Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: May 18, 2021
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A pool pump timer is an essential device if you’re looking to keep your pool clean and reduce your electricity bill. Without a timer, your pump keeps running throughout the day, costing you a hefty amount at the end of the month. Picking the right timer can require some work, but it’s worth it because it saves you multiple trips to and back from your pool, turning your filter pump on and off.
After exploring several websites and assessing 35 different pump timers, our team has come up with a list of the best pool pump timers available based on their features and functionality. Among the 7 presented products, the Aube by Honeywell TI040/U 7-Day Programmable Timer takes the prize. This model comes with weather-proof lockable casing and provides simple 7-day programming. It also has the added feature of a memory backup, which means that you don’t have to program your device again and again. We have also included 6 other devices on our list of the best timers for pool pumps to help you make an informed decision.
Be it a digital pool pump timer or a mechanical one – the most important feature people look for is durability. Most products we reviewed, either have a freeze/heat protection to prevent it from damages when working in extreme temperatures or at least a waterproof case to cover the timer. Additionally, we prioritized devices with multiple operating modes so that users can program the timer as they want without having to fiddle with the settings several times a day manually. For this article, our team has spent more than 60 hours to come up with the best information for you. You can find everything you need to make your choice easier in detailed reviews of each product and our comprehensive buying guide. So what are you waiting for? Read on!
"If you want to get an inexpensive pool pump timer, check this one. This device allows you to personalize your settings for each day and is compatible with various appliances, such as heaters and fountains."
"In terms of reliability, it is hard to beat this model. This pool pump timer works with single and two-speed pumps, had dual-voltage feature, and three circuits to ensure its exceptional performance."
The first pool pump timer on our list is the Aube by Honeywell TI040/U 7-Day Programmable Timer. It’s the Editor’s Choice thanks to its spectacular features. This timer has 7-day programming with up to 14 settings and comes with three different modes – manual, automatic, and temporary bypass that enables override without affecting the programming.
The pool pump can run for 16 hours every day, which means not only will you save electricity, but you also will recover the cost of the timer within 2 years. It also provides a selectable voltage switch that enables you to choose between 120 and 240V, depending on what voltage you use and also has a battery backup option. However, this timer can’t control several devices independently, and also you can’t mix 120 and 240V devices. Still, it is compatible with 3-way switches. With a heavy-duty casing and a three-year warranty, the Aube Programmable Timer just might be the best 1.5 HP pool pump timer on the market.
If you’re looking for an affordable pool timer that gives you flexibility in terms of settings, then look no further because the Woods 50015WD Outdoor 7-Day Heavy-Duty Digital Plug-in Timer is the perfect choice for you! This 7-day programmable timer with a digital display offers 3 different modes – a digital timer, random setting, and countdown timer, which means you can personalize your settings for each day, or for weekdays and weekends differently – whatever you find it feasible.
Apart from this, the timer can work with various appliances, including fountains, heaters and pool heat pumps. The best part? It comes with a smart self-charging backup that can retain your settings, so in case of a power outage, you won’t have to worry about resetting it. However, some users have complained that the cord is really short, so it can be difficult to reach the socket. With a hard body and a heavy-duty timer cover, this Woods 50015WD Timer is one of the most durable timers out there.
Are you planning to upgrade to a pool pump digital timer from a manual one? Or do you simply need a reliable model? Look no further, because the P1353ME 3-Circuit Pool/Spa Digital Time Switch is the ideal candidate for any job. This amazing pool pump timer comes with 7 preprogrammed modes and has a 7-day programming feature. This heavy-duty appliance can control both single and two-speed pumps as well as cleaner/booster pumps.
The countdown and override features enable it to be used manually when needed and automatically resumed without requiring the user to reprogram the system. Apart from this, it has 3 circuits with 3 on/off buttons and a multi-voltage input and output, so you can choose between 120V and 240V. The clear LCD display and freeze/heat protection features are two added benefits. However, it comes with a 30-day return period only, so if you face an issue after this, you’ll have to get it fixed yourself.
The fourth option on our list is the BN-LINK Compact Outdoor Mechanical Timer. You can automate your pool pump with this easy-to-use timer. It can be programmed with 15-minute intervals in a 24-hour period – a total of 48 on/off settings per day. Also, you don’t have to worry about setting it every 6-10 hours; the timer will repeat your personalized settings daily. This waterproof timer comes with a cover that protects it from severe weather conditions.
Moreover, it has no loose parts; even the pins for setting the schedule are built-in around the dial. This means you don’t have to worry about losing anything. It’s ETL listed and UL certified. However, some people said that the distance between the two outlets is quite narrow. On the other hand, while it made of high-quality materials, the BN-LINK Compact Outdoor Mechanical Timer is a durable and long-lasting timer that will stay with you for years.
What are our favorite features?
Easy to use
Comes with 2 grounded outlets and a waterproof cover
The GE 24-Hour Indoor/Outdoor Mechanical Time Switch is an all-in-one timer that will make your life easier. It’s a 24-hour programmable timer that comes with a pair of on/off trippers and also has slots for additional trippers. Its single pole, single throw design is very easy to install and is ideal for 120V pool pumps. Thanks to heavy-duty rust-proof metal, this timer is weather-resistant and is also lockable to prevent tampering.
All the internal components are of high quality, and electrical connections are at par. This timer can be used both indoors and outdoors. However, not everyone was satisfied with this product because it had arrived damaged. Despite the poor quality control, the GE 24-Hour Indoor/Outdoor Mechanical Time Switch has everything that you could possibly ask for in a timer.
Designed especially for outdoor settings, the P1121 Heavy-Duty Outdoor Timer is the ideal timer for pool pumps. This grounded plug-in timer comes with a flip-open enclosure to protect it from the weather. Additionally, the timer has removable trippers that allow 2 on/off settings per day with a 30-minute minimum interval, but this can be increased with additional trippers that you will have to purchase separately. Instead of the traditional 3-way switches, it has a grounded standard or locking type NEMA plug that means it can be plugged directly into the wall.
It’s designed to bear harsh weather conditions and is very easy to use. It comes with a manual override ON/OFF switch, a waterproof cover, and a 12-Inch grounded cord. However, several users have complained that this timer is not as durable as others. Still, it can be a great option if you are planning to use it with the pool pump only.
The last option on our list is the Woods 59104RWD Outdoor 24-Hour Heavy-Duty Mechanical Time Switch. It’s one of the best 220V pool pump timers you can find. Mounted in the industrial-grade NEMA 3R lockable metal enclosure, this timer is ideal for outdoor settings. It has a heavy-duty gear train with pins that cannot be removed. You can program up to 24 on/off settings per 24 hours, and these can be repeated daily. This helps reduce energy usage, and hence, your electricity bill will decrease as well.
Its single pole and single throw design makes it easy to install and use. This timer includes convenient 1/2-Inch and 3/4-Inch knockouts for conduit entry/exit. However, some users have complained that the timer is a bit noisy. Overall, you can say that the Woods 59104RWD Outdoor 24-Hour Heavy-Duty Mechanical Time Switch offers good value for money.
What stands out?
Lockable metal box
Convenient 1/2-inch and 3/4-inch knockouts
24 on/off settings per 24 hours
What cons did we manage to find?
Can be a bit noisy
Things to Consider
With so many products available on the market, it can be quite time-consuming to find the right pool pump timer. After extensive research, we were able to compile a list of the top 7 pool pump timers to make things much easier for you. There are many factors and product features that you need to consider before you buy one. We have included them in this section of the article, so make sure to read it carefully, and you will be able to get the perfect appliance for your pool!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Almost all of the timers we have covered here come with a small user manual, which explains how to set up your timer. For automatic timers, such as the Intermatic P1353ME 3-Circuit Pool/Spa Digital Time Switch, you simply have to input the time and the day that you prefer the pool pump timer to turn on and off. Many automatic devices come with multiple operating modes. Once you have figured out the number of modes on your device, you can easily set your digital pump accordingly. For mechanical devices, the manufacturer provides users with pins that can be placed around the clock dial for whenever the device needs to operate. Simply place your pins at ‘on’ and ‘off’ clips after loosening these clips with a screwdriver. The timer will operate the pump accordingly at the set time.
Power outages may result in losing the settings of pool timers. But don’t worry, because timers like the Woods 50015WD Outdoor 7-Day Heavy-Duty Digital Plug-in Timer are equipped with self-charging batteries that take over as soon as the power’s cut. This helps to retain your original programming. With a mechanical device, although it stops working when no power is supplied, your settings are retained because the pins set around the dial don’t reset themselves in case of a power outage.
It’s recommended that you use a timer only with the recommended characteristics for your pump. An average pool pump uses 3.5 kWh annually. Most timers, including the GE 24-Hour Indoor/Outdoor Mechanical Time Switch, are designed to withstand power in this range. If the instruction manual on your device does specify its usage with more powerful pumps, then you can go ahead and use it. If not, it’s advised that you refrain from experimenting with your pump and timer. High voltages will cause the fuse to burn out or may lead to much more serious damage, such as a short circuit.
After extensive research and a thorough comparison of the factors mentioned above, we have shortlisted the top 3 pool pump timers here. These pump timers come with certain distinct features that make them stand apart from others.
The first one is our Editor’s Choice, the Aube by Honeywell TI040/U 7-Day Programmable Timer. It has a weather-proof casing and 7-day programming feature with 14 settings and 3 different modes. It has everything you would want in a pump timer, including exceptional durability and ease of use.