Swimming Pool Replacement Pump Buying Guide

Posted by Sean McKenna on

Scorching sun. Monsoon rain. They just keep humming along. Until they don’t. There are a number of potential reasons why a pool pump may need replacing. In many cases the pool motor is the culprit. Does this mean that you need to replace the entire pool pump? No, it does not. A replacement motor can be installed on an existing volute (the plastic part of the pump with the strainer basket) but it requires some know-how and many pool companies, and DIYers, would rather save time and frustration and swap out the entire unit.

Pool pump diagram

If you are making the decision to replace the entire pump – how do you know what to buy? Here are some tips to guide you to making the right pump purchase.

  1. Buy the same pump again – one of the easiest ways to replace an existing pump is to replace it with the exact same pump. Assuming the pump was sized properly initially this would be a relatively fool proof method. However, pump manufacturers and models evolve which means you may not be able to find what was installed originally.
  2. Match the HP output – not all swimming pool pumps offer the same output. Horsepower for residential swimming pool pumps range from 0.5 HP to 3.5 HP. Finding a pump that is matched by horsepower should provide similar circulation or flow which is crucial. It is not advisable to purchase a pump with greater HP unless a circulation audit has been done.
  3. Match the physical characteristics – pump models, although similar, may have tiny variances in height, length, where the inlet and outlet ports are located, or the dimensions/style of the plumbing fittings. This means that if you are not replacing the pump with the same unit you may need to reconfigure some plumbing in order to adapt to the new pump.
  4. Electrical requirements - most pool pumps are dual voltage meaning that they can be adapted to work with either 115v or 230v input so it's almost impossible to buy the 'wrong' pump from an electrical perspective. The issue is knowing what the input power is coming from your supply. If the pump is wired 230v from the factory and the supply from the house is only 115v a jumper or switch may need to be moved in order to change the voltage of the pump.
  5. Automation - Being able to control pump cycles, temperature, lights, sanitizer output etc with the touch of a button on an app is convenient. When you are purchasing a replacement pump on a system that has an existing automation controller you need to ensure that the new pump can 'communicate' to the existing controller. Typically if you keep within the same 'brand' family there will be no issues but it is never a bad idea to confirm before buying.
  6. Speed - pool pumps are available as single, dual or variable speeds. Single speed operates at 100% of its capacity when on. Dual speed pumps operate at either 100% (high speed) or at a lesser output (low speed) which varies based on the pump. Variable speed pumps allow for more detailed output (from 15%-100%) which includes timers allowing the user to adjust flow rates over the course of the day based on need.

There are plenty of things to consider when purchasing a replacement pump for an existing pool.

If you are purchasing a pump for a new install or want to determine the pump that is required to operate your pool efficiently you can perform an audit of your circulation system. A more detailed explanation of this process will be covered in a future blog.

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.