5 Best Pool Booster Pumps in 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks
When using a pressure-side pool cleaner, you need to provide it with at least 30-PSI of pressure to operate properly. This requires a quality booster pump to help increase the pressure and power the cleaner.
Recently, we started searching for the best pool booster pumps to power our cleaners. We wanted something reliable for daily use and powerful enough to easily push the cleaner along without it getting stuck. After trying out several, we’ve written reviews to compare five of the most popular and best ones that we tried. Out of them, we recommend only the first three, and we will summarize them again at the end to make sure they’re fresh in your mind while you decide on a pump for yourself.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (2023 Update)
|Best Overall||Zodiac PB4-60 Polaris Booster Pump||
|Best Value||Gecko 06120500-2040 Flo-Master||
|Premium Choice||Hayward W36060 Booster Pump||
|Pentair LA01N Booster Pump||
|POLARIS PB460-1 Booster Pump||
The 5 Best Pool Booster Pumps
1. Zodiac PB4-60 Polaris Booster Pump – Best Overall
Packed with ¾HP of pool cleaner pushing power, the Zodiac PB4-60 Polaris Booster Pump is our pick for the best booster pump for a pool overall. Our experience with this device was great from start to finish. It was easy to install and we had it completely in and working in less than two hours. That said, you should be aware that installing it yourself will void the warranty. The warranty will only be honored if installed by a certified technician which will raise the total cost. Luckily, this is one of the more cost-effective booster pumps.
You can run this pump on 115V or 230V electric, so whatever you currently have will work fine with the PB4-60. It’s designed to provide just the right amount of water pressure to run pressure-side pool cleaners without issue. In our testing, this proved to be true. Cleaners never seemed to get hung up when powered by this booster pump, and they moved along the pool floor at ideal speeds. We were all impressed at the low noise the Zodiac pump makes when operating. Overall, it was our favorite booster pump, which is why it tops our list in the first position.
2. Gecko 06120500-2040 Flo-Master – Best Value
You may think that all booster pumps are created equal, but the 2HP motor packed into the Gecko Flo-Master begs to differ. This pump provides plenty of power to keep any pressure-side pool cleaner zipping around your pool with ease. Despite all the power, it’s still one of the more affordable booster pumps on the market, which is why we think it’s the best pool booster pump for the money.
The 2-horsepower this pump provides can move up to 150 gallons per minute of water. Your pool cleaner won’t need that much, but however much it needs, this pump can easily supply it. Our biggest complaint about it pertains to its installation. It wasn’t particularly difficult to install, but the included documentation wasn’t very clear or detailed so you may only want to attempt it yourself if you have a good bit of experience with these types of things.
3. Hayward W36060 Booster Pump – Premium Choice
Hayward is one of the most well-known and respected names in pool equipment, so it shouldn’t be surprising that their W36060 Booster Pump has earned one of our top recommendations. This pump is notably more expensive than competitors, but we think the value it provides warrants the extra expense. This is one of the only ENERGY STAR certified booster pumps that we’ve seen. That means that it uses up to 35% less electricity than the models it’s competing against from other manufacturers. In the long run, this can add up to significant savings on your energy bill. This is especially true when you consider that your booster pump will be running for hours every day during the pool season.
This pump features a tall base that keeps the pump elevated to reduce damage in case of flooding. It was a pretty simple install process and we had it installed and functioning in just a couple of hours. With ¾-horsepower, it can adequately power any pressure-side pool cleaner without issue. It kept our cleaners moving at respectable speeds and never let up or gave us any issues in our testing.
4. Pentair LA01N Booster Pump
Pentair is another very well-known manufacturer of pool-related equipment. Their LA01N booster pump is a solid device that we think was outperformed by the three models that earned higher positions on this list. But it does have some great features that make it a worthwhile device overall. For instance, it’s very durable since it’s built from corrosion-proof materials that are suited for the wet environment where this pump will be living. The Pentair LA01N can provide up to 50 PSI at a flow rate of 12 gallons per minute, which is plenty to keep any pool cleaner moving around and cleaning up your pool.
The Pentair pump can be hooked up to 115V or 230V power, making installation simple. Once we had it all hooked up, we were disappointed at how loud it was during operation. Many of the other pumps we tested were quieter, and this flaw definitely held the Pentair booster pump back from achieving our recommendation. Worse, the seals started leaking after just a few months of use. It’s covered by a one-year warranty, but we don’t think this type of problem should be present after such a short period.
5. POLARIS PB460-1 Booster Pump
With ¾-horsepower stuffed into an affordable package, this POLARIS booster pump looked like a great choice for powering pressure-side pool cleaners. However, it seemed to be less powerful than other pumps with the same ¾-horsepower rating. The cleaners we hooked up to it moved slower around the pool and had a generally more difficult time performing their duties. But other traits this pump exhibited were more positive. For instance, it was very easy to install thanks to the included install kit. It’s also got a drain plug that lets you easily evacuate the water for winterizing.
Our biggest complaint about the POLARIS PB460-1 booster pump is longevity. A few months after installing this pump, it started screaming very loudly. The bearings had failed and the pump was no longer usable. POLARIS replaced it since it was within the one-year warranty time frame, but we expect to see any booster pump last longer than a year without having a major failure like what we experienced.
Buyer’s Guide – Finding the Best Pool Booster Pump
Now you’ve seen how five of the best pool booster pumps stack up against each other. It’s time to dig a bit deeper into booster pumps and decide what traits we need to prioritize when purchasing one. To start with, why even use a booster pump? Let’s make sure we have a good understanding of these machines before we make our purchase.
Why Use a Booster Pump?
Booster pumps are meant to provide higher-pressure water to a pressure-side pool cleaner. The pool cleaner needs the pressure to power itself around the pool, but the pool filter system doesn’t usually have enough pressure on its own to provide what one of these cleaners need. So, the question then is; why should you use a pressure-side pool cleaner?
If you don’t have a booster pump currently, it’s going to require some extra plumbing and electric to install one, so it may not seem like a worthwhile investment. Pressure-side pool cleaners are excellent for picking up large debris. Are you tired of having to net leaves from your pool on a daily basis? For people who live in heavily wooded areas that are constantly experiencing pools full of leaves and debris, a pressure-side cleaner is a way to reduce your maintenance time. It can handle small twigs and leaves and collect them into the bag for you to easily remove. This is generally beyond the capabilities of many other types of pool cleaners, which is why pressure-side cleaners are so attractive. Most pressure-side pool cleaners require a booster pump to provide the level of pressure they require to run. Installing a booster pump where you don’t currently have one may be an added investment initially, but it could pay off in time saved over the long run.
Traits to Look for in a Booster Pump
Now that we know why you would want to use a booster pump in the first place, it’s time to discuss what to look for when purchasing one. Whether you’re replacing an existing pump or getting a booster pump for the first time, these are the traits to consider when looking for a booster pump.
Your pool booster pump is going to be running any time that your pool cleaner is running. This means it’s going to be running daily, for an hour or more every time. That may even occur twice a day during the most active seasons. You may not think about it often, but that’s a lot to ask of any machine. If the booster pump you purchase isn’t built tough enough to endure this daily workload, then you may be replacing it again much sooner than you’d like. But if you purchase a quality pump with great longevity, it should last you for years without even needing a moment of your time.
Like we just mentioned, booster pumps are asked to provide a lot of power for extended periods every day. All of that power requires electricity, and that can add up to quite a bit of energy usage each week. But some models of booster pumps are more energy-efficient than others. These models can save you money in the long run by conserving energy and reducing your electricity expenditure.
This is something that you may not even consider until it’s too late. But trust us, once you get your pump hooked up and running, you will definitely notice this. If your pump is exceptionally loud, you’ll be regretting your purchase very quickly. But don’t worry too much, there are plenty of very quiet booster pumps available now. The ones that we’ve recommended are all very quiet when they run. But if you opt to go another route instead, then we suggest making sure that it’s as quiet as possible.
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Sometimes, things go wrong. It’s a fact of life. If something happens to go wrong with your booster pump, it pays to know that you’ll be protected. Many pool booster pumps are only covered by one-year warranty periods while others span up to three years. But beware, some warranties are voided if the pump is not installed by a certified professional. If you plan to install the booster pump yourself to save money, make sure that it won’t void the warranty on the pump that you purchase.
If you wish to use a pressure-side pool cleaner, you’ll likely need a booster pump to provide the amount of pressure required to run it properly. You’re going to be letting it run for hours every day during the pool season, so you must get a reliable booster pump. Some respectable energy-efficiency wouldn’t hurt either. You’ve read our reviews comparing five of the most popular, but we only recommend three of them. The Zodiac PB4-60 Polaris Booster Pump is our pick for the best pool booster pump. It runs quietly, can be powered by 115V or 230V electricity, and it’s easy to install.
For the best value, we suggest the Gecko Flo-Master. With its powerful two-horsepower motor it can power any pressure-side pool cleaner. It’s also very affordably priced so it’s not such a major investment on top of your pool cleaner. But if you don’t mind investing a bit more in premium quality, then we recommend the Hayward W36060 booster pump. It’s one of the only ENERGY STAR certified booster pumps, which means it uses less energy and saves you more money in the long run.
Featured Image Credit: JackStar88, Shutterstock