With addition of TriStar VS950 and MaxFlo VS500, all sizes now accounted for in trade-only segment
Scott Petty, the global product manager for pumps and above-ground equipment at Hayward Pool Products, has many analogies for the benefits of variable-speed pumps.
“It’s like going from standard definition to HDTV,” Petty says. “Once you’ve seen the benefits, it’s hard to imagine going back.”
Or, “Single speed is like having a car that only runs 100 mph,” he says. “With variable speed, it’s like having a car with a gas pedal. You choose your speed.”
With the release of the TriStar VS950 and MaxFlo VS500, Hayward now has a complete line of variable-speed pumps in its trade-only Expert Line, which contains Hayward’s most premium products. It is available in brick-and-mortar stores only.
Variable-speed pumps in the Expert Line now include small-, medium- and large-size pumps. “Hayward really helped pioneer the idea of the right sized variable speed for the application,” Petty says. “The industry started off with large variable-speed pumps that could be dialed down to work for smaller pools, but it was more pump than needed. You’re paying for something that you may not ever use.”
The TriStar VS950 is the largest pump, suitable for large pools with lots of features — catch spas, deck jets, laminar jets, etc.
The MaxFlo VS500 is the smallest pump. “For a lot of pools that have 1.5-inch plumbing, where you definitely don’t want to or need to put a large horsepower pump, the MaxFlo VS500 really fits that,” Petty says.
As part of the Expert Line, both pumps come with Hayward’s Viton seal, which makes them more resistant to chemical imbalances. Probably the biggest Expert Line feature, beyond not being for sale online, is the extended warranties. The MaxFlo VS500 comes with a three-year warranty, and the TriStar VS950 comes with a four-year warranty. “We’re particularly proud of offering a four-year warranty on a variable speed,” Petty says.
Hayward expects to continue to see adoption of variable-speed pumps grow exponentially. “Variable speed is the fastest-growing category of pumps anywhere you go,” Petty says. “We’re seeing that growth not only in terms of sales but the associated drivers. I was just on the phone with a utility in Michigan — they’re offering rebates. I’m talking to one in Vermont. So areas that had not been as fast to adopt variable speed by choice or by regulation are now growing.”
Petty says that, pending any changes to Department of Energy regulations, by 2021 variable-speed pool pumps will become the majority of pumps sold by federal regulation.
For customers still resistant to spending more upfront for a variable-speed pump, there are further benefits like less noise, easier on other pool equipment. Petty says it really comes down to the money and energy savings.
“If I’m spending more money upfront, I gotta be convinced that there’s a benefit there, not just smoke and mirrors,” he says. “Continue to emphasize the fact that these pumps will save money, frequently paying for themselves in one or two seasons.”