The Best Pool Pump – Top 10 Reviews and Buying Guide

Published on August 17, 2018 by Duncan
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Want to buy a pool pump, and don’t know where to start? Check out our best pool pump reviews and guide, and we will help make your decision an educated one.

A pool pump is the heart of your pool circulation system. It circulates water through the pool to the filter, then to the heater, and finally to the chlorinator for sanitization. This ensures that your pool water is free of debris, algae, and bacteria. So you can have clean and freshwater in your pool.

As such, you need to get the best pool pumps that are compatible with your pool plumbing and capacity. With so many pool pumps to choose from, deciding on the perfect unit for your pool can become confusing. But don’t worry. This review and buying guide will allow you to compare the best pool pumps available, to choose one that meets your pool pumping needs and budget.

Also read: Best Above Ground Pool Pump – Top 5 Reviews and Buying Guide

8 Best Pool Pumps Comparison Table

No Name Size Dim (Inch) Price
1 Hayward SP260X15 1.5 Hp Super Pump 1.5 HP 10 x 12.3 x 15 Check!
2 Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 Variable Speed Pool Pump 3 HP 28 x 12 x 15 Check!
3 Hayward PowerFlo Pool Pump 1.5 HP 22.2 x 11.9 x 10.5 Check!
4 Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump 0.75 HP 27.1 x 17.6 x 25.5 Check!
5 Hayward Max-Flo VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump 5 Hp 22 x 16 x 11 Check!
6 Pentair 342001 SuperFlo VS Pool Pump 1.5 HP 28 x 15.5 x 12.5 Check!
7 WAYNE WAPC250 Water Removal Pool Cover Pump 1/4 HP 11.2 x 7.9 x 11.9 Check!
8 Harris ProForce Inground Pool Pump 1.5 HP 25 x 15x 11 Check!

#1 Hayward SP260X15 1.5 Hp Super Pump – Ideal For Large Swimming Pools

Hayward SP260X15 1.5 Hp Super Pump

If you are in the market for a pool pump that is cost efficient, durable and with a high flow rate, this baby from Hayward might be the best choice for you. However, if you have a small pool, this Super Pump may be too powerful.

  • Clear strainer cover
  • 83 GPM pump output
  • 83 GPM pump output
  • Mounting base
  • 1.5 horsepower
  • Swing-aside knob for easy access

Hayward has been in the pool pump industry for quite a while, and in that time, they have built a stellar reputation for producing high-quality pool pumps. The Super Pump model doesn’t disappoint. It is versatile as it can be used for all types of spas, inground pools, and fishponds.

What we love about the Hayward SP260X15 is it has a higher flow rate while using less horsepower. The Noryl impeller reduces electricity consumption but still ensures a high and consistent flow rate. With a 110 cubic inch leaf-holding basket, you can extend your in-between cleaning time.

Heavy debris loads can hinder the smooth operation of a pool pump. But with this baby, you need not worry. The rigid construction in combination with the load extender provides for a free-flowing and smooth operation. Cleaning out debris is very easy. You just remove the strainer using the swing-aside knob, and since the strainer cover is transparent, you can know when it’s time to remove debris. The unit comes with a mounting base which makes installation simple. Servicing is also a breeze thanks to the four-bolt easy access to the pump’s components. The Hayward SP260X15 features a PermaGlass XL that is corrosion-proof and durable.

  • Has a high flow rate
  • Easy installation and servicing
  • Easy to remove the transparent strainer
  • Solid construction for durability
  • Very cost efficient
  • Doesn’t have variable speed


The Hayward Super Pump is a reliable pool pump that will last for a long time. It is very powerful but uses less horsepower so you can run your pool without worrying about high energy consumption. With Hayward SP260X15, you get value for your money.

#2 Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 Variable Speed Pool Pump – Compatible With Three Pool Control Systems

Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 Variable Speed Pool Pump

Unlike most pool pumps, the Pentair IntelliFlo is compatible with multiple pool control systems, runs quietly and has built-in diagnostics. It is however quite expensive compared to other pool pumps.

  • Quiet operation
  • Built-in diagnostics
  • 90% energy efficiency
  • 8 programmable settings with a timer
  • Variable speed

Although this pool pump is a high-end model, its features more than makeup for this. Boasting of 8 programmable settings with a built-in timer, the IntelliFlo 011018 is one of the most versatile pool pumps in its class. And thanks to the 3 HP, this pump can be used in waterfalls and spa jets as well. You can use this custom programming to set the pump to do the task you want, be it filtering, heating or cleaning. Despite this high speed, this Pentair pool pump has one of the quietest operations.

What is truly impressive about this Pentair pool pump is how energy efficient it is. It can save a staggering 90% on electricity which is higher than that of conventional pumps. This will save you a lot of money on your energy bill. You can connect this pool pump with SunTouch, IntelliTouch, and EasyTouch pool control systems, which is pretty convenient.

The IntelliFlo 011018 has a built-in diagnostic system that can detect power surges, freezing, overheating or pool pump failure. This allows you to be proactive in preventing problems that may cause your pool pump to break down and as a result, you will use the pump for long. It has a large basket with a see-through lid so you can know when to remove debris.

  • Has high speed
  • It is 90% energy efficient
  • Operates quietly
  • Has built-in diagnostics
  • Compatible with different pool control systems
  • Has a timer with 8 programmable settings
  • It is a very expensive pool pump


If you need a pool pump that affords you a lot of control and is very energy efficient, this pool pump is ideal for you. It is quite expensive compared to others, but its impressive features make it all worth it.

#3 Hayward PowerFlo Pool Pump – Adjustable Intake Angles

Hayward PowerFlo Pool Pump

Do you have an above-ground swimming pool? And are you in the market for a pool pump that doesn’t break the bank but delivers exceptional quality of service? If so, you should consider Hayward PowerFlo Pool Pump. This unit allows you to switch between horizontal or vertical intake angles, but finding the switch to do that can be hard.

  • Built-in drain plug
  • Single speed
  • 5 horsepower
  • Adjustable intake angles, vertical and horizontal
  • Auto-thermal overload protector
  • Comes with a 6-foot cord

Specifically designed for above ground application, this pool pump has a high-performance motor ranging from 1-1.5 horsepower. Featuring an on/off switch, Hayward PowerFlo Pool Pump saves you the trouble of constantly plugging it in and unplugging. You can switch it on or off as needed. This unit’s convenience doesn’t end there. It has an industrial-sized strainer basket that can hold large debris. So you can stretch the maintenance period and only do periodic maintenance. The Advanced Impeller Design further ensures that the pool pump works uninterrupted, as it can prevent blockage from huge debris and leaves.

The pump’s heavy-duty motor is protected by an auto-thermal overload protector that detects and prevents any problems that may damage the pump’s system. As such, you will be able to maintain your pool pump for a very long time. Servicing the pump is very simple and easy. All you need to do is us the quick-connect pipe and hook it up to the in-built drain plug, and you are good to go. What’s even better is you can turn the pipe horizontally or vertically with a press of a button.

  • Has an on/off switch which conserves energy
  • Has an industrial-size strainer basket
  • Has an adjustable intake angle
  • It is a very powerful pool pump
  • The motor has an auto-thermal overload protector
  • It can be difficult locating the switching button for horizontal /vertical intake


This pool pump is ideal for an above ground swimming pool owner who wants a very powerful pool pump that is cost and energy efficient.

#4 Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump – With Actual 24-Hour Built-in Clock

Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump

Sand filter pumps are very popular among swimming pool owners since they are extremely efficient and require very low maintenance. So if you want to have clean and safe water in your pool, you might want to give Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump a look. However, this unit is particularly heavy, so factor that into your decision.

  • Easy to clean strainer basket
  • 2,800 gal/hour flow rate
  • Sand replacement every 5 years
  • 6 function control valve
  • 24-hour built-in timer

With an average pump flow rate of 2,800 gallons per hour, the Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump can comfortably circulate water to a big, above the ground swimming pool. This flow rate can go up to 3,000 gallons per hour, so you can be assured of clean, soft and freshwater in your pool. And since it a sand filter pump, it is a cost-effective and efficient way of doing so. The sand filter allows the pump to pick up a higher amount of algae and dirt particles in your pool water.

This pool pump has six different control functions that allow you to filter, backwash, rinse as well as recirculate, drain and close the pump. These modes of operation are automated which is very convenient. It comes with a built-in 24-hour timer that ensures that your pool constantly has clean water. Thanks to the easy to clean strainer basket, maintaining and servicing the strainer is a breeze. The pump requires minimum maintenance. All you need to do is replace the sand every five years. The Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump comes with all components installed.

  • The inbuilt timer is set to 24 hours
  • Requires little maintenance
  • Has 6 modes of control
  • Has a maximum flow rate of 3,000 GPH
  • Comes with all components installed
  • This model is very heavy


This pool pump is ideal for someone with a large above ground swimming pool. If you don’t want a high maintenance unit this sand filter pool pump is a great choice.

#5 Hayward Max-Flo VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump – Ideal For Large Swimming Pools

Hayward Max-Flo VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump

Hayward pool pumps feature heavily in this review because of the exceptional quality and efficiency. The Hayward MaxFlo is an outstanding variable speed pool pump that is easy to program and maintain. However, it can be difficult to read the display screen.

  • Energy Star certified
  • Huge non-ribbed strain basket
  • Totally enclosed fan cooled or (TEFC) powerful motor
  • Built-in timer

Operating at 5 HP, this pool pump is one of the most powerful pumps. It is very reliable and efficient thanks to the pump’s TEFC motor that has a permanent magnet.

You would think that with this much power it would make a lot of noise when operating. But, no. The Hayward MaxFlo operates quietly that you would hardly notice it’s there.

It has an extra-large strainer basket that is no-rib which can hold a large amount of debris and leaves. This extends the time between cleanings, so you won’t have to regularly remove debris. The built-in timer makes programming easy and has 3 program buttons that can be easily customized to the duration, speed and time you want. The motor is Energy Star certified so you will be eligible for rebates with your utility company.

  • It is Energy Star and NSF certified for energy efficiency
  • It is very reliable and efficient due to the TEFC motor
  • Has 3 program buttons that can be easily customized
  • Extra-large no-rib strainer basket
  • It has a very quiet operation
  • The display can be hard to read


This Hayward pool pump is the most reliable and efficient at any speed and allows you to customize it duration, speed and time. This makes it the perfect choice for someone looking to buy an easy to customize pool pump that can handle any pool size.

#6 Pentair 342001 SuperFlo VS Pool Pump – Ideal For Standard Pools Requiring 1.5 HP

Pentair 342001 SuperFlo VS Pool Pump

If you want a pool pump that is easy to easy to use, install, and super easy to maintain, look no more. Unlike other pool pumps that produce an unpleasant high-pitched noise, the Pentair 342001 SuperFlo has a quiet operation. Although it is a variable speed pool pump, it only offers 3 speeds.

  • Self-priming functionality
  • Has 3 speeds
  • Energy Star certified
  • Retains settings memory for 24 hours

What we love about this Pentair pool pump is its self-priming feature. This comes in handy when the water levels dip lower than the pump as air can easily enter. The self-priming feature prevents this from happening and ensures the pump works efficiently. Thanks to the 24-hour timer and the advanced built-in digital display, you can easily program this unit for the speed, time and duration you want. Since the pump has memory, your programmed settings will be saved for 24 hours. This is great especially if you experience a power outage or problem.

This 1.5 HP pool pump has Energy Star certification for energy efficiency which will significantly bring down your energy costs by 80%. It achieves this impressive feat by pumping water more efficiently at lower speeds. It has a huge strainer basket that extends the time between cleaning, and the transparent lid makes it easy to know when to remove debris without going in.

Unlike other variable pool pumps, the Pentair 342001 SuperFlo VS doesn’t need costly rewiring. It can operate on either 115V or 230V power supply, and since the wiring compartment is easy to access, you can make the connections without a hassle.

  • Has Energy Star certification
  • It can retain settings memory for 24 hours
  • Has a self-priming feature
  • Easy to program
  • It only has 3 speeds


If you don’t mind a variable pool pump with only three speeds, this model is a great choice. It is very simple to install and maintain and offers overall efficiency.

#7 WAYNE WAPC250 Water Removal Pool Cover Pump – Operates Sufficiently And Quietly

WAYNE WAPC250 Water Removal Pool Cover Pump

Won’t it be great if your pool pump could operate efficiently with minimum supervision and you could leave it unattended without worrying about water removal? Well, you now can, thanks to the WAYNE WAPC250 Water Removal Pool Cover Pump. However, you will have to maintain water levels above the pool pump for it to function optimally.

  • Uses Switch Technology which automatically turns the pump on or off
  • Has filters on the base
  • Automatic freeze protection
  • 3,000 GPH maximum flow rate

This pool pump uses advanced iSwitch technology that automatically senses water presence and turns the pump on or off accordingly. It turns on automatically when the water level is at, or more than 2 1/8 inches and auto turns off, when the level is at, or less than ¾ inches. Thanks to this awesome technology, you can leave the pump working unattended without worrying if it is removing water efficiently.

You can use this pool cover pump to remove water from the pool cover especially if you are opening your pool in spring. The strainer base allows the pump to remain clog-free and keeps it from tipping over. With a 3,000 GPH maximum flow rate using ¼ inch drain hose, this WAYNE pool pump will sufficiently pump water to your pool. And thanks to the auto on/off, it is energy efficient. The pump has automatic freeze protection in the iSwitch system that protects the pump from damage. The unit comes with a 25-foot cord and a 25-foot rope for easy positioning of the pool pump.

  • You can plug it in and leave it unattended since it is automatic
  • Has an automatic freeze protection
  • It saves on energy
  • It has 3,000 GPH maximum flow rate
  • Has filters on the base and a large strainer basket to minimize clogging
  • This pool pump doesn’t operate when the water level is low


This pool pump not only circulates water to your pool as part of the pool’s filtration system but also helps to remove collected water from your pool cover. It is perfect for someone who wants a pump to remove collected water from the pool cover when opening their above ground pool.

#8 Harris ProForce Inground Pool Pump – Powerful And Durable Motor

Harris ProForce Inground Pool Pump

If you are looking for a low-cost pool pump that has most of the features a high-end unit has, you might want to consider the Harris ProForce Pool Pump. This unit not only delivers exceptional results but will last a long time as well. Unfortunately, some users complained the unit stopped working after a few months.

  • Stainless steel motor shaft
  • Single speed
  • 5 HP
  • Meets CSA and ETL requirements
  • Quiet operation

If the affordable cost of this pool pump does not impress you, the power and performance will. Designed for inground swimming pools, this 1.5 HP pool pump can circulate water in a 20,000 gal swimming pool without a fuss. It has impressive engineering that ensures the unit operates efficiently and quietly. The motor is covered by a thermoplastic housing with graphite and carborundum mechanical components and seals. This ensures the durability of the pump.

The pump has a large strainer basket that is easy to clean. The basket lid is transparent and has a twist and lock mechanism that allows you to peer into the strainer basket to determine if you need to remove the debris. You can hook this pool pump to a 230V power source and use 2-inch union connections for discharge and suction. It also comes with a drain plug, and a 3-prong plug hooked to a 3-foot cord.

  • It is a very affordable unit
  • Powerful and durable motor
  • Operates noiselessly
  • Very efficient
  • Some users reported the pump failed after a few months


Despite the failure reports, a majority of users are very happy with the performance and durability of this pool pump. With the Harris Proforce Inground pool pump, you get all the perks a high-priced unit has for half the cost.

The Two Products We Don’t Recommend

Blue Wave Dredger Jr. Above Ground Pool Cover Pump – Has Design Flaws

Blue Wave Dredger Jr. Above Ground Pool Cover Pump

This winter cover pump is a very affordable option, but that is almost the only good thing about this unit. It has an automatic on/off switch, but you can also turn manually it on/off. Although the switch works fine, the pump moves water very slowly and sometimes it fails to work completely. This could be due to the placement of the on/off sensor which is located way too up on the pump. Although the manufacturer states that the pump has a 350 GPH flow rate and can remove water to within 1/8 inches on the cover, this pump still leaves a decent amount of water on the pool cover.

Also, this pool cover pump is not self-priming so getting the water flow is such a hassle and some customers reported that it started moving water after sucking on the hose. The unit comes with a garden hose adaptor and a 25-foot power cord. However, the hose is very flimsy, and the plastic in the adapter is too thin for a standard short garden hose. Detaching the garden hose from the pump in winter is very difficult and could even break off rendering the pump useless.

The Blue Wave dredger pool pump has a foam inlet filter that is reusable and should be easy to clean. But the removing the filter to clean it is almost impossible as it has a plastic piece in the center that holds it firmly in place.

  • It is very affordable
  • It shuts off automatically
  • Removing the filter for cleaning can be difficult
  • It leaves a decent amount of water on the pool cover
  • The garden hose adapter has a flimsy construction
  • The overall design of the pump has flaws that prevent it from running efficiently


Although this is a very affordable pool cover pump, we cannot recommend it. Even if you can work around the faults highlighted in this review, you still won’t have an efficient pool pump. Yes, you can save some money and buy this unit, but you will end up paying more to repair or even get another unit.

Pumps Away Genius Automatic Submersible Winter Cover Pump – Needs A Better Float Switch

Pumps Away Genius Automatic Submersible Winter Cover Pump

This pool cover pump is very cheap. Although it has some nice features, the pump fails to function efficiently. Apart from the price, this unit has two features that we like and do work; an on/off switch and a long power cord. The switch works perfectly if the pump is sitting straight up. If it isn’t, the pump won’t move any water. This is because of the float mechanism. The pump is also too lightweight and small and flips over when you try to position the pump on the cover. This pool cover pump needs a better float switch to function properly.

The second problem arises when you want to move water. Although the manufacturer claims it can pump 350 gallons per hour, this is impossible. This pump has difficulty pushing the air out of the hose, so it is a stretch for it to push the said amount of water. And when it works and moves water, it is too slow. So if you need a powerful pool pump cover, we don’t recommend this product.

But it is not all doom though. Some users loved this pool pump mainly for its lightweight and portability.

  • Very lightweight and highly portable
  • It is a submersible pool cover pump
  • Has very low power
  • Cannot pump a large amount of water
  • The float switch malfunctions some time
  • Doesn’t come with an extra filter
  • Some users claimed the pump stopped working after one winter season
Also read: Best Pool Pump Timer – Top 5 Reviews and Buying Guide

What Should You Consider Before Buying A Pool Pump?

Pool Capacity: A pool pump will only function efficiently if its capacity matches the size of your pool. The pool’s capacity determines the amount of horsepower a pump should pack. Standard domestic pools require 1-1.5 HP pump to sufficiently circulate water. Therefore, you should know your pool’s measurements like length, depth, surface area and width before buying a pool pump.

Pool Plumbing: Different pool pumps come with different plumbing requirements. So you should know the type of plumbing your swimming pool uses to avoid problems with pump compatibility. If you don’t have the information, you might want to ask the plumber who installed the plumbing system for your pool.

Noise: This is an important aspect of a pool pump. If you don’t want to wake or disturb your neighbors when running the pool pump at night, you should consider a unit that offers quiet operation.

Number of people using the pool: This affects the overall pool maintenance. If you have a pool that is frequently used by a lot of people, you may find a lot of debris. Therefore, the pool will require regular maintenance and cleaning. You will need to pump and clean the water frequently so you need a pool pump that can handle the task. A single-speed pool pump is usually better suited for frequent pumping and cleaning.

Maintenance: All pool pumps require maintenance, but the frequency differs. Some pumps have cartridge filters that need to be replaced every few weeks while sand filters need replacement every five years. You should also consider the size of the strainer basket as this determines how often you will have to clean it out. Go for pool pumps that have extra-large strainer basket as this significantly extends the period between cleanings.

Energy Efficiency: An inefficient pool pump can use up to 70% of power which can result in high energy costs. An energy-efficient pool pump, on the other hand, can save upwards of 80% on energy consumption. This is not only great for the environment but for you as well as it significantly reduces your energy bill. You should, therefore, opt for a pool pump that fulfills all your pool pumping needs while using less energy. This will save you a lot of money in the long run.