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“I’m building a new fibreglass pool in South East Melbourne… Should I choose a variable speed pump or a single speed pump?

Every pool, spa or swimspa needs a pump to provide the pressure required to circulate the water through a filter, and sanitisation system if required; and back into your pool. Your pool pump choice is vital no matter where your location, or pool type (fibreglass or concrete), not only for the filtration of your swimming pool, but also for the environment and your wallet!

Although there are many different brands and sizes of pool pumps, the most frequently asked question we get is whether to purchase a variable speed pump or single speed pump. In this article we will outline the key differences in both so you can choose what is best for you. If you have questions about sizing and brands, it is best to speak directly with your pool builder, or pool professional about your individual circumstances.

What is the fundamental difference?

The single speed pump is traditionally the most commonly installed pump around the world. It is just that- a pump that runs at one speed until you turn it off. A variable speed pump on the other hand, uses a permanent magnet motor, which can be programmed to run at different speeds at different times.

What are the benefits of a single speed pump?

  • Upfront costs:

The upfront costs of a single speed pump are dramatically cheaper than that of a variable speed pump. Normally you can get a single speed pump for up to $1,000 cheaper than a similar sized variable speed pump. One thing to keep in mind is that there are a lot of other factors to consider when it comes to cost of a durable product like a pool pump, including ongoing costs.

  • Reliability:

Single speed thermoplastic pumps have been a proven, reliable form of pool filtration since 1975. It is hard to beat the history of this work-horse.

What are the benefits of a variable speed pump?

  • Energy savings:

There is so much discussion nowadays about energy efficiency and one thing you may not realise is just how much of an impact your pool equipment can make on your energy usage. Your choice of pump can affect your energy bills by hundreds of dollars. Of course there have been advancements in recent years to maximise the energy efficiency of single speed pumps, but these are still no match for the energy savings when investing in a variable speed pump. The energy savings come from the permanent magnet motor. You can begin your filtration cycle with a similar speed to that of the single speed pump, then run it for a longer amount of time at a lower speed to achieve the same turnover result. You save a lot of energy by running your pump at a lower speed, even if it is for a longer period. It is important to note, however, if a variable speed pump is only run at the highest speed all the time, you will not save energy in comparison to a single speed pump. The efficiency purely comes from reducing the speed of the pump after priming. We recommend looking for a variable speed pool pump that has an energy rating of at least 8 stars. To see a list of pool pumps registered in a voluntary energy-rating scheme run by the Australian Government, please click here.

  • Cost savings:

Although the upfront cost of a variable speed pump is higher, the cost savings in the long term are a lot greater due to the reduction in energy bills. You can pay off your pool pump within only a few years. Hayward has a cool energy savings calculator where you can compare your energy savings in dollars by entering your postcode and selecting your preference of pumps. Click here to compare today.

  • Technology Advancements:

Another benefit of the variable speed pump is the noise reduction, due to the reduced power. The decibels of the variable speed pool pump decrease dramatically in comparison to its predecessor, so you won’t bother your neighbours with a noisy pump. A lot of variable speed pool pumps are also fully programmable so you can set the hours and speed for your pool and walk away, and you can set them up for use with automation systems.

What brand do we recommend for pool pumps?

At Master Pools our preferred supplier of all things pumps is Hayward Pool Products. Our selected range of Hayward single speed and variable speed pool pumps are engineered to deliver high performance and reliability. We currently range the Hayward Maxflo VS Variable Speed Pumps and the Hayward Super II Single Speed Pumps, as well as the PowerFlo II, which is our choice for solar installations. You can learn more about Hayward Pumps here.


In summary, it is an exciting time building a new pool, and a choice like variable speed pump versus a single speed pump can be overlooked, but it is important that you make the right choice for you. If you want a cheap work-horse to use as a reliable pump for your pool, and don’t mind about convenience and noise, a single speed pump is a great option. If energy efficiency, convenience and quiet afternoon by the pool is what you imagine for you and your family, and are happy to recover your costs over time with an environmentally friendly option, a variable speed pump is the best choice for you.

Master Pools have been installing variable speed pool pumps in Melbourne’s South East since they have been on the market, on all new pool constructions in Rowville, Berwick, Narre Warren, Pakenham, Wantirna, Heathmont, Lilydale and Kilsyth. If you would like to see the pumps in action or learn more, you can make an appointment to visit our Swimming Pool Display Centre in Cranbourne West here or if you are looking for a quote for a new fibreglass pool in Bayside, the South Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne or Mornington Peninsula, please contact us here today.

Single Speed Pump

Hayward Single Speed Pump