Variable Speed Pool Pumps


Looking for a variable-speed pool pump? Then, you have probably heard that this is a great way to save a lot of money on energy costs. Over the last few years, the VSP technology has brought many radical changes to the pool/spa and aquatics industries. As you probably know the pool pumps play an important role in any pool’s circulation system. There are different types of pumps on the market. Of these, we would like to mention the most energy efficient ones. A variable-speed pump could be the best investment you can make for your swimming pool. Despite the fact that they will help you save a lot of money on electrical bills, they are also extremely quiet. They run so quietly you won’t even hear it.

There are so many models available in the current market, that finding the right model for your needs could be a backbreaking task. It is hard, but not impossible. However, you need to be well-informed when making a purchase. In order to help you make well-informed decisions about these devices, we have gathered some of the best models available for sale, these days. Take a look at the matrix below, compare them, read our reviews and choose the one that will meet your requirements.

Top 5 Variable Speed Pool Pumps Comparison

 

1. Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo 2. Hayward SP3400VSP Ecostar 3. Hayward SP2303VSP Max-Flo 4. Pentair 342001 SuperFlo 5. Hayward SP2602VSP
BEST MODEL
OUR CHOICE
BEST PRICE

General Information

Manufacturer Pentair Hayward Hayward Pentair Hayward
Model 011018 IntelliFlo SP3400VSP SP2303VSP Max-Flo VS 342001 SuperFlo VS SP2602VSP
Best Pump for Horsepower Managing Debris Easy Installation Dependability Stable Flow Rate
Design
Size 12.5 x 28 x 15.5 inches 31.2 x 12.5 x 15.2 inches 24 x 10 x 11 inches 28 x 15.5 x 12.5 inches 9.5 x 8.6 x 11 inches
Weight 45 lbs. 63 lbs. 41 lbs. 52 lbs. 30.4 lbs.
Color Beige Black Black Beige Black

Technical Details

Electrical Specs
Voltage 230V 230V, 60Hz 115V, 230V 115/208-230V – 50/60 Hz 230V, 60Hz
Amperage 16 amps 10.9 amps 0.4 – 10 amps 10.9 amps 5.9 amps
Horsepower 3 hp 3 hp 1.65 hp 1 1/2 hp 1.5 hp
Primary Specs
Installation Type Residential Residential Residential Residential Residential
Pool Type In-Ground In-Ground In-Ground In-Ground In-Ground
Product Type Pool Pump Pool Pump Pool Pump Pool Pump Pool Pump
Pump Speed Variable Speed Variable Speed Variable Speed Variable Speed Variable Speed
Union Connection 2 x 2 inches 2 x 2 – ½ inches 1.5 x 2 inches N/A 1.5 inches
Speed Settings 8 programmable speed settings 8 custom speeds 8 custom speeds 4 speeds N/A
Speed Range 450-3450 rpm 600-3450 rpm 600-3450 rpm 600-3450 rpm 600-3000 rpm
Phase Type Single Phase Single Phase Single Phase Single Phase Single Phase
Rating Type Full-Rated Full-Rated Full-Rated Full-Rated Full-Rated
Energy Savings
Savings up to 90% up to 75% up to 80% up to 80% up to 75%
Eco-Friendly
Energy Efficient
Certifications
Energy Star Certified
Other Certifications NSF Certified, UL-C US Certified It meets ASME/ANSI standards N/A UL 60730 Compliant N/A

Features

Primary Features
Built-in timer Auto-priming capacity Self-contained 24-hour clock Built-in timer Digital control interface
Built-in diagnostics Extra leaf-holding capacity basket Digital control interface Real-time 24-hour clock TEFC Permanent Motor
TEFC Permanent Motor TEFC Permanent Motor TEFC Permanent Motor TEFC Permanent Motor
Pump control panel alarm LED/ error messages
Digital control interface Buit-in protection Digital control keypad
No-rib, XL. basket design Stand Alone Operation
Competitive control systems
Compatibility
IntelliTouch®, EasyTouch®, SunTouch® Pool Control Systems and other brands Universal compatibility Universal compatibility N/A N/A

Warranty&Support

Warranty 2-Year Warranty 1-Year Warranty 1-Year Warranty 2-Year Warranty 1-Year Warranty
User Manual
Customer Support
Online Support

Variable Speed Pool Pump Reviews


1. Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo

After reviewing more than 10 models, we consider that the Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo represents the highest quality model that you can buy. In fact, it is the best variable speed pump for horsepower. With a 3hp powerful motor and a plethora of features, this model tends to be one of the most sought-after models. It comes equipped with 8 programmable speed settings and a built-in digital timer that ensure a good operation. Plus, it has many other benefits that will surely raise your interest.

Firstly, you should know that it helps you save up to 90% on electrical bills. According to some comparison tables, you could save up the estimated $1500 each year. More than that, the built-in diagnostics of the pump have the role to protect it for longer service life. What we really like about this pump is the fact that it comes with a TEFC permanent magnet motor. Thanks to this totally enclosed fan-cooled motor, the pump is one of the silent pumps available in the current market. As in hybrid cars, this motor reduces noise and vibration.

PROS
CONS
  • Pump control panel alarm LED and error messages
  • 8 programmable speeds
  • Built-in diagnostic feature
  • The quietest pump ever
  • It improves filter performance
  • Energy star certified
  • The directions for programming the pump can be confusing
VERDICT
The Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo is the best option out there. Based on customers opinions, it is the best pump for horsepower. Based on our reviews, it is the quietest model ever. It is Energy Star certified, NSF certified and UL-C US certified as well. Thanks to this pump, you will be able to save up to 90% on electrical bills.

2. Hayward SP3400VSP Ecostar

Our second option is a poop pump that comes with many interesting features. This Energy star certified pump comes with a very easy to use digital display that even allows you to change its settings according to your preferences. It features a permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan cooled motor thanks to which it is quieter and much more efficient. What we really like about this model is the fact that it is fully programmable. It has a touchpad control that can easily be rotated to 4 different positions for better access. In simple terms, it allows you to access the pump in tight spaces. Due to the onboard diagnostics, it acts as an automatic protection against temperature extremes, priming failures as well as voltage fluctuations.

The main role of this pump is to maintain the water in your swimming pool clean and clear. As compared to other pumps, it has a no-rib basket that ensures easy debris removal. According to the manufacturer’s specifications, this pool pump will help you save up to 75% on energy costs. Overall, this is an in-ground pool pump with variable speed and quiet operation that will surely meet your requirements.

PROS
CONS
  • It comes with an intuitive digital control interface
  • 8 custom speeds
  • Quiet operation
  • Permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) motor
  • It comes with an extra large basket
  • It is a bit difficult to install
VERDICT
In terms of efficiency and reliability, the SP3400VSP Ecostar by Hayward could be exactly what you need. It comes with a touchpad control, a large basket and an automatic protection against failures and temperature extremes. It is a nice way to keep your pool clean and safe to use.

3. Hayward SP2303VSP Max-Flo

Based on market popularity and available features, we are proud to include on our list a very efficient pool pump: Hayward SP2303VSP Max-Flo. This Energy Star certified pump which is fairly quiet in operation comes with many impressive updates and it works much better than its previous version. Like the previous models, it also comes equipped with a permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan cooled TEFC motor that provides great energy efficient and thanks to which it can be considered among the most reliable pumps available in the current market.

If you are thinking about purchasing this model, it is important to know that it is available in two versions, such as 115V and 230V and can be installed whether in stand-alone mode with Hayward automation or with competitive control systems via remote control. The fact that it has a fully programmable digital control interface is a major perk as it can be rotated to 4 different positions for better access and more convenient viewing. Also, it should be noted that it is Energy Star certified and eligible for residential use.

PROS
CONS
  • It is known as one of the most efficient pumps on the market
  • Quiet operation thanks to its permanent magnet motor
  • Easy to install
  • It helps you save up to 80% on energy bills
  • Affordable than other models
  • The digital computer can develop faults over time
VERDICT
Another energy efficient pump that will save you a lot of money on energy bills is the SP2303VSP MaxFlo VS model by Hayward. It is a powerful pump with a TEFC motor thanks to which is has a fairly quiet operation. In spite of its drawbacks, it still is one of the most appreciated variable speed pump on the market, these days.

4. Pentair 342001 SuperFlo

You will be surprised to discover how efficient our 4th model is. The Pentair 342001 SuperFlo is a pump with variable-speed that delivers impressive electricity helping you increase your monthly savings by up to 80%. The 342001 Superflo is designed for standard pools in need of a 1.5hp pump. Like its competitors, it comes with a lot of features. Of these, we would like to mention about the real-time clock with 24-hour memory retention and its simple user interface which is extremely easy to set and operate. In addition to this, it comes with three programmable speed settings and an override speed setting.

The speed range of this pump varies between 600 and 3450 rpm. It is a single phase model with a full-rated operation. It is also worth mentioning that it comes equipped with a TEFC motor. Thanks to this, there is less noise and vibration. Like its competitors, it is eco-friendly and energy efficient. So, if you are thinking about purchasing a poop pump that will help you save money on energy costs, this could be a great option.

PROS
CONS
  • Clock with memory retention of 24 hours
  • Three operating speed settings
  • ser interface – very easy to use
  • TEFC motor
  • Energy-efficient
  • Although it comes with a TEFC motor, some customers complain the fact that it tends to be very noisy
VERDICT
The 342001 SuperFlo VS is an energy efficient variable speed pump that comes with a powerful TEFC motor and three operating speed settings. It is very easy to install and extremely easy to operate. In spite of its ultra-quiet TEFC motor, it tends to be a bit noisy. However, considering its affordable price, it is a good option to consider when making a purchase.

5. Hayward SP2610X152S

If you are interested in purchasing a variable speed pump for your swimming pool but you are on a limited budget, this might be exactly what you need. In terms of reliability and performance, this is one of the best models. As compared to single or double speed pumps, this is incredibly quiet. Also, it is incredibly efficient thanks to its totally enclosed fan cooled motor. What we really like about this pump is the fact that it comes with a fully programmable, touchpad control that can be rotated to 4 different positions for more access. This makes it fit in tight corners and spaces, so you won’t be forced to install it in a place that you don’t like. The SP2610X152S pump is available in both 115V and 230V versions.
It has an universal compatibility which means that it can operate independently or it can operate with competitive systems via relay control. Overall, this is a good option as it gives you the possibility to match the speed of your pool pump according to your preferences.

PROS
CONS
  • It comes with a powerful TEFC motor
  • Thanks to its digital control interface it can rotate to 4 different positions
  • Energy Star certified
  • Eco-friendly
  • Easy to install
  • It lacks certain features
VERDICT
Easy to install and operate, this variable speed pump could be a great addition to your swimming pool. It is affordable and comes with a lot of features. Although it is not as powerful as its competitors, it still is a good option to consider.

Types of pumps

The pool season is around the corner and the thoughts of cleaning your swimming pool don’t seem tempting at all. However, you need to find an efficient way to keep the pool water sparkling clear. If that’s true, now is the perfect time to change your faulty pump and invest in a more quality one. Finding the right variable speed pump could be a back-breaking task as the market is overflowing with a broad array of different models and versions of pumps. Or, perhaps it would work better a single speed pump. We also have a third version which is a double speed pump. What do you say? What is more tempting to you? In order to help you decide what to choose, we would like to present to you the basics of each type of pump.

Single speed pump

Highlights
Drawbacks
  • it has been one of the most popular types for decades
  • it operates at 3450 revolutions per minute (RPM)
  • it runs at a single horsepower ranging from ¾ HP to 3 HP
  • the most affordable type of pumps
  • it doesn’t require day-to-day maintenance, but it will in time
  • it is louder than the other 2 types of pumps
  • since it has the highest operational costs of all those three types, it is not suitable for a swimming pool that is used daily

Double speed pump

Highlights
Drawbacks
  • it changes its speed from fast to low and low to fast
  • it runs with two different Hps
  • energy-efficient – it contributes to operational cost savings
  • it doesn’t produce noise when running at low speed
  • very easy to install and operate
  • more expensive than single-speed models
  • it is loud when running at fast speed
  • it is not recommended for residential pools. It works better in spas and jacuzzi
  • it could be a bit complicated to fine tune flow rates
  • most models lack controllers or timers – sometimes these additional features may be needed

Variable Speed Pump

Highlights
Drawbacks
  • the most eco-friendly, energy-efficient pumps
  • it uses less energy then the other types of pumps
  • range speed – 600 -3450 RPM
  • it works at full range of Hps
  • it fines tune flow rate with ease
  • the most quietest pump
  • the most expensive type of pump

Important Factors to Take into Consideration

If you are reading this, then you probably need a variable speed pump. According to several swimming pool installers, these types of pumps are the right way to a well-maintained pool without having to deal with a loud operation, day-to-day maintenance or absurd energy consumption costs. As compared to the other two types of pumps, such as single-speed and two-speed pumps, this one is efficient, quiet and extremely inexpensive to run. In some cases, you can even save up to $1000 per month in electricity costs. Finding the right model for your needs could be quite complicated as there are too many models on the market and most of them are equipped with many features and settings hard to navigate. However, it is not impossible to find what you need, but there are some important factors to consider when making this kind of purchase.

Most Relevant Aspects More Detailed Information Best Choice
Efficiency The variable speed pumps can be adjusted minutely, which means that they are more efficient than the other two types of pumps. It allows you to set the flow rate according to your swimming pool needs. Indeed, this is a good way to save some money. Also, it is very important to know that a variable speed pump is usually equipped with a powerful permanent magnet motor. For example, all our models are powered by a totally enclosed fan-cooled motor (TEFC) which make them use less electricity. All models
Noise level As mentioned above, all variable speed pumps use permanent magnet motor. This is a major perk, especially due to the fact that this type of motor is extremely quiet and makes less noise than either single or dual speed pumps. The best part is that even with 3450 revolutions per minute, the pump is inaudible. Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo, Hayward SP3400VSP Ecostar, Hayward SP2303VSP Max-Flo
Flow rate If you have any doubts about the flow rate of your pump or you don’t know exactly what it means, these lines are for you. Firstly, you should know that it represents the amount of water that it can process within a given standard period. Secondly, keep in mind that it strongly depends on the balance between pool size and the revolutions per minute of the pump. All models
Plumbing Before making a purchase, take into account several factors, including the design of your pool plumbing. This way, you will benefit from an easy installation and it will save you headaches in the future regarding the day-to-day maintenance. Remember something! The larger pipe diameter, the most efficient the plumbing is. Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo, Hayward SP3400VSP Ecostar
Programming options Most models come equipped with built-in programming options that make them more efficient than the other two types. With these programming options, you will be able to set them as you want. Plus, you shouldn’t worry anymore about switching speeds as this will change automatically. Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo, Hayward SP3400VSP Ecostar, Hayward SP2303VSP Max-Flo
Horsepower As you probably know, the three-horsepower pumps are the most powerful out there. However, this doesn’t mean that they are the best or the most efficient. You may not need this type of pump even if your pipe could handle it. This could be a waste of energy and money. However, this also depends on the size of your swimming pool. Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo, Hayward SP2303VSP Max-Flo, Pentair 342001 SuperFlo

Frequently Asked Questions


1How long does it last a variable speed pump?
Usually, the variable speed pumps last longer than the other two types of pumps, generally up to 10 years. Plus, there is a 1, 3-year warranty, depending on the model.

2How long should it run every day?
According to several experts, it is recommended to run your pool’s pump for at least 12 hours a day.
3What is the difference between an induction motor and a TEFC motor?
As you probably know, the induction motors are used in single or double-speed pumps while the other is used in variable speed pumps. The TEFC motor is the same motor used in electric cares and it is much quieter and more durable. Plus, it vibrates less and runs cooler.

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