Do you just keep forgetting to turn off your pool pump no matter how much you try to remember?
If this is becoming an unfortunate habit for you, then it’s perfectly understandable – when you’re busy with work or general everyday tasks, it can be difficult to remember little things like that.
But, naturally, it does start to become a very big and annoying problem when you notice your energy bills rising simply because your memory has been failing you.
Pumping your pool to keep it clean takes up a lot of energy, especially if it’s running all day and all night.
Don’t let this start making you regret owning a pool, though, because there’s a very simple solution to your problem – invest in a pool timer!
Pool timers are specifically designed to be programmed to automatically switch the pump off whenever you want, so you don’t have to remember to do it yourself – saving you both the money and the effort.
We understand it can seem a little overwhelming finding your own pool pump because there are so many on the market, so here we’ve created a guide to the best ones you can buy!
Best Pool Timers
Honeywell TI040 Programmable Timer
When searching for a pool timer, you want something that’s easy to use, is sturdy, so it has longevity, and is versatile. This Honeywell timer is the best when it comes to all of those factors!
It’s super easy to set up and use, as you can program it for seven days, and it will remember your settings. And, added to this, the programming will be protected for 30 days during power outages!
A heavy-duty waterproof casing means the timer is very sturdy and is perfect for pool pumps, as well as being able to be used for any sort of outdoor use or in places like construction sites.
The casing is also lockable, providing extra security.
The timer has a voltage switch where you can select to either have it on 120V or 240V, depending on which suits you best.
It has up to 14 different settings, plus three modes – automatic, manual and temporary bypass.
This provides you with extra flexibility when it comes to how you’d prefer to use the pump, and the temporary bypass option is a superb feature.
This is because it enables you to override the way it’s set up without changing the programmed settings.
- Easy to set up and use – can program it for seven days, and it will remember your settings the entire time
- Sturdy – has a heavy-duty waterproof casing so will withstand any sort of weather or pressure
- Lockable casing – provides extra protection and security
- Voltage switch – you can select either 120V or 240V depending on what power setting you need it on
- Up to 14 settings and three modes – is a versatile device and provides you with extra flexibility to choose whichever settings and mode suits you best
- Expensive – cheaper timers are readily available
Also available at: Ebay
Intermatic T104 Electromechanical Timer
This Intermatic pool timer has an extremely cool, old-fashioned clock design that also manages to look as if it should be used for time traveling rather than to automate your pool pump!
The timer is great for if you want to run your pool pump intermittently throughout the day, as it allows up to 12 on and off operations each day.
This is all very easy to set up – simply pull and turn the dial to set the timing and set the ‘on’ and ‘off’ trippers wherever you want them on the dial.
It can handle electrical loads of up to 40 amps per pole, meaning it’s very strong at what it does, and it can also switch from 208V to 277V, depending on what you’d prefer it to be at.
A manual override switch also means you can conveniently take control of the timer when you need to.
- Cool design – looks old-fashioned but also like a time-traveling device!
- 12 on and off operations daily – can turn the pool pump on and off intermittently throughout the day whenever you want
- Easy to set up – just pull and turn the dial to set the time and then pop the on/off trippers to whenever you want the pump to go off and on and again
- Can manage loads of up to 40 amps per pole – means it’s powerful and strong and will be good at its job
- Manual override switch – this is so you can take control of the timer whenever you need to
- Not recommended for outdoor use – if you don’t have a pool house or garage where you can run the timer out to the pool area, it might not withstand the outdoors
Also available at: Ebay
Enbrighten GE Z-Wave Plus Smart Switch Pool Timer
This pool timer by Enbrighten is a premium device which, if you’re looking to invest in something a little fancier, is a great choice for automating your pool pump!
It needs a Z-Wave Certified Hub to operate it, but when it has this, it can brilliantly monitor your energy and remotely track Watts and Kilowatt-hours.
This will, in turn, allow you to keep track of how much energy your pool pump is using.
A toggle switch allows you to either control the timer manually by turning it on and off on the device, or wirelessly from your smartphone, tablet or PC!
It can support up to 11,000W and 40 amps, making it very powerful and very capable in regard to doing its job to the highest standard.
If you need access to the wiring on the inside of the timer to resolve an issue, everything is clearly labeled for you.
Therefore, it makes it easier to figure out how to fix any problem without needing to pay for an electrician!
Last but not least, it has a rugged, wall-mount, metal NEMA-3R enclosure, meaning it’s weatherproof and sturdy – plus it has a lockable door for added security and protection.
- Energy Monitoring – can remotely keep track of Watts and Kilowatt-hours to enable you to keep on top of being energy-efficient with your pool pump
- Manual or wireless control – can opt to control the timer manually or wirelessly via any device you own!
- Supports up to 11,000W and 40 amps – means it’s very powerful and extremely capable at doing the job it was designed for
- Easy-access wiring – you can easily access the wires on the inside of the timer if something goes wrong, and everything is clearly labeled for you to make it easier for you to fix
- Sturdy – it’s weatherproof due to its rugged metal enclosure
- Expensive – due to it being a premium timer, it’s more expensive than others available on the market
- Can only be used with Z-Wave Certified Hub – if you don’t have the Z-Wave Hub, you can’t operate the best features of the timer
Also available at: Walmart
Woods Outdoor Heavy Duty Plug-In Timer
The Woods plug-in pool timer is great value for money, affordable and extremely user-friendly!
It has three timing features – a digital timer, random setting and a countdown timer – and can be programmed for seven days, so you can have different settings for each day of the week, or whatever suits you best.
A smart self-charging backup means the timer will keep your settings saved, even during a power outage, so you don’t have to worry about resetting it if you happen to live in an area with recurrent electricity issues!
This timer is extremely durable, with a heavy-duty timer cover to give it protection from the weather, dust and dirt, meaning it’s completely safe using it outdoors for your pool pump, or anything else you wish to use it for.
It also comes with a manual override function, so you can take control of it whenever you need to!
- Affordable – is good value for money and one of the most affordable models on the market
- Three timing features – means it’s versatile and allows you to choose between having it as a digital timer, random setting, or a countdown timer
- Self-charging backup – even if you suffer a power outage, the timer will save the pre-existing settings you entered into it originally
- Sturdy – it’s weatherproof and durable, meaning you don’t have to worry about leaving it outdoors as it will cope with the elements and won’t be destroyed
- Manual override – this function enables you to take control of the timer, so you can control and change it whenever you need to
- Short power cord – power cord could be longer, so the plug socket needs to be quite close to the item you plug into the outlet, otherwise you can’t use it
Also available at: Walmart
BN-LINK Compact Outdoor Mechanical Timer
This BN-LINK pool timer is also an extremely affordable choice and is super simple to set up and use!
The timer can be programmed in 15-minute intervals within a 24-hour period, with 48 different available setting options.
This means you can turn your pool pump on and off intermittently throughout the day whenever you want to.
And it will conveniently repeat your selected settings on a daily basis without you having to reset it all the time!
It comes with two three-prong outlets, so you can plug more than one thing into it at a time, and it can be used on items other than pool pumps, such as Christmas tree lights and fountain timers.
The device is heavy-duty and waterproof, so it can withstand all outdoor elements!
- Affordable – is much cheaper than other products on the market whilst still doing a good job!
- Programmed in 15-minute intervals in 24-hour period – means you can intermittently turn your pool pump on and off throughout the day when you want to
- Repeats selected settings – you don’t have to reset the settings on it every single day because it remembers them for you
- Two outlets – so you can plug more than one item into it at a time, making it very convenient
- Sturdy – it’s heavy-duty and waterproof, so won’t be damaged by the weather
- Short power cord – the plug socket will need to be close to the two items you plug into the outlets, plus the items themselves will also need to be close together
Also available at: BN-LINK
Deciding which pool timer to buy can be made fairly simple as long as you’re aware of what you should be looking for.
It’s something you need to think about carefully because you don’t want to invest in something cheap and flimsy that will break within a few weeks.
You also don’t want to accidentally buy something that isn’t the correct fit with your pool pump, especially if it’s an expensive one!
Below are a few of the key factors you should consider before buying your pool pump timer, so you know exactly what sort of device to go for!
Pool timers come in two distinct types – mechanical and digital. This tends to be where the simplicity or complexity of the pool timer comes into play.
Mechanical timers are far easier to use and are cheaper than digital ones.
They’re old-fashioned in both their design and their function, which is what makes them simpler and more accessible for everyone to use, including people who aren’t great with technology.
Although mechanical timers are perhaps easier to use than digital ones, they usually require frequent adjustments which you have to carry out manually, making them slightly more high-maintenance.
On the other hand, digital timers are more modern and come with many features, which is what makes them more expensive.
They usually come with wireless control, meaning it’s a lot easier if you want to override them.
However, they tend to be more complicated to set up and install due to the modern technology.
Digital timers are definitely worth the extra money if you want the added features they come with.
Meanwhile, mechanical timers are still great at doing their job despite being fairly cheap!
Naturally, whenever you buy a device that you want to last you a long time, you need to find something that will actually be sturdy enough to endure the test of time.
After all, you don’t want to waste your money on something that will break after a few days or a few weeks, do you?
All the best pool timers should ideally last you at least three to five years. Make sure you check the product reviews to find out whether the pool timer you’re looking at is actually durable.
Some pool timers are also not designed for outdoor use, so if you need one that goes outside, make sure it specifically says it can in the product information!
Ones that are able to go outdoors need to be heavy-duty and weatherproof, so it can withstand the elements without breaking.
But, if you have a pool pump that goes into a garage or a pool house, for example, you don’t need to look out for that so much as the pump will be indoors anyway.
When buying a pool timer, it’s vital that you make sure to check your pool pump’s electrical specifications.
This is because the pool timer you buy needs to match that of the pool pump you have.
If the two aren’t electrically compatible, then neither will do their job properly!
Therefore, you have to check the voltages of your pool pump – usually they’ll be 120V or 240V – and buy a pool timer that uses the same amount.
Some pool timers helpfully come with a voltage setting, meaning you can choose between two or more different voltages to set it on, depending on what your pool pump uses.
Whatever you do, just make sure you don’t accidentally buy a super expensive pool timer, only to then realize afterwards that it doesn’t match your pool pump’s specifications!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Should I Run My Pool Pump?
Six hours is sufficient, but ideally you should run it for eight hours to allow for maximum filtration.
It’s best to run it on two or three different cycles during the eight hours, rather than for eight hours at a single time.
Is It Better To Run My Pool Pump During The Day Or At Night?
Some say the best time to run your pool pump is at night, when you can receive discounts on energy consumption.
However, it is actually probably better to run the pump during the day, as sunlight can make algae grow and lower your chlorine levels, meaning the pool would be in need of extra filtration during the daytime.