6 Best Pool Pumps Australia For The Summer Heat

Did you know that Australia has the highest number of pool owners per capita of any other country? Approximately 1.1 million Australian households have swimming pools. 

As you can imagine, the pool pump industry is booming. After all, you can’t have a pool without a pump to circulate the water safely. But how do you know which type of pump is the best to buy? Which brands are most reliable?

We have explored the market and narrowed it down to the six best pool pumps Australia has to offer. 

First, we’ll explain how pool pumps work, then give you our top six choices. At the end of the article, we also include a buying guide outlining the most important factors to consider when you’re buying a pool pump.

How Does a Pool Pump Work?

Pool pumps are the most critical part of your entire pool system. Pumps ensure that your pool is in tip-top shape by cycling water through the pool, filtering out debris, controlling temperature, and keeping your salt or chlorine evenly distributed.

Pool pumps essentially draw water from the pool’s drain or pool deck skimmer and pull it through a filter before releasing it back into the pool. Many pools also have a heater or chlorinator installed, and the pump sends the water through these as well. 

The Parts of a Pool Pump

Pool pumps include several key components:

  • Inlet/Outlet: Each pump has two primary openings – one where the water flows in and one where the water flows out. The size and functionality of the inlet and outlet will determine how much and how quickly water pumps through.
  • Motor: The most important part of your pump, the motor is the engine that makes it all run. Various motors may have different speed settings and horsepower, which we’ll address in the sections and buying guide below.
  • Impeller: Think of this almost like a tiny fan, but for water instead of air. The motor spins the impeller, which draws water in, and pushes it out the other side. 
  • Basket: The basket is the part that collects any debris before the water leaves the pump and enters your pool. You will need to clean this part out regularly. 

Types of Pool Pump

Pumps can come in different types, primarily organized by speed. The speed can also affect energy efficiency and longevity, though of course, you’ll usually pay more for a better model.

  • Single-speed: these have only one speed, typically fairly high so that they can clean the whole pool quickly. Single-speed pumps are usually not very energy-efficient.
  • Dual-speed: these pumps have two settings, a low speed for regular maintenance and chlorinating and a high speed for heating or cleaning. However, in these pumps, the lower setting does not increase energy efficiency.
  • Variable-speed: variable-speed pumps are a newer technology and increase energy efficiency greatly. You can run your pump at various speeds or even use timed programs and cut energy use at the same time. While variable-speed pumps are more expensive, they can pay off in the long run in energy savings and durability.

Best Pool Pumps For Australian Swimming Pools

Here’s a roundup of the six best pool pumps Australia has available to purchase locally. For each, we will explain key benefits and give a list of pros and cons.

1. Pentair IntelliFlo – Best Overall

With eight programmable speed settings, excellent power, and mobile compatibility, Pentair’s IntelliFlo pump wins our top award. 

Intelliflo’s design brings you a powerful pump that handles large pools with ease. New technology for eco-conscious design will also seriously cut down on your environmental footprint and your electricity costs. Users can improve energy efficiency by up to 90%.

Because the IntelliFlo offers a ton of speed settings, new users can experiment with programs to find their perfect balance of clear water and low energy output. 

The installation is fairly easy, and the control keypad can be adjusted and connected to your mobile device.

Pros

  • High power ratings
  • Variable speed settings and programs
  • Fairly quiet for a strong pump
  • Energy-efficient
  • Mobile compatibility

Cons

  • Warranty restrictions if you install yourself

2. Davey Powermaster Eco 3 – Most Eco-Friendly

Davey’s Powermaster Eco series is explicitly designed to reduce its environmental footprint, including energy efficiency, low emissions, and even lower noise pollution. 

Like the Pentair, the Powermaster series offers variable speed settings and programmable intelligence. The eco or lowest speed setting is ideal for regular filtration, while you can set it at medium and high for cleaning and other applications like heating. You may save up to 70% on energy costs with the eco setting.

An extra-large leaf basket and an easy-to-remove lid add convenience, while the incredibly quiet motor will be a boon to your neighbours. 

Pros

  • Variable speed settings and programs
  • Very quiet
  • Energy efficient
  • Environmentally friendly
  • High power

Cons

  • Warranty doesn’t cover some features

3. Onga LTP Series – Most Budget-Friendly

Onga is known for providing quality pool pumps at a more affordable price point than their competitors. Their LTP series generally does the best at achieving this claim. The LTP series functions very well, with good power, and doesn’t skimp on features like easy usability.

Because of their realistic price point, Onga pumps are one of the more popular pumps in Australia. The company designs their LTP series to maximize durability, efficiency, and corrosion resistance. While you won’t get quite as much power and functionality as a more expensive model, this pool pump gets the basics of the job done very well.

Overall, the Onga models are quite as energy-efficient as the others on this list but can still cut your energy costs.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy installation
  • High power
  • 2-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Fewer program options
  • Fewer additional features

4. Poolrite SQI Series – Best for Smaller Pools

Another brand made in Australia is Poolrite’s SQI series, which is an excellent choice for smaller in-ground or above-ground pools. 

Nearly all of the features on the SQI series aim to make the pump easy to use. Installation is very straightforward. The lint pot is easy to access and a clear lid allows you to see the operations directly and know if anything is amiss. 

A double-insulated motor provides great power and all components are built with corrosion-resistant resin so the pump lasts longer.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty motor
  • Easy to use
  • Low noise output
  • Thermal overload protection

Cons

  • Not as energy-efficient as some models

5. Hayward Super Pump – Best for Larger Pools

Hayward’s Super Pump is designed to be the workhorse of the pool pump industry. While it only offers one speed, the pump is powerful enough to work on nearly any size pool at home. 

Installation and upkeep are user-friendly, with specific features like swing-away hand knobs to remove the strainer cover, and simple four-bolt access to internal components. Rigid construction and a large leaf basket allow for heavy debris loads, while the impeller can increase flow at a low horsepower, allowing you to boost your energy efficiency.

The Hayward Super Pump also comes at a more affordable price than some others of similar power.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty motor
  • Easy access and use
  • Large debris basket
  • Good for large pools
  • Realistic price point

Cons

  • Only a single speed setting

6. Zodiac FloPro e3 – Best in Australian Climate

Zodiac prides itself on designing products that can survive weather conditions in Australia. The FloPro is no exception. 

The FloPro is extremely durable in high heat and offers a variable speed pump that you can program to different settings for different needs. It also has a built-in energy intelligence to automatically save on energy output. The body, made from Noryl Plastic, is very sturdy, while an oversized capacitor ensures consistent performance. 

Overall, the pump is very energy-efficient and quiet as well.

Pros

  • Excellent for the Australian climate
  • Variable speed settings
  • Three-year warranty
  • Very quiet
  • Durable

Cons

  • Eco mode does not keep the pool as clean

Factors to Consider When Buying a Pool Pump

Now you know six of the best pool pumps Australia has to offer – but what are the final factors to consider before you buy? 

Size and Flow Rate

Before purchasing, you need to know exactly what size pump will work best for your pool by gallons per minute or gallons per hour. A pump that is too small will cause algae or bacteria growth in your pool. Too large a pump, and you’ll just waste money on energy. 

Several sites can help you calculate the exact size, but you can also follow a few easy steps: 

  • Find out your pool’s total volume. Typically the user manual or label will tell you the volume in gallons. 
  • Determine your desired flow rate. In other words, how often you want the water in your pool completely refreshed. So, let’s say you want this to happen every eight hours or 480 minutes.
  • Divide the pool volume (in gallons) by the turnover rate (in minutes). The result will be your ideal flow rate in gallons per minute (GPM).

Energy Rating 

As we mentioned earlier, Australia has the most pool ownership per capita of any other country. Pool pumps are the single largest consumer of household electricity, taking up an estimated 18% of your electricity bill.

To encourage energy efficiency, the Australian government is introducing new energy regulations for pool pumps in 2021. The rating scale will include stars on the label, with more stars equalling more energy efficiency on a scale of 1 to 10. Each additional star represents a 25% efficiency improvement.

In addition to using an energy-efficient pump, you can also increase your pump’s efficiency by using it less frequently or on a lower setting, reducing the number of attachments you add on (like a heater), and reducing the distance between the pump and the pool itself.

In-Ground vs. Above-Ground Pools

Most pool pump manufacturers recommend that their pumps be used only for in-ground pools. The water flow with inground pools is more consistent and helps keep the pump from running dry. 

Manufacturers also recommend keeping the pump in a sheltered or climate-controlled space like an outdoor shed or closet. Households with an above-ground pool might lack these features.

The best way to ensure your pool pump’s safety and longevity is to read through the manufacturer’s instructions and follow them carefully. You may also risk losing the warranty if you don’t.

Wired vs Plugin

Pool pumps can have two types of energy sourcing. The first is to connect directly to your home’s electrical system. These must be grounded and are a permanent fixture, and are required for larger in-ground pools.

The second is to simply plug into an outlet. This won’t work for a large pool, but a plugin can be a great temporary and portable option for smaller above-ground pools.

Before installing a wired pool pump, you should consult your building’s and your jurisdiction’s requirements. You may be allowed to DIY the installation, but a professional might be required.

Voltage and Horsepower

You might think that higher horsepower always means a higher flow rate, but that’s not always true. 

In general, horsepower does determine how quickly your pump can cycle water through. However, especially with newer variable-speed models, sometimes even lower horsepower pumps have excellent flow rates. Again, look for Energy Star Certified pumps to get a higher flow rate with lower energy output.

Another important note on horsepower is that you want to be sure the power level matches your specific pool. Depending on the size of your pool and whether you want to control temperature, etc, you may not need a very high horsepower pump. 

Conclusion

With Australia’s sweltering summers, many of us have invested in household pools to spend leisure time and cool off. A key component to a pool’s function and lifespan is the pump. By cycling water through a filtration system, pumps keep your pool clean, fresh, and even heated or chlorinated. 

With our guide above, you can learn more about the top six best pool pumps available in Australia – and exactly how to find the best pump for your pool.