How to Choose the Right Water Pump for Your Pool

How to Choose the Right Water Pump for Your Pool 

Pools are a great way to keep cool during sweltering summer days. If you’re lucky enough to own a pool in your home, you probably already know that keeping them clean is paramount. Choosing the right pool pump is a crucial part of maintaining not only the cleanliness of your pool but also the health of its swimmers.

This unsung hero of your outdoor oasis is responsible for circulating the water, which keeps it clean and helps distribute the necessary chemicals evenly throughout the pool. If you need a new pool pump or are installing a new pool, you’ll need to make sure that it's the right fit. Here at the Irrigation Shop, pool pumps are one of our many specialties. We’ve put together this comprehensive guide about selecting the right pool pump for your needs.

Types of Pool Pumps (Single speed, dual speed and variable speed) 

•  Single Speed Pool Pumps 

These are the most economical choice upfront, but they only operate at one speed, which can be inefficient and lead to higher operating costs.


•  Dual-Speed Pool Pumps

As the name suggests, these pumps offer two settings: high and low. The lower speed is energy efficient, while the high speed is useful for tasks that require more power, like cleaning the pool.


•  Variable-Speed Pool Pumps

These pumps offer several speed settings, which can be programmed based on your pool's needs at different times. Although they are more expensive initially, they can save you money in the long run due to their energy efficiency.

Considerations for Choosing the Right Pool Pump

There are various factors that you will need to take into consideration when choosing your pool pump. There are several questions that you should ask yourself when choosing a pump:

What Size Pool Pump do I Need?

The answer to this question depends strongly on both your pool size, your pool type, and your turnover rate. You will first need to start out by calculating your pool size. Your pool size is the volume of your pool which can be found using this formula:


Volume of pool (m) = Length of the pool (m) x Width
of the pool (m) x Average depth of the pool (m)
(Shallow end depth + Deep end depth➗2)

For example:
Volume of pool (L) = 11m x 4m x 2m
Volume of pool (L) = 88
Volume of pool (L) = 88,000 liters
Next you’ll want to find out your turnover time, which is the time taken for total water circulation. This varies from pool to pool but the industry standards are:
Indoor pools: 4 hours
Outdoor pools: 6 hours

Afterwards, you’ll want to divide the pool volume by the turnover time in minutes to find the flow rate in liters per minute (lpm):
Flow rate (lpm) = Pool volume (L) / Turnover rate x 60
Flow rate (lpm) = 88,0000 / 4 x 60
Flow rate (lpm) = 366.66
Once you have your flow rate, you’ll also want to have your total dynamic head (TDH) which is the measurement of resistance working against your pool pump as it pulls water from your basin and pushes it back to the pool. You will most likely need a professional to calculate your TDH but the standards are roughly:
Inground pools: 15 meters
Above ground pools: 9 meters

You can then compare both figures to the technical specifications of a pool pump and decide if the pump is suitable for your pool.

How Much Energy Will the Pool Pump Consume?

Energy usage is also something you should consider
when choosing a pump, especially if you want to save
on utility bills. Variable speed pumps are the most
energy-efficient option. They may come with a higher
upfront cost, but the energy savings they offer in the
long term can more than compensate for it. Single
speed pool pumps in contrast are cheaper upfront but
will consume more energy in the long term.

How Expensive is the Pool Pump to Purchase and Maintain?

Lastly, consider the cost and maintenance involved
with each type of pump. While single-speed pumps
may be cheaper, they may also require more
maintenance. Variable speed pumps, on the other
hand, tend to last longer and have lower operating
costs due to their efficiency.