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What’s the Difference Between Variable Speed & Variable Flow Pumps

When looking for the perfect pool pump there are many factors that go into selecting the right one. If factors like efficiency and savings rank high on your list, chances are you've stumbled across two possible options: variable speed pumps and variable flow pumps. Variable pumps are often the industry's standard choice, as they are one of the better performing class of pump on the market. One factor that stands out is the price difference between the two. This is why it is important to understand the difference between the two pumps.

Variable Speed Pumps

Distinctions between the two pumps are often hard to understand from the manufacturer's details. Often people opt for variable speed pumps because they are lower in price. Variable speed pumps often come with preset factory speeds or are programmable to a limited number of speeds. This is great for a hands-free experience. The downfall is that variable speed pumps are a relatively rudimentary system that do not maximize overall effectiveness in the same manner a variable flow pump would. Pros:

  • If you're looking for efficiency and savings when it comes to purchasing a pool pump, this is the standard option.

  • This option is less expensive than variable flow pumps.


  • Although it is often considered the standard option, it is only equipped limited number of programmable speeds and functions.

Variable Flow Pumps

Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Flow PumpVariable flow pumps are often overlooked because of they are greater in price; however, if you are willing to spend the extra cost you will be very pleased as they are a more advanced system than the variable speed pump. Variable flow pumps come equipped with a built-in computer meaning you can program a limitless number of speeds. The built-in computer inside the variable flow pump also can detect how much water is needed for the task at hand. The computer runs an algorithm to take into account factors like backpressure to optimize overall function and efficiency.


  • If you're looking for efficiency and savings when it comes to purchasing a pool pump, this is the more advanced option.

  • Variable flow pumps come equipped with a built-in computer that allows for limitless programable speeds.

  • As well, it features an advanced function to detect how much water the pump requires for each task; thus maximizing efficiency.


  • Variable flow pumps are the more expensive of the two options.

When it comes to looking for a pool pump to serve all your swimming pool needs, you need to factor in cost effectiveness and overall efficiency. Many pool providers recommend that if it is in your budget to opt for the more advanced system, the variable flow pump. has both variable speed pumps and variable flow pumps, perfect for all of your swimming pool needs.  Have a question about selecting the right pump for your swimming pool?  Feel free to contact us here, we're happy to answer any questions you may have!

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