Welcome to our buying guide to help you choose the best Inground Pool Pump for your needs and your hard-earned money.
Nothing beats the pleasure of relaxing in your pool during a scorching summer day. But this luxury comes at a cost – in homes that are equipped with inground pools, the pump unit is the single largest consumer of residential electricity. Targeted at aspiring (or existing) pool owners, our article contains all the information that you need in order to select the most energy efficient and low-maintenance pool pump that matches your requirements.
We will talk about the several types of pool pumps available in the market, the pros and cons of each design, and take a look at some of the best inground pool pump models currently available for purchase.
Intro | Inground Swimming Pool Pumps
In order to make the correct purchase decision, you must first understand the role of a pool pump in your inground pool system. The size and type of pump that you choose is correlated to the pool filter system and plumbing, so you need to think about the pool system as a whole when you go out to buy a new pool pump. Although this article is mainly for people who wish to buy a new pool, it is also a great read for existing pool owners since it contains a lot of information on how to troubleshoot and maintain your inground pool pump, in order to ensure that it lasts longer and operates at maximum efficiency. Or maybe you are a pool owner who is tired of the constant maintenance and sky-high energy bills, so you are looking to replace your old pool pump with a newer, more efficient model.
We have an entire section on how to determine running costs for your pool pump, and a guide that will help you select the most energy efficient pump unit based on your pool size and design. Without any further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best inground pool pumps that you can currently purchase.
Best Inground Pool Pumps
— Variable Speed (VS)
Hayward MaxFlo VS Series
1.65 hp variable speed pool pump | SP2303VSP MaxFlo VS
These days it is all about efficiency, and Hayward being one of the industry leaders for over 80 years when it comes to pool pumps, is not going to be left behind. Hayward upgraded their renowned entry-level single and dual-speed MaxFlo series of pumps with a variable-speed design that lets you save up to 80% in energy costs over conventional SS (single-speed) inground pool pumps.
How much money can you save each year with a Hayward MaxFlo VS inground pool pump? Well, the number may vary depending on your pool size and design as well as the area you live in, but approximate savings should be around 1500 – 1700 US dollars per year compared to a 1.5hp single speed inground pool pump. To get a better idea of how much money you can save per month/ season, check out this energy savings calculator on the official Hayward website.
Currently, the Hayward MaxFlo VS line of inground pool pumps contains four different models – the SP2303VSP, the SP23115VSP, the SP23520VSP, and the SP23510VSP. We will be reviewing 3 different Hayward MaxFlo VS pool pumps, one of which is a slightly older model. All of the 3 models in this review are Energy-Star approved, feature advanced control panels with LED based displays, and run much quieter than standard Single-Speed or Dual-Speed pool pump units.
Hayward SP2303VSP MaxFlo VS
230 Volt Variable Speed Pool Pump
- nENERGY STAR Certified and compliant with industry regulations including Title 20 and APSP 15; eligible for local utility rebates
- Install in any application: in stand-alone mode, with Hayward automation* (including OmniLogic), or with competitive control systems (via relay control)
- Permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) motor offers incredible energy efficiency and reliability
- Fully programmable, digital control interface rotates to four different positions or mounts to the wall for more convenient access and viewing
✓ Learn what rebates are currently available for this pool pump.
If you are looking for a highly efficient, yet reasonable priced variable speed pump, then look no further – the MaxFlo VS SP2303VSP is all you need. It packs 1.5 horsepower for medium-head applications and is extremely reliable thanks to the TEFC (Totally Enclosed Fan Cooled) motor design. This model is a significant upgrade over the older MaxFlo VS units such as the SP2302VSP, it incorporates electronic modules which let it communicate directly with external automation devices, something that older MaxFlo VS models lacked.
For example, let’s say you have installed a digitally controlled water heater unit in your pool system. With the MaxFlo VS SP2302VSP, you must install an automation panel so that the heater can communicate with the pump whenever it wants the pump to ramp up or slow down. If you don’t install an automation panel, there are two options – either the heater waits till the pump increases its speed via the programming cycle, or you manually turn up the pump rpm through the control panel whenever you wish to use the heater. But the newer SP2303VSP gets rid of this annoyance since it is capable of directly communicating with external devices without the need for an automation panel.
VIDEO | General Tips and Troubleshooting | MaxFlo VS
Another neat little upgrade is the Digital Control Panel on the SP2303VSP. This is the exact same control panel that has been used on the Tristar and EcoStar Variable-Speed models for many years by now. Older MaxFlo VS pumps had really awkward fixed control panels with tiny displays that could not be rotated 360° or attached remotely for convenience. A fixed display can be really hard to read and interact with, depending on the orientation used while installing the pump. The SP2303VSP has a hinged plastic cover on the control panel which is extremely useful for protecting the buttons and screen from dust or rainwater. Maximum flow rate with 30 feet of head resistance is about 82 GPM (Gallons per minute), and the union (suction-side input) uses a 1.5” x 2” connection. The rpm on this pump can vary between 600 to 3450.
Note: the SP2303VSP is a heavy-duty pool pump designed for medium to large pools and requires a 230V, 60Hz single-phase electrical connection in order to operate. Using a 115V electrical supply will permanently damage its motor. If you don’t have the skills required to hardwire this pool pump, please consult your local pool technician so he can install the pump in a manner that is safe and complies with the National Electrical Code.
Hayward SP23115VSP MaxFlo VS — 0.85 hp
Released alongside the SP2303VSP, this particular model is completely identical in terms of features, except for the fact that is designed to work on a standard 115V electrical supply. Although both the SP2303VSP and SP23115VSP can vary their speed between 600 and 3450 rpm, the 115V SP23115VSP has a THP of 0.85 compared to the 1.5 total horsepower of the SP2303VSP. The digital control panel can be rotated into 4 positions, or you can detach it and use a wall mount for convenient operation.
You will have to purchase the optional wall-mount kit for that. There is an internal 24-hour timer with up to 8 customizable timer functions. Just like the SP2303VSP, the SP23115VSP can be connected to automation systems using relay controls. It can communicate with Hayward OmniLogic, Prologic Rev 3 and up, AquaPlus Rev 2.65 and up, E-Command 4 rev 2.8 and up, OnCommand rev 1.0 and up, etc.
Hayward MaxFlo VS SP2302VSP
Variable-Speed Pool Pump — 230 Volt
This is an older version of the SP2303VSP and features a single-line display in the control panel which was eventually phased out in preference of a 2-line display as you can see on the newer SP2303VSP and SP23115VSP models. Unlike the SP2303VSP and SP23115VSP, this pump model doesn’t feature a lid on top of the control panel, which means that you will have to invest in some form of covering mechanism if the pump unit is mounted in the open. If you have a pump room or shed, then it is not a big deal.
Customers have also reported that the LED display on this pump is hard to read in daylight, and it only supports 2-way rotation as opposed to the 4-way rotatable control panels on the SP2303VSP and SP23115VSP. But other than these minor issues, the SP2302VSP is pretty much similar to the SP2303VSP in the sense that both are equipped with the same permanent magnet, TEFC motors for greater reliability and output 1.5 HP. The SP2302VSP uses a single-phase, 230V 60Hz electrical connection, just like the newer SP2303VSP.
This (SP2302VSP) pump is Energy-Star approved and is compliant with industry regulations such as Title 20 and ASP 15 (eligible for local utility rebates). It features an extra-large rib free strainer basket for easy cleaning, and a built-in timer system. The internal timer is only for standalone programming, and you can’t run something like a salt chlorine generator off the inbuilt clock.
To learn more about pool pumps read this helpful article from the Hayward site on How pool pumps work which discusses the various types of pumps.
Best Variable Speed Pool Pump.
- ENERGY STAR Certified: meets strict energy efficiency criteria set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy
- Energy savings up to 90%* versus traditional pumps
- 8 programmable speed settings and built-in timer to ensure the pump runs at optimum speed and duration
- Ultra-efficient permanent magnet motor design reduces noise and vibration for greater efficiency and longer pump life
- Dramatically quieter operation – as low as 45 decibels – about 4 times quieter than most traditional-style pumps**
- Totally enclosed fan-cooled (TEFC) design and low average operating speed makes IntelliFlo the quietest pump on earth
- Fully compatible with IntelliTouch, EasyTouch, SunTouch Pool Control Systems and other brands of digital pool/spa controls for managing pump, heating, lighting, spa jets and water
- Built in diagnostics protect the pump for longer service life
Silent, robust, and extremely efficient – very few variable speed inground pool pumps can match the Pentair IntelliFlo’s record of awesomeness. Not only is this pump unit loaded with one of the most powerful motors in its weight class, but it also runs incredibly silent when compared to conventional single speed inground pool pumps. For example, according to the study conducted by Pentair officials, the IntelliFlo 011018 is almost 4 times quieter than your average 1.5hp single speed pump. The noise output of the Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 can be as low as 45 decibels, which is astonishingly quiet for a 3 horsepower inground pool pump.
Control Panel | Pentair IntelliFlo 011018
In comparison, a single-speed 1.5hp inground pool pump at a distance of 3.28 feet generates 67 dB of noise, which is the exact same amount of noise that you hear from US car traffic at a distance of 50 feet. The al features a permanent magnet synchronous motor, the same type of motor you’ll find in modern hybrid cars. While some variable speed pumps use traditional induction motors to cut down on costs, Pentair goes the extra distance to ensure maximum reliability and efficiency. After all, a variable speed motor is an investment that pays for itself in the long run, and what is the benefit of spending a couple dollars less initially if your pump uses more energy and lasts for a shorter period of time?
Not only is a permanent magnet motor more efficient, but it runs cooler and produces less vibrations. The IntelliFlo 011018 has even more features that you are going to love, such as the extremely advanced digital control panel which can be rotated a full 360°, or even detached for wall mounting. There are 8 customizable speed modes, along with a bunch of functions such as Primer, Quick Clean, Egg Timer, Time Out, etc.
The rpm range is massive – it can go as low as 450 rpm, or as fast as 3450 rpm. Most filters don’t support the kind of flow rates that this pump generates at 3450 rpm, so you will mostly find yourself in the 1000 to 2000 rpm range for tasks such as backwashing, quick cleaning, filtering, heating, etc. But the extra rpm does come in handy if you are running a high-head setup with lots of plumbing and extra pool features such as a spa, waterfall, pool cleaner, swim jet, etc. The TEFC (Totally Enclosed Fan Cooled) design prevents dust, debris, and moisture from entering the motor housing, and a self-diagnostic system guarantees longer life by ensuring that the motor is always running in optimal operating conditions.
The IntelliFlo 011018 even features an Anti-Freeze program, and you can change the pump speed in GPM (gallons per minute) instead of rpm. The pump will automatically adjust its rpm to maintain the specified flow rates. One of the coolest features of this pump is the wattage display on the control panel screen that shows you the amount of electricity being consumed in real-time alongside the rpm values.
Pentair 342001 SuperFlo VS
Best Variable Speed Pool Pump
You will love that it’s as quiet as a whisper and virtually eliminates disruptive, high-pitched noises.
- Only variable speed pump on the market today with 115/208-230V and 50/60 Hz single phase capability. Operating nominal voltage range is 110V thru 230V
- Ideal for standard pools requiring up to 1.5 HP pump
- Three operating speed settings plus override capability
- Direct and superior drop-in replacement for the Hayward SuperPump
- An Eco Select Brand product: one of Pentair’s “greenest” and most efficient choices
Documents (Pentair 342001 SuperFlo VS):
The only variable speed inground pool on the market which works on both 115V and 230V power. This means that installation is extremely easy and less expensive compared to other variable speed pool pumps which require a rewiring job. The Pentair 342001 SuperFlo VS automatically recognizes and adapts to your power supply, giving it a wide operational voltage range of 110 – 220 volts, and a frequency range of 50 – 60 Hz. Powered by a 1.5 hp TEFC (Totally Enclosed Fan Cooled) permanent magnet heavy duty motor, the SuperFlo VS runs extremely quiet compared to SS and DS inground pool pumps.
Control Panel | Pentair 342001 SuperFlo VS
It also comes with a specially designed volute and pot to reduce hydraulic disturbance, which in turn increases overall life expectancy and decreases noise output. The Pentair SuperFlo VS is Energy Star compliant, and UL/C-UL/NSF certified. The variable speed technology implemented in this pump allows you to save up to 80% energy when compared to a standard single speed inground pool pump. Pentair believes that you can save up to 1300 dollars per year with their SuperFlo VS pump, which means that you could potentially save 6500 dollars over the period of 5 years. Just like the Pentair IntelliFlo pump, the SuperFlo packs an impressive suite of programs loaded into its digital control interface which features a large LCD display along with an intuitive button layout.
There are 3 speed control buttons, along with a start/ stop switch, and quick clean button. Navigating through the menu is very easy, and you will be able to program various rpm settings along with the time periods for which you want to use those settings, you can also tell the pump to run at a certain speed between a specific time interval each day, all week. The pump even displays the number of watts being consumed in real time and has a built-in 24-hour timer that you can use as a standalone time, or in conjunction with external automated devices like chlorine generators or heaters.
This is not designed to be a high-head pump, so you shouldn’t use it for large pool systems with lots of plumbing and water features such as fountains, swim jets, spas, etc. The Pentair SuperFlo VS is an entry level variable speed pump best suited to basic pools with minimal/ no features.
Note: savings are based on a comparison to a single speed 1.5hp pump running 12 hours a day, in a 20000-gallon pool, at an average of $0.16 per kWh.
Hayward Super Pump VS
Hayward SP2603VSP Super Pump VS (1.65 hp / 230-volt)
Three models :
- Hayward SP2603VSP Super Pump VS (1.65 hp / 230-volt) — manual
- Hayward SP26115VSP Super Pump VS (.85 hp / 115-volt)
- Hayward SP2602VSP Super Pump VS (1.5 hp / 230-Volt)
- Permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) motor delivers maximum energy efficiency and reliability
- Exceptionally quiet compared to single speed pumps
- Fully programmable, touch pad control can be rotated to four different positions or mounted to the wall for more convenient access
- Universal compatibility: operates independently, with Hayward automation*, or with competitive systems (via relay control)
- Available in both 115V and 230V versions
A direct competitor to the Pentair SuperFlo VS, this inground pool pump from Hayward is designed to target the entry level variable speed pump market. It is available in separate 115V and 230V versions, unlike the SuperFlo VS which is one single model that operates on both 115V and 230V power. Another advantage that the Pentair SuperFlo VS has over the Hayward Super Pump VS is its superior flow rate, which although not a deciding factor when it comes to determining which of the two is “better”, allows the user to use the SuperFlo in pool systems with longer plumbing.
The 115V version of the Super Pump VS is designated with the product number SP26115VSP, while the 230V version is model number SP2603VSP. The SP26115VSP has a maximum THP (total horsepower) output of 0.85, while the SP2603VSP is a 1.65 hp model. Both feature 1.5” x 2” union connectors, along with TEFC (Totally Enclosed Fan Cooled) motors for superior reliability and lower noise emissions.
Hayward SP2602VSP Super Pump VS (1.5 hp / 230-Volt)
Both have variable speeds ranging from 600 all the way up to 3450 rpm, and you can control the speed along with timer settings through the digital control panels mounted on the top of the motor on each pump unit. At 1725 rpm (50% output), the SP26115VSP pumps 28 gallons per minute with a 10-foot resistance, while the SP2603VSP thanks to its extra horsepower can pump 34 gallons per minute with the same resistance. At maximum power (3450 rpm), the SP26115VSP can manage 10 GPM through 60 feet of resistance while the more powerful 230V counterpart, the SP2603VSP can circulate 34 gallons of water per minute with 60 feet of head.
In short, the 230V Super Pump VS is more suited for applications that involve longer plumbing, while the 115V Super Flow VS (the SP26115VSP) is better for compact pool systems with short plumbing. The SP2611VSP is also cheaper to install since it is powered by a standard 115V supply. One major difference between the 0.85hp (115V) and 1.65hp (230V) models is the automation integration – the SP26115VSP is not capable of directly communicating with external automated pool devices such as chlorinators or heaters, which is why it is more suited towards standalone pump applications. The SP2603VSP on the other hand, is capable of tying in with control panels, just like other high-end variable-speed pumps from Hayward.
Additional articles you might be interested in:
- Best Variable Speed Pool Pump | Reviews | Pentair & Hayward Pool Pumps
- Review — Hayward SP2303VSP | MaxFlo VS Series
Best Dual Speed (DS) Pool Pump
Hayward Super II SERIES
Hayward Super II SP3010X15AZ | 1.5 HP 2-speed pool pump
- Super-sized 180 cubic-inch basket has extra leaf-holding capacity and extends time between cleanings. Rigid construction with load extender ribbing assures free flowing operation for heavy debris loads.
- Easy-Thread design makes strainer cover removal easy. No tools required, no loose parts, and no clamps.
- Lexan see-thru strainer cover lets you see when the basket needs cleaning. Test feature allows line pressure test to 40 PSI MAXIMUM.
- All components molded of corrosion-proof glass-filled polypropylene for extra durability and long life.
- Heavy-duty, high-performance motor with airflow ventilation for quieter, cooler operation.
- Uni-bracket mounting base provides stable, stress-free support, plus versatility for any installation requirement. Adapts to 48 and 56 frame motors.
- Heat resistant, industrial size ceramic seal.
- Rugged, one-piece housing, with full-flow ports, assures rapid priming and continuous operation.
- Totally balanced, Noryl high-head impeller provides high-volume output to accommodate even the most demanding installations, including pool/spa combinations and in-floor cleaning systems.
- Service-ease design gives simple access to all internal parts. Motor and entire drive group assembly can be removed, without disturbing pipe or mounting connections, by disengaging just six (6) bolts
Models in the Hayward Super II Series:
- Hayward SP3005X7AZ — .75 hp Super II
- Hayward SP3007X10AZ — 1.0 hp Super II
- Hayward SP3010X15AZ — 1.5 hp Super II *Most Popular model
- Hayward SP3015X20AZ — 2.0 hp Super II
- Hayward SP3020X25AZ — 2.5 hp Super II
- Hayward SP3025X30AZ — 3.0 hp Super II
Single and Dual-speed inground pool pumps are quickly being phased out in favor of the new variable speed pumps that have flooded the market. But if you are going to buy a double-speed pump, look no further – the Hayward Super II is as good as it gets. Hayward decided that it was time to upgrade their trusty Super Pump lineup which is the primary competition for the Pentair SuperFlo single and dual speed pumps, so they introduced a brand-new series of pumps based on the good old Super Pump design.
Unlike the Super Pump lineup, the Super II’s don’t feature a swing-away lid, instead they come with a unique see through lid that has a handle on the top which you can use to pry open the twist locking lid. You can also purchase a lid opening tool which is kind of like a wrench that fits along the handle and helps you apply leverage in order to twist the lid open more easily. One major upgrade over the original Super Pumps is the introduction of a 155 cubic-inch strainer basket (or shall we call it bucket?), this extra-large strainer ensures longer intervals between pump maintenance sessions, since it can hold a lot more leaves before the pressure in the suction end of the pump starts to drop.
Another notable change in design is the introduction of full flow hydraulics that facilitate higher flow rates at lower pump speeds, meaning that you save more energy without sacrificing circulation performance. A heat resistant, industrial size ceramic seal protects the motor from getting flooded with water, and greatly enhances the durability as well as lifespan of the pump system. Unlike the Super Pump series of pumps, Super II dual-speed pumps are Energy Star certified, and UL listed.
Note: The SP303063AZ (3hp) Super II dual speed pump is powered by a 3-phase connection, and all dual speed Super II pumps between 1 to 3hp use 2” connections.
Best Single Speed (SS) Pool Pump
Hayward SP2610X15 Super Pump — 1.5 hp, One-Speed
- Heavy-duty, high-performance motor with air-flow ventilation for quieter, cooler operation
- Exclusive swing-away hand knobs for easier strainer cover removal: no tools required, no loose parts, no clamps
- See-through strainer cover lets you see when the basket needs to be cleaned and eliminated guesswork; special self-adjusting seal ensures dependable sealing
- 110-cubic-inch basket has extra leaf-holding capacity; load-extender ribbing ensures free-flowing operation
- Service-ease design gives simple access to all internal parts
- Self-priming (suction lift up to 10-feet above water level)
- Heat-resistant, industrial-size ceramic seal is long-wearing and drip proof
- Mounting base provides stable, stress-free support, plus versatility for any installation requirement; adapts 48- and 56-frame motors
Models Available : Hayward Super Pump
- SP2600X5 — ½ hp : Plumbing : 1.5″ / .37Kw
- SP2605X7 — ¾ hp : Plumbing : 1.5″ / .56Kw
- SP2607X10 — 1.0 hp : Plumbing : 1.5″ / .75Kw
- SP2610X15 — 1½ hp : Plumbing : 1.5″ / 1.12Kw
- SP2615X20 — 2.0 hp : Plumbing : 2.0″ / 1.50Kw
- SP2621X25 — 2.5 hp : Plumbing : 2.0″ / 1.88Kw
- SP2607X102S — 1.0 hp : Plumbing : 2.0″ / .75Kw
- SP2610X152S — 1½ hp : Plumbing : 2.0″ / 1.12Kw
- SP2615X202S — 2.0 hp : Plumbing : 2.0″ / 1.5Kw
The best-selling medium head pool pump in the entire world, and for a very good reason. When it comes to offering solid performance at an unbeatable price, the Hayward Super Pump is the undisputed king of all single-speed inground pool pumps. It uses a reliable and well proven pump design, along with a simplistic, yet rugged construction which makes maintenance extremely easy for the average homeowner. Think of it as the AK-47 of the pool pump industry, it is simple yet highly functional, cheap yet extremely reliable, and is by far the most popular single speed pool pump on the market.
No, it is not nearly as power efficient as a variable speed pump, but if you only use the pool occasionally and don’t have a whole lot of pool to work with, then why bother spending the extra money on a variable speed model? The Super Pump series from Hayward can also be used as a booster pump for additional pool features such as cleaners, spas, swim jets, etc. while your main pool pump is a more expensive variable-speed model like the Pentair IntelliFlo or Hayward MaxFlo VS.
2hp Single Speed Pool Pump : Hayward SP2615X20
So, what options do you have in terms of power and flow rate when you choose to purchase a Hayward Super Pump? Well, this particular series of inground pool pumps contains 6 different models, each with different horsepower ratings – the SP2600X5 (0.5hp), the SP2605X7 (0.75hp), the SP2607X10 (1hp), the SP2610X15 (1.5hp, most popular of them all), the SP2615X20 (2hp), and finally the SP2621X25 (2.5hp).
Note that all of these Super Pumps are single-speed, Hayward also produces Super Pumps that are dual-speed, so you might want to check those out if you want to get slightly more efficiency out of your pool pump.
All the Hayward Super Pumps feature swing-away lids with hand knobs to make the cleaning process much easier. We recommend that you go for the Hayward Super Pump over the Pentair SuperFlo if the person using this pump is a senior citizen or has weak arms, since the lid is much easier to work with and accessing the strainer basket as well as impeller will take less effort. Internal components can be easily accessed for service and maintenance by removing the 4 bolts that secure the motor to the wet end.
Note : None of the single speed Hayward Super Pumps are Energy Star compatible, and although you can power everything from a hot water spa to a jacuzzi with these pumps, it is best to use them in basic pool setups, or as booster pumps for pool features. Running a single speed 2.5hp pump motor at 3450 rpm all day will result in astronomically high-power bills at the end of the month, and you may spend upwards of 2000 dollars a year if you run a 2.5hp single speed pump for 12 or more hours a day.
The truth is, most pool filters systems don’t even support the kind of flow rates that a 2.5hp pump generates, and unless you have 2” or 2.5” plumbing, your pump is physically incapable of drawing the amount of water that is required in order to sustain its maximum flow rate, so you are literally throwing money down the drain by getting a high horsepower single speed pool pump. Stick with the lower end pumps like the SP2605X7 or even the SP2600X5. The 0.5hp and 0.75hp models function beautifully as circulation pumps in small sized pools, while the 1hp or 1.5hp models serve nicely as booster pumps in large pool systems with lots of features such as water slides, swim jets, hot water spas, etc.
Note: only the SP2615X20 (2hp) and SP2621X25 (2.5hp) support 2” pipes, the other 4 pump models use 1.5” plumbing.
Pentair SuperFlo Series (1 & 2 Speeds)
Pentair 340042 SuperFlo : 230V : 2-Speed : 1.0 hp
- 2-speed SuperFlo pump models are now ENERGY STAR Certified: meets strict energy efficiency criteria set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy
- Extremely quiet operation
- Unionized fittings (1.5 in. internal slip and 2 in. external slip)
- Cam and Ramp Lid
- Integral volute and pot reduce hydraulic noise
- Superior hydraulic design and thick-walled body parts deliver super-quiet operation
- Heavy-duty motor for long service life
1-speed — SuperFlo : Pool Pump Models
- Pentair 340036 SuperFlo : ½ hp — 115/230 Volt
- Pentair 340037 SuperFlo : ¾ hp — 115/230 Volt,
- Pentair 340038 SuperFlo : 1 hp — 115/230 Volt
- Pentair 340039 SuperFlo : 1½ hp — 115/230 Volt
- Pentair 340040 SuperFlo : 2 hp — 115/230 Volt,
- Pentair 340041 SuperFlo : 2½ hp — 230 Volt
2-Speed — SuperFlo : Pool Pump Models :
- Pentair 340094 SuperFlo : ¾ hp — 240/120 Volt
- Pentair 340042 SuperFlo : 1 hp — 230 Volt
- Pentair 340043 SuperFlo : 1½ hp — 230 Volt
- Pentair 340044 SuperFlo : 2 hp — 230 Volt
Documents for the Pentair SuperFlo:
Just as the SuperFlo VS series of pumps are direct competition to the Hayward Super Pump VS lineup of variable-speed inground pool pumps, the Pentair SuperFlo (non-VS) series of single and double speed pumps compete against the Hayward Super Pump models (both single and double speed). Pentair SuperFlo pumps range all the way from 0.5 up to 2.5hp in terms of power output and are available in both 115V as well as 230V configurations. Certain Dual-Speed SuperFlo models are Energy Star approved, which means that if you are looking for efficiency, then Pentair SuperFlo takes the lead over Hayward’s Super Pump lineup.
VIDEO | See the SuperFlo Pump up-close and Personal
When it comes to user friendliness and ease of maintenance, we believe that the swing-away lids and hand knobs featured on the Super Pump lineup from Hayward is much more convenient to operate. Yes, SuperFlo models are equipped with a quarter-turn cam and ramp lid, but customer reports have suggested that the lid on Pentair SuperFlo pumps is harder to remove, and the O-ring in between the lid and pump tends to dislocate more easily compared to Hayward Super Pump units. One of the redeeming features on SuperFlo pumps is the superior hydraulic design (integral volute and pot) which reduces noise output due to vibrations within the pump chamber.
Pentair 340044 SuperFlo : 2hp / 230V model — Two-speed
The 56-square-flange motor is not nearly as reliable or efficient as a TEFC motor found on variable-speed models, but it is certainly one of the best in its class as far as single/ dual speed pumps are concerned. Both the Hayward Super Pump and Pentair SuperFlo designs feature oversized strainer baskets with see through lids for easy maintenance. All SuperFlo pumps are self-priming, and feature unionized fittings (1.5” internal slip, with a 2” external slip).
How a Pool System Works
Even though a pool simply looks like a big hole in the ground from outside, it is actually a giant interconnected system of pipes, pumps, drains, filters, valves, and much more. What you see on the outside, is just the pool basin, i.e. the giant container which acts as a reservoir for all the water. However, this water isn’t just sitting there, it is constantly being sucked in and out of the pool basin through a complicated circulation system, which acts very much like the blood circulation network inside our bodies. The water is extracted from the pool basin through drain outlets, sucked into filtration units, passed through chemical processing systems which add chlorine or salt to the water, then it is recirculated back into the pool basin through the inlet jets.
Most pools are also connected to the main drains of the home so that water lost through evaporation and spill off can be replenished on time. Depending on the size and complexity of the pool, it can have hundreds of feet of plumbing built into and around the ground surrounding the pool basin, and the pool system may be equipped with one or more pumps which act as the heart of the entire system, sucking water from the bottom of the pool via the pool drains, and pushing this water into the filtration units for cleaning and reintroduction back into the pool.
Many pools have extra features like heaters, spas, swim jets, etc. which require the addition of a control panel to monitor and activate/ deactivate certain features. In large pools with multiple water features, you will often notice the addition of a secondary or even tertiary pump unit, these extra pumps are called “booster” pumps and serve to power the auxiliary functions of the pool such as the automated cleaner, spa, fountain, etc. Larger, more advanced pools also have a lot more plumbing compared to traditional, basic pool systems.
There can be 3 or more drain lines, alongside the skimmer and vacuum lines, all leading to the pumping system, and modern-day pools designs even allow the user to install LED or fiber optic lighting inside the pool to facilitate night time usage (those lights come in really handy during pool parties).
Two-Speed Pump | Hayward Super Pump — SP2610X152S
Selecting the Right Inground Pool Pump
Since the pool pump is the heart of your inground pool system, it makes sense to get the best heart you can within your budget, in order to provide the most optimal performance for your pool circulation system. However, this is not as simple as you may initially think. For example, in most cases bigger is considered to be better, but remember that this isn’t a sports car engine, and adding unnecessary power will only do one thing – increase the size of the electricity bill that shows up at the end of the month. And if you do a little bit of research online, you will be surprised to see how much it can truly cost in order to operate the pool pump. In most households with pools, the pool pump is often the single biggest consumer of residential electricity.
People spend over 1000 dollars per year just to operate the pool pump on a daily basis, and whoever owns a large pool with lots of water features is probably spending upwards of 2000 bucks every season (pool season= 12 months). However, you can significantly cut down on operating costs by investing in a variable speed pump. There is a pump motor law of operation which states that you can cut down on electric power consumption by as much as 87%, just by cutting the rpm of the motor in half. Doesn’t that sound amazing?
Besides, all pool pump motors have a maximum rpm of 3450, which is the standardized maximum speed for a pool pump in most parts of the world. At its maximum speed, the pump generates flow rates (measured in gallons per minute) that are far too high for any filtration system. If you don’t understand what we are talking about, let’s talk about pool filter systems first. There are three main types of filtration systems found on modern pools – Sand filters, Cartridge filters, and DE (Diatomaceous Earth) filters.
Sand filters are the cheapest and most popular because they are relatively easy to operate and maintain. The sand filter consists of a tank made from ceramic or metal that is filled with #20 silica sand. When the pump forces water through this bed of sand, dirt, pollen, oils, and other fine particles get stuck in the spaces between the sand particles as the water percolates down and eventually exits through the port on the bottom of the filter.
In a cartridge filter, a fine fabric material is used to catch waste particles, these filters are lighter and smaller than most sand filters and are capable of catching debris as small as 5 to 10 microns (the sand filter in comparison, can trap debris in the 20 to 100-micron range). A cartridge filter is also easier to maintain since you can remove the filter module and just hose away all the dirt.
The third type of filter is a diatomaceous earth filter and is the most expensive of the lot. It also possesses the best filtration capabilities and can catch particles up to 3 microns in size. Some of the more advanced DE filters can handle particles as small as 1 micron. But you know what all of these filters have in common? They all support a specific flow rate, i.e. you cannot make the filter work faster by pumping enormous amounts of water through it. The only thing you will accomplish by doing so, is damage the filtration medium or clog it so that it becomes harder to clean and requires more frequent maintenance.
That is precisely why overpowered pool pumps are actually detrimental to the water filtration system since they overload the filtration medium with dirt and debris, clogging it up and reducing the pressure in the output side of the filter. You will find yourself cleaning the filters more frequently, and they will last for 5-6 months instead of 2-3 years. Filter systems work best when you pump water slowly through them, over a longer period of time.
The other big issue with oversizing your pool pump is the fact that a pump can only draw as much water as the pipe can support. For example, suction pipes that are 1.5” in diameter support up to 60 GPM physically, and 2” pipes support up to 100 GPM. If you have already installed an inground pool system with 1.5” plumbing, and then decide to go out and purchase a high-power pool pump that is capable of flow rates greater than 60 GPM, you are simply wasting money since the pump will be physically bottlenecked at 60 GPM thanks to the 1.5” plumbing.
Not only that, but pressure in the suction side will be greater and could potentially damage the pump over time, decreasing its lifespan. When it comes to pool pumps, there is one golden rule – always go for the pump that gets the job done with the least amount of power. It is better to oversize the filter, but never oversize the pool pump.
How Does an Inground Pool Pump Work?
Well, since we have talked so much about the importance and function of a pool pump within an inground pool system, let’s take a brief look at how it functions. The pool pump is essentially a centrifugal self-priming hydraulic pump which is powered by an electric motor attached to the rear side. There is a strainer basket on the front which catches incoming debris such as leaves and twigs, preventing them from getting into the working parts of the pump. You can divide a pump into two segments – the wet end, and the dry end.
The wet end is where all the “pump” stuff happens, it is the actual hydraulic pump itself. The dry end consists of the motor and controlling circuits that regulate motor speed. The wet end is connected to the dry end via a watertight seal in order to prevent moisture from entering into the motor chamber. Single and Dual speed pumps use traditional vented induction motors with an open chassis. These motors use coil windings or electromagnets to generate the magnetic field in which the rotor spins.
Variable speed pool pumps use TEFC synchronous motors with permanent magnets. TEFC motors are completely sealed off and have a cooling fan attached to the rear of the motor chamber which pumps air over the cooling fins on the external side of the motor chassis. These permanent magnet motors are much more reliable and generate less noise. The wet end of the pump consists of a volute and pot, along with an impeller which spins to create negative water pressure in the front end of the suction side.
This vacuum draws water from the drain lines located at the bottom of the pool into the pump, and from here it is expelled through a discharge port into the filtration systems. The pot contains a strainer basket which needs to be periodically removed and cleaned of debris, otherwise the pump may choke and perform poorly. The amount of water that a pump can circulate depends on the size and design of the impeller, as well as the horsepower of the motor. One of the things to remember over here is that all pool pump motors have two kinds of horsepower – one is known as the total horsepower, while the other is known as horsepower.
Total horsepower = horsepower x service factor (SF)
Service factor is an indication of how much extra power the motor can generate in excess of its rated continuous power output, and the motor can generate this extra power for short bursts of time only. For example, lets consider an induction motor rated at 1 hp with a service factor of 1.5. This means the total horsepower is 1.5, and the motor can output up to 1.5 hp for short bursts of time, but on average it generates one horsepower.
How Much Does It Cost to Operate the Pool Pump?
This one is a little tricky, since there is no absolute mathematical formula to determine how much money you will spend on electricity bills. It will vary depending on your local electricity rates ($ per kWh), the pool size, pump design, etc. Besides, most people run their pool pumps for varying amounts of time.
Some people run their pumps for 8 hours each day, some keep it running all day, and some only operate their pool pumps during the night. It gets even more complicated with variable speed pumps, since they don’t run at a fixed speed all day, during the circulation process the pump will run at 1000 to 2000 rpm, but when you run a backwash or cleaning cycle, the pump will ramp up all the way up to 3000 rpm, depending on the size and design of your pool. Electricity rates in some areas are lower after midnight, so for example – a pool owner may program his variable speed pump to run faster between 12am to 3am. State laws make it clear that you must process all the water in the pool basin once a day, and this is known as “turnover”.
Turnover rate is the number of hours that it takes your circulation system to move the amount of water in gallons that is equal to the operating volume of your pool. While it is required that you turnover the water in your pool at least once per day, depending on how powerful the pump is, and how large your filtration unit is, there can be 2 or more turnovers per day. Dirtier pools or pools that are used frequently by groups of people may require more than one turnover cycle per day. You must carefully size your inground pool pump so that it is capable of managing at least one turnover per day, and usually you want the turnover rate to be between 8 and 10 hours for a filtration cycle. Since the pool pump is the single largest consumer of electricity in your home, let us take your through a basic 4-step process that you can use to determine how much your pool pump will cost to operate:
Here is a table containing approximate power consumption rates (in kWh), in relation to horsepower of the pump :
- 0.75 hp / 1.26 kWh
- 1 hp / 1.72 kWh
- 1.5 hp / 2.14 kWh
- 2 hp / 2.25 kWh
- 2.5 hp / 2.62 kWh
- 3 hp / 3.17 kWh
To get the wattage rating for the pump, multiply the voltage by amperes, then divide by 1000 to get kWh. For example, we have a pool pump that runs off a 230V supply and is rated for 6 amperes. The kWh for this pump will be (230 x 6)/ 1000 = 1.38
In the second step, we shall multiply our kWh with the number of hours that we run the pump each day. So, let’s assume we are using the pump for 10 hours a day. Taking the pump kWh that we got from the first step, we have a daily energy consumption of 1.38 x 10 = 13.8 kWh per day
Have a look at this chart from the official website of the US Energy Information Administration that lists the electricity prices for all 50 US states in cents per kWh. We shall use the state of California for our example. Thus, we arrive at a daily cost of 13.8kWh x 18.48 cents/ kWh = 255.024 cents, lets round that off to 255 cents, or 2.55 dollars.
Annual cost for running your pool pump is 2.55 dollars (daily running costs) multiplied by 365 = 930.75 dollars.
Note: This is only an example, taking arbitrary values for kW rating of the pump motor, actual costs will vary. We also used a single speed pump for the example, a variable speed pump can significantly decrease energy consumption (certain high-end variable speed pumps consume up to 90% less energy than conventional single speed pool pumps).
How to Select the Right Pool Pump for your Inground Pool
This is the part where we say, “the perfect pool pump is the one that best satisfies your individual needs”. In an ideal world, the best pool pump would be the one that costs the least, lasts the longest, performs better than the rest, and is the most versatile. But unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world and that pool pump we just talked about doesn’t exist. Every pool pump design has its pros and cons, and you need to take into consideration numerous factors such as pool volume, run duration, the type of filtration system being used, plumbing size, etc. before you can determine which pump is the best for you.
Sizing the Pump :
We hope you like math, because we are about to crunch some numbers right now. Sizing the pump is a fairly complicated process, and it is very important that you don’t oversize the pump or else you will end up damaging the filters and decreasing the life expectancy of the motor. Besides, nobody wants to pay extra in electricity bills, so let’s get straight to it-
Determine the volume of your swimming pool in gallons. Pools come in various shapes, so here are a few commonly used formulas to determine pool volume :
Rectangular pools: Measure the length (in feet), width (in feet) and average depth (in feet). Average depth is calculated by adding the depth at the shallow end to the depth at the deep end and dividing the sum by 2. Number of gallons in a rectangular pool = average depth x length x breadth x 7.5
Circular pools: First, take the diameter of the pool (in feet). Next, calculate average depth by using the same procedure that we described for rectangular pools – (shallow end depth + deep end depth)/ 2. To get the volume in gallons, use this formula – Gallons = Diameter x Diameter x average depth x 5.9
Kidney shaped pools: First measure the length of the pool in feet. Then, measure the largest width and shortest width, both should be in feet. Then, add the depth at the shallow end to the depth at the deep end, and divide by 2 to get average depth in feet. Now to calculate the number of gallons, use this formula – Volume in gallons = (longest width + shortest width) x length x average depth x 3.38
Oval shaped pools: Measure the long diameter and short diameter of the oval pool, both should be in feet. Next, calculate average depth – (shallow end depth + deep end depth) / 2. Now, use the following formula for calculating pool volume – Gallons = Long diameter x short diameter x average depth x 5.9
Now, we need to calculate the GPM (gallons per minute) for the pump. To do this, take the volume that we obtained from step 1 (it must be in gallons), and divide by the number of hours that you plan to use the pump daily. For example, let’s say you came up with 20,000 gallons and want the pump to clean all water in the pool within 8 hours. Diving 20000 by 8, we get 2500 gallons per hour. To convert this into GPM, divide by 60. So, the GPM rating for our pump should be 2500/60 = 41.66
This is the slightly more complex part of the process, you have to measure the average feet of head or TDH (Total Dynamic Head). This is basically a number that gives you an indication of how much resistant the pump is facing while drawing water from all the drains, vacuum ports, skimmer lines, etc. TDH is the total equivalent height that a fluid will be pumped, taking into consideration any friction losses within the PVC pipes that lead up to the motors suction end.
First, calculate the length of all suction lines leading up to the installation point of your pool pump. Take into account main drains, skimmer lines, etc. Add up the length of all individual suction lines from the pool to the pump, in order to get total length in feet. Now divide this by the total number of suction lines, to get average feet per head. For example: suction line 1 is 20 feet long, suction line 2 is 60 feet long, and suction line 3 is 10 feet long. Adding them all up, total length = 90 feet. Dividing 90 by 3 (there are 3 lines), our average feet of head for this pool system is 30.
We are now looking for a pool pump that can manage 41.66 GPM (from step 2), average feet of head being 30 (from step 3). Go to the pool pump manufacturers website, or check the product sheet for the pump model that you are interested in. It will contain the pump flow rates for different feet of head measurements. Shortlist a couple of pumps that match your requirements.
Always oversize your filter slightly, since the pump used in our example can manage 41.66 GPM, we will make sure that the filter is rated for 50 to 60 GPM.
Take into consideration features such as spas, fountains, waterfalls, solar heating, and in-floor cleaning systems. Remember that 1.5” pipes have a physical flow rate limit of 60 GPM, so if your pool requires a higher flow rate than that, you must equip it with 2” plumbing.
Single, Double, or Variable Speed?
Single speed was the only option you had a few decades ago. Then we got double speed since people became more energy conscious. Now, the newest in pool pump technology is variable speed pumps. These are more expensive than single or double speed pumps, but the extra cost that you pay initially is more than made up for by the extremely low power consumption of variable speed pumps. Unlike traditional single or dual speed designs, these pumps utilize TEFC permanent magnet motors for higher efficiency and longer lifespans.
VIDEO | Learn about Variable Speed Pool Pumps
The hydraulics design in most variable speed pumps is also optimized to ensure higher flow rates at lower rpms. But most importantly, it is their ability to control motor rpm in real time that makes these pumps so efficient. If you reduce motor rpm by 50%, you can lower operating costs by up to 87%. Variable speed pumps come in numerous sizes and feature digital control panels that allow you to program the pump for running at different speeds during various times of the day. You can schedule cleaning sessions, backwashes, circulation cycles, and even integrate the variable speed pump with external automated pool devices such as spas, fountains, heaters, etc.
The external devices will communicate with the pumps computer and this allows them to request for higher or lower flow rates in real time. Single and Double speed pumps lack these advanced integration features, and most of them don’t have a built-in timer or programmable digital controller. However, if you are intending to operate a small pool system which is used by one or two people occasionally, then a single speed pump might get the job done. Single speed pumps these days are most commonly used as booster pumps for pool cleaners or spas and have to manually controlled through to ensure that they don’t run for extended periods of time. Running a single speed pump is like owning a car that has only two modes – off and full throttle.
Power Efficiency and Noise Output
Single speed pumps are the least efficient and most noisy, double speed pumps are slightly more energy efficient since they have two operating speeds – low and high. But variable speed pumps are what you should be concerned with if efficiency and low noise are your top priorities. If you do buy a single or double speed pump, make sure that it is a high efficiency model. Most single speed pumps aren’t Energy Star rated, but some dual speed models are Energy Star certified as well as UL listed. The Pentair IntelliFlo and SuperFlo VS lineup of variable speed pumps are renowned for low noise operation, so check those out if you are a fan of low noise pumps.
Troubleshooting & Maintenance Tips
What to do when the pump won’t prime?
Most priming problems occur when there is a leak on the suction side, or if the pump basket is clogged. Also check for pool water levels, if the water level gets below the midpoint of the skimmer opening, the skimmer line will suck air into the circulation system, and too much air in the suction lines will result in your pool pump failing to prime. If the water levels in the pool are below normal, add water to the pool so that the surface of the pool water is close to the top of the skimmer opening. Then, check the strainer basket to see if it is clear of debris.
Make sure that there is less debris and more water in the basket, if a pump basket is not filled with water, the pump will fail to prime. If the water levels in the strainer basket are low, open the lid and use a hose to fill the basket and supply lines with water. This should take about 2 to 3 minutes, after you are done, reseal the strainer lid and try to run the pump again. Check the glued PVC fittings to see if there is a leak somewhere in between the connections. Finally, check the gasket or O-ring in between the pot and strainer lid to make sure that it is seated correctly.
The pump is not pulling water
First, you should check the strainer basket in the pump to make sure that it is relatively clean. Next, it is time to check the pool filter. When was the last time you cleaned the filter? Maybe it is clogged up, which is why the pump is unable to push water out from the discharge port. If the filters are clean, check the impeller by removing the strainer lid and inserting a screwdriver into the pot. Move the screwdriver around inside the eye of the impeller to clear out any debris. If
There are bubbles coming out of the inlet jets
When this happens, you need to check for three things – firstly the water level in the pool should be at normal so that the skimmer doesn’t draw air. Secondly, check the strainer cover to make sure that it is sealed tight. Finally, check the union pipes for any signs of leakage due to cracks or disconnects. Make sure that the O-ring between the union and pump intake is seated properly.
The pump is leaking water
If the pump is leaking water, it could mean that there is either a broken shaft seal or a faulty O-ring/ gasket between the dry and wet end. Make sure to check the discharge pipes coming out of the pump to make sure that they are not cracked.
The motor doesn’t work properly or shuts off after some time
Remove the strainer cover and clean up the basket. Then, proceed to unclog the impeller. If the motor still doesn’t work properly, you might want to check for overheating issues that can be caused due to low voltage or insufficient ventilation. Clear any debris surrounding the motor vents and cooling fins. Wait for a while and try running the motor once it has cooled down.
The pump is making more noise than usual
This could be due to cavitation in the pump housing, or a poorly seated pump/ motor. Make sure that all the screws securing the motor to the pump are tightly fixed, then proceed to check the base for vibrations. Noise due to vibrations can be decreased by mounting the pump on a rubber pad. If the noise is due to cavitation within the impeller housing, make sure to check the suction side for any air leaks and clear the strainer basket. Also watch out for clogged intake lines or closed valves at the suction end.
Air is being sucked into the pump/ motor
Pool pumps are fitted with a variety of mechanisms to keep them completely air tight. When you introduce air into the pump circulation system, you are decreasing efficiency, increasing pressure, and reducing lifespan of your components. Watch the pot closely for bubble formation, most pool pumps feature a see-through lid. Inspect the O rings on the basket and union to make sure that everything is airtight. To check for air leaks in pipe joints, spray some soapy water or shaving cream on the suction side joints. Since shaving cream is less dense than water, it will get sucked into the joint if there is an air leak. Remember – all air leaks originate before the impeller.