Welcome, pool owners! We’re here to help make your pool dreams a reality. With so many different pool equipment options out there, it can be difficult to know which ones are best for you and your pool’s needs.
That’s why we’ve created this ultimate guide to putting together the perfect setup – here, we’ll provide all the 411 on filters, pumps, cleaners, and heaters.
Plus, with our detailed reviews and product recommendations, you’ll always know what to buy and how to correctly install each piece of equipment for optimal results.
So let’s dive right in and get ready to make a splash! But why is having the right pool equipment setup so important? Well, for starters, it can save you a lot of money in the long run. A well-designed system can reduce energy costs, improve water quality, and make maintenance easier and more efficient.
But perhaps more importantly, having the right equipment can make your pool a safer and more enjoyable place to swim. A good filter will keep harmful bacteria and debris out of the water, while a properly sized pump will ensure that the water is circulating effectively. A reliable cleaner will help keep the pool free of leaves, dirt, and other debris, and a good heater can extend your swimming season well into the fall.
So whether you’re a seasoned pool owner or a first-time buyer, this guide is for you. Let’s dive in and start building the best pool equipment setup possible!
Keeping your pool pristine requires the right filter. Sand, cartridge, and diatomaceous earth (DE) are the three main types of pool filters available on the market today—each with their own unique benefits and drawbacks. To ensure your precious aqua is always sparkling clean, select the ideal filter for your specific swimming paradise!
Sand filters are an absolute must-have for a pool, and it’s easy to see why. Not only are they incredibly economical, but with simple upkeep and regular cleaning, these amazingly durable wonders can serve your pool faithfully for years! They function by allowing all of the water to flow through a bed of sand – trapping any dirt or debris before giving them the boot (by backwashing).
One downside of sand filters is that they’re not the most effective at removing smaller particles from the water. They also require more frequent backwashing than other types of filters, which can waste water and energy.
If you’re in the market for a sand filter, we recommend the Hayward S244T ProSeries Sand Filter. It’s durable, easy to install and maintain, and has a high flow rate for maximum efficiency.
Cartridge filters boast remarkable filtration efficiency, capable of trapping microscopic particles as small as 10 microns – far more precise than the 20-40 micron range of sand filters. Not only are they superior in this regard, but also require significantly less maintenance than their sand filter counterparts; instead of backwashing, they just need periodic cleaning and a replacement cartridge!
Our top pick for a cartridge filter is the Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Filter. It’s highly effective at removing debris from the water, has a large filter area for maximum flow, and is easy to clean and replace.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Filters
Wading into the pool of filter options, DE filters prove to be the most efficient choice, able to capture particles as minute as 2-5 microns. This is made possible by running your pool water through a grid encrusted with diatomaceous earth, a powder composed of the ancient remains of freshwater organisms.
Although the initial cost of DE filters may be higher than other types of pool filters, they also require more tending and upkeep. The need for regular backwashing and recharging with new DE powder means investing extra time and money into DE filtration compared to other options.
If you’re willing to invest in a top-of-the-line DE filter, we recommend the Hayward EC50AC Perflex Extended-Cycle DE Filter. It’s highly effective at removing even the smallest particles from the water, and its extended-cycle design means less frequent backwashing and maintenance.
When choosing a pool filter, it’s important to properly size it based on your pool’s size, pump flow rate, and other factors. Consult a professional or use an online sizing calculator to ensure you’re getting the right filter for your needs.
For the optimal functioning of a swimming pool, investing in a quality pool pump is an absolute must. After all, it’s responsible for keeping water in a continuous circulation, both to ensure cleanliness through filtration and the even distribution of chemicals.
When it comes to choosing the right pump for your specific pool needs, there are three main types: single-speed, two-speed, and variable-speed pumps. Each option has its own advantages and drawbacks, so it’s essential to evaluate them carefully before making a decision.
Single-speed pumps are the most common type of pool pump, and they’re also the least expensive. They operate at a fixed speed, which can be energy-intensive and loud. However, they’re still effective at circulating water and keeping your pool clean.
If you’re on a budget, we recommend the Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series 1.5 HP Above Ground Pool Pump. It’s affordable, easy to install, and has a durable, corrosion-resistant housing.
Two-speed pumps offer more flexibility than single-speed pumps, as they have two operating speeds. This allows you to run the pump at a lower speed when less circulation is needed, which can save energy and reduce noise.
Our top pick for a two-speed pump is the Pentair 340039 SuperFlo High-Performance Two-Speed Pool Pump. It’s energy-efficient, quiet, and has a large, easy-to-access strainer basket for easy maintenance.
Variable-speed pumps are the most energy-efficient type of pool pump, as they can adjust their speed based on your pool’s needs. This can save you up to 90% on energy costs compared to single-speed pumps.
Our top pick for a variable-speed pump is the Hayward SP2303VSP MaxFlo VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump. It’s highly customizable, energy-efficient, and has a large, user-friendly interface for easy programming and monitoring.
When choosing a pool pump, it’s important to properly size it based on your pool’s size, filter type, and other factors. Consult a professional or use an online sizing calculator to ensure you’re getting the right pump for your needs. Additionally, consider the potential energy savings and payback period when deciding which type of pump to invest in.
You have three excellent options to choose from: robotic, suction, and pressure-type. Each of these offers its own advantages, so be sure to consider your pool’s needs before making your final decision.
Robotic cleaners are the most effective and efficient type of pool cleaner, as they’re able to navigate the pool on their own and clean every surface. They operate on electricity and have their own filtration system, which means they don’t put any strain on your pool’s pump and filter.
Our top pick for a robotic cleaner is the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner. It’s highly effective at removing dirt and debris from all surfaces, has a large filter basket, and comes with a 2-year warranty.
Suction cleaners attach to your pool’s skimmer or dedicated suction line and use the suction to move around the pool and collect debris. They’re less expensive than robotic cleaners, but they’re also less effective and can put a strain on your pool’s pump and filter.
If you’re in the market for a suction cleaner, we recommend the Hayward W3500 Aquabug Above-Ground Pool Vacuum. It’s affordable, easy to install, and has a cute bug-shaped design that kids will love.
Pressure cleaners use the pressure from your pool’s pump to move around the pool and collect debris. They’re highly effective, but they can be expensive and require a dedicated pressure line.
Our top pick for a pressure cleaner is the Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner. It’s highly efficient, has a large filter bag, and can easily navigate around corners and steps.
When choosing a pool cleaner, it’s important to choose the right type for your pool’s size, shape, and debris type. Consult a professional or use an online guide to ensure you’re getting the right cleaner for your needs. Additionally, be sure to properly maintain and troubleshoot your cleaner for optimal performance.
For an extended swimming season or late-night dip on a chilly night, a pool heater is an absolute must. To heat the water as it circulates, these devices utilize various power sources, with gas, electricity, and solar options available. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks so you’ll want to make sure to select one that meets your pool’s specific needs.
Gas heaters are the most popular type of pool heater, as they’re highly effective at quickly heating up the water. They run on natural gas or propane and can maintain a consistent temperature even in colder climates.
Our top pick for a gas heater is the Pentair 460737 MasterTemp High Performance Eco-Friendly Pool Heater. It’s energy-efficient, reliable, and has a user-friendly digital display.
Electric heaters may not be as powerful as gas heaters but they are more economical to run and take care of. These cost-effective appliances are the optimal choice for little pools, spas or areas with moderate climate conditions.
We recommend the Hayward CSPAXI11 11 Kilowatt Electric Spa Heater. It’s affordable, easy to install and operate, and has a compact design that’s perfect for small spaces.
Take advantage of the sun’s natural energy to heat your swimming pool! Solar heaters offer an environmentally conscious and economical way to keep your waters nice and warm, especially in regions with plenty of sunshine and balmy temperatures. Enjoy year-round comfort in your own private paradise!
Our top pick for a solar heater is the SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater. It’s highly effective at heating the water, easy to install and operate, and has a durable, weather-resistant design.
When choosing a pool heater, it’s important to properly size it based on your pool’s size, climate, and usage patterns. Consult a professional or use an online sizing calculator to ensure you’re getting the right heater for your needs. Additionally, consider the potential energy costs and payback period when deciding which type of heater to invest in.
Pool Automation and Control Systems
Pool automation and control systems can make your pool much more convenient and energy-efficient. These systems allow you to remotely control and monitor your pool’s equipment, set up schedules and timers, and even adjust settings based on weather conditions.
Basic Automation Systems
Basic automation systems allow you to control your pool’s equipment using a remote or wall-mounted keypad. They typically include features such as on/off control, temperature adjustment, and timer settings.
If you’re looking for a basic automation system, we recommend the Pentair 520555 IntelliChlor IC40 Salt Chlorine Generator. It’s easy to install and operate, and it can generate up to 1.4 pounds of chlorine per day for pools up to 40,000 gallons.
Advanced Automation Systems
Advanced automation systems offer more features and customization options than basic systems. They can include features such as pH balancing, chemical automation, and water level monitoring.
Our top pick for an advanced automation system is the Hayward Goldline AQL-PS-4 ProLogic Pool Spa Automation Control System. It’s highly customizable, easy to use, and comes with a large, user-friendly interface for programming and monitoring.
Smart Automation Systems
Smart automation systems take pool automation to the next level, offering features such as voice control, remote access, and integration with smart home systems.
Our top pick for a smart automation system is the Hayward OmniLogic HLWALLMOUNT2 OmniLogic Touchscreen Wall Mount. It’s highly customizable, compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, and has a large, easy-to-use touchscreen interface.
When choosing a pool automation and control system, consider the features and capabilities that are most important to you. Additionally, be sure to properly install and set up your system for optimal performance and convenience.
Adding lighting to your pool can enhance its safety, beauty, and usability. Pool lighting can also create a beautiful ambiance and transform your backyard into a relaxing oasis. There are three main types of pool lighting: LED, halogen, and fiber optic.
LED lighting is the most popular type of pool lighting because it’s energy-efficient, long-lasting, and versatile. LED lights are available in a wide range of colors, and some kinds may be programmed to change colors or patterns. They’re also easy to install and maintain.
Our top pick for LED pool lighting is the Pentair 640122 IntelliBrite LED Pool Light. It’s energy-efficient, bright, and comes in a variety of colors. It’s also easy to install and can be controlled using a remote.
Halogen lighting is an older type of pool lighting that’s still available but not as popular as LED lighting. Halogen lights are less energy-efficient and have a shorter lifespan than LED lights. However, they’re brighter and less expensive than LED lights.
Our top pick for halogen pool lighting is the Hayward SP0583SL50 AstroLite Pool Light. It’s bright, easy to install, and has a long-lasting bulb.
Fiber Optic Lighting
Fiber optic lighting is a unique type of pool lighting that uses fiber optic cables to transmit light. Fiber optic lighting is energy-efficient and long-lasting, but it’s also the most expensive type of pool lighting. Fiber optic lighting can also be difficult to install and maintain.
Our top pick for fiber optic pool lighting is the S.R. Smith Fiber Optic Lighting Kit. It’s energy-efficient, long-lasting, and has a variety of color options. It’s also easy to install and comes with a remote control.
When choosing pool lighting, consider the type of lighting that will best suit your needs and budget. Consult a professional or use an online guide to ensure you’re getting the right lighting for your pool. Additionally, be sure to properly install and maintain your lighting for optimal performance and longevity.
Pool covers offer several benefits, including reducing evaporation, heat loss, and debris accumulation. They can also help keep your pool clean and safe. There are three main types of pool covers: solar, automatic, and manual.
Solar covers are made of a special material that helps to retain heat in your pool. They can also reduce evaporation and chemical use. Solar covers are easy to use and can be cut to fit any pool size or shape.
Our top pick for a solar pool cover is the Sun2Solar Blue 16-Foot-by-32-Foot Rectangle Solar Cover. It’s made of durable material and can retain heat well, even in cooler climates. It’s also easy to install and cut to fit any pool size or shape.
Automatic covers are motorized covers that can be opened and closed with the push of a button. They offer the most convenience and safety, as they can be closed and locked when the pool is not in use. Automatic covers can also reduce evaporation and heat loss.
Our top pick for an automatic pool cover is the Cover-Pools Automatic Pool Cover. It’s durable, easy to use, and can be customized to fit any pool shape or size. It also comes with a variety of safety features, including a lockable cover and a motion sensor.
Manual covers are the most inexpensive type of pool cover and require manual labor to install and remove. They can be made of various materials, including mesh or vinyl, and offer some protection against debris and evaporation.
Our top pick for a manual pool cover is the Blue Wave Bronze 8-Year 18-Foot Round Above Ground Pool Winter Cover. It’s made of durable material and can withstand harsh weather conditions. It’s also easy to install and remove.
When choosing a pool cover, consider the type of cover that will best suit your needs and budget. Additionally, be sure to properly size and install your cover for optimal effectiveness and safety.
Congratulations, you have now learned all about building the best pool equipment setup! From pool filters and pumps to pool cleaners, heaters, automation systems, lighting, and covers, we have covered it all. By having the right equipment and accessories, you can ensure that your pool is clean, safe, energy-efficient, and enjoyable for years to come.
Remember to choose the right size and type of equipment for your pool and to properly install and maintain it for optimal performance and longevity. You can also consult with a professional pool technician or installer for guidance on choosing the best equipment for your pool.
In summary, here are our final recommendations and tips for building the best pool equipment setup:
- Choose the right pool filter and pump based on your pool size, filter type, and energy efficiency needs.
- Select the right pool cleaner based on your pool size, shape, and debris type, and maintain it regularly for optimal performance.
- Choose the right pool heater based on your pool size, climate, and energy efficiency needs, and calculate energy costs and payback periods for different heater types.
- Consider adding pool automation and control systems for remote control, scheduling, and energy management.
- Add pool lighting for improved safety, aesthetics, and nighttime use, and choose LED lighting for energy efficiency and long-lasting performance.
- Finally, add a pool cover to reduce evaporation, heat loss, and debris accumulation, and choose the right type based on your budget, design, and convenience needs.
Maximize your pool experience by following our advice and installing the right pool equipment! You’ll be swimming in crystal-clear waters and having a blast – all the perks of a perfect pool. Get ready to jump in and enjoy!