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What Size Pool Pump Do I Need

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Find The Perfect Pump

How To: Size A Pool Pump

Youve done the hard part, all the calculations to determine exactly what size pool pump will filter your pools water in a day. But before you run off to the store, lets talk about a couple of other considerations you should think about.

For example, you have three speed choices for your pump. They are:

  • Single-speed pumps. When pool pumps were first invented, they were all single speed. Some states, like California and Arizona, dont allow them anymore because they use so much energy.
  • Dual-speed pumps. These pumps have two speeds: low and high. The high-speed setting is equivalent to a single-speed pump, while the low speed is much less. Depending on the size of your pool, the low speed may not be enough to turn over the water in your pool within a day.
  • Variable speed pumps. These pumps are more energy-efficient because they use a magnet motor as opposed to the induction motors the other two types use. Magnet motors produce less friction, which increases efficiency. Theyre also quieter than the other types. You will pay more for a variable speed pump, but save in the long run.

Did You Know?

You will hear about horsepower when you go to purchase a pump, but just because a pump has more horsepower, that doesnt mean its the right pump for your pool. You need to ensure that the pump will work well with your filter. If the pump is too strong, it can overwhelm the filter, making for an ineffective filtration system.

Determine How Many Gallons The Pool Holds

If you have a rectangular pool, multiple your pools length x width x average depth. This is found adding the depth of the shallow to the depth at the deep end and dividing by 2. Once you have the average depth, use the following formula to determine your pools water capacity: Gallons = Length x Width x Average Depth x 7.5.

For round pools, measure the pools diameter and average depth. This number is calculated the same as in rectangular pools, by adding the depth of the deep end to the depth of the shallow end and dividing by 2. To get the final number for how many gallons the pool holds, use the following formula: Gallons = Diameter x Diameter x Average Depth x 5.9.

Above Ground Pool Pumps

What about above ground pool pumps? Pool pumps for ground pools are just as important. Luckily though, they are much easier to calculate because for the most part, above ground pools are pretty standard in size.

Image Credit: Ralf Geithe, Shutterstock

All you need to know is the length across the pool and how many gallons of water the pool holds. You can use the volume calculation for circular pools above to figure it out which is not a bad idea because you will also need to know the flow rate.

Finding out the right size pool pump is pretty straight forward. You can actually use this cheat sheet below.

1-horsepower pump: Up to 24 feet across and 15,300 gallons or less

1.5-horsepower pump: Over 24 feet and 15,301 gallons or more

Yes, it is that simple. Just like the inground counterparts though, it is essential to the pools cleanliness and clarity that you have the right size pump. This is why you need the flow rate. When choosing a pump, just make sure it can handle the flow of water per minute.

Other than that, check to make sure you have the correct size filters, and you will be swimming in no time.

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Find The Right Pool Pump

Now that you are done with the calculations, it is time to start looking for the right pool pump to optimize your above ground pool. Refer to the technical specifications from the manufacturer to find one that matches your needs.

Based on the computation above, check the table below for a quick summary of the right pool pump sizes based on the most common pool sizes.

Pool Size
30 GPM

How To Choose The Right Size Pool Pump

What Size Pool Pump Do I Need

To remain clean and clear, all the water in your pool must be completely filtered at least once a day. This is called the turnover rate. Your pump must be large enough to turn over your pools full volume at least once per day.

To calculate your pumps turnover rate, youll first need to calculate your pools volume. If youre not sure how to do this, use our pool calculator to figure it out:

Once you have your pools volume, divide it by eight to determine the number of gallons per hour that need to be pumped through the filter.

But instead of GPH, most pool pumps go by gallons per minute. To get that figure, divide the GPH by 60 to calculate how many gallons per minute need to be pumped for full turnover.

So your formulae will be:

Total Pool Volume ÷ 8 = GPH

GPH ÷ 60 = GPM

It wont be as accurate as using a calculator or doing the math, but you can also get an idea of your pools volume here:

Once you have all the numbers, you can find the size of pump that will accommodate the GPM required for your pool and turn over the pools water in one eight-hour period. If you have to choose one that pumps a little more than necessary, that wont cause any problems. Just dont go below the required GPM, and youll be fine.

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Calculating Pool Pump Size

While outside of this simple yet extremely import we get asked a lot about what HP a pump should be. That being said, it’s important to know that pool pumps should really be rated by the gallons per minute of water flow instead of the motor’s HP.

What you’re looking for is a pump that will be able to pump all the water in your pool through the filter in no more than 8-10 hours. This typically looks likes 40 GPM for smaller pools and 80 GPM for larger pools. However, you can determine the more precise needs of your individual pool by following these steps:

  • Determine how any gallons of water your pool holds. You can use out Swimming Pool Gallon Calculator here. For this example, let’s assume that your pool holds 24,000 gallons of water.
  • Determine how many gallons you need to pump per hour to clean all the water in your pool in eight hours. Divide the gallons of water your pool holds by eight. Using the example number of gallons previously given, this equation would look as follows:
  • 24,000 gallons ÷ 8 hours = 3,000
  • As pumps are labeled with how many gallons they move per minute, you’ll now need to divide the above number by 60 .
  • 24,000 gallons ÷ 8 hours = 3,000 ÷ 60 = 50 GPM
  • Keep in mind that the desired time frame of turnover is between 8-10 hours, so you get a range by substituting the 8 hours used above, for 10 hours instead. This would allow a range of acceptable pumps instead of assuming only one options.

    Determine Your Desired Turnover Time

    The first thing to determine is the desired turnover time, or in layman terms, how long it takes for the pool pump to cycle all of the swimming pools water completely. An ideal turnover time is 8-10 hours.

    Use this formula to determine your turnover rate:

    Pool Volume in Gallons ÷ Turnover Rate in Minutes = Flow Rate

    For example: If a pool is 35,000 gallons and we want a turnover rate of 8 hours, our equation would look like this: 35,000 / 8 / 60 = 73 GPM

    According to the table above, we need a pump with a 73 GPM rating in order to achieve an 8 hour turnover time. Even though we figured out how much water needs to be pumped, the water can only flow at the maximum rate if the plumbing is big enough to accommodate it.

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    Calculate The Flow Rate

    Flow rate how many litres the pump moves per minute . This is calculated using both the pools volume and turnover time.

    Turnover time is the time it takes for a volume of water equivalent to that of the pool contents to make one pass through the circulation system.

    The following turnover time is accepted in the pool industry under residential pools.

    – Indoor Pools – 4 hours

    – Outdoor Pools – 6 hours

    So lets say you have an indoor 56,000 litres pool and a pump that has a turnover time of 4 hours, you can then work out the flow rate of your pump. For example:

    Turnover time = 4 hours x 60 minutes = 240 minutes

    Flow rate = Divide the volume by the turnover time = 230 litres per minute.

    Pool Heat Pump Sizing: How To Size Your Heat Pump

    HowTo: Size a Pool Pump
    • |February 24, 2021

    Heating the water in a pool makes swimming more enjoyable for everyone.

    With different types and sizes of heaters available, heat pumps are an energy efficient and effective solution to warming up pool water.

    But if youve decided to go electric, youll need to figure out how to get the correct pool heater pump sizing for your pool.

    Important: This article is about sizing electric pool heat pumps, not gas pool heaters. If youre looking for the latter, please read our article on sizing a pool heater.

    Skip to:

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    Determine The Volume Of The Pool

    The first thing that you need to do is to determine how many gallons of water are in the pool. The size of your pool, depth, and shape, among others, will have an impact on this. There is an online calculator that will let you easily compute the volume. Find one so that you dont need to rely on guesswork.

    In our example calculation, let us say that the above ground pool has a volume of 24,000 gallons.

    How To Measure The Minimum Flow Rate

    You might already know a thing or two about turnover time, which is essential information to determine how long to run your pool pump every day.

    In case youre new here, just know that the sweet spot should typically be around eight to ten hours. If you have a heavily-used pool, youll want to reduce that turnover ratebut thats a rare exception.

    To determine your minimum flow rate, all you need to understand is your pool sizethat is, the number of gallons in your pooland your desired turnover rate in hours.

    Not sure how many gallons of water your pool contains? Its simple geometry anyone can do. You just have to multiply the length, width, and depth of your pool in feet, and then multiply that figure by 7.5 to convert the number to gallons. Prefer formulas? Follow the one below:

    x x x 7.5 =

    Now that you have your pool size and the turnover rate, find your values in the chart below to determine your minimum flow rate. Relaxno algebra needed for this step.

    If you think better in graphs, you can also follow the one below.

    Our above-ground recommendation? This Copper Force Above Ground Pool Pump runs at the coolest operation on the market, meaning its built to lastand has a lifetime warranty available, so you dont have to take our word for it.

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    What Size Pump Do I Need For My Above Ground Pool

    The best pool pump will help keep your water running in the pool while also making sure that it wont be a breeding ground for bacteria. To maximize its benefits, it is crucial to choose a pump with the right size for your pool. When the pump is under or over-powered, the performance is compromised, and you wont be able to yield the full benefits of its use.

    If you are clueless about what size pump do I need for my above ground pool, read on and we got you covered. As a bonus, you will also learn about what size sand filter for above ground pool is the best.

    For Kidney Shaped And Irregularly Shaped Pools

    What Size Pool Pump Do I Need?

    Depending on the actual shape of your pool, the calculations can be quite distressing. One good way to go about this is to divide your pool into rough rectangular and circular sections, calculate the volume for those sections and add them all together.

    The formula for each irregularly shaped pool is as unique as the design of the pool itself, so if you need help on determining the volume of your irregularly shaped pools, give us a call or reach out via the contact us page and well be happy to help you out.

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    Choosing Your Pool Pump

    Now that all of the calculations have been completed, you are ready to find the right size pool pump for your pool. To recap, the two pieces of information you want to have with you is your turnover rate and your feet of head. Having your pool dimensions, and other info along for the ride is not a bad idea, but those two numbers are important for choosing the right size. If you are working with a salesperson, they will ask you for them.

    Image Credit: Pixabay

    When choosing the right pump, you want to look at horsepower. Most manufacturers will have a section on the packaging, or the manual inside, that gives a chart of what HP you will need based on your turnover and head. If you remember, you want to aim for an eight-hour turnover if possible.

    Many homeowners opt for a bigger with more HP so they can reduce their filtration time. While that is okay, it can be expensive. The more HP your pump has, the more costly it will be to run. On the other hand, you want to make sure you have enough HP to clean the entire pool in the eight-hour window.

    If you are concerned about energy costs, keep this in mind: It is more cost-efficient to run a lower horse-powered pump for a longer time, then to run a higher horse-powered unit for a shorter amount of time.

    Once you have your HP worked out, check out some other features such as energy-efficiency, speed control, motor type, and smart features. There are many options to choose from depending on your lifestyle, pools, and personal taste.

    What Size Pool Pump Do I Need For A 15000 Gallon Pool

    Every pool owner desires to have sparkling pool water. One way to do this is to find the right pool pump that can clean your pool water within the correct time. Additionally, it is always a relief when a pool owners find an energy-saving pool pump. So, before purchasing the pump, it would be best to analyze all your pool needs. One of the things you should look at includes your pool size. If your pool is larger, you undoubtedly need a more advanced type to purify the whole pool.

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    What Size Pool Pump Do I Need

    Working out which pool pump you need can be a mathematical challenge, but were here to make it as easy as possible. After all, pool pumps are one of the most important features of your pool. Without one your pools water wouldnt be pumped or filtered efficiently.

    This website is supported by readers. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

    Hayward Power Flo Lx Pool Pump 15 Hp

    How do I choose the right size pump and filter for my above ground pool?
    • #1 Best Selling Energy Efficient Above Ground Pump
    • High-performance motor with stainless steel shaft and automatic thermal overload protection.
    • 100% drip proof, heat-resistant double-sized seal for longer motor life.
    • Drain plug for easy maintenance.
    • Clear cover for viewing debris.
    • Oversize strainer basket has a larger leaf holding capacity.
    • Corrosion-proof PermaGlassXL housing for all-weather performance and quiet operation.
    • High-performance impeller.

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    The Hayward Pool Pump is designed specifically for the rigors of above-ground and on-ground pools

    Extra-large debris basket with clear cover keeps pool maintenance to a minimum.

    Heavy-duty motor offers dependable performance, energy efficiency and quiet operation.

    Durable, corrosion-proof housing for all-weather performance and quiet operation.

    Drain plug provides easy maintenance of pump.

    Clear cover lets you see when basket needs cleaning and the drain plug allows for easy maintenance of pump.

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    Why Is Pool Heat Pump Sizing Important

    A heat pump works by drawing in warm air from the outside environment and injecting it into the pool water.

    Measuring output in BTUs, it runs on electricity and therefore takes a longer time to heat your pool when compared to a gas heater.

    Note: The British Thermal Unit is a unit of measurement that measures thermal energy. Electric heat pumps have BTU ratings in the range of 50,000 to 150,000. Calculating the amount of BTUs required will help you determine the size of the heater for your pool.Smaller inground pools and above ground pools can get away with using a 50,000 BTU heat pump, but if you have a large pool youll need something bigger. A small pump on a large pool means it will be very slow to heat and might not even reach the desired temperature youre aiming for.

    Generally speaking, you should oversize the heat pump as much as possible. Youll never regret going too big, as doing so means warming the pool at a faster rate without running the heater as much.

    With that being said, there are still some things you should consider when sourcing a heater for your pool, so lets talk about those.

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