person who owns the pool. I’ve never had the luxury of owning a pool. Thank you for writing such a great article on pool pumps.

  2. Ken
    May 27, 2019 at 10:07 pm · Reply

    Is it bad for the heater to leave it on all the time and use a low speed pump setting to turn it off? It seems to work well when I set the pump speed to off but at a low speed, the heater tries continuously to fire.

    • admin
      June 5, 2019 at 3:31 pm · Reply

      If the heater continuously tries to fire, chances are that the lower speed setting isn’t quite low enough. Reprogramming the low speed to an even lower speed or flow rate may solve the problem. A better solution would be a system like Pentair’s new IntelliConnect. IntelliConnect is a basic automation system that allows users to retrofit their existing equipment to control their lights, heater, variable pump speeds and salt chlorine generators from their smartphones for under $500. If you’d like more info on IntelliConnect please let us know.

  3. Luke Smith
    September 10, 2019 at 12:53 pm · Reply

    I learned a lot about the strategies on how to run a pool pump 24 hours a day to save energy. The pool at our backyard has been unused for quite some time, and my uncle wants to fund its maintenance. I will suggest buying a variable speed pool pump to my uncle while hiring professional pool cleaners to start the maintenance.

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