Single Speed Pool Pump Regulations

Federal Regulations for Pool Pumps and Motors

In July 2021, the U.S. Department of Energy will begin implementing new rules to govern the sale and production of pool pumps that do not meet new energy efficiency requirements. States like California and Arizona are already taking steps towards eliminating the use of single speed pumps on residential swimming pools. 

Technically, not all single speed pool pumps will be on the chopping block, but the vast majority will no longer be available if manufacturers can’t meet the new requirements. According to Aqua Magazine and the DOE, there will still be some smaller single speed pumps on the market, but we will see an increased share of the market going to variable speed pumps.

What are the new regulations?

Pool Pumps will be rated on their “weighted energy factor” (WEF), rather than horsepower. Every pool pump will be given a WEF, which needs to meet the new requirements to be sold. WEF has been compared to MPG for cars – this is the number that provides a general idea of energy efficiency to any given pump. If a car has a higher MPG number, it is typically considered to be more energy efficient than other vehicles. This will be the same for pool pumps.

Pool Pump Motors that will not be impacted by the new regulations in 2021 (per the DOE):

  • Polyphase pump motors capable of operating without a drive and not provided with a drive that converts single-phase power to polyphase power
  • Waterfall pump motors
  • Rigid electric spa pump motors
  • Storable electric spa pump motors
  • Integral cartridge filter pool pump motors
  • Integral sand filter pool pump motors

What’s next for dedicated-purpose pool pump motors?

As we all suspect, variable speed pumps will be at the forefront of this shift to energy efficient pool equipment. But pumps are only one piece to the puzzle. Industry leaders point out that other products are beginning to gain traction due to efficiency innovations.

Take pool lights for example: many pool owners are opting to upgrade their incandescent or halogen bulbs to LED. The initial price tag is higher, but the utility cost savings are substantial. Pool Cleaners are another great example of efficiency improvements. These days, many pool owners have decided to use a robotic pool cleaner, bypassing the pump filter system all-together.

The future of swimming pool equipment

Experts are projecting the growth of a systems-based approach to energy efficiency in the near future. This means that each piece of equipment in the swimming pool system has been engineered for the highest amount of efficiency (as a single piece of equipment and as a part working in unison with the entire system).

At the end of the day, every pool is different and every region has different utility resources. If you would like to see how much you could save by upgrading from a single speed to a variable speed pool pump, check out our Variable Speed Pump Calculator HERE.

Many local utility companies incentivize pool owners to upgrade from a single speed to variable speed pump with money saving rebates. To learn if your local utility company is currently offering a rebate, view our Utility Rebates page HERE.

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Brian Champ
When Brian isn't writing pool-related articles, he enjoys anything that will take him outdoors: hiking, biking and trail running ...to name a few. Brian is excited to share his pool knowledge with helpful how-to guides, product reviews, comparisons, and more!