How to Choose the Best Pool Pump Motor

How to Choose the Best Pool Pump Motor

Pool pumps play an important role in your pool’s filtration system, which means it’s just as crucial to choose the right one as it is to clean and maintain your pool on a regular basis. You don’t want to go with just any pump, either; improper pump selection can lead to malfunctioning parts or much higher repair costs down the road than necessary. Here are some tips that will help you choose the best pool pump motor so you can enjoy many summer days in your swimming pool!

If you’re looking to buy a pool pump motor, you’ll likely notice there are quite a few to choose from. Some have more features than others, some are better quality than others, and some are cheaper than others. The problem? You don’t know which ones are which! Luckily, we’ve done the research for you and can point you in the right direction when it comes to buying the best pool pump motor for your needs and budget!

Vacuum Side vs. Pressure Side

You’ll have a choice between the best pool pump motors that pull water through suction and those that use pressure. Both types have pros and cons. A suction side motor uses a vacuum to draw water into it, which reduces noise and wear on your filtration system. On average, suction-side motors are slightly more expensive than pressure-side models but they are less prone to issues with rust or corrosion.

Pressure-side pumps use energy from your home’s power supply to send water shooting back into your pool; their cost is typically lower than that of comparable suction-side motors, though they tend to wear out faster. Also, using one means you must install an aftermarket chlorinator so as not to damage your pool’s filter. Which type is best for you? That depends on what you’re most concerned about: cost versus longevity (suction) versus energy savings (pressure).

If price is your primary concern, then go for a pressure side model. But if rusting worries you—or if you just want a longer life span—then purchase a machine that draws water in via vacuum.

Deep-Well vs. Shallow Well

Choosing a deep-well motor over a shallow well pump can save you money on your electricity bill because a deep-well pump uses more energy. In other words, it pumps water from a greater depth. Deep wells generally have high static heads and low flow rates, so they use energy efficiently. Shallow wells have lower static heads and higher flow rates, meaning less efficient pumping in terms of energy use.

When considering how to choose the best pool pump motor for your needs, be sure you know whether or not you will be using groundwater or surface water (e.g., rainwater). If you are using groundwater, choose a deep-well pump; if using surface water, consider choosing a shallow well pump.

Permanent Mount vs. Portable Pumps

You’ll probably see your pump motor described in terms of volts and hertz (v/Hz). The volts indicate how much power your pump draws—the higher voltage, or wattage, will equate to a more powerful, but also more expensive motor. If you have no idea what you need, going with 120v is a safe bet. For example, if your pool uses 120 gallons per minute (GPM), then you’ll want around 12 amps at 120 v = 1,440 watts. The other specification you might come across is HZ (Hertz).

Here’s where things get tricky: Hertz simply indicates speed; lower numbers mean slower rotation while higher numbers mean faster rotation. It’s usually listed right below v/Hz on a pump’s description; for example, it might say 480v/60hz or 480v/50hz. Speed refers to RPM, which measures how fast that rotation occurs and translates directly into flow rates (GPM); 3100RPM at 50hz means 3100 GPM versus 3300RPM at 60hz which equals 3400 GPM.

Running Watts vs. Starting Watts

You should pay particular attention to the running watts number on a pool pump motor. The running watts are what determines how much electricity your pump will use and for how long, so when comparing motors of different sizes, it’s important to keep in mind that a bigger motor will only be more expensive if it uses less electricity than its smaller counterpart.

For example, a 3/4 HP pump that runs at 3200 running watts costs significantly more per month than one that runs at 2700 running watts—even though they have nearly identical starting wattage ratings. Start by deciding how much electricity you can afford and don’t buy a pump that requires more money from you every month than you’re comfortable with.


When choosing a pool pump motor, one of your first considerations will be what type of voltage and hertz (v/Hz) you need. If you have older wiring in your home, it may not be strong enough to support newer motors, so talk with an electrician before you buy. Also, ask if they can recommend motors that match up with specific models of pool pumps—this can save time and confusion later on. In some cases, your pool may even require a larger motor than normal, so be sure to consult with a professional if necessary. Always use safety goggles when working around electrical items!

Safety Features

The most important safety feature on a pool pump motor is a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). This protects against shocks and electrocution by shutting off power in the event of an electrical fault, such as water or other conductive liquid coming into contact with any part of exposed wiring. No matter how carefully you maintain your pool, accidents can happen—not just from intentional acts like climbing into a pool (don’t do that!) but also from faulty equipment like frayed hoses or worn plugs. By having GFCI protection on your outdoor electric system, you’re providing protection for your whole family all summer long.

Choose the Best Pool Pump Motor

If you have a pool or spa, your motor is an important piece of equipment. You need to choose one that will work for your needs—no matter if you’re looking for a pool pump motor for above-ground or in-ground use. Your choices will depend on several factors, including what type of water flow you want and how far from your home it should be located. This guide will help you choose the best pool pump motor no matter what you need it for.


Best Pool Pump Motor It’s understandable if you feel as though price should be your main concern when purchasing a pump motor. After all, there are many different brands out there and each brand has multiple models of motors; on top of that, it seems like no two pumps perform exactly alike. However, price shouldn’t have as big of an impact on your decision as you might think.

While it can be tempting to try and save money on one motor over another (whether that motor is from a reputable brand or not), chances are good that a small difference in price will lead to exponentially larger problems down the road. So unless you want additional work for your pool maintenance crew (not to mention headaches), aim for a high-quality product at an affordable price point instead.

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