A pool pump is an important machine that you have to invest in if you want clear water in your pools. The pump is the part where the water flows in and gets screened for debris – big and small. While the debris gets filtered, the pump lets out clear and clean water back into your pool, thereby guaranteeing you a safe swimming session whenever you step into your pool. While choosing a pool pump, you have to assess various factors such as your pool size, water flow rate, and the type of debris that you want to filter.

Today, there are 3 broad categories of pool pumps in the market. They are pumps that are compatible with sand filters, cartridge filters, and DE filters. Out of these, sand filters are very common, and they are very easy to maintain as well. While they may not be as efficient as the cartridge or DE filters in filtering out small debris, they still do a decent job of screening debris up to 20 microns. The DE filter-based pump is the most efficient of all as it filters even the tiniest of dust particles, thereby letting out crystal-clear water into your pool. Another important factor that you should know while buying pool pumps is its speed limit. Pool Pumps are broadly classified into three types based on their speed limits – Single-speed, dual-speed, and variable-speed.

Different Types of Pool Pumps

1. Single Speed Pumps

As the name suggests, these are pumps that come with a fixed speed limit (which is usually a very fast motion). The electric motor which is the main component of a pool pump is pre-set to a speed of 3450 rotations per minute. You cannot increase or decrease this speed; therefore, the downfall of single-speed pumps is that they keep rotating at high speed even during times when you don’t require it. This can increase your energy bills to a great extent. It is quite noisy as well. However, not everything about this pump is bad. The good thing about this pump is that it doesn’t require a huge investment initially, which makes it ideal for people who have a tight budget while buying pool pumps.

2. Dual-speed Pumps

The electric motor in the dual-speed pumps is set in such a way that it can operate at two speeds – high and low. While operating at a high speed of 3450rpm, this pump resembles the functionality of a single-speed pump. However, this pump also comes with a switch, which allows you to lower the temperature to 1725rpm. With two different speed limits, this pump gives you the flexibility to choose the one that you want, thereby saving energy considerably. While it is more effective than the single-speed pump, a dual-speed pump is expensive and quite noisy as well.

3. Variable Speed Pumps

This is the most efficient type of pump because it not only pumps a large amount of water into your pool but also brings about considerable savings in your electricity costs. The permanent magnet motor that comes along with this pump gives you the flexibility to adjust the speed of the pump as per your preferred settings and the requirements of your pool. There are two sides to every coin, aren’t they? Similarly, the variable speed pumps also come with a downside. They are steeply priced, and you will have to spend a lot of money initially on buying and installing them. Now that we have seen a brief introduction about pool pumps, we will now proceed to inform you about the 5 best pool pumps in the market today. We have analyzed these pumps briefly and explained to you their features, pros, and cons. This will help you in your decision-making when you set out to buy a pool pump for yourself.

Top 5 Pool Pumps:

1. Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump

Overview

If you are looking for an affordable pool pump for your above-ground pool, the Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump may be the right choice for you. It is an efficient pump with impressive motor performance. The icing on the cake is that it is pretty easy on your budget as well. Here are some of the top reasons why this pump is one of the most loved by users. Features

  • The pump performs six functions at once – filter, backwash, rinse, recirculate, drain, and close, thanks to the 6-way valve that comes along with it
  • Comes with a 24-hour automatic timer, which helps you to automate the process of cleaning the pool (timer includes pre-set cycles of 2 to 12 hours)
  • The pump comes with a strainer basket that allows for easy cleaning and durability of the unit
  • Powered with a flow rate of 3000gallons per hour and a system flow rate of 2450gallons per hour, which makes it ideal for above-the-ground pools of 16’ and more
  • Along with the timer and strainer basket, the pump also comes with a heavy-duty tank and pressure gauge
  • Motor power – 0.75HP and the pump is suitable for a pool that can hold anywhere between 2800 and 8400gallons

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • One of the most affordable sand filter pool pumps in the market
  • Doesn’t require any maintenance; only the sand needs to be replaced once every 5 years
  • Saves you a lot of time as you can automate the pump’s process, thanks to the 24-hour timer
  • High-performance pump as it can easily pick up small algae particles, dust, debris, and other contaminants, thereby giving you crystal clear water at all times

Cons

  • Not as quiet as you would like it to be
  • Intex customer service is not very supportive
  • Some users felt that they had to backwash the filter several times before it could work

Bottom Line

The Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump is good, indeed! It is very affordably priced and comes with a pump that has a more than decent performance. If your above-ground pool is 16” or more and if you are looking for a cost-effective pump, you should go for this sand filter pump from Intex. You only need to replace the sand in it once every 5 years or so. These sand filter pumps are more durable than cartridge or DE pump filters. Therefore, try them for your above-ground pool, and you won’t be disappointed.

2. Hayward SP1580 PowerFlo LX Pool Pump

Overview

Hayward is one of the global leaders in manufacturing pool products. Its pool pumps are known for their durability and reliability. The SP1580 PowerFlo LX Pool Pump is no different from the other classy products from the stables of Hayward. It is one of the best pool pumps for your above-ground pools, especially if durability and efficiency are your prime concerns. Here are some of the interesting features of this pool pump that justifies its slightly high price. Features

  • Comes with a 60-cycle, single-phase motor with a power of 1HP, which guarantees a beast-like performance from the pump
  • 100% drip-proof, double-sized seal protects the motor from breaking down easily; it improves the performance of the motor and makes it reliable to be used all through the year
  • The motor also comes with an additional layer of thermal overload protection, which switches off the motor automatically when there is a thermal overload
  • 1HP pump encased in high-quality corrosion-proof housing, which makes the pump less prone to damage; this case helps the unit to withstand any harsh climatic condition
  • Comes with a large debris basket with a transparent cover; therefore, you can see when the basket requires cleaning thereby maintaining your pool clean and clear at all times
  • The heavy-duty motor that guarantees noiseless performance
  • Made from durable and highly reliable PermaGlass XL materials, which speaks volumes about the longevity of the unit
  • Load extender ribbing features help the pump to function freely and smoothly for heavy debris loads

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • One of the most durable and reliable pool pumps in this price range
  • Extra protection is offered for the pump in the forms of corrosion-free housing and automatic thermal overload protection, something that you might not see in most of the other pool pumps
  • Requires very minimal maintenance
  • The noiseless and energy-efficient pump ensures that the performance is right on target always

Cons

  • Slightly overpriced

Bottom Line

As always, when we like something we give you a simple recommendation. If you can afford to spend a little more, we think you have to buy the 1HP pool pump from Hayward right now. This SP1580 PowerFlo Pump is designed to last for a long time and does quite a wonderful job of providing you with clean water in the pool. Go for it, if you can afford the price.

3. Hayward SP2600X5 Pump

Overview

Are you looking for a good in-ground pool pump that not only provides you with clear water during all your swimming sessions but one that lasts for many years thereby giving you full value for your money? If yes, the Hayward SP2600X5 Super Pump 0.5HP Pool Pump is the right choice for you. Why is this one of the best pool pumps in this price range? Read on to know more: Features

  • Comes as a single-speed or dual-speed model and gives you the flexibility to choose the HP of the motor (0.5, 0.75, 1, 1.5, 2, and 2.5 HP available currently)
  • Comes with a big 110 cubic inch debris basket that allows the pump to screen a lot of leaves and other contaminants
  • The basket comes with a transparent strainer cover, which helps you understand when the basket needs to be emptied and cleaned
  • Well-structured swing-away knobs help you to remove the strainer cover easily, whenever the basket’s cleaning schedule is due
  • Self-priming pool pump comes with efficient 4-bolt access which helps you to access the internal parts of the pump easily; doesn’t require very exhaustive installation or repair mechanisms
  • Comes with a heavy-duty motor that guarantees you a noiseless and high-efficiency performance at all times
  • Comes in a neat thermal-resistant ceramic seal, which improves the durability, reliability, and longevity of the pump
  • The unit comes with a mounting base, which gives you the flexibility to use it for any further installations if needed

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Very easy to set up, use and maintain
  • No need for any guesswork when it comes to cleaning the debris basket, as you can exactly see when the basket needs cleaning with the help of a see-through strainer cover
  • Comes in a thermal-resistant sealing, which makes the pump last for many years, thereby giving you full value for your money

Cons

  • Slightly overpriced
  • Some users faced issues of motor failure within two years of usage
  • The customer service of Hayward is not very helpful

Bottom Line

Hayward has been in the business of making pool-related accessories for more than 8 decades now. Therefore, it is a name that you can trust when buying your pool pump. Though the SP2600X5 Super Pump is quite steeply priced, we would still recommend the product to you, if you can afford this price. This is not just a pump; it is a beast in terms of performance, durability, and efficiency.

4. Pentair 342001 SuperFlo VS

Overview

If you want the double comfort of a variable-speed pool pump and low maintenance on the same, the Pentair 342001 SuperFlo VS could be the ideal choice for you. Yes, like most of the other variable speed pumps, this one from Pentair is priced on the higher side. However, it gives you a lot of comfort and flexibility while in operation, thereby justifying the price that is accompanied by it. Here are some attractive features of this pump: Features

  • Comes with variable speed technology that not only runs longer daily but is also energy-efficient
  • Great for pools that require 1.5HP pool pumps
  • Great flexibility for users as it is compatible with 110 -230V; thereby, reducing the effort that you would have otherwise spent on rewiring
  • Comes with three operating speeds and overrides speed settings
  • Costs just around $0.16 per kWh in a 20000-gallon pool, if the pump runs for 12 hours per day
  • Comes with an automatic, real-time 24-hour motor
  • A noiseless, fan-cooled motor that makes the pump durable and reliable at all times
  • Comes with an advanced digital display that allows you to program the pump to your specific needs; choose the speed setting that is suitable for your pool at your convenience

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Powered by an ultra-quiet TEFC motor that is very pleasant to your ears
  • No need for any rewiring as all dripping instances are completely avoided, thanks to the pump’s compatibility with 230V as well
  • Guaranteed reduction of around 80% in your monthly energy costs
  • Variable speed pump with the easiest installation process in the market, today

Cons

  • Priced at several hundred dollars, may not be affordable for everybody
  • Only a 60-day warranty is provided by Pentair for self-installation
  • Very unhelpful customer service from Pentair

Bottom Line

While the performance of the Pentair 342001 SuperFlo Variable Speed Pump is quite satisfactory, what stops us from recommending this unit to you is the price. Yes, this pump is energy-star certified and does bring about an 80% reduction in your power costs. However, with mixed reviews floating about Pentair’s warranty policy, we don’t think we can advise you to make such a huge investment in this pump.

5. Hayward SP1591 PowerFlo Matrix Pool Pump

Overview

Is your above-ground swimming pool prone to dust, leaves, algae, and other contaminants? Do you find yourself cleaning your pool regularly to enjoy swimming in clean and clear waters? If yes, you need to invest in a pool pump that is equipped to filter a large amount of debris, thereby pushing out clean water back into your pool. The Hayward SP1591 PowerFlo Matrix Pool Pump does exactly that for you. Its ability to filter a large quantity of debris gives it an edge over its competitors. Here are some nice features of this pump for your better understanding: Features

  • Available as a single-speed or dual-speed model with varying HPs (0.75HP, 1HP, and 1.5HP currently available)
  • Comes with an industrial-size strainer basket that picks up a large amount of debris and big leaves
  • The motor comes with integrated, automatic thermal overload protection, which ensures that the unit is automatically switched off when the motor exceeds the thermal settings
  • In-built high-performance impeller with broad openings, which prevents the debris and leaves from clogging the pump’s performance
  • Comes with an easy horizontal and vertical discharge feature; horizontal to vertical pump to filter pipe fitting and vice versa can be shifted automatically with a touch of a button
  • Comes with a quick discharge intake and discharge pipe connection, which makes it easy to clean and maintain this unit; also makes it easy to take the pump indoors during the harsh winters
  • Rear-mounted on/off switch that withstands the extreme climatic conditions
  • It comes with a 6ft. cord and plug

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Filters a large quantity of debris and leaves, thanks to its huge strainer basket, one of the biggest in this category
  • Quite affordably priced at around a couple of hundred dollars
  • A high-performance and automatic thermal overload-protected motor helps in this pump being very energy-efficient
  • Very easy to operate and install

Cons

  • Not as quiet as you would like it to be
  • Few people noticed that the pump got overheated within a few days of usage
  • Unhelpful customer service from Hayward

Bottom Line

The Hayward SP1591 PowerFlo Matrix Pool Pump is designed to provide many years of high performance. However, the stand-out feature of this pump is its industrial-size strainer basket that specializes in filtering a large amount of debris and leaves. We would recommend you go for this pump only if your pool is prone to getting frequently contaminated due to dust, leaves, algae, and other contaminants (maybe in cases where your pool is located near the trees).