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How to Choose the Right Pool Pump

One of the biggest purchases you make for your pool is the pool pump. It’s important to have the information you need to make the right decision, and understand what you’re getting yourself in for. This blog post will cover key factors involved in choosing the right pool pump, including energy use, how long you need to run the pump for, costs associated and size.

How much energy does a pool pump use?

Energy use from a pool pump can vary between around 513 watts per hour to 1,605 watts per hour according to Canstar Blue. They have done cost estimates based on average electricity usage of 24.9c/kWh and based on the Flow Rate required to pump the pool volume in six hours, which might be faster than what you want or need for your own pool. One thing which stands out is that a variable speed pump will use less energy and ultimately cost less to run.

Variable speed pump energy use: A variable speed pump set at a flow rate of 22 gpm will draw 116 watts, filter all the water in the pool within 19 hours and only consume around 2.2 kWh of electricity doing so. A variable speed pump has a power rating of between 600 and 3450 watts, according to

How long do you need to run each type of pool pump for?

To keep your pool swimmable and healthy, it’s going to be necessary to run the water through a filter pump. In fact, pumps can be mandatory for health reasons in a lot of pool settings. Running the pump can take up to 12 hours or longer, depending on the size of your pool.

You’ll be deciding between a single speed, two speed and variable speed pump when you buy, and a variable speed pump is able to be run for longer once the pump switches to a slower speed. This is probably the main factor in how long you run your pump.

How much should a pool pump cost to run?

According to Canstar Blue, a swimming pool will cost between $660 and $1,000 per year to run. That’s based on the typical Australian swimming pool that holds between 40,000 and 50,000 litres of water. This equates to about 26 to 53 cents added to your electricity bill per hour that you run the pump.

For a pool with a volume between 34,000 and 54,000 litres, running the pump at a flow rate of 100 to 150 litres/minute will cost around $69.30 to run over the summer based on 6 hours per day. 54,000 to 72,000 litres, run at a flow rate of 150 to 250 litres/minute will cost $77.40.

There’s a big difference between $660 and $1,000. A single-speed pump will cost you less upfront, and still run reliably, but a variable speed pump will end up being more energy-efficient. You can run a variable speed pump at a lower speed for a longer time and end up saving dollars off your energy bill in the process. It’s well worth considering the savings in running costs when you weigh up the higher upfront costs of a variable speed pump.

It’s important to note that this cost is based on ongoing costs of your pool pump, but does not include heating costs. All in all, running your pool can cost up to 17% of your total electricity bill each quarter, according to Canstar Blue.

What size pump do I need for my pool?

Getting the right size pool pump can involve some planning and measuring, and you can always ask our professional staff for advice to make sure you get it right. You’ll need to understand these things:

  1. The number of litres in your pool – or pool volume. This is calculated by Length x Width x Average depth of your pool. Eg (l)10m x (w) 4m x (AD) 1.4m = 56,000 Litres.
  2. Flow Rate – how many litres per minute (lpm), using the pool’s volume and turnover time. Industry-standard for turnover time is 4 hours for an indoor pool and 6 hours for an outdoor pool. Continuing the example above: Turnover time = 4 hours x 60 minutes = 240 minutes. For the flow rate you divide the volume (56,000) by the turnover time (240 minutes) to get 230 lpm. (56,000 / 240 = 230)
  3. Find out the Total Dynamic Head in metres – this is a measure of resistance against the pool pump as it pulls water. Most inground pools will be around 15 metres TDH and above ground are usually around 9 metres TDH.
  4. Using TDH and Flow Rate you can look online or ask which pumps are the most suitable.
  5. Select the appropriate filter size and you’re all set.

What about reliability? Which type of pump is most reliable?

When it comes to reliability and just wanting to know that your pump works in your pool, it’s worth noting that the single-speed pump is the most installed type of pump around the world. The single speed thermoplastic pump has been around since 1975 and is what could be considered ‘tried and tested’ technology, however that doesn’t discount the value of a good variable speed pump. Energy efficiency is often a key consideration for purchasers of pool pumps, and there is nothing specific that goes against a variable speed pump except the higher upfront costs. Those costs are recouped within a couple of years of purchase generally.

Need more help choosing a pump?

It's ok, we know can be daunting selecting pool equipment to suit your needs. Head on over to our Pool Pump Form and let us select an array of pumps that will suit your swimming pool

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