Do I Need a Circulation Pump?

To Circ or Not To Circ?

When you are out shopping for a spa many of you will end up at a crossroads on this particular issue. For some this can be a tough decision depending on the brand spa. Some brands strongly support building a spa with or without a circulation pump. This is always something a sales person will bring up to help determine models that fit your needs so let’s prepare you for that interaction. First lets talk about what a circulation pump is and the role that it plays in a spa. 

A circulation pump is a smaller pump that is designed to run 24/7 in your spa. They are typically plumbed inline with the heater and filtration of your spa. Most circulation pumps also draw less than half as much electric than a non-circulation pump. When plumbed inline with the filter this means you now have 24 hour filtration on your spa, resulting in cleaner, clearer water. For brands that have an inline water care system the circ pump would be plumbed into that system as well providing consistent water care treatment.

Key Point Takeaways On Circ Pumps:

  • More energy efficient than a jet pump
  • Lower cost to replace that a jet pump
  • 24/hr filtration
  • Quiet operation
If a spa does not have a circulation pump then that means it filters/ heats utilizing a jet pump. In this scenario the spa operates a jet pump on low speed to circulate water through the heater and filter. This has always been an industry standard and the most common scenario you are likely to encounter as you shop around. It’s important to ask your sales person to emphasize and be very specific as to whether the spa your looking at has the circ pump or not. Its easy to hear a salesman say that yes the jet pump circulates the water but knowing the difference will make your shopping experience and overall satisfaction with the spa more positive.
When a spa uses the low speed of a jet pump to perform the heating/filtering then this means higher overall electrical costs to operate the pump vs a circ pump. In some brands this can be countered by programming the heating/filtration cycles to be more efficient by running less. Yes the pump still draws more than a circ pump but by running less you can now make the argument that you can still buy an energy efficient spa without a circulation pump. Again, its important to ask your sales person if the filtration cycles are programable on the brand your shipping so that you can make an informed decision. The nice thing about a spa with programmable cycles is that not only can you dial in the efficiency but you also end up with higher turnover through your filter in less time due to the amount of water jet pump can move as compared to a circ pump.

Key Takeaways On Jet Pumps:

  • Not as energy efficient as circ pumps
  • More expensive to replace
  • More powerful than circ pumps
  • Higher turnover through filters in less time vs circ pump

The Krossber Brothers Point Of View

The beauty of this topic is that as a Caldera Spa dealer we have the ability to offer you models with and without circ pumps. Our non circ pump spas are programmable as well so that we can set up a spa to be very energy efficient. The reality is numbers are numbers though and you must sacrifice something somewhere when choosing a spa without a circ pump. When you buy a spa with a circ pump you end up with 24/hr filtration and lower operating costs over the life of the spa.

On our models with circ pumps you also end up with 5 full years of component warranty that also includes labor should it need replacement/repair over the standard 2 year warranty that most non circ pump spas offer. Our Caldera Circ pump draws roughly .5 amps whereas jet pumps can vary from 1.7 amps on up. Is this a big difference when we are talking monthly electrical costs? No not at all. Most consumers would not even notice. But these are the sales tactics used by many to sway you one way or the other depending on how their brand spa is built.

That’s why we are a Caldera Spa dealer, we can offer both and keep things very energy efficient!