The operation of your swimming pool pump controls all the operations of your pool. Without an effective pool pump, your pool’s cleaning system can’t work, and the water will remain dirty due to different factors including leaves falling in your pool, ordinary use of your pool, and even development of algae in your pool. It’s therefore, vital to install the best pool pump for your swimming pool and know how it works.
Sadly, with so many pool pump systems on the market today, it might be hard to choose the best for your pool – the one that will keep your facility’s water crystal clear. That’s why in this post we want to give you a comprehensive buying guide for pool pumps, so you can make the right decision when you hit the market to look for a pump that will meet your cleaning needs.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a Pool Pump and How Does it Work?
- 2 Types of Pool Pump
- 3 Single-Speed vs. Double-Speed vs. Variable-Speed Pool Pumps
- 4 Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Pool Pump
- 5 Review of the Best Pool Pumps on the Market
- 5.1 Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump
- 5.2 Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump
- 5.3 Pentair 342001 SuperFlo VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump
- 5.4 Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series
- 5.5 Harris H1572730 ProForce Pool Pump
- 5.6 WAYNE WAPC250 Automatic ON/OFF Pool Cover Pump
- 5.7 Pentair 340039 SuperFlo High-Performance Singe-Speed Pool Pump
- 6 Best Pumps Recommendations
- 7 How to Clean Out the Pool Pump Strainer
- 8 FAQs About Pool Pump
- 9 Conclusion
What is a Pool Pump and How Does it Work?
A pool pump is an equipment that filters and cleans your swimming pool water. No magic is involved when the device is cleaning your facility, and it isn’t a simple in/out process as some people might want you to think. In fact, a pool pump is like a human heart.
Driven by an electrical motor, a pump circulates your pool’s water into different tubes and machines before it’s returned. However, the water doesn’t pass via the pump instantly: it passes via a skimmer first so that huge objects, such as leaves, stones, and twigs, can be removed to avoid forming a blockage in your pump. After it has gone via the pump, the water is then led into a filter as well as a heater and then returned to your pool.
Types of Pool Pump
Here are the common types of pump that you will find on the shelves today.
- Single-Speed Pump
A Single-Speed (One-Speed) Pump is one of the most loved pumps by pool owners due to its affordable price. It does the job well, making it a great purchase. However, this type of pump uses more energy, making it unsuitable for a pool that is used daily. Switching it off when your pool is idle is one effective way of preventing the rise of your power bill.
- Double-Speed Pump
As its name suggests, a Double-Speed (Two-Speed) Pump can change its speed from fast to low or low to fast. It is the perfect pump for pools with spa-like features as it turns your pool into a jacuzzi or therapeutic-like facility.
- Variable-Speed Pump
Unlike the above pumps, this unit has at least three-speed options which you can select from. Slow, moderate, fast, or whatever speed you want, this pump will offer you the option you need. Due to the speed variation, a variable-speed pump uses less energy than the other two pumps.
Single-Speed vs. Double-Speed vs. Variable-Speed Pool Pumps
If you have a new pool or you want to replace your current pool pump, you might be asking, “Which is the best pump for my pool?” As you have seen, there are three types of pumps:
Single-Speed Pump – the Old Standby
A single-speed pump is your customary pump and has been in use for centuries. Once switched on, it operates at a specific speed. Although it is the most affordable, it is very noisy and ineffective.
It is believed that this type of pump is amongst (if not the most) expensive devices at home – costing about $2,000 per year to run in some places.
Double-Speed Pool Pump – A Step in the Right Direction
A Double-Speed pump is an upgrade of the Single-Speed pool pump, but they both use an induction style motor. The only major difference between them is that a Double-Speed pump comes with a low-speed setting, which is more efficient than operating at a high speed constantly.
If you are wondering when to run your pump on low vs. high speed, you will be glad to hear that most pool owners run it on low speed and only turn the high speed when vacuuming their facility, when running a heater, or when blowing leaves towards the skimmer.
A Double-Speed pump is more expensive than a Single-Speed and lasts almost the same amount of time, often 3-8 years. On average, a Double-Speed pump will save you 50-70 percent of your energy power and bill.
Variable-Speed Pool Pump – A Modern Marvel
A Variable-Speed pump is a totally different animal. Instead of using the power-consuming induction motor, this unit uses a permanent magnet motor. This kind of motor is used in electric vehicles. It enables you to user “dial in” to get the perfect flow rate you want for your pool and hence utilize the rule of circulation: slower is better.
The idea behind this technology is that you reduce friction when the flow is slow, which makes the operation more efficient. This kind of pump vibrates less, last longer, is quieter, have advanced diagnostics, and is digitally controlled. Its operation cost is about $20 per month as it saves about 90 percent of your operating energy.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Pool Pump
It is best you do your research before you settle for a specific pool pump. In addition, there are different factors that you should know if you want to buy the most efficient unit for your facility, including functionality, size, noise, and energy rating.
- Your Pool Volume
The cleanness of the water in your swimming pool depends on its turnover – how long it will take to clean all the water. Therefore, the volume of your facility is a crucial measurement you should get right. Your pool pump size should match with the size of your facility. We would recommend you know the surface area and/or depth, width, and length dimensions of your pool before you speak to an expert for the right measurement.
You should know the design of your swimming pool plumbing, distances, and other installed equipment. This might require consulting the original plumper, but it will save you headaches in the future. Of important, the most efficient plumbing should have pipes with huge diameters and few bends.
- Pump Efficiency
Inefficient pool pumps can use over 70 percent of the power related to the cost of operating your pool, so go for an energy saving unit that will save you on cost while cleaning your pool. Opting for a variable-speed pump will cater for all your pool functions, which will save you energy and hence money.
The other factor you should consider is the output noise of the pump. Buy a unit that is quiet to operate so you can operate it during the night when electricity is cheaper. Quiet operation ensures that you don’t disturb your neighbors.
Review of the Best Pool Pumps on the Market
Here is a review of the best pumps on the market today.
Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump
This system will aid to keep your facility’s water clean and fresh. Perfect for above ground pools, this pump has an effective flow rate of 2,500 gallons per hour (GPH) and was designed for pools of up to 24-foot in diameter. It is very easy to maintain and care for this unit as you only need to change its filter at least twice a year.
This model comes with a type B Intex filter and has a built-in timer that will enable you to set automatic operating times to suit your needs. It also features a circuit breaker that prevents overloads and short circuits. What you will love about this unit is to hear that it has undergone thorough testing to ensure it meets International Safety Standards.
This pool pump was well-designed to be installed to frame set pools, easy set pools, ellipse oval pools, and rectangular frame pools from Intex, but you can also use it with pools of the same shapes and sizes from other brands.
- It’s quiet to operate.
- It’s easy to install.
- It has a built-in timer.
- It’s difficult to change the filter.
Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump
This is amongst the best pool pumps from Intex you will ever find on the market. With a high rating from different users, this unit combines affordable price tag with quality to give you value for the money. The pump is perfect for above ground pools and has an average flow rate of 2,450 GPH. The pump’s real flow rate is in fact 3,000 GPH.
This 110v-120v rated voltage unit comes with safety features including ground circuit fault interrupter and circuit breakers to cut off power when there is an abnormality. Sand, one of its main features, is believed to make filtration more effective than other mediums. Its sand refreshes your swimming pool water, softens it, clears any algae, and even makes it sanitized as well as replenished.
The pump offers you six modes of control, which are filtering, backwashing, and rinsing. The other three are recirculating, draining, and closing the system. All these operations are automated and are in the listed order. The other great feature of this pump is its powerful motor of 0.95 horsepower (hp).
- It has a 24 hours timer.
- It is very easy to maintain.
- It is a versatile and a universal use unit.
- It is very heavy.
Pentair 342001 SuperFlo VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump
While this variable-speed unit only features 3 speeds for its operation, it’s a perfect choice if you want a better overall efficiency. Why is that? You may ask! It’s because it’s an Energy Star Certified unit that has an easy-to-manage operation.
The pump features a self-priming functionality that prevents air from entering it when it sucks water, even if the water is lower than your pump. Furthermore, this unit has memory, meaning that your setting will be preserved in case you experience a power problem.
- It has a 24 hours memory retention.
- It offers quiet operation.
- It is very easy to program.
- It only offers 3-speed
Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series
Hayward came into pool pumps industry many years ago. As a brand, it speaks volume of reliability, durability, and quality in the pump business. This is also true of its SP1580X15, which is a perfect unit for above ground swimming pools.
This pump is powered by a 1.5 horsepower motor and it comes with a long 6 feet cord. Another great feature of this unit is its high performance yet one of the most affordable units out there. With this effective pool pump, you do not need to worry about the motor overheating or rust.
You will be excited to hear that it’s self-priming for ease of operation and you can always be assured of a relaxing swimming pool experience.
- It comes with a high-performance motor.
- It features a corrosion-free
- It is very easy to clean.
- It doesn’t have an on/off switch.
Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo Variable-Speed High-Performance Pool Pump
The Pentair is one of the best units that you could purchase, but it isn’t the cheapest on the market. Highly rated, this is a sure winner which can multitask due to its variable speed. It boasts of eight programmable speed settings that enable you to select the perfect speed for your swimming pool activity.
Its Energy Saving is amazingly at 90 percent (max) against traditional pool pumps. This 3-hp, 230-volt pump is also a versatile unit that can be used in waterfalls, spa jets, heating, and filtering in addition to using it for your swimming pool. The high price is just perfect for the “monster” of a pool pump you will get.
- It prevents algae development.
- It saves on power.
- It saves on your electricity
- It is quite expensive.
Hayward SP2607X10 Super Pump
This unit is designed for inground pools. It’s also ideal for spas and can be installed in swimming pools of all sizes and shapes. However, you need to remember that it might be too powerful for small pools – that’s not bad, but it will consume more energy to clean a smaller pool and we all want cost-efficient pumps.
Its motor produces one horsepower and is made to offer Optimal Performance and be durable, according to Hayward. The best thing about this pool pump is that it features a system that enables it to work quietly to avoid disturbing the neighbors. The basket of this Super Pump is larger than those offered by other pumps on the shelves today.
The unit is made to be very easy to maintain and clean and is compact to ensure that you carry it with ease. You can use this pump to replace your worn-out pump – it will fit perfectly. Another thing you will love about this unit is that its metal parts are all corrosion-resistant. This is a great feature that will allow your pump to work for years without a problem.
- It is a compact and light unit.
- It is very strong and durable.
- It is a powerful machine.
- It comes with just one speed.
Harris H1572730 ProForce Pool Pump
This is a low-cost unit, yet still provides amazing results. It is constructed with durable, corrosion-resistant materials to ensure that it lasts for years. Its stainless-steel motor shaft is constructed using a steel-clad thermoplastic housing that provides it flexibility.
The pool pump also comes with a strainer, which features a huge, simple-to-clean filter container or basket. The best thing about the strainer is that it’s transparent and comes with a twist and lock lid that enables faster inspection of the basket.
The pump has a 1½ HP, 115v, 1½ inches connection sizes on discharge and suction ports, 1½ and 2½ inches internal as well as external threading, has an effective drain, and features the standard 3-prong plug connection on a 3 feet cord.
- It is very affordable.
- It lasts long due to its durable construction.
- It offers outstanding performance and great efficiency.
- Its electric motor usually overheats.
WAYNE WAPC250 Automatic ON/OFF Pool Cover Pump
This is an automatic on/off pool pump and it’s ranked amongst the best pool pumps on the market today. It has a max flow rate of 3000 GPH using a 1¼ inches drain hose. Another feature of this unit is the Switch Technology, which switches the unit on when the water level gets above 2-1/8 inches and switches it off when it drops to ¾ inches.
Additionally, the unit boasts of an auto freeze protection and you don’t need to be around when it is working since it does the job well without needing your assistance. Furthermore, its huge strainer base filters the dirt to avoid clogging that might led to extra work.
- It is an energy efficient pump.
- It is an easy-to-use
- It comes with advanced features.
- It doesn’t work when the water level is low.
Hayward SP15922S PowerFlow Matrix Pool Pump
Ranging from one-horsepower to 1½ horsepower, this pool pump is perfect for pool owners who want to save energy. It features an off/on switch, so you don’t need to unplug and plug it every now and then – when you want to use it. Its industrial-size strainer container can pick up huge debris without needing to worry about its maintenance.
In addition to the huge basket, the unit features an Advanced Impeller Design that thwarts blockage from leaves and other huge elements. The pump’s powerful motor features an auto-thermal overload protector that switches off the unit before a plumbing or a clogged-up skimmer can damage its system. Another thing you will love about this pump is the nifty quick-connect pipe that makes it simpler to service the unit – the best thing, this pipe fitting can turn from a vertical to a horizontal position by simply pressing a button.
The machine is compatible with almost all model and types of above ground swimming pool filters and it comes with a 6 feet long cord and plug.
- It is energy efficient.
- It is very powerful.
- It operates quietly.
- It is hard to locate the vertical to horizontal switching button.
Pentair 340039 SuperFlo High-Performance Singe-Speed Pool Pump
As a single-speed unit, the Pentair 340039 is amongst the best choices for swimming pool owners due to its constant speed. This speed enables you to empty and fill your swimming pool without the hustle of variable-speed units.
The device features a thick-walled body cover that doesn’t corrode even when submerged under a high dose of chlorine. This is a superb feature since you can use the pump for saltwater pools. The best thing is that you can choose among the different horsepower this unit has to offer if you want other power settings, including ½, ¾, 1, 1½, and 2½ HP variants.
- It offers a smooth and silent operation.
- It is very easy to operate.
- It is easy and quick to start.
- It comes with only a 12 months warranty.
Best Pumps Recommendations
Here are our recommendations for the perfect pool pump, filter pump, and cover pump.
- Single-Speed Pool Pump – Hayward SP2607X10 Super Pump 1 HP Pool Pump
In our opinion, SP2607X10 is a great choice for a pool pump. You are guaranteed of enjoying its services for years to come. Its maintenance is quick and easy, and this is vital in busy swimming pools. The pump might not be sophisticated like other computerized units, but it is a cost-efficient, single-speed pump, that is simple to use.
- Dual-Speed Pool Pump – Hayward SP15922S PowerFlo Matrix 1 HP Dual-Speed Above Ground Swimming Pool Pump
Overall, our review found the SP15922S to be a great pump. It is versatile and powerful. It is a superb performer and works effectively and safely. This Dual-Speed Pump can keep up the good work for years to come.
- Variable-Speed Pool Pump – Pentair 342001 SuperFlo VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump
Here is a variable-speed unit that is easy to install, program, and even operate, even for a newbie. It comes with a simple user interface that walks you through its features and the pump is easy to install, mainly because of its easy access to electrical cables.
- Pool Filter Pump – Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools
This is a truly-amazing sand filter unit and a great pump for pool owners who don’t have maintenance time. It’s a high performer and you can always depend on it. It also comes with a safety feature.
- Pool Cover Pump – WAYNE WAPC250 ¼ HP Automatic ON/OFF Water Removal Pool Cover Pump
If you must buy a pool cover, the WAPC250 is a great choice that you should consider because of its high power. With its power, the unit can work efficiently and effectively. It discharges a reasonable amount of water within minutes and the best thing, it is an auto on/off water removal.
How to Clean Out the Pool Pump Strainer
The pump strainer basket usually collects all the large particles of debris that were sucked in via the main drain or those that were missed by the skimmer. The strainer thwarts debris from reaching the pump assembly and blocking the impeller.
To prevent your pump’s strainer from blocking and reducing the flow via your pool system, you need to check and clear the basket weekly.
Things You Will Require
- Lids, baskets
- Pool pump parts
A Step by Step Guide
- Turn off your pool pump to halt the flow of water via the pump.
- Relieve the pressure on the water line and pool pump. Read the pressure on the gauge – it should read between 15 to 20 psi. To relive it, simply turn the air relief valve counter-clockwise (it is located on top of the filter). You will see the water gush out as the pressure goes to 0 psi.
- Open the strainer by turning the knobs on the strainer lid and the knobs on the swivel, counter-clockwise and down, respectively. Some pool pump strainers come with screws which you should twist to unscrew the lid.
- Remove the lid from the strainer by lifting it up.
- Check the strainer basket for dirt and debris.
- Take the basket out of the pump covering assembly.
- Clean the dirt out of the base of the strainer basket with a powerful hose. Don’t knock the basket – it might break.
- Return the basket to the assembly.
- Inspect the strainer gasket for stretching and tears. Replace if needed. We would advise you to apply a thin layer of lubricant on the gasket before you replace the strainer lid.
- Replace your pool’s pump lid.
- Swivel bolts up and screw the bolts to maintain the perfect pressure on the lid.
- Switch on the pump to build up the pressure. Ensure that the air relief valve is on when building the pressure, then close it after the pressure is sufficient.
FAQs About Pool Pump
Q: Why is my pool pump operating but it isn’t giving out enough water?
A: Your pool pump needs to have enough water on its suction side. If it doesn’t have enough water before turning it on, it will only suck air leaving a vacuum. This process is known as priming. Some of the major causes of not priming include:
- When the water has dropped below the drain level or the skimmer, leaving a space between the pump’s suction side.
- The pipe being clogged-up and hence reducing flow.
Q: Why does my pump keep on humming and then trip the breaker?
A: There are many reasons for this including:
- A bad capacitor – inspect it with an ohmmeter. The ideal reading should drop from 0 then rise slowly.
- The pump’s impeller stocked with hard debris and leaves – find out if the impeller is stocked up and then clean it.
- Worn out bearings – change the bearings if the impeller shaft feels rough when turning it or it’s producing sound.
Q: How can I know the pump’s specifications (power, flow rate, and voltage)?
A: New pool pumps with motors have nameplate fixed to the housing of their motors which shows all the specifications and information of the motor (such as hp, rpm, voltage, and other details). The pumps themselves have nameplate showing their flow rates, their direction of flow, and speed of impeller at various pump hp (often an arrow indicator).
Q: How can I know is a pump is the perfect one for my swimming pool?
A: Sizing a pool pump isn’t elaborate after all! An oversized pump might require more energy to operate and hence increase cost. The general rule is that your pump should clean all the water within 8 hours. Therefore, you need to know your swimming pool volume (water capacity), and then choose a pump that features a flow rate that matches the volume of your pool. For example, a 24,000 gallons (volume) pool can be emptied with 50 GPM (flow rate) in 8 hours.
Q: Does a swimming pool clean the wall and bottom of my pool?
A: No, it doesn’t. It only cleans the water in your swimming pool. To protect your facility, ensure that you cover it to prevent leaves from falling inside.
Q: How long does a motor of a pump last?
A: The motor lasts about 8 years. Then you need to rebuild or replace it. A motor that has become noisy and squeaky needs to be replaced.
Q: How can I ensure that my pump’s motor lasts longer?
A: You can ensure that your pump and motor last longer by keeping them free of any debris. This means that you should clean the strainer basket and filter regularly to keep them in good condition.
In summary, answering the question of “what is the best pool pump” can be difficult, but our review will make you make an informed decision when choosing one. Your choice will depend on how you intend to use your pump and the type of pool you have. No matter the type of pool pump you choose, always ensure that you get value for your money and it’s the right one for your pool.