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Top 3 Pool Pumps from Leading Brands: An Expert’s Insight

Together with more than 200 pool pump owners, we chosen the three best models that are worth every penny in 2020. Before you choose one, here is what to avoid: 1. The

The pump is one of the most expensive components of the pool. And pool owners want to save as much as they can on their purchase. The pump has a critical function — it controls the entire pool water circulation system. And if you end up with a poor quality pump, high energy consumption, or sudden failure, the initial savings may not be worth it.

To determine which pump is best for your requirements and whether or not you can save money on the pump, we compared three popular brands: 

 And we are happy to share our results here.

Top 3 pool pumps

Based on an analysis of customer experience, we have determined which pump criteria are significant and how satisfied their owners are with these criteria. Below you can see the models with the best results.

#1 Pentair 342001#2 Harris H1572730#3 Hayward W3SP1580X15
Specifications
1.5 HP
Variable Speed
In-ground
Specifications
1.5 HP
Single-Speed
Above-ground
Specifications
1.5 HP
Single-Speed
Above/on ground
Best score in the category
“Handy to use”
“Energy saving”
"Quiet work"
"Easy-to-install"
"Build quality"
"Quiet work"
"Powerful"
Price range: $$$
Price range: $
Price range: $$

Our analysis

We took popular pump models from each brand. And after studying the experience of more than 200 owners, we identified key features that were known to be important for the pool pump. Below you can see models of pumps with owners’ estimations of these characteristics.

#ModelEasy to installWorking properlyBuild qualityQuiet workPowerfulHandy to useEnergy savingMean score
1Pentair 34200198810810109.0
2Harris H157273010910109789.0
3Hayward W3SP1580X15999910888.9
4Hayward W3SP1580810978898.4
5Harris H1572748897109978.4
6Pentair 340038107789888.1
7Harris H157272997889888.1
8Hayward W3SP2610X15971077888.0
9Pentair 340039109677887.9
10Pentair 340040910768877.9

Top 10 models by consumers’ estimates
Source: ByRossi methodology

In general, the result of the research does not have a certain brand-leader.  Also, pumps from each brand are in the top three. But each of these brands is noticeably different from each other and position themselves differently. Further, we tell you more about each model’s winners and brand.

Review of the best 3 pool pumps

Models in the top 3 differ in characteristics, functionality, and even purpose. So we’ll compare them in more detail below.

#1 Pentair 342001

Best for in-ground pools and energy saving

Price range: $$$

Build and component quality

The Pentair 342001 was specially designed for a variety of in-ground pools. It is well suited for any pool, fountain, spa, or other water body. The pump has thick-walled body parts, a powerful TEFC motor, and innovative hydraulics that make it compact and durable.

Installation and warranty

The pump is quite easy-to-install. But it is not a coincidence that we have combined the installation and warranty in one partition. Pentair provides a 3-year warranty on its pumps, but only if you use a “qualified expert” — that is, a company that has expertise in the installation of pools, or an electrician with documents proving his qualification. Otherwise, you will only have a 60-day warranty.

Noise level

The Pentair 342001 tells you a bit about itself when it’s running at full speed at 3450 RPM. But at 2000 RPM, it is as quiet as a cat.

Handy to use

The Pentair 342001 has three-speed settings, a graphic display, a built-in timer, and the ability to lock. All this makes this pump the winner in the “usability” category.

Control panel
Source: Manual for Pentair 342001

Capacity and power consumption

The Pentair 342001 has a variable speed option, which distinguishes it from many other cheaper models. However, this provides more flexibility in adjusting the speed and the running time of the motor. In turn, when the pump is running at the lowest speed necessary to maintain hygienic conditions, it significantly minimizes energy consumption.

#2 Harris H1572730

Affordable quality pump for above ground pools

Price range: $

Build and component quality

Harris pumps have a noticeably lower price than Hayward and Pentair pumps, but despite this, they are made of good materials. The shaft of the Harris H1572730 motor is made of stainless steel, and mechanical seals are made of carborundum and graphite (which also provide silent operation). The company cut costs on the housing, which is made of reinforced thermoplastic and not stainless steel like the W3SP1580X15.

Installation and warranty

If you already have a pump that needs to be replaced, the installation can only take about 30 minutes. Harris provides customers with a warranty, regardless of how the pump is installed. But, unlike the 3-year warranty from Pentair, the Harris warranty is only valid for 1 year. The Harris company is relatively new on the market, so you may want to reinsure yourself with an extended warranty.

Noise level

The H1572730 is very quiet in operation. Its owners claim that it is so quiet that they have to carefully listen to it to check if the pump is working.

Handy to use

The pumps are not difficult to operate. But for added convenience, they can have a built-in switch and timer. This model, like its closest competitor — the W3SP1580X15, does not have such features. However, you can separately purchase a programmable timer switch for convenience.

Capacity and power consumption

In contrast to the Pentair 342001, the H1572730 has no variable speed, it has only one speed (high). Owners note that it performs its job well and they do not see any noticeable increase in their electricity bills. 

#3 Hayward W3SP1580X15

The most powerful pump for above/on-ground pools

Price range: $$

Build and component quality

The Hayward W3SP1580X15 is designed for above/on-ground pools. It has a stainless steel housing, as opposed to the plastic housing of the H1572730, that performs well even in harsh environments.

Installation and warranty

We have good and bad news for you about this model. The good news is that it is very easy-to-install by yourself and the installation does not affect the duration of the warranty. The bad news is that the warranty period is only 90 days. Recall that Harris has a warranty of 1 year, and Pentair — 3 years. This is the case where an extended warranty is a very good idea.

Noise level

This pump is noisier than the previous models, but it is not unpleasant and you will not notice it while you soak.

Handy to use

The W3SP1580X15 is convenient to use, but like the H1572730, the pump has no built-in switch and timer. If these functions are important to you, you can separately purchase a programmable timer switch.

Capacity and power consumption

The W3SP1580X15 is the winner in the “Powerful” category. The filtration system with Its efficient work allows you to spend less time cleaning your pool. It needs less running time due to its power and performance. It is not as energy-efficient as the Pentair 342001 with variable speed, but its uses aren’t so essential to your electricity bill.

About companies

Pentair


Company logo
Source: trademarks.justia.com

The history of Pentair began in 1966. Initially, the founders planned to make high-altitude balloons, but this idea resulted in only the word “air” being used in the name of the company. Since then, the organization has been diversified, and only in 2004, with the acquisition of Wicor Industries, the company plunged into the water industry.

Pentair is declaring that it offers smarter technologies that can reduce water consumption, and allow water to be recovered and reused. Pentair even won the EPA’s “Energy Star Partner of the Year Award” for high-efficiency pool pumps.

Pentair produces everything for pools, from all kinds of pumps and filters to lighting systems.

Top 3 Pentair Pool Pumps

#1 Pentair 342001#2 Pentair 340038#3 Pentair 340039
1.5 HP1 HP1-1/2 HP
In-groundAbove-GroundIn-ground

The Pentair result is interesting. Its pump Pentair 342001 was the winner, but its other models have quite mediocre results.

The pumps are not leading in their strength and durability. Besides, 2 out of 10 owners of pumps Pentair 340038 and Pentair 340039 noted that they make noticeable noise.

But research has also shown that the strength of these pumps is their ease of use and good performance. 

Harris


Company logo
Source: trademarks.justia.com

Harris Pool Products trademark was registered only in 2017. The company does not have a long history and does not report any social projects. Harris positions itself as a company that makes high-quality pool products at a low price.

Harris focuses solely on pool products but has only 4 types of products: pool pumps, pool filters, winter pool covers, and solar pool covers.

Top 3 Harris Pool Pumps

#1 Harris H1572730#2 Harris H1572748#3 Harris H1572729
1.5 HP1 HP1 HP
Above-GroundIn-groundAbove-Ground

The Harris pumps were good competition for Pentair and Hayward pumps. In Harris H1572730 and Harris H1572748 pumps, their owners specifically noted their quiet operation. 

Also, all three pumps showed good results in power.

But still, there are some remarks about durability. 1 out of 5 owners of the Harris H1572747 and the Harris H1572729 mentioned the emergence of certain problems after 1-1.5 years of usage. 

Hayward 


Company logo
Source: freebiesupply.com

Hayward Industries was founded back in 1963. The company states its mission to get rid of the troubles caused by owning a pool so that the pool would only provide a pleasurable experience. Hayward positions its products as technologically advanced equipment for pools requiring only minimal maintenance.

“Our goal is that at the end of the day, your only concern is to turn your equipment on and off” — declares the company.

In addition to swimming pool pumps, the company has a variety of products for pools: filters, heaters, cleaning systems, chlorine generators, and much more.

Top 3 Hayward Pool Pumps

#1 Hayward W3SP1580X15#2 Hayward W3SP1580#3 Hayward W3SP2610X15
1.5 HP1 HP1.5 HP
Above-GroundAbove-GroundIn-ground

Hayward pumps have the best reviews for their performance quality and durability. In addition, Hayward stands out among Pentair and Harris for its good customer support. But by other criteria, the pumps of its competitors surpassed Hayward.

Summary

Hayward, Pentair, and Harris are leading brands in the pool pump market. All three have a place in the market because they lead in different things.

Hayward focuses on quality and expertise in pool products.

Pentair focuses on social responsibility and reliability.

Harris focuses on the advantageous combination of price and quality.

#1 Pentair 342001#2 Harris H1572730#3 Hayward W3SP1580X15
Best for in-ground pools and energy savingAffordable quality pump for above-ground poolsThe most powerful pump for above/on-ground pools
Price range: $$$$Price range: $Price range: $$

FAQs

👑 Which company is better for a pool pump?

Hayward and Pentair have long established themselves as manufacturers of reliable pumps. But recently, Harris is making a noteworthy competition for them. Which company is better? This depends on your requirements and preferences.

🥇 Which is the best pump for a pool?

After analyzing the consumer experience of the most popular pump models, we found the top three:

#1 Pentair 342001
#2 Harris H1572730
#3 Hayward W3SP1580X15 

🔌 Do variable speed pumps save energy?

Single-speed pumps only operate at high speed. Variable speed pumps such as Pentair 342001 can run at high and low speeds. Low speeds consume less energy and are enough to maintain a hygienic pool environment.

🧰 Can I install my pool pump without assistance?

Installing a pool pump is not difficult, especially if you need to replace an old pump with a new one. There are many simple instructions available online. But here you should note that some companies do not guarantee products installed by an unlicensed person. In such cases, you can protect yourself by purchasing an extended warranty.

🌀 How often should I run the pool pump?

Sometimes you may hear a recommendation to run your pool pump 24 hours a day. But it is not necessary and rather expensive. You should pay attention to the condition of the water and adjust the running time of the pump accordingly. If your pool is in use permanently, you should circulate water at least once a day for 8-12 hours.

🌌 Can I just run the pool pump at night?

The sun and the use of the pool decompose the chlorine. The pool pump circulates the water and distributes the chlorine throughout the pool. Also, in pools with a chlorinator, chlorine is added only when the pool pump is running. Therefore, to maintain proper sanitation, the pump must be running throughout the day.

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