Here Are The 9 Best Pool Pumps in 2021

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As a pool owner, you’ve probably had to deal with an inefficient, loud pool pump that takes ages to circulate your pool water. 

After many hours of research combined with personal experience, I’ve identified the best pool pumps that will take your pool circulation to the next level.

Let’s get started.

What is the best pool pump?

Here’s the list of the best pool pumps that are hot in the market right now.

Pentair Intelliflo Variable Speed Pump

The Pentair Intelliflo pump allows you to save significantly more energy compared to single-speed pumps, and it’s energy star certified, which serves as a stamp of approval for its energy efficiency.

The 8 programmable speed settings provide superior control over a traditional pump, allowing you to set the suitable speed setting for your pool easily. It’s also significantly quieter than most pool pumps, so you can relax in your pool without having to suffer from a loud noise.

If you’re looking for the best inground pool pump that will help you reduce energy bills, this is what I recommend. The only downside is that the price can be a bit steep.

XtremepowerUS Inground Pool Pump

If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative to the Pentair, the XtremepowerUS inground pump is a good choice.

The pump uses a durably built heavy-duty pump motor with air-flow ventilation for reduced noise, and its ETL and UL certification are testaments to the pump’s safety. The installation process is also straightforward.

With a flow rate of 5,280 GPH, the XtremepowerUS will have little problem pumping water for most inground pools.

The pump costs a fraction of the Pentair pump. Still, it offers many of the same benefits, and the majority of customer reviews suggest that most people are happy with its quality and durability.

Happybuy Inground Swimming Pool Pump

The Happybuy inground swimming pool pump is another great option if you are on a tight budget.

This is a durable pump with a 2.5-horsepower electric pump motor, and it’s capable of pumping water for a pool size of up to 100,000 liters (or about 25,000 gallons).

The continuous flow rate of 560 liters per minute helps your pool remain in good condition throughout the day, and the fine filter basket effectively prevents debris from entering the pump.

Moreover, the Happybuy is a self priming pump, making it suitable for inground pools. The pump is also as quiet as any high-quality pool pump.

I rank this as one of the top pumps on the list, especially when you consider how much cheaper this is compared to many other pool pumps.

Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Above Ground Pool Pump

The Intex sand filter pump is my top choice for above ground pools.

With this pump, you get a choice to pick between a 12-inch sand filter pump or a 16-inch one. The 12-inch one has a pump flow rate of 2,100 gallons per hour (GPH) with a 50 lb sand capacity and can handle pool sizes between 2,800 to 12,800 gallons. 

The 16-inch pump has a flow rate of 3,000 GPH with a 120-lb sand capacity, and it’s capable of handling pool sizes between 5,500 to 19,600 gallons.

In general, both sizes are more than sufficient to work as a filter pump for most above ground pools. It’s just a matter of which one suits your pool size a little better.

Furthermore, the Intex pump comes with plenty of functions, including filter, backwash, rinse, re-circulate, and drain and close system.

If you’re a fan of automation, you’ll appreciate that this pump automatically turns on and off every day and lets you set the timer for the pump to run up to 12 hours a day. It also has a pressure gauge, so you can easily keep an eye on water pressure for backwashing.

The Krystal filter uses a hydro aeration technology, which improves circulation and filtration, along with water clarity. Besides, it also increases the number of negative ions at the water surface, which is believed to help reduce stress and boost your immune function.

The set-up process is simple. All you need to do is connect your old hoses to the Intex filter pump, and it’ll start sucking up debris off your pool floor and get to work.

If you’ve been using a cartridge filter pump, you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised with its efficiency when you upgrade to this sand filter pump.

Harris ProForce Above Ground Pool Pump

Harris ProForce might not be the biggest name in the pool industry, but it offers a high-quality above ground pool pump comparable to many other big names in the market.

More importantly, this won’t break your bank since it’s affordable and performs well without sacrificing quality.

With its stainless steel made with a reinforced thermoplastic body, the pump has a long life and durability.

The strainer basket is large, making it easy for you to clean, and the lid is see-through, so you can quickly check inside the basket without needing to remove the strainer cover.

Most reviews suggest that this pump works effectively even for above-ground pools with a capacity of 19,000 gallons and more.

One caveat is that it should not be used with storable pools. Otherwise, it’s an efficient pump that will serve your pool well.

Hayward Powerflo Above Ground Pool Pump

Hayward brand is no stranger to pool owners as they are well-known for producing high-quality pool equipment.

The Hayward Powerflo features durable material and a quiet operation while supplying enough power for your pool water to circulate seamlessly throughout the day. Plus, the pump is made of corrosion-resistant material, which means you don’t need to worry about its surface deteriorating over time.

The impeller within the pump ensures the pump maintains a consistent flow-rate, and a double-sized seal helps to extend the lifespan of the pump.

Just like the Intex Krystal, this one also comes with a transparent cover, making it easy to know when you need to clean the strainer basket.

The Hayward pump stands out from its competitors because of its quietness during the operation. Some customer even mentions how she’s able to hear her neighbor’s pump over hers when standing right next to her Hayward pump.

The pump comes with a 1.5-horsepower, and a 6-foot, 120-volt power cord that’s suitable for different pool filters. Additionally, the package includes a free Lid-O Ring replacement in case the original one needs to be replaced.

If you ever face any issue with your pump, the company will quickly send you a replacement, so its customer support is top-notch.

Blue Wave Pump for Above Ground Pool

The Blue Wave pump boasts over 700 reviews on Amazon with a 4.4-star rating.

It’s made with corrosion-proof polymer for maximum longevity, and its vertical discharge design is suitable for most filters.

Like many other pumps from top brands, this one also comes with an extra-large, clear lid that’s easy to clean.

Some other features include a 110 volt AC with a 6-ft cord and a 1.5-inch hose diameter.

A word of caution: This isn’t usable in California, and you’ll need adapters if you own an Intex or Hayward pool. Plus, you’ll want to buy a sand filter that’s at least 19-inches before using the pump.

Regardless of some of its flaws, it’s an economical pump with good suction power that will get the job done.

Best Choice Above Ground Sand Filter Pump

If you’re looking for an affordable sand filter pump, the Best Choice sand filter pump is a great option.

Despite its low price, the Best Choice is a quality pool pump for above-ground pools. It operates at a speed of 2,400 GPH, which is more than sufficient to filter your pool in a matter of a few hours.

Moreover, the pool filter ensures that the water comes in contact with the sand’s maximal surface area for the best result. Plus, the pump has been extensively tested to ensure it meets the national and international safety standards.

Based on reviews, the Best Choice seems to do a stellar job of filtering pools that range between 14 to 18-ft.

The only caveat is that it’s best for pools with a capacity of up to 10,000 gallons. So you’ll want to consider other alternatives if your pool is much larger than that.

I highly recommend this product if you’re using a stock pool filter for your above-ground pool, as it’ll be a significant upgrade.

XtremepowerUS Above Ground Pool Pump

The XtremepowerUS above-ground pool pump has a pumping capacity of 4,500 GPH and comes with a 5-way multi-port for easy backwashing.

It is a moderately priced pump of good quality. If you are using an old pump to filter your pool, this one will likely cost you less to operate, which will save you money down the road.

The pump has a big sand area for optimal filtration and can easily handle larger-sized above-ground pools.

One downside is that this is not usable in California, just like the Blue Wave pump.

All in all, I’d say the quality of the XtremepowerUS pump matches its price.

Best pool pump buyer’s guide

Here are a few things you want to consider before you make your purchasing decisions.

Flow Rate

It’s important to choose the correct flow rate for your pool. If your pump’s flow rate is too low, it’ll struggle to filter your pool properly to yield a satisfactory result. On the other hand, if your pump flow rate is too high, you’ll end up wasting energy unnecessarily.

Before choosing your pool pump, you first need to figure out your pool’s water capacity. 

If your pool has a label that states the total gallons of your pool, then it’s a simple matter of dividing that number by your desired turnover rate (the time it takes for all your pool water to move through the circulation system). 

For example, if your pool has 15,000 gallons of water and you want your pool to have a turnover rate of 8 hours, your ideal flow rate would be 1,875 GPH (15,000 gallons/8 hours).

If you don’t have a label that shows your pool capacity, you’ll need to do a little bit of basic math to measure your pool. Multiply the length, width, and depth of your pool and multiply the final value by 7.5 (length x width x depth x 7.5). You then divide that number by the turnover rate to determine the flow rate.

All the hard work is done at this point. You just need to look through your pool pump’s product description to ensure that the pump’s flow rate range matches your pool’s ideal flow rate.

Inground vs above ground pool pump

Before buying a pool pump, you’ll want to check if the pump is specifically designed for inground or an above-ground pool. Some pool pumps are suitable for both types of pools, while others are only meant to be used for a specific pool type.

The main difference is that inground pool pumps usually sit above the waterline, and above ground pool pumps sit below the waterline. 

Inground pool pumps fight against gravity by drawing the water back into the pump. Their self-prime ability means you don’t have to constantly fill up the pump with water before use.

Above ground pool pumps, on the other hand, lack this capability, meaning you’ll have to prime the pump manually.

Due to these differences, it’s in your best interest to get a pool pump that’s designed for your pool type.

Also, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to the tee when you get your pool pump. Otherwise, the company can very well refuse to provide you any support when your pool pump fails to operate properly. Even worse, it can be detrimental to your health since a mismatched pump will fail to clean up your pool properly.

Pool pump horsepower

The suitable horsepower of your pool pump will vary depending on your needs. Factors such as your pool size and the ideal flow rate will all affect your pool’s horsepower requirement.

If your pump lacks sufficient horsepower, it’s going to struggle to filter your pool thoroughly. But it’s not going to do your pool any good either if the horsepower is too overbearing. Once the horsepower reaches the maximum capacity of what your pool can handle, it’ll no longer do any good to exceed that limit. In fact, it’ll only waste energy and drive up the cost.

Single Speed vs Variable Speed Pool Pump

A single speed pool pump offers just a one-speed setting. You either turn it off or operate it at a full capacity; there’s no in-between. 

The variable speed gives you more speed options, so it can better suit your pool’s needs. This allows the pump to operate at an optimal rate without being wasteful. The variable speed pump is often programmable, meaning you can set different speeds and the specific time you want the pump to run. In other words, you’ll find it much more convenient to use a variable speed pump over a single-speed pump.

Besides, the variable speed pump will save you more money due to its flexibility over a single-speed pump.

So, is there any downside?

The initial cost of a variable speed pump is quite a bit higher than a single-speed pump, meaning it’s going to take a few years to get your money’s worth, so you want to view it as a long-term investment.

Conclusion

Finding a good pump for your pool is essential to keeping your pool clean throughout the swimming season.

As we’ve discussed in the article, you’ll need to consider a few things before deciding which pump is best for you.

First and foremost, you want to check if the pump is for above ground or an inground pool. 

Although some pumps can serve both types of pools, you’ll generally find that they are either designed for one or the other.

Next, you’ll want to make sure you pick a pump with horsepower that’s a good fit for your pool. If it’s too excessive for your pool, it’ll unnecessarily waste a lot of energy. If it’s too low, it will fail to keep your pool clean.

Lastly, I recommend a variable-speed pump over a single speed pump if your budget allows it. It’ll give you more flexibility to match your pool’s needs and save you money in the long run.

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