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Best Variable Speed Pool Pumps in 2023: Buying Guide

Installing a pool pump is essential if you want to maintain the quality of water in your swimming pool. As the pool season approaches, you should consider thinking of upgrading the pool pump or the filter.

You can’t drain out the water and refill the pool regularly, so installing a powerful filter and pump in your house is very important. Buying a suitable pool pump is a wise move, and will significantly improve the quality of water in your swimming pool.

Best Variable Speed Pool Pump

Pool pumps are available in many sizes, and most come with fixed speed options. However, variable speed pool pumps are also available and are a significant upgrade on fixed speed variants. Switching out and upgrading to a variable speed pool pump may qualify you for additional financial perks, and will also result in greater energy savings.

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Our Recommended Variable Speed Pool Pumps in 2023

Commonly known as multi-speed pumps, these pumps can be operated at varying speed levels. These pumps cannot be compared with dual speed pumps. You can change the speed from low to high or keep it anywhere in the middle. You can easily raise the voice when carrying out more demanding tasks such as adding chemicals in the pool or vacuuming the pool.

Moreover, these pumps are also energy-efficient and actually, run on a different kind of motor as single and dual speed pumps. The permanent magnet motor is used, which is commonly seen on electric cars. As a result, the motor itself is much more efficient when compared with single and dual speed pumps.

Our Recommended Variable Speed Pool Pumps

3) Hayward SP3400VSP Ecostar Variable-Speed Pool Pump

The Hayward SP3400VSP Ecostar Variable-Speed Pool Pump is designed for energy efficiency and ease-of-use. Through the use of a TEFC motor, this variable-speed pool pump runs at a very fast pace while making very little noise and using almost no electricity

On the right of this variable-speed pool pump, there is a small touchpad. Every button on this touchpad is clearly labeled and delineated. By using this touchpad, you can easily access the different pool pump settings and features.

Every now and then, you will need to clean the dirt and debris that flows through the pump. Fortunately, doing this is easy, due to a large basket that is within the pump.

Hayward SP3400VSP Ecostar Variable-Speed Pool...
  • Specifications: Union Connection – 2” x 2 ½” | Voltage – 230V Single Phase |...
  • ENERGY STAR Certified and compliant with industry regulations including Title 20 and APSP...

2) Pentair 340039 SuperFlo High Performance Single Speed Pool Pump

For a highly-durable and easy-to-use pool pump, the Pentair 340039 SuperFlo Single Speed Pool Pump works wonders. It consists of a very thick and durable metal body, a very strong motor, and excellent hydraulics.

By using this pool pump, you have access to 1.5HP of water pumping power. With that power, you can pump large quantities of water into/out of your pool, with tremendous ease. The pool pump uses an excellent internal flow system that allows for little noise to be made.

Within the pool pump, there is a large strainer basket. This strainer basket makes cleaning the pump very easy.

Pentair 340039 SuperFlo High Performance...
  • The Pentair SuperFlo single-speed, 1-1/2-horsepower pump moves more water more efficiently...
  • Quiet operation due to superior internal flow design that reduces hydraulic noise.If pump...

1) Hayward SP2303VSP MaxFlo VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump

From Hayward, we have the Hayward SP2303VSP MaxFlo VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump. With this pool pump, you have access to an extremely powerful TEFC motor that offers a multitude of different pumping speeds.

To go along with that, this motor is designed to be energy-efficient, and it uses nearly 80% less electricity than most single-speed pool pumps. Plus, it runs quietly, ensuring that you won’t hear it as you are swimming.

Making use of this pump’s features and settings is easy, due to a very nice touchpad. On this touchpad, you can access various settings that pertain to the current speed of the pool pump and its functioning

Hayward SP2303VSP MaxFlo VS Variable-Speed...
  • Maxflo vs brings variable
  • Speed technology to the favorite, traditional maxflo pump family

Variable Speed Pool Pump


Certain newer pumps even feature drop-in replacement, allowing you to make changes and upgrades with minimal hassle. You can even program the pump to operate at certain speeds, primarily for filtering or for running a deck jet. If you are interested in buying a variable speed pool pump, there are several things that you need to take into account.

These pumps tend to last a lot longer, and will also save you a considerable amount of money. More importantly, if you keep the speed at lower levels, you won’t have to worry about excessive noise emanating from the pump as well.

The best reason to get a pool pump is the fact that it allows you to control the pump digitally. Advanced diagnostics are built into the pump which will alert you if your pump is too hot or too cold. If you are interested in buying a variable speed pool pump, there are a series of considerations that you need to take into account. Here is a brief guide to help you buy a variable speed pool pump.

Pool Pump

Variable Speed Pool Pump Guide

Flow Rating

One of the first things that you need to check is the flow rating of the filters that can be installed within the variable speed pool pump. The filter in your pool is designed to allow a certain amount of water passing through it. If you have a larger pool, you should consider buying a pool filter that falls in line with the maximum horsepower acceptable by the pool pump.

Pipe Size

Before you purchase a new pool pump, it’s recommended that you check the size of the pipe that connects the pool to the pool pump. PVC pipes are used mainly for this purpose, and older pools usually have pipes with a 1.5-inch diameter. These are not large enough to handle the flow of water in a high horsepower pump. You might want to think about upgrading the PVC used in the pool first before making your decision. Pumps that offer greater horsepower can be fitted with a 2.5 or a 3-inch pipe to allow a higher flow of water.

Best Pool Pump


More importantly, you need to check the horsepower of the pool pump. A common mistake that many people make is that they assume that greater is always better. Even if you have pipes that can accommodate a pump as big as 3 HP, there’s no need to make that upgrade. Selecting a pump with a greater horsepower rating will probably cost you more money. If you are caught in between two sizes, you should choose one that has the greater horsepower.


Pool pumps are powered by electricity, and you have to check the voltage of the pump first before buying one. They are usually available in models varying between 115 volts and 230 volts. Make sure you buy one that matches the voltage from your output terminals. You can even use a multimeter to measure the output on the terminals.

Best Variable Speed Pool Pump


1. Are variable speed pool pumps worth it?

Pool pumps with variable speed settings help pool owners circulate fresh water at lower or higher rates, depending on their specific needs. There might be certain times during the pool season where you won’t need maximum filtration power and speed, making one-speed pool pumps inefficient and costly. The main benefit of a variable-speed pool pump is that it’s more energy efficient as you can adjust the water flow rate when needed.

Best Variable Speed Pool Pumps

2. What speed should I run my variable speed pool pump?

The ideal water flow rate of your pool pump depends on the size of your pool. If you’re running your variable-speed pool pump for the first time, crank it to its highest water flow rate setting for the first 2-3 days. If the water is sufficiently cleaned, you can drop the pump’s speed to its middle or lowest setting.

3. How long should a variable speed pool pump last?

On average, a variable speed pool pump should last up to 60 months (5 years) with frequent maintenance. This is under the assumption that you run your pool pump for 12 hours every day during the pool season—4 hours on its highest setting for quick cleaning and 6-8 hours on its middle/low setting for normal filtration.

4. Is a Pentair or Hayward variable speed pool pump better?

Both brands have their own set of advantages. According to pool owners, the Pentair variable speed pool pump is more energy-efficient, hence costing you less to run over its 5-year lifespan. On the other hand, Hayward has a reputation for manufacturing long-lasting pool pumps that last for over 60 months with regular use.

Variable Speed Pool Pumps

5. Is it OK to run a variable speed pool pump 24 hours a day?

It’s completely fine to leave your variable speed pool pump running 24 hours a day without worrying accelerating its wear and tear. In fact, it’s actually the best thing you can do for your pool. The only thing you need to consider is how much it’ll cost you to keep the pump running all day long.

6. How do you size a variable speed pool pump?

To figure out the ideal variable speed pool pump size (GPH), you need to know how many gallons of water are in your pool. Now, divide that number by how many hours you plan on running the pool pump. Say you have a 24,000-gallon pool and want to clean it for 10 hours every day. In that case, the ideal size would be 24,000 gallons ÷ 10 hours = 2,400 GPH.

7. Is it better to run a variable speed pool pump at night or day?

It ultimately depends on whether you’re shocking your pool with chlorine or not. If you are, then you should leave the variable speed pool pump on at night since sunlight can reduce the effectiveness of chlorine by as much as 90%. However, if you’re doing standard maintenance, then you can run your pool at any time.

Best Speed Pool Pumps

8. Does a variable speed pool pump use a lot of electricity?

A variable speed pool pump at its highest setting uses the same amount of electricity as a one-speed pump that delivers the same water flow rate. The benefit of variable speed pool pumps is that you can drop the speed at any time, thus reducing energy bills by a significant amount in the long run.

9. What size variable speed pool pump do I need for my pool?

Ideally, you should get a pool pump that can circulate the entire contents of your pool in no less than 10 hours. To find out whether a variable speed pool pump would work for your pool, divide how much water is in your pool (in gallons) by the maximum water flow rate of a pool pump (in GPH). If the resulting figure is less than 10 hours, then it’ll do just fine. Typically, smaller pools need 2,400-GPH pumps, whereas larger pools would need 4,800-GPH pumps or higher.

10. What is the difference between 1, 1,5 and 2 HP variable speed pool pumps?

Typically, pool owners equate a higher HP rating to a more powerful pump. This is only slightly true. On average, a 2-HP pump produces around 15-20% more water flow than a 1 or 1.5-HP model. However, a 2-HP pump has a higher amperage draw rate, which can spike your electricity bill if you frequently turn it on and off.

11. How much money can a variable speed pool pump save?

Since you can adjust the water flow rate of a variable speed pool pump, you’ll have more control over how much or how little energy it consumes. On average, pool owners can save anywhere from 50 to 75% on electricity bills. However, it ultimately depends on how long you let the pump run at a slower speed.

Speed Pool Pumps

12. Do I need a variable speed pool pump?

It really depends on how long you plan on running your pool pump. For instance, running a single-speed pool pump that pumps out 3,450 gallons of water every minute (GPM) for 8 hours will use as much electricity as a 2,400-GPM variable speed pool pump that runs for 10 hours. Before choosing one or the other, make sure you know the size of your pool, how much water you need to recirculate, and how often (if at all) you’re going to drop the speed of your pump.

13. What is the advantage of a variable speed pool pump?

Variable speed pool pumps offer two advantages over the single-speed variety. The first of which is how much you can save. With proper use, you can realistically hope to save as much as 75% on electricity. The second advantage is noise pollution. By dropping the speed of the pump, the motor will work less hard and produce less-audible noises that can ruin a backyard pool party.

14. Is there a disadvantage of variable speed pool pumps?

The only disadvantage is the higher upfront cost as opposed to single-speed models. However, seeing as how you can save up to 75% on electricity bills, variable speed pool pumps are definitely the better investment option. Just make sure that you correctly size the pool pump and get it checked frequently.

Variable Speed Pool Pumps

15. Should I turn the variable speed pool pump when swimming?

You don’t have to. In fact, the more people there are in the pool, the dirtier it becomes in less time, and the more you’ll need to recirculate the pool water. Running a pool pump at the same time people are swimming will not harm anyone. You can even adjust the speed of your variable speed pool pump while your pool is occupied.

Variable Speed Pool Pump | Recommended

If you have any questions or comments, please add them below in the comment section. Similarly, please let us know if you spot any mistakes or omissions. Thanks!

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Last Update: 2024-06-23 | Affiliate links/Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the author

Hi I’m Alex, founder of HouseholdMe.com and I’d like to say thank you for dropping by. Like most of you, the first thing I look at before buying something online is reviews or buying guides. By reading what other people say will help me gauge whether or not a product is good or not.  I am trying to help people find answers, solve problems, and get inspired.

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