A pool timer, or pool pump timer, is a crucial device 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 it can feel a little overwhelming to find the right one.
For this review, I focus on the best pool timers for different situations. We will look at the ins and outs of each of them. By the end, you will have the information that you need to choose a pool timer that fits with your specific needs.
Pool Timers: Our Top Picks
Aube by Honeywell TI040/U 7-Day Programmable Timer
⭐ Best Heavy Duty Timer
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.
The temporary bypass setting allows you to override the current setup without altering its programmed settings. While we’re talking about programmed settings, this pool timer can save programmed settings for seven days.
The Aube is a workhorse capable of 16 hours of continuous operation, which allows you to save on electricity. You can also switch the voltage between 120 volts and 240 volts.
Unfortunately, the Aube cannot control several pumps simultaneously, though it is compatible with three-way switches so that you can build a system for multiple pools.
- Heavy-duty weather-proof casing (Nema 3R) ideal for outdoor use, pool pumps, outdoor equipment, construction sites, etc. Use the TI040 to run your...
- Selectable voltage switch enables choice of 120V or 240V
- Lockable casing for increased security
- Temporary bypass enables override without affecting programming. Three-operating modes: Manual (conventional on and off switch), Automatic, and...
- 3-Way input for a remote switch. Connection: Terminals for No.14 to No.10 AWG wire, multi switch (3-way) compatible, 1.5 HP 120-Volt 30-Ampere...
- 4-Inch by 7.2-Inch by 3.8-Inch
- Works with both 120-volt and 240-volt currents
- 16-hour operating time
- 14 different settings
- 7-day programming
- The casing is lockable and weatherproof
- Unable to control several pumps at once
Intermatic P1121 Heavy Duty Outdoor Timer
⭐ Best for Above Ground Pools
The P1121 is for the outdoor pools. It comes with a weatherproof enclosure that you can flip open. It also has removable trippers that allow for two settings per day (on and off) and a minimum operating interval of 30 minutes.
The Intermatic also has a NEMA plug that works with a regular outlet. Despite these qualities, there have been complaints about its low durability compared to other outdoor timers. However, when we tested it, the timer held up well.
- Designed specifically for outdoor applications, dynamic weather conditions and ease of use
- Controls pool pumps, water fountains, yard/patio/landscape/holiday/LED/CFL lighting, signs, fans, engine block heaters, heavy duty appliances and more
- To use, insert a green pin for the start time and a red pin for the end time
- Ships with 2 sets of pins for 2 ON/OFF settings per day, and a grounded 3-prong plug and receptacle
- Ratings: 15 A, 1, 800 W, 120 V, 60Hz - CSA Certified, 1 Year
- 1 HP rating
- 15 FLA Motor
- 120 volt and 800-watt ratings
- Waterproof casing
- Can be plugged directly into the wall
- Setting adjustments are straightforward
- Not the most durable timer
Woods 59104RWD Outdoor 24-Hour Heavy Duty Mechanical Time Switch
⭐ Most Daily Settings
The Woods 59104RWD is a great 220-volt pool timer with an industrial-grade lockable metal enclosure. It is perfect for use with outdoor pools.
The gear train is heavy-duty, and the fixed pins are not removable. You can also program it with on/off settings that last 24 hours and repeats daily. With the Woods timer, you can set it and then forget it.
Since it’s a mechanical timer, this pool timer is also straightforward to install and use and comes with ½ and ¾ inch knockouts to allow for entry and exit of the conduit.
Its main drawback is that it can be rather noisy compared to other timers.
- Program up to 24 ON/OFF settings per day, repeats daily
- Ideal for outdoor lighting and signs, water heaters, spas and pool heaters, heating and air conditioning, and other heavy-duty applications
- Industrial-grade NEMA 3R lockable metal box with 1/2in and 3/4in knockouts
- Heavy duty gear train with pins that cannot be removed
- 208-277Vac, 60Hz, DPST, 40A General/Resistive, 40A Tungsten, 20A Ballast, 1000VA Pilot Duty, 2Hp (24FLA)
- 75 x 6.5 x 9.25 inches
- Rated for up to five HP
- Rated for up to 277 volts and 40 amps
- Weatherproof metal casing
- 24-hour settings
- Easy to install and use
- Noisier than other pool timers
GE Z-Wave Plus Direct Wire Smart Switch
⭐ Best Mobile App Controlled Timer
The GE Z-Wave works with a mobile app. You can even integrate it with Amazon Alexa. You can wirelessly control the on and off functions without having to walk to the timer.
The Smart Switch is convenient for large-load applications, such as pool pumps, landscape lighting, and even heaters.
- WEATHERPROOF – A rugged, wall-mount, metal NEMA-3R enclosure with lockable door withstands the elements for outdoor use while protecting wiring and...
- UNIVERSAL USE – With multiple configuration possibilities, the double-pole/single-throw switch supports 120-277VAC and up to 40A. Up to two 120VAC...
- ENERGY MONITORING – Remotely track Watts and kilowatt-hours when connected to a compatible Z-Wave hub that supports energy monitoring.
- OPERATION MODES – An integrated toggle switch allows the choice of manual or remote operation with ON, OFF and Z-Wave modes. Indicator LEDs are...
- EASY-ACCESS WIRING – Clearly numbered screw terminals provide fast, secure connections and are protected from accidental contact by a clear plastic...
- 22 x 6.46 x 9.7 inches
- Rated for up to 40 amps and 277 volts
- Rated for loads of up to 11,000 watts
- Allows wireless control
- LED lights to indicate power and status
- The wireless signal can be weak sometimes, especially at long range
Woods Outdoor 7-Day Heavy Duty Digital Plug-in Timer
⭐ Most Affordable
When it comes to affordability, it’s hard to beat the Woods Outdoor 50015WD. It also has excellent features that make it a good option for value.
This plug-in timer has a digital display offering three modes: random, digital timer, and countdown timer. You can program it for seven days at a time. That means you can have different settings for every day of the week if you want.
Another great thing about this pool timer is that it can not only work with pool pumps but also fountains and 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.
- USER-FRIENDLY DIGITAL OUTLET TIMER: with 3 timing features (digital timer, random setting and countdown timer) on this...
- ENERGY-SAVING PRECISION PROGRAMMING: the 7-day digital outlet timer lets you do up-to-the-minute programming, which means you can be enjoying more...
- HEAVY-DUTY DIGITAL TIMER: this digital countdown timer outlet is specially designed to complement heavy-duty appliances such as outdoor...
- SMART SELF-CHARGING BACKUP: the self-charging backup of the timer digital outlet can retain your settings should a power outrage happens, so you...
- WEATHERPROOF DIGITAL TIMER OUTLET SWITCH: this electrical outlet with digital timer has a hardy body and heavy-duty timer cover to protect it...
- 2 x 6.5 x 8 inches
- ¾ HP
- Rated for 120 volts
- Flexible settings
- Smart backup battery
- Can be used with appliances other than pool pumps
- The power cord is relatively short
Intermatic Electromechanical Pool Timer
⭐ Easiest to Set Up
The Intermatic electromechanical pool timer works for all sorts of situations, including residential and commercial pools.
It can switch anywhere from 208 volts to 277 volts, so it is quite versatile. It also has a weatherproof steel case for maximum safety. It is also a workhorse that can hold up to 12 settings (on and off) per day.
- Time switch control for industrial, commercial and residential applications
- Highest HP ratings in the industry up to 40 amps
- Provides 1 to 12 On/Off operations during 24 hour period
- Equipped with one "On" and one "Off" tripper
- Up to 277 volts and 40 amps
- Type 3R metal casing
- 625″ L x 6.5″ W x 10.125″ H
- Weatherproof enclosure
- Very easy to set up
- 12 daily settings
- The on/off tabs tend to come loose over time
Recap: The Best Pool Timers
- Aube by Honeywell TI040/U 7-Day Programmable Timer: Best Heavy Duty Timer
- Intermatic P1121 Heavy Duty Outdoor Timer: Best for Above Ground Pools
- Woods 59104RWD Outdoor 24-Hour Heavy Duty Mechanical Time Switch: Most Daily Settings
- GE Z-Wave Plus Direct Wire Smart Switch: Best Mobile App Controlled Timer
- Woods Outdoor 7-Day Heavy Duty Digital Plug-in Timer: Most Affordable
- Intermatic Electromechanical Pool Timer: Easiest to Set Up
Our Research Criteria
So how did we select the best pool timer?
We looked at a lot of features, specifications, and price. Let’s look at each of these variables.
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. 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 pool pumps at a time.
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.
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 take note here is that, whatever current rating you go for in your pool timer, it 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 useful if you upgrade to a pool pump with a higher current rating.
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 full guide on how long to run your pool pump each day.
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 need to ensure that the device is safe to use around your family (for residential pools) or patrons (for commercial settings).
Price is an obvious consideration when buying any product.
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.
Pool timers come with additional features, such as the ability to switch modes, voltage settings, and 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 us and line and we’ll get back to you soon!
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