The pull pump is at the heart of your pool circulation. Its primary job is ensuring filtered water spreads across the swimming pool. Also, it is an essential device for keeping the water in the pool clean. However, not all pool pumps are created equal. To ensure the efficient distribution of clean water around the pool, you will need the best pump in the market.
Don’t know where to begin? Then you have come to the right place because, in this piece, I will focus on the essential factors to consider, such as efficiency, speed, and horsepower, among others, when making an informed choice about purchasing a pool pump suitable for your needs. At the end of this article, I will answer some common questions people ask about pool pumps.
Which Pump is Best for a Pool?
First, let’s tackle the age-old question: which is the best pool pump? The best pump for a pool depends on various factors, including the pool size, desired flow rate, energy efficiency goals, best heat pool pump, and local regulations.
What to Look for in a Swimming Pool Pump?
Choosing the best inground pool pump in a sea of pumps can be tricky. There are numerous specifications, brands, and other aspects to think about. However, I’ve whittled it down to three essential features: gallons per minute (GPM), horsepower, and speed.
Let’s dive in deep to understand each specification in detail.
Gallons Per Minute
Every pool pump should have a GPM that is comparable to the filter. If your pool filter can handle 150 gallons per minute, the pump should handle 120 to 180 gallons per minute. A large divergence can cause the pool pump to overheat and generate loud noises.
The following calculation is the easiest way to determine how many gallons per minute your pump requires:
Multiply (length, breadth, and depth) by 7.5. This figure indicates how many gallons are in the pool.
Remember that utilizing the wrong or unlabeled piping size will change the GPM. For example, the GPM will be reduced if the pump is intended for 2″ plumbing and you use a 1.5″ adaptor. Furthermore, the headway (the distance between the pump’s suction and the skimmer) might affect the GPM.
If they have a variable-speed pump, some customers prefer a lower GPM. Run the pump slower to reduce the GPM and keep the water moving longer. This procedure has two advantages:
- It lowers the energy usage of your pump.
- It keeps algae at bay because algae grow more slowly in flowing water.
The horsepower is a metric that indicates how much power your pump can deliver.
A simple HP (1.5 to 2.5) will suffice for practically any inground swimming pool without water features or pool vacuum cleaners. Choosing improper horsepower can result in various pool pump issues, including insufficient water flow, impeller cavitation, and shredding of the filter medium.
Pro Tip: Get greater horsepower if you have a lot of water features and heavy-duty pool vacuum cleaners. For example, a 13,000-gallon pool with water features and a suction-side pool vacuum could benefit from a 2.5-horsepower pump rather than the recommended 1.5-horsepower pump.
Generally, three main types of pumps are available for pools about speed: single-speed, dual-speed, and variable-speed pumps. Each type has its advantages and considerations.
Single-speed pumps are commonly used to circulate water in swimming pools. As the name suggests, these pumps operate at a single fixed speed, typically measured in revolutions per minute (RPM).
There were times when these were the best pool pumps, but they are becoming less common due to their energy inefficiency.
Here are some key characteristics of single-speed pumps:
- Fixed speed: Single-speed pumps have a constant speed setting that cannot be adjusted. They typically run at high speed, which may be more than necessary for regular circulation, filtration, or other pool functions.
- Energy consumption: Single-speed pumps are known for their high energy consumption. Since they operate at a fixed speed, they continuously run at maximum power, even when lower flow rates are sufficient. This results in unnecessary energy usage and higher electricity bills.
- Limited control: Due to their fixed speed, single-speed pumps offer limited control over the water flow. They may not provide the flexibility to adjust flow rates according to specific pool requirements or the desired level of filtration and water turnover.
- Noise: Some single-speed pumps can be relatively noisy, especially if they are older models or lack proper maintenance. This can be a concern if you prefer a quieter pool environment.
Dual-speed pumps for pools are an alternative to single-speed pumps that offer increased energy efficiency and flexibility in water circulation.
Unlike single-speed pumps operating at a fixed speed, dual-speed pumps provide two-speed settings: high speed and low speed, making them some of the best pool pumps. They are designed to optimize energy consumption based on the pool’s needs.
Here are some key characteristics of dual-speed pumps:
- High and low-speed settings: Dual-speed pumps allow you to choose between a high-speed setting, which provides maximum water flow for tasks such as pool vacuuming or water features, and a low-speed setting, suitable for regular filtration and circulation. The low-speed setting consumes significantly less energy compared to the high-speed setting.
- Energy efficiency: The ability to switch to a low-speed setting during periods of regular circulation or filtration significantly reduces energy consumption. By running at a lower speed, dual-speed pumps consume less energy compared to single-speed pumps that continuously operate at maximum power.
- Enhanced control: Dual-speed pumps offer greater control over water flow rates. You can adjust the pump’s speed based on your pool’s specific needs, such as increasing the speed for cleaning or reducing it for energy savings during extended periods of operation.
- Quieter operation: Dual-speed pumps, particularly when operating at the low-speed setting, tend to generate less noise compared to single-speed pumps. This can contribute to a more peaceful pool environment.
Variable Speed Pumps
These are some of the best pool pumps because they’re all about precision and efficiency. They allow you to adjust the motor’s speed, giving you the power to fine-tune your pool’s circulation.
Variable speed pumps offer excellent energy efficiency, quieter operation, and better control over water flow. While they may have a higher upfront cost, they can be a game-changer regarding long-term savings and a more enjoyable pool experience.
Here are some key characteristics of variable speed pumps:
- Energy Efficiency: Variable-speed pumps are highly energy-efficient. By running the pump at lower speeds during times of lower demand, such as regular filtration, you can achieve significant energy savings compared to single-speed or dual-speed pumps. The best variable-speed pumps can often deliver energy savings of up to 70% compared to traditional pumps.
- Precise Control: The ability to finely tune the speed and flow rate of the pump allows for precise control over water circulation in the pool. This helps to optimize water quality, maintain proper filtration, and ensure effective chemical distribution throughout the pool.
- Quiet Operation: Variable-speed pumps typically operate at lower speeds, resulting in quieter operation than single-speed or dual-speed pumps. This can contribute to a more peaceful pool environment.
- Programmable Settings: Some variable-speed pumps have programmable features that allow you to set customized schedules for different pump speeds throughout the day. This feature enables automation and enhances energy efficiency by adjusting pump speeds based on your pool’s usage patterns.
Best Pool Pumps 2023:
If you are not going to read anything else in this article, here is the list of the best in-ground pool pumps:
- Best overall: Hayward MaxFlo VS Pump
- Best budget-friendly pump: XtremePowerUS In-Ground VS Pump
- Best for large pools: Hayward TriStar Pool Pump
- Best for small pools: Hayward Super Pump
- Best variable-speed pump: Pentair SuperFlo VS Pump
- Best single-speed pump: Hayward PowerFlo Pool Pump
- Best low-noise in-ground pump: Pentair WhisperFlo Pump
Hayward MaxFlo VS Pump
The Hayward MaxFlo VS Pump has 1.65 HP and eight-speed settings. This VS pump is extremely quiet and has a built-in timer. You can program it to run at any time of day or night. Each setting has a different pace, allowing you to use automatic vacuum cleaners and water features without raising a finger.
Another outstanding advantage of this VS pump is its ability to conserve up to 80% of energy. Like most others, this variable-speed pump uses rare earth magnets to ensure a constant power flow. There’s no need to be concerned about overworking the capacitor or running the motor into the ground. It also vibrates far less than single-speed pumps.
- This pump has numerous speeds, allowing you to use it whenever and as quickly as you like.
- You’ll appreciate the large interface displaying the speed, time, date, etc.
- Compared to single-speed pumps, these VS pumps can save up to 80% of your energy expenditure.
- An integrated cooling fan minimizes the noise output of the pump and keeps it from overheating.
- The small pump basket requires more frequent cleaning than its competitors.
Best Budget-Friendly Pump: XtremePowerUS In-Ground VS Pump
The XtremePowerUS In-Ground VS Pump demonstrates that a variable-speed pump does not have to cost an arm and a leg. Despite lacking a high-end brand name, this pump claims over 5,000 gallons per hour with a 2HP motor. To reduce overheating and loud bearing revolutions, it is air-cooled.
This pump is suitable for in-ground pools and spas. It has more than enough power for pool-spa combinations. It is a two-speed pump with HIGH and LOW settings. However, it gives equivalent energy savings and performs similarly to a typical variable-speed pump.
Those uncomfortable programmable timers and digital displays will appreciate this pump. The low-profile motor will not interfere with the piping arrangement and will plug directly into a wall-mounted pool timer. You can connect it to the same timer as your old pump. The best way to set the pool pump is to run it on a timer or manually.
The XtremePowerUS In-Ground VS Pump combines price and ease of use to create an excellent inground pool pump. It’s as simple as inground pumps get. Despite its low cost, it provides outstanding energy savings, low noise production, and plenty of power with its 2HP motor.
- This is one of the most reasonably priced VS/2S pumps on the market.
- A single button controls all of the speeds.
- The 2 HP motor provides sufficient power to control proper circulation.
- It has a huge basket to reduce the frequency you must remove debris.
- It can withstand temperatures up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, making it perfect for pools and spas.
- You’ll be limited to two speeds instead of a fully configurable RPM range.
- The settings cannot be changed because there is no digital display.
Best for Large Pools: Hayward TriStar Pool Pump
My all-time favorite inground pump for large swimming pools is the Hayward TriStar Pool Pump. It boasts a powerful 2.7 HP motor with variable-speed settings that can handle over 30,000 gallons of water. You may rev this pump up to 3,450 RPMs to power vacuum pool cleaners, water features, and other devices.
Another reason the TriStar is an excellent pick is that it may save up to 90% of energy annually. Connect this VS pump to the current pump’s cables to avoid lengthy installation periods. If you know how to turn off the circuit breaker, take three wires, and connect them to the colored nodes on the new pump’s motor, you won’t need an electrician.
The TriStar has four preset settings and four button-operated options. You can program each choice to operate at a specific time and speed. It also has a one-of-a-kind Quick Clean option that lets you clean the pool immediately before a crowded pool party. It can also quickly remove algae and leaves from the water.
The Hayward TriStar is an excellent solution for folks with huge swimming pools, numerous water features, and strong pool vacuum cleaners. It has unparalleled power and speed while producing minimal noise. It also saves significantly more energy (and money) than single-speed and two-speed pumps of comparable horsepower.
- This VS pump has multiple adjustable speeds to suit the needs of your pool.
- It is suitable for any voltage on current circuit breakers.
- It suits pool vacuums, water features, and large-scale algae removal.
- It has a similar footprint to typical single-speed pumps, making replacement simple.
- Because it has a powerful motor and a comprehensive interface, this pump is slightly larger than conventional VS pumps.
Best for Small Pools: Hayward Super Pump
Hayward makes plenty of single-speed and VS pumps. I suggest the Hayward Super Pump if you have a small swimming pool. This low-cost pump provides enough power to circulate the water and dissolve the chemicals within a few hours. It’s straightforward, making it an easy choice with those pools below 10,000 gallons.
One of my favorite parts of this design is the bolted lid, secured by two threaded knobs. Loosen them to reveal the debris basket. The basket is significantly bigger than most pump baskets I’ve seen in the field. It can catch and hold leaves, algae, sticks, hair, and more. The larger basket means you won’t have to empty it too often.
The Hayward Super series is an easy choice for beginners and those who want a low-maintenance pool pump. It doesn’t have all the fancy bells and whistles of some high-end pumps, but it makes for a much more hands-free, relaxed routine. It’s the ultimate pump for basic, compact inground swimming pools.
The Hayward Super Pump is a best-seller for many good reasons. It’s very user-friendly, doesn’t require much maintenance, and is quiet for a single-speed motor. While the primary size is for pools below 10,000 gallons, you can get a bigger motor to accommodate larger pools.
- It has a huge basket and two knobs to close the pump lid.
- This single-speed pump will be enough for tiny, basic swimming pools.
- You can select from a variety of horsepowers to suit your swimming pool.
- It has a motor stabilizer to reduce undesired vibrations and noise.
- This pump comes in two-speed configurations.
- Because this pump does not feature unions, you must use threaded pipes.
- It is not appropriate for pools using suction or pressure-side Hoover cleaners.
Best Variable-Speed Pump: Pentair SuperFlo VS Pump
One of my favorite inground pool pumps is the Pentair SuperFlo VS Pump. It is the most incredible variable-speed pump available for numerous reasons, including 80% energy savings and comprehensive display control. It has several built-in speeds, timers, and a date and time display. You can select between a 12-hour and a 24-hour mode.
The simple display is one of the most admirable aspects of this pump. Those who have never used a VS pump may appreciate SuperFlo’s simple interface. There are only a few buttons, yet they all provide excellent control. The menu button on the display allows you to easily cycle through the time, speed, duration, and watt usage.
The Pentair SuperFlo is also available with a fastened base. The foundation platform dampens vibrations during an earthquake and keeps the pump from splitting. You can use cement bolts to secure the pump’s motor to the ground. Whether you use bolts or not, I highly recommend using the base. It is worthwhile to reduce noise production.
The Pentair Superflo is one of the industry’s most popular variable-speed pumps. It is the less expensive, more generally used version of the Pentair Intelliflo (the 2.5 HP type). Compatible unions for the Superflo slip over 1.5″ piping or inside of 2″ piping.
- This pump comes with unions for 2″ and 1.5″ PVC pipes.
- You can set it to start and stop whenever you choose.
- It has the same footprint as practically all Pentair pumps, making installation simple.
- You can use the pump with either 115V or 230V electrical wiring.
- The Superflo features a small basket that you must empty regularly.
- There are only three programmed speed settings, significantly fewer than typical VS pumps.
Best Single-Speed Pump: Hayward PowerFlo Pool Pump
Because of its powerful motor and incredibly huge garbage basket, the 1.5 HP Hayward PowerFlo Pool Pump is the best single-speed pump I have seen. You only need to empty the basket once weekly during the spring, summer, and autumn. During the winter, most people only empty their trash can twice a month.
To safeguard this pump, Hayward designed a long-lasting, durable shell. PowerFlo’s rugged housing can withstand heavy rainstorms, intense sunlight, and snow. It also has a metal base to hold the motor and decrease vibrations and holes for an optional earthquake-proof installation.
The ultra-large debris basket has an ergonomic handle that allows you to remove it without any equipment.
The Hayward powerful is tough, user-friendly, and adaptable for a single-speed pump. The large basket and drain plug are unique features not found in other pumps. Furthermore, direct sunshine and chemicals will not cause the metal motor base to fracture, rust, or shed fiberglass.
- This pump is enough for most above-ground pools.
- It can withstand rainstorms, sunshine, chemicals, and other elements.
- The basket is large enough to catch leaves, algae, hair, and other particles.
- It’s among the most energy-efficient single-speed pumps on the market.
- You will need threaded pipes because this single-speed pump does not have unions.
- Because you can’t vary the speeds, it’s always on full power (and volume).
Best Low-Noise In-Ground Pump: Pentair WhisperFlo Pump
Pool pumps are infamous for being extremely loud. Pentair developed the WhisperFlo Pump to counteract this widely held view. The WhisperFlo is far quieter than any single-speed pump you’ll find. This pump works quietly without compromising its maximum speed. Despite the low noise level, it operates at roughly 3,450 RPMs.
This 1.5 HP pump is also available in 1 HP, 34 HP, and 3 HP versions. Everything about this pump, from the air-cooled motor to the vibration-reducing motor mount, makes it much quieter than standard single-speed pool pumps.
The Pentair WhisperFlo also includes a one-of-a-kind impeller design that reduces volume while conserving energy. Pentair’s unique design draws water through the impeller without raising the PSI above what is necessary. It also protects the pump from sucking air into the system by preventing cavitation. You’ll also save a lot of money on your electricity bill.
This single-speed pump is simple to install and requires little maintenance. It’s subtle, powerful, and long-lasting. The excellent impeller design by Pentair is one of the best I’ve seen in the business. They use it in their variable-speed variants, such as the Pentair SuperFlo.
- This pump is extremely quiet, making it the best choice for customers who want to lower the sound of their single-speed pump.
- It has a fantastic impeller design that decreases both energy usage and noise production.
- It comes in four sizes to fit practically any swimming pool.
- The design of the ultra-clear cover prevents cloudiness and fogging.
- Because there are no unions, you’ll require threaded PVC plumbing.
- Because the pump basket is small, you must empty it more frequently.
Tips for Choosing the Best Pool Pump for Your Inground Pool
Assess your pool’s specific needs and consider factors such as size, use, and desired flow rate:
- Look for energy-efficient options like variable-speed pumps to save on utility costs in the long run.
- Consult with a pool professional or use online calculators to determine the ideal pump size.
- Prioritize ease of maintenance by opting for pumps with user-friendly controls.
- Read customer reviews and compare different brands to find a reputable pool pump with a good track record.
In conclusion, while we have delved into the intricacies of the best pool pumps, identified alternatives, and explained the fundamental principles for selecting the optimal solution for your inground pool, it’s crucial to bear in mind your pool’s distinctive requirements. Elements to consider include prioritizing efficiency and preserving the pristine clarity of the water.
With these considerations in mind, I encourage you to relish the tranquility of your pool.
What’s the easiest pool pump to maintain?
The pool pump that offers the highest level of ease in terms of maintenance is the variable-speed pump. This type of pump is designed to provide optimal convenience and simplicity in upkeep.
Variable-speed pumps operate at lower speeds for most of their runtime, reducing wear and tear on the pump components. This longevity is beneficial as it minimizes the need for frequent repairs or part replacements.
These pumps often come equipped with user-friendly control panels, allowing you to schedule and monitor the pump’s performance effortlessly.
Is it better to have a bigger pool pump?
When considering pool pumps, size doesn’t always matter. You want to find the Goldilocks fit—the pump that’s just right.
Going for a too big pump can create turbulence in your pool’s circulation, strain your filtration system, and waste energy faster than a melting popsicle on a hot summer day. Conversely, an undersized pump may leave you longing for better flow and filtration. Finding the sweet spot is crucial by calculating the best pool pump size based on your pool’s specific requirements.
Can I replace My 1.5 HP pool pump with a 1 HP?
Absolutely! It’s not all about horsepower—it’s about efficiency. When upgrading your pump, you can often find a 1 HP variable-speed pump that matches the flow rate of your existing 1.5 HP single-speed pump while consuming less energy than your favorite poolside sunbather.
To determine the perfect pump size for your pool, it’s always a good idea to consult a professional or take advantage of online calculators. They’ll help you navigate the depths of pump specifications and ensure a smooth transition.
How do I calculate what size pool pump I need?
Calculating the best pool pump size may feel like doing a cannonball into a sea of numbers. But online calculators and pool professionals are here to save the day. By considering your pool’s volume, plumbing configuration, desired flow rate, and other factors, they can provide you with the treasure map to the perfect pump size. So, leave the calculations to the experts and sail smoothly toward optimal pool performance.
Remember, choosing the best pool pump is like finding a loyal swimming buddy—it requires careful consideration and compatibility. By exploring the types of pool pumps, considering maintenance ease, sizing correctly, and embracing efficiency, you’ll soon be basking in the joy of a clean, well-circulated, and inviting pool. Happy swimming!