The 6 Best Pool Timers

If you want my quick verdict, the Honeywell timer is the best timer for most people. Read more about that option and my other top picks below.

A pool timer, or pool pump timer, is crucial if you want to keep your pool clean without a high electricity bill. If you don’t have a timer, your pump will run until you switch it off. If you fail to turn it off, it will keep running (and eating into the electricity bill).

There are many options in the pool pump timer market, and finding the right one can feel a little overwhelming.

In this article, I review the best pool timers for different situations. I’ll look at the ins and outs of each of them. By the end, you will have the information you need to choose a pool timer that fits your specific needs.

Pool Timers: My Top Picks


Aube by Honeywell TI040/U 7-Day Programmable Timer

⭐ Best Heavy Duty Timer

Research Score: 4.85 out of 5

  • Durability: 5
  • Compatibility: 4
  • Programmability: 5
  • Price: 5
  • Safety: 5

What’s Great:

  • 14 different settings
  • 7-day programming
  • The casing is lockable and weatherproof

Limitations & What Needs Improvement:

  • Unable to control several pumps at once
  • Rated for 120V and 240V
  • Rated for 1.5HP and 2HP
  • 3.86"D x 5.19"W x 9.29"H

Research Notes

The Aube by Honeywell timer is one of the best heavy-duty pool timers on the market. It comes with a weatherproof casing that can withstand salty air and pool water. Despite being on the cheaper end of the spectrum when it comes to programmable timers, the Aube by Honeywell timer has 14 different settings and is programmable for seven days. However, on the flip side, this timer cannot control several pumps simultaneously.

Durability

The Aube by Honeywell programmable timer comes with a weatherproof heavy-duty casing. Making it ideal for outdoor use and can certainly be used for pool pumps. Due to the durability of the casing, you can even use this timer if you live near the ocean. This quality Aube by Honeywell timer should last you years once installed.

Compatibility

You can switch the voltage between 120 volts and 240 volts, depending on your needs. However, the Aube by Honeywell timer cannot control several pumps simultaneously, though it is compatible with three-way switches, so you can build a system for multiple pools.

Programmability

This pool timer is one of the very best on the market due to its wide range of features. It has 14 different settings and three modes: manual, automatic, and temporary bypass. In addition, the Honeywell timer can save programmed settings for up to 7 days. And if you want to override the programmed settings at any point, you can use the temporary bypass setting.

Price

The Aube by Honeywell is an incredibly well-priced programmable timer that will last you years. Although not the most complex timer system out there, it still comes with plenty of features and three different settings to match your needs. You cannot beat the price point of this pool timer.

Safety

The casing that comes with this programmable timer is lockable for better security. The last thing you want is for the casing to come loose, exposing the timer inside to the elements and, worse, to the pool water.

Notes From Other Testers

The Aube by Honeywell comes highly rated by testers all around the world. Out of more than 1,000 reviews currently, this timer boasts 4.5 out of 5 stars. It ranks particularly highly for being weatherproof, easy to use, easy to install, and for its timer function. With almost 90% of reviews rating this Aube by Honeywell timer a 4 or 5 stars, you know you’re getting a quality product when you purchase this timer. However, it seems that a few testers have had issues receiving faulty products, so the company could do extra quality checks before sending out the products.

Intermatic P1121 Heavy Duty Outdoor Timer

⭐ Best for Above Ground Pools

Research Score: 4.2 out of 5

  • Durability: 4
  • Compatibility: 3
  • Programmability: 4
  • Price: 5
  • Safety: 5

What’s Great:

  • Outdoor rated casing
  • Can be plugged directly into the wall
  • Setting adjustments are straightforward

Limitations & What Needs Improvement:

  • Not the most durable timer
  • Only rated for 120V and 1HP
  • Rated for 120V
  • Rated for 1HP
  • 3.8"D x 7"W x 5.5"H

Research Notes

The Intermatic P1121 is a good quality simple timer that does the trick for above ground pool owners. If you’re not looking for anything too fancy, this Intermatic timer does the job of turning on and off your pump at the desired times. This timer comes with removable trippers that you can use to set when your timer is on and off. Although this timer comes with a waterproof casing, the manufacturer could work a bit on the durability.

Durability

This Intermatic timer is explicitly designed for outdoor use, so it is built to withstand the usual wear and tear caused by outdoor elements and even pool water. However, there are some complaints that the outdoor-rated enclosure is not as durable as it should be. With that said, the timer has held up reasonably well in my testing of the product.

Compatibility

The Intermatic P1121 timer is only rated for 1 HP and 120 volts, so make sure your pool pump is compatible with this timer before you purchase it. Although this rating is respectable and may work with your average above ground pool pump, it may be better to look elsewhere if you have a more powerful one.

Programmability

This Intermatic timer is a straightforward machine you can easily program with removable trippers. These trippers are placed on the timer at your desired times and will trigger the timer to turn the pump on or off. The minimum operating interval for this timer is 30 minutes. Although the Intermatic timer is not the most programmable on the market, it makes up for ease of use.

Price

You really can’t go any cheaper than this Intermatic timer. For the price, this timer does the job and does it well. If you don’t mind not having a digital interface, this timer still does the job of turning your pool pump on and off at a much lower price point.

Safety

As this Intermatic timer is built specifically for outdoor use, the timer is built with safety in mind. This product also Features a waterproof cover that will protect the timer from bad weather and splashes from the pool.

Notes From Other Testers

At 4.4 out of 5 stars, the Intermatic P1121 is a popular choice for above ground pool owners. With more than 2,500 reviews, testers especially love that this timer is easy to use and weatherproof. Testers are happy with the simple makeup of the timer and are pleased that this timer helps them to save money in the long run. On the other hand, some testers complain about the product's durability. Unfortunately, this timer does not last as long as it should for some testers.

Woods 59104RWD Outdoor 24-Hour Heavy Duty Mechanical Time Switch

⭐ Most Daily Settings

Research Score: 4.45 out of 5

  • Durability: 3
  • Compatibility: 5
  • Programmability: 5
  • Price: 5
  • Safety: 4

What’s Great:

  • Weatherproof metal casing
  • 24-hour settings
  • Easy to install and use

Limitations & What Needs Improvement:

  • Durability is lacking
  • Rated for up to 277V
  • Rated for up to 5HP
  • 3.75"D x 6.5"W x 9.25"H

Research Notes

Look no further if you’re looking for a timer that rates highly on programmability and compatibility. The Woods 59104RWD can program up to 24 on and off settings per day, with 30-minute intervals. And this timer is rated up to 5HP and 277V, so it should be able to handle pretty much any pool pump. This Woods timer is also quite affordable.

However, durability is lacking in this product. Although the Woods 59104RWD features a weatherproof metal casing, many other testers have complained that this product could be prone to stop working after just a few months.

Durability

The Woods 59104RWD features an industrial-grade lockable metal box and heavy-duty gear train. This timer is built to be set up outdoors, so it is decently weatherproof and should withstand normal wear and tear. However, it is worth noting that according to some testers, compared to other outdoor timers, the Woods 59104RWD is lacking in terms of durability.

Compatibility

This timer is rated for up to 5HP and 277V, so the Woods 59104RWD should be compatible with pool pumps of all sizes and strengths. Due to its high compatibility, you can use this timer for just about anything, including pool pumps, pool heaters, air conditioning, and other heavy-duty uses.

Programmability

This Woods 59104RWD is one of the most programmable timers. This timer can program up to 24 on and off settings per day. That’s one per hour! Although this timer cannot program over several days like digital timers, as far as mechanical timers go, this one really allows for flexible programming to meet any pool owner’s needs.

Price

This Woods timer is a very value-friendly purchase. The timer itself doesn’t cost too much at just over $40, and you get the bonus of having an incredibly programmable timer. For this price point, you will be hard-pressed to find another timer than can program more on and off settings than the Woods 59104RWD.

Safety

This timer sits inside an industrial-grade metal box that will prevent the timer from any outside elements - including water and harsh weather. However, as mentioned, the Woods 59104RWD does not rate very highly on durability, so it could cause some trouble if the metal casing were to corrode over time.

Notes From Other Testers

The Woods 59104RWD has an average rating of 3.9 out of 5 stars from around 250 reviews. Testers particularly love that this timer is easy to use and install and that it is weatherproof. Another big point of praise is its programmability - the ability to program up to 24 on and off times throughout the day. However, the durability of the Woods timer needs some improvement. There are some complaints regarding this timer breaking down after just a couple of months of use.

GE Z-Wave Plus Direct Wire Smart Switch

⭐ Best Mobile App Controlled Timer

Research Score: 4.8 out of 5

  • Durability: 5
  • Compatibility: 5
  • Programmability: 5
  • Price: 4
  • Safety: 5

What’s Great:

  • Allows wireless control
  • A smart switch that connects to smart home hubs
  • Weatherproof

Limitations & What Needs Improvement:

  • The wireless signal can be weak sometimes, especially at long range
  • Rated for up to 277V
  • Rated for up to 40amps
  • ‎5.22”D x 6.46”W x 9.7”H

Research Notes

The GE Z-Wave smart switch should be your pick if you are looking for a large load smart timer for your pool pump. This heavy-duty pump is weatherproof and built specifically to withstand wet conditions, such as heavy rain or splashes from a pool. Simply connect this switch to your smart home hub, and you can program your pool pump or heater to run at your desired times. As a plus, you can even control the functions from miles away. You can even integrate this timer into Amazon Alexa for voice integration.

However, ensure you install this smart switch close to your pool, as the wireless function can be a bit wonky at long range.

Durability

The GE Z-Wave is designed for indoor and outdoor applications. It is weatherproof, meaning the timer can withstand outdoor elements. In fact, the weatherproofing of this product is highly rated by other testers as well, with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

Compatibility

This smart switch is intended for large-load devices as it can handle loads up to 277V or 11,000 watts. This means the GE Z-Wave is powerful enough to handle any pool pump size. With a current rating of 40 amps, this switch should be compatible with your inground and above ground pool and accessories.

Programmability

This smart switch has three operation modes: on, off, and Z-wave. As this product functions as a basic switch as well, you can turn your pool pump or heater on and off as you want. But the cool thing about this product is its smart function. Simply connect this switch to your smart home hub, and you can program this switch to turn on and off at your desired times and dates. And due to its smart capability, you can even control your pump from miles away!

Price

The GE Z-Wave is not the cheapest pool timer on the market, but it comes at a fair price for a smart switch. Smart switches don’t come cheap; this one is just a fraction of the cost of other smart timers from more prominent companies.

Safety

The metal enclosure of this switch protects the wiring and other electrical elements from potentially damp conditions. The GE Z-Wave is built to withstand outdoor elements, so it is entirely safe to use.

Notes From Other Testers

Out of more than 600 reviews, the GE Z-Wave rates 4.3 out of 5 stars. It ranks particularly highly for Alexa integration, weatherproofing, and ease of installation. Most other testers are incredibly happy with this product and its ability to easily integrate into smart home hubs, making their pool pumps so much easier to control - even while on vacation miles away. However, on the flip side, some testers have had issues with the connection at long ranges. So, to be on the safe side, try installing the timer closer to your pool pump.

Woods Outdoor 7-Day Heavy Duty Digital Plug-in Timer

⭐ Most Affordable

Research Score: 4.35 out of 5

  • Durability: 4
  • Compatibility: 3
  • Programmability: 5
  • Price: 5
  • Safety: 4

What’s Great:

  • Flexible settings
  • Smart backup battery
  • It can be used with appliances other than pool pumps

Limitations & What Needs Improvement:

  • The power cord is relatively short
  • Short lifespan
  • Rated for 120V
  • Rated for 3/4HP
  • 2”D x 6.5”W x 8”H

Research Notes

The Woods 50015WD is a digital plug-in timer that is suited for pool pumps, fountains, and even pool heat pumps. It comes with a self-charging backup battery that saves your settings, so you don’t have to keep resetting it every time there’s a power outage. You can also program this timer as you want for seven days at a time. This Woods timer does leave some room for wanting in terms of durability, but you really can’t beat the price and value.

Durability

The Woods 50015WD heavy-duty digital timer is weatherproof and built to withstand outdoor use. This timer can handle heavy-duty appliances like your pool pump and other accessories. Other testers rate this product’s weatherproofing at 4.2 out of 5 stars. However, I have had to dock off one point here as some other testers have had issues with this product breaking down after just a few months of use. With that said, I have not noticed this issue in my own testing, so take that as you will!

Compatibility

The current rating for the Woods 50015WD is 15 amps, meaning it is rated for up to ¾ HP pool pumps. In terms of voltage, it is rated for up to 120V. This product is by no means the most powerful on the market, but it will do the job for most above ground pool pumps. Before purchasing this product, ensure this timer can hold your pool pump or heater.

Programmability

You can program up to 20 on and off settings for seven days. You can even program up to the minute, so you can be as precise as you want. Since you can program each day of the week differently, you can program Monday differently from Saturday, for example.

Price

The Woods 50015WD is one of the cheapest pool timers out there without sacrificing the quality of the product. At just around $20, if you’re looking for a budget solution that will help save money on your energy bill, this Woods product is the way to go.

Safety

The timer comes with a protective cover that protects the timer itself from outdoor elements. However, the power cord that comes with this timer is relatively short. So, make sure your outlet is protected by a cover as well.

Notes From Other Testers

The Woods 50015WD is one of the most popular pool timers. Out of almost 3,000 reviews, it rates highly at a 4.3 out of 5 stars. Testers especially love that this product is properly weatherproof. This plug-in timer is loved as it is super easy to program and does its job perfectly of turning things on and off as programmed - and at such a cheap price. However, some testers complain about the product’s durability and relatively short lifespan compared to other pool timers.

Intermatic Electromechanical Pool Timer

⭐ Easiest to Set Up

Research Score: 4.7 out of 5

  • Durability: 5
  • Compatibility: 5
  • Programmability: 4
  • Price: 5
  • Safety: 5

What’s Great:

  • Weatherproof enclosure
  • Very easy to set up
  • 12 daily settings

Limitations & What Needs Improvement:

  • Issues with on/off trippers
  • Rated for up to 277V
  • Rated for up to 40amps
  • ‎3.63”D x 6.5”W x 10.13”H

Research Notes

The Intermatic electromechanical pool timer works for all pool-related situations, including residential and commercial pools. It can switch anywhere from 208 volts to 277 volts, so it is quite versatile and should be able to handle pretty much any load. Its weatherproof casing comes in handy for any outdoor usage as well. Programming this timer is simple as 1, 2, or 3 - simply attach the trippers to the desired times. However, some testers have had issues with the trippers, so you may need to purchase them separately (this product only comes with one-on and one-off trippers anyway).

Durability

The Intermatic electromechanical pool timer is covered with a durable metal enclosure that protects the timer itself from outdoor elements. Other testers rate the product’s weatherproof ability pretty highly at a 4.6 out of 5. This timer is built to last you up to 10 years.

Compatibility

This Intermatic timer has some of the highest HP ratings for a timer, at 40 amps. Meaning that this pool timer can easily take on most loads. This Intermatic electromechanical pool timer can be used for most outdoor pool applications, including any lighting, pool heaters, and pool pumps.

Programmability

Programming this timer couldn’t be any easier. The Intermatic electromechanical pool timer comes with one on and one off tripper that you simply clip onto your desired times. If you’d like to program more, you can easily purchase more trippers to program up to 12 on or off settings in 24 hours. Unlike some other pool timers, you can’t program for several days, but if you don’t mind having the same program that resets every 24 hours, this timer will more than meet your needs.

Price

For the quality of the product that you get, this pool timer is very reasonably priced. Especially if you consider the fact that this timer can last you up to 10 years, this Intermatic timer comes at a very competitive price.

Safety

This Intermatic timer is protected by a steel box that keeps the timer itself safe from weather and any splashes from your pool. There are no complaints regarding the safety of this product.

Notes From Other Testers

A 4.6 out of 5-star rating from more than 1,000 reviews is a huge feat for any product, with more than 90% of testers rating it 4 or 5 stars. The Intermatic electromechanical pool timer rates particularly high in the following categories: weatherproof, easy to use, accuracy, and installation. Testers love that this timer is simple and effective - saving them more money in the long run than the timer itself is worth.

There are some complaints from testers that have had issues with the on/off trippers, such as missing trippers in the original box or the trippers becoming loose over time.

Recap: The Best Pool Timers

How They Compare

Durability and Price Comparison

I made a scatterplot of my durability and price scores for each timer to show which products have the best value for your money. Honeywell and the Intermatic Electromechanical Pool Timer really shine here.

Compatibility Comparison

  1. Woods 59104RWD Outdoor 24-Hour Heavy Duty Mechanical Time Switch: 5
  2. GE Z-Wave Plus Direct Wire Smart Switch: 5
  3. Intermatic Electromechanical Pool Timer: 5
  4. Aube by Honeywell TI040/U 7-Day Programmable Timer: 4
  5. Intermatic P1121 Heavy Duty Outdoor Timer: 3
  6. Woods Outdoor 7-Day Heavy Duty Digital Plug-in Timer: 3

The simplest pump timers won on compatibility, with the exception of the GE Z-Wave timer, which also performed well.

Programmability Comparison

  1. Woods 59104RWD Outdoor 24-Hour Heavy Duty Mechanical Time Switch: 5
  2. GE Z-Wave Plus Direct Wire Smart Switch: 5
  3. Woods Outdoor 7-Day Heavy Duty Digital Plug-in Timer: 5
  4. Aube by Honeywell TI040/U 7-Day Programmable Timer: 5
  5. Intermatic P1121 Heavy Duty Outdoor Timer: 4
  6. Intermatic Electromechanical Pool Timer: 4

I really like the programmability of Woods, GE, and Honeywell timers. Intermatic struggled in this category among my other top picks, but still performed decently well.

Safety Comparison

  1. GE Z-Wave Plus Direct Wire Smart Switch: 5
  2. Aube by Honeywell TI040/U 7-Day Programmable Timer: 5
  3. Intermatic P1121 Heavy Duty Outdoor Timer: 5
  4. Intermatic Electromechanical Pool Timer: 5
  5. Woods 59104RWD Outdoor 24-Hour Heavy Duty Mechanical Time Switch: 4
  6. Woods Outdoor 7-Day Heavy Duty Digital Plug-in Timer: 4

I have some small durability and power cord concerns with Woods timers, as I talked about in my notes above.

Other Timers Researched

  • BN-LINK Compact Outdoor Mechanical Timer
    Source: I didn't love this timer in my testing and think Intermatic makes a better mechanical solution.
  • Dewenwils Wireless Controller Timer: This Wi-Fi enabled timer is very difficult to set up and the Wi-Fi isn't always reliable.
  • Fosmon C-10707US Mechanical Light Timer: This model is not durable at all. I would avoid it.
  • NSi 1101B Electromechanical Time Switch: This model has to be used indoors and isn't very durable.
  • Plusmart Outdoor Timer: Cheap, but not durable enough to stay outside for long periods of time.
  • Sylvania SA307 Double Pole Zip Industrial Timer: Very expensive and not a good value for your money.

My Research Criteria

So how did I select the best pool timers?

I looked at a lot of features, specifications, and even prices. Let’s look at each of these variables.

Durability

Durability made up 20% of the total scores.

With any pool product, you want to ensure you get something that will last longer than one pool season. The last thing you want is to replace a pool timer every year or deal with troubleshooting. As pool timers are constantly exposed to the elements and chemicals in the water, you should ensure you get a quality product that will last you years to come.

A pool timer should last up to 20 years if properly taken care of.

Current Rating and Compatibility

Compatibility accounted for 15% of the product scores.

Every pool pump timer has a current rating, which tells you how much current it can withstand.

You will need a different current rating depending on the pool’s size and whether it’s in a residential or commercial setting. The most important thing to note here is that whatever current rating you go for in your pool timer should be higher than the current rating on the pool pump.

With a higher rating on the timer than the pump, you won’t have to worry about the timer being your system’s weak point. Also, when you get a pool timer with a high current rating, you can use it with many different types of pool pumps.

It’s also future-proof because it will still be helpful if you upgrade to a pool pump with a higher current rating.

You should also check how much HP your pool timer is rated for and make sure that is compatible with your pool pump.

Programmability

Programmability took up 30% of the total product scores.

A swimming pool timer’s ability to save programmed settings is yet another thing you should consider. You should be able to set run times each day and other features. This trait is particularly important when there is a power outage. If it can save programmed settings, it should pick up where it left off when the power comes on again.

For more information on pump run times and timer programming settings, read my guide on how long to run your pool pump each day.

Price

Price is an obvious consideration when buying any product, so price made up 20% of the scores.

You don’t necessarily need an expensive pool timer since a higher price tag doesn’t automatically mean the timer is of superior quality.

Things like brand reputation or extra features can influence the price. These extra bells and whistles may or may not be useful for you. If they are not helpful, you should opt for a cheaper timer that gives you what you need without unnecessary extras.

Read my research on pool timer costs for a full breakdown of average prices.

Safety

Safety accounted for 15% of the overall product scores.

Safety is something you should always consider when purchasing an electrical device. You should, therefore, check whether the timer has the necessary safety features.

Some pool pump timers have a heavy-duty metal casing to protect them from inclement weather and other potential damage. Others have insulation for the connections to protect you from getting electrocuted. You also need to install the timer properly to avoid any wiring issues and set the timer properly to have your pool pump running smoothly.

You need to ensure that the device is safe to use around your family (for residential pools) or patrons (for commercial settings).

What Else To Consider

Here are some other things to consider when finding the best pool timer for your specific needs.

Load Capacity

The load capacity is a measure of how much load the pump timer can take on. A good one should be versatile enough to handle variable loads. For example, you might be operating more than one pool pump simultaneously and need a single timer for all the equipment.

There are pool pump timers on the market that can operate with several pumps simultaneously.

Pool timers typically have three-way independent circuits, each with a control point and program to work independently of each other. For the most part, such pool timers are digital timers. For more on which pool timers are suitable for your situation, check out my article on how to find the right pool timer for you.

Extra Features

Pool timers come with additional features, such as the ability to switch modes, voltage settings, LCD (for digital timers), and the ability to set the number of operations per day.

There is no standard set of features that all manufacturers include, so they will always try to add something unique that makes their pool timer stand out from the competition.

You should take advantage of this as a buyer and find one with the right extra features.

Questions? Drop me a line, and I’ll get back to you soon! Also, be sure to check out my recommendations for top-rated pool pumps if you need a new one.

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