Quietest Pool Pumps: Reviews & Full Buying Guide
If you’re looking for quietest pool pumps than you’re likely aware how loud some of them can be. In fact, I wrote a guide on how to reduce pool pump noise a while back. But if you’re looking to buy one right now, it would be wise to get a quieter model to begin with.
To help you make the right choice, I’ve created this list of quietest pool pumps that are currently on the market which also have other great features. You don’t want to get a really weak pump just because it’s quiet, right? I’ve made sure that the quality of these pool pumps in other areas matches their exceptional quietness.
Quiet Pool Pump Buying Guide
These are the 4 things you should consider when buying a pool pump:
Make sure that the pool pump is strong enough to clean and heat your pool effectively. An effective pump will be able to circulate (turnover) all the water in the pool every 12 hours. This is a minimum, and many people prefer 8-10 hour turnover to be on the safe side.
So a larger pool will obviously require a larger pump to get the job done. The strength of a pump is measured by GPM (gallons per minute) of water it can move.
A factor that is closely connected to GPM is HP (horsepower). It can be anywhere between 1/2 and 3 hp. More HP means more power and more GPM.
Distance between the pump and the pool is another important factor. If the pump is far away from the pool and requires larger length pipe, it will require more power than a pump that is closer to the pool. So you can improve the efficiency by using a shorter pipe. In other words, keeping the pump closer to the pool.
Some other things that can help make a pump more efficient (and quieter) are: avoiding 90-degree angles, using a larger pool filter, cleaning the pool grates and strainer basket on a regular basis to make sure that water can pass freely.
How to calculate the GPM turnover your pool needs?
In order to calculate the gallons per minute that your pump will need to circulate, multiply your pool’s total volume in gallons times two; this will give you the gallons per day that the pump needs to circulate so that the water will turn over twice. (Multiply by three if you want the water to turn over every eight hours.)
Once you’ve done that, you can divide this number by 24 to get the gallons per hour, and divide again by 60 to get the gallons per minute.
For instance, a pool that holds 5,000 gallons of water would need a pump that can handle 10,000 gallons per day for a 12-hour turnover rate.
Dividing 10,000 by 24 would give the gallons per hour, and then dividing that by 60 would give the gallons per minute: 10,000 divided by 24 = 416.66; 416,66 divided by 60 = 6.94 GPM.
2. Energy requirements
Strength of the pump and the amount of energy it requires to run it are closely connected.
Since pool pumps typically run for several hours on a daily basis, energy efficiency is an important feature of every pool pump. It can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars to buy a more energy efficient pool pump.
Some pumps such as variable-speed pool pumps are more energy efficient than regular ones. The strength of the pump also comes into play. It’s advisable to get a pump that has the turnover you need, instead of a big one that is too powerful and spends more energy than is necessary.
The EPA recommendation is to run a conventional pump just three hours a day, and based on water quality, increasing pump time in half-hour increments as needed. Scrubbing the pool walls and using chemical additives to offset the reduction in pump time is also recommended.
An energy-efficient recommendation is to buy a two-speed or—better— variable-speed pool pump that is just large enough to circulate the water twice a day and to run it continuously seven days a week.
Most motors are not designed to run for long continuous periods, but a variable-speed pump can be used around the clock. While a variable-speed pump is more expensive initially, it saves energy and money in the long run.
Most of these motors are very quiet. This is also the best type of pump if you have a solar pool heater because it you can set it to circulate water through the heater all day.
Proponents of this option say that keeping the pump off for a long stretch of time—most people keep their pumps off for 12 to 16 hours each day—lets algae and debris build up and contributes to pH imbalance, all of which requires the pump to work harder. A smaller pump that works all the time prevents problems from developing and keeps water cleaner.
Stronger pipes are usually louder. So it’s better to get one that matches your pool’s requirements than a really powerful one if you’re concerned about the noise.
There are however exceptions even in this case, with stronger pumps being quieter than weaker ones. And not all pumps with equal power produce the same amount of noise. It depends on the intricate mechanics of the each motor, just as it does in case of vehicles and other mechanical equipment.
The amount of vibrations coming from the motor and resonating on the surrounding material is another factor. Some pool pumps motors are surrounded by thicker insulation, which further reduces impact noise.
Also, variable-speed pool pumps are quieter than regular ones and can be used for longer periods of time without causing damage to the motor. They also save on the electric bill so while they’re initially more expensive, it pays out in the long run.
Price of a pump is determined by its strength, energy efficiency and its functioning type. The functioning type can be one-speed, two-speed or variable-speed, with the variable-speed being more expensive than the others. But as I mentioned previously, it saves on the electric bill and performs better than the other two.
Another factor that can make a pump affordable or expensive is the brand and the quality associated with a particular brand. Similar to Nike and Adidas, more popular brands of pumps like Pentair and Hayward will always cost more than others due to better quality control.
These are all important features you should look for when buying a new pool pump. Now I’ll share the best quiet variable-speed pumps in different power brackets.
#1 Pentair 342001 Variable Speed Pool Pump – 1 1/2 HP
This is the best variable speed pumps on the market in the 1-1 1/2 HP range. Energy star certified, power efficient and quiet operation are all attributes that are commonly associated with it.
This pump is ideal for standard swimming pools that require up to a 1.5 hp pump. It’s power capabilities are 110-230V and 50 and 60 Hz capability.
It also has a real-time clock with 24 hour memory retention. Many users have commented positively on the user interface which is easy to program and operate.
The installation is pretty simple, as the electrical connections can be accessed easily. But you’ll need to call an electrician to set up the wiring if you want to retain the warranty.
As far as speed is concerned, there are three operating speeds and override capability. So you can manually set up the turnover you need and let the pump do the rest.
This pump can also be used for salt water, so if you have a salt water pool, you’re in luck!
But it’s really the quiet motor functioning that sets this Pentair pump apart from others in this category. It has an ultra-quie TEFC motor that produces little to none high-pitched noises that are typically created by pool pumps.
While there are more affordable options, if quality and quietness are your number one concerns, this is the best solution.
The last time I checked this pump was on a 8% discount. You can check out the current price and users reviews for yourself on Amazon.
Also, here’s a video tutorial on how to wire it properly if you’re not interested in hiring a pro electrician to do it for you.
#2 Pentair 011018 3 HP Variable Speed Pool Pump – 3 HP
Double the power, double the fun. This is the most powerful Pentair pump, with 3 horsepower, 230V and energy star certified like the previous model.
Saving up to 90% more energy than traditional pumps it’s incredibly energy and cost effective (approx. $1500 annually).
There are 8 programmable speed settings you can manually choose. The built-in timer assures optimum speed and run times. So maximum efficiency and savings can be easily accomplished.
The built in diagnostics protect the pump from damage and can ensure years of perfect operation. There’s also a powerful enclosed fan near the motor that prevents it from overheating.
A really cool addition is that it’s fully compatible with IntelliTouch, EasyTouch and SunTouch Pool Control Systems, and many other brands of digital pool and spa controls. This makes it easier to manage the pump, heating, lighting, spa jets and various other water features of advanced pools and spas.
What about the quietness? Well, this pump average running sound is 45 decibels, which is REALLY quiet when compared to traditional pumps that are typically in the 60-70 dB range. And it goes without mention that it has a magnet motor which ensures better performance.
Now, many people have complained about the warranty of this pump. It lasts only 30 days if you install it on your own. If you want to retain the 3 year warranty, you’ll have to hire a professional pool company to install it, which can cost anywhere between $200-$400. Many people felt tricked when they found out about this little clause so I’m putting it out there so you know what’s up. If you don’t mind losing the warranty (which I don’t recommend btw.), the installation itself is pretty straightforward and explained in the manual.
Despite of this little warranty problem, this is still an awesome pump and a real money saver in the long run. So if you have a large pool and wouldn’t mind the additional horsepower and energy saving potential, I’d go with this high-end Pentair pump above others.
#3 Hayward SP23115VSP Variable-Speed Pool Pump – 0.85 HP
This Hayward pump was designed to replace existing 115V single-speed pumps without requiring electrical upgrades.
It features a permanent magnet motor that saves up to 80% of energy over regular single speed pumps.
The other great feature is the programmable digital interface with 24 hour clock and 8 custom timer functions.
The digital interface can be mounted on a wall thanks to an optional wall mount kit.
Also, it can be connected to any automation system using relay controls, making it very similar in this regard to the previous Pentair model.
This pump has been getting awesome reviews from over 70 customers at the moment. They’ve all more or less commented on the quietness and reliability of this pump. To check out the current price and reviews click here.
How to install a variable-speed pool pump
So there you have it. Pool pumps are not as complicated as they might seem. In this buying guide I’ve shown you the most important features to look for: power, energy requirements, noise levels and price.
Variable-speed pumps are the best option in all of these features, if you can forgive the initial price. Especially because of their reduced noise, I’ve decided to feature the 3 arguably best variable speed pumps in this article.
So I hope this expert article helps and I wish you a clean and properly heated swimming pool.