Advantages of using a pool pump timer
A pool pump is one of the largest energy-consuming appliances. Therefore, you can sit around turning switches on and off the whole day and maybe even overnight, or you can save yourself the effort and buy a pool pump timer.
Although it’s recommended that you filter your pool water at least once in 24 hours, it doesn’t mean that the pump needs to run all day. By installing a pool pump, you can restrict your pump usage to a few hours during the day and hence reduce your energy costs.
Apart from this, devices like the Woods 50015WD Outdoor 7-Day Heavy-Duty Digital Plug-in Timer also extend your pump’s life and prevent scale buildup in pool heaters by giving these machines only a few hours off each day.
With the help of a pool pump timer, you can go on short vacations and come back to a clean, sparkling pool without having to worry about your electricity bill going through the roof.
How to find the best pool pump timer?
Choosing a pool pump timer isn’t difficult if you know what you are looking for. Although it isn’t a decision of a lifetime, you want to think about it carefully. If you want to invest in a pump timer that would last for years without causing any trouble, you need to do your research before you buy one. There are certain factors that you need to consider before you get a pool pump. Each of these will be discussed in detail below to help you find the best pool pump timer – one that meets all your requirements.
There are two types of pool pump timers: mechanical and digital.
A mechanical pump timer follows the same principles as your grandfather’s old clock – it’s full of springs and gear, and it will run forever until you stop it. Although mechanical timers, such as the BN-LINK Compact Outdoor Mechanical Timer, require you to make the adjustments quite frequently, they are comparatively inexpensive and are designed to last you 5-10 years or even more.
In contrast, a digital timer is like a smartwatch; it comes with many different features, such as wireless control and can manage your other backyard appliances too. However, its complexity makes it a bit tricky to install and adjust.
If you’re looking for something simple to turn your variable speed pool pump on and off every day, then a mechanical timer will do the trick. However, if you want a high-level of customization along with several options, then a digital timer like the Intermatic P1353ME 3-Circuit Pool/Spa Digital Time Switch is best for you.
Different pool pumps require different voltage/amperes. Usually, they work with either 120V or 240V. Some timers, such as the Aube by Honeywell TI040/U 7-Day Programmable Timer, also have a multi-voltage function that lets you choose between 120V and 240V.
Before you buy a pump timer, we recommend that you check your pump’s HP. The average HP is 1.5. A timer with 1.5 HP will work with 1.5 HP pump unless stated otherwise in the user manual.
Choosing a pool pump timer with a lower HP rating that your pump has can not only lead to non-functionality but can also cause some serious problems such as a short circuit.
All pool pump timers mentioned in the list above come with a variety of features. Although both mechanical and digital timers have the override feature, the mechanical ones are programmable only for 24 hours, whereas digital timers have a 7-day programming feature. They also tend to have a larger number of different settings as compared to mechanical pump timers.
However, when it comes to ease of use, mechanical timers take the lead. They may not be as pleasing as the digital ones in appearance, but they’re much simpler and easier to operate. In contrast, digital timers have a lot of different features, such as a random timer, digital timer, and countdown timer, which makes them somewhat trickier to use and program. But it’s not really an issue because, nowadays, all timers come with a user manual for guidance.
Number of sockets
Almost all pool pump timers that we talked about in the list above come with a single socket, with the exception of the Woods 50015WD Outdoor 7-Day Heavy-Duty Digital Plug-in Timer and the BN-LINK Compact Outdoor Mechanical Timer. These devices have 2 grounded outlets.
Moreover, most of the high-quality pool pump timers have multi-way switching systems, just as seen with the electrical appliances in the US.
When it comes to dimensions, there is no specific rule. Some pool pump timers are large in size while some are small, and this all comes down to the design. Usually, those with added features, such as more circuits tend to be larger while simple ones are more compact. However, this isn’t always necessary, and smaller ones can have more features too.
The largest timer on our list is the Intermatic P1353ME 3-Circuit Pool/Spa Digital Time Switch, while the smallest one is Woods 50015WD Outdoor 7-Day Heavy-Duty Digital Plug-in Timer.
All pool pump timers designed for outdoor pools, and therefore, these appliances are weather-resistant. Timers, such as the GE 24-Hour Indoor/Outdoor Mechanical Time Switch, come in a lockable metal case that makes them rain-proof, and rust and dust-resistant. Apart from this, some devices, such as the Intermatic P1121 Heavy-Duty Outdoor Timer, come with a waterproof plastic cover that protects it from harsh weather conditions.
Simply put, all pool pump timers designed for outdoor pools come with adequate weather resistance, so you don’t have to worry about it. However, some users complained that timers claiming to be rust-resistant are actually not that durable, so it’s best to be careful.
Be it a large appliance like a refrigerator or a small one like a pool pump timer – durability is one of the key factors that people usually look for when purchasing any device. After all, if you’re investing in something, that should pay off.
Pool pump timers are tools that you don’t want to replace every year, so when you buy one, you need to make sure it’s durable. Although all timers mentioned above are quite reliable, some of them, such as the Aube by Honeywell TI040/U 7-Day Programmable Timer, are more long-lasting than the others according to customer reviews.
Ease of installation
Usually, a pool pump is plugged directly into a power source. A pool pump timer becomes an intermediary between the pump and the power source. It’s connected to the pump at one end and to the power source at another. Most of the timers we have covered here can be plugged directly into the socket, and some timers, such as the Woods 50015WD Outdoor 7-Day Heavy-Duty Digital Plug-in Timer, have a wall-mounting option as well.
Although manual pool pump timers are comparatively easier to install than digital ones, usually, every timer comes with a user manual now for guidance. We still recommend that you get it installed by a professional to eliminate the risk of damage.
When you invest in a pool pump timer, you expect it to serve you for years – especially if it’s a high-end one. This is why the warranty is important. In case something goes wrong, you can claim the warranty and get it fixed or get a refund by the seller.
Various pool pump timers have different warranty types and periods. Some timers, such as the Woods 59104RWD Outdoor 24-Hour Heavy-Duty Mechanical Time Switch come with a 30-day warranty period only while some have years’ long warranty. An example of this is the Aube by Honeywell TI040/U 7-Day Programmable Timer that comes with a 3-year warranty. We recommend that you get one with the longer warranty to make sure your device works properly for an extended period.
Perhaps the most important factor for most individuals when buying anything is the price. After all, you don’t want to end up spending a lot of money on one device, especially when you’re on a budget. Even if that’s not the case, it’s always a good idea to compare prices and features to see which pool pump timer offers greater value for money.
The price range for the timers mentioned in the list above is from $14 to $210, with the least expensive one being the BN-LINK Compact Outdoor Mechanical Timer while the most expensive one is the Intermatic P1353ME 3-Circuit Pool/Spa Digital Time Switch. However, it’s not necessary that the pricier one’s performance will be better so you should keep other factors in mind as well.