How to Prime a Pool Pump – The Complete Guide-

how to prime your pool pump

Introduction to priming your pool pump

Priming a pool pump is a process to restore optimum efficiency and performance. All pool pumps will deteriorate in due course of time. Worn out parts will have to be replaced. Minor problems must be resolved. A pool pump needs to be maintained from time to time for it to function properly. Whenever a pool pump starts to falter, it needs to be primed. This usually refers to a specific process of releasing the air trapped inside the system. Trapped air affects the normal functioning of the pump. Water does not get to circulate smoothly inside the system and this leads to the pump losing prime.

This comprehensive guide about how to prime a pool pump sheds light on the prepping, the actual process of priming a pump and then troubleshooting any problem you might encounter. This guide should help you to do the job without any help. In case there is some complication or a problem you cannot ascertain, you can always consult a pro and get one to fix the issue. Make sure to check our article on how to repair your pool pump also.

Turn off the Pump

Every pool pump should be primed just before the pool season. Unless you live in the tropics, you will not be using a pool throughout the year. The pump will remain unused for at least two months every year. In many parts of the country, pool pumps are only in use for four to six months. A pool pump should be primed at the beginning of every pool season. Whenever a pump is not in use and is sitting idle, the water drains out and some of it gets evaporated. This leads to air getting trapped inside the system. You must get rid of this air before you can start using the pump again. If you do not prime the pump, the trapped air will affect the functioning and you will not have the same efficiency or performance that you are familiar with. As a rule of thumb, a pool pump has to be primed if it has been idle for a month or two.

The first step is to turn off the pump. Switch it off and disconnect the cord from the power outlet. You may have a circuit breaker for the power socket. You can turn this off too and then you do not have to remove the cord from the outlet. You must ensure the pump has no access to electricity. You do not want to deal with water in an electrical item when it has access to current. It is always better to turn off the circuit breaker for the pool area, just to be reassured that there is no remote possibility of getting electrocuted.

Remove the lid from the pump. Most pool pumps have a screwed in lid. You need a screwdriver to remove the lid. Do not damage the lid as you remove it. You should exercise caution if your pump is quite old. The lid will have to be replaced after you are done and it should be perfectly fitted to close the entire system. Otherwise you will have another air leak due to the space provided by the ill fitted lid.

Prime the Pump

You have to use water to prime a pool pump. First, look for the multi port valve. Turn it to re-circulate mode. This valve is usually on the pipes connected to the pump. You can also refer to the owner’s manual to know exactly where this valve is. The location does vary from one model to another, also among brands. The re-circulate marking should be easy to spot. This mode basically allows water to flow directly into the pump and not via the filter.

Look for the air valve. Turn it to relieve the pressure in the filter. The air valve is usually at the top of the filter. It is typically a round knob, not very big. You can turn it anticlockwise and the air pressure will be released. The pressure gauge will show a zero psi reading. Keep this air valve open. Since you have already accessed the housing and the system inside, it is better to look for debris and remove it if there is any. Check the basket. Pump box baskets usually have debris buildup. It is under the housing cover. Pull the basket out if there is debris and clean it. You can use a hose to rinse it. Reinstall the basket as it was.

Get a garden hose and pour water. Fill up the pump and its pipes with water. You must fill it right up to the basket. You can use two minutes as an approximate guide. This should be enough time to get water down to the pipes. The water inside the pump should be up to the top of the basket. It is possible some water will drain off. Pour more water if this happens. Get the lid and put it back. Use the screwdriver and ensure the cover is tightly fitted. Do not exert too much pressure but don’t leave the lid poorly sealed. The lid needs to be well fitted so it is not knocked off due to vibration and during suction. Make sure the lid does not have any crack or is not damaged. A damaged lid should be replaced before you can prime a pool pump. Any crack or leak in the lid or cover will let air in. No matter how much of the trapped air you manage to release, there will be more air finding a way into the system and you will not have a primed pump.

If everything is alright, turn on the pump. Turn on all the switches and the circuit breaker that you had turned off at the start. Observe the pump and its air valve. Water should run through smoothly and there should be no obstruction. The flow should be consistent and fast. You may hear a bit of gurgling initially. This is normal. There may still be some air bubbles that will subside as the pump keeps operating. There should not be any such sound after the pump is operational for a few minutes. Check the air valve. It will leak some air and also spray a bit of water. This is a sign that the pump is functioning optimally. If any noise persists or the air valve seems to be malfunctioning, then turn off the pump, disconnect it from the power source and repeat the entire process.

If the pool pump is working fine, you should restore all other functionalities. Shut the air valve. Turn back the multi port valve from re-circulate to filter mode. Turn air valve in a clockwise direction to make sure it is tight enough. As you make these changes, the water should start flowing through the filter again.

Troubleshoot the Pool Pump

There could be some expected and a few unexpected developments as you try to prime a pool pump. You should know a few troubleshooting techniques to deal with such issues. You may find the pump is not running. This is mostly due to insufficient water. A pool pump needs enough water to run properly. Turn off the pump and pour more water before you start again. Always turn off the pump, disconnect the cord and then take off the lid before pouring more water. Safety should always be of paramount significance. Never open a pump or pour water when it is connected to a power source.

You should have an optimally filled pool for a pump to function properly. Check the level of water before you begin priming the pump. All valves should be properly sealed. Tighten any valve you think is loose. Ensure the water and air valves are perfectly sealed. All fittings too should be tightened. A pool pump can have these issues when it has been sitting idle for a while. A pump that is operational every day has fewer problems. Get a wrench to tighten the different fittings and parts of the pool pump.

You might have to wash the lid and lubricate it. The lid should be sealed perfectly for the pump to function properly. You can scrub the debris off the lid. The threads can be cleaned with soap water. You can rinse the entire lid using a garden hose but do not use excessive pressure. The lid should be allowed to dry. You can use some lubricant. The entire lid does not need lubricating. Only the o-ring should be lubed. You do not have to buy any special lube for this purpose. Use a bit of petroleum jelly.

Check for leaks in pipes. Make sure there are no cracks or dents. The system should be airtight. Any inflow of air will disrupt the desired efficiency and performance of the pump, even after priming. Leaking pipes must be replaced. If you have some other problems that you are not certain about, call in an expert for a thorough diagnosis. Do not spend a lot of money on extensive repair.

Polaris 360 Review: Pro’s & Con’s of

polaris 360

A quick introduction to the Polaris 360

Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner or Polaris 360, as it is commonly referred to, is an automatic pool cleaner made by Zodiac. Polaris Company is the specific brand and it is one of the subsidiaries of Zodiac. Polaris 360 is a bestseller right now. It is one of the highest rated automatic pool cleaners on Amazon. Polaris 360 does not require a booster pump. It does not have one in the box either. It is the midrange variety in this class. The preceding model is Polaris 280 and the higher end variant is Polaris 380.

Features of Polaris 360

Polaris 360 is a robot. The design of the automatic pool cleaner is not new but the product certainly is. The original design was patented nearly half a century ago. Polaris 360 has triple jets and a multifaceted cleaning mechanism. It is compatible for all types of in-ground or underground swimming pools. The size and shape of the pool do not matter. The automatic cleaner is capable of cleaning and sweeping, vacuuming and scrubbing the bottom or floor and the walls of a swimming pool. The device has a circulation pump. There is a thirty one feet long feed hose. The cleaner has a chamber filter that traps debris. The robot comes with a standard two and a quarter inches vacuum inlet.

Polaris 360 is an incredibly powerful pool cleaner. It is more effective than the Polaris 280. The setup is easy. All the instructions are available in the manual. The kit or package has all the components. Polaris 360 has the same three-wheel design as in its preceding and succeeding models. This is an iconic design for the brand. The 360 can pressure clean. It is not only effective at getting rid of debris but also cleansing contaminants. The cleaner has maximum circulation provided comprehensive coverage. Its filter can collect leaves, acorns, and pebbles. The bag is of sufficient size to let the cleaner work throughout the pool without a user having to replace the bag or empty it. The filter actually eases the load on the pool filtration system.

According to Polaris and from official statements released by Zodiac, the design and specs of the model make it the most advanced pressure side automatic cleaners right now for underground or in-ground swimming pools. Polaris 360 package includes one cleaner, the main hose, one chamber filter bag and operating instructions. The cleaner is powered by advanced engineering. The operation is reliable. The construction is durable.

Polaris 360 Review

Polaris 360 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner can clean, sweep, vacuum and scrub the pool, whether the floor or the walls. Like in the 280, Polaris 360 comes with a backup valve. This inline valve gets activated automatically when the cleaner finds itself in a corner or gets stuck somewhere. The operation continues as the cleaner navigates its way out of a tricky situation. This is one of the main reasons why the cleaner can keep operating without any intervention of a user. Many automatic cleaners fail owing to their inability to navigate challenging situations and operators find the pool unclean after being away for a few hours.

The dimensions of Polaris 360 are 20” x 23” x 10”. Its weight is a little more than fifteen pounds. The cleaner is easy to set up. There is no extensive installation process. One does not require a technician to handhold the first time. Most pool owners have a pressure line already. This dedicated line can be put to use. There is no need to buy a booster pump or have any separate pump. Polaris 280 requires a separate booster pump and it needs to be purchased as the product does not include one. Polaris 360 does not have such a requirement. Polaris 360 is energy efficient and hence eco friendly.

Polaris 360 uses three types of cleaning mechanism. It uses vacuuming as the first step. This enables the cleaner to pick up most of the debris. The second mechanism is sweeping. This extracts whatever is left after vacuuming. Then the third step is scrubbing. This is useful as not all stains can be removed through sweeping or vacuuming. The scrubbing feature is also available in Polaris 260. Polaris 360 is a smart climber. It can move up and down in the water inside the pool, along the walls and clean the entire length, breadth and depth of the pool. Those who have a pool wider or longer than forty feet may need additional hoses. The standard hose can be used for up to thirty one feet. This is wider than most pools but some people have longer swimming pools.

Polaris 360 is an effective pool cleaner. The grip of the wheels is reliable. The design is functional. All features are useful and work like they way they were intended to. It has a tail sweep feature that makes cleaning more effective. The cleaner is not only working on the part where it is vacuuming or scrubbing but the tail is also lashing out at the surface left behind, eliminating anything that may still be clinging on to the surface.

Pros and Cons of Polaris 360

Polaris 360 has several strengths. It is sturdy and durable. It is effective and works fast. It is reasonably priced given the features. Similar models carry much higher price tag and they do not offer any better cleaning. The types of features and the way this model works are not a unique attribute as other models can do the same but they are mostly priced around a thousand dollars. Polaris 360 is a premium product within a budget. The 360 can last for years if operators are familiar with the right ways to use the cleaner. Timely servicing and maintenance should suffice to prolong the life. Polaris offers prompt customer support, technical or otherwise.

There is no major shortcoming of Polaris 360. The cleaner may be slightly ineffective when it is cleaning steps or submerged stairs. Pools that do not have stairs are not an issue. Those that have many steps, especially when the slope is not a gradient but a series of steps might call for more time for the cleaner to complete the job. It should be that the robot has no problem with ascents or descents and working at varying levels. It has no issues dealing with a gentle or even a sharp slope.

Pricing of Polaris 360

Polaris 360 is selling for four hundred and thirty two dollars. The original listed price of the product from Zodiac Pool Systems, Inc. was over five hundred dollars. Discounts available would often reduce that price to less than five hundred and at times closer to four hundred and fifty. The price is now less than four hundred and fifty online.

Customer Reviews of Polaris 360

Our Polaris 360 review is largely in agreement with what most of the customers have said. The model is the number one bestseller among pressure pool cleaners on Amazon. This should say a lot about how customers are responding to the product. Customers are generally happy with several aspects of the product. One of the most common factors is the universal application of this cleaner. The robot can work in any type of pool. The material does not pose a problem. The floor and the walls of a pool may be of different materials. This too is not an issue. The shape and size of a pool does not pose any major challenge. The cleaner can actually work in any pool. If a pool is substantially larger then additional hoses are needed but this is not something any pool owner is concerned about. Everyone knows that pools larger than forty feet or so will need such add-ons.

Many people have upgraded from the 280 to 360. Those who have not tried either should certainly go for the 360. In addition to the fact that it is a much superior model, there is a good chance that the Polaris 360 pool cleaner will be available at a more affordable price than the 280. This has more to do with discounts and real time sales or popularity than anything else. Many customers have used Polaris 360 throughout the year or for most months and have vouched for its consistent performance. Timely servicing and maintenance is of course necessary to sustain its durability.


Polaris 360 is a midrange pool cleaner if you consider the price. It is priced at around half of the higher end automatic pressure pool cleaners but it does an identical job. This has made this model a bestseller. Polaris is one of the most credible brands of pool cleaners. The company specializes in automatic and pressure pool cleaners. Polaris 360 is an essential investment. It is something every in-ground pool needs. Whether a pool is right under some shade and is a haven for debris or it is exposed to a lot of dust and dirt due to frequent use, the 360 is a fitting choice.

How to Repair Your Pool Pump By Yourself

pool pump repair

Repairing your pool pump

Pool pumps will have problems in due course of time. It is not a matter of if but when and the severity of the problem varies. Over a dozen issues can be resolved. Others may warrant a pool pump replacement. Unless a pool pump is beyond repair, you do not have to consider a new one. It is also not necessary to hire a specialist every time your pool pump has a problem.

Before you can figure out how to repair a pool pump, you must know the model well and you should have a clear understanding of the issue. Some issues can be fixed easily. Others need more elaborate effort and a few tools. You may have a noisy pump, there may be a leak, the pump may not start, there could be air in the pool pump, the pump may get turned off abruptly, the flow rate may be low and the motor may hum but it might now start. These are very common issues with pool pumps. In this comprehensive guide about how to repair a pool pump, we select one issue at a time and illustrate the solution.

How to Fix a Noisy Pool Pump

Some pool pumps are very quiet. Most make some noise. The noise should not trouble you, unless you have a very old model that is anyway loud. A noisy pool pump may not be an issue for everyone unless the sound is a symptom of an underlying problem. If you hear screeching noise and the pump sounds as if it has been loaded with rocks, if there is some kind of gargling sound and other weird noises, then you should take a closer look. Unusually loud and unpleasant sound is frustrating for you and the neighbors.

Noisy pool pumps make screeching or gargling sound when there is insufficient water. The suction lines may be malfunctioning or underperforming. A few suction lines may be closed. If the pump does not manage to get enough water, it will make sounds and the noise will only get more intense. You should check the skimmers if the suction lines are fine. The skimmers may be clogged. Get rid of the debris accumulated at the skimmers. Reassemble if needed. Powerful pumps for smaller pools tend to make noise. Choose an appropriate model. If none of these are an issue, then you may have worn out bearings in the pump. You should change them.

How to Fix a Pool Pump Leaking Water

More often than frequent, a leak is caused under the pump and it is due to a pressure imbalance. Check the o-ring of the impeller housing and the shaft seal. Replace the o-ring or the seal if either is cracked. You may have to replace both if they are worn out. You can easily get these seals and o-rings at your nearest hardware store. You may purchase them online. There are kits available these days that have all such essential parts. They do not cost much.

How to Fix a Pool Pump Basket not getting Filled with Water

An optimally functioning pool pump will not have this problem. If the basket is not getting filled with enough water then you need to prime the pool pump. Priming a pool pump is very easy. Turn off the power source. Disconnect the power line. Turn off the main drain side using the diverter valve. Turn the valve for air relief anticlockwise so existing pressure is relieved. This valve is on the filter. The pressure should read zero Use a pool filter gauge. Remove the lid, clean the debris in the basket, get a garden hose and fill the basket with water.

Put the lid back on and turn on the diverter valve. Reconnect the pump and turn on the power. The problem should be resolved. Wait for a minute or so to see if enough water is flowing without any obstruction in the strainer box. The water should smoothly come out. In case the water is not flowing smoothly or freely, repeat the whole process from the start. In some cases, the debris in the impeller and filter must be cleaned too.

How to Fix a Humming Pool Pump that won’t Start

This problem occurs when the impeller is loaded with debris. Most components of a pool pump can deal with or endure some debris, not a lot. Whenever you hear a humming sound and the pump won’t start, check the impeller and it is most likely due to the debris there. You must turn off the power and disconnect the pump before you check the impeller. The debris buildup basically blocks the impeller. This effectively disables the pump. You must have screwdrivers and the manual at hand to dismantle the pump and reassemble the unit after cleaning the debris. The impeller is in the housing of the pump. You must also remove the gasket to clean the debris.

How to Fix a Pool Pump Sucking in Air

A pool pump is an airtight machine. Any leak will let air in. The pump will actually suck air in and there will be a problem. One of the most common causes of such a leak is the lid. The lid should be properly closed and sealed. It is not possible to prime a pool pump if the lid is letting air in. After you are certain the lid is fine, you must check the valve stem. This often lets air in to the suction lines. You will have to proceed from one component to another as you reach further into the pump. There could be a leak at one or several places. Check the lid, then valve stem, the suction valves, the suction plumbing, o-rings and then gaskets. There may be visible leaks or cracks. You may find loose fittings or old parts. Some may have to be replaced. Others can be repaired. If you cannot locate the leak, use some shaving cream and spray or apply it on these parts. Look for a dimple as the cream gets drawn in to the leak or crack.

How to Fix a Pool Pump Motor that gets Turned Off

The pump may not start or it may stop running suddenly. Start with the power and ensure it is steadily available. Check the timer to ensure the pool pump is not preset to go off. If a pump has power and making a humming sound without starting then the issue is with the capacitor. It has gone bad. The capacitor is responsible to start the pump. It regulates the electricity. If the pump does not get the jolt of power then it will not start. Capacitors can be replaced. You may not be able to do this alone if you have not done it before. An old pump will not have much help if only the capacitor is replaced. The motor may have to be replaced as well.

Pumps getting turned on and starting to run but shutting down are also a common problem. The real issue in such cases is overheating. Try to operate the pool pump at night. See if you have the same problem. If not, then overheating is the only issue. You can then check the vents at the bottom of the motor. There should be no obstruction. The fans should work fine without any inhibition. If the vents are fine and so is the fan, then the motor or the pump may have to be replaced.

How to Fix Low Flow Rate in a Pool Pump

One of the most common causes of low flow rate is a blockage. If something is blocking the filter or the flow of the pool pump, then the rate will dip. Use the filter gauge to check the pressure. You must get a clean reading of over 10psi above the manufacturer specified pressure. You can check the filter and clean it. This may restore the flow rate. You can check the impeller and the basket for debris. It is better if you clean and maintains a pool pump from time to time to prevent the buildup of such debris. Low flow rate is often due to debris buildup. Since cleaning such debris requires taking the pump apart and then reassembling all housed components, many users do not want it to be a routine and this causes several avoidable problems.

Every manufacturer has a troubleshooting guide for users. Such guides usually illustrate all the solutions for common problems. You must read this guide and be familiar with your pool pump, well before you have any problem. New pool pumps should not have much of an issue if they are installed properly and if the right size, model and specs have been chosen. Old pumps can have quite a few problems and not all of them can be accurately predicted without knowing the exact condition. If this guide or the owner’s manual does not address the problem you are having, contact a pro and get the pump inspected.

Pool pumps will have problems in due course of time. It is not a matter of if but when and the severity of the problem varies. Over a dozen issues can be resolved. Others may warrant a pool pump replacement. Unless a pool pump is beyond repair, you do not have to consider a new one. It is also not necessary to hire a specialist every time your pool pump has a problem.

You do not have to hire a pro for pool pump repair if you have are familiar with the machine, its different components and their functions, the necessary tools and required time. You should be handy with a few handheld, manual and powered tools. You need to read the owner’s manual before you can diagnose a problem. You should have access to a hardware store, offline or online, to get the parts for repair. Sometimes a pool pump may be beyond repair or many of its parts might need replacement. You should act accordingly.

A pool pump serves an important purpose and it may be presumed to be a complicated machine. It is not as the innards are quite simple to understand. All you need is a bit of an introduction to the different parts and their functions. The exact design and hence shape and other specs of a pool pump varies depending on the manufacturer or brand and model. However, most designs have similar parts. The basic concept of a pool pump has remained the same for decades, albeit materials have improved and certain dated manufacturing techniques as well as design elements have been done away with. Whether you have a small pool pump or one that can churn out hundreds of gallons every minute, you will have the same basic components.

Different Parts of a Pool Pump

There are two major parts or sections of a pool pump. One is the outer structure. The other is the drivetrain. The outer structure is meant to keep the whole system together and ensure there is no leak. The drivetrain is tasked with pushing and pulling water, hence ensuring the pump serves its main purpose. Even if you do not intend to work on pool pump repair yourself and will hire a pro anyway, it is still better to be familiar with the machine and how it works. Familiarity with the parts and their functions will enable you to know if the technician is actually telling you the truth. You can avoid getting led to believe in something that is not the case. You can make informed decisions and save money.

The Housing

The housing is to a pool pump what a hull is to a ship. Everything inside the pump is in this housing. The housing is often made of high impact plastic composite. This type of material is called Noryl. It is not any specific material as the modified resins are used in various shapes and forms, also for distinct purposes. The housing is the outer casing that you can see and access without opening anything or disassembling the system. The housing contains everything from the motor to the impeller, diffuser to the seals. These may be installed into or onto the housing. The material is light yet resilient. The modified resins are rustproof and they can easily endure the unavoidable threats of rain, water pressure and heat.

Until the eighties, bronze and brass were commonly used materials for the housing. If you have a very old pool pump, then the housing is likely to be of bronze or brass. These two materials are very durable. They can stand the test of time. The only shortcoming of these materials is cost of maintenance. There is a need for smelting and forging when working with metals and alloys. These materials also make pumps heavier than what you can buy now. Working with heavier pumps is not easy, especially when you have to move them. Fortunately, you may have a modern pool pump, which is much less costly to maintain.


This is also known as strainer lid. It serves as the primary inspection point. You can easily find out if the system is working fine by studying the strainer lid. If you do not see water or air bubbles in the lid as the pump is functioning, then you may have a leak. The air leak is usually caused at the side of the suction. The strainer lid is usually tinted or clear glass so you can inspect the system. The glass may be Lexan. It is what bulletproof windows are made of.

Strainer Basket

This is often referred to as the basket. The purpose of this strainer basket is to collect debris. The debris is prevented from reaching other components in the drivetrain. The strainer basket is capable of collecting hard debris, such as pebbles. It is not uncommon for pebbles to find their way into the pool pump and these can chip the impeller.

Gaskets & Seals

There are several gaskets and seals in a pool pump. The purpose of these parts is to keep the water moving and the equipment pad dry. You should not use a pool pump that has degraded or worn out gaskets and seals. Bad gaskets can cause air leak. There will be more air inside the pump than water. You should always inspect the seals and gaskets whenever you open the housing for pool pump repair, even if the problem lies elsewhere. It is possible to be proactive with pool pump repair when it comes to seals and gaskets.

There are four types of seals and gaskets in a pool pump. The lid gasket is just under or on the lid, or strainer lid. A gasket is installed at the cone tip of the pump diffuser. This is known as diffuser kit. There is a housing gasket. This is the largest of all. It is in the main housing, usually at the motor seal plate. It is also referred to as seal plate gasket. The fourth is shaft seal. This seal has two sides. It is on the motor shaft under the impeller. In terms of importance, the shaft seal is the topmost priority as it can regulate surging water and thus prevent it from running into the motor. This can cause fatal damage and effectively render the pool pump unusable.

Seal Plate

This is the mounting flange of the motor in your pool pump. This secures the motor inside the housing. The part is so named since it has the shaft seal enclosing the motor shaft that prevents water leaking into the pump motor. The seal plate is usually made of the same material as the housing. If the housing is made of Noryl composite or plastic then the seal plate may also be of the same material. The seal plate has to be just as strong as the housing and light too.

The Drive Train


The drive train is the most important functioning or operating part of a pool pump. The housing is just as important as it keeps everything together and enables the functioning of all parts. But it is the drive train that actually does all the work. The motor is the force that operates the pump, providing the thrust to pump water. Older pool pumps used to have single speed inductor motors. Contemporary pool pumps have dual or variable speed motors. These are more eco friendly and consume less energy. Older motors rely on dual voltage and can operate on 115 or 230 volts. Dual speed and variable speed motors operate on 230 volts. A few models are available that can operate on 115 volts, despite being dual or variable speed.


The impeller does the actual work of circulating water. It has two or more discs that are glued together and these are assembled with veins, also known as fan blades. The impeller uses the spinning shaft of the pump motor and transforms it into a force that pulls the water and effectively circulates it. Most models have two discs for an impeller. The impeller pulls the water through a porthole and along the suction pipe onto the pool.


Diffuser is an accessory for the impeller. It is an essential component. The job of a diffuser is to amplify the force created by the impeller. The pull or suction is enhances using a vacuum lock. This is at the front housing and tightly enclosed. The diffuser is usually a cone or funnel. It is sealed using a diffuser gasket. The diffuser complements the impeller. The spinning impeller creates the turbulent energy that is then concentrated and directed by the diffuser towards the suction pipe.

Impeller Ring

Impeller ring is also known as wear ring. It is usually made of plastic. It is installed at the tip of an impeller. The objective of the wear or impeller ring is to serve as an extension of the tip. This ensures there is a seal between the diffuser and impeller. The impeller creates centrifugal force and this compels the ring to be sealed even more effectively so the vacuum is more efficient at priming the pump and actual pumping of the water. Base models or small pool pumps may not have an impeller ring. High-pressure pumps will have this component. There is another accessory, the impeller screw, but most modern pool pumps do not have this anymore. Manufacturers use external thread motor shafts instead of relying on an additional screw.

The 3 Best Above Ground Pool Heaters You should Consider buying

best above ground pool heater

A quick intro to the best Above Ground Pool Heaters

The temperature of your above-ground pool is crucial to maintain properly. Without the ability to keep your temperature even during the warmer months, the pool will only be truly enjoyable sporadically. Furthermore, the pool will be largely useless, when the colder months start to drift in. Not only do you want to get a heater for your above-ground pool, but you certainly want to be sure you’re also getting one of the best on the market.

We can help. We have put together a list of the 3 best above ground pool heaters available. These come from the top manufacturers in the industry. Each of our choices can appeal to you for different reasons. You will want to make sure any heater you consider will work with your current pool. Nonetheless, if you don’t know where to begin your search, we can help you get started in the best possible direction.

1. GAME 4512 SolarPro XD1 Solar Pool Heater with Adapter for Intex and Bestway above Ground Pools

Not surprisingly, solar pool heaters are all the rage these days. The best examples of solar pool heaters will likely give you what you’re looking for in a heater.

They will also offer solid energy savings. If you are interested in such savings, but you don’t want to surround your pool with solar panels, this release should fit the bill. The Game 4512 is an impressive heater, particularly in its price range. The more you learn about the features and benefits of this solar pool heater, the easier it will be to appreciate this for yourself. You will naturally want to make sure your pool is small enough to be properly heated by this product, but that is really the only major consideration. At the end of the day, there are a lot of things to like about this release.


As the name implies, this heater does not use any electricity. There aren’t a lot of built-in features for this product, which emphasizes simplicity above all else. Even the design is straightforward, offering a dome enclosure combined with black tubing. The fact that this heater only measures twenty-three inches may cause you to suspect it won’t be able to do the job. If your pool is 8000 gallons or less, then you should be just fine.


The advantages of this heater can go a long way towards explaining its placement on our list of the 3 best above ground pool heaters on the market. For one thing, this heater is remarkably easy to install. You will have this heater up and running in a matter of minutes. You don’t have to worry about maintenance in the slightest. We also like the design of this heater, which nicely emphasizes consistent water flow. Finally, after the initial investment, you are essentially heating your pool for free.


For some, this heater may be a little on the slow side. If you plan to use your pool for long periods of time daily, then you may want to look elsewhere. Everyone else will love this thing.


This heater currently retails for approximately $94.

Here are some of the top Game 4512 reviews:

  • “This is a surprisingly strong heater!”
  • “I combined this with a solar cover for amazing results.”
  • “Perfect for how often I swim.”

If you meet the size requirements for this heater, and many pools do, you should be pleased with the results.

2. Hayward H100IDP1 H-Series 100,000 BTU Above Ground Pool & Spa Heater, Propane, Low Nox

Any list of the top above ground pool heaters will have some space for Hayward. For heaters and other essential pool products, Hayward is one of the most respected brands in the world. This above ground heater is a great example of what they have brought to consumers for a long time. While the price tag is quite a jump from our previous entry, this is nonetheless one of the most powerful options on the market.

At the same time, if you are particularly interested in features, the H1001IDP1 is bound to impress you. We love everything about this heater for above ground pools. Even so, make sure this is the right kind of heater for your pool.


Available in a natural gas model or propane model, this is a great heater for anyone who wants absolute control over the temperature of a large above ground swimming pool. Automatic operation occurs with the use of a simple electronic ignition piece. Everything about this heater is simple enough that anyone can use it. The cabinet surface temperature is designed to be cool to your touch. Unique draft technology allows this heater to work under a wide range of circumstances. This pool ultimately works best with pools 450 square feet or smaller.


As we just mentioned, this is a fantastic year-round heater. You may want to also purchase a pool cover, but this heater can quite frankly handle most situations on its own. This heater is capable of 100, 000 BTUs. No, that does not make it the most powerful heater on the market. This is still a product that is going to meet most needs.


There really aren’t any downsides to this heater. Again, the price tag can strike the uninitiated as a bit high. Even so, if you plan to use your pool all through the year, this heater will pay for itself thousand times over.


Currently retails for $1,089.99.

Here are some of the top customer reviews for this second entry on the 3 best above ground pool heaters:

  • “This is a perfect powerhouse for my swimming pool!”
  • Setting this heater up couldn’t have been easier. It’s been working great for the past two years.”
  • “I wish I had found this heater sooner. Really pleased with the results, even when the weather cools.”

This is a strong contender for your wallet, but make sure your pool is the proper size!

3. Hayward H400FDN Universal H-Series 400,000 BTU Pool and Spa Heater, Natural Gas, Low Nox

Once again, we turn to Hayward for a stellar example of an above ground pool heater. While this is a heater suitable for fairly large above ground pools, there is no question that this is a pool heater for those who are pretty serious about their outdoor setup. If you are looking for a heater with a stellar reputation for offering hydraulic efficiency, this is going to be one of your best choices. The H-Series from Hayward in general is a good brand to start with for anyone shopping for one of these products for the first time.

Let’s take some of the look at the more compelling features and benefits, as well as the potentially high price tag.


400, 000 BTUs gives this propane or natural gas heater enough power for large pools or spas. For those interested, there are weaker versions ranging from 350, 000 BTUs to 150, 000 BTUs. The polymer header combined with its bypass valve construction emphasizes that hydraulic efficiency we mentioned before. There is a standby mode, which is ideal for anyone who wants to maintain control over their pool temperature at all times.


The standby mode is far and away from our favorite feature with this heater. We love the ability to set the heater up to kick in if the pool reaches a lower-than-desired temperature. Furthermore, we found this feature to be quite reliable. You will also appreciate just how easy it is to install and use this heater. This is also one of the fastest-working heaters we have ever encountered.


The only potential negative can be the price tag, which we will cover shortly. While it does represent an impressive initial investment, it just makes sense to get the best possible heater for a pool or spa in your size range. That would be the larger examples of either on the market.

Price: This heater retails for approximately $2,495.99.

Here are some of the top customer reviews for this release under Hayward’s H-Series:

  • “I live on an island in New Jersey. This heater works no matter what the weather throws at me.”
  • “I needed a powerful heater for my spa. This one has been working out perfectly so far.”
  • “This heater has never failed to meet my spa and swimming pool needs.”

In the end, this is a fantastic heater for larger above ground pools and spas.


Among this list of the 3 best above ground pool heaters, you should be able to find exactly what you’re looking for. Whether you want a powerhouse for a larger pool, or something reliable and electricity-free for a smaller pool, you should be able to find exactly what you are looking for. This list can go a long way towards giving you a good idea of your options. Keep in mind there are even more possibilities out there to consider. Even so, we would say these are the first three worth a closer look. One of them will likely meet your needs in spectacular fashion.

The 3 Best Raypak Pool Heaters To Buy in 2019

best raypak pool heater

A quick intro to the 3 Best Raypak Pool Heaters

For a number of years now, the Raypak company has been responsible for producing top-notch pool heating technology.

Each and every new model they rollout is a further improvement upon the high standards they have already established, with each piece of pool heating technology pushing the industry further and further into the future with new features, new safety mechanisms, and new ways to deliver even more efficient heating at a friendly cost.

Depending on the specific set up of your pool, the type of fuel you’d like your pool heater to use, and a handful of other specific details that are unique to your situation one Raypak pool heater may be better suited than another.

Below we highlight our three favorite Raypak pool heaters, the three best Raypak pool heaters available on the market today. You can’t go wrong with either one of our top options highlighted in this quick guide!

1.Raypak 406,000 BTU Digital Natural Gas Pool Heater

This is very much the flagship model from the folks at Raypak, featuring all of their latest and greatest technological advancements as well as a heating system designed to inexpensively get your entire pool up to your ideal temperature – and then maintain that temperature with zero extra effort whatsoever.

Thanks to the technology in this model, you can expect this unit to deliver 83% efficiency and higher. This is light years ahead of competing products on the market today, and when you add in the fact that it can also maintain temperatures higher than 105°F – all while exceeding state and federal efficiency standards – you see why this is such a special set up.


Only the highest quality nickel thin tube elements are used throughout the actual heating system itself, allowing this platform to stand up to even the harshest chemical situations – including low pH levels, high flow levels, and heavy use levels.

On top of that, a digital control LCD module not only gives you instant real-time feedback about the temperature of your swimming pool but it also allows you to dial in (with a fine degree of control) all of your individual pool settings as well.

As if all of that wasn’t enough of a reason to move forward with this particular option, resin headers also guarantee that this critical component will not rust and destroy your pool the way that some of the other heating options on the market may.


  • Effortless installation with plumbing already set up
  • The intelligent microprocessor handles diagnostic issues with ease
  • Set it and forget it style usage from this top-flight piece of technology


Obviously a little on the pricier side of things compared to other heating units


Because this is the flagship model from the folks at Raypak – and one of the best Raypak pool heaters ever made – the price for this particular unit is a little bit higher than some of the competing options from other manufacturers. However, when you factor in the longevity, the efficiency, and the reliability of this unit the price of ownership over the lifetime of this system comes down significantly.

Customer Reviews

“I was able to install this heating unit all on my own in a single afternoon with no extra tools and no real experience”

“It uses natural gas which definitely helps to keep down its cost of ownership while delivering an efficient, even heat throughout my swimming pool”

“I don’t think I’ll ever have to purchase another swimming pool heater for the rest of my life, that’s how good this system is”

Final Verdict

If you want a real set it and forget it style natural gas pool heater that works almost right out of the box, a system designed to evenly and efficiently heat your entire swimming pool all year round, this is where you’re going to want to invest your money.

2. Raypak 266,000 BTU Digital Electronic Ignition Natural Gas Pool Heater

A slightly smaller unit compared to our top option, this works better for slightly smaller swimming pools or those that may not want hot tub style temperatures throughout their swimming pool all the time.

This system also takes advantage of natural gas as the fuel source, a source that is inexpensive, safe, and easy to take advantage of while providing even and efficient heat throughout the entirety of your swimming pool.

A lot of the same advanced features are built right into this Raypak model, giving you a fantastic bang for your buck and a lot of value that you might not have been able to get out of similar units from other manufacturers.


The intelligent microprocessor in this model works as the “brain” of the operation, controlling absolutely everything in regards to how your system heats your pool evenly and efficiently. You’ll be able to fine-tune all of the settings to your exact specifications, but once you lock in the settings the microprocessor handles the rest of the heavy lifting for you.

From top to bottom the construction materials used throughout this system are made out of 100% noncorrosive and rust resistant materials guarantee to provide a lifetime of service. This is super dependable and the kind of system that you can count on for years and years to come – really helping to keep the overall cost of ownership down.


  • Built-in plumbing connections make this an absolute cinch to install all on your own, even without a lot of experience
  • The microprocessor controlled thermostat is a true set it and forget it kind of system
  • The copper fin tube heat exchanger is ridiculously efficient


It’ll take about an afternoon to get this system set up and running all on your own


Slightly less expensive than the other Raypak model we highlighted above (and slightly more expensive than some of the other Raypak models available for sale), this particular pool heater sits right in the “Goldilocks Zone” as far as pricing is concerned.

This is definitely one of the top options on the market today and certainly one of the best Raypak pool heaters money can buy.

Customer Reviews

“I was blown away by just how quiet this natural gas pool heater was during normal operation. I didn’t think it would be this silent”

“Believe it or not, it only took four hours to heat my 28 foot aboveground pool from 75°F to 85°F!”

“The built-in hookups making installing this system all on your own as simple and as straightforward as it could possibly be”

Final Verdict

In the fleet of Raypak pool heaters there are a lot of options to pick and choose from, but this model is definitely one of our favorites for aboveground and inground pools of medium-size.

3. Raypak 336,000 BTU Digital Electronic Ignition Natural Gas Pool Heater

Advertised as a real “plug and play” kind of pool heater that works almost right out of the box, you’ll be amazed at just how simple the installation process is for this digital electric ignition natural gas pool heater from the folks at Raypak.

Designed to accommodate medium size to large size swimming pools (of both the aboveground and inground variety), the BTU output from this model is certainly more than enough to get your entire swimming pool up to indoor and spot temperatures with absolutely zero trouble whatsoever – even if you are running this heater outdoors in the dead of winter.


Like all other modern Raypak pool heaters, this contender takes advantage of a microprocessor controlled digital thermostat system that is as simple to use as it could possibly get. You’ll be able to fine-tune your temperature controls to your exact specifications with the easy to manipulate control scheme, and as soon as you have everything dialed in the microprocessor handles everything else – and maintains those temperatures for you with zero trouble at all.

From top to bottom, the entire unit is made out of noncorrosive, rust resistant, and nonreactive materials that can withstand everything from low pH balance water to saltwater and everything in between. Yes, this unit can be used to keep a saltwater pool at perfect temperatures as well.


  • Intelligently designed internals allow you to maintain temperatures effortlessly in every condition
  • Can be used with swimming pools that have been set up for saltwater
  • Effortless installation made possible with stainless steel tubesheet, 2 inch CPVC water connections, and more


Bulky cabinet style water heater


Only slightly more expensive than the Raypak water heater we highlighted above, this is a fantastic option for pools that are slightly larger than your traditional medium-sized pool – but it works wonders with larger pools as well. This is a great value compared to the rest of the competition.

Customer Reviews

“I ordered this to replace a 15-year-old Raypak water heater, and only did that to take advantage of new technology. I expect this to last at least 15 years as well!”

“From the moment I opened the box I knew that this was a top-quality piece of pool heating technology. Everything feels top-tier, and I love the LCD display and easy control system”

“Installation was legitimately plug and play. I handled everything even though I didn’t have a whole lot of experience setting these kinds of pool heaters up beforehand.

Final Verdict

Another great pool heater from the folks at Raypak, you will not be disappointed should you choose to get your hands on this particular model for the right sized pool. It has all the bells and whistles you could hope for!

Closing Thoughts

Each and every one of the models we highlighted above could easily be considered one of the three best Raypak pool heaters available on the market today.

They have the advanced technology, high-quality build materials, and other top-tier features you are looking for at a price point that guarantees the long-term cost of ownership is never exorbitant or outrageous. These are the kinds of systems you’ll be able to rely on for at least a decade – if not even longer than that!

The only difficult decision you’ll have is figuring out which of the Raypak models works best for your specific situation!