Having the right pool pump can save you more than $150 a month, so it’s definitely worthwhile seeking a good variable speed pool pump out.
These types of pumps filter our water and are typically much more efficient than the pumps of the past, which is why we created this guide so that you can know the ins and outs of the modern variable speed pool pump. Before we get to the review section, let’s take a look at the models that we’ll be reviewing.
Selecting the Best Variable Speed Pool Pump 2018
|1.5 HP||10 x 12.3 inches||40 pounds||Single Speed||220||Check Price|
|Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo|
|3 HP||28 x 12 x 15 inches||47 pounds||Variable Speed||230||Check Price|
|Hayward SP3400VSP||3 HP||31.2 x 12.5 x 15.2 inches||65 pounds||Variable Speed||230||Check Price|
|Hayward SP2302VSP||1 1/2 HP||24 x 13 x 12 inches||28 pounds||Variable Speed||230||Check Price|
|Hayward SP15932S Power||1 1/2 HP||23 x 10 x 11 inches||4 ounces||Dual Speed||115||Check Price|
|Pentair 342001 SuperFlo|
|1 1/2 HP||28 x 15.5 x 12.5 inches||52 pounds||Variable Speed||115/208-230||Check Price|
|Hayward SP2303VSP||1.65 HP||24 x 10 x 11 inches||41 pounds||Variable Speed||115-230||Check Price|
|Sta Rite P6E6VS4H 209L||3 HP||1 x 1 x 1 inches||1 pounds||Variable Speed||230||Check Price|
|Hayward SP3202VSP||3 HP||32 x 13 x 16 inches||52 pounds||Variable Speed||230||Check Price|
|Pentair 023005||3 HP||13 x 26 x 13 inches||53.5 pounds||Variable Speed||230||Check Price|
1. The Hayward SP2610X15 : Best Pool Pump for a Stable Flow Rate
This is a centrifugal pump that has a self-priming functionality, which will eliminate any air getting to the pump via the suction piping. This means that the water source can be lower than the pump.
- It has a steady, reliable performance
- It can quickly circulate a pool’s water
- It’s easy to remove the strainer cover in order to get rid of pool debris
- This model doesn’t take much to install
- This model is a bit dated and only has a single-speed operation
2. The Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo : Best Variable Speed Pool Pump for Horsepower
As an Energy Star certified product, this is a very efficient variable pool pump as well.
Pentair also designed this product to also have a built-in diagnostic feature so that it’s an easy product to troubleshoot.
- It’s a very quiet pump, especially at higher speeds
- It has eight programmable speeds
- It has an LCD display for pool pump settings
- It’s very efficient
- The instructions are a bit confusing
- Under lower power, it can be a bit louder than some other variable speed pool pumps
3. The Hayward SP3400VSP EcoStar : Best Variable Speed Pool Pump for Managing Debris
The seconds Hayward pool pump in this guide is the SP3400VSP EcoStar VS Variable-Speed pool pump.
This Energy Star certified pump has a fairly quiet operation and also includes a larger basket that can hold a lot of leaves or pool debris.
- It has eight speeds
- It has a simple to use interface
- This is a quiet pump
- The drive has been known to fail
4. The Hayward SP2302VSP Max-Flo : Best Variable Speed Pool Pump for Easy Installation
Also, this Hayward pump has a built-in time clock that helps users make programming changes with ease.
|Model||Speed Range||Voltage||Union Connections|
|SP2303VSP||600 - 3450 RPM||230V Single Phase||1.5" x 2"|
|SP23115VSP||600 - 3450 RPM||115V Single Phase||1.5" x 2"|
|SP23510VSP||600 - 3450 RPM||115V Single Phase||1.5" x 2"|
|SP23520VSP||600 - 3450 RPM||230V Single Phase||1.5" x 2"|
Overall Dimensions (inches)
- It has a fairly quiet operation
- Its control scheme is intuitive
- The pump has an easy to connect and install design
- The circuit board has been known to develop faults
5. The Hayward SP15932S Power-Flo Matrix : Best Two-Speed Pool Pump for Reduced Maintenance
This allows you to throttle down the pump’s flow so that you can use less energy when high-speed circulation isn’t needed.
- It has an easy to install design
- The pump can be installed horizontally or vertically
- It is a very reliable unit that moves water well
- It is very well-made and should last for years
- You only have two speed settings with this product
- It has a tendency to be noisy during operation
6. The Pentair 342001 SuperFlo : Best Variable Speed Pool Pump for Dependability
This is because this is an Energy Star certified product that has a relatively easy-to-manage operation.
- It’s easy to program
- It has 24-hour memory retention
- The pump is very quiet
- It only has three speed settings
7. The Hayward SP2303VSP MaxFlo : Best Variable Speed Pool Pump for Overall Efficiency
Additionally, it’s fairly easy to install and is Energy Star certified.
- It has eight timers
- The controls are simple
- It has a digital display so that you can monitor the settings
- It can be used safely in the elements
- The fans can seem a bit undersized for some conditions
8. The Sta-Rite P6E6VS4H-209L IntelliPro : Best Variable Speed Pool Pump for Quiet Functionality
It has eight programmable settings that will help you manage the flow rate and your electricity bills.
- It has a freeze protection feature that shuts it down at certain temperatures
- It’s quiet in operation
- The Sta-Rite P6E6VS4H-209L IntelliPro has a good flow rate
- It takes a bit of work to access all of the speed settings
9. The Hayward SP3202VSP TriStar : Best Variable Speed Pool Pump for Positioning
The pump has the ability to cycle through several presets and includes a user interface that is positioned on top of the motor.
- It’s easy to install
- The control scheme is intuitive
- This is a pump that has a three-year warranty if installed by a Hayward installer
- You’ll need tools to switch up the user interface
10. The Pentair 023005 : Best Variable Speed Pool Pump for Easy Scheduling
The Pentair 023005 is one of the easiest to schedule pumps in this guide.
Scheduling flow changes are done through a digital display that has several settings for a varied circulation profile for your pool.
- It’s easy to schedule with
- It has great design and ease of use
- It’s fairly easy to install
- The display isn’t waterproof
- The packaging is a bit thin, which means that it can be damaged in transit
Best Variable Speed Pool Pump – Buyer’s Guide
How One and Two Speed Pumps Work
While this guide is primarily about variable speed pumps, it’s important to understand the alternatives. Firstly, our very first pool pump, the Hayward SP2610X15 is actually a single-speed pump and has been one of the most popular for decades.
These pumps operate, as you might have guessed, at a single speed; usually, this is around 3,450 revolutions per minute. This is a consistent speed and makes for a pretty effective pump and provides great circulation at its one-speed setting.
These pumps tend to be very cheap, but it’s important to remember that at one consistent, high speed, operating costs, especially electricity, can be high. These also have a tendency to be significantly louder than variable or even two-speed pumps.
Two-speed pumps, on the other hand, work with a high speed that matches the single speed, but also will have a low-speed setting. This lower speed is usually somewhere around 1,725 revolutions per minute and is usually used to circulate the water in the pool when it is not in heavy use. This can save you a bit of electricity because you won’t always have to have your water moving at a high rate of circulation, and when you need more water movement, you can just set it to 3,450 revolutions just like a single-speed.
With this type, you won’t be able to run most pool heaters while the circulation is set to low. As a result, many people end up using two-speed pumps as single-speed pumps.
The New Kid on the Block: The Variable Speed Pump
Simply put, there’s a lot of advantage to using a variable speed pump. As the name suggests, there are multiple speeds to choose from, which will make the variable speed pump a much more economical choice. This really is the “new kid on the block” offering; variable speed pumps have only been out for a few years now, but they typically outclass both single and double speed pumps.
Let’s find out why:
• Efficiency: Since variable speed pumps can be adjusted minutely, they are much more efficient than the other two types. This is because you can actually select the flow rate based on your pool needs, which means that you save. Consider this, with a variable speed pump, the motor that handles the pumping will be a permanent magnet motor, which runs more efficiently and more cool than the other pump systems, which means less electricity used for an operation.
• Noise Level (PMM Motor): Speaking of the permanent magnet motor used by variable units, this motor type is significantly less noisy than either single or dual speed pumps; in fact, even under 3,450 revolutions per minute setting, the variable speed motor will be almost inaudible.
• Element Resistance: PMM motors are sealed, so this means that they are much better when exposed to the elements. This makes these types of pumps exceptional for aboveground or on-ground pools.
• Versatility: As mentioned earlier, one of the most annoying problems with dual speed pumps is their inability to be used on a lower setting while keeping pool warmers on. This is less of a problem with variable speed units because you can set the revolutions between the low and high setting so that you can run the heater while the water flow is being reduced by the pump.
Additionally, these simply allow for better flow because you can adjust the flow lower than maximum so that you can have a better circulation experience.
• Compatibility with Constant-Flow Software: This technology is very useful for your pool. It allows for software to monitor and change the settings on the pump when a new task is initiated. When you need extra flow for something like a water feature, the constant-flow tech will automatically raise the flow of the pump without a need for extra input. When your pool no longer needs the extra 40 gallons per minute because you’ve turned the water feature off, it’ll adjust the flow of the water appropriately.
• Safety Vacuum Release Systems (SVRS): This is a very useful feature that can help you prevent clogs. SVRS is a system that prevents materials from getting entrapped inside the workings of the pool. While not every variable speed has this feature, those that do will automatically shut down when a foreign object is sensed.
These pumps are very advantageous when it comes to savings, but one of the biggest complaints about variable speed pumps is their tendency to be much more expensive than the other types. While this is definitely the case, it’s important to consider savings over time because in energy expenses averted, a variable pump can save you up to $400.00 annually since you won’t have to run the pump at as high an RPM.
Gallons per Minute (Flow Rate)
This is the amount of water that the pump can process and circulate in a set amount of time. Of course, this flow rate will heavily depend on the revolutions per minute of the pump and this will, in turn, vary based on the size of the pool.
This is the minimum time it takes a pool pump to fully circulate the water through the onboard filter. For the most part, the average pool will take anywhere from six to eight hours to fully circulate. Ideally, with a good pool pump, you’ll want to consume as little energy as possible during the circulation process.
Variable speed pool pumps provide some great, efficient performance that makes owning a pool much cheaper. In fact, this relatively new technology is even experiencing some amazing innovations like the ability to control the flow rate through a smartphone. In any situation, if you need a pump that can help manage the flow of one of the world’s most popular luxury items, then the items that we’ve featured in this guide will all serve your needs admirably.