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Pool Pumps & Motors

Swimming Pool Filter pumps

The heart of your circulation system, your pool pump, pulls water from one or more suction ports (i.e., skimmer & main drain), and then pushes it through the filter & heater (if you have one) and back to the pools' return ports.

How do I know what pump is right for me?

Contrary to the advice given when selecting a filter, a bigger pump is not always a good thing. Unless you have been advised by a pool professional, or someone in the know that your existing pump was undersized, it would be wise to keep the same horsepower as you have now.

How do I know what Horsepower my pump motor is?

The horsepower should be listed on the nameplate (left) of the pump motor (in very tiny letters - hp). If the motor nameplate is burnt or worn off, sometimes a part number of the impeller (right) can tell us which hp your pump motor is.

If the existing pump has done you well, it is easiest to plumb and wire with the exact same pump. The heights and lengths are the same, which makes the job a bit simpler.

Are all of the pumps at the same?

All of the manufacturers of pumps represented are Major Manufacturers; well respected, very large, international market leaders. The motors used on the pumps are all nearly the same. There has not been any really astounding inventions in pump technology in the last few years, so all innovations have been implemented by most in one way or another. Each pump is slightly different in its hydraulics, shape, basket and lid, and colors. But these may or may not matter a whole lot. Read on for more substantial ways to discern between pumps.

You will find that there are low head pumps for aboveground pools and medium and high head pumps for inground pools. "head" refers to the flow rate, in a backwards kind of way.

  • Aboveground filter systems and small inground pools (under 10,000 gals) should use a Low Head pump like a Maxim, orDynamo or Power-Flo.

  • Pools from 10,000-20,000 gals can use a Medium Head pump like a SuperPump, a Pinnacle or Cygnet.

  • Pools over 20,000 gals could possibly use the High Head pumps like, Super II, Challenger, Ultra-Flo or the Sta-Rite pumps.

  • Pool/ Spa combos with at least 3 lines influent and 2 - 3 back to the pool, 2" plumbing may be able to handle the Ultra High Head pumps like the WhisperFlo.

Remember to match hp and pump type and flow rate. Use the Flow Rate Charts, (see below) based on a sample feet of head (vertical axis) of 40 or 50 feet. This is the only true way to compare pump to pump.

As Americans, it's natural to want the big V8 power plant, but a pump that is too powerful could actually prevent filtration while damaging the filter and heater. Pipes or fittings could even be blown apart. When matching pumps to filters, check the Design Flow Rate of the filter from the nameplate. The average flow for the pump you select, should be within 10% of the filter's Design Flow Rate.

Remember also, that a smaller hp motor is going to draw fewer amps, which is going to cost less to operate. If you are careful to match up flow charts, you could actually reduce the hp required, while increasing the head of the pump. For instance, a 3/4 hp Whisperflo produces the same amount of flow as a 1 1/2 hp SuperPump. So, you could replace one with the other, while electrical costs are nearly cut in half!

So, when selecting a pump, keep it close to the original specifications, and use the Flow Charts. Most systems could handle a small increase in pump size, especially if you are replacing the filter with a larger one.

The water is moved by a brass or plastic impeller that is shaft driven by an electric motor. On the way to the pump, the water is under suction or vacuum. After the impeller, the water is now under pressure until it is released into the pool. The 3/4 - 2.0 hp motor is powered from a breaker on your electric panel (or fuse box), at 115 or 230 volts. Usually motors over 2 hp need 230V power to operate, and most smaller Hp pumps convert to accept either 115 or 230 volts. Above ground units may plug into an 115V GFCI outlet. (Be sure to buy a Pump that will match the correct voltage going to your existing power supply). Electrical consumption will vary by area, however, manufacturers have been designing motors and pumps (the wet end) which are more efficient and consume much less energy than older pumps. The smaller the Amp draw of the motor, the less expensive it will be to operate.

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