Which Pool Timer To Buy?
So much goes into ensuring that a pool stays in the right condition. As a pool owner, you need to make sure that the water in your pool goes through the pump, filters, heater and the salt system for it to stay in a usable condition. This is so much work that is really difficult or even impossible to do manually. This is why we have unique gadgets known as Pool Timers that are designed to help in regulating when your water is supposed to go through the various maintenance processes.
In as much as we all need our pools to look amazing and stay fresh for as long as possible, we cannot afford to run them through the maintenance processes throughout. This consumes a lot of energy taking the cost of maintaining a pool too high for most people to afford. Also, the truth is that you do not need to put your pool water through these processes too often. Other than being expensive, this takes up a lot of your time that you can use doing something else.
The right Pool Timers are designed to ensure that the pool system is carried out at the necessary frequencies keeping it clean while saving on energy and costs. These timers are responsible for turning your pool pump on and off allowing water to go through the filtration system where algae, bacteria, debris, and other dirt is removed. The pool timers are also automated, and hence they will never require your input in turning the pump on or off. This makes pool maintenance a hassle-free task allowing you to go through your daily activities knowing that your pool is fully taken care of. Some pool timers will also come with remote control capability giving you more control over when to clean your pool.
Pool Timer Buying Guide
Pool pump timers come with different features. Some are designed for simple tasks while others are more sophisticated. The good news is that there is a lot of options and hence you are sure of getting one that matches your preferences.
When purchasing a timer, there are various factors that you can’t overlook. Remember that not all pools and pool pumps are the same. This is to mean that certain pool pumps are more suited for particular timers with specific features. Getting the wrong pool timer will hence result in inefficiency and may even fail to work altogether.
The following information should give you everything you need to look for in a pool pump timer before purchasing one.
- Type of Pool Pump
To get the right timer, you have to know your pool pump. You need to know whether your pump is a one-speed, two-speed or if it’s a variable speed. You should also look at the voltage and the various option/functions of the pump. Having these details allow you to get a timer with the right sensitivity and power to handle the pump fully. In case you find it difficult getting this information or using it to get the correct timer then you can always consult an expert before buying a gadget that could end up being useless.
- Installation area of the timer
Where are you expecting to install the timer? If you are planning on having a timer installed outdoors, then you have to get a weatherproofed one for guaranteed durability. Even when you are installing the timer indoors like say in a basement, we still urge all pool owners to get timers with an excellent casing for optimal protection. Dust and moisture should never find its way into the timer.
In case you still want to install your pool timer outdoors you’ll have to follow the safety procedures keenly to avoid any future damages.
- Control Options
As we already pointed out, pool pump timers are programmed to control quite many functions. Of course, you can still get the standard timer with the basic on/off functions which are normally very affordable. However, if you want a timer that controls even more functions, then you will have to invest a bit more. Some pool pumps can regulate temperatures and also provide freeze protection. Some have a two-speed control mechanism that enables dual speed switching while others can even control variable speed pumps. You can also find timers with pre-programmed combinations for even easier functionality. A few timers have taken the standards even higher controlling your water fountains, music systems, fans, pool lighting, and other appliances.
As you can see, therefore, there is so much to choose from, but you will need to consider your pool and its accessories before purchasing a certain timer however excellent it may be. It is, for instance, pointless to invest in an expensive timer that can control your water fountains and pool music system if you don’t have the fountains and the system, to begin with, right?
Best Pool Pump Timers
There are so many pool timers in the market, and we have taken the time to look through most of them and what they have to offer before coming up with a short top three list. We have considered the various features they come with, price tag, durability among others. We also looked at the user reviews to see how these pool timers perform in different pools and what buyers can expect from them.
That said, here are the top 3 pool pump timers:
Intermatic T104M Mechanical Time Switch Mechanism Only
The Intermatic T104M is made for intensive applications operating at a voltage of between 208 to 277. This timer will also handle loads of up to 40 Amps and an incredible 5 horsepower rating which is among the highest you will find in the market. With such figures, the Intermatic T104M is ideal for everyone looking for a power performance timer. It is also made of heavy duty material making it one of the most durable pool timers in the market. It is hence an excellent choice for residential, commercial and industrial pools.
The timer doesn’t come with a casing, but it is designed to fit into casings of other Intermatic timers. It can also be installed into boxes of timers from other manufacturers, but you will have to check its dimensions first to see if it will fit appropriately.
Once you have the proper pool timer box the rest of the installation is pretty easy. Just plug the timer in, and you are ready to go. If you are replacing it with an old Intermatic Timer, you can take a pic of the old timer before removing it and use the picture as a guide on how to install this one.
- Extremely durable
- High electrical loads of up to 40 Amps
- You can choose from 1 to 12 on/off options each day
- Powerful 208-277 VAC DPST Switch
- Has one on and another off tripper
- Upon installation, the timer may be a bit slow, but full performance will take effect immediately after the gear grease levels get back to the norm
Intermatic T101R 120-Volts SPST 24 Hour Mechanical Time Switch with Outdoor Case
The Intermatic T101R is arguably the best pool timer in the industry. This product comes with the Yellow Dial Time Switch that has, for over 50 years, proven to be the most reliable time switch in the market. That is also why the Yellow Dial Time Switch accounts for over 70% of the timers in the market!
The Intermatic T101R is designed to handle electrical loads as massive as 40 A per pole! It can also accommodate as much as 12 ON/OFF operations each day. When the circuit is active, this pool timer will maintain an accurate time regardless of whether you are using the manual mode of the on/off switch or not.
Since the on/off switches are mechanically adjustable, you can regulate when the pool pump is being used more conveniently. Unfortunately, the mechanical adjustability of the pool timer also means that you will have to reset the timer every time there is a power outage. Chances of forgetting to reset the pool timer are usually high, and this is also why couldn’t rank this pool timer as the best.
It also comes with a convenient manual override which you don’t usually see in most other timers. You can use this override function to bypass the time settings allowing you to pump out rainwater, backwash the filter or even to bump the motor.
The Intermatic T101R should be installed by someone with basic electrical skills or a fully qualified electrician. You will also need a GFI circuit if you are planning to install it near a pool.
- Can handles loads as big as 40 Amps
- 1-12 on and off operations per day
- Provides a convenient 24-hour control
- Comes with one on and one off tripper
- Very durable
- Easy to use
- Comes with a manual override
- The pool timer has to be reset every time there is a power outage
Woods 50015WD Outdoor 7-Day Heavy Duty Digital Plug-In Timer
This highly rated pool timer allows you to customize the time intervals of each day. You can, therefore, set the pump to work on certain intervals during the weekdays and another completely different time set during the weekend. There is even a winter and summer changeover option in this timer. It also comes with 20 on/off settings per day which is more than over 90% of other timers out there. All this has been made possible by its advanced programming and the LCD screen from which you can fully customize the different functions of the timer.
The Woods 50015WD also comes with a manual override that you can use to turn the outlet on and the time off. Unlike the Intermatic T101R, this timer has a self-charging battery that acts as a backup during power outages enabling the timer to retain its settings.
It also comes with a weatherproof housing with 12” power cord and a Two grounded 3-prong socket. At just 12 inches, the power cord is more useful when the pool timer is installed near an outdoor outlet otherwise you will need to buy an extension cord. You will also notice that the timer settings apply on both of the sockets and hence you can’t control them separately.
- 20 on/off options to choose from
- Weatherproof housing makes it ideal for outdoor uses
- Lar LCD screen allows you to customize the settings
- Comes with a guide showing you how to use different functions