What To Know Before Investing In A Swimming Pool Pump

A residential swimming pool is the epitome of luxurious living. In order to get the most out of this luxury, homeowners need to understand what it takes to buy, operate, and maintain different types of pool equipment.

Pool pumps are an integral component of the filtration system in a residential swimming pool. Here are a few things that homeowners should know when looking to make a first-time investment in a pool pump.

Pool Pump Terminology

It is important for a homeowner to understand the various terms used when referring to pool pumps for easier understanding when conversing with a pool pump supplier.

In pool pump circles, the term "turnover" is used to indicate the least amount of time required for the pump to cycle all the water in the pool through system filters. An ideal pool pump should have the ability to meet or surpass the minimum turnover time using as little energy as possible.

Pump flow rate refers to the quantity of water that a pool pump can process in a specified duration of time.  Pump flow rate is measured in gallons per minute (GPM). Pump flow rate is arrived when the capacity of the pool is divided by its turnover time (in minutes).

The term resistance refers to the amount of frictional force produced by the plumbing system in a swimming pool, and which pool pumps need to overcome for their operation. Resistance is measured in "feet of resistance". The lower the resistance, the less powerful the pump needs to be.

Available Types Of Pool Pumps

When shopping for residential pool pumps, homeowners have three options to choose from. Two-speed pumps are commonly used on older swimming pools and their operation requires the use of automatic controllers. Two-speed pumps are used for pool filtration when operated at low speed, and for pool cleaning when used at high speed.  

Four-speed pumps are designed to operate at four different speed levels. They are most suitable for use in residential swimming pools that require a variable rate of flow.

Variable speed pumps are designed to operate at more than four speed levels, in accordance specific applications for which they're used. These pumps operate in the absence of automatic controllers and are the most efficient. As would be expected, they're also the most expensive.

Finally, it is important to point out that pool pump installation is never as easy as it may look from the pump instruction manual. Installation is best left for professional pool contractors or pump specialists with pool equipment experience.