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System Pumps - Total Cost of Ownership

System Pumps - Total Cost of Ownership

My Danner 7 pump was starting to make that funny sound.  It was about 2.5 years old and I knew that it was time to look into fixing or replacing it.  After taking it apart, it turned out to be more than just replacing an impeller.  I was about to replace it with another pump of the same kind when I wondered how much some of the other pumps now available may cost - so I created a spreadsheet looking into the most common pumps that were in the same class as the Danner 7.  What I found out surprised me...  

For the past few years, I've been watching DC powered pumps but the initial cost had been a little too high to actually purchase one.  The advantage of a DC pump is power efficiency.  You can dial these pumps into the exact flow that you need by changing the flow rate.  The lower the flow rate, the less power consumed.    

With this background, I went out to Amazon.com and looked up some of the most common pumps with an average 700 - 1000 gph rating that I could find.  I also looked up the cost of electricity for my area and calculated the total cost of ownership.  The total cost of the pump is the total of the upfront cost plus the electricity needed to run it for the time of use.  A pump that is more expensive but much more efficient could cost less to own over time than the lowest cost pump.  I looked at averaging 2-3 years for each pump model.  

Below is the table of what I found.  (Note pricing on Amazon.com changes - sometimes daily).  You will want to check to see what pricing is for the day that you are looking to purchase.  As of Sept. 2016, here is what I saw:

Power

AC

DC

AC

DC

DC

AC

DC

Item

Danner 7

Aqua Medic DC Runner Controllable Pump - 3.0

Eheim 1260 Universal Pump (640 GPH)

Deepwater Aquatics BLDC5 DC Brushless Water Pump

Reef Octopus RODC Controllable Water Pump

Sicce Syncra Silent 3.0 Multifunction Aquarium Pump (714 GPH)

Jecod/Jebao DCT-4000 Marine Controllable Water Pump

Pump Cost

$77.99

$147.98

$169.99

$189.99

$234.99

$110.99

72.61

Watts

60

25

65

25

25

48

21

1 Year Elec Cost

$47.30

$19.71

$51.25

$19.71

$19.71

$37.84

$16.56

2 Year Elec Cost

$94.61

$39.42

$102.49

$39.42

$39.42

$75.69

$33.11

3 Year Elec Cost

$141.91

$59.13

$153.74

$59.13

$59.13

$113.53

$49.67

4 Year Elec Cost

$189.22

$78.84

$204.98

$78.84

$78.84

$151.37

$66.23

5 Year Elec Cost

$236.52

$98.55

$256.23

$98.55

$98.55

$189.22

$82.78

1 Year Total Cost

$125.29

$167.69

$221.24

$209.70

$254.70

$148.83

$89.17

2 Year Total Cost

$172.60

$187.40

$272.48

$229.41

$274.41

$186.68

$105.72

3 Year Total Cost

$219.90

$207.11

$323.73

$249.12

$294.12

$224.52

$122.28

4 Year Total Cost

$267.21

$226.82

$374.97

$268.83

$313.83

$262.36

$138.84

5 Year Total Cost

$314.51

$246.53

$426.22

$288.54

$333.54

$300.21

$155.39

Expected Life

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

Net Cost/Year

$57.53

$69.04

$107.91

$83.04

$98.04

$74.84

$35.24

 

163%

196%

306%

236%

278%

212%

100%

I ended up purchasing the DCT-4000 pump as it was by far the lowest cost pump - both upfront and including electrical costs.  Fast forward 6 months and I am still very happy with the purchase.  In fact I have purchased two more for another system.  All three pumps are operating at around 30 to 60% of full speed.  What I have noticed most besides the cost is these pumps are VERY quiet.  

Has anyone else jumped onto the DC pump bandwagon?  Let us know in the comments below...

 

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