What Is The Best Pool Pump On The Market In 2020?

What is the best pool pump on the market?

Your pool is a major investment that can add not only value to your home but can truly enhance your quality of life and provide recreational fun for years to come. It makes a lot of sense to research carefully the various types of pool pumps that are available for home use in order to make the most appropriate and best choice for your residential pool. 

Below is a summary to help you research the different types of pool pumps that are available and an outline of the characteristics and properties of each. This will help simplify the information gathering process before making the best purchase that will satisfy your pool’s exact needs and meet the latest regulatory standards for safety and energy efficiency. 

Some of the most frequently asked questions when buying a pool pump are: 

  • What size of swimming pool pump should I get?
  • What’s the difference between an in-ground and above-ground pool pump and how do I know which one to get? 
  • Should I get a single-speed, dual-speed, or variable-speed model? 

Our Top Recommendation For Best Pool Pump On The Market?

What is the Difference Between an In-ground and Above-ground Pool Pump?

Both in-ground and above-ground pool pumps are designed to filter out debris, sand, etc. to keep the pool water crystal clear and safe to swim in. 

In-ground pumps are “self-priming,” which refers to their ability to lift water vertically. Above-ground pumps instead use atmospheric pressure and gravity to feed the pump.

Generally, an in-ground pool pump has a larger and more powerful capacity for filtration than an above-ground pump, and the costs are generally higher for an in-ground pool pump versus an above-ground pool pump. 

There are some structural and of course installation differences too. You can use an above-ground pool pump on an in-ground pool if you have a small pool and the pool pump is situated at or below the water level of the pool.

Should I Choose a Single-Speed, Dual-Speed, or Variable-Speed Pump?

  • Single-speed pumps are the original pool pumps. They are the least efficient of the three types and have even been outlawed in some places. It is recommended that these are replaced by either a dual pump or a variable pump. If you are set on a single pump, you should check their local laws and ordinances to make sure it is legal. 
  • Dual-speed pumps work on high and low. The low speed saves energy but pumps less water, possibly making it less efficient in the long run. 
  • Variable-speed pumps are a good investment for anyone who plans to maintain their pool long term. They may cost a bit more up front but they are more efficient, which saves on electricity. In some places, utility rebates are available for users. Variable-speed pumps use the same magnet motors that are used in electric cars, so they are quieter and more efficient. They can also run all day, which the other pumps can’t handle well. 

Department Of Energy Regulations Regarding Pool Pumps

According to the most recent US Department of Energy regulations, industry standards are encouraging a movement towards dual- or variable-speed motors for pool pumps vs. single-speed pumps.

There are changes that will be continuing to occur regarding how these regulations will change the rating systems for pool pumps. However, for most residential uses, a dual-speed pump meets or exceeds these new regulations and a variable-speed pump is sufficient by far for larger capacity filtration needs.

It is wise to research the exact needs for your pool’s filtration and doing so will not only save a ton of money over the long run in energy savings but will ensure your pool remains an asset to home value and quality of life for many years to come. 

Last update on 2019-12-05 PST - Details

What Size of Pool Pump Should I Get?

1. Power

First is determining how powerful of a pump you will need and this depends on the size of your swimming pool. Ideally, a properly tuned pump will circulate all of the water in the pool twice in a 24-hour period. This process of measuring the time it takes to clean the entire pool is called turnover. 

The larger a swimming pool is, the stronger it needs to be to obtain an effective turnover rate. Most jurisdictions will have a regulation that sets a minimum turnover that a pump must meet. The best way to determine the exact amount of power you will need is to determine the flow rate you are trying to achieve. 

2. Flow Rate (LPM)

The flow rate refers to the amount of water that flows through the pump per minute. A typical flow rate could range from 30 liters per minute to well over 4,000 liters per minute. 

In order to determine the flow rate, multiply the volume of your pool times two. If your swimming pool is 10,000 liters when full, multiple 10,000 times two, this gives the number of liters the pump will need to circulate in a 24-hour period.

Next, divide that number by 1,440. So for this example, the equation is 20,000 divided by 1,440. This means the pump you are looking for needs to circulate at least 13.8 liters per minute in order to circulate the entire pool twice every 24 hours. 

Calculating Your Requirements Based On Pool Size (GPM)

The size of the pump, including the horsepower, need to meet the highest regulatory standards that closely relate to the size of your pool. 

A large pump will have a larger intake capacity, meaning a large diameter water inlet and a large diameter for the water outlet as well. This allows the unit to take in and filter more water per hour than a smaller pump would. The larger pool pump model will have a commensurately larger strainer/filter in place to handle a high volume of water filtration. 

Each pool pump will list its water filtration rate, called the flow rate in liters per minute (LPM) or gallons per minute (GPM). 

Simply take your pool’s water volume, say 150,000 gallons, and multiply that by 2, because for optimum filtration the water should run two times through the filter each day. 

In this case, the volume measurement will be 300,000 gallons. Now divide that by the number of minutes in a day, which is 1,440. This calculation will provide the flow rate needed to filter your pool properly each day. 

In this case, the flow rate works out like this: 

300,000 ÷ 1440 = 208.33 GPM 

So for a 150,000-gallon pool, a flow rate of at least 208 GPM (gallons per minute) is needed. That is the magic number to keep your pool clean and fresh every day, and that is the minimum number to look for on the pool pump that you purchase. 

Similarly, a smaller pool would require a lower flow rate. The calculation will allow you to determine the size and power of the pump that will handle your pool’s volume. Simply double the number of gallons, and divide by 1,440 to get the flow rate. Then you will know to buy a pump that has a GPM flow rate not lower than that number. 

You can use a quick calculator to find out your pool’s volume.

Important Components of a Pool Pump 

When you think of a pool pump and filtration system, you may think of a long maze of pipes, complicated components, and a plethora of valves. But the system isn’t complicated at all — in fact, it can be summed up in five sections. 

  • Skimmer — Collects water to supply the intake and pump. It collects large particles and debris that might be in the pool (e.g. leaves, sticks, bugs).
  • Inlet — Returns treated pool water from the pump and filter.
  • Filter — The pool’s mechanical cleaning equipment. It can remove extremely small particles of dirt and various other matter from the water and automatically dispose of it.
  • Heater — Heats pool water, usually via electric heat exchange.
  • Pump — The final component is arguably the most important part of the entire system. It’s often compared to a beating heart; as the human heart pumps blood around a body to keep it alive, the swimming pool pump drives water through the entire system to be treated. 

Troubleshooting a Malfunctioning Pool Pump

Your pool pump ensures that the water in your pool circulates constantly, and is filtered to keep it clean, pure, and usable. 

Before selecting your pool pump, consult with an expert to make sure the flow rate is adequate for the amount of water in your pool. And unless you are an experienced pool technician, have an expert install the pump for you. 

  • A key element for any fuel pump is the display, which is usually found on the top of the pump itself. The display will confirm that your pump is working with the right RPM setting. Check this often because pool pumps might become clogged and looking at the display may be the only way you can tell your pump is not working properly. 
  • What are some signs that it might not be working properly? In addition to the display we’ve discussed earlier, one of the best tools you can use to analyze your fuel pump’s operation is your hearing.
  • Most malfunctioning pumps make a racket. Other malfunctioning pumps make no sound at all, which is also bad. Familiarize yourself with the sound of your pump when it’s operating properly. Check it every time you’re home every few hours to make sure that music of a properly operating pool pump continues. 
  • Pool pumps fail or become less effective over time, and there can be any number of reasons for this. One common issue with pumps is the O-rings failing, or the seals on the mechanical sections failing. These parts are prone to general wear and tear.
  • One thing you want to avoid is sucking air through your pump as this lowers the effectiveness. More air means less effectiveness through the hydraulic system, which means less water being pumped (water won’t travel through the system fast, or in some cases, at all). Damaged or loose seals causes air to leak into the system, so if your capacity is diminished this is one area to check first.
  • Another part prone to failure is the electric motor. When this part fails, it usually does so dramatically with a complete failure to start or move the shaft well. Replacing this section is more cost effective than throwing the whole thing out. 

When Is The Best Time To Run A Pool Pump?

Should you keep your pump operating 24 hours a day during the warm season or not? Some people say yes, others say no. If your pump is variable speed, you can keep it operating all day, because it won’t be using a lot of electricity. 

If your pump is single speed, some people keep their shut off for eight hours or so each day. However, most experts will tell you this is a dangerous practice. It lets debris build up and algae grow in still and stagnant water. Having a pool is an expensive undertaking but trying to save money by under-utilizing your pump can be a dangerous practice. 

Higher-end fuel pumps come with remote Bluetooth controls, so you can see the operation of your pump and adjust it using your mobile phone. Many apps even tell you the cost of the electricity being used to run your pump. At the very least, this will avoid surprises when your electricity bill comes. 

But make no mistake, having a pool is expensive, so it’s not for everyone. A general rule is if you can afford to build a pool, you can afford to run its pump properly. 

All this may sound daunting, especially to a new pool owner. But if you consulted with an expert from the start, then your pool pump will run tirelessly, quietly and healthily every day you enjoy your beautiful pool. 

Best Above-Ground Pool Pump — Harris ProForce Pool Pump

The Harris ProForce Pool Pump comes in three-quarter-, one-, and 1.5-horsepower variants. Its motor is consistently highly rated by users for being powerful yet quiet. The motor bearings are self-lubricating, as are the shaft seals.

The best thing about the Harris ProForce Pool Pump is its build quality. It is built to last. The motor shaft is made from stainless steel, and the body of the pump sees the strategic use of thermoplastics. Thermoplastics are polymer-based lightweight materials also used in space suits and bulletproof vests.

Another big pro for the Harris ProForce Pool Pump is how easy it is to monitor and clean. The cover is see-through, making monitoring the strainer as simple as glancing into it. Compared to other above-ground pool pumps, the strainer is more easy to access and easier to clean. The pool pump is fitted with a convenient twisting lid that locks.

The Harris ProForce Pool Pump runs relatively quietly, but there are certainly more silent pool pumps available.

Overall, the Harris ProForce Pool Pump is set at a price point lower than its competitors are and it offers you the same functionality in a high-quality build.

Best In-Ground Pool Pump — Hayward MaxFlo Pool Pump

Hayward is a well-known name in the world of pool equipment. They have established their strong reputation by offering high performance, durable machinery with good technical support and data to back up their products.

The Hayward MaxFlo Pool Pump is an economy model that ticks all the right boxes. Though it is a single-speed pool pump, it is ENERGY STAR certified, making it one of the most efficient single-speed pool pumps available.

As an in-ground pool pump, the Hayward MaxFlo Pool Pump is self-priming. Even if situated up to eight inches above water level, the MaxFlo is up to the job.

Owners of the Hayward MaxFlo Pool Pump note how easy it is to view the strainer and access it when required. The cap is removed by pulling down two swing-away knobs with an easy flick. Those who have had to wrestle with the strainer cover on other in-ground pool pumps will appreciate the simplicity.

The low price of the Hayward MaxFlo Pool Pump is not due to poor build quality. It does, however, reflect in the simplicity of the model. There are no alternative speeds, there is no digital display, and there is no remote digital control. Those looking to buy a low-cost single-speed pool pump are not likely to miss these features.

It’s the simple things that make the Hayward MaxFlo Pool Pump the best single-speed in-ground pool pump on the market today. If you’re looking for an in-ground pool pump that just gets the job done and is exceptionally easy to work with, the Hayward MaxFlo Pool Pump is a great buy.

Best Variable-Speed Pool Pump — Pentair SuperFlo VS Pool Pump

Spending a bit more on your pool pump tends to pay dividends. The Pentair SuperFlo VS Pool Pump is a variable-speed pump, which means the speed of the motor can be automatically tuned to requirements. Variable-speed pool pumps can reduce running costs by up to 80%

The Pentair SuperFlo VS Pool Pump has three speeds by default and you can override them with your own settings. 

Working with the Pentair SuperFlo VS Pool Pump is particularly nice thanks to its easy-to-use digital control keypad and display that shows the current rpm and wattage. For those of us who like to tinker with our pool pumps, the Pentair SuperFlo VS Pool Pump is a lot of fun.

Thanks to the variable speed, the pool pump is almost silent. New owners of the Pentair SuperFlo VS Pool Pump have reported being very happy with the noise from the pump even if it is stationed near the house.

To ensure long-lasting operation, Pentair has included a number of features that disperse ear from the motor. An overheating motor is a prime reason for pool pumps to fail early. The Pentair SuperFlo VS Pool Pump is fan cooled and has an aluminum heat sink.

Well the Pentair SuperFlo VS Pool Pump is more expensive than some other options, we believe it is the best choice because of its excellent economy. The running costs of the variable-speed pool pump will be so much cheaper in the long run compared to poorer swimming pool pumps mean it should be your first choice.

Last update on 2019-12-05 PST - Details

Best Pool Pump for Large Pools — Hayward TriStar VS Pool Pump

If you require a larger pool pump, the case for variable-speed pool pumps is even stronger. The Hayward TriStar VS Pool Pump has been highly rated by the EPA for its efficiency. Hayward suggests that you could save up to 90% in energy costs over a single-speed pool pump if you choose a Hayward TriStar VS Pool Pump.

This pool pump comes in 1.85 and 2.7 hp options, meaning it’s only a serious option if you have a medium-sized pool or a large pool. If you do have a larger pool, it’s economically smart to choose the Hayward TriStar VS Pool Pump.

Not only is the motor efficient, but it’s also virtually silent. Much thought has been put into the design to ensure reliability, durability, and long life. The motor is fan cooled and completely enclosed. Onboard diagnostics check for temperatures, fluctuations in the power supply, and priming system failures, automatically shutting down the system if an error is found to protect the pump. There is also an optional Safety Vacuum Release System to prevent suction entrapment.

The integrated digital touchpad allows for round-the-clock programming and comes with eight custom timer functions.

If you have a medium-sized pool or a large pool, choose the Hayward TriStar VS Pool Pump to replace inefficient single-speed pool pump, and see savings of up to $150 a month.

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