Best Pool Pumps for Inground Pools & Above Ground Pools
One of the easiest ways to ensure you spend less time maintaining your pool is to invest in the best pool pump.
A good pool pump helps keep your water clean and clear by speeding up the distribution of pool chemicals and pushing the water through the filters to remove other contaminants.
When it is time to replace your old pump or finish up your new pool and hence want a new pump, you have to make sure what you buy is effective enough to keep your water clean.
In this guide, we help make it easier to pick a reliable pool pump with a review of top models and explain what to look for when shopping.
7 Best Pool Pumps – Review
1. Best Above Ground Pool Pump: Intex 26645EG Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump
Intex 26645EG Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump offers a complete solution for cleaning your above ground pool as it includes both the pump and filter in one system.
The sand filter pump has a 6-function control to allow pool owners to filter, rinse, backwash, drain, recirculate and close the system. Also, the system has a digital timer that you can use to set the pump to turn on or off automatically.
With this pump, you also get a decent flow rate of up to 1,600 GPH, and it will be ideal for use in pools with a capacity of up to 12,800 gallons.
Other things that make this pump a good buy include the pre-filter strainer basket, 25-foot long power cord, and built-in GFCI unit safety shutoff.
You will need to buy mounting adapters as they are not part of the package. However, this should not be a significant drawback as they are inexpensive and easy to get.
- Multifunctional control
- Can be set to turn on/off automatically
- Includes both pump and filter in one system
- High enough systems flow rate
- Mounting adapters not included
2. Best for Inground Pool: Hayward SP2610X15 Super Pump
Hayward SP2610X15 Super Pump is a powerful inground pool pump that runs on a high-performing 1.5 HP motor that includes air-flow ventilation for cooler and quieter operation.
The pump includes swing-away hand knobs to ensure easy and tool-free strainer cover removal for easy maintenance. Also, it allows easy 4-bolt access to the internal components to provide an even easier time maintaining the pump.
With the 110-cubic feet capacity debris basket, you will not need to keep emptying it often as it can hold more leaves and other pool contaminants. What’s more, this pool pump is self-priming and includes a mounting base for more stable support.
One significant shortcoming of this pool pump is that it does not come with any fittings. However, you can easily order all the fittings you need when making your purchase.
- High performance and powerful motor
- Easy and tool-free strainer cover removal
- High capacity debris basket
- Easy installation and servicing
- Fittings not included
3. Valaue for the Money: Hayward Power-Flo LX Series
The Hayward Power-Flo LX Series is a top-notch quality above ground pool pump that will give you excellent value for money. It is a 1 HP pump with a durable overall construction designed for all-weather performance, and it includes corrosion-proof housing.
Overall, this pump provides a quieter operation than many other models within its price range. It will also be more energy-efficient to make pool maintenance even more economical.
With the extra-large debris basket, pool maintenance will also be minimal. Additionally, it is easy to tell when the basket needs emptying and cleaning, as the design also includes a transparent cover. Also, there is a drain plug on the pump that further makes maintenance easy.
There is only one speed setting on this pump, and it also does not have an off switch, which can be inconvenient. However, it is hard to get a multi-speed pump at the same price, and the lack of an off switch only means you have to unplug it every time you are doing maintenance, and should not be a deal-breaker.
- Dependable and energy-efficient motor
- Minimizes pool maintenance with a large debris basket
- All-weather performance construction
- Relatively more affordable
- Single-speed setting
- No off switch
4. Pentair SuperFlo High Performance Single Speed Pool Pump
With a 2.5 HP motor, the Pentair SuperFlo High Performance Pool Pump is powerful enough for use even in pools with a high capacity. The pump also offers an extremely quiet operation, thanks to the integral volute and pot that help minimize the hydraulic noise.
Starting up the pump is quick and easy as it has a self-priming capability, ensuring there is little to do when powering it on.
Inspecting your strainer basket will also be easier with this pump as you never have to take it apart since it includes a see-through lid.
While this pool pump is the priciest among the list, it is also the most powerful, and its super-quiet operation and heavy-duty construction make it worth every buck. Also, despite being a single-speed pump, it still provides efficient filtration.
- More powerful motor, can handle large-capacity pools
- Quick and easy start-up
- Super-quiet operation
- Easy strainer inspection with see-through lid
- Relatively more expensive
- Single-speed setting
5. Wayne 57729-WYNP WAPC250 Pool Cover Pump
If you have issues with water pooling over your pool cover, the Wayne 57729-WYNP WAPC250 is just what you need. This pool pump uses iSwitch technology to detect the water level on the cover and switch it on and off automatically to pump out the water and save energy.
With a flow rate of up to 3,000 GPH, this pump will effectively keep water out of the cover no matter how intense the rain gets. Also, you never have to worry about leaving it out in winter as it has automatic freeze protection to prevent pump damage.
The pump includes a strainer base that filters debris and helps keep the pump stable to prevent tipping. Also, it is pretty energy-efficient, oil-free to ensure easy maintenance, and comes complete with everything you need to set up the pump, including a 25-foot cord.
The narrow base makes this pool pump more prone to tipping over in case of heavy rain, but you can work around this issue by weighing it down.
- Switches on and off automatically
- High flow rate
- Automatic free protection prevents pump damage
- Does not clog or tip easily
- Narrow base
6. Harris H1572730 ProForce 1.5 HP Above Ground Pool Pump
Harris H1572730 ProForce is a powerful 1.5 HP pool pump with a heavy-duty and corrosion-proof construction that will guarantee many years of exceptional service. The build includes a stainless steel motor shaft and a thermoplastic reinforced body.
With the advanced engineering of this pump, it offers increased pumping efficiency and a quieter operation. Also, you can be sure of an easy time when it comes to maintenance, thanks to the larger capacity filter basket.
The pump includes a see-through strainer lid that allows you to check the status of the strainer and has a twist and lock design for easy removal or closure.
An on/off switch or even a timer would have been a great addition to this pool pump to make it easier to use and more convenient. However, the absence of one still does not affect its usability and is hence not a deal-breaker.
- High durable build
- Large capacity and easy to clean filter basket
- Efficient operation with minimal noise
- See-through strainer lid
- No on/off switch
7. Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump
With the 24-hour built-in timer on the Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump, you can be sure of a convenient and hassle-free operation as you only need to set the pump and forget about it.
The pump offers a high enough flow rate of up to 2,450 GPH that allows it to work on pools with a capacity of up to 19,600 gallons.
There is also a 6-function control valve on the pump that makes it suitable for various functions. You can use the valve to set the pump to filter, rinse, backwash, drain, recirculate or close the system.
Maintaining the pump will be quicker and easier for you as it includes an easy-clean strainer basket. It hardly requires any other maintenance besides replacing the sand every 5 years.
One thing that pool owners might not like about this pool pump is that the instructions seem quite vague. However, there is still a lot of helpful material online, including videos that can help you figure out the pump if you have any difficulties.
- Built-in timer for hassle-free use
- High water flow rate
- Multifunctional control valve
- Easy to clean strainer basket
- Instructions are quite vague
Guide to Buy the Best Pool Pump
1. Pool Type and Capacity
Your pool type and size are some of the main determinants of the right pool pump for you. Therefore, it is essential to keep both factors in mind when deciding what pump to buy.
A pump that works for an inground pool might not be suitable for above ground pools. Your pool type determines things like the proper location of the pump. For example, if you have an above-ground pool with the filter intake at the same level as the pump, you have to get a side-mount pump.
The capacity of your pool determines the pump size you need to ensure adequate circulation of the water every day. For example, if you have a 10,000-gallon swimming pool with an 8-hour turnover requirement, you will need a pump with at least a 1,250 GPH pump (10,000/8).
2. Power and Energy-Efficiency
Any pool pump you choose needs to be powerful enough to ensure efficient operation. However, you do not always need to go for the most powerful pump, as the actual power you need depends on your specific pool size.
For those that have smaller pools with a capacity that is less than 10,000 gallons, a pump that runs on a 0.5 HP motor is often good enough. A 1 HP pump works great for pools up to 25,000 gallons, while a 1.5 HP pump like the Hayward SP2610X15 Super Pump is ideal for pools up to 30,000 gallons in capacity.
Besides being powerful enough, the pump also needs to be energy-efficient. Remember that the pump has to run for several hours every day and will have a massive impact on your electricity bill. Always look for Energy Star Certified models for maximum energy efficiency.
When choosing a pool pump, you will typically have three main options: single-speed, dual-speed, and variable speed. These pumps differ in price and efficiency.
Single-speed pumps work at only one speed, meaning the rate at which they pump water to and from your pool remains constant. Therefore, with these pumps, you cannot increase efficiency by adjusting the speed. However, single-speed pumps are the most affordable option.
Dual speed pool pumps will have two different speed options. Therefore, you can go with a high-speed setting during periods of heavy pool usage and low speed when you are not using your pool a lot. Although these pools cost much more than single-speed models, they are up to 50% more energy efficient.
With variable-speed pool pumps, you get total control over the water circulation speeds. Therefore, you can make micro adjustments to ensure enhanced energy efficiency and optimal pool cleaning with this pump.
Variable speed pool pump types are the priciest, but they can be up to 80% more energy-efficient and generally perform better than most other types.
A noisy pump is super annoying when trying to relax around the pool area. What makes things even worse is that you have to bear the noise for several hours every day as the pump runs.
Most pool pumps will have a noise rating of between 60 and 90 dB. However, some modern models have fully enclosed motors and will be quieter with a noise rating of as little as 40 dB.
Therefore, it is possible to get a quiet enough pool pump if you want, but you will often need to pay more in most cases.
The pool pump is at the heart of your pool’s water circulation and is crucial for ensuring the water remains clean. Therefore, it is vital to ensure you have the best model.
The good news is there is something for everyone on our list above. However, if you have an above ground pool, the Intex 26645EG Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump is our top recommendation. On the other hand, the Hayward SP2610X15 Super Pump is perfect for those with inground pools.
That said, the Hayward Power-Flo LX Series will give you the best value for money as despite being a heavy-duty and powerful 1 HP pump, it still comes at a more affordable price tag.