Best Inground Pool Pumps for 2018

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Hayward Pool Pumps

Hayward Max-Flo XL


The Hayward Max-Flo XL is a pump meant to meet the needs of the entry level cost point while still offering expert level performance. This product comes with a smaller strainer basket and wet end chamber than most, which is not perfect for swimming pools that have lots of debris in them.

The Hayward Max-Flo XL also has threaded unions that let you disconnect the plumbing lines easily and fast

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Hayward Tristar pump

The Hayward Tristar pump is a single speed pump that is energy efficient as well. What makes it unique is the large water volume, which this pump can deliver for a fairly small amount of energy use.

You can use the larger motor size pumps for circulation systems where a single speed pump and high water volume are required. The smaller size motors, particularly the 1/2 horsepower Tristar, is also a good choice as a circulation pump.

If you plan to use the Hayward Tristar pump for a circulation pump you have to look at the maximum design flow rate for your filter since these pumps can surpass most sand filter’s flow rate.

To get the most flow from this pump, a larger than 2-inch pipe size has to be used. The union connectors for the Hayward Tristar pump are 2-inches slip 2.5-inches MPT. The popular use for this pump is as a booster pump for sheer decent waterfalls, water features, spa jets, laminar deck jets, waterfalls, and any other use where a high volume of water is required.

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The Hayward Super 2 (Super II) pump


The Hayward Super 2 (Super II) pump is a medium to high head application pump. It’s intended for a specific use and is not a general use pump as it’s usually mistaken to be by uninformed swimming pool owners.

A good example of a good use for this pump is a shared swimming pool / spa combination system where there’s a very large sand filter or cartridge filter capable of controlling the flow from this pump.

Also, beneficial for water features and waterfalls, spa booster pumps and circulation systems that include solar heating where this pump has to work harder than normal to lift the water.

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Pentair Pool Pumps

Pentair Superflo


The Pentair Superflo pump is a version of the Hayward Super Pump. These pumps are designed as a direct replacement for each other, which means the spacing and orientation of the outlet and inlet ports are matching exactly.

It’s the entry level inground single speed pump and the motors up to and including 1.5 HP can be wired for either 110 0r 220 volts. All larger pump sizes are 220 volts only.

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Pentair Challenger


The Pentair Challenger pump is perfect for moving more water than other pool pumps with the same sized motors. The pump’s large wet end and low friction, energy efficient design makes it perfect for very large circulation systems, water features, hot tub booster jets, smaller lifts to solar heaters and waterfalls.

With regards to flow, this pump is somewhat better in efficiency compared to the Hayward Super Pump and a little less than the Hayward Tristar series. For better flow dynamics the Pentair Challenger uses 2-inch FPT connection ports so if you have 1.5 inch pipe you’ll require a reducing bushing.

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Whisperflo pump

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The Whisperflo pump is a medium to high head swimming pool pump. It’s ideal for large volumes of water flow under increased resistance to flow. Much like the Super II pump from Hayward you’ll see that this pool pump is compared for 40ft and 60ft resistance in place of 20ft and 40ft.

If it is used as a circulation pump you’ll require a large sand filter or a cartridge filter, which comes with a maximum design flow rate greater than what this pool pump will offer. The Whisperflo pump comes with discharge ports and 2″ FPT suction and a minimum of 2-inch pipe has to be used for this pool pump to even come close to reaching the flow potential it has, and bigger is better.

It’s a great pump to use for large swimming pool circulation systems, swim jets, lifting solar heaters, water features needing lots of flow volume or for spa water/ booster jets.

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Sta Rite Pool Pump

Sta Rite SuperMax


The Sta Rite SuperMax is similar to the Pentair Superflo except that the available flow curves are a little different for the 0.75 HP and 0.5 HP designs. As with the SuperFlo, this pool pump is an identical, drop-in substitute for the Hayward Super Pump.In 2004, Sta Rite joined with Pentair, and while the two product lines (Sta Rite and Pentair) might share the same technology, the materials, engineering and origin are different in their pool pump categories more than with other equipment.

Before 2004 Sta Rite and Pentair brands were competitors, so they have the same pump offerings from both lines. The Sta Rite Dyna-Pro pool pumps are medium head pumps well-suited for a large amount of flow, the same in class to the Pentair Challenger and also the Hayward Tristar.

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Sta Rite Max-E-Pro


The Sta Rite Max-E-Pro is a medium to high head application pool pump perfect  for solar heaters to lifts and also for use as a booster pump for swim jets or spa jets.

The same in class to the Pentair Whisperflo or the Hayward Super II, this pool pump would only be ideal for use on circulation systems with large sand filters or cartridge filters where the filter head’s maximum design flow rate isn’t exceeded by this pump.

For maximum water flow and decreased resistance to flow, the Sta Rite Max-E-Pro uses 2-inch slip unions on both discharge ports and the suction. Motors up to 1 HP can be run on 110 or 220 volts but the 1.5HP and larger need connections of 220 volts.

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Jandy Pool Pumps

Jandy FloPro


Sizes up to 1.5 horsepower are great for average circulation systems with the bigger sizes being better matched to filtration systems and cartridge filters, which have raised solar heaters and also booster pumps for swim jets or spa jets.

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Jandy PlusHP



The Jandy PlusHP is a medium to high head application pool pump perfect for moving a high volume of under normal flow limitations. It can also run efficiently under increased load.

Much like the Sta Rite Dyna-Pro, Pentair Challenger, Hayward Tristar types of pump,  the Jandy PlusHP needs to be only used as a circulation pool pump if you have a filter large enough to manage the flow from this pool pump.

While this pump can also function in lower head pressure range, it’s designed for uses that have more resistance to flow than average such with solar heaters, very long pipe runs to horizontal lifts and any use where some extra power is required.

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Jandy Stealth


The Jandy Stealth pump is a high head application pool pump for large volume flow under increased resistance to flow conditions. It would be perfect for conditions where the pump has to overcome limited flow, increases in elevation and long distances while offering a large flow volume.

The larger motor sizes aren’t perfect for circulation uses since this pump would work better as a booster pump for large pool / hot tub shared systems, large waterfalls and swim jets. For maximum flow, the Jandy Stealth comes with 2-inch slip / 2.5-inch spigot intake and discharge ports on models less than 3 HP. The 5 HP model comes with 4-inch slip connections and the 3 HP model comes with 2.5inch Slip / 3-inch spigot.

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