Spa Pump Types
Filter Pumps: Provide pressure, filtration & heating, these determine a spas’ running costs more than the actual heater itself. Depending on the type of Filter Pump used, it will cost from 30c - $2.00 every day for the pump to filter water & considerably more when the heater is on (approx 2 - 3 times the Filter Pump costs mentioned below).
The descriptions below are provided in good faith & are designed to give you a better understanding of how filter pumps affect ongoing costs for all types of spas. This information is based on a rate of 20c per kW per hour.
1). Single Speed Pumps: Have only one speed for heating, filtering & hydro-massage. Mostly used in very budget spas, these aren’t recommended due to pump noise & excessive ongoing costs.
· 3.0 HP (2,200 watts = 55 cents / hour), 4 hours filtration = $2.20 cents / day.
· 2.5 HP (1,850 watts = 46 cents / hour), 4 hours filtration = $1.85 cents / day.
· 2.0 HP (1,500 watts = 38 cents / hour), 4 hours filtration = $1.50 cents / day.
2). Two Speed Pumps: The pump has two speeds, low speed for heating & filtration & high speed is for massage. These pumps are used in many Australian & imported brands of various quality & price. The two most common brands of this type of pump in Australia are ‘Davey’ & ‘Spa Net’, both brands are manufactured by LX Pumps in China to strict Australian specifications. The pumps are of good quality & reliable, access to parts is also good. This type of pump is used in Classic models by Universal Spas & some more basic Oasis Spas sold by Simply Spas. Note: The smaller the pump size the lower the running costs and less pressure for massage. The recommended pump sizes for emphasis on hydrotherapy & jet massage is 3.0 HP.
· 3.0 HP Low Speed (450 watts = 11 cents / hour), 4 hours filtration = 44 cents / day.
· 2.5 HP Low Speed (400 watts = 10 cents / hour), 4 hours filtration = 40 cents / day.
· 2.0 HP Low Speed (350 watts = 9 cents / hour), 4 hours filtration = 36 cents / day.
3). Programmable Circulation Pumps: Used in imported & Australian spas of various quality & price, some brands offer good benefits to the spa owner. Compared with 2 speed pumps some programmable circulation pumps are quieter & cheaper to run & some have a good life expectancy. The circulation pumps’ plumbing is only connected to the heater & filter system so better jet pressure can be expected (2 speed pumps can’t deliver the same strength of massage when on high speed because the filters noticeably restrict water flow to the jets).
1.0 HP (750 watts = 19 cents per hour), 4 hours filtration = 75 cents per day. Not recommended due to high ongoing costs & noise level from aged pumps. If considering a spa with this size pump, be aware that it’s one of the most expensive ways of running a spa (double the cost of a 0.5 HP circulation pump) & replacement parts are difficult to find. Note: Replacing pumps in spas with a different brand voids Australian compliancy. This oversized pump is found in poor quality off the shelf Chinese manufactured spas as found online.
0.5 HP (375 watts = 9 cents per hour), 4 hours filtration = 36 cents per day. Recommended for efficient & quiet operation, there is good access to spare parts as several Australian manufactures make this type of pump. This type of pump is used on all Oasis Spas ‘Classic’, ‘Hydro’, ‘Pro’ & ‘Elite’ models sold by Simply Spas.
0.3 HP (250 watts = 7 cents per hour), 4 hours filtration = 28 cents per day. Recommended for efficient & quiet operation, there is good access to spare parts as several Australian manufactures make this type of pump. This size pump is used on all Universal Spas ‘Premium’, ‘Hydro’, ‘Elite’ & Universal Swim Spa models sold by Simply Spas.
4). 24 Hour Circulation Pumps: In Australia, of the two types of this style of pump used only one brand is super efficient & uses less energy per day than all other types of filter pump allowing for affordable 24 hours per day operation. There are no additional pump costs when heating with this pump as water is already flowing over the element (the heater simply turns on & off as required). All other filter pumps use more energy when the heater is on (which can easily double or triple the pump costs mentioned above). Another benefit is that Ozone may be continuously introduced to the water, meaning less chemicals, less cleaning & better quality water. Note: Control units on some brands using this type of pump only allow Ozone to be introduced to the water during heating or filter cycles (approximately 4 - 8 hours per day). If this is the case with a spa you’re considering, be aware that there is no real benefit to having this type of pump & that you’re better off with either a 2 Speed Pump or 0.5HP Programmable Circulation Pump. Below is some information on the two main brands of 24 Circulation Pumps used in Australia.
Aquaflo ‘Circ Master’ Pump: (190 watts = approx 4 cents per hour). 24 hours filtration = $1.14 cents per day.
This brand is not recommended for a variety of reasons. 1). It makes a constant annoying audible hum (day & night) which increases in volume as the pump ages. 2). Daily operating costs is double that of the below circulation pump. 3). Our experience shows us that this pump is unreliable as it has a high failure rate. Note: This brand of pump is only found in one Australian spa brand which is sold through ‘Just Spas’ outlets. Note: The Balboa control unit on these spas do not allow for 24 hour Ozone production.
Laing ‘E14’ Pump: (115 watts = approx 2 cents per hour). 24 hours filtration = 69 cents per day. This brand of pump is highly recommended for the following reasons: 1). Cheaper to operate compared to the Aquaflo Circulation Pump. 2). The Laing ‘E14’ Circulation Pump is silent. 3). They do not require servicing as there are no Mechanical Seals (longer life compared to all other Circulation Pumps). In Australia LA Spas Premium & Adventure Spas use this pump, approximately 90% of the energy used to run the pump is transferred directly into heating water (saving you approximately 2O - 3O Celsius heating every day) LA Spas ‘Gecko' controller allows for 24 hour Ozone production (compared to other brands operating 4 - 6 hours per day), which increases water quality & reducing maintenance.