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Before we start our reviews of timers for pool pumps, let us recap the importance of your pool pump and talk about why you may need a pool pump timer. In this article we'll make no particular distinction between inground pool pump timers and above ground pool pump timers - they're almost the same thing.
Your pool pump is used to keep your pool water sanitized. It pulls water from your pool and circulates it through the filter in order to remove debris, algae and bacteria. Then, the pump circulates the filtered pool water back into the pool. The pump also helps distribute the chemicals.
A pool pump should run for as long as necessary to circulate all of the water through the pump and even best pool filter system. That usually takes 6 to 8 hours, sometimes up to 12 hours. The swimming pool pump timer turns your pump on and off for you at the times you set so you don’t have to do it manually. And the best pool timer won’t forget to do it as pool owners sometimes do.
Buying Guide And Useful Information
Benefits of timers
A pool pump timer is a convenient way to keep your pool clean and your energy as well as pool care and maintenance costs low. This makes it a valuable piece of pool equipment in your arsenal. By having your timer turn the pump on and off, the pump won’t be running non-stop or longer than necessary.
If you are in charge of turning the pool pump on and off, there is always a chance that you’ll forget to do it or be absent from home at the time. These are the risks of your pool not being filtrated or your pump running at the more expensive times of the day. In winter, it will prevent freeze damage.
With a pool pump timer, you won’t have to check the time. All you’ll need to do is set the timer and enjoy your pool and save money on bills at the same time.
From best pool pump timers which are simple on/off easy to use to digital swimming pool pump timers with more programming options, there are many different options allowing you to choose the best pool pump timer for your pool and your needs.
How much money will a pump timer save you?
If you're running your pool filtration system non-stop, you're looking at additional energy costs of 3.500 kWh to 4.500 kWh annually. Compared with an average energy efficient fridge, that's about 7-9 times more energy consumed annually.
According to our calculations, using a pool pump timer will save you a minimum of $500 a year. Owning a pool for a decade? Multiply that by 10 and you'll get a $5K saved and available for a super fancy holiday package or an addition for your kid's college fund or any other necessary expenditure of your choice.
On top of this, running your pool pump all the time will significantly increase wear and tear and decrease the pump life to the point that you'll eventually spend more money on servicing it or replacing it once it dies on you.
Point taken? We do hope so, for your sake.
Choose a timer based on your pool pump
When buying the right timer for pool pump, consider the pump you have. Is it one-speed, two-speed or variable-speed? The timer needs to be powerful enough and sensitive enough to handle the voltage of the pump and its different setting options.
Timers usually have selectable-voltage switch to enables switching from 120-Volt to 240-Volt. They are grounded and some even have lockable casing for increased high-voltage security.
So, know your pump and choose the timer accordingly. If you are in doubt, consult a professional before purchase.
Range of control
A basic inground pool pump timer or above ground one only has on/off functions. There are swiiming pool timers which control temperature and some also have freeze protection. A two-speed pool pump timer can switch your dual speed pump but there are also pool timers which control variable speed pumps from low to high speed. There are also pool timers with pre-programmed combinations to make it even easier.
Then there are pool timers which do not only control your pool equipment such as the pool pump, but also your pool lights, water fountains, yard or pool lighting, signs, fans, music systems in your pool area or some heavy duty appliances.
Positioning and protection
If your timer is going to be installed outdoors, choose one with a weather-proof casing. Even if it’s going to be in your basement, casing is a great protection from moisture and dust.
You can also buy simple timer mechanisms without casing and install it where you want it as long as you follow safety procedures.
Check out our best pool pump timer reviews for more information about our top picks in this category.
Best Pool Pump Timer
Intermatic T104M Mechanical Time Switch Mechanism Only comes without a casing so you can install it instead of the timer which you want to replace. You can also install it in a pool timer box of your own choice.
If you need to replace an old timer of the same manufacturer, Intermatic, and you have the casing, everything will stay the same. One exception is that the newer version has a quieter clock so you may not hear it tick. It might fit other casings but check the dimensions first.
The trick to removing the old mechanism is to find the latch at the top center of the box which allows it to fall forward. You just swap out each wire as stated on the instructions that it comes with. Make sure you turn off the power on your breaker first.
Intermatic T104M Mechanical Time Switch Mechanism Only is made for heavy duty applications. It runs at a voltage measuring 208-277 Volts and can handle loads up to 40 Amps.
Intermatic T104M has one of the highest horse power ratings than any other timer on the market today and has been clocked at an impressive 5 horse power. If you are looking for durable timer with a lot of power performance, the Mechanical Time Switch Mechanism Only is just what you are looking for.
The product is designed for almost every any industrial, commercial or residential pool. It has one of the highest motor load ratings in the entire industry today and it is really popular among pool owners.
You need a pool timer box and you’re good to go as it is pretty much plug and play to swap your old timer. If you are going to replace it yourself, a good thing to do is to take a picture of the old one’s connections so you have it on hand once you take it out for replacement.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpgicvCU7Go (Replacing old timer tutorial video)
Intermatic P1353ME 3-Circuit Pool/Spa Digital Time Switch was made to be part of the I-Wave system as well as retro fit applications and after market. The three-circuit clock for pool and spa can be installed into almost any Intermatic enclosure.
Intermatic P1353ME 3-Circuit Pool/Spa Digital Timer Switch is able to program up to a total of three circuits. You can also choose from six pre-programmed modes of operation. These include the cleaner pump combinations as well as the single or two speed pump control.
You can use programmed modes that come with auxiliaries which can control pumps that go up to 3 horse power and also lighting including landscape, underwater, and fountain lighting.
Intermatic P1353ME 3-Circuit Pool/Spa Digital Time Switch has Countdown as well as Override features which allow for interruptions in the cycle when service to the pool or spa is needed.
It also features protection and timing which come with the cleaner pump and pool filters and pumps combinations as well as two-speed pumps that are integrated with the software for ultimate convenience. The circuit clock on the Intermatic P1353ME 3-Circuit Pool/Spa Digital Time Switch has freeze and heater protection as well as the inclusion of the circuit clock.
This programmable pool timer has seven pre-programmed modes and the advantage of memory backup for extra security. With freeze protection, the Intermatic P1353ME 3-Circuit Pool/Spa Digital Time Switch will make sure that your system stays continually functioning so that you never have to worry as long as you have digital swimming pool pump timers in charge.
Freeze and heater protection, also known as the fireman switch, make this Intermatic’s best digital pool timer excellent protection against the elements and the built-in LCD readout allows for easy and simple user interfacing.
The mechanism on the Intermatic Timer P1353ME is able to be installed into many enclosures and gives you the choice of seven pre-programmed modes of operation, allowing you to switch it up as needed.
Aube by Honeywell TI040/U 7-Day Programmable Timer has 3 operating modes: automatic, temporary bypass and manual (the conventional on/off switch). The timer allows up to 14 settings which are programmable for a week.
This automatic pool pump timer features terminals for no. 14-10 AWG wire. The timer is also 3-way multi-switch compatible. As for power, it is possible to connect the timer with a number of pool pumps i.e. 1.5 HP 120V 30 Amp, 10 Amp ballast 2HP 240 V 3O Amp (resistive) and 10 Amp (ballast pool pumps).
Aube by Honeywell TI040/U 7-Day Programmable Timer has 120 Volt and 240 Volt options. You can use the timer’s selectable switch to choose any suitable voltage option.
This above ground pool pump timer also features a temporary bypass. This enables easy overrides without affecting the timer’s program. This well though about feature is highly praised in many reviews since it allows you to program the timer with ease.
Last but not the least important feature is its heavy duty weatherproof casing which is ideal for outdoor use. You can expect to use the timer for years to come without any weather related damage to the timer.
The timer is also secure because it has a lockable tamper-proof casing. You won’t have to worry about the safety of your children or anyone who may have access to it. Another safety features you should look for in the best pool timer!
The fact that this is a programmable pool timer means that your pool pump will run only when it is necessary. This, in turn, means saving money on energy bills as well as providing reliable and efficient operation of your pool filtration system.
Intermatic T101R Mechanical Time Switch with Outdoor Case features Yellow Dial Time Switch, Intermatic’s signature product, which has been the time tested leader for over 50 years. With over 70% market share, the Yellow Dial Time Switch has been the most trusted mechanical time switch and regarded best pool pump timer in the industry.
The T101 Series mechanical time switch has proven to be dependable time switches which can handle electrical loads up to 40 A per pole and allow for up to 12 ON/OFF operations per day.
The manual override switch on this inground pool pump timer provides added convenience. It will let you bypass the time settings, which comes in handy when you need to back wash the filter, pump out rainwater or bump the motor in the off season.
As long as the circuit is active, the time switch will keep accurate time, even when you're using the on-off switch in manual mode. Since it's mechanically timed, you have to reset it if there's a local power failure.
The on and off switches are mechanically adjustable, so you can run the pool pump, let’s say, 20 hours a day when you first open the pool and then set it back to, 16 or 12 hours a day, later on. The switches are designed to be tightened down with a thumbscrew.
If you don't have basic electrical skills, hire an electrician to install it. If you plan to install this automated switch anywhere near a swimming pool, you may want to use a GFI circuit.
Install this timer switch for pool pump to automatically turn your pool pump off and on at regular intervals even when you are out of town or simply forget to do it yourself. The switch will meet your needs and lower electricity bills over time.
Woods 50015WD Outdoor 7-Day Heavy Duty Digital Outlet Timer has a convenient option to program each day different and also weekends different than weekdays. The LCD display is large and 6-button programming is easy if you follow the instructions.
You can use the manual override button to turn the timer off and outlet on. During power outages this timer retains its settings with a self-charging battery backup.
This inground pool pump timer is also above ground pool pump timer. It allows up to 20 on and off settings per day and repeats them weekly. The option to program each day differently or weekdays differently from weekends makes Woods 50015WD a highly versatile electronic pool timer. There is even a summer and winter changeover option.
Woods 50015WD will control your pool pumps, outdoor landscape, security and holiday lighting, but also other heavy-duty appliances for both safety and convenience.
It also features unique 2 grounded 3-prong sockets and a weatherproof housing with 12 inch power cord. The 2 sockets are not individually controlled (all timer settings apply to both sockets). The short power cord will be perfect if you intend to I mount the timer right next to an outdoor outlet. Otherwise, you will need an extension cord.
The programming is explained in the instructions and it’s not difficult. Repeatedly pressing the ON/OFF button cycles through ON, OFF, AUTO ON and AUTO OFF. When the LCD reads ON, power is supplied to both outlets. When the LCD reads OFF, no power is supplied to either outlet.
AUTO OFF means no power is supplied to either outlet UNTIL one of the timer programs says to turn the power on. Conversely, AUTO ON means power is supplied to both outlets UNTIL one of the timer programs says to turn the power off.
Woods 50015WD Outdoor 7-Day Heavy Duty Digital Outlet Timer will bring simplicity to your life, by maximizing convenience, security and energy efficiency improvement of your home.
Intermatic P1121 Heavy Duty Outdoor Timer is designed specifically for outdoor use. This heavy-duty electronic pool timer can control your pool pump, security lighting, holiday lighting, engine block heaters and more.
It offers 2 on/off setting per day, with a timer override switch. The timer will operate trouble-free in any weather ranging from -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
The plug receptacle is located on the bottom of the timer. This timer has a 13-inch power cord with grounded plug for added safety. It is specifically designed to be used for pumps up to 1 Horse Power with a standard 3 prong plug configuration.
To use, insert a green pin for the start time and a red pin for the end time. The timer comes with 2 sets of pins for 2 ON/OFF settings per day, and a grounded 3-prong plug and receptacle.
This Portable Outdoor Timer is specially designed to control the filter pump of a portable pool or spa. They can also be used to turn ON and OFF outdoor decorations, engine block heaters and other appliances - indoors or outdoors.
Approved by CSA/C-US, it’s 120V rated with Switch Rating of 15 Amp resistive or tungsten.
The setup is pretty basic. Once you plug the timer, it just keeps turning all day. The ring has teeth all along and that’s where you place the pins. Once you set the ring to the correct time, you place the pins at the corresponding time you want the attached device to turn on or off.
In the upper left corner, there is a small rotating switch. When the pins you place come around, they catch on the switch and flip its state. This allows you to flip it on or off whenever you need.
When you need to backwash your pool filter all you have to do is just turn the switch one click and it turns off. When you're done, you can just turn it another click and it will continue operating normally.