Variable Speed Pool Motors: an Overview

One of the essential components of keeping a pool clean in both summer and winter is the pool pump and pool pump motor.

But, when the pump goes south, a little-known law comes into play. If you have a pool pump that bites the dust, and you’re the type of person who enjoys working on home projects, you might like the challenge of replacing your pool pump motor. Here is a site which offers instructions on how to do it in 55 steps. If the 55-step pool motor project doesn't appeal to you, read on.

Nuts and bolts of pool pump motors


The backbone of your pool pump is the pool motor. In many cases, this used to be a single speed motor which ran at a brisk pace. Within eight hours or less, the pool pump should be able to pump the entire contents of your pool through the system. That’s why bigger pools or pools with extras (fountains, jets, etc.)

What is the advantage of a variable speed motor?

A variable speed motor has the option of running on a lower setting. This is the vehicle equivalent of being able to drive 20 miles per hour sometimes instead of 40 mph for every trip. The reason this is an attractive option is that, other than your HVAC, your pool motor is the highest energy-using system in your home. When there is a heavy load on the power grid, customers who have the option of running their pool pump at a lower speed is an attractive option to power companies. It fits in with their tiered energy programs. Our state representatives voted (Arizona Revised Statute 44-1375) that when an old pool motor is replaced, it should be with a dual or variable speed motor. There may have been some lobbying by energy companies to make 44-1375 a law.

What about the cost of a variable speed motor?

But, a variable speed motor is hundreds of dollars more expensive than a single speed motor. As a result, some pool companies will replace your old broken motor with a single speed motor instead of a dual speed motor. The homeowner thinks he’s saving money, but the truth is, that dual speed motor will pay for itself in lower energy costs, usually in less than two years. APS claims a savings of $340 per year in energy costs for the average pool owner.

Professional calibration

Having your pool pump professionally calibrated and installing a timer will also save energy costs. Individual circumstances will dictate how long the pump needs to run, including the size of the pool, the weather, usage, etc. As a rule, though, during the summer, your pool motor needs to run 8-12 hours; during the summer, between 6-8 hours is enough.

If you have a pool need, whether it’s service, renovation, repair, lighting, or something else, call Magic Matt’s Pools at 623-745-9953 today!