Swimming Pool Water Pump Cost

In this guide

Single-speed pump
Two-speed pump
Variable-speed pump
Energy
Brands
Pump size
Duration of use
Labor
Enhancements
Additional Considerations

How much does it cost to install a swimming pool water pump?

Swimming pool pumps are used to move the pool water through the filtration media. The process of moving the water contained in a pool or spa through a filter is called recirculation, and helps keep the pool water free from algae, bacteria, and dirt. On average, installing a two-speed pump with timer and a pool cover costs $2,100-$3,000.

Most swimming pool pumps are the centrifugal type that run on electricity, which can be divided into three types:

Single-speed pump

This type of pump can only run at one speed. The speed of the pump is the number of revolutions per minute its impeller pushes water. Single-speed pumps operate at a range of different horsepower and a speed of 3450 RPM (revolutions per minute). They cannot be adjusted to operate at a low power, and can only operate at full speed and maximum power. Their prices are the lowest, ranging from $320 to $450 for in-ground pumps depending on the flow of water needed, and $150 to $200 for above-ground pumps. Single-speed pumps cost around $200 to $1,600 per year to operate and maintain, with the largest percentage (typically 80%) of these costs going to electricity bills. Operation costs vary from state to state and with pump size.

Two-speed pump

This type of pump operates at two speeds; a maximum speed of 3450 RPM and a minimum speed of 1725 RPM. They are more expensive than single-speed pumps, but cheaper in terms of operating cost. Two-speed pumps are available at prices ranging from $500 to $600 for  in-ground use, and around $200-$250 for above-ground. They save significant amounts (typically $100 to $800 per year) in electricity charges.

Variable-speed pump

Variable-speed pumps are capable of operating at more than one speed, allowing homeowners to adjust pump power ratings according to their need. They cost the most to buy, on average between $640 and $1,300 for most swimming pools, but cost much less on operation; about 50% to 75% of the single-speed pump operating cost. They are the most energy efficient and their buying cost can be recouped in energy savings within the second year of operation.

TypeProsConsPrices
Single-speed

Very effective

Very popular

Easy to find

Cheap

Least energy efficient

Very noisy

Filters wear out quickly

$200-$550
Two-speed

Energy efficient

Quite

Versatile

Expensive

Not as energy efficient 

$290-$800
Variable-speed

Most energy efficient pump

Least noise levels

Cooler

Longer useful life

Most expensive

Few models on the market

$800-$1,500

Energy

According to the paper published by the US Department of Energy, “Measure Guideline: Replacing-Single Speed Pool Pumps with Variable Speed Pumps for Energy Savings”, variable-speed pumps allow homeowners to achieve the ideal swimming pool water filtration with the least energy costs. The pump affinity law demonstrates how an exponential increase in energy saving for a small drop of pump speed and slower flow rate can create greater energy savings. With variable-speed pumps, homeowners are able to save up to 75% of the costs they would incur to operate a single speed pump. Costs savings of up to $561 per year on electric bills can be achieved by using a variable-speed pump.

Brands

There are several outstanding brands of pumps that a homeowner can choose from:

  • Single-Speed Pumps: Hayward, Pentair, Jandy, and Reliant are the most popular brands, which are available as single-speed pumps of 0.75HP to 2.0 HP for prices ranging from $200 to $550 depending on size and whether it’s above-ground or in ground.
  • Two-Speed pumps: Hayward and Pentair are the most popular brands retailing at $290 to $800.
  • Variable-Speed Pumps: Hayward, Jandy and Pentair are the best suppliers of variable pumps for prices ranging from $800 to $1,500.

Pump size

There is a misconception that a larger pump size is ideal for the proper functioning of a swimming pool, and many homeowners mistakenly use oversize pumps which consume unnecessarily high amounts of energy, leading to bigger electric bills. The right size for a swimming pool pump is determined by the desired flow rate of water and the total head required. Flow rate is determined by the pool capacity and required recirculation intervals, where recirculation intervals are the number of hours per day that water in the pool takes to be pumped through the filters. Most pools operate on 6 hour, 8 hour, 12 hour, and 24 hour intervals. Shorter intervals require a high energy use to pump more gallons of water in fewer hours, and are the least efficient in energy consumption. Pool pumps operate at maximum efficiency when run for 24 hours a day, ensuring a round the clock filtration of water. This allows the pumps to run at slower speeds, while recirculating all the water in the pool. Slower speeds mean lower energy consumption, and only need a small pump horsepower. Horsepower for a swimming pool pump can be calculated as follows:

Take a pool with a capacity of 16,000 gallons of water (33 ft. long x 10 ft. wide x 6.5 ft. deep). When operating at intervals of: 8 hours

Total recirculated water volume = 16,000 gallons * (24 hours/8 hours)

=48,000 gallons

Flow rate in gallons per minute = 48,000 gallons/(24 hours * 60 minutes)

=33.33 GPM (Gallons Per Minute)

Using same formula,

For intervals of;

  • 6 hours, flow rate= 44.44 GPM
  • 12 hours, flow rate = 22.22 GPM
  • 24 hours, flow rate = 11.11 GPM

Step two of determining pump size is measuring the Total Dynamic Head. This represents a pressure difference between point of water uptake by pump and the point of filter media, expressed in feet. You can determine TDH by taking the average number of feet from where your suction lines are (skimmers or main drain) back to where your pool pump will be located.

Once you have your flow rate (GPM) and TDH (Feet), you can select the appropriate horsepower for your pump using charts provided by pump manufacturers. To cater for extra water features such as fountains, you can use a GPM and TDH slightly higher than your calculated values.

Duration of use

Most pumps run for a minimum of 8 hours a day in summer to prevent algae growth and debris buildup. In winter when algae growth activity is low, running your pump for 4 hours a day is enough. However, variable pumps can run for more hours per day operating at lower speeds to save on energy consumption. This enhances your pool health as water is in continuous recirculation.

Labor

The labor cost for swimming pool pump installation ranges from $100 to $600 but will significantly increase with additions such as spas, fountains, and waterfalls. Two electricians can install and test a variable speed pump for an average size swimming pool in two hours. At an hourly rate of $65-$85 per hour, labor will cost $260-$340.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Timer

To automate a pool a homeowner can install a pool pump 1 timer to regulate the pool operation or run-time schedule for your pump 1, filter, heater, and salt system. Pool pump 1 timers save the amount of time you spend on maintenance and can be relied on to increase overall efficiency. They cost between $40 and $100.

Additional considerations and costs

Solar pumps

In this era of ecological sustainable design, solar power is used to reduce the environmental footprint 2 by conserving energy. Solar pumps 1 are very cost-effective and inexpensive to operate. Their operating costs are in the range of 10%-30% of a normal electric pump 1. Solar pumps 1 are installed differently depending on their role. There are those installed alongside conventional electrically powered pumps 1 to act as back-ups, or to provide heating, while some are designed to act alone for filtration of the pool water. The whole set-up consists of:

  • Solar panels that harness solar energy
  • Pump 1 controller for adjusting the speeds and flow
  • Pump 1
  • Filters

The pumps 1 are either direct drive where there is no battery storage of power, or a battery system, which can cost about $500. Solar pumps 1 also occur in two types; direct current pumps 1 and alternating current pumps 1. DC pumps 1 are suited for small flows and are cheaper because they don’t require an inverter for converting the DC current from the solar to AC current required by AC pumps 1. DC to AC inverters are available for prices ranging from $20-$200 while solar pumps 1 cost on average $800-$5,500.

Pool covers

It is advisable to use a pool cover as well. The benefits of this far outweigh the extra cost; some advantages derived from installing a pool cover are:

  • Minimizing evaporation of water, reducing pumping costs for make-up water by 30%-60%.
  • Covers cut down chlorine 3 requirement by 35%–60%.
  • Reducing sediments, debris, and dirt in pool, reducing filtration costs.

Filter cleaning

Filters need to be cleaned when their pressure goes over 5-10 psi (pounds per square inch), depending on the type of filter. There are three types of filters: sand, diatomaceous earth, and cartridge filters. Sand filters are cleaned by brushing and cost $45-$50 per session, diatomaceous filters by back washing and treating with a chemical for $50-$60, and cartridge filters by removing and spraying with garden hose for $50-$65. Failure to clean the filters leads to high energy costs, as the trapped debris offers resistance to water flow.

DIY

Swimming pool pump 1 installation requires a licensed expert or firm and therefore cannot be handled as a DIY project.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Pump: A device used to move air, liquid, or gas by mechanical means
2 Footprint: The entire area of ground covered by a building, including the exterior walls and porch or patio areas
3 Chlorine: A chemical added to the water in a swimming pool to kill bacteria and microorganisms that can make people sick

Cost to install a swimming pool water pump varies greatly by region (and even by zipcode). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zipcode

Compared to national average
Austin, TX
+13%
Bakersfield, CA
-6%
Baytown, TX
-12%
Cape Coral, FL
-9%
Cedar Rapids, IA
+6%
Conroe, TX
+21%
Corona, CA
+19%
Corpus Christi, TX
+4%
Dallas, TX
+10%
El Paso, TX
-28%
Eustis, FL
-7%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fort Myers, FL
-7%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Gilbert, AZ
-2%
Henderson, NV
+10%
Hialeah, FL
-2%
Hollywood, FL
0%
Houston, TX
+24%
Humble, TX
+16%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Katy, TX
+63%
Kissimmee, FL
-20%
Lakeland, FL
-13%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Long Beach, CA
+16%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Memphis, TN
+11%
Miami, FL
+1%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Naples, FL
-3%
North Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Ocala, FL
-25%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Pompano Beach, FL
+2%
Port Saint Lucie, FL
-18%
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
+23%
Riverside, CA
+13%
Riverview, FL
-5%
Saint Petersburg, FL
-11%
San Antonio, TX
-4%
San Jose, CA
+33%
Stockton, CA
+4%
Tampa, FL
-2%
Tucson, AZ
-19%
West Palm Beach, FL
-2%

Labor cost in your zipcode

Last modified:   
Methodology and sources