When your current pump quits, you will have to source a new one. Some pool owners think it is expensive to buy from pool shops or pool contractors, so they may consider to it online like Amazon, Ebay, or other online shops.
Yes, I do think pumps on Amazon is a cost efficient choice for pool owner who is good at DIY. However, you may spend a lot of time and energy to find a proper one for your pool, see, so many choices that seem all suitable for your pool? If you made a wrong decision and got a wrong pump, a lot more effort should be put in to return it and perhaps the free return period has expired when you finally realize that the pump is not compatible with your pool, so finally you probably get a pump from local pool shop at high cost and an improper pump from Amazon as a sunk cost which will lay in your utility room forever.
But don’t worry, there are always ways to save money and get great deals.
In this article, I will tell you how to source a proper pool pump from Amazon and save every coin in a good manner. These conclusions are based on my 10-year experience in pool industry as well as my observation and practice for years.
First of all, you have to find out some key points of your old pump, these key points usually includes voltage, horse power and water flow(flow rate). In some pump, the water flow is not indicated. It doesn’t matter, voltage and horse power are basically enough.
If the label on your old pump shows it is dual voltage 115/230V, you will have to find out the exact power supply that feeds to the pump. Please check with a professional electrician. Usuallt 115V wires consist of a hot line(mainly black), a null line(mainly white) and a ground line(mainly green). 230V wires consist of two hot lines and a ground line. Wrong voltage to a pool pump will soon burn out the motor. So before you place order on Amazon, please make sure that the pump voltage is in accordance with the power supply you are going to feed to the pump.
Horse Power/Flow rate
The reason why I put these two parameters together is that they both indicates the size of the pump. These two parameters are positively correlated. So you might only find one of them on the pump label in some swimming pool pumps.
If your old pump is listed as 1.5HP, do you think it can be replaced by a new 1.5HP pump? Now, please pay attention, some name brand pumps will have a SF(service factor) shown on the label as well. There is a formula: HP×SF=Total HP(THP). If the SF of your old pump is 1.3, its total horse power is 1.5×1.3=2.0HP, that means your old pump is actually a 2.0HP pump.
Now let’s turn to the pumps listed on Amazon, as far as my observation and discovery based on several pool pumps I’ve bought from Amazon, I realize that the non-brand-name pool pumps sold online usually shows HP directly with SF 1.0 which means their HP equals to THP. So you may have to choose the 2HP one.
Wait, do you think all is over? Not yet! I find out that some sellers list larger HP than the real pump THP so as to sell it at a higher price . So, if the pump listing shows it is 2HP, the real pump may only 1.5HP or even smaller. You may have a question: How do I know its real HP???
My solution is to check the weight of the pump. Usually a 1.5HP(here means THP) pump will have a gross weight around 14kg(31 pound) or heavier, and a 2.0HP(here means THP) pump will have a gross weight around 15kg(33 pound) or heavier.
Another solution is to compare the dimension of the pump. It is normal that the dimension varies during pumps from different brand, but if the new pump is 50% smaller than your old pump, be aware, it is obviously irrational!
In pool industry, many pool contractors match pumps with pools according to the flow rate, they usually recommend to finish each circle within 3 hours, that is to say, the pump flow rate(GPH) should be 1/3 of your pool size if we do not consider the influence of the sand filter here. I have checked the listed flow rate of many pumps on Amazon and finally realize that many sellers mark the flow rate too much larger than the real pump flow.
Take inground pool pumps(self-priming) for example, usually a 1.0THP pump impeller can move water around 4800GPH(80GPM), a 1.5THP pump impeller can move water around 5300GPH(88GPM), a 2.0THP pump impeller can move water around 6000GPH(100GPM). If you saw a 2.0HP pump that has water flow less than I listed above, that is probably because the manufacturer wants to run the motor in a lower power so as to keep the motor cool and result in a longer lifespan, if you met this kind of pump, it is definitely a good product! However, if a 1.5HP inground pool pump shows 8000GPH or more, please bounce off the page immediately, do not waste your time on a product with such an exaggerated description!
Congratulations! You are almost done to make correct decision on a new pump, the last thing you should consider is the local regulation on pool pump. People live in California may see the warning in red words on the right of the page: This item cannot be shipped to your selected delivery location. Please choose a different delivery location. That’s because the pump doesn’t meet energy efficiency requirement of CEC(California Energy Committee), you may have to find a CEC-compliant one.
Those are all my experience of sourcing pool pumps on Amazon or other online shops. Feel free to let me know if you have any more questions.
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