If you are going to own a swimming pool for at least the next three years, there is only one pump to buy. If you are building a new above-ground swimming pool and haven’t chosen your equipment yet, there is just one pump to buy. You ready? drum-roll please, you want the Pentair 342001 Super Flo Variable Speed Energy Efficient pump for above ground pool.
This is a very expensive pump, but, before you flip your lid and run off to some other webpage, let me tell you, if you hear me out, you will see what I say makes perfect sense. If you just want the cheapest best above-ground pool pump, I will cover that too below, along with where to buy it and for how much.
But first, let me make my argument. Pool pumps are the number 2 energy hog in your house. They use more electricity than your refrigerator. Most people run there pumps for 6-12 hours a day. I would recommend running it for 20-24 hours depending on your filter type, but who can afford to do that, right? You could with a 342001.
Your 1-speed pump screams a 3450 RPM (revolutions per minute) the whole time it is running, burning up the maximum amount of energy. That high speed is also embedding dirt into your pool-filter, and causing it to blow past your pool filter media and back into the pool. The high pressure beats on the whole system too. Not to mention the noise that little sucker makes.
For all its cost and inefficiency, the motor is only going to last three to five years if you’re lucky. And then you have to go out and buy another one. Are you on your second or third now? Well, the 342001 is going to last ten or more years, longer if you cover it or put it in a pump-house.
PRO TIP* Remember longer filter runs mean clearer cleaner pool water, and less debris on the pool floor and more in the skimmer basket. Less dirt means your chlorine lasts longer. A cleaner pool means less time wasted on maintenance. Just Saying
Though, it is not the cost of the pump you have to worry about as much as all the money you will be spending on electricity.
You can run the 342001 24 hours a day and still save 50% on your energy bills versus a traditional one-speed pump just 8 hours a day.
I’m not going to explain how the new pump can save so much energy. If you want to read up on affinity law or get a better understanding of it, check out the affinity law section in this article I wrote Click Here. There’s a video too 🙂
342001 Pump for Above Ground Pool
At this point, I have to admit to deceiving you a little bit and discuss the pro and cons of this pool-pump.
I Lied and Here is Why?
The 342001 is not an above ground swimming pool pump. Manufactures make this pool-pump for the inground market. I know your like, What? But listen, I have been installing them on above ground pools for years here in Massachusetts.
This beast moves twice as much water at the same RMP as the above ground pumps. Do you remember me telling you 1-speed above ground pumps run at 3450 RPM? You will never run this pump above 2200 RPM, or you will blow those shitty little above ground pool hoses to blazes.
PRO TIP* Go down to home depot and get some 1.5-inch flex-PVC and fitting to replace those shitty little above ground hoses.
Did I mention this pump is programmable? Yeah! You never have to come out and turn the pump on again, or off for that matter. You can program up to 3 routines, like maybe a two hour morning routine on high (2100-2200 RPM’s), then perhaps 1900 RPM’s for ten hours, and 1500 RPM’s overnight to keep the water circulating.
PRO TIP* Where do you see algae grow, on a pond or a stream? Pond right? Keep that water circulating. You can work on your pool or enjoy it, your choice.
Pro’s and Cons of the 342001 from Pentair
- Pro – It will last three times longer than regular above ground pool pumps
- Pro – It runs on regular 115V service
- Pro – It is programmable
- Pro – It is energy efficient – Guaranteed to pay for itself with energy savings
- Pro – All the power you ever wanted for vacuuming your swimming pool
- Con – Higher price to purchase
- Con- Not plug and play friendly, you will have to do some plumbing
- Con – Does not come with a power cord
Cost of the 342001 Pump
If you just choked a little bit let me tell you how to get it for way less. Energy companies and state and local authorities are giving rebates for this pump. In Massachusetts, I install them on above ground pools for just $300.00 bucks. That is the pump and installation for that $300 smackers, some supplies are extra if needed and this promotion is not available in all Massachusets towns, and then there is the tax, but still a smoking deal.
I encourage you to find out what this pump would cost you after rebates and energy company incentives in your state. Leave the cost in the comments section below.
Regular Pumps for Above Ground Pools
There is no such thing as a better pump for above ground pools. The technology has reached a point where they can not improve it. Centrifugal vane pumps have been around for over 150 years! The only thing that can get better is the motor, and I do not see any manufacturers outdoing each other.
That’s why I only buy and sell Reliant Pumps for above ground swimming pools unless that is I am selling a complete Hayward or Pentair filter and pump system.
Top Mount vs. Side Mount
All water comes from the skimmer and goes into the pump; then the water passes through the top or the side to get to the filter. If you want to make the replacement of your pool-pump as simple as possible, you best just buy the same kind you have now. Just go to Amazon’s above-ground pool pump section Click Here and type in the model number.
Most sand filters require top mount discharge pumps, while most DE and Cartridge filters use side mounts.
If you’re handy, I recommend buying one of my reliant 2-speed pumps. They cost as much as Hayward and Pentair 1-speed units. The only trick is you will have to plumb it into your system. The pump comes with the standard 1.5-inch female threads, so all you have to do is screw-on your hose fittings. MGK Pools Pumps Click Here.
The benefits of two speed above ground pool pumps are that you can run it on low most of the time, as long as you have a sand or cartridge filter. The low speed will save you a ton of money in energy and filter the water better.
If I were not buying a 342001 Pentair pump, I would buy the Reliant 2-speed pump. We sell systems with this 2-speed pump as well. Sometimes our systems cost less than buying a new pump from Hayward or Pentair. Please ask any questions in the comments