Best Variable Speed Pool Pump Reviews

Save On Energy Costs With The Best Variable Pool Pump

Looking to upgrade your single-speed pool pump with something powerful and energy efficient? Whether you’re trying to replace an old model or upgrade your pool, a variable speed pool pump
is one of the best ways to make your pool more energy efficient.

A variable speed pool pump will give you more options for controlling the flow rate and water circulation in your pool. You can enjoy hours of clean, circulated water while consuming less energy than a single speed pump.

Our water filtration experts at iWaterPurification examined dozens of options, comparing horsepower, durability, and efficiency from the top pool brands. If your existing pool pump has a minimum of 1.5HP, you’ll find the best variable speed pool pump in our list of the year’s top ten.

You can skip ahead to the 9 best variable speed pool pump reviews, or check out the chart below to shop right now.

Best Variable Speed Pool Pump -
Top 9 Picks of 2020

ImageProductView Price
Product Image of Pentair 342001 SuperFlo VS Variable Speed Pool Pump1. Pentair 342001 SuperFlo VS Variable Speed Pool Pump

  • Ideal for standard pools requiring up to 1.5 hp pump

  • Real-Time clock with 24-hour memory retention

  • 3 operating speed settings plus override capability

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Product image of Hayward TriStar VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump2. Hayward TriStar VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump

  • Dual-voltage capabilities provide easy installation

  • Permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan-cooled motor for more efficient operation and long-lasting reliability

  • 24-hour programmable clock provides simple, intuitive operation

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Product image of Harris In-Ground VS Variable Speed Swimming Pool Pumps (3 HP)3. Harris In-Ground VS Variable Speed Swimming Pool Pumps (3 HP)

  • Durable stainless steel motor shaft is reinforced with thermoplastic body for longer life and durability

  • Carborundum and graphite mechanical seals and components

  • Advanced engineering provides high efficiency and minimal noise

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Product Image of Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pool Pump4. Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pool Pump

  • 8 Programmable speed settings and built-in timer

  • Built in diagnostics monitors the pump for longer service life

  • Saves up to 90% on energy costs relative to other brands

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Product Image of Regal Beloit America - Variable Speed Pool Motor Pump Square Flange5. Regal Beloit America – Variable Speed Pool Motor Pump Square Flange

  • Integrated User Interface with Timer Mode

  • UV & Rain-Proof Enclosure

  • Totally Enclosed Fan Cooled (TEFC)

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Product Image of Hayward MaxFlo VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump6. Hayward MaxFlo VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump

  • Permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC)

  • Fully programmable, digital control interface rotates to four different positions or mounts to the wall

  • Delivers up to 80% energy cost savings over single speed pool pumps

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Product Image of Pentair 340042 SuperFlo Variable Speed Pool Pump7. Pentair 340042 SuperFlo Variable Speed Pool Pump

  • Suitable for a variety of inground pools

  • Low-noise Square Flange Motor

  • Unionized fittings

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Product Image of XtremepowerUS 2HP Inground Pool Pump 220V Dual Speed8. XtremepowerUS 2HP Inground Pool Pump 220V Dual Speed

  • Heavy-duty, high-performance motor with air-flow ventilation for low-noise operation

  • Commercial-grade frame

  • Thermally protected motor for greater protection and longevity

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Product Image of Doheny's Pool Pro Variable Speed VS In-Ground Swimming Pool Pumps (1.5 HP)9. Doheny’s Pool Pro Variable Speed VS In-Ground Swimming Pool Pumps (1.5 HP)

  • Stainless steel motor shaft with a reinforced thermoplastic body for longer life and durability

  • Carborundum and graphite mechanical seals and components

  • Advanced onboard diagnostics system provides warning against errors and hazards

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9 Best Variable Speed Pool Pump Reviews (Full)

Powering your spa, waterfall, swimming pool, or jacuzzi can be extremely costly when operating during peak hours. Adequate circulation for your pool’s filtration system requires a powerful motor that won’t overheat, with diagnostics monitoring and programmable features for scheduling the optimal usage.

A single speed pool pump maintains a single speed at high RPM’s, which is great for circulation but expensive to run during peak hours. A variable speed pool pump allows you to adjust the speed setting so you can take advantage of lower rate times without compromising on performance.

Our water appliance and filtration experts examined several dozen options from top brands like Hayward and Pentair to find the 9 best pool pumps with variable speed. Each review includes pros and cons, as well as insights from users on performance and durability.

Horsepower: 1.5
Type: Variable Speed (3 Settings)
Voltage Required: 110V – 230V

Review

If you’ve been searching or reading reviews of the best variable speed pool pump, you’ve likely come across the name Pentair. With 100 manufacturing plants in 30 countries, this global manufacturer of pools and pool supplies is a recognized brand that delivers innovation, quality engineering and performance for a reasonable price.

The Pentair 342001 SuperFlo is a variable speed pool pump with three operating speed settings as well as override capabilities for the ultimate in control and efficiency. No rewiring is needed for the installation, which is a big plus. Other models require some rewiring to adjust the voltage required, but the Pentair SuperFlo automatically recognizes and adapts to your 115- or 230- volt power supply for a seamless installation.
With its simple, intuitive user interface, the Pentair SuperFlo is easy to program and operate.
An easy-to-read graphical display and a built-in timer give you advanced monitoring capabilities to minimize potential hazards to your pool pump system.

Once installed, you can select from three programmable speed settings, or the override speed setting to meet your specific pool pump needs. And you’ll be amazed at how quietly the pump operates, thanks to the totally enclosed fan motor.

PROS

CONS

Horsepower: 2.7
Type: Variable Speed
Voltage Required: 230V Single Phase

Review

Hayward has been manufacturing pool supplies for over 80 years, and continues to deliver superior engineering and performance with every new model. The Hayward Tristar VS is a powerful variable speed pool pump designed for ease of use and long lasting durability.

Ideal for inground swimming pools, new or old, the Hayward TriStar is the perfect replacement pump for any Pentair WhisperFlo, Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas and the Dura-Glas pump. The extra-large basket design extends time between cleanings, keeping your pool free of large and small debris longer.

Two unionized connections allow for a quick and painless installation. With its totally enclosed fan-cooled permanent magnet motor, the TriStar VS operates virtually noiseless on the lower settings with higher efficiency. The fully programmable digital control interface rotates so you can access it from four different positions with greater ease. You can also mount the pump to the wall for easier viewing and access.

Choose from 8 custom timer settings, and let the TriStar go to work. In no time at all, you’ll easy make back your investment, as this variable speed pool pump can potentially reduce your energy costs by as much as 90% compared to a standard single speed pump.

PROS

CONS

Horsepower: 3
Type: Variable Speed
Voltage Required: 230V Single Phase

Review

If you’re looking for an affordable replacement for an older Hayward pool pump, the Harris In-Ground VS Variable Speed Swimming Pool Pump offers similar value at half the price. Durable and efficient, this 3 horsepower in-ground pool pump won’t disappoint you.

While it isn’t as easy to install as the Hayward or Pentair, the initial operation is easy to set up using default settings and one touch button control. The key to a successful installation is determining the right fitting requirements, which may not be compatible. In which case, you’ll need to make a trip to the hardware store, or hire a plumber.

Once installed, the Harris In-ground VS performs reliably use after use. The stainless steel motor shaft is constructed with a reinforced thermoplastic body for longer life, with carborundum and graphite mechanical seals and components for enhanced durability over the years.

With its high efficiency, low-noise motor, the Harris In-ground can quietly power your swimming pool filtration system, your spa, waterfall, cleaner, heater, salt chlorine system and other water applications.

Select from one of 3 different timer programs for optimum efficiency using the easy-to-read LED interface and control panel. You can check the indicators on the control panel for speed (rpm’s) as well as alarm indicators and error messages regarding under and over voltage, high temperature, over current and freeze protection.

PROS

CONS

Horsepower: 3
Type: Variable Speed
Voltage Required: 230V, Single Phase

Review

Energy Star certified for high efficiency, the Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pool Pump is considered by many to be the best variable speed pump on the market. Similar in many ways to the Pentair SuperFlo VS, the IntelliFlo includes enhanced programming for added convenience and even higher energy savings.

Suited for large inground pools, spas, jacuzzis, and other applications, the Pentair IntelliFlo provides up to 80% reduction in energy costs over traditional pumps. Eight programmable speed settings give it a significant over the Pentair SuperFlo, which is limited to 3 settings.

Combined with a programmable timer and built-in diagnostics, the Pentair IntelliFlo is easy to operate and maintain. The integrated keypad and LED screen provide monitoring of the wattage consumption and speed to prevent errors and damage due to overheating.

With its permanent magnetic motor and totally enclosed fan, the Pentair IntelliFlo operates at 4 decibels lower than standard pool pumps, remaining cool for hours. Once installed correctly, this should last you several years of use.

PROS

CONS

Horsepower: 0.85 and 1.65
Type: Variable Speed (3 settings)
Voltage Required: 115 and 230V, Single Phase

Review

Widely compatible and customizable, the Regal Beloit America – Variable Speed Pool Motor Pump is another great option that will significantly reduce your energy costs. If you’re replacing a standard single speed motor, this variable speed pool pump is one of the easiest to install without replacing your motor!

No additional wiring or plumbing is required to install the Regal Beloit America. It can be easily integrated with an external digital control system for additional automation features. The digital interface allows you to program the timer, adjust the speed (600-3450 RPM), view the temperature and wattage use.

The built in V-Green 165 motor is whisper quiet at lower speeds but gets increasingly noisier as you increase it. Despite this, the TEFC keeps the motor cool which reduces noise and improves efficiency.

PROS

CONS

Horsepower: 1.5
Type: Variable Speed
Voltage Required: 115 and 230V, Single Phase

Review

The Hayward MaxFlo VS is a member of the Maxell family of pumps. As such, it’s designed for drop-in upgrades, allowing for a seamless, hassle-free installation. Available for 115 and 230V, this pump will quickly pay for itself, even if your swimming season lasts only a few weeks.

With its permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) motor, the Hayward MaxFlo offers improved energy efficiency and reliability over cheaper brands. The digital control interface is widely compatible with other systems, and the interface can be rotated for a better view and easier access.

PROS

CONS

Horsepower: 1
Type: Variable Speed (2 settings)
Voltage Required: 110 and 220 Volt, 1 Phase

Review

While not as powerful as its sister, the Pentair 342001 SuperFlo, the Pentair 340042 is a less costly alternative without compromising on quality. This high performance, two speed pool pump is powered by a 1 HP motor that’s Energy Star certified for efficiency. You can use it to replace or upgrade your existing Hayward Super Pump.

The Pentair 340042 SuperFlo can be installed in most inground swimming pools with relative ease. Little adjustment is needed to install, so you can literally start saving money on your energy bill within minutes. There are 2 speed settings to choose from, and when it’s on the lower setting you can barely hear it operating.

How To Wire Your Brand New Pentair SuperFlo Variable Speed Pool Pump

PROS

CONS

Horsepower: 2
Type: Variable Speed (2 settings)
Voltage Required: 110 and 220 Volt, 1 Phase

Review

Priced lower than many of the top brands in this review, the XtremepowerUS 2HP Swimming Pool Pump compares favorably with the best variable speed pool pumps for performance and reliability.

With its thermally protected motor, and ETL/UL certification, this pool pump reduces energy consumption while operating at low noise levels. Whether it’s a hot tub, spa, jacuzzi, or your swimming pool, the XtremepowerUS 2HP Inground Pool Pump keeps your water circulating and fresh at a fraction of the cost of a single speed pump.

Equipped with an extra large debris basket, your pool will need less maintenance as the pump keeps your water free of debris longer. The clear cover on the basket makes it easy to see when the basket needs to be emptied.

The one significant drawback is the installation, which requires some level of plumbing expertise. The 2 unionized fittings aren’t included.

PROS

CONS

Horsepower: 1.5
Type: Variable Speed
Voltage Required: 230 Volt, 1 Phase

Review

Whether you need to upgrade your swimming pool, spa, waterfall, cleaner, heater, salt chlorine system and other water applications, the Doheny’s Pool Pro Variable Speed VS In-Ground Swimming Pool Pumps achieves high efficiency for much less than many of the top picks.

Choose from one of 3 speed settings modes, Eco, Clean and Boost, for the ultimate in efficiency. The powerful motor can be adjusted to run for either 16 hours or 24hours during the cleaning cycle. A control panel with LED screen allows you to easily monitor speed as well as alarm indicators to notify you of system problems or errors.

An extra large strainer basket is included to keep your water clear longer. CSA and ETL certified, the reinforced thermoplastic body and stainless steel motor shaft provide longer life and durability, with carborundum and graphite mechanical seals and components as well.

PROS

CONS

Variable Speed Pool Pump Buying Guide

Switching from a single speed pool pump to a variable speed pool pump is a great way to reduce your energy bill while improving your pool’s performance. Cleaning, filtration, and water circulation can improve significantly with a variable pump installed.

Little experience is required to operate it, but you should hire a professional plumber if you’ve never installed a pool pump previously. Once installed and properly connected, You can schedule your pump to adjust the flow rate as needed to save energy.

With that in mind, here are the 5 key buying considerations for choosing the best variable speed pump.

Top 5 Buying Considerations

  1. Construction Quality: Stainless steel, thermoplastic housing and carborundum and graphite mechanical seals and components have a longer life and durability that should last a minimum of 3 years.
  2. RPM: Rotations per minute, or RPM, determines the flow rate of your variable speed pump. Higher RPM’s means a higher flow rate and better circulation. The average range of the best pumps lies between 1000-3450 RPM’s.
  3. Noise Level: A pool pump can get pretty noisy after several hours of use. Brands that utilize a totally enclosed fan cooler, or TEFC, keep your motor from overheating. Thermoplastic housing also aids in minimizing noize and friction.
  4. Digital Interface: Provides diagnostics monitoring and adjustable programming for setting the time, speed and wattage consumption
  5. Compatibility: Some variable speed pool pumps include a digital interface system that can be integrated with an external system or other brands. This way, you can replace an older pump without losing any programming capabilities.

How To Install And Wire A Swimming Pool Pump

8 Tips To Save Money With Your Variable Speed Pool Pump

  1. Generally speaking, energy will cost more during peak hours, so use the lower speed settings during those times.
  2. The recommended way to attach wires to screw terminals is to wrap the wire in the direction of the tightening screw, or clockwise.
  3. Pay attention to the flow rate (GPM) of your pump to match it with your existing pool for optimum performance. Experiment with the RPM settings until you find your pool’s sweet spot.
  4. Use the high-speed settings when the pool needs more flow. Examples include cleaning your pool, operating a salt chlorine generator, or using any water features like jets, in floor cleaners, or waterfalls.
  5. Avoid operating your pump at the maximum RPM for extended periods to reduce energy consumption.
  6. If you reduce the RPM’s by 50%, you actually can achieve as much as 75% energy savings.
  7. Familiarize yourself with your pool equipment and the minimum GPM each unit mandates for operation.
  8. When programming the timer, establish specific time frames to operate your pump at high speed to correlate with any functions that require more flow.
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