What to Look for in a Quality, In-Ground Pool Pump

What Does the Pool Pump Do?

Many people know they own a swimming pool pump, but do we even know what it does?  The pump is the catalyst for moving your swimming pool water.  Water gets sucked in through the skimmer, main drain, vacuums, etc.  The  water takes its trip around the world through various types of other pool equipment such as a filter, salt system, heater etc.  Then it is “pumped” back into the pool through return inlets.  It is the most crucial piece of equipment on your equipment pad, because without it, your other pieces of equipment won’t operate.  It is also the most expensive to operate.  Did you know that besides your air conditioner, your pool pump is the most expensive thing to operate?  That is why it is important to look for a quality one that will last you as many years as possible.

Single Speed Versus Variable Speed

It would take a whole article to really delve into the differences of a single speed and variable speed pool pumps.  (And we will)  We are going to give you the “Cliff’s Notes” version here.  A single speed pump always runs on one speed, 3,450 revolutions per minute. (RPMS).  A variable speed pump can be set as low in RPMS as one would like or as high in RPMS as one would like, up to the maximum RPMS of that particular pump.  Because we can run the water longer at a lower RPM, variable speed pumps are considered “Energy Efficient” and may even be required by law in some states.  If  VSPs are not required by law in your state, single speed pumps are great for things such as booster pumps, water features, spas and can be used as your main circulation pump. In some states, like California, Variable Speed Pumps are required on all of these features.

Sizing the Pump

Pumps come in sizes, named in horsepower. (HP).  Depending on your need for the pump, the size of your plumbing, the size of your filter and your total dynamic head (TDH aka “resistance”) determines what size pump you will need.  For a water feature, for example, you may need a smaller, .75 hp pump.  

For your main circulation pump, especially if you have a spa, you would need a larger (higher HP) pump to get the job done.

If the pump you are replacing did the trick, just stick with that size.  You don’t have to break the bank. Pool Parts To Go has both Single Speed and Variable Speed Pumps.

Plug and Play

This is a term used in the industry for replacing a like pump, with a like pump.  It means in inlet and outlet of the old pump and the pump you are installing are the same.  This eliminates the need for additional plumbing and/or moving other pieces of equipment on your pad to make the replacement pump fit.  This is especially important when you are doing the install yourself.  If hiring a pool professional to do the install, it could save you money because less labor is involved.  Did you know that Pool Parts to Go has several pumps that are retro-fit to just drop in where your previous pump was, and at a fraction of the price of your old brand?


You don’t want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a piece of junk.  A lot of the stuff you will find on the internet are poor knock-offs and are viewed as “disposable” due to the inability to find replacement parts.  So make sure you read the description and the reviews on the pump you are considering.  


It used to be that if you found an affordable pump, it was “junk”. Pool Parts To Go has broken the mold on this.  They offer a variety of both single speed and variable speed swimming pool pumps that have all the features we talked about above, as well as being affordable.  They even carry the new talk-of-the-town Black and Decker Variable Speed Pool Pump which combines American made technology with a brand you know and love!

Energy Star Rated and Rebates

Many utility companies are offering rebates on upgrading to a variable speed pump because of how efficient they are.  So, not only are you purchasing a quieter pump that will save you a fortune on your electric bill, but you may qualify for money back!

If you are building a new pool or not sure what size pool pump you need, it is always best to consult with a professional.  We don’t want to go “too big” and run the risk of damaging our plumbing and equipment.  Or spend money on overkill.  We also don’t want to go “too small” and not have our swimming pool’s needs met, like weak jets or a dribbly spillover.  No matter what your pool pump needs, Pool Parts To Go has JUST the pump for you.