Pool Care Pool Equipment

How to Choose a Pool Pump? – Tips for Beginner

How to Choose a Pool PumpAfter installing or building your fabulous swimming pool, connecting the water source, you will need to get the right pool pump. The pump system will ensure your pool water circulation, and filtration stays in check.

That’s why you need to be extra careful while buying your pool pump. Here are some aspects that you need to understand before making your choice.

10 Helpful (Tips) to Choose a Pool Pump

1. Pool type: Above Ground or In-Ground Pool

Pool types Above Ground or In Ground PoolSwimming pools are either above ground or in-ground, and pool pumps are made with relation to that. There is no significant difference between the two. One thing to note is, they both can be installed on either pool type but performance might not be optimal.

An in-ground pool pump does come with self-priming while an above ground doesn’t. That means the in-ground pump requires more power to lift the water. Above-ground pool pumps, on the other hand, can rely on gravity to add some pressure on the water.

Even though that’s the point, some above ground pools cannot fit well on an in-ground pool. Also, with in-ground pool requiring more power, you should use the ideal model. The connection might also be different depending on the pool type.

2. Flow Rate and Turnover

Next important aspect to consider while buying your pool pump is its flow rate and turnover. The flow rate will tell you the gallons of water the pumped at a given time and is directly connected to turnover. The turnover, on the other hand, shows the minimum time the pool pump can take to pass the entire pool capacity through the filter.

In general, the time turnover needed for a regular pool size is around 6-12 hours. For you to get the peak flow rate of your swimming pool, you need to choose any number from the three. After that, you need to determine your swimming pool capacity in gallons.

Calculations are quite simple and straight forward. Take the volume in gallons and divide with the turnover time to get the best time. The final answer will give you the perfect flow rate for your swimming pool in gallons per minute.

Also remember, the pool’s flow rate is vastly affected by the pool’s water resistance and the equipment connected to its pose. Therefore, check the factor while selecting the pool pump to depend on its flow rate.

3. Types of Pool Pump: Speed

Types of Pool Pump SpeedAnother thing to check out for is the type of pool pump to buy. In general, three pool pump types are depending on their speed setting: a single-speed pump, double speed pump, and the variable speed pump. Each of the three come with different specifications, features, and configurations. For you to have an easy time selecting the ideal one, you need to understand what each offer.

1) Single-speed pump

Single-speed pumps are the most popular choice among many swimming pool owners. The reason is, they are quite cheap compared to the others. The pool pumps perform their work ideally and efficiently but in return, consume more power.

Typically, the pump motor spins the impeller to run and has a single induction style electric motor. It operates on a constant solo speed and relies on the power of an induction AC motor.

Even though the pump is exceptionally effective at pumping water, easy to replace, affordable, and it does consume lots of energy and produces a lot of noise. It’s, therefore, ideal for pools that are rarely used.

2) Dual speed pump

Next, we have a dual speed pump. It’s a two-speed pump where a one-speed setting is fast, and the other is slow. Its working is similar to that of a single-speed pump. It also runs on an induction style electric motor for efficient water pumping.

The speed configuration is changed using a frequency inverter and a toggle switch depending on the task at hand. Low speed is used for the essential pool filtration and circulation while the high-speed setting used for running the pool heater and such.

The dual-speed pumps are more versatile, and its low-speed setting offers quieter operation and high energy efficiency. However, this type of pool pump is expensive than the single speed pump and requires you to change the speed settings manually.

3) Variable speed pump

Last is the variable speed pump. It features multiple speed settings depending on the model. Additionally, many pool owners prefer it for its low energy consumption and hands-free operation. It’s designed to pump high volumes of water and ideal for newly constructed pools. Additionally, it’s flexible to operate, lasts longer, and runs quietly.

The fact that it runs on a permanent magnet motor (PMM) makes it more energy efficient. It’s also programmable and automatically switches between the speeds depending on tasks. However, it’s quite expensive compared to the other two, and its initial cost is a bit high.

4. Power

pool pump PowerAfter knowing the type of pool type to buy, it’s time you know how much pump power you need. The life of a pool pump is its motor as it determines how resourcefully it works. Its design and engineering should support it to work efficiently and effectively.

Typically, I would suggest you use the rule of thumb; the more significant the swimming, the powerful the pool pump. The pump power ranges from .75HP to 2.5HP. The deeper and huge the swimming pool is, the more power your pump should deliver to keep the water filtered and clean. You also need to consider the service factor of the motor; the higher, the better!

5. Plug-In or Hardwired

When it comes to the pump electrical connectivity, you need first to understand its electrical requirements. On this, you need to check if it will use your standard electrical system. Some pool pump does require a higher voltage than that supplied by the regular household outlet. That means you need to line a particular line directly to the pump. If so, make the necessary arrangement before buying.

Once you know that, you can now decide on buying a hardwired or a plug-in model. Hardwired will need to be connected directly to your electrical line, but a plug-in model uses any outlet with ideal voltage supply. Even though the hardwired will require electrical work, I recommend it since it’s safer.

6. Construction Quality and Durability

Pool Pump installation and setupPeople are always looking for a pool pump that can work optimally and efficiently for years. For you to achieve this, you have to consider the pump’s structural strength and durability. The two aspects play a huge role in the life span and usability of the pool pump.

The pool pump outer parts need to be robust, high-quality, rust-proof, and corrosion-resistant if possible weather-resistant too. Its interior parts, on the other hand, must be made of sturdy metal that’s non-corrosive and which cannot be damaged by the pool water chemicals.

7. Noise production

I touched roughly on this while covering the types of pool pumps. In general, pool pumps are noisy, but with the technological advancements, you can find a quieter model. Mostly, the quiet-running model will come with a system designed to reduce the noise produce like the AirFlo Ventilation System.

Some brands do provide information on how noisy their models are in decibels. It’s crucial as a buyer you consider this before buying. Pick a model that meets your needs and a model that won’t wake up or disturb your home residents or the neighbors.

8. Housing Mount

Housing mount is of two choices: a side-mount or a top-mount. If your filter intake is above the ground or if you’re using a sand filter, I suggest you go with a top-mount. If the filter intake is on the same level as the mounting area or you use a cartridge or a DE filter, then buy a side mounting pool pump.

9. Extra features

Pool Pump Maintainance accessoriesOne of the features I love is an oversized strainer basket. The basket also needs to have a transparent and convenient to open the lid. Another feature I would recommend you to consider is an intelligent pump with an onboard computer. The system allows programmable and automated operations while also regulating the water flow rate for optimal energy efficiency.

10. Brand and warranty

Yes, you can find the right pool pump from a less known brand, but the warranty for such a brand won’t be as comprehensive as that of a reputable brand. The best way to ensure you take home a top-quality and durable pool pump is buying from a brand with good reviews.

Additionally, while checking on that, do check on the warranty offered. The warranty needs to be comprehensive and not less than 1-year. That way you’re sure that any craftsmanship problem is covered in case of a failure.


Lastly, consider the pricing. In the pool pump market, every model has its price tag. Prepare a proper budget before shopping so that it can guide you better on the model to buy. You should stay within its limit to avoid overspending. With that in mind, consider all the above features and lastly, use the budget to settle on one model.


Everything here will help you find the ideal pool pump for your above-ground or in-ground swimming pool. It’s now up to you to use this information to find that one model that meets all your needs and which you believe will give you the best results. Good Luck!

About the author

Sharif Miah

Hi! I'm Sharif, the founder of Globo Pool® and I have been working in the pool & hot tub industry for the last few years. I love to share my experiences with people & hope you are enjoying my information and lessons!

Leave a Comment