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: December 23, 2020
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Pool season is coming, and you feel like a cat on a hot tin roof until the first sunny day because you want to get your pool ready. Having safe, clean water is essential, and the best swimming pool pump is a vital part of that. It will circulate the water through your pipes and into your filter. Without one, the whole system stops, which is why getting the best pool pump is so important.
In our exhaustive search, we came across 38 different models available on the market. We picked 10 of them for this review, but the one that stood out above the others was the Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump. It was very easy to use while also having impressive reliability. It is, however, made for above ground pools, but thankfully, we’ve also looked at many other types of pumps that may be more suitable for your needs.
Choosing the best pool pump means taking into account the pool type, motor power, voltage, max flow rate, speeds, and recommended pool size. If that sounds like a lot of information, then we’ve made it as easy as possible to digest with our countless hours of research and the expert sources we’ve consulted. We’ve put all this info together in our in-depth reviews along with a comparison table, a buying guide, and FAQs. So read on to find the best swimming pool pump for you!
The number one product on our list is the Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump, and it’s hard to see any argument against this pick. Intex is one of the most reputable manufacturers of pool filters, so everyone must have seen this coming. With its coverage capacity of 2800 to 12,800 gallons, this model is perfect for small to medium-sized above-ground pools. Remarkably, it’s a decently-priced model, which makes it a very attractive option.
Of course, it has a powerful 0.3hp motor to boot, which is certain to make your pool sparkle in only a couple of hours. The outer casing of the unit is also durable, but the hose adapters included are quite awkward and difficult to connect. Once you are able to set it up, though, you’d see the filter doesn’t require much maintenance. Like the other top models, this unit also features a 24-hour timer, which allows it to deliver amazing results.
Another remarkable thing about this unit is its 1600 GPH pump flow rate, which allows the machine to clean your pool as fast as possible. To boost your confidence about the purchase you are about to make, the company has included a two-year warranty on this product.
Here, we see another brilliant above ground filter pump by Intex. This one has a little less power than the previous model we looked at, and therefore, it’s going to be ideal for pools that are 15,000 gallons and below.
The automatic pool pump timer fitted is ideal, as this will help to keep everyone safe and ensure that the pimp stays efficient. This single-speed pump comes with a cartridge filter that people are going to find very easy to replace.
It’s very easy to use, and you’ll have it connected as soon as you get it. It may not be the most powerful pool pump, so double-check if it’s going to be suitable for your needs. The sediment flush value and double insulation are also features that help to make this a great model.
Another impressive aspect of this product is how it circulates the water around the pool to prevent it from any dead spots that don’t get filtered. The end result is an excellent level of water quality that will keep you happily swimming throughout the whole summer. It’s the best pool pump for smaller above ground pools.
Are you looking for the best in-ground pool pump? This would be a fantastic choice as it has all the features that you could need to pump the water around efficiently. It’s able to do all of that with a low noise level to ensure that you can enjoy your pool in peace.
One of the best features that it has is the digital user interface, which makes it very easy to control the flow and settings of the pump. This could also be seen as the best variable speed pool pump, and with that versatility, it’s great to be able to have full control over the output.
With a capacity of up to 38,000 gallons, this should be able to cover all of your pool needs, but just check that it’s going to be suitable. The flow rate of up to 6,600 GPH will be fantastic and will work perfectly with your filter to make the ideal pool solution to keep the water clean and safe.
Despite having all that power, the pump remains very quiet. Installation is going to be very simple, and you should have no problems connecting it with your existing in-ground or above ground pool. Added to all these features is the fact that the pool pump has exceptional build quality and durability.
For an above ground pool, this pump has plenty of power and flow rate. It’s going to be ideal for any pool pump that is up to 19,000 gallons and will be able to keep your pool constantly clean.
The durability is at the heart of this pool pump as it’s made from heavy-duty materials, and the construction is of the highest standard to make sure that this pool pump can stand the test of time. It’ll also ensure optimal protection against any corrosion.
There is no on/off switch, which seems like a bit of an oversight, but this is only going to be a mild annoyance in terms of its usability. On useful feature it has is a simple drain plug, as, on a lot of these pumps, it can be quite difficult for them to drain.
The strainer has a filter basket, and it’s very simple to see when it needs to be emptied. The lid is a simple twist and lock, which works very well. With this build quality, there is minimal noise output, and also the efficiency is excellent. It all adds up to a great pool pump.
This Hayward model could well take the title as the best 2-speed pool pump for those that want to have a little more control over how their above ground pool operates. It’s the ideal choice for anyone looking for a pump that can handle up to 18,400 gallons.
The worst aspect of this pool pump is that the lid can be a little difficult to get on and off. Once you’ve got the knack to doing it, then you’ll find it a lot easier, but it can be a little frustrating at first. The strainer basket behind it, however, is perfect at capturing large bits of debris.
If you want to have a pool but are energy conscious, then this would be a great choice as it’s very efficient and can help to reduce costs. It also has very good safety features with thermal overload protection to prevent any disasters from happening.
Despite having just 1 HP, it has a flow rate of over 5,000 GPH, which is fantastic. This heavy-duty pump is one you can rely on. It helps to make it an excellent option for those who have an above ground pool, which is susceptible to getting a lot of large debris such as leaves.
Pentair has made this in-ground pump that is going to be ideal for smaller pools up to 17,000 gallons. The 1.5 HP motor has a good level of power, and it’ll be able to give you a flow of up to 4,500 GPH. Those are good figures for a pump of this size.
It has excellent efficiency while also allowing it to be quiet through its continued use. It will also help to reduce your energy bills when compared to cheaper pumps that don’t have the same level of quality.
Even though it’s quite easy for you to use, the manual of the pool pump could be better as it can lead a few people to struggle with it. Apart from that, it has excellent qualities and ensures a relatively simple set up and operation.
The lid on the pump is fairly easy to use and is see-through to let you know when to change the strainer basket. That strainer basket is large and collects all the large debris perfectly. Lastly, this single-speed pool pump features impressive durability and reliability, which you should be able to see for years to come.
Here, we see another great pump by Hayward that can be suitable for both above ground and in-ground pools. It’s a heavy-duty pump that can handle any pool up to 20,000 gallons and has a GPH that is just shy of 5,000.
It’s another model that has a very large debris basket and a strainer that is very easy to clean. Moreover, there is not much maintenance required thanks to high build quality. It makes for a reliable pump with a single speed that is not going to let you down.
Among all the pumps that we’ve looked at here, this is perhaps the most reliable as it’ll work efficiently and quietly in the background. The pump will be able to do its job but without dramatically increasing your bills. You can also see this level of efficiency in the fact the pump is able to stay cool. Unfortunately, a few users reported quality issues, so make sure to check the product as soon as it arrives.
Whether you want this pump for an above or in-ground pool, the installation is going to be quite straightforward with instructions that are fairly easy to follow. Usability is very high, and once you have it set-up, it’ll be able to get to work with a minimal level of maintenance.
Do you have a pool that can often become waterlogged? This pump will be able to sit on the water surface and remove any debris that accumulates there. It’s able to switch on automatically when it detects water.
There is freeze protection that makes it one of the best automatic pool cover pumps. That level of winter protection will give you peace of mind once it comes to cleaning the pool when it’s getting cold outside just to make sure the pump won’t get damaged.
An impressive aspect of this product is that it’s also the best submersible pump as you don’t have to worry about it if there has been heavy rainfall. It works with a minimal amount of fuss by quietly pumping any excess water away.
You may be concerned about the lack of power with 1/4 HP, but it’s perfectly suited to the job it does. It could also be a worry that it may clog easily, but you won’t have any issues with smaller debris particles. The end result is a brilliant pool cover pump that has excellent protection and automatic shut-off function.
Are none of these pumps powerful enough for your pool? Well, this one surely will be enough with a powerful 2.5 HP motor. That size of the motor means that you get a GPH of up to 8,880, which is brilliant to be able to circulate that water easily around your pool.
We’ve only selected high-quality pool pumps here, and it’s unsurprising that this is another product, which has a high level of efficiency while also being very quiet. Great safety features can also be seen here as the pool pump has thermal overload protection. Additionally, it comes with a removable strainer basket, which makes it more user-friendly.
If you’re worried about having to wait for too long for your pool pump, then the fast shipping of this brand will impress you. Therefore, you will be able to install it much sooner, and it’s very simple to do so on your own with this product. Just be aware that you might require to purchase other fittings to install it.
It all adds up to a model that is probably the best 2.5 HP pool pump around and one that you’ll be more than happy with.
Most of the pool pumps that we’ve looked at here are relatively quiet. This one, however, is a bit louder. It’s still worth pointing out that it’s only a little nosier as it does have airflow ventilation. Most users won’t even notice the noise.
It has been made for in-ground pools up to 17,000 gallons in size, with a max flow rate of 5,280 GPH. With figures like that, it will be suitable for almost all domestic pools. It keeps up a good level of circulation, and it will play a big role in keeping your pool clean and healthy.
A part of the reason for that is due to it having a large debris basket, which is very easy to empty. You’ll also know exactly when it needs to be emptied with the see-through lid. It makes maintenance very simple and adds to the overall level of usability. Additionally, it is incredibly simple to install.
Any clogging issues are going to be very rare with this pool pump, and it’ll work effortlessly in the background. The pool pump also is efficient with the single-speed motor it has. The performance is excellent with long-lasting durability due to its build quality.
What we liked:
Easy to install
What could be better:
A bit loud
Things to Сonsider
It can be hard to separate one pool pump from the other, especially if you have limited experience with using them. In this buying guide, we aim to give you all the information that you need in a way that is easy to take in and follow. If you want to understand the importance of each detail better, then we’ll soon make things much clearer. This involves going through the key features as well as answering FAQs, and if you ever need a refresher, you can quickly refer back to this section.
Things to consider before buying a pool pump
To get the best pool pump, you need to know what you should be looking for. Knowing whether you have an above ground or in-ground pool is obvious, but you’ll also want to check if you need to connect your pump to a pool filter or if one is included with the pump. Also, you must find out the volume of water in your pool to get a suitable pump. In this section, we’ll go through all of this in more detail to put your mind at ease.
Type of your pool
There are two main types of pool, and they are above ground and in-ground. The initial difference is obvious, but it’s important to know the difference in how they operate as an above ground pump will sit just outside the pool and will often be placed on the floor.
In an in-ground pool, the set-up is a lot more defined with pipes running through the pool with a skimmer, filter, and pump that are all connected. Often these pools will have their own permanent set-up, which is why getting a suitable pool pump is important.
Motor power is important, but people can fall into the trap of thinking that it’s by far the most significant feature. In reality, two different 1HP motors can have a completely different level of efficiency, which is why looking at other specifications is a must. The Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump has only 0.3 HP but is an outstanding option for small and medium pools.
Larger pools will generally need a larger motor, but this isn’t always going to be the case. You also need to look at the performance of a pool pump as a whole with flow rate, speeds, and capacity.
Why is voltage important? The standard voltage in American homes is 120v. Therefore, if you fit your 230v pool pump into a standard outlet, then it’ll quickly blow a fuse or worse. Due to this, there are a few things that you can do.
You can either get a pool pump, which is at 120v or below so you’d be able to plug it in anywhere, such as the Happybuy Swimming Pool Pump 2.5HP. Modern American homes often have a higher voltage system for household appliances, and you may be able to use this. If not, an alternative power source can be required.
The max flow rate of the pump is not the only figure you should be looking for. Once the water goes through the pumps, then that flow rate will start slowing down. The system flow rate is the water flow that is expected to be achieved while it’s operating. Due to this, you can’t ever rely on the max flow of a pool pump.
The higher your pool pump it, the more quickly it’ll discharge water into the pool. Also, the less piping you have, the less the flow will be affected. A powerful pool pump will be able to keep water flow high at all times.
Most pump models are single-speed, such as the Harris H1572730 ProForce 1.5 HP Above Ground Pool Pump, which means that it operates at its full level of horsepower continuously. For a lot of pumps, this is perfectly fine as the model matches up with the needs of the pool, and even they may not be the most powerful options anyway.
If you have a more powerful pump or bigger pool, then the importance of speed control increases. This is because you won’t always need the pump to be at full power. This is especially the case if the pool is already clean, and you simply want to maintain it. In these situations, turning down power can save a lot on energy costs. The Pentair SuperFlo VS Variable Speed Pool Pump showcases this with its variable speed control.
You may be scratching your head and thinking back to your math classes if you’re asked to work out the volume of your pool.
For a square or rectangle, it’s simply a case of length x depth x width in feet. If you have a variable depth, then you can take different measurements to find out the average. You then multiply this figure by 7.5 as there are 7.5 gallons in a cubic foot.
Circular pools are a little more tricky as this is Pi (3.14) x radius squared (distance from the center multiplied by itself) x average depth x 7.5.
For example, if the distance from the center of your pool to the edge is 8 feet then and the average depth was 4 feet, then the calculation would be Pi (3.14) x 64 x 4 x 7.5 = 6016 gallons.
If you have an oddly shaped pool, then you can separate it into segments.
It will often give you peace of mind to get a pool pump that has been certified for various categories such as efficiency, power safety, and sanitization. An example of the types of marks you’ll see are:
NSF – National Sanitation Foundation – Standards for sanitizing safety
UL – Underwriters Laboratories – Certification for product safety
CSA – The CSA Group – Product testing organization
There are many types of authorities, and it’s good to look for these certificates as they can help to put your mind at ease that you’re getting a top-quality item.
A warranty becomes more important when it comes to products that have to get through a lot of work and are expensive. You want to make sure you have guarantees that if the pool pump doesn’t live up to your expectations, you’re going to be able to get your money back.
It’s easy to settle for having a “one-year warranty”, but you need to look into exactly what it’s giving you. One of them will give you more coverage than others. Some warranties hide behind initial defects and have poor customer service to make the problem worse.
Here are a few great additional features to look out for:
The exact amount of time that you should run your pool pump for will depend on individual factors, but a good guide is to run your pump for 1.5 hours for every 10 degrees of Fahrenheit of air temperature.
In the summer months, this would be around 12 hours per day on average, but in the winter, this is going to drop to around 4 hours. You’ll be able to judge the demands of your pool, including any chemicals, and, therefore, you’re going to be able to adjust these figures when needed.
If the pump can’t pull the water through, then there is most likely going to be a clog somewhere in the system. The pump baskets and the skimmer should be your first spots to check if they need to be emptied before anything else. After that, it’s a good idea to open up the pump to see if there is any debris caught in there. Another problem could be air caught in the system. It’s a good idea to give a check of your overall system to see if there are problems that need to be solved.
If you’re replacing an existing filter or have an above ground pool pump, then it’s going to be quite easy to install pool pumps. Some are easier than others, and it’s important to follow any manuals that come with the pump or ask a professional if you’re struggling. There are a few tricks when it comes to installing a pool pump. First, the rubber pads are perfect at being able to reduce noise, but also any damage that can be caused due to vibrations. Next, you should ideally keep your pool pump in the shade to prevent it overheating.
We’ve worked hard to try and find the best pool pumps out there. In our search, we found the Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump to be the best option out there due to its excellent capacity, impressive durability, and the extra features that come with it.