Pools without a doubt enhance your life, but environmentally a pool has a significant impact. If its an in-ground pool, the cement and steel forming the basin require an inordinate amount of energy to manufacture. It takes energy to filter and transport the water use fill it, and more energy to continually filter the water, clean it, and manufacture and distribute the chemicals and cleaners used to combat the natural arising bacteria.
Its not meant to lay on a guilt trip when enjoying your pool, it is just intended expand awareness of all the embodied energy consumed building and maintaining pools.
Across the U.S., there are 4.5 million inground pools, 3.5 million aboveground pools, 5 million hot tubs, 270,000 commercial pools. Those numbers are from 2004, so probably add another 25% to those numbers and in combination, we estimate that there probably 15 million pools in 2016, and that just in the U.S.! Its hard to fathom how many more pools there are around the world and how many more will be built over the next few years.
The steel, reinforced concert, and Portland cement used in building your pool all consumed energy in the manufacturing and distribution process. Surprisingly, in comparison to aluminum, steel, glass and stainless steel and other building materials, the chart below illustrates that the typical building materials used to build pools are relatively and significantly lighter in energy consumption, so that’s the good news.
In fact, concrete actually absorbs CO2 during its lifetime – go figure.
Keeping this in mind, minimizing the on-going operation of all these pools can take a small chunk out of our nation’s footprint. Particularly if more energy efficient pumps are installed.
The challenge when looking for a pool pump is to find an intersection between your budget and a pump that will be energy efficient for you. The range of costs for these pump varies widely, therefore several pumps will be described, with a representative spectrum of price options and features.
So, which are the most efficient pool pumps?
Here are a few suggestions, based on my complimentary research and which I would consider for my pump replacement needs.
The Pentair DYNII Pump retails online for about $220 and being from one of the top manufacturers, has a great reputation for energy efficiency, combined with longevity. It is reported to have a fairly unique impeller and diffuser combination that leads to minimal friction and turbulence while water is moving through the pump. That design requires less horsepower to get the job done, which greatly reduces energy bills. A second-time purchaser reported that this pump really performed well, leading to the purchase of the same pump as a replacement. This pump is designed for above ground pools.
Hayward SP2610X15 Pool Pump sells for $357. It has a technologically advanced design which is cost efficient and provides a durable and dependable pump option. It has a large see-through strainer cover, to allow for ease of maintenance, and a super-sized bucket for debris. The pump is designed for easy service, with a high performing, heavy duty motor that has air-flow ventilation, which makes operation cooler and quieter. It has a swing-away knob design so the owner can remove the strainer cover with no loose parts or clamps to account for, and needs no tools to access. This pump is designed to be heat-resistant and long lasting. Customers report efficient cleaning and reliable performance.
The Pentair Pumps retail for between $900-$1100. These come with precision fit internal components, and a specially designed sound-dampening base, to provide a very quiet pump. It has a high efficiency and special hydraulic design, which provides long life and solid energy savings. It is a low maintenance pump which has a clear view lid which allows an easy check for debris. This pump also comes with superior flow dynamics which moves water more effortlessly. Easy cleaning is available because of the Quick-Lock trap lid, which gives access to the strainer basket with a simple twist of the wrist. Sta-Rite is a subsidiary of Pentair.
The Jandy SHPM2.0 Stealth Pump sells for $754 and employs what the company calls “quiet technology” (sshhhh!) to control the flow dynamics within the pump. It boasts a large trap basket which maximizes hydraulic flow by holding more debris. Customers reported ease of installation, and a very quiet pump when installed. It is reported to be a superior product, and is one of the most efficient single speed pumps available. It comes with quick connect unions, a flared base to allow easy anchoring, and the company suggests this pump can save up to 20% on energy costs.
The Pentair 011017 IntelliFlo Pump lists for $1,100, and has intelligent software and an onboard computer which allows for minimal energy usage. The computer program will automatically calculate the flow requirements for the specific pool, and will allow for 4 speeds to be set up, for differing spa, pool or water feature applications. When set at the minimum speed for the task, the pump works less and use less energy. The pump adjusts easily by pushing a down or up arrow button. As the functions change, the pump will adjust itself to keep flow rates optimal, to continue to maximize energy savings. The pump has built-in diagnostics to protect itself – if a freezing, overheating or voltage irregularity situation occurs, the pump will make adjustments. This pump also has a built-in safety vacuum release system to shut off the pump in case of a drain blockage.
A consumer can easily become overwhelmed by the available choices of energy efficient pool pumps with all the features and options when it comes to replacing a pool pump. But sometimes, just knowing which energy efficient pool pumps are out there – from an easily replaceable quiet pump, to the top end with on board computer and programmable controls – can help a buyer determine what features are right for them.
Becky Flanigan enjoys writing freelance articles about how to operate pools with the least environmental impact. Becky has a great time on family weekend trips with her husband, 3 kids, and 2 golden retrievers while not worrying about her beloved pool. She spends many happy hours frolicking in family swimming pool, watching the kids and dogs splash around. She is also an avid gardener – and even helps friends landscape and decorate their yards.