What are the Different Types of Pool Pumps?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2019
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Though the technology has not changed much in the past 30 years, pool pumps have been created with a substantial amount of diversity. Different types of pool pumps may be used for different situations. Further, some pool pumps are made for specific types of pools. Understanding which swimming pool pump is right for a particular situation is important to making sure the pool filter and other components operate as expected.

Just as there are in-ground pools and above-ground pools, there are different types of pool pumps created for each type of pool. Using one type of pump meant for the other is not a good idea. For example, an above-ground pool works by feeding water to the pump's intake via gravity. These pumps may not function very well if water is not fed via this method and would likely be minimally effective with an in ground pool.

Some pool pumps are variable-speed pumps. While most pool owners are familiar with the single-speed pump, variable speed pumps can offer several advantages. Whereas single-speed pumps only operate at maximum horsepower, pool pumps with variable speeds can be adjusted to meet the required demand. For example, the energy needed to run filtration and water features, may be different than what is needed simply to run water through a pool heater. Adjusting the pump to run only as hard as needed will save energy, cutting down on operational costs.


Types of pool pumps can also be differentiated by their settings. There are pumps for residential pools and pumps for commercial operations, such as public pools. The size of the pool will go a long way in determining the size of the pump needed to operate it. The major difference between commercial and residential pumps is the size and power capacity.

More residential and public pools are being built with added features, such as waterfalls and even hot tubs. These features sometimes require a separate pump, creating yet another type of pool pump. While these typically do not handle essential operations, they are still very important when it comes to getting the most enjoyment as possible out of the pool.

For those who are confused about what type of pump they may need, the best bet is to go to a retailer which specializes in swimming pool supplies. These pool supplies dealers will often have the knowledge and experience to understand your unique needs and recommend suitable products. Many larger cities have multiple locations selling pool supplies, so getting a second opinion is usually very easy.


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