Infographic: Why Your Pool Needs a Variable Speed Pump

The purpose of pool pumps is to circulate the water in your pool in order to help keep it clean by moving any debris into the filter. It also helps with keeping swimmers safe from serious health hazards that can arise from having stagnant pool water. This is because when pool water is stagnant, it becomes a suitable breeding ground for bacteria such as E. coli. When you have a variable-speed pool pump, it allows you to set it at a slower yet efficient rate to continuously move water throughout your pool system for all hours of the day, preventing the hazards and build-up that come with short, fast spurts of water turnover from single-speed pool pumps.

In today’s post, we will be discussing a few of the differences between single-speed and variable-speed pool pumps, as well as the new regulation put in place by the U.S. Department of Energy that may require variable-speed pool pumps to be used for both commercial and residential pools in 2021. If you have any questions or would like to get an accurate reading of your pool’s current flow rate, give us a call and shop our state-of-the-art FLOWREAD™ pool efficiency flow meter from Blue-White Pool and Spa today!

Single-Speed Vs. Variable-Speed Pool Pumps

There are two main types of pool pumps — single-speed and variable-speed pumps. The main difference between the two of them is that variable-speed pool pumps allow you to adjust the rate in which water flows through the pool’s circulation system, while single-speed pumps only have one speed. Single-speed pumps typically correlate to the max operating speed of variable-speed pumps. While single-speed pumps are typically a bit cheaper than variable speed pumps, there are many more benefits that come with the use of a variable-speed pool pump. For example, because you can run your variable-speed pump at a slower rate than the single-speed pump, you can run it continuously in order to prevent stagnant pool water and pay less than you would to run your single-speed pump for eight hours out of the day. Not only will running your pool pump at an energy-efficient rate all day help prevent stagnant, bacteria-prone water, but it also helps with chemical breakdown and makes maintaining your pool easier.

Variable-Speed Pumps May Become Mandatory in 2021

Now that we have covered some of the basic differences between single-speed and variable-speed pool pumps, we are going to be discussing how a regulation by the Department of Energy will likely require all pool pumps past a certain horsepower rating to meet an efficiency threshold in 2021. This will mean that variable-speed pool pumps will become mandatory for powering a pool’s filtration system, regardless if it is a residential or commercial pool.

This regulation is called “Energy Conservation Standards for Dedicated-Purpose Pool Pumps,” and states that self-priming filtration pumps past a certain horsepower threshold must meet an established performance standard. As of now, this performance standard is only being satisfied by variable-speed pool pumps. And while the price of variable-speed pumps is more than that of a single-speed pump, the relative price is dropping — but cost is not expected to present much of an obstacle due to the payback being so quick in energy savings. In fact, variable-speed pumps in most areas pay for themselves within two years.

Conserving Energy and Spendings

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “A variable-speed pool pump will allow the homeowner to achieve the ideal filtration flow rate with the least amount of energy consumption.” This is due to the consumer’s ability to program and reduce the flow rate to match the required pimping task — whereas single-speed pumps will operate at maximum flow rates even for tasks that do not require it.

The slower turnover rates that can be achieved with variable-speed pumps generally reduce energy usage between 30% and 70% annually. The reason that there is such a large gap between the two percentages is because of other variables such as the volume of the pool, amount of use, the age of the system, water quality, local environment, accessories, etc.


In sum, if you are a pool owner or doing research as to what products will work best for your pool, we highly suggest opting for a variable-speed pool pump to assist with your pool’s filtration systems. Not only are they much more energy-efficient, they also keep your pool clean and pristine for all hours of the day while saving you money. Plus, they will likely become required within the next year, so you will be able to get much more use out of your variable-speed pool pump than a single-speed.

If you have any other questions, do not hesitate to reach out to our team of pool professionals at Blue-White Pool and Spa today. We provide high-quality pool filtration products that are made right here in the United States, including our efficient FLOWREAD™ pool efficiency flow meter which provides an accurate reading of your pool’s turnover rates. Get yours today!


  1. Lori Mccolley on June 30, 2020 at 4:21 am

    Hello! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a group of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!

  2. […] Variable-Speed Pool Pumps May Become Mandatory in 2021 […]

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