I am often asked how long will my swimming pool pump last? It is a pretty general question and there are actually several separate components that make up your pool pump. You have the wet end or pump pot area, then the motor, starter, or run capacitor and if you have a Variable Speed Pump you have what is called the Drive. Each of these has different lifespans and they can vary by brand, environment, and run time.
Nothing seems to last as long as it should and that is the same thing we run into in the pool industry nowadays. Let me list the pool equipment for you with their serviceable lifespan and replacement cost. I also like using a yearly sinking fund to help budget for overall equipment replacement costs. So set some money aside each season for a new pump and motor so that when the time comes you will have the ready money to buy a new one.
This is the piece of equipment that you will be replacing most often if you have a standard single-speed pump. If you have a Variable Speed pump the motor will last a very long time – 10 years plus. But for a standard single speed pump, you will get 3-5 years out of it at best. Then you will need to replace it. The typical cost for having a new one installed is $400-$700 depending on your region and the pump HP rating. This will be the most common piece of equipment you will be replacing.
The pool pump is the wet end where the pump basket sits as well as the motor on the back. Typically they last several years before needing replacement but figure every 10-12 years or after 3-4 motor replacements. The parts do wear and age over time and it is a good idea to just change the whole thing out over time. Again, I suggest a VS pump if your single speed pump is due for a replacement. A good Variable Speed pump will run you $1,000-$1,500 installed.
The best way to save money on your utility bills is to replace your standard single speed pump with a Variable Speed Pump or VS pump. This will significantly lower your electricity bill each month by dropping your total usage down. I will go over this in a separate article in more detail but if you can make the switch do it. Your single speed pool pump is probably your home's number one energy consumer next to your Air Conditioner.
Another great benefit of a variable speed pump is that they are very long-lasting. It has to do with a few factors but one of the main reasons is that you are not running the pump at the full 3450 RPM all the time. Think of it like this. Your standard single-speed pump is like driving a care 70 mph on the freeway every day 365 a year. Whereas a VS pump will give you the ability to run it at different RPM or speeds. So you can set if for 1800 RPM for 8 hours and 2300 RPM for 4 hours each day. Now, this is like driving a care 35 mph and 50 mph every day. The wear and tear have been significantly reduced.
The only part to really worry about on a VS pump is the Drive. It is basically the controller that sits on top of the pump and controls the speeds and priming of the pump. Once that Drive dies the price to replace it is so high that you are better off getting a new VS pump. Fortunately, the drive lasts for a very long time and this is not something to worry too much about but something you need to be aware of.
Overall like anything else your pool pump will wear out and replacing it is something that you should be budgeting for.
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