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New Department of Energy (DOE) regulation means more pool owners will soon be switching to variable-speed (VS) pumps as their single-speed pool pumps fall out of compliance. For many pool owners, this may be the first time they’ve studiously reviewed the benefits of VS pumps and, as a result, may be unaware of the real benefits that come along with implementing a VS pump. It’s also worth noting, that because single-speed pumps are the least expensive pump option, having to switch over to a more costly piece of equipment may put a sour taste in customer’s mouths — even if it provides more cost savings and improvements to their pool’s quality in the long run.
To help educate and empower pool owners to make the right decision for their new pool pumps, dealers and retailers should take time to educate pool owners on the details of this new regulation and learn more about the options available for VS pumps and how to communicate the full benefits to their customers, including energy cost savings and improved pool conditions.
Ensuring Compliance & Beyond
The first question pool owners may ask is, “So, what’s actually changing and why?” Here’s the gist: Starting July 19, 2021, most inground, single-speed pool pumps will fall out of federal compliance as the new regulation sets a minimum energy efficiency of pool pumps, meaning most single-speed pumps won’t make the cut.
In addition to setting a new energy efficiency minimum, the DOE is also making changes to how retailers label products. Of those items listed on the label, one is most commonly known by pool owners: the weighted energy factor (WEF). This measurement is often compared to miles per gallon (MPG) in a car, making it easier for a pool owner to understand its importance in the conversation. But, as retailers know, energy savings in a pool go beyond measuring WEF. Two additional considerations pool owners should keep in mind when identifying energy consumption for a VS pump are the hydraulic horsepower (HHP) and the total horsepower (THP).
Understanding the Labels:
- WEF: Measure of energy efficiency. The higher the WEF, the most efficient the pump. WEF is required to be labeled on a pump.
- HHP: Measure of pump’s performance. The amount of water your pump can push to, and through, the pool. This is not equivalent to motor horsepower and is not required to be labeled on the pump, but Pentair does put it on their products.
- THP: Measure of the total horsepower created at the motor shaft, not at the wet-end. This represents the potential output, not the actual output. THP is required to be labeled on the pump.
While the new DOE regulation aims to improve energy efficiency and increase visibility in the numbers behind energy consumption, there are specific VS and variable-speed and flow pump products pool owners can implement to better manage their energy costs, saving them money long term.
Tackling Poor Performance and High Energy Costs
Behind heating and cooling, pool pumps can be the second highest energy consumer in the house. With single-speed pumps, there are only two settings: on or off. So, while these pumps are the least expensive to purchase, when they run, they run at full speed which can cause excess wear and tear on equipment. And when they turn off to save energy, water is left stagnant and can become unsanitary.
In addition to high energy costs, pools with poor pump performance can face some unfortunate situations, such as unsanitary pool conditions, poor water quality, increased wear and tear, more frequent filter cleanings, shorter pump lifetime and a need to use more chlorine. Luckily, many of these challenges can be addressed with variable-speed and flow pumps.
By incorporating VS pumps, pool owners will see energy and cost savings, along with higher performance, less noise, and a longer-lasting product compared to single-speed pumps. All these factors combine to create a better pool experience with improved circulation and less wear and tear on equipment.
Finding the Right Product
To choose the right products, pool owners should discuss their specific needs with a dealer or retailer, who can give helpful recommendations and insights into products. Three products dealers should consider for their customers’ pools includes Pentair’s IntelliFlo® VSF Pump, SuperFlo® VST Pump and the IntelliPro® VSF Pump.
- IntelliFlo VSF Pump: IntelliFlo is the first variable-speed and flow pump that adjusts to changing system conditions. It maintains desired flow and performance by automatically adjusting its speed to compensate for filter loading, water features and more. Simply put, having an IntelliFlo VSF pump is like having cruise control for your pool.
- SuperFlo VST Pump: Designed for practical pool owners, the SuperFlo VST pump has a dependable and robust completely enclosed fan-cooled motor and can adapt to 115V or 230V and 50hz or 60hz power with no special wiring or switching.
- IntelliPro VSF Pump: This innovative dual-technology pump ensures the desired flow and performance is maintained, even as a pool’s conditions change. Utilizing an IntelliPro VSF Pump helps ensure that other pool equipment performs at optimal levels as well.
To learn more about these products and learn how Pentair can support dealers, retailers and pool owners as they navigate this new DOE regulation, visit Pentair.com/pumpregulations or contact your Pentair representative today.