7 Best Variable Speed Pool Pumps

By Greg Jarvis | Last Updated: September 7, 2022

For swimming pool owners who do not have a variable speed pool pump, maybe it is time for you to have one. Your primary concern could be how much money you need to buy a pump? Also, maybe you are not sure how to figure out which is the best-rated variable speed pool pump and which is not. Asking a pool expert or company could help you, but they will surely charge you for it.

To help you with your concern, we have written this perfect variable speed pool pump review. The review includes a comparison table so you can easily determine how one brand differs from the other. Also, included in this post are seven variable speed pool pumps that you can consider buying. We have provided a buyer’s guide, so you will know what features to focus on when deciding.

3 Variable Speed Pool Pump Comparison

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  • Voltage: 110-230V
  • Horsepower: 1.5 HP
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  • Voltage: 230 V
  • Horsepower: 1.85 HP
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  • Voltage: 230 V
  • Horsepower: 1 HP
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7 Best Variable Speed Pool Pump in 2022

1. Pentair 342001 Pool Pump

Pentair 342001, tan

This pump is a good option for those who are in search for a unit that can provide optimal overall quality. The Pentair 342001 has a three-speed operational system. But, it does not consume too much energy because of its Energy Star. It is also less complicated to manage.

This variable speed pump can lower energy costs by up to 80% as compared to traditional pool pumps. It has a 24-hour real-time clock and an in-built interface that displays the RPMs and watts.

Pentair 342001 is predesigned, having a self-prioritizing function. It prevents air from penetrating it. If needed to draw out water from the swimming pool, the machine has retentive memory that will start from where you stopped in case of power failure.

Installing equipment is also easy. This is the only replacement pump available in the market that does not require expensive rewiring. The reason for this is because it operates on 115 to 230-volt power. The connection is fast and simple due to its easy-to-access wiring compartment.

The machine operates quietly. Its TEFC motor will barely produce any sound and also eliminates any high-pitched noise. Aside from being an energy-efficient machine, this long-lasting pool pump is affordable, durable, and reliable. Functions well as a replacement pump, and it does not cost that much.

The actual savings this pumper can provide may vary depending on local utility rates, pump horsepower, plumbing size and length, pool size, pump rpm, service factor, pump run time, and other hydraulic factors.


  • Quite easy to assemble and install
  • Durable and compact design
  • This system is easy to operate and program


  • Predesigned with an only 3-speed setting

2. Hayward SP3202VSP

This Hayward variable speed pool pump is one of the best models when it comes to convenience and safety. It makes use of a modern digital interface in regulating the water flow effectively and efficiently.

The pool pump comes with other added features like built-in diagnostics. Its primary function is to protect the machine against priming failures, extreme temperature, and voltage fluctuations. Because of this feature, it makes the device safe to use and reliable, which makes it a good investment for your pool.

The TriStar VS motor produces the right flow with energy-efficient hydraulics. This enables low-speed operation if needed, so it operates quietly. It can help the homeowners to save up to 90% on pool-associated energy costs every year. And because of its Energy Star rating, the homeowners can get rebates from the local energy companies.

This Hayward variable speed pool pump high performance is up to 1.5 HP or 2.0 HP. The union connections, together with two pump base options, make installations, retrofits, and servicing smooth. And for additional convenience, a no-rib strainer basket enables easy debris removal.

Hayward TriStar pool pump is the market leader when it comes to variable-speed design. It has the pinnacle solution for many residential pool applications. The pool pump has become very popular with many pool owners who have plans of upgrading their old single-speed pumps.

It is specially designed for medium to large pools. The speed function of the motor provides on-demand flow at the right time, which leads to efficient hydraulics.


  • Durable construction and design
  • In-built safety features
  • Ideal for medium and large-sized pools


  • It is too technical for an ordinary person

3. Pentair 340042 SuperFlo

Pentair 340042 SuperFlo High Performance Energy Efficient Two Speed Pool Pump, 1 Horsepower, 230 Volt, 1 Phase - Energy Star Certified

Another best pentair pool pump. Just like other Pentair, this Superflo High-Performance pump flow operates quietly. It has unionized fittings with a 1.5-inch internal slip and two inches external slip. For almost 50 years, it has been a product of premium quality hydraulic engineering.

It can move water more efficiently for lower operating costs. Also, it requires less effort, which leads to less wear and tear, and it means longer life for a good return on your investment. The Superflo pumps have innovative construction. Thus, it will last longer as compared to others.

Pentair Superflo pumps are best for different variety of inground pools. It has thick wall body parts and a 56-square heavy-duty flange motor. This machine has a small footprint that enables it to drop easily into a compact equipment pad.

This unit can run silently, and a small footprint enables it to drop into a compact pad. As a whole, it will provide your pool system the ability to pump more water efficiently at low operating costs. Also, it performs with less effort, thus minimizing wear and tear, which results in a longer lifespan for a good return on your investment.

The Superflo pump meets the criteria for a superior pool, water, or spa feature pump. It is very efficient, easy to maintain, and operates quietly. Also, it has advanced materials that are very reliable during the most demanding conditions and installations. It does not matter if you are choosing your first pump or modifying older technology; this pump will surely provide.


  • Designed and built exceptionally well
  • Has a durable controller
  • Operates super silently


  • Low flow in low speed

4. Hayward SP2303VSP MaxFlo

Hayward SP2303VSP MaxFlo VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump, BLACK GOLD

The Hayward SP2303VSP is less powerful as compared to other pool pumps. It is full of great features. As compared to other models, this one has an Energy Star certification, which means it is energy-efficient.

This Hayward model sits at 1.65 HP and with a speed range is between 600 – 3450 revolutions per minute. Thus, it is a very powerful unit. It has lots of features that will help increase the energy efficiency of this unit. For instance, the motor has a magnet locked inside an enclosed fan-cooled design. The newest hydraulic technology dramatically improves efficiency by a considerable amount.

It can cut your costs significantly against a fixed-cost model. You can even get rebates from the electric company. Programming this machine is also very easy, so you don’t need to call an expert.

Unlike other pool pumps that operate quietly, this one produces lots of noise, mainly if set at high speed. People around will get annoyed. But, if you have an enclosure for the pump, they will not be able to notice it.

The model is much cheaper, but it is still as durable as the others. Some units though, only last for two or three years. It is not enough to get a return on your investment with regard to energy savings.

It has been predesigned with a timer that helps the users to monitor their usage and make some changes if needed. Although this pump is very dependable and effective, it likewise has a better chance of developing some issues when used for many years. It is filled with over 2000 revolutions every minute. This will give you some problems when it comes to squeals.


  • With the impulsive control scheme
  • Quite durable
  • It has a swift and easy installation process


  • The pump’s circuit board, malfunctions overtime

5. Pentair 011028 IntelliFlo VS Pool Pump

Pentair 011028 IntelliFlo VS Pool Pump, Almond

The Pentair 011018 was replaced by the 011026 energy star certified. It complies with the energy-efficient criteria set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency along with the U.S. Department of Energy.

This pool pump offers around 90% energy efficiency, which means it complies with the traditional pumps. It operates quietly as compared to other pumps. Almost four times less noisy at a much lower decibel. Using this machine is easy as it has an uncomplicated menu design.

You can program it up to eight speeds and has a built-in timing system. With this, you can easily set the speed for your specific pool. And also the exact amount of operating time needed for your pool size. By doing this, you can achieve the highest degree of efficiency and significant savings.

It has built-in diagnostics to help you troubleshoot any issues that come to lengthen the life of the pump. This variable pump features eight speeds with a programmable digital clock for each speed, together with a rotating LCD screen that shows the actual wattage used and speed settings.

This Pentair pool pump is the best solution if you want to save and increase performance with Energy Saving, Eco-Friendly pool pump. It offers the same energy savings and reliable performance that made it the best-selling variable speed pump.


  • It is extremely quiet even on high speed
  • User-friendly with simple LCD display
  • With built-in diagnostics for troubleshooting


  • Initial instruction on installation is quite confusing

6. Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo

Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo Variable Speed High Performance Pool Pump, 3 Horsepower, 230 Volt, 1 Phase - Energy Star Certified

This variable speed pool pump is quite popular because of its design, features, and durability. With this machine, you could save up to 90% on operational costs as compared to other pool pumps. Its motor operates quietly and has built-in diagnostics to protect the pump. This will assure you that you will be using the pump for many years.

You will be impressed with its built-in timer and 8-programmable settings so you can enjoy it at optimum speed. This will boost its overall efficiency as it reduces energy expenses. Pentair 011018 features the latest engineering that can survive the test of time.

It also has an ultra-efficient permanent magnet motor that is usually found on hybrid cars. The motor speed matches what your pool requires. Your pool will have superior quality water, exceptional filtration, and lower costs by running longer at lower speeds.

For pools situated in areas where there is a limitation of the flow rate replacement, this pool pump is recommended for in-ground pools. It has a hydraulic system that significantly minimizes the flow rate and also provides an energy-saving feature. The maximum rating is around seven amps. This makes retrofits simpler and is limited by the size of the present wire gauge.


  • Low operational costs
  • Durable construction
  • Advanced features


  • It is a bit expensive as compared to other

7. Pentair Sta-Rite 343001 Pool Pump

Pentair Sta-Rite 343001 Pool Pump

The Pentair SuperMax VS pump has remarkable energy cost savings of different speed technology to standard pools. It can reduce energy costs up to 80% while keeping your pool clean and inviting.

This pool pump is manufactured by one of the best companies when it comes to the swimming pool industry. One of its best features is that it is easy to install. It also has an advanced digital display, which makes it easy to use than others—no need to purchase and install a separate timer.

The SuperMax VS pool pump is the answer for pool owners who want to step up to energy savings of variable speed technology. It gained the recognition of being an Eco Select brand as one of the greenest and very efficient options from Pentair. The machine helps you conserve water, save energy, reduce sound, and contribute to a friendlier environment.

The unit has a hydraulic engineer for optimum functionality on the 15 amp breaker. It has a permanent magnetic motor that operates on cool, generating fewer vibrations than induction motors. In protecting the motor, it has a built-in diagnostic.

Pentair SuperMax VS can easily deal with the loss of prime, overheating, premature wearing, freezing, and voltage irregularity. The pump can effectively enhance the functions of automated chlorinators as well as other chemical dispensers.


  • Durable and heavy-duty construction
  • With enclosed fan to protect the motor from weather elements
  • A built-in diagnostic that detects dangers


  • The motor operates a bit noisy

Things To Consider Before Buying Best Pool Pumps for Above Ground Pools

Deciding which variable speed pool pump to buy is not easy. You need to be very careful in choosing as it requires great investment. There are factors you need to consider before you make a decision.


The level of performance of the pool pump is an essential factor that you need to consider. Keep in mind the size of the pump you choose should be based on the size of your pool. It should be able to circulate and filter water comfortably without putting a lot of burden on the motor.

A medium-sized pool should use a motor between 1.5 to 2 HP for better performance. Bigger pools require a motor with more horsepower to pull large volumes of water.


Your main concern when thinking about buying a variable speed pumper is the power it may consume. Pool owners are looking for the one that uses less energy. A pool pump that can save up to 90% energy is a good option. This is more preferred than traditional single-speed pumps.

The cumulative cost savings from using this kind of pump is equal to the added cost paid for the pump you use for less than one season.


The variable speed pool pump should be made of high-quality, durable materials to increase reliability and longevity.

Safety Functions

Look for a pool pump with built-in safety features to protect the motor as well as its electrical parts from sudden changes in voltage, chemical, and water hazards during extreme temperatures.


Advanced and innovative speed pumps require an expert to install the unit to ensure the best performance. But, the present models of speed pumps have compact designs and are designed to make installation less complicated. Because of this installation has made it easy even if you do not have any experience with pool pumps.

For first-timers, it is still best to seek the help of a professional in setting up a pump. This will help you safeguard the warranty terms and assure you that it will perform as expected.

Noise Level

If you are very particular with the sound the unit produces, choose the one with a PMM motor. It produces less noise as compared to dual or mono pumpers.


As compared to dual-speed pumpers where low-speed motions are hard to use successfully, the variable pumpers can be set at low and high-speed alternately. It’s because of this why you need to use the variable speed pumper to reduce water flow and operate the heater at the same time.

Compatibility with Regular-Flow

This type of pumper has software that enables you to monitor and modify the setting. It’s because of this you need a regular water flow. The system applied to it can help increase circulation instantly.

Safety Vacuum Release Systems (SVRS)

The SVRS feature is one factor that makes a variable speed pumper the pump of choice of many swimming pool owners. This prevents clogs while the pool is in use. Unfortunately, this feature is not available in all variable speed pumpers.

The Flow Rate

You should consider the degree of water where the variable pumper can make in a specified amount of time. But, you need to keep in mind that it all depends on the size of the pool. And also the pumper’s revolution per minute.

Frequently Asked Questions – (FAQ)

How to apply for energy rebates?

If you have plans on getting a new variable speed pool pump, you can apply for a consumer rebate. Because you are buying high efficient products, the government has partnered with pump manufacturers. The purpose of the team-up is to provide rebates. You can get $50 to $100, and it is worth it to apply for one.

How long should my pool pump run?

It is best to run the pump for 4 to 8 hours per day. The number is only a suggested number of hours, but it may change throughout the season depending on several factors. Achieving the needed two complete turnovers per day is the primary goal. It means that you are cycling the pool two times a day. The pumping time will depend on the pool volume, piping, pump size, and others.

How far should I install the pump from the pool?

You can install the pump at any distance from the pool. As you increase the distance between the pool and pump, you will also increase the resistance to the flow rate. And, at the same time affecting the total dynamic head. It means you need more water pressure and a higher HP pump the further you install the pump.


As mentioned in the buying guide, the Best variable speed pool pumps for swim pools should be able to help you save up to 90%. Because of this feature, we find Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pool Pump as our top pick.

Also, it operates quietly, with eight-speed settings, and is very efficient. This pump possesses most of the features a swimming pool owner would be looking for. Installing the unit is also easy; no need to hire an expert.

We hope that we were able to help you decide on which variable speed pool pump will work well with your swimming pool. If you have any questions or inquiries, feel free to comment below.

Also Read Best Above Ground Pool Pump Buyer’s Guide.

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