Backyard Pool

Replacing Your Pool Pump

When replacing your existing pool pump, it is important to carefully evaluate your pool and spa’s needs before deciding on a replacement pump.   In fact, Hayward recommends you always work with a Pool Pro before buying a replacement pool pump.  The Pros will help you determine the right pool pump for your particular pool application and lifestyle.  They’ll take many factors into consideration when sizing your pool pump: such as filter size, plumbing size, spa jet and water feature requirements, along with the water turnover rate needed to keep your water properly filtered.  Incorrectly sizing a pool pump could render it ineffective and inefficient, and could possibly cause damage to your filtering system.  What you really need to know is what’s available, and what they’ll do for your pool, spa, water features and wallet.

As pumps evolved over the years, many hydraulic problems came to light.  The most common issues are when the wrong pump type is used for the application and improper pipe/plumbing sizing.   We often hear of high-head pumps being used improperly in medium and low-head applications.  When a high-head pump is used on a low-head application, (such as with a waterfall with little back pressure) the pump will be very noisy as it usually requires some back pressure for quiet operation.   Other problems arise when piping is improperly sized.  This first came to light when spas were added to pools and we wanted one pump to do the job for both.  If you have a pool needing 50 GPM for circulation and add a spa needing 90 GPM for the jets, the one pump needs to be sized for the spa needs.  What was often ignored, however, is that the plumbing throughout the pool needed to be sized larger to accommodate the higher flow.  One of the biggest advancements in the aftermarket is the introduction of ENERGY STAR®-rated pumps.  They offer significant energy savings and pay for themselves quickly. We’ll discuss them later in this article.

Hayward offers a replacement pump comparison on our web site called Replacing a Pump?  This series of product cross reference charts is intended to help you find the closest suggested Hayward replacement for other manufacturers’ equipment. Note: Recommended replacement pumps may not be an exact feature match – they may include enhancements. Please review the model’s pump literature, manual or consult with your local pool pro.

The bottom line is that you should always match your replacement pump to your application.  Carefully evaluate your pool’s needs and then match the pump to the application. Upgrading from a single-speed to a two- or variable-speed pump offers the greatest energy savings. Hayward offers a variety of ENERGY STAR-rated pumps for all applications. These super-efficient pumps offer tremendous savings each year. 

Pool Types

Above Ground Pools – typically require a lower head pump because the equipment is located very close to the pool and there is not as much equipment on the pool.

In Ground Pools – have more equipment and longer piping runs and therefore need a medium or high-head pump.

Spas – have more equipment and also require higher pressures to run the jets.  A fairly high-head pump is needed.

Waterfalls/features – have very little equipment and simply need LOTS of flow.  Feature pumps are typically low-head pumps.

Pump Types

Low-head pumps are designed for high flow, at low-head pressures.   Normally these pumps are used for waterfalls or water features, where there is little or no back pressure (no filter, heater or other major restrictions to flow).

Medium-head pumps are the work horses of the pool industry.  On pool-only applications (no spa or water features), medium-head pumps are king.  Hayward has two medium-head pumps, the industry leading Super Pump® and the MaxFlo XL line of pumps.   When you only need to circulate your pool’s water, especially on pools with 1.5” or 2” plumbing, medium-head pumps are usually the right choice.

High-head/High-performance Pumps became necessary as pool designs became more complex.  The addition of spas and water features put demands on pumps that they often couldn’t handle and forever changed the market.   Newer popular applications with spas, slides and other water features require pumps that can overcome higher head pressures and higher restriction to flow to provide the water necessary for proper operation. Hayward makes both the TriStar® and Super II High performance pumps.

Intelligent, Variable-speed Pool Pumps
Stepping your single-speed pool pump to an intelligent, ENERGY STAR-rated, variable-speed pool pump (VSP) can offer you dramatic energy savings – up to 90% every season.  That’s as much as $1,500.00 back in your pocket each season!  They can handle more complex pool applications, and because they’re intelligent, they adjust their speed automatically for the task they’re performing.  You don’t have to do a thing. You may also be eligible for a rebate from your utility company. Added benefits to saving money are, these pumps are quieter and do a better job filtering your pool’s water.

Many ENERGY STAR certified pool pumps can run at different speeds, and be programmed to match the pool operation with its appropriate pool pump speed. The energy saved is considerable; for example, reducing pump speed by 1/2, reduces the pumps energy usage by 1/8.  Hayward offers a complete line of ENERGY STAR-rated, medium head and high-performance variable-speed pumps perfect for any application.

To estimate how much you can save with one of these energy-efficient pool pumps, visit our Energy Calculator.

Additional reading on pool pumps:
How pool pumps work and what you need to know about them
Top 4 Hydraulic Techie Terms Decoded