How Do You Know You Bought the Wrong Size Pool Pump?

Pool pumps are a necessary part of our swimming pool’s circulation.  Think of them as the “heart”.  This is because the swimming pool pump is what pushes your water through your various pieces of equipment on your equipment pad and eventually back into your swimming pool.  Replacing a pump requires research, money and sometimes hiring a professional to install it.  If you are a DIYer, all of this work may be falling onto your shoulders.  So let’s say you just installed a new swimming pool pump.  How do you know if you bought the wrong size?

Pump Sizes

When we talk about pool pump “sizes”, we are not talking about the footprint of the pump.  We are talking about horsepower.  This is the measurement of how much water will be pushed through your system at any given time.  If you have a single speed pump, this amount never changes.  If you were wise and bought a variable speed pump, this changes based on what speed, or RPM (revolution per minute) you are running it on.  Variable speed pumps have a maximum RPM.  That is the most water, or the highest speed, that will be pushed through your system. 

Low Suction

If you have purchased a swimming pool pump and your automatic pool cleaner is barely moving, your hot tub jets are barely flowing and your water is not as clear….you may have purchased too small of a pool pump.  All of these things require the proper amount of suction to perform accurately.  

Water clarity relies on proper circulation as does water safety.  We need the amount of pool water in gallons to pass through the filter at least one time a day.  This is known as a turnover.  If we are not getting the proper turnover rate it can cause our water to be cloudy.  Chemicals mix and work properly when the water is being circulated properly.  We need our chemicals, especially our sanitizer, to work to keep us and our families safe.

Too Much Pressure

If you have purchased too large of a swimming pool pump many things can happen.  If you have a water feature, it may be gushing instead of flowing.  You may also hear a lot of noise as all that water the pump is trying to push through goes through your plumbing.  Having too large of a swimming pool pump can cause too much pressure in your pipes and could lead to damage.

Another place you could see potential damage is in your filter.  You may notice the pressure gauge on the top of your filter is quite high despite being cleaned recently.  Too much pressure from an oversized pump can rip grids and cartridge elements, crack your filter’s manifold and in severe cases, cause the lid of your filter to go flying up into the air!  This is an obvious safety hazard. 

Pool Pump Sizing- Variable Speed

If you are going for the energy savings of a variable speed pool pump then it is ok to go to a higher horsepower.  In fact, this is advisable.  Why?  Because you can dial down the RPMs (run the pump on a lower speed) which will help you save even MORE money by switching to a variable speed pump.  You are only locked into a pump size, remember–this means horsepower, if you buy a single speed pump.  

Make sure your variable speed pump, or any pump, is the correct voltage for your set up.  Then you may want to check out our blog on “How to Size a Pool Pump” or consult a professional.  My advice?  Whatever decision making route you go, be on team: variable speed pump!  In fact, it may be the law (depending on where you live)

If you think you can’t afford a variable speed pump, think again.  You can get a top of the line, American made, name brand pump for a fraction of what you would pay through a swimming pool supply chain.  That’s right, I am talking about the BLACK + DECKER VSPs (variable speed pumps) that everyone is talking about.  With a variety of sizes available, you are sure to find the pump that fits your pool and your wallet.  Check  out this 2HP (at its maximum RPM)

See you poolside!

This article provides information on what pump size you need for your pool. And if you want to know the ideal schedule for your pool pump, read this article.