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Eventually, you have your pool project finished, but you can’t start diving and bathing until you have the best pool pump installed. The best pool pumps will keep your water moving as stagnant water can cause the growth of algae, bacteria, and more. These equipment also filter your pool water to remove any particles and contaminants. There are many filtration systems, and our buying guide will help you know which system is the best for you. Several technical parameters are to be considered and once you understand the issues and know how to calculate the power and capacity required for your pool, you just have to choose between comfort options and economic concerns.
The article will walk you through all the checkpoints and tradeoffs to find the model that’s right for you. We’ve helped you pick the best pool pumps from various speed categories that might interest you. But first, what type of pump are you looking to buy?
Pool Pump Types
The analyzes of the comparisons of the best pumps allowed us to identify three types of pumps.
Single speed pumps
These are pool pumps that only come with one speed. They are not adjustable in speed and don’t require any further configuration. While they are less expensive than all other types, they can be noisy and impractical as sometimes, you need a lower speed operation, and, sometimes, a higher speed operation; but the speed here is fixed.
- Affordable pump
- Powerful pump
- They waste energy, consume twice the energy as a variable speed pump
- Can be noisy
- Not practical
Dual speed pumps
Two speed pool pumps are also variable types of pumps but you have two speed options to choose from. With these pumps, you can for example choose to make the equipment run on 1 or 1.5 horsepower, depending on the power rating. So, these types also ensure you can choose between two speed settings (low and high) that will be needed for the size of the pool and water content. The high-speed setting can be used when heating the pool or when you have a large bather load while the lower one can be used for pool circulation and every day use. While they are more expensive than single-speed pumps, they are less expensive than the variable.
- More practical than single-speed pumps
- Less expensive than variable speed pumps
- Can be used for pool heating
- Ideal when you have high bather loads occasionally
- Save energy
- Includes features of single and variable speed pumps
- Expensive than single-speed pumps
Variable speed pool pumps
The variable speed pool pumps are new in the market and a real revolution. This type of pump adapts its speed and consumption to the needs of the pool, which is why it can generate savings of up to $1000 per year in electricity consumption. In addition, thanks to its speed varying system, it is not necessary to perform any calculations to determine the appropriate pump, this pump model adapts to each pool size. It has multiple adjustability; that is, more than two speed settings.
- A lot of variable speed control
- For all types of pools
- Good energy efficiency
- Includes digital controls
- High initial costs
Top 7 Best Pool Pumps
We have picked the best pumps from the three major types on the market. So, whether you’re looking for the best single-speed, dual-speed, or variable-speed pump, you’ll definitely find the right pump that meets your pool needs.
Best Variable Speed Pumps
Below are the best pumps whose speed level can be adjusted. These include pumps from two market leaders in pool equipment manufacturing: Hayward and Pentair.
1. Hayward W3SP2303VSP MaxFlo VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump
According to EPA’s Energy Star, Hayward Max-Flo VS is rated as the most energy-efficient equipment on the market as it can save up to 80 percent on energy costs. Its variable motor allows it to be used in an inground pool.
Thanks to its TEFC motor, the pump makes almost no noise and its filtration capacity is also exceptional. It seems that the Hayward Max-Flo owes its superb performance to the enormous size of the basket that is used to collect debris and this feature helps avoid cleaning operations.
With its built-in timer, pool owners find it easy to set up and program. Max-Flo VS technology allows the user to customize speed, prime, and run time. Lastly, although the variable speed model has a high acquisition cost, you’ll be able to save money back with lower energy bills.
- Certified to be energy-efficient
- Easy to use
- Comes with a built-in timer
- Works noiselessly
- High acquisition cost
2. Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo High-Performance Variable Speed Pool Pump
The Pentair IntelliFlo range of variable pumps have some interesting features, especially when it comes to the flexibility of the type of controls you can use with the pump. It’s great control over the pump (just like the Hayward), its eight programmable settings plus a 24-hour clock for timer setups, make it stand out. Equipped with a powerful motor with a maximum power of 3 Horsepower, the model is also an Energy Star certified variable speed pool pump.
The Pentair IntelliFlo variable speed pump is a good option if you are working with a sophisticated electronic pool management platform such as IntelliTouch, EasyTouch, SunTouch, or even many other timer and heater management systems accessible from many different manufacturers. The new pump includes a communications interface that allows easy 2-wire RS-485 linkage for an external controller.
In its 3 HP structure, the Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 can cope with larger spas and ground pools. The motor is totally enclosed, fan cooled (like Hayward pumps), so it has the benefit of greater durability and very sophisticated diagnostics to help protect the pump.
- Includes an LCD screen
- Low energy costs
- Adjustable from 750 to 3450 rpm
- Innovative control inputs
- Very quiet and easy to program
- Moisture enters touchscreen
Best Dual Speed Pumps
Two-speed pumps are cost-effective because you’ll be able to program the motor speed to meet your needs: whether low speed or high-speed pool filtration. Here are the 3 best dual-speed pumps on the market.
3. XtremepowerUS 2HP InGround Variable Pool Pump w/ Slip-On Fitting
Ideal for inground pools, the item is a single voltage dual speed pool pump with a heavy-duty and high-performance motor. It’s built with an airflow ventilation system for cooler and quieter operation. We also like its bug debris basket: this keeps the maintenance of your pool to the barest minimum and lets you enjoy the pool more.
Thanks to the inclusion of a union fitting, you can use this with pools, spas, and tubs. The new pool pump can generate a maximum pump flow rate of 5280 gallons per hour and can be used for 20000 gallon pool. The priming pump is made from polymeric, a material that guarantees resistance from corrosion.
- It’s a self-priming pool pump
- Air flow ventilation ensures cool and quiet operation.
- Corrosion-proof construction
- Can be used in a saltwater pool
- Low water flow
4. Hayward SP15932S PowerFlo 1.5 HP Dual-Speed Pump for AboveGround
The Hayward SP15932S is a dual-speed above ground pool pump that offers you great functionality and performance when used for above ground pool or onground pool. The pump works for 10000 gallon pool and below, although a few users indicate it performs well for 15,000-gallon pools.
The pump is not Energy Star certified, has high energy costs, but we love the performance of this pump. Power can fluctuate between 1.5 and 1.0 HP. If you are replacing a high-performance pump then this is perfect; if you need a high-performance pump for your large pool, then this one will do the job. All you need is a single button push and the motor gives you a lot of power without a lot of power or noise. The motor is also completely sealed, which means it is safe from any external damage. The fan keeps the engine cool and running as it should.
- The above ground pump can work for saltwater pools
- Quiet on low speed
- High-performance pump for large pool
- Ideal for stock tank
- Not certified
- Not an energy efficient pool pump
5. XtremepowerUS 1.5HP Inground Pool Pump with 5280GPH Maximum Flow Rate
The XtremepowerUS 1.5 horsepower dual speed pool pump is designed for inground pools. One of the best features of the pool equipment is the oversized strainer basket that makes it easy to catch a large amount of debris and empty that debris without taking up too much time. Furthermore, this design has a maximum flow capacity of 88 gallons per minute, which is equivalent to 5,280 gallons per hour. This is not certified yet by Energy Star but it has a UL certification and is listed by the ETL for compliance to recognized safety standards during its production.
Built for inground pools, the pump is a single voltage dual-speed pool pump with a highly efficient heavy-duty motor. It’s built with an airflow ventilation system for cooler and quieter operation.
- Makes up to 5280 GPH flow rate
- Large basket for catching debris
- Corrosion-proof construction
- Can be used in a saltwater pool
- UL and ETL certified
- Low energy costs
- The heavy-duty pump motor can get noisy with time
- Cannot be used in California
Best Single Speed Pool Pumps
For those who need a pump with a single speed, Pentair and Hayward have a lot in their catalog; but these two are highly appreciated by users for their efficiency and great value for the money.
6. Pentair SuperFlo 1.5 HP Single Speed Pool Pump
Granted, this product is more expensive than most pool pumps on the market, but it’s sure to save you money in the long run. The Pentair SuperFlo does not require expensive installation as its wiring compartment is very easy to access. The single speed pump operates on a 115 or 230-volt power supply.
For ease of starting, the pump has self-priming features and we like that it comes with a large strainer basket that can catch more debris and larger ones. In addition, the large entrance makes the basket easy to access during pool maintenance. It is above all silent, intuitive, ecological, and easy to program.
- Works with a 115 or 230-volt power supply
- No wiring is required
- Features a large strainer basket
- Comes with a one-year warranty that is duly honored
7. Hayward SP2610X15 1.5 HP Super Pump
The Hayward Super Pump comes to the market with a well-balanced and effective Noryl impeller, ensuring high flow rates while using less horsepower than other pool pumps. Basically, this ensures you are running the single speed pump for efficient use while saving on electricity. The Hayward Super Pump has a super large strainer basket that measures 110 cubic inches for even more debris holding capacity and ease of maintenance.
This inground pump is distinguished from its peers by its single-phase voltage. If this model is very popular with individuals and professionals, it is above all thanks to its low noise level. Finally, the Hayward model will work for 50000 liters of pool or less and is ideal for inground swimming pools.
- Works for spas and inground pools of all sizes
- It’s a self-priming pool pump
- Easy to install
- Reduces electricity bill
- Could be more durably-built
- Only one speed mode
Buying Guide: Don’t Miss the Tips for Choosing a Best Pool Pump
Buying a pump requires putting some technicalities and basic things into consideration. In this purchase guide, we’ll help you draft out all the features you need and calculations to make before choosing one.
Depending on the flow and pressure, the power consumption can vary a lot from one model to another. The direct impact is the amount of your electricity bills and you have to find a compromise. Inground pumps (with 1.5 to 4 horsepower heavy-duty motor) consume more power. However, you can find efficient inground pumps which are energy efficient. The best way to find these is to only choose models that are certified by Energy Star.
As a reminder, during the period of operation (summer), it should operate at least 10 to 12 hours per day, and sometimes continuously (heating by heat pump for example).
On this basis, the industry has developed pumps at double speed and variable pumps which are very practical for large pools.
Some pumps are equipped with a filter basket whose role is similar to the basket of skimmers. It collects and stores certain impurities that the skimmer lets through.
The advantage of this device is to protect the pool filter from clogging and to delay cleaning of the filter as much as possible (backwash).
It is relevant to choose this type of pump because you will save several hundred, if not thousands, of liters of water per year. Ensure that the strainer basket is large enough to contain more debris and make access easy during maintenance.
Some swimming pool pumps can be more or less noisy, but as they get older, they can start making new and weird noises. If the technical room is close to the pool, your neighbors, or the beach/terrace where you are used to eating your grilled meats and bringing together relatives, this is a criterion to also be taken into consideration.
Checking the decibel level of the pump is something you will congratulate yourself on. Although pool pumps make between 65 to 90 decibels of noise in general, you can find models in the Pentair range that operate below 50 dB.
Self-priming or not?
The criterion is important if the pump is located above the level of the water body. A self-priming pump is required when the technical room is located above the water level; this is the case with most inground swimming pools.
If it is lower than the water level in the pool, the water automatically enters it under the effect of gravity. In this case, having a conventional or gravity pump is sufficient. This is the case with most above ground pools. It is also true for inground pools with a technical room even lower than the pool (in a garage under the house for example).
The filter capacity and your disinfectant
The pump and filter must be in agreement. The data of the filter is generally indicated in its technical datasheet. However, a filter that is too small will not work properly if the pump is more powerful than it. The water will pass too quickly and will be poorly filtered.
You must also check that it is compatible with your disinfectant (salt treatment for example) system. In case of replacement, use a pump of the same model/flow rate. If you were happy with the pump you need to replace, choose the same model. This will allow a quick change without modifying the installation.
Why pool pump won’t prime?
The pump can lose its priming and function improperly because of leakages or cracks causing the system to suck in excessive air. The leaks could be coming from the drain plugs, the pump fittings, the pump cover gasket, or even from the diverter valves. You’ll have to replace leaky components of seal leakages to restore prime.
Why is pool pump so loud?
The noise mainly comes from the wear of the bearings in the pump. If the noise sounds like crackling, it may be due to the presence of debris and leaves in the pre-filter or on the propeller. However, the best pool pump is usually quiet: below 50 decibels.
To reduce the noise made by the pool pump, install it in a wooden or concrete formwork.
Does pool pump need to run 24/7?
Your pump doesn’t have to operate 24/7. During the period of operation (summer), you can operate it for at least 10 to 12 hours per day, and sometimes continuously, for example when you are heating the pool with a heat pump.
Do pool pumps use a lot of electricity?
The type of pool pump can determine what it adds to your electricity bill. Your pump contributes an additional 13 to 40 cents to your electricity bill for each hour it’s used. It’s estimated that a variable pump can contribute $500 on average to your bill while a single-speed pump can cost you up to a thousand dollars. However, always ensure the pump chosen is Energy Star certified as you may get a discount on electricity bills.
When to replace pool pump?
In any case, you should replace the pool pump once every 8 to 15 years. You will know a swimming pool pump needs replacement when water is no longer circulating in the pump. A strange noise can emanate from the system or the pool pump could be leaking.
What pool pump should I buy?
The choice of the power of the swimming pool depends above all on the capacity of the pool. For example, for a 20,000 swimming pool, the correct power will be 1.5 HP. For a 15,000 swimming pool, the power will then be 0.75 HP. While for a 10,000 swimming pool, the ideal power will be around 0.55 HP.
Choosing a high-quality pool pump will save you money in the long run. Taking care of your pool water is important, and the best pool pumps will keep your pool running smoothly while doing it efficiently and at a low cost to you.
You have no choice but to choose the best possible pump for your pool. Since it is the heart of your pool’s filtration system, you should spend the time necessary to understand how they work and compare models before making a choice. The best pumps last for a minimum of 10 years. Some people manage to keep them for much longer if they are well built.