Do You Have the Right Pump Size?

Many pool owners find that the task of selecting a pool pump is overwhelming and confusing. The size you choose can impact the cleanliness and temperature of your pool. When considering the pump size, it’s important to take two major elements into account: flow rate and head.

Flow Rate and Head

The flow rate refers to the amount of water that can flow through the pump in a set amount of time. The measure for the flow rate in pool pumps is gallons per minute, or GPM. When choosing a pool pump, you’ll need to calculate the necessary flow rate, or how often you want your pump to filter a specific amount of water in comparison with the total water in the pool.

Most pool pump manufacturers recommend 1-2 turnovers of the water per day. With the right pump, a turnover may take about five hours. The measurement for head is feet of resistance, also referred to as feet of head. Head is the amount of resistance to the flow of water within the plumbing system of your swimming pool.

Calculation for Pump Size

Calculating the flow rate might seem complicated, especially if you’re not a math whiz, but this formula makes it a little easier. Start by determining the total capacity of your pool or the number of gallons of water it contains. Divide that number by the number of hours you would like the turnover process to take. As mentioned, the average turnover time is about five hours, so five is a good dividing number in this equation. The final step is dividing that number by 60 (minutes in an hour) to get the GPM number.

The calculation for head involves the length of pipe between the pool return and pump, along with the return line pipe size. It is more complicated, but a pool technician can help you make this calculation and choose the right pool pump.

Filter Capacities

Once the pool pump size is determined, you need to make sure the pool filter is sized to meet the requirements of the pump. Going larger will maintain better clarity and will offer less resistance, therefore increasing flow.

Check out the wide selection of pool pumps available at All Florida Pool & Spa Center.

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