To ensure safe, clean pool water, you need to take several steps, one of which is to install a quality swimming pool pump. The pump is responsible for moving the water through the pool filter, and sometimes, a pool heater to keep it clean and warm.
But, you may be asking, “What is the best pool pump on the market to achieve that?” There are options, but you need to learn a bit about the pumps and do your research right.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Key Components of a Pool Pump
- 2 Pool Pump Speed Options
- 3 The Importance of Selecting the Right Flow Rate
- 4 Difference Between Above-Ground and In-Ground Pool Pumps
- 5 The Best Pool Pump Reviewed
- 5.1 Hayward SP2600X5 Pump
- 5.2 Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump
- 5.3 Hayward SP1580 PowerFlo LX Pool Pump
- 5.4 Pentair 342001 SuperFlo VS
- 5.5 Hayward SP1591 PowerFlo Matrix Pool Pump
- 5.6 Hayward SP3400VSP Ecostar Pool Pump
- 5.7 Pentair 340039 SuperFlo Pool Pump
- 5.8 Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo Pool Pump
- 5.9 Pentair 340038 SuperFlo Pool Pump
- 5.10 Pentair 011773 WhisperFlo Pool Pump
- 5.11 Hayward SP2303VSP MaxFlo Pool Pump
- 5.12 Sta-Rite P6E6VS4H-209L IntelliPro Pump
- 6 Tips to Select a High-Quality Pool Pump
- 7 Conclusion
The Key Components of a Pool Pump
A pool pump consists of five main components:
- The water inlet is the part where the pool water enters the pump. The diameter of the inlet determines the maximum flow rate of the pump.
- The water outlet is another important component and allows water to come out of the pump.
- The filter is one of the most important components because it catches debris before the water comes out of the pump and enters the pool.
- The impeller spins and helps propel the water out of the pool pump.
- The motor helps your pump to function and provides the power required to turn the impeller that in turn helps suck the water into the pool pump.
Pool Pump Speed Options
When buying a pool pump, you should always consider its pumping speed first. If you’ve a large pool, consider a pool pump with variable speed options because it allows you to make adjustments as per the status of your swimming pool.
Probably the most commonly used pumps, they are limited to one-speed setting option, but the speed is set to high. The impeller is spun at high speed that stays constant, and you cannot change it.
Because of its high speed and continuous operation, it can be extremely hard on your energy bills. Keep in mind that some states do not allow you to install a single speed pool pump.
Pumps with this speed setting allow you to set the speed to low or high. When set to high, it functions more like your single-speed pump and pushes your energy bills up.
The added flexibility of setting the speed to low helps take some control over the usage of your pump. At this speed setting, you can save more energy, especially by keeping it slow at peak usage hours.
The presence of a permanent magnetic motor (PMM) makes these pumps the finest option, as far as the power saving is concerned. While they can be expensive, they are more efficient because they can be regulated at any speed as per your needs. They are also quieter and stay functional for a long time.
The Importance of Selecting the Right Flow Rate
Selecting the right flow rate is important to enjoy satisfactory results, but the choice depends heavily on the characteristics of your pool. For instance, the size of the pool matters a lot here because the flow rate refers to how long it takes to filter the water in the pool.
Ideally, the filtration cycle should complete in less than six hours, but it is even better to cough up some money and aim for four hours of the filtration cycle.
Along with the size, other factors play a role as well. For instance:
- You may have to opt for a pump with a higher flow rate when there are more bends in your pool-piping layout.
- You may have to buy a powerful pump if the machine room is quite far from the pool.
- You may need to invest in a more powerful pump with a high flow rate when the pump has to push the water up, and that is when you have to consider the pump height in conjunction with the skimmers.
In addition, you have to consider how much work the filter will have to do. If the pool requires serious maintenance, the filter can get clogged that produces resistance. A powerful pump will be capable of dealing with that resistance to keep the process going.
Difference Between Above-Ground and In-Ground Pool Pumps
Before buying a pump, be sure to consider whether you need one for your above-ground pool, or you require an in-ground pool pump. With a change in pool type, there will be a change in the location of the pool filter.
- You are going to need a top-mount pump when you have an above-ground pool with the intake to the filter located above the ground as well. If the pump and the filter are on the same level, you may have to invest in a side-mount pump.
- You should remember that DE and cartridge filters will require side-mounted pumps, whereas sand filters function fine when you have top-mount multiport valves that call for top mounting as well.
The Best Pool Pump Reviewed
Many brands offer some exceptionally good pool pumps for both in-ground and aboveground pools, but you have to consider your budget and check important features like build quality, noise levels, basket size, etc., to make a purchase. Here are some good options to consider.
Hayward SP2600X5 Pump
- Exclusive swing-away hand knobs to remove strainer cover with ease
- An oversized basket with an impressive leaf-holding capacity
- Easy installation with quick access to internal components for servicing
- A bit expensive than other pool pumps in this category
With some very positive customer reviews, the SP2600X5 is considered quite reliable and efficient. You can get it in single or dual speed models along with a range of horsepower and voltage options. The presence of a heavy-duty motor makes it efficient and suitable for most in-ground pools as well as spas.
It comes equipped with a 110-cubic-inch basket that can handle a large number of leaves and debris. The good thing is that it has a see-through strainer cover, which means you can easily see when the basket needs cleaning.
It is also easy to remove the strainer cover, thanks to the use of swing-away hand knobs that require no clamps or any tools for removal. Above all, this self-priming pool pump is extremely easy to install. The price may be the only concern though, as it is a bit higher than other models in this crowded category.
Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump
- An all-natural sand filter with the 6-function valve for better cleaning
- The built-in timer to automate the filtration and cleaning process
- A highly powerful filter with good flow rate to clean above ground pools
- It may not be the quietest pool pump there.
It is a popular pump for your above ground pool and works efficiently with a motor capable of producing 0.75HP. The flow rate is impressive with the ability to handle 11.3m3/hr. This sand filter pump uses a 6-function control valve that ensures proper filtration and allows you to rinse, backwash, drain, re-circulate, and close the system at the same time.
A nice feature is the addition of a 24-hour timer, which means you can automate the process and relax while the pump does its job. The strainer basket is reliable and is large enough to hold the leaves.
There is also a ground fault circuit interrupter that ensures added safety. The availability of a couple of 1.5 connector hoses is nice too. Everything about this pump is good, but some people believe that it could have been quieter.
Hayward SP1580 PowerFlo LX Pool Pump
- A 60-cycle motor for efficient performance
- Highly durable housing for corrosion protection
- Drain plug to ensure easy maintenance
- The price may be a bit high for some.
Suitable for your aboveground pool, the SP1580 PowerFlo LX pump is capable of using 1HP to filter the water. The motor is efficient and comes with a double-sized seal for an extended performance.
It is nice to see that it comes in a corrosion-proof housing, which means you do not have to worry about using it in any weather or climate conditions. Interestingly, the motor comes with automatic thermal overload protection.
You will not have an issue with pool maintenance because it contains an extra-large basket along with a drain plug. It is 100% drip proof and ensures quiet operation as well. It is a nice choice, but you may find the price to be a bit on the higher side.
Pentair 342001 SuperFlo VS
- Good suction power for quick results
- No adjustment needed to prevent dripping
- No need for expensive rewiring
- A bit loud at times
- A bit expensive
The Pentair 342001 is a reasonably good buy, especially because it is extremely easy to install. In fact, it is hard to find a variable speed pump that is easier-to-install than this model from Pentair. It can easily run on 230V, so no rewiring is ever needed. The suction ability is quite impressive, and you won’t have to worry about any drips.
If your pool requires a 1.5HP, this pump from Pentair can certainly do the job. It is worth mentioning that the Pentair 342001 is not the quietest pump available in the market. Still, it is not overly loud – expect more of a grunt than a whining.
Hayward SP1591 PowerFlo Matrix Pool Pump
- Large, industrial size strainer to collect debris
- Heavy-duty motor for exceptional power
- Quick discharge pipe connect for easy maintenance
- The build quality is good but not too impressive
It is a popular aboveground pool pump that is known for its industrial-size strainer basket. You can collect loads of debris and remove it with utmost ease. Throw in a heavy-duty motor in the picture, and you have a pump that performs exceptionally well. The motor comes with automatic thermal overload protection, so it is going to serve you for long.
With a high-performance impeller installed, the PowerFlo Matrix works great to prevent clogging by debris and leaves. Interestingly, it is possible to change the pump to filter setting as per your requirements. A 6ft cord is also included in the pack, which is nice. The only concern is that some people are not entirely happy about the build quality. It could have been better for sure.
Hayward SP3400VSP Ecostar Pool Pump
- ENERGY STAR certified to ensure energy efficiency
- TEFC motor for improved reliability
- Touchpad control for easy programming
- Extra large basket to increase the time between cleaning
- The warranty guidelines are harsh
The Ecostar by Hayward is an energy-efficient pump, mainly because you can adjust its speed to suit your needs. This variable-speed pool pump uses a TEFC motor for better reliability and efficiency. The addition of a touchpad control screen further adds to the ease of use.
It comes equipped with an extra large basket to ensure you can collect a large amount of debris and leaves before you need to clean it. You will also like its impressive auto-priming capability that allows for a suction lift of up to 10ft. The only issue is that you cannot make the company to honor the warranty if you install the pump yourself.
Pentair 340039 SuperFlo Pool Pump
- A heavy-duty motor for efficient performance
- An oversized strainer basket to collect a large amount of debris
- A self-priming pump for quick operation
- May not be an energy-efficient pump
If you are looking for a single-speed pump that is efficient and affordable, the 340039 SuperFlo by Pentair may be a good bet. It is efficient because it gets it power from the 1-1/2-HP motor.
The pump has a 56 square flange motor and has thick walled body parts. It means you are not going to experience any quality related issues. It is going to last for a long time. The presence of an oversized basket is a welcome addition too.
Everything looks fine, but keep in mind that like other single-speed pumps, it is not cheap to run the pump. While it can handle a large volume at a time that reduces the running time, it may still not be the best choice when you need an energy-efficient pump.
Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo Pool Pump
- Highly energy efficiency
- 8 programmable speed settings for efficient performance
- Compatible with popular pool control systems
- Price may be a bit high
As it is a variable-speed pump, you can expect to save 90% energy as compared to traditional single-speed pumps. You will really appreciate its quieter operation, even though it comes equipped with a powerful motor. The permanent magnet motor also improves the efficiency.
You can take advantage of 8 programmable speed settings to use it as per your unique requirements. The good thing is that it is compatible with popular pool control systems. The only concern is related to its price that may be a bit on the higher side for some people.
Pentair 340038 SuperFlo Pool Pump
- 1HP motor to move more water quickly
- Internal flow design for quieter operation
- An oversized basket to prevent frequent cleanings
- Not impressive in terms of energy efficiency
The Pentair 340038 SuperFlo is a powerful pool pump that comes equipped with a 1HP motor. Even though the motor is powerful, it is incredibly quiet, all thanks to its internal flow design.
To ensure easy startup, the pump is equipped with self-priming capability. Maintenance is also easy with a large strainer basket that can collect loads of leaves and debris.
It is worth mentioning that its heavy-duty motor moves a higher volume of water and completes the operation quickly, but it may still not be as energy-efficient as variable-speed models are.
Pentair 011773 WhisperFlo Pool Pump
- Quite efficient with a powerful motor
- Easy to install on your own
- Never gets hot while working
- Might be a little too noisy for some
With a 1-1/2-HP motor, the Pentair011773 is a highly efficient model in the single-speed pool pump category. It uses a large strainer basket that is capable of collecting a lot more of those leaves and debris that cause other pumps to clog.
Another good thing is that though it is a single-speed pump and has to run for many hours, it does not get as hot as some other models in this crowded category. The real issue is that though it is called the “Whisper” model, it is not quiet. You may have to deal with a grinding noise while running it, but again, it is still a good choice at this price.
Hayward SP2303VSP MaxFlo Pool Pump
- A reasonably efficient pump that ensures quiet operation
- Extremely energy-efficient because of its variable-speed settings
- TEFC motor for improved reliability
- Quite expensive
With a TEFC motor, this variable-speed pool pump from Hayward will deliver reasonably good performance. You can use its digital control interface to program it as per your needs. When you press the speed button, it automatically picks the default setting of 30 minutes, but it is easy to change it to 12 hours.
Being a variable-speed model, it can change speeds while running for 7 hours a day, and that helps lower your energy bills. Interestingly, it is easy to install applications in stand-alone mode. Large strainer basket is quite impressive too. Just keep in mind that it may be a bit expensive than many other similar pool pumps in the category.
Sta-Rite P6E6VS4H-209L IntelliPro Pump
- Extremely energy efficient
- 3HP motor for faster operation
- 8 programmable speed settings for optimum run times
- Not compatible with some pool systems
A highly popular variable-speed pump, it comes equipped with a powerful 3HP motor but still manages to save up to 90% in energy cost. You can choose from 8 programmable speed settings to suit your needs.
In terms of quieter operations, it does not disappoint, as the noise levels are around 45dB. The use of a programmable timer makes it extremely easy to use whenever you want. Just keep in mind that though it is efficient, it may not be compatible with all pool systems.
Tips to Select a High-Quality Pool Pump
- Always consider the type of your pool to select the size of the pump. If you have a small above ground pool, you can get away with a medium sized pump. A large in-ground pool is going to need a robust pump for good results.
- Opt for a basic model if you’re going to use your pool for a short time in every season. Invest in a high-end, variable-speed pump if you need one to serve a heated pool all year round.
- Consider putting your money on a self-priming pump that comes with a pre-filter if you are more concerned about long-term performance.
- Be sure to select a pump that can handle salt water if you usually rely on salt to disinfect your pool.
- Do not forget to consider the noise level before you finalize your decision of buying a particular pump. It becomes more important when you will install the pump near the pool.
- Pay special attention to selecting the filter while making sure that it is compatible with the flow rate of your pump. It applies to all types of filters, including a cartridge filter and a sand filter.
Now that you know what is the best pool pump on the market for your swimming pool, keeping the pool water clean and safe for swimming will be a breeze. Always take your time, consider the size and type of your pool, and pay attention to the regulations set by the state to select a pool pump of the highest quality.