Top 10 Variable Speed Pumps
for June 2023

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As the summer heat peaks, there's no better way to cool down than with a refreshing dip in your swimming pool. However, maintaining a clean and hygienic pool requires equipment that is both efficient and reliable. And when it comes to pumps, nothing beats the variable speed pool pump. With adjustable speeds and energy-saving features, these pumps offer superior efficiency, ensuring that your pool stays crystal clear while keeping your energy bills in check.

In this article, we've compiled a list of the top 10 variable speed pumps for your pool, hot tub, or ground spa. Our extensive research has led us to some of the best brands in the market, including Hayward, XtremepowerUS, and more. These pumps are designed to cater to every budget and pool size, so sit back and enjoy as we take you through the pros and cons of each pump.

First up, we have the Pentair WhisperFlo VST pump, which operates at a whopping 2.6THP and is compatible with both 115v and 208-230v. This pump is designed to provide high-efficiency performance, with its innovative hydraulic design and adjustable speed settings. It also features a unique sound-dampening system, so you can enjoy the peace and quiet while it operates.

Next on our list is the Hayward TriStar VSP pump, which operates at up to 1.85THP and is equipped with a permanent magnet motor for better efficiency. This pump also features a user-friendly LCD interface, making it easy to adjust the speed and settings as needed.

No matter your pool size or budget, we have a variable speed pump on this list that will suit your needs. With energy-saving features, high efficiency, and advanced technology, these pumps are the perfect upgrade for any pool owner looking to save money and maintain a clean, healthy pool. So go ahead, dive in, and enjoy a cool escape from the summer heat with one of these top 10 variable speed pumps.

Pentair 011533 WhisperFlo VST Variable Speed Pool Pump, 2.6 THP

Pentair 011533 WhisperFlo VST Speed Variable Pool Pump

by Pentair - Distribution
What We like


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Product Features

  • Pump, Pentair WhisperFlo VST, 2.6thp, 115v/208-230v, 2"
Hayward W3SP3206VSP TriStar VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump for In-Ground Pools, Energy Efficient, 1.85 HP

Hayward W3SP3206VSP TriStar VS Variable-Speed Pump Pool for In-Ground Pools

by Hayward
What We like

Integrated, programmable digital interface with 24-hour programmable clock provides simple, intuitive operation

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Product Features

  • No-rib, extra-large basket design ensures easy leaf and debris removal and extends time between cleanings
  • Designed to replace most full-rate high-performance pumps up to 1.5 full-rate or 2.0 max-rate HP
  • The Hayward TriStar VS Variable-Speed 1.85 HP Pool Pump provides the ultimate in energy efficiency, saving up to 90%, or $1500 per year, on energy costsand may be eligible for local utility rebates, too
  • Permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan-cooled motor offers more efficient operation and long-lasting reliability
Pentair SuperFlo® VS Variable Speed Pool Pump, 342001

Pentair SuperFlo® VS Speed Variable Pool Pump

by Pentair - Distribution
What We like

Three operating speed settings plus override capability

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Product Features

  • Variable speed technology costs significantly less to operate. Savings based on variable speed pump compared to a single-speed pump running 12 hours per day at an average of $0. 16 per kWh in a 20, 000 gallon.
  • Real-Time clock with 24-hour memory retention
  • Ideal for standard pools requiring up to 1. 5 hp pump; 110-230v and 50 and 60 Hz capability
  • Simple, intuitive user interface is easy to program and operate; easy to access electrical connections for simple installation
Hayward W3SP2603VSP Super Pump VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump for In-Ground Pools, Energy Efficient, 1.65 HP

Hayward W3SP2603VSP Super Pump VS Pool Variable-Speed Pump for In-Ground Pools

by Hayward
What We like

Industry-leading hydraulic design provides incredibly quiet operation, especially at lower, energy saving speeds

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Product Features

  • Fully programmable touchpad can be rotated to four different positions or mounted to the wall for convenient access
  • Simple drop-in upgrade that can operate in standalone mode or connect to any automation system (directly or with relays)
  • Permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan-cooled (TEFC) motor ensures maximum energy efficiency and reliability
  • The Hayward Super Pump VS Variable-Speed 1.65 HP Pool Pump delivers up to 80% energy cost savings over single-speed pumpsand may be eligible for local utility rebates
Pentair 011060 IntelliFlo i2 Variable Speed Pump - Energy Star Certified

Pentair 011060 IntelliFlo Variable i2 Speed Pump

by Pentair
What We like

Totally-enclosed fan-cooled design (TEFC) for quiet operation

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Product Features

  • Eight programmable speed settings and built-in timer
  • Top-mounted field wiring compartment for easy access and installation
  • New, rotatable keypad for easy programming and viewing, keypad has the ability to be wall mounted with optional wall mount kit (sold separately)
  • Built-in diagnostics protect the pump for longer service life
Pentair 11057 VS Plus SVRS Variable Speed in Ground Pool Pump

Pentair 11057 VS Plus SVRS Speed Variable in Ground Pool Pump

by Pentair
What We like

EPA Energy Star certified, 2 inch intake and discharge ports and operates on 230 volts

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Product Features

  • Onboard computer and intelligent software allow complete control over minimum and maximum speed settings
  • VS+SVRS model features a safety vacuum release switch that complies with Federal legislation under the Virginia Graeme Baker Act
  • Variable speed pump with permanent magnet motor and Totally Enclosed Fan-Cooled design for years of use
  • Pentair Model: 011057
Pentair IntelliFlo3 Variable Speed and Flow Pump 011075

Pentair IntelliFlo3 Variable Speed Flow and Pump 011075

by Pentair
What We like

-Department of Energy (DOE) compliant.

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Product Features

  • -Slower speed and regulated flow save energy.
  • -New motor, drive, and hydraulics.
  • -Proprietary flow technology maintains the pools optimum flow.
  • -Up to 90%* energy savings.
Waterway Power Defender 140 Variable Speed Pump, 1.4 Horsepower

Waterway Power Defender Variable 140 Speed Pump

by Waterway Plastics
What We like

No drop in horsepower at either voltage

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Product Features

  • Self Priming Pool Filter Pump
  • Built-In Freeze Protection.
  • Super quiet operation.
  • Dual Voltage 115V/230V
Waterway Power Defender 270 Variable Speed Pool Pump 2.7 THP, 230V PD-270

Waterway Power Defender 270 Variable Pool Speed Pump 2.7 THP

What We like

D.O.E. and C.E.C. Compliant

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Product Features

  • The latest technology Variable Speed Motors, totally enclosed construction with a powerful external fan protects the motor against dirt and moisture and provides for extremely cool operation of the motor
  • Suitable for in-ground pools
  • Maximum Horsepower 2.7 HP
  • High Performance & Ultra Quiet Variable Speed Pool Pump provides you with optimal energy savings
Pentair EC-022055 - IntelliFlo XF 3 HP Variable Speed Pool Pump - Limited Warranty

Pentair EC-022055

What We like

8 Programmable Speed Settings (450-3450 RPM) and On-Board Scheduling

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Product Features

  • Variable Speed Pump
  • Dramatically quieter operation - as low as 45 decibels
  • Energy savings up to 90% compared to traditional pumps
  • Compatible with automation systems such as the IntelliTouch, EasyTouch, SunTouch, and select other brands

As a student of science and history, it fascinates me to see how technology has evolved over time. One of the milestones in the world of pool maintenance is the introduction of variable speed pumps.

Variable speed pumps are essentially pumps that can vary their speed and flow rate, depending on the demand. This technology was first introduced in the early 1990s, and has since revolutionized the way pools are maintained.

A Brief History

The first variable speed pump was developed by a company named "E-Gap" in the early 1990s. They marketed the product as a way to improve the energy efficiency of pool maintenance. However, due to lack of awareness and a high price tag, the product did not gain much traction.

It wasn't until the early 2000s that variable speed pumps gained popularity. With a growing concern for energy conservation and rising energy costs, variable speed pumps gained traction as an energy-saving alternative to traditional single-speed pumps.

The Technology Behind Variable Speed Pumps

Variable speed pumps have an advanced motor that is equipped with a variable frequency drive (VFD) that allows for speed and flow rate adjustments. The VFD adjusts the electrical current sent to the motor to increase or decrease its rotational speed.

In addition, variable speed pumps are designed with permanent magnet motors that are more efficient than traditional induction motors. The permanent magnets create a magnetic field that rotates the rotor, resulting in less energy loss and improved efficiency.

The Benefits of Variable Speed Pumps

One of the most significant benefits of variable speed pumps is their energy efficiency. They use less power than single-speed pumps and are far more cost-effective in the long run. In addition, variable speed pumps are quieter and produce less heat, which extends the life of the equipment and reduces energy usage.

Variable speed pumps also improve water quality, as they can be adjusted to meet different flow requirements. They can run at a lower flow rate during regular maintenance and at higher flow rates during pool cleaning, resulting in cleaner and clearer water.

The Future

As technology continues to advance, it's likely that variable speed pumps will only become more popular in the world of pool maintenance. With a growing focus on energy efficiency and sustainability, variable speed pumps are becoming the norm rather than the exception.

In conclusion, the history of variable speed pumps is a prime example of how technology evolves to meet our changing needs. As we continue to focus on energy efficiency and conservation, variable speed pumps will continue to play an essential role in achieving those goals.

The key design choices in the Pentair WhisperFlo VST pump include its horsepower rating of 2.6, the voltage options of 115v or 208-230v, and the 2" connection size. These choices have a significant impact on the users beyond what the manufacturer says.

The horsepower rating of 2.6 makes this pump a powerful option for pool owners, allowing it to efficiently move water and manage the pool's filtration needs. This can benefit users by keeping their pool water clean and clear, reducing the need for manual cleaning and maintenance.

The voltage options of 115v or 208-230v give users some flexibility in how they power the pump, depending on their specific electrical setup. This can be important for users who may have unique electrical requirements or limitations, depending on where the pump will be installed.

Finally, the 2" connection size can impact users by determining which filter and plumbing equipment will be compatible with the pump. This may limit their options for certain types of equipment or require additional fittings and adjustments to properly connect everything.

Overall, the design choices made in the Pentair WhisperFlo VST pump can have a significant impact on its usability and effectiveness for pool owners, beyond what the manufacturer may say in their product description.

FAQ About variable speed pumps

Q: What is the disadvantage of variable speed pump?

A: The main disadvantage of variable speed pumps is their higher upfront cost when compared to traditional single-speed pumps. Additionally, these pumps may require increased maintenance and are more complex in terms of installation and operation. Some users may also find that the adjustable settings can be overwhelming.

Q: How do I choose a variable speed pool pump?

A: When choosing a variable speed pump for your pool, it is important to consider the size of your pool, the number of people who will be using it, and your budget. You should also research the available options and look for pumps that are energy-efficient, durable, and easy to operate. Be sure to consult with a pool professional, who can help you find the right pump for your specific needs.

Q: Are variable speed pumps worth it?

A: Yes, variable speed pumps are definitely worth the investment for pool owners, as they offer many benefits over traditional single-speed pumps. These pumps are much more energy-efficient, which can save you significant amounts of money on your energy bills over time. Additionally, they are much quieter and can be run for longer periods of time without causing excessive wear and tear. Overall, variable speed pumps offer more precise control over your pool's water flow and are a smart, eco-friendly choice for pool owners.

Q: Can I replace my 1 HP pool pump with a 1.5 HP?

A: Yes, you can replace your 1 HP pool pump with a 1.5 HP pump, but it is important to make sure that the new pump is compatible with your existing pool system. Factors such as line size, type of pool, and plumbing configuration will all need to be considered during installation. Additionally, keep in mind that larger pumps may be more expensive and can consume more energy, so it is important to weigh the pros and cons of a larger pump before making a final decision. Consulting with a pool professional is always a good idea when making major changes to your pool's equipment.


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