Many things make an Australian home great, but not many compare to a pool. You can use it to relax, spend the day with friends, or even get in a good workout. As wonderful as pools are, they don’t run on magic.
Different systems are in the mix ensuring that the pool is safe and clean. Without filtration and sanitation, over time, you may be better off rolling in the dirt.
One of the biggest pieces of the maintenance puzzle is your pool pump. It’s going to be pulling water from the pool and getting it back through the filtration system, which is a pretty big job.
It stands to reason then that your pump choice is very important. So, today, you’ll be learning about all the different types of pool pumps on the market, which should help you to decide.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Pool Pump?
Before jumping into the swimming pool pumps, it’s a good idea to talk about selection criteria. Sure, it’s nice to know what makes a single-speed pump different from a variable-speed pump, but what should be on your mind as you’re making your choice?
First, there’s the size of your pool. You’ll want to know this in litres. This metric is essential because it helps you to know what the flow rate is in your swimming pool. This is calculated as a time-based metric, labelled lpm, which means litres per minute. You’ll want to ensure the pump you have your eye on is compatible here.
Next, there’s the power. Unfortunately, many believe that more horsepower means a better experience. Sure, you want a pump that’s strong enough to actually do the job it’s supposed to, but your filter’s maximum flow rate matters. If you disregard it and get a pump that’s too powerful, you’re gonna cost yourself a small fortune.
Speed is another big one. Below, you’ll learn about single, dual, and variable speed pumps, for example. A variable-speed pool pump is designed to have better energy efficiency, making them more cost-effective in the long run.
You’ll also want to think about the noise the swimming pool pump will make during operation. Pool owners should always remember that using electricity during off-peak hours means it will cost less. However, if you’re running a loud pump at odd hours, both you and your neighbours will likely be very frustrated.
The energy rating of the swimming pool pump is next on the list. To be fair, this is not something you’ll find on all pumps since mandatory labelling regulations are a newer thing.
Another good point is to start thinking about how convenient the pump is for you. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t all have timers. However, the ones that have them or some other kind of control mechanism help you to keep the pool clean and save on energy without having to manually operate the unit daily.
Finally, there’s the matter of affordability. Well, obviously if you don’t have the money for a pool pump, you can’t buy it, but there’s more to it than that. You don’t always need to buy the more expensive one if you can afford it. Your aim is to get the best of both affordability and function.
Of course, these are general considerations. If other elements matter to you as you decide, feel free to bear them in mind too.
Single-speed Pool Pumps
Single-speed pumps are at home in a lot of applications because they are so universally suited. As the name implies, they will pump the water from your pool through the filtration system at one speed.
People tend to be drawn to single-speed pool pumps because of the initial attractive pricing. Note, however, that in operation, they become less cheap over time, particularly because they’re not as energy efficient as their variable speed counterparts.
Be that as it may, it would be unfair to say that they don’t do the intended job pretty well.
Dual-Speed Pool Pumps
A lot of what was said about single-speed pool pumps can be applied to dual-speed units too. Yet again, the name is a dead giveaway here, as you can surmise that there are two fixed speeds offered by these models. There will be a high and a low setting.
An automation system is also in the mix, which is what you’d use to switch between the two offered speeds. This is a step up as far as getting an energy-efficient pool pump goes, considering that your electricity usage will fall once you’re on the lower setting.
To put things into perspective, you could save as much as 80% off your energy bill, just by going for a dual-speed pump instead of sticking with the single-speed variation.
Variable-Speed Pool Pumps
Variable-speed pool pumps are next on the list, and they also give a great indication of how they work by virtue of their name. They’re more of a new entrant to the market, and for many pool owners, they are a welcome addition with the cost savings that they bring to the table over time.
These pumps will feature a variable speed controller, which allows you to adjust the speed based on preference through more than just two options. The most modern designs will adjust on their own. Of course, based on the functionality, they’re some of the most expensive at the onset, but you’ll recover the cost over time.
Above-Ground Pool Pumps
Your above-ground pool pump will typically be comprised of lighter plastics and strengthened fibreglass. You’ll want to pay attention to the size of your pool here, since those that are around 58,000 litres will need a 1 horsepower pump at least, with bigger pools needing 1.5 horsepower at least.
In-Ground Pool Pumps
Compared to an above-ground pump, the in-ground variation is tougher and more rugged. To maintain its integrity, it will also likely bear a metal housing that’s rust-proof.
Self-Priming Pool Pumps
Unlike non-self-priming pool pumps, the self-priming option can handle air. Once they are initially filled with water, it becomes possible for them to independently aerate the suction line. This will be done through the filter housing’s lid. While some pumps cannot be used above water level without causing some issues, your self-priming pump can be.
Booster Pool Pumps
Booster pumps are a lot more like regular pumps than you may initially think. While it pumps water, the amount of power produced at the pool’s return outlet is significantly higher.
The unit will be placed between the pool jets and the filter’s return lines via plumbing. Therefore, this kind of pump returns water to the pool by taking it from the filter after the filtration process is complete.
With the greater power output, the pressure that the pump will produce is much greater than you’d get with any regular pump, which means it’s great for powering high-pressure pool cleaners. These tend to be much better at pool cleaning than suction cleaners or normal low-pressure cleaners.
Bear in mind though that booster pumps have no strainer basket. Therefore, if you’re going to be using one, you must ensure that your filtration system is properly operational.
Cartridge Filter Pool Pumps
The name here comes from the cloth-type material that plays the role of the filter agent here. Once the water runs through the material, clear water will be returned to the pool. You’ll find that the actual cartridges stick around for quite a bit, only needing replacement once every three or four years. The exact timeline will depend on their usage.
However, it’s essential to open the filter and clean the cartridges no less than twice yearly. More will be needed based on the environmental factors.
Sand Filter Pool Pumps
The sand filter contains a minimum of 113 kilos of special sand used for filtration. It’s meant to catch small particulates and debris, which then allow it to return clean water to your pool. At the onset, you’ll find these to be a lot less expensive than cartridge filters, and they’re easy to maintain too. Your filter will need to be changed every five to seven years here.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Filter Pool Pumps
Diatomaceous Earth is a crumbly and soft sedimentary rock that has chemically inert skeletal or fossilized remains of diatoms, which are microscopic algae-like organisms. The particles here are even smaller than those in sand and are way more efficient at trapping the impurities you don’t want in your pool.
Commercial Grade Pool Pumps
Commercial-grade pool pumps are the masterclass in pool cleaning. The recirculation systems used take advantage of advanced self-priming builds, using the most efficient technology for demanding applications.
Choosing the right pool pump can be a chore if you don’t have the right information. Thankfully, you have a full breakdown of the different types of pool pumps above, which should go a long way in helping you choose.