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Best Variable Speed Pool Pumps

Variable speed pool pumps have been around for over a decade, and for good reason. Variable speed pumps have many advantages over single speed pumps, such as cool, quiet motors, and increased energy efficiency. In this article, we break down the most popular and highest-rated variable speed pool pumps to help you select the right one for you.

What Makes Variable Speed Pumps Superior?

Variable speed pool pumps are superior to traditional single-speed pumps because of their money saving, energy efficiency. This is because they use a permanent magnet motor that allows them to adjust their speed based on the pool's specific needs. Variable speed pumps can run at a lower speed for longer periods, using less energy, while still maintaining the desired water flow and filtration rate. When you cut speed by half, you reduce the amperage use — what you pay for on electrical bills — by 4x. Savings of 50%–90% over the cost of running a standard pump are possible with a variable speed pump.

In contrast, traditional single-speed pumps operate at a fixed speed, 3,450 RPM, and can only be turned on or off, which can waste energy and causes higher energy costs. Variable speed pumps also tend to last longer than traditional pumps, because they operate at lower speeds and have fewer mechanical stresses on the pump's components.

What's the Best Variable Speed Pump for Your Pool?

The question is — what is the best variable speed pump for your pool? Not all variable speed pumps are the same size, horsepower ranges from 1.5HP to 3.0HP, and smaller variable speed pumps have 1.5" plumbing, while larger models work best with 2" or 2.5" plumbing sizes.

The most important thing is not oversize your variable speed pump. The larger pumps, 3.0HP, should only be used on large pools with lots of plumbing. The Pentair Intelliflo, for example, is too powerful for the average-sized residential pool, and can end up causing problems.

The second most important thing to remember is pipe size. 2" PVC pipe allows much more water to flow, with much less resistance. If you have 1.5" pipe, consider replacing the above ground plumbing with 2" PVC pipe and sweep elbows.

Here we look at keyword search volume on google. Which pump is being searched for the most online?

  1. Pentair Intelliflo VS
  2. Hayward Super Pump VS
  3. Hayward TriStar VS
  4. Pentair SuperFlo VS
  5. Pentair IntelliFlo VS+SVRS

Most Sold Variable Speed Pumps

Here we look at some sales data for the last five years, and consider purchases as a proxy for pump popularity.

  1. Pentair Intelliflo VS
  2. Pentair IntelliFlo VS+SVRS
  3. Pentair SuperFlo VS
  4. Hayward Super Pump VS
  5. Hayward TriStar VS

Highest Rated Variable Speed Pumps

The following variable speed pumps earned their spot at the top thanks to their energy efficiency, circulation power, and ease of use.

  • Pentair IntelliFlo VS+SVRS
  • Pentair SuperFlo VS
  • Hayward Super Pump VS
  • Hayward TriStar VS
  • Jacuzzi JVS165
  • Jacuzzi JVS185
  • Jacuzzi JVS270

Make/Model Horsepower Voltage Speeds Union Size Warranty
Pentair Intelliflo VS/SRVS 3 230V 8 2" x 2.5" 2 Years
Pentair SuperFlo VS 1.65 115/230V 4 1.5" x 2" 1 Year
Hayward Super Pump VS 1.65 230V 8 1.5" 1 Year
Hayward TriStar VS 1.85 115/230V 8 1.5" x 2" 1 Year
Jacuzzi JVS165 1.65 115/230V 8 1.5" x 2" 2 Years
Jacuzzi JVS185 1.85 115/230V 8 2" x 2.5" 2 Years
Jacuzzi JVS270 2.7 115/230V 8 2" x 2.5" 2 Years

So remember - the larger 3 HP variable speed pumps are for very large pools, or pools with high flow demands, for large spas, water features. At least 4 pipes coming in, and 4 pipes going back to the pool, and all done in 2" PVC plumbing.

For the average residential pool, the 1.5 HP variable speed pumps are best suited to the pipe size, water volume and filter design flow rate. The Hayward Super Pump, TriStar, Pentair SuperFlo, or Jacuzzi JVS185S pumps are the best options for most residential pools.

Like electric vehicles, now every manufacturer has their own variable speed pumps on the market. See our full line up online of a dozen different models to choose from!

In The Swim makes every effort to provide accurate recommendations based upon current ANSI/APSP/ICC-5 2011 (R2022) standards, but codes and regulations change, and In The Swim assumes no liability for any omissions or errors in this article or the outcome of any project. You must always exercise reasonable caution, carefully read the label on all products, follow all product directions, follow any current codes and regulations that may apply, and consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. In The Swim assumes no legal responsibility for your reliance or interpretation of the data contained herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the quality, safety, or suitability of the information, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.