What Is a Booster Pump for a Pool?

Written by Michael Dean
March 12, 2024

close up image of a pool pump

Many things contribute to a clean and healthy pool, but one crucial aspect is the filtration system. And something that can potentially help a filtration system work to its maximum potential is the pool booster pump.

But what is a pool booster pump? When is it necessary for a pool system? And how much does one cost? In this post, I will dive into these questions and more!

Main Takeaways

  • Most commonly used for pressure-side pool cleaners, a booster pump is an extra pump for your pool that helps provide an extra surge of power to the water pressure.
  • While a pool pump is a necessary part of your pool, a booster pump is not always necessary.
  • You need a booster pump if you have a pressure-side pool cleaner or other water features in your pool.
  • Booster pumps can cost anywhere between $350 to $1,500, depending on the brand, model, features, and warranty.

What Is a Booster Pump for a Pool?

As the name suggests, a booster pump is essentially an extra pump for your pool. Its purpose is to offer an extra surge of power to the water pressure. Most commonly, they are used to provide additional power to pressure-side pool cleaners. Pressure-sided cleaners run off the pool pump and may need extra power to work effectively. While you can use a variable speed pump for this, a booster may be the best option.

Booster pumps provide a few advantages. First and most importantly, they help the pressure-side pool cleaner work more effectively, which leads to a cleaner pool. However, they can also improve circulation throughout the pool, which distributes chemicals, chlorine, and heat more effectively.

That said, while they are advantageous, you may not need a booster pump in the first place. I’ll go over when you should use it below.

What Is the Difference Between a Pump and a Booster Pump?

Pool pumps and booster pumps have similar functions. They both move water and fluids through your pool system, but they have different goals.

The pool pump handles a wide range of tasks with ease. Its main function is to move water from one area to another, and depending on the task, be it circulation or filtration, it comes with a wide range of differing pressure capabilities. The pool pump is the heart of the pool’s filtration system, making the pool safe and clean to swim in.

The booster pump, on the other hand, has one main task: specifically increasing the pressure in the existing water flow. Typically, they are installed on a pipeline where there is decreased flow of water or where more pressure is required for a specific purpose.

In other words, pools must have a pump to function, but most pools can function without a booster pump.

When Would You Need a Booster Pump?

As already mentioned, a booster pump is not always necessary. In fact, if you don’t have a pressure-side cleaner, chances are you won’t need one for your pool. Here are a few situations in which you would need a booster pump.

Pressure-Side Pool Cleaner

As mentioned, the most common reason to install a booster pump in your pool is for your pressure-side pool cleaner. Pressure-side pool cleaners use the pressure made from your pump to clean the pool, and if there’s not enough pressure, they won’t work. Most models require a booster pump to help supply enough water pressure to the pressure-side pool cleaner. Unfortunately, the pressure from a regular pool pump is generally not enough for most pressure-side pool cleaners.

Better Filtration

While most pool owners get a booster pump to operate a pressure-side pool cleaner, don’t worry; that’s not the only advantage of installing one. The booster pump also provides extra water pressure from the filtration system to your pool, encouraging better chemical circulation and heat distribution. In other words, with the booster pump, you’ll have better water flow, which is great for your pool water cleanliness!

Other Water Features

If you have swimming pool water features, such as a waterfall or fountain, you may find that the extra pressure provided by the booter pump comes in handy. Without it, the water features may not be as dynamic as you want them to be.

How Much Do Booster Pumps Cost?

So, if you have determined that you do indeed need a booster pump, it’s time to figure out how much to budget for it. As a general rule, booster pumps cost anywhere between $350 to $1,500.

But why the wide range in cost? Well, the cost of a booster pump varies depending on several factors, such as:

  • Brand and features: Pricing will differ depending on the manufacturer, model, and features of the pump, such as pressure control and automatic shutoff.
  • Variable speed: Booster pumps with variable speed options may cost more than those with fixed speeds. Variable speed booster pumps offer greater energy efficiency and flexibility.
  • Energy efficiency: Energy-efficient pumps may have a higher upfront cost but can lead to long-term savings on those pesky energy bills.
  • Warranty: A booster pump that comes with a longer and more comprehensive warranty may be more expensive, as it offers peace of mind and instills confidence in the manufacturer.

In addition to the booster pump’s cost, if you plan to hire a professional to install the pump, you will need to consider installation and labor costs.

My Recommendations for Pool Booster Pumps

If you’re looking for booster pump recommendations, I have a few options you should check out. Remember, though, that the best choice will ultimately depend on your swimming pool, your needs, and the type of pool pump you have. I also have recommendations for primary pool pumps if you want to check those out.

Hayward 6060 Booster Pump

A popular and versatile option, the Hayward 6060 Booster Pump is suitable for all pressure-side pool cleaners. Hayward is a trusted brand, and the pump operates quietly and smoothly. Plus, it is energy-efficient, which can be a money-saver down the line!

Hayward W36060 0.75 HP Booster Pump for In-Ground Swimming Pools
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Pentair SuperFlo Variable Speed Booster Pump

The Pentair SuperFlo Variable Speed Booster Pump is an excellent high-end option for those looking for the most energy-efficient option. This model employs variable speed technology, which allows it to adjust its power based on demand. This booster pump is ideal for standard pools requiring up to a 1.5 hp pump.

Pentair EC-342001 SuperFlo VS Variable Speed Pool Pump
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I may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at zero additional cost to you. This in no way impacts my research process or opinions.

Polaris PB4-60 OEM Booster Pump

This Polaris booster pump is a more affordable option than other booster pumps. This booster pump is best for pool owners who own a Polaris pressure-side pool cleaner. As the Polaris booster pump is made specifically with Polaris vacuums in mind, you know that it is perfectly suited to ensure your pressure-side pool cleaner performs at optimum power and efficiency.

POLARIS PB4-60 OEM Booster Pump 3/4 HP for Pressure Pool Cleaners
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I may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at zero additional cost to you. This in no way impacts my research process or opinions.

Should You Winterize a Pool Booster Pump?

Yes, of course! Winterization is a must for most pool equipment and is especially necessary for any pool equipment that stores or carries water at any point. You must winterize your pool booster pump if you live in a region where temperatures usually drop below freezing.

Failing to winterize the booster pump can lead to damage caused by freezing water, which is a super expensive fix you don’t want to deal with come spring! Timely winterization also prevents corrosion or rust of the pump’s internal components caused by stagnant water. As you can see, proper winterization can help extend the lifespan of the pump as a whole.

To winterize your pool booster pump, disconnect it from power, drain it, and blow out all the lines. If you want extra protection against freezing temperatures, you can also add antifreeze.

Get My Free Pool Care Checklist

Download my free, printable pool maintenance checklist to help you accomplish regular pool care tasks for any type of swimming pool.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Booster Pump Necessary?

Booster pumps are not always necessary, but if you have a pressure-side pool cleaner, you may need one to operate it properly. A booster pump may also be useful when you have low water pressure or water features that may benefit from the extra water pressure.

How Long Does a Pool Booster Pump Last?

With proper maintenance and care, a pool booster pump can last between 5 and 15 years before it needs replacing.

Boost Your Pump with a Booster Pump

Pool booster pumps can be super useful additions to your pool system – especially if you have a pressure-side pool cleaner. But even if you don’t have one, a booster pump can help improve water circulation and aid the performance of water features in your pool. But with all that said, although they’re great, booster pumps are definitely not the cheapest piece of pool equipment, so really consider whether or not you will benefit from it, as they aren’t always necessary.

Any more questions about booster pumps or your pool’s filtration system? Drop me a line! I’m happy to answer them.

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