All You Need to Know About the Inner Workings of a Pool Booster Pump

As a pool owner, you have probably come to realize that swimming pools are maintenance magnets. It’s all part of the game. You will need tools and perhaps cleaning partners to keep the water sanitary. One such tool that could help your swimming pool’s overall health and function is a booster pump.

If you have not heard about it yet, it’s not too late to reconsider. A booster pump makes a beautiful duet together with a pressure side cleaner and, better yet, increases the effectiveness of the pool filtration system.

What is a pool booster pump, and how does it work? As a pool owner, is it imperative for you to own one?

What is a Pool Booster Pump and How Does it Work?

A swimming pool cannot operate without a pump. Without pumps, there is no water pressure, and in turn, no water flow. Without these two things, you don’t have a swimming pool; what you have is basically a ditch.

While your swimming pool does have a main pump that keeps the water flowing, a booster pump, as its name suggests, increases the water pressure of your pool pump, resulting in a better flow and circulation. Good circulation is the lifeblood of your swimming pool. When the flow rate is adequate, the debris and particles in the water are easily filtered. If you add cleaning chemicals to the pool, it will disperse faster and more evenly than one with a low flow rate.

Booster pumps are generally utilized alongside high-pressure pressure side cleaners. It provides an extra boost to pressure-side cleaners. In their most basic sense, booster pumps operate like regular pumps with minimal differences. Unlike a typical filter pump, a booster pump goes into the return line of the filter and the jets. After the water is filtered, the booster pump sucks the clean water back to the pool using a much higher pressure.

These are the main part or components of a booster pump:

  • Impeller
  • Motor
  • Inlet
  • Pressure sensor

A booster pump does not reinvent the wheel here as it functions as a typical pump. The motor makes the impellers turn, and the impellers imbibe the water from the inlet and push it out through the outlet. Booster pump models may differ in how they provide water suction, but the basic idea is the same.

Does My Pool Need a Booster Pump?

As mentioned in the previous sections, if you are using a high pressure pressure-side cleaner, then it’s an absolute must. (High pressure pressure-side cleaners are cleaners that require at least 30 PSI of pressure. Cleaners that only require 15-17 PSI do not need a pool booster pump.) You don’t generally need a booster pump if you own a suction-side cleaner or a robotic pool cleaner. If you feel that the water pressure is unusually low, it would be best to look for possible causes, such as pipe clogs or faulty water valves.

3 Best Pool Booster Pumps in the Market

Polaris Zodiac PB-460

The PB-460’s Amazon ratings are spectacular, with about 80% of purchasers giving this unit five stars. And what’s not to like? Polaris has been a trusted name as a pool equipment manufacturer, and this particular model combines power and durability. However you look at it, that’s an admirable combination!

It has a ¾ HP motor that maximizes the cleaning ability of pressure-side cleaners and an ergonomic drain plug with an o-ring that allows you to drain the pump without using any special tools. The installation is pretty straightforward and it requires minimal pump maintenance. The only caveat is it’s somewhat raspy operation, but other than that, it should be one of your top choices for a pool booster pump.

Pentair LA01N Single Speed Booster Pump

The Pentair LA01N is a single-speed pump that does offer some advantages over variable speed pumps. The finest selling point of this unit is its durability, as it is made with corrosion-proof materials. It is also pretty quiet, and the installation is smooth and quick. Anyone with rudimentary electrical wiring knowledge will have minimal problems installing the unit. The only glaring drawback about the Pentair LA01N is the seal quality, resulting in pesky leaks. If the manufacturer improves in this regard, it would be a terrific bang-for-the-buck booster pump.

Hayward W36060 Booster Pump

Among the three units in this list, the Hayward W36060 is just a basic pump. With that being said, that’s the most appealing aspect of this model because it is designed to be compatible with any pressure cleaner. A close second would be its energy efficiency and minimal operating costs. The instructions that came with the W36060 may not be easily understood, but the attachment kit that comes with it comes in handy.

What to Consider Before Buying a Pool Booster Pump

As soon as you reckon that you’d need a pool booster pump for your pool, then do your due diligence and go at it. Selecting the right one for your pool is definitely not cut-and-dry, so you have to weigh your options every step of the way.

Here are some things you’d want to consider:

  • Durability. Be sure that the manufacturer is trusted and that their products are synonymous with quality and durability. This should be the most critical factor to consider before purchasing a pool booster pump. After all, who wants to waste another $500 for a unit that breaks down after a year?
  • Compatibility. When it comes to pool equipment, some products are designed to work harmoniously with one another. If you choose the wrong pairing, it would be too much of a hassle and a waste of time returning the unit and waiting for a refund or replacement. Save yourself the trouble by researching the pool booster pump that works best with your vacuum cleaner or pressure-side cleaner.
  • Power. Sometimes, less is more. That holds true for pool booster pumps. Buying the units with the highest horsepower may not be the most ideal thing to do. If the piping of your filtration system is small, it could get overpowered by the booster pump and eventually break down. Choose a pool booster pump with the adequate amount of power for your filtration system.
  • Budget. The pool booster pumps with the best quality are in the $500-$600 range (or more), but some hover around $400. Granted, the cheaper ones are probably single-speed motors that do not offer the same amount of energy savings as variable-speed machines. However, if the initial price matters a lot to you, then staying in your financial lane is the way to go.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article has taught you what a pool booster pump is, how it works, and the benefits that come with it. It’s a pretty easy decision — if you own high pressure pressure-side cleaners, you must get yourself a pool booster pump. Otherwise, the water pressure won’t be enough to produce the adequate circulation needed to keep your pool in tiptop shape.

The article also suggests some pool booster pumps that should be in the upper echelon of your choices. The Polaris PB-460 is the first in mind, with the Pentair LA01N and Hayward W36060 coming right behind. If you still can’t decide which one to pick or is unsure if a specific model is compatible with your pool setup, try consulting a pool professional before pulling the trigger.