Pool pumps are a vital component of any pool. Without this pump, water would be stagnant and would remain unfiltered. Which means that the pool would essentially be unable to be used. Unfortunately, even though this little machine is the heart of the pool, too many people pay too little attention to it. A problem we intend on remedying right away.

We decided that since this piece of equipment is such a vital one, we’d pay a little bit of attention to it so that our readers can find the best pool pump for their pool. With that lofty goal in mind, we’ve discovered ten of the best pumps currently available and have listed them below. Now, this piece of equipment doesn’t have to be ignored any longer.

Best Pool Pumps

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10Harris Pro Force 1.5-HP Pool Pump


Although this pool pump is often a fraction of the cost of the professional pumps currently available, it’s designed to offer just about the same performance as these other pumps. That’s because it’s manufactured with high-quality components and is engineered to be both powerful and efficient. This model features a 1.5-HP motor shaft that is constructed with stainless steel and is reinforced with a thermoplastic body that helps to extend the pump’s serviceable life. This product meets or exceeds all ETL and CSA standards and is designed to make very little noise while operating. It an inexpensive and high-quality pump any pool owner should investigate.

9Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump


This sand filter pump is designed to keep the water in an above ground pool crystal clear all during swim season. This system features a 6-function control valve that allows the user to backwash, filter, rinse, recirculate, drain and close up their system. It also features a 24-hour built-in timer, a pump flow rate of 3,000 gallons per hour, and is designed to be used with pool 16-feet and bigger. Other features found on this system include a pressure gauge, a heavy duty sand filter tank, and a strainer basket for convenience. This pump also operates with 75% efficiency and has a GFCI built into it.

8Pentair 342001 SuperFlo Variable Speed Pump


This pump is Energy Star Certified, thanks to the variable speed technology built into it that makes it very efficient to operate. It’s designed to be used with standard swimming pools that require a 1.5 horsepower pump, and it has 3 different operating speeds that can be set according to the user’s needs. Other features found on this pump include a real-time clock and a 24-hour memory retention system. It’s also designed to automatically recognize and adapt to the pool owner’s 115-Volt or 230-Volt power system, so no expensive rewiring is required. All of which makes it a great pump to be used as a replacement or for a new pool installation.

7Pentair 340039 SuperFlo Single Speed Pump


This Pentair Super Flo pump is designed to be a single speed pump that has 1.5-HP of power. This means that it can efficiently operate and save the consumer some operating costs through the summer season. It has a super quiet operation and features thick body walled parts manufactured to the highest engineering standards. This pump features an oversized strainer basket that doesn’t have to be emptied as often as the baskets found on other pool pump and it has a see-through lid that makes basket inspect quick and easy. And since this pump is self-priming, it’s very easy to start up.

6Hayward Power-Flo LX-Series 1.5-HP Pump


This high-performance pump is not only designed to be used with most on-ground pools, but it’s also designed to be used with the majority of above ground pools, too. It features a 1.5-inch intake and discharge, a double-sided heat-resistant seal for improved motor longevity, and a specially designed impeller for improved performance. This specific model also features a clear cover that lets the pool owner know exactly when the debris basket needs to be cleaned out. This feature, along with this pump’s drain plug, makes it quite easy to maintain throughout the swimming season. It also comes with a 6-foot power cord, too.

5Hayward Super 1.5-HP Pump


This 1.5-HP rated pool pump is designed to be both durable and efficient. It features hand knobs that allow for easy cover removal without the use of tools and without using clamps. Its strainer cover is also see-through, so the user can see when the basket needs to be cleaned to keep the pump working at optimal levels. Other features found on this pump include an oversized debris basket, a 1-1/2-inch port size and an operating voltage of 115-Volts. This pump is easy to install and is very easy to maintain, so the user can get the most out of their pool setup.

4Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump


This efficient pump is not only designed to be used with most above ground pools, but it’s also designed to combine a pump and a filter into one convenient system. It features a pump that can pump 2,500 gallons-per-hour and is double insulated for safety and durability. This pump has an auto timer that has presets for 2 to 12-hour cycles and even comes with a filter chamber. This filter chamber has a sediment flush valve, a replaceable cartridge filter, and an air release valve. This device is designed to work with 18-foot easy-set pools or 18×10-foot oval frame pools.

3Sand Master Above Ground Filter Pump System


Designed for above ground pools with a water capacity of up to 9,600 gallons, this product is both a pool filter and a pump. It features a 20 gallons-per-minute 115-Volt pump that comes with a 4-position multiport valve and is equipped with a system base. It also comes with a 12-inch filter tank that’s designed to hold 42-pounds of sand and is designed to resist corrosion. This system is also backed by a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty and comes with some of the accessories needed to operate it including hoses, a filter to pump hose, as well as some of the pipe fittings.

2Blue Wave Tidal Wave 2-Speed Replacement Pump


This quality replacement pump is designed for use with above ground pools. It features a dual port design that will accept just about any filter system and can be used with either horizontal or vertical discharge systems. This product operates at a speed of 1,750 RPM most of the time when it’s used for normal operation, and this not only cuts down on the noise level but also makes it energy efficient, too. If necessary, this pump can power up to 3,450 RPM for use with pool vacuums or other such attachments. All of these features make this a worthy pump for any above ground pool.

1Xtremepower US Swimming Pool 16-Sand Filter & Pump


Although not everyone will need a pool pump that’s equipped with a sand filter, those individuals with an above ground pool might find the combination to be quite useful. This sand filter pump is housed in a 16-inch one-piece tank that holds approximately 42-pounds of sand and is designed to filter up to 15,000 gallons. It also comes with a 3,100 GPH 3/4-HP pump that’s capacitor started and have an approximate size of 25x19x29-inches. This powerful device is designed to make very little noise when it’s being run and is also designed to be energy efficient as well.

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How To Buy The Best Pool Pump

Although we said earlier that pool pumps are a vital component that’s found in any pool, we would like to put a finer point on the idea by saying that these pumps are actually the heart of the pool. They allow the pool to be filtered, keep the water aerated, and can even power pool cleaning tools. These simple machines do so much to keep our backyard pools clean and ready for swimming, that the consumer must take the time to buy the best pool pump available.

Unfortunately, this is part of the process where a lot of people freeze up with indecision. They understand the importance of these pieces of equipment for their pool, but they don’t have the slightest clue as to where to start on their pool pump buying process. It’s for this reason that we’ve decided to write this little guide. In this essential pump guide, pool owners will learn how to not only figure out what size pool they need but also how to buy the perfect pump for swimming pools. These are tips that anyone and everyone can use to buy a pump that’s perfect for their pool set up and will provide them with years of service.

Determine The Pump Size Needed

Before looking at pumps, either out on the Internet or in our top list, it’s important for the consumer to understand the pump size they need. One of the biggest mistakes that consumers make is to buy the biggest pump they can afford and call it a day. However, that’s probably the worst way to buy a pump because the pool owner will probably end up paying more than they should for a pump that’s larger than what they need. We have a much better way for a person to figure out what size pool pump they’re going to need.

Step One: Determine The Pool’s Water Capacity

The very first step in this process is to determine how much water is in the pool. That’s determined by multiplying the diameter of the pool by the depth and a factor that’s determined by the shape of the pool. We’ve done the formulas for the most popular pools below, so it will make more sense as we go along. Before we get into the exact formulas for each of the different pool shapes, we’d like to give a quick explanation as to how to determine the average water depth of a pool—especially since it’s one of the most crucial components of any pool water capacity formula.

The pool owner can determine the average depth of the pool by measuring the depth of the deep end and then the depth of the shallow end, and then adding them together and dividing them by two. For example, if a pool has a shallow end of 3-feet and a deep end of 7-feet, then the average depth of the pool is 5-feet (3+7=10; 10/2=5).

Pool Water Capacity Formulas:

The following formulas will make it easier for pool owners to figure out just how much water is in their pool. And once the consumer knows how much water is in their pool, the easier it will be to find a new pool pump.

  • Round Pools: Diameter x Diameter x Pool’s Avg. Depth x 5.9
  • Rectangular Pools: Length x Width x Pool’s Avg. Depth x 7.5
  • Kidney Shaped Pools: Longest Width x Shortest Width x Pool’s Avg. Depth x 3.38
  • Oval Shaped Pools: Longest Diameter x Shortest Diameter x Pool’s Avg. Depth x 6.7

Step Two: Determine The Needed Pump Capacity

The next step to figuring out what size pool pump is needed for the pool is to calculate the flow rate the pump needs to have for it to clean all of that pool water. Flow rate is a determination as to how much water a pump can pump over 8 hours. To determine the flow rate needed, take the pool’s water capacity and divide it by eight. For example, suppose the pool owner has a round pool with a capacity of 18,428 gallons. If they were to divide that number by eight, they would come up with 2303 gallons of water per hour (GPH). That is how much water the pump needs to pump to keep the pool water clean.

Since most product listings list the flow rate of the pumps they sell in gallons per minute, the pool owner is probably going to have to convert the pump’s GPH into gallons per minute (GPM). This can be easily done by dividing the GPH by 60. In our example, that would mean the 2303 GPH needed for our pool breaks down to 38 gallons per minute or 38 GPM.

Step Three: Determine The Feet Of Head

The next step the pool owner needs to do is to figure out the feet of the head needed for their pool. This is the resistance provided by all of the pipes, fittings, and valves used in the pool pump’s system. This is done by adding up all of these pool parts and applying a formula to them. Although we don’t have the space required to go into this procedure in-depth, we will say that there are many great feet head calculators on the Internet that will help the pool owner figure out the feet head needed for their pump.

Step Four: Putting It All Together

The last step to determining pool pump size is to put all of this information together. Most pump manufacturers list a chart that allows the consumer to look up the pool pump power they need according to the GPM and Feet Of Head needed. For example, one particular brand of pool pump recommended a 1/2-HP pump for 29 GPM with a 40-foot head. Each manufacturer has different charts, so it’s important for the consumer to choose the one that’s appropriate for the pump they’re researching.

Determine The Pump’s Speed

One of the most frequently asked questions is whether the pool owner needs a Single-Speed Pump, a Dual-Speed Pump or a Variable Speed Pump. Of course, this is mainly the preference of the pool owner, but there are a few things to consider first. In some areas of the U.S, single-speed pumps are prohibited because they’re not very energy-efficient. Dual-speed pumps are indeed more energy-efficient, but they also tend to cost more. The best pool pumps are variable speed pumps. That’s because they’re quiet, use less energy, and some utilities will even offer a rebate for installing one of these pumps.

Final Features To Consider

Before we end our pool pump guide, we would like to list a couple of other things the pool owner might want to consider before they buy a new pool pump. Thinking about the following recommendations will ensure that the consumer buys the best pump for their pool. And a great pump not only cleans the pool better but it also lasts longer in the long run.

  • Pool Pump Construction
  • Pump Motor Voltage
  • Pump Efficiency
  • Pump’s Noise Level