3 Best Energy Efficient Spa/Pool Pumps

Posted by Author David Lee

Last Updated March 1, 2023
Energy Efficient Spa/Pool Pumps
Easy to use models have different insulations for above ground and inground pools pumps. It works with 18-feet easy set, 18-feet metal frame, or 18-feet by 10-feet oval frame pools. It's better to choose variable speed pool technology pumps that cost significantly less to operate. Savings based on variable speed pump compared to a single-speed pump running 12 hours per day at an average of $0.16 per kWh in a 20,000 gallon. There are submersible pool pumps that have 1 hp and 1,5 hp so you can decide which one suits your pool. Universal swimming pool pumps have a simple, intuitive user interface that is easy to program and operate, with access to electrical connections for fast installation. Also, there are pumps with no-rib, industrial-size strainer basket for large or extra-large debris collection with minimal maintenance and can extend the time between cleanings. Some of them are simply converted from vertical to horizontal discharge orientation. This TOP is also included energy-efficient models with protected rear-mounted switch, high-performance motor with integrated automatic thermal overload protector for years of operation. Most of us also want to have a pump with dramatically quiet operation. So there are some brands of pool pumps with timer and exclusive corrosion-proof reinforced thermoplastic housing for all-weather performance and quiet operation. The fantastic news is that energy-efficient pool pumps are fully compatible with IntelliTouch, EasyTouch, SunTouch Pool Control Systems and other brands of digital pool/spa controls for managing pump, heating, lighting, spa jets, and water features.

TOP Pool Pumps Comparison Table

NameWarrantyDimensions, inches Weight, pounds 24-Hour Timer Energy savings
❑1. 0.5HP Single (Dual Speed) Super Energy Efficient Pump With 24-Hour Timer+ 13.8x18.5x16 24.8 + -
❑2. 1.5HP Powerful Above Ground Energy Efficient Pool Pump With Cord+ 28x15.5x12.5 52 +
❑3. 1.5 hp Extremely Quiet Single Speed Energy Efficient Pool Pump With 1 Phase+ 27.5x12.5x14.8 38.5 - -

1. The Best 0.5HP Single (Dual Speed) Super Energy Efficient Pump With 24-Hour Timer

0.5HP Single (Dual Speed) Super Energy Efficient Pump With 24-Hour Timer Picture
Easy to use a double insulated pump. Powerful and quiet 2500GPH pump flow rate. Auto timer with preset 2 to 12-hour cycles. Includes one easy to clean, replaceable filter cartridge.

2. The Best 1.5HP Powerful Above Ground Energy Efficient Pool Pump With Cord

1.5HP Powerful Above Ground Energy Efficient Pool Pump With Cord Picture

3. The Best 1.5 hp Extremely Quiet Single Speed Energy Efficient Pool Pump With 1 Phase

1.5 hp Extremely Quiet Single Speed Energy Efficient Pool Pump With 1 Phase Picture
There are a variety of great options for variable-speed pool pumps. Some have programmable features so you can increase and decrease speed on a regular schedule. They come at a variety of price points so you can find the one that best suits your financial needs. This type of pool pump is perfect for any pool owner and will provide the flexibility that will make pool ownership so much simpler.

If you are a pool owner, new or old, you know the importance of an efficient pool pump. There are regular pool pumps and variable-speed pumps. The difference is that a variable-speed pump allows you to control the speed at which it filters water. You can make it slow or fast depending on the condition of your pool. Variable-speed pool pumps are great for conserving energy. You can leave the pump on the low setting most of the time to save energy. You can switch to higher settings if you find that your pool needs to be circulated quickly before a pool party or right after a storm.

How Long Should You Run Your Pool Pump

The answers is very simple — all day, every day, every hour and forever. Obviously it's not realistic... Ideally you would want to run your pool pump all day every day because the more you run your pump, the more the pump is pumping water through your filter, the more the filter is filtering out bacteria and other debris and everything is going to be great, but that's going to make your electric bill. And so we don't actually want to run your pool all day 24/7 so let's think of a better option.

What is the ideal time to run your pool?

And that's eight hours a day. At least eight hours a day. If you can run it more, more is always going to be better, really.

What does a pool pump actually do?

A pump pulls water in from your swimming pool and pushes it through your filter and then back into your swimming pool. It's like the heart of your entire pool and depending on what kind of filter you have, whether it's sand, DE, or cartridge, your pump is going to be pushing the water through that at a certain speed. And your filter is going to either filter it or not. And so we're trying to create the ideal situation to where you're pulling in enough water from your pool and pushing the right amount of water through your filter system so that it can work effectively and then push that clean water back into your pool.

Turnover Rate

Ideally we want to move all of the water from your pool through your filter system and back into your pool at least once a day. And that is called turnover rate. So turnover rate is what we need to calculate in order to find out if you have the right size pump and the right filter for your pool. So the first thing we want to know is how many gallons are actually in your swimming pool. And we need that in order to determine what the turnover rate is going to be. And you can find out how many gallons your pool is by simply entering the size of your pool, length and width using special calculator form and what kind of pool you have and it'll give you the amount of gallons. So now once we have the amount of gallons that are in your swimming pool we're going to need to divide that by eight, which is eight hours, and that is going to give us the gallons per hour. So then once you have that, when you buy a pool pump, it's usually calculated in gallons per minute. So we're going to have to do some more calculations, which means take that gallon per hour number and divide it by 60 which is 60 minutes in an hour. And that will give you your gallons per minute (GPM).

Feet of Head

Okay, now that you have the gallons per minute, if you're looking for the right pool pump, there's one more calculation you need to do and that's called the feet of head. And what you're going to do to calculate that is determine all of the lines that are going into your pool. So you that might have a main drain line. You might have a line from your skimmer, you might have a line from two skimmers. If you have an above ground pool, you just have one line and so you measure the length in feet to the skimmer or the main drains all the way into your pump. And then if you have multiple things, let's say you have a main drain and you have two skimmers, that's three different things and you're going to take all of those, you're going to add them all up in feet and you're going to divide it by three because you have three things. If you have two things, maybe you just have a main drain and a skimmer, then you're going to take the length of those two going from those places back into your pump and you're going to add them together, divide by two because you have two things. If you have a above ground pool and you just have one line from your skimmer, you just measure that and that'll give you your feet of head. So now that you have the gallons per minute and your feet of head calculation, you can go online or you can go to your local swimming pool supply store and you can figure out which pump is going to work best for your swimming pool to turn over all that water into eight hours. Now there are a couple of different types of pumps you can choose from and those are single speed, dual speed and variable speed pumps. Now I think in California and Arizona, they actually forbid adding in single speed pumps to your brand new pool or to your, if you're buying a brand new pump. And the reason is because it just goes one speed and it's not very efficient or energy saving. And so they make dual speed, which is you have your high setting, which is your max speed and you have your low setting. But even better than that, you have variable speed pumps, which can do all types of different flow rates. You know you have your pump, you know your gallons per minute, you got your feet of head, you have the perfect pool pump. In horsepower, you know that it's the right pump, you're turning over that water in eight hours. So the question is how long do you run your pool pump? The answer is eight hours. Now, do you have to run it in eight hours consecutively, just an eight hour period? No, you don't have to do that. In fact, you can run it multiple times a day and as a little tip, sometimes in the middle of the day when it is hot out in the summer and everybody around you running off the same electrical grid is all running their air conditioning, that's going to raise the price of your electricity. So if you're running your pump during the day, you are running it at the peak electrical hour. So you are running it and you're going to pay the most for that. Now if you have a bunch of people in the pool and you're running it while they're all in there, that's great, but we actually like to run it at night sometimes. So you add chemicals to your pool and when you add chemicals to your pool, you need to run your filter system to mix them in. So that means you need to run your pump. And when we add something like shock to the pool, we want to add that at night. And so the reason we add it at night is because the sun's going to burn off one part per million every hour. Because if you're doing shock, it's unstabilized chlorine and it's just a waste of money. So if you're going to shock your pool, you want to shock at night. But if you want to shock your pool, you're going to do it at night. So therefore you should run your pump at night. And so you need to run it at least eight hours then so you can run your pump at night. And when people are swimming, no pump is running or you can split it up. You can buy yourself an automatic pool timer and you can have your pump turn on maybe four hours during the day, four hours a night, seven hours during the day, one hour at night, whatever. You can split it up. You can have it run two hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon, two hours in the evening and two hours in the middle of the night. It's totally up to you as long as you run it at least eight hours a day, you should be good to go. As much as you should run your pool pump 24/7, you really don't have to. You can run it just eight hours a day as long as it's turning over all of the water in your pool. Make sure that you have the right horsepower for the size pool that you have doing all the things that we talked about when it comes to calculating turnover rate. And make sure you've got a good filter system that's filtering the water and you can run it eight hours a day. If you have a lot of activity in the pool, I mean, or if you don't want to calculate turnover rate, you're just like, "Hey, I have what I have." That's fine. Then maybe bump that number up? So minimum eight hours a day.

Hayward and Pentair Pumps Comparison Review

I'm going to start out by comparing the form factor of the standard. I have Hayward Pool Pump. And the Hayward Pool Pump, there's a couple of modifications. I also have my service pumps that I use when I go out and I clean pools. So I use these for blowing out pools. So these are set up for winterizing, right now, these lids anyways. But I just want to talk to you about these two pumps, right? So we have a single speed, and we have a variable speed. And pump from Pentair did something really good, they made it easy to swap out a Hayward with one of their Pentair's. How did they do that? They made the form factor exactly the same. If you could read that from the ground, both of all would be like eight and three quarters. Then, not only that, but they made measurement exactly the same as well. So from the front of the pump housing to right in the center is about nine and a half for both. So that when you go to swap out his energy hog for a variable speed Pentair, different brand, it's easy to do. It's super simple to do, because it's the exact same fit. So if your plumbing ends, and you're trying to replace the pump, well they made it easy for you to do, to swap to their brand. Brilliant. And why wouldn't I go to a variable speed Hayward, if I have a Hayward pump now? Let me tell you something. The programming, the controls, everything on the Hayward model, it looks like the Star Ship Enterprise. It looks super sleek and modern, and beautiful. Programming the thing's a pain in the butt, and they still have issues with the Hayward. These pumps of bulletproof. I mean the old single speeds were bulletproof. You see my extension cord. I use these, I bring these out to people's pools and put it on the side. I plug it in, I hook my vacuum hose up here, my discharge hose here. I vacuum their pool straight to waste, with these service pumps. Well because these only pumped at one speed, sometimes the vacuum would get stuck to the bottom of the pool. With the variable speed, I'm able to slow the pump down a little bit, and I do a better job vacuuming. But I'm going to go over a few things with these pumps. I have a new pump that is about 150, almost $200 cheaper than my favorite Hayward pump. The Pentair pump is super easy to program, really bulletproof. So if you're looking to swap out a Hayward, they always had the leaky pump seals, if you're looking to swap out the single-speed energy hog, I highly, highly recommend. If you've got three or four return jets, you've got one or two skimmers, you don't have any fancy plumbing, it's going to do an amazing job for your pool. You're going to save so much energy by running it at slower speeds. Keep in mind, if you've got a heater, or if you have a DE filter, you can't really run it at super low speeds, because you've got to have a certain minimum flow to keep that heater running, or to keep the DE, diatomaceous earth, clung to the grids. These are way better for big cartridge filters, for above ground or in ground. Variable speed, two speed pumps are way better for cartridge or sand. Moving the water slowly through the filter, it doesn't beat up the filter like the old one speeds. It filters better, because you're not jamming that water through. The old one speed used to cause channeling in the sand filters, pumping slower through a sand filter, longer, less energy, less money on energy costs, and better filtered water. So there's a lot of reasons to go from the energy hog one speed to the variable speed. And nowadays the price is coming down. And most of the parts are made in China, and are assembled here in the States. It's actually a German company that buys their parts in China, assemble them here in the US. I don't know, but I'm going to tell you that I know that when you're looking for a durable pump, something that's going to last, for price, I don't think you're going to beat the spec pump. But, if you're looking for something with a little more teeth, you're going to want this Pentair one. This is by far my absolute favorite pump. For the last three years I've been pairing it with above ground pools. I mean it pumps twice the water that a above ground pool does. It's got a bigger impeller, it moves more water, so you can run this motor even slower. And so the energy savings on above-ground pools, this pump pays for itself in energy savings. There's no question of doubt, it's just you've got to go with the upfront cost. You've got to handle that. I just want to get good information to you. I want to show you those important things, like the form factor of these pumps, it makes it easy to go to this. And again, these are just service fittings. So if you have hard plumbing, you can use special union kit. When you buy this pump it comes with these unions. So one, just a little glue and primer and your inch and a half plumbing goes right into it's place. So Pentair pump, when you buy it, whether you buy it on Amazon, wherever you get this thing, it's going to come with a union kit. So it comes with that. It makes swapping out the pump super simple. I want to show you how easy it is. So the old single speeds, the single speeds ran on 110, or 220. All the variable speed pumps mostly run on 220 only. That's what made me fall in love with this pump in the first place, was that you hook any voltage to this, and it figures out what you have for voltage. All the single speeds, they ran on 220 or 110, but you had to move a jumper. If you didn't move the jumper, and you had 220 voltage, and you hooked up the power up to it, you'd burn out your new pump. With the Pentair, you hook any power up to this, 220, or 110, it figures out what you have for voltage. I'm going to keep this shot rolling because it's super simple. I just want to show you how easy it is to wire this thing. Lift the cover off, slide it to the side. There's a wire over here. I'm going to show you how simple this is. So I just got a weatherproof fitting. It's got a little rubber in there. It's an upgrade to what I used to have over here, on my service pump. The wires come in, you put the ground right on the ground, which is usually green, and then you hook the black to one side or the other, and the white to one side of the other. You could put the push clips on to something like that. I like to just use good thick copper, and go right under the screw head, and call it a day. And you can see a little control wire if in the lid, that goes to the controls. Then it's just four screws. All the instructions are on the lid, but it's super simple to set the time, to do everything. They don't even send you a user manual with this. All you get is this sucker, which is all you need. That's how simple it is to program this thing and set it up. And again this label says Hayward, but this motor was probably made by Century, who makes the motors for all the brands, Pentair, for Hayward, for Jandy, for everybody. Them and US Motors made all the pumps for all the motors. I just wanted to introduce you to my favorite variable speed pump. And I'm going to introduce you to this new, less expensive model. This model, usually, the cheapest probably I've ever seen is like 675. I saw this one website one time, I should have bought them up some, I don't know if they were trying to get rid of stock or what, but they were 550, which is like a hundred and something dollars below my cost. So at 675, that's actually my cost on this pump right here. And I'm telling you, compared to this thing, two years of running, this guy will pay for this. But even better, because you can run this 24 hours a day, your pool is going to be cleaner. The dirtiest part of the pool is the surface. It catches all the dust, the dirt, the bugs. The more you have that pool skimming, the less your chemicals are going to fall out. The less chlorine you're going to need, the clearer your water's going to be, because it's filtering 24 hours a day on a low speed. So this takes one eighth the energy on low speed that another pump that runs at 3450 RPMs is going to eat up in kilowatts. So you can run him 24 hours a day and save 50% over what you would get with a single speed, but now you're filtering your water all the time. So it's clearer, it's cleaner, you're not beating up on the filter as much. Jamming water through the filter constant 3450 RPM, no, you move it slower so that dirt isn't embedding into your filter media, and it's just a whole better scenario. It's going to be the law, eventually, that everybody has an energy efficient pump. But let me introduce you to the spec pump. A couple of awesome things. Now this is an above ground variable speed pump. This is specific spec pump, the E71 is for above ground pools. This is not self priming. They do have a self priming model, the E91, and there's a few differences. Actually the E91 is slightly more energy efficient, and I mean slightly. They both cost the same, the in-ground version, the E91 versus the E71, they both cost the same. The cool thing is unlike most in-ground pumps, they come with a plug. So my service pumps, you saw the extension cords, well when you buy those pumps they have no cord. So this is going to come with a three prong ... This is cord, three pronged twist lock plug. So that when you're running your service you just have to get the right receiver. So it comes with a plug, which is a huge plus, they cost some money. In ground people usually hard wire them, but above ground people, they expect a plug. And it comes with a plug. So a couple of cool things about this variable speed pump. One — it's the cheapest variable speed pump on the market. So that's huge. Now above ground pools have several different kinds of filters. They have sand filters, earth filters, and cartridge filters, the same as in ground pools. But, so cartridge filters and DE, diatomaceous earth filters, the filter hookup tends to be down at the bottom of the filter. So you would want a pump that feeds out this way. But here's the really cool thing about this, right? Suppose you have a sand filter, you want to run the hose up to the top of the filter. So whether we have a top discharge or a side discharge, this variable speed pump is going to do it for you. It's got a winterizing plug. It comes with two fittings for hoses, so you can hook up hoses. But if you wanted, it also comes with inch and a half slip fittings. So if you wanted to hard plum it, glue and primer and all that stuff, and hard plum it, then it comes with those fittings as well. The one thing I want to point out, above ground people pay attention is that a fittings have this size of actually inch and a quarter. So this is going to restrict the flow. But if you cut this, you cut off this inch and a quarter, now you have inch and a half, and your water's going to flow better. So if you're going to go with typical above ground flexible hoses, what you want to do is you want to cut this so that you get rid of this restriction, because you want your water to flow well. So the programming on this pump is super simple, very easy to understand, unlike my favorite pump, the Pentair. This comes with an incredible operator's manual. It's got spec pumps. 1.1 dual voltage series, which means it'll run on 110 or 220, like the Pentair. Everybody's starting to catch on to what the Pentair was doing. So you can program three different speeds for different times of the day. The nice thing about this is it's slightly more. A two speed from Hayward, one of the most popular two speed above ground pumps. And now I get to have all the speeds I want so I can control it. So the two speeds, one speeds, 3450 RPMs, the half speed, the second speed, the low speed is going to be 1750 RPM. At 1750 RPM you can't fire a lot of heaters, there ain't enough flow, and it won't keep enough DE on there. So you have to always, even you spend the $300 on the two speed pump and it ain't working well on low. So this pump is going to get you to any speed you need. So if everything will flow at 2000 RPM, if you look at the affinity law chart, you'll see how many Watts you're going to use. Actually, this thing will tell you how many Watts you're going to use, based on the speed you're running it at. So the approximate RPM is 2000 to 2600 RPM, and it's going to use 450 Watts, versus twice that, versus a thousand Watts at full speed. And that's what people are stuck with, and like I already talked about, good filtration. Unless you like vacuuming your pool, and trying to clear the water, and you like cloudy water, filter it all the time, run it all the time, and you're going to be a much happier person. I have not actually used this at all. The Pentair I've been running, like I said for a few years now. But this has, from the horses mouth, from other guys in my industry that I trust, they told me this thing's bulletproof. And my distributor told me that not one of these came back. They've sold 300 of them last year, out of that location, and not one pump came back with a problem. I could say the same thing over three years with my Pentair pumps, with one exception. One of them, the housing, that big housing, the programing, it cracked during shipping. That was the only one I returned in three years. So these are really good pumps. They're really state of the art, super energy efficient. And the difference between the E71 spec pump and the in-ground version, which is self priming, is that the E71 only comes with slip fittings. It doesn't come with a barbed fitting for hoses, for above ground pool hoses. So they're both dual voltage. And E91, the in ground version does not have a side discharge. It only has a vertical discharge. So something to keep in mind about that too. So those are the only differences between the two spec pumps, is the in ground version is only a vertical discharge. And the above ground is not self priming. It says it right on it here, somewhere. Yeah, it says install pump under the water level. Meaning it won't lift the water. You can't put this above the water level. But with the E91 you can. So this has got a nice lid, that's another thing. Hayward lids, I sold a couple where I had to go back every time they wanted to change, clean out their debris basket. They were like, "It's full." The Hayward's make a special tool because you can't even get the lid off. These are great. The Pentair's super simple. They give you the ears. They give you these two ears that make it really easy adjust. So that's my variable speed pump review. Really, I don't even need to talk about Hayward. Their program is so wonky, so hard to do. I've got people that asked me to come out, open their pool and please program the pump, because they can't figure it out. Even with Google and YouTube and everything out there, they can't figure it out. And I'll tell you, I have a tough time with it. Because you've got to go through these, you've got to hit this three times. It's a nightmare. You've got to hold this button for three seconds, and then you've get to hold this ... And two buttons together to get to this point. The Pentair 342001, and the spec pumps, crazy simple to program, both crazy durable. And I'm telling you, you above ground people are going to love this, because I'm pretty sure we got this out for just $500. And it comes with your cord, which costs $30, and you don't have to wire it, it's all set up for you. Most above ground pools, because of code, have the three-pronged twist lock.

Best branded pool pumps

The market is dominated by some manufacturers.

Powerful Above Ground Pool Pump With Cord

is quiet to use and works more than 12 hours a day. The model has a real-time clock with 24-hour memory retention. Three operating speed settings plus override capability.

1. 5 HP Above Ground Swimming Pool Pump With Dual Speed

has industrial-size strainer basket for large debris collection with minimal maintenance. Energy-efficient, protected rear-mounted switch. Quiet to use and can work all day long.

High-Performance Variable Speed Energy Pool Pump

is energy savings up to 90 % and quiet operation only 45 decibels. Fully compatible with almost all models of digital pool/spa controls, 8 programmable speed settings and built-in timer assure optimum speed.

Submersible Above Ground Pool Pump With Energy Star Certified

has low noise level and easy to install. Permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) motor. The digital interface shows power consumption to maximize energy savings.

Clear Sand Filter Above Ground Pool Pump With GFCI And Timer

has excellent water filtration because of 6-function controller. The built-in 24-hour timer with 2 to 12 hours preset cycles for automatic operation. Built-in ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) with integrated safety shut-off. Meets UL/CSA standards.

Universal Pool Pump With Safety Vacuum Release System And Energy Star Certified

has ultra-quiet work and has 4 variable speeds. Save up to 90-percent of the energy costs, easy to program and operate. Compatible with intellitouch, easytouch and suntouch pool control systems.

Extremely Quiet Single Speed Pool Pump With One Phase

has heavy-duty 56 square flange motor and highly engineered hydraulics. Quiet operation due to superior internal flow design. Self-priming pump for quick, easy start-up.

Above Ground Pool Pump With Cord Of LX Series

is the 100 % drip proof, heat-resistant double-sized seal allows for long motor life. High-performance impeller and heat-resistant double-sided seal. Exclusive corrosion-proof reinforced thermoplastic housing for any weather and quiet operation.

Don’t buy cheap energy efficient pool pump

If you buy cheap products, you will end up buying twice. There are some very cheap pool pumps on the market, but these are the ones made from poor quality material and components, and they can break down after a few months. Buy more quality model as it will be worth price that you pay.


Let's go over some frequently asked questions about pool pumps.

What energy efficient spa/pool pumps are good?

Check please our pool pumps comparison table.

Where to Buy Cheap Energy Efficient Spa/Pool Pumps?

Take a look at this TOP pool pumps reviewed of 2023 and then press the «Check Price» button to check their price and availability.

What is the budget energy efficient pool pump for sale?

The 0.5HP Single (Dual Speed) Super Energy Efficient Pump With 24-Hour Timer is our Editor's Choice as the best model of pool pumps with its combination of performance, features, quality and price.

Thesandshore.com is a source where the post about pool pumps appeared first and was written by David Lee, an expert on marine eqipment. He has been boating for over 20 years and currently lives in Florida with his wife and children.

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Comments to Review

  1. Here is a great TOP of pool pumps to buy – perfect for all types of pool and bot expensive.

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