Pool Pump: Choosing the Right One That Will Save You Time and Energy

If you’re looking for some tips on how to choose the right pool pump, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ll guide you what to look for and how to pick the best one.

Whether you’re a passionate swimmer or just love hanging out in your pool, buying the right pool pump is essential for maintaining healthy water. Make sure you consider its size, how much water it will move, whether or not it has special features like ozone production or vacuum capabilities, and more before making your decision.

There are several things to keep in mind when purchasing a pool pump. Fortunately, to save yourself time in your due diligence, we created a guide on things you need to know before acquiring one. 

What Are the Types of Pool Pumps for Swimming Pools?

Swimming Pool Pump for Filtering

There are 3 main types of swimming pool pumps for in-ground pools: single-speed pumps, dual-speed pumps, and variable speed pumps. We’ve written a brief description to help you choose the best type for your pool. 

Single-Speed Pump

Even in a scientific age, a single-speed pump can be operated with one hand. It is easy to use and maintain. It’s very suitable for in-ground pools of small dimensions, which require only one horsepower. However, you can’t adjust the speed of a single-speed pump. 

This pump can run for 8 hours a day, which should be enough to turn over the entire pool at least once.

Dual-Speed Pump

Dual-speed pumps have two-speed options for circulating your pool water. This allows you to choose a higher speed option if your pool experiences heavy use and requires more filtration or slower speed when your pool is being used sparingly and requires less filtration. The dual-speed pump may end up costing you more in the start but may help you save energy expenses in the long run.

Variable-Speed Pumps

Variable-speed pumps provide you total control over circulation speed, which means you can tailor your pump to your specific needs for maximum cleaning or energy savings. In addition, this pump has programmable displays, allowing you to change the pump speed whenever you desire.

Although these pumps are the costliest of the three types, their variable speed capability can save you up to 80% or more on energy expenditures over time. A variable-speed pump may operate at a lower speed 24 hours a day than a single-speed pump, circulating over about twice the volume of water with the same amount of energy.

Of course, in choosing the right pool pump, “the ultimate goal is efficiency– balancing electricity bill savings with pump horsepower and balanced water chemistry.”

Michael Dean, poolresearch.com

Factors to Consider Before Acquiring the Optimal Pool Pump

Here are a few factors you need to take into consideration for a good purchase:

Pool Pump Filtering Pool Water

Pool Size 

A pool pump’s strength is also determined by the size of your pool. A pump that’s too powerful will only damage the filtration, whereas one that’s not powerful enough will take longer to clean the pool.

To know how powerful your pump should be, you may either use an online pool pump calculator. This is accessible on some manufacturer and store websites, or you can do the calculations manually. Here’s how:

Start by dividing the pool capacity by 24, which will give you the number of gallons per hour that a pump would need to circulate for a single day’s turnover.

For example, 20,000 gallons of water would require a pumping rate of around 2,500 gallons per hour to complete an 8-hour turnover. To calculate the minute rate, divide the gallons per hour by 60. So, for a 20,000-gallon pool, you should look for a pump with 42 gallons per minute flow rate to accomplish an 8-hour cycle turnover.


Look for a pump that has high-grade plastic, aluminum, or copper that can resist harsh chemicals present on chlorine and saltwater pools. Stainless steel is also an option if you don’t mind the wear and tear of this material, but it requires maintenance.


Most manufacturers do not promote their pumps with gallons per minute (or hour) since the flow rate is determined by factors other than the pump itself. 

Factors include the size of the piping, the plumbing fittings, the filter, and even the place where you put your pump. These components can generate resistance, reducing the pump’s flow rate; this is referred to as head resistance.

The most common head resistance for average pools is about 40 feet. With that in mind, if you have a 0.5 horsepower pump with the average head resistance, that would be suitable for small pools with up to 11,000 gallons. 

A 1 horsepower pump with the same head resistance can work well in the pool with up to 26,000 gallons of water. A 1.5 – horsepower pump can clean large pools with up to 30,000 gallons, while a huge 2-horsepower pump can circulate up to 46,000 gallons of water. 

Horsepower allows you to know how much water your pump can move. The higher the horsepower, the more powerful it will be. 


Pool pumps may operate on either 115-volt or 230-volt power sources, with the majority of pumps under 2 horsepower being capable of operating on either voltage. A 115-volt power supply is sufficient for the majority of household equipment. Consecutively,  bigger appliances, such as electric stoves and laundry dryers require 230-volt power supplies.

We recommend that you check the power requirements of the pump you intend to purchase to ensure that you are not wasting money. It is more difficult to replace an old pump wired for 115-volt power with a new pump wired for 230-volt power, or vice versa, than installing a new pump that utilizes the same power source.

Filter Compatibility

For an inground pool, there are three types of filters to choose from: sand, cartridge, and DE (diatomaceous earth). While most pumps are compatible with all filter types, it is always a good idea to double-check before purchasing a pump. 

Each of the filters has a maximum flow rate determined by the kind and size of the filter. You should never operate pumps higher than the maximum flow rate of the filter because it may damage your filter.

Energy Efficiency

Pumps that are Energy Star-certified are the most energy-efficient. These models use 40 percent less electricity than your average pump, which means you will save money using them. Also, consider looking for a pump with 3-speed settings, which allow you to adjust the speed of the motor for different water conditions so you can save even more on your energy bill.

Noise Level

Noise level is the amount of sound produced by a swimming pool pump. It’s measured in decibels. To give you an idea, a normal conversation is about 50 to 65 decibels. A loud air conditioner is between 37 and 82 dB, a jackhammer 90 to 100 dB, a nearby chainsaw is 100 to 120 dB, a high-alarm fire engine 90-140 dB, and a drum is 90 to 130 dB. A typical swimming pool pump should be around 65 – 90 dB, about the same noise from the refrigerator. 

The quietest pool pump runs at 40 dB, but any noise level over 45 dB is disruptive to human conversation. Also, most pools are installed indoors or in an area where you’ll hear the pump’s sound 24 hours a day, so the place is important to consider. Avoid metal impellers because they produce more noise than plastic versions. Additionally, a quieter pool pump usually costs higher.

Maintenance Issues

Pool Pumping System Maintenance

A pool pump is an electronic device that needs regular maintenance. It is normal to have to replace the internal wiring at least twice in three years. The motor may also need replacing after three years, depending on its size and the amount of time it’s used. The manufacturer of your pool pump will provide instructions for its maintenance. However, you have to clean the filter and pump baskets regularly.


When you’re trying to find the perfect pump for you, keep in mind all of these factors, as well as how much money you want to spend. There are many kinds of pool pumps, but the most effective ones are the ones that are the best fit for you and the features you want for your pool.

We hope this helps you know how to decide on the features you need for your pump and with buying a pool pump that suits your swimming pool needs. Thanks for reading! Also, below are more pool articles that you will definitely find useful. Check them out! To view more pool articles, click here.

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