Pool pump motors draw different amounts of current (amps) depending on the size of the pump. The current usage can be used to calculate and check if your power circuit will handle a pool pump. It can also be used to calculate the power use and cost to run a pool pump.
Here’s a summary of typical pool pump currents in amps:
Pool pump motors sized 0.5 to 2.5 hp on 115V draw a current of 5.4 to 16.8A. Whilst pumps on 230V sized 0.5 to 2.5 hp 115V draw 2.7 to 8.4A of current. The current use varies depending on the exact power (horsepower or watts) of the motor.
Let’s break it down and go into detail for a range of different pumps.
What Affects Pool Pump Motor Current
Let’s take a look at what affects the power use and current draw of a swimming pool pump motor. These factors can be used to help you choose a suitable pump.
Pump Motor Size
Whether you have a single speed, dual speed, or variable speed, the pump motor size has the biggest impact on the amount of current it draws. The bigger the motor, the more current is required to turn it. And more current means more power use and higher electricity bills.
Speed or RPM
The speed the pump turns is almost equally important to the pump motor size. When pumps start, they draw a large amount of current. But when they are up to speed, they draw a steady amount of current.
The faster the pump is turning, the more current and power are needed to maintain that speed. That’s why 2-speed and variable speed (VR) pumps were invented. A variable speed pump allows the pool owner to program the pump to use different speeds throughout the day.
The high-speed pump setting might be used for a couple of hours, like when an automatic pool cleaner is running. And lower speeds are used for the rest of the day for filtering. The lower speeds mean the pump will draw far less current and therefore cost much less to run when compared to a pump running at high speed all the time.
As technology progresses, pool pumps are becoming more efficient. If the motor can make better use of the electricity it gets, then it needs less current to do the same job.
Older motors may have worn bearings which create extra friction, causing the pump to draw more power. Old worn-out brushes also contribute to increased current draw. The brushes are made of carbon and wear over time. They are responsible for conducting electricity to the wires within the pump.
There are many pump manufacturers. Among the most popular are Hayward, Onga, Pentair, Intex, Black and Decker, Circupool, Summer Waves, and Dohenys.
Each manufacturer’s pump will have a slight variance in the current it draws. Even if they are rated as the same horsepower motor. This is due to the different efficiencies of pumps and the components used. Naturally, some pumps are a little more efficient than others.
That said, there’s not going to be a huge amount of difference, as there are still the basic principles of electricity and physics that can’t be escaped.
Related Reading: How to Choose the Ideal Swimming Pool Pump
Does 115V or 230V Affect Current (amps)?
Pool pump current is impacted by the voltage the pump is run at. A pump running at 115V will use roughly twice the current of the same size pump on 230V AC. This is because Ohm’s law states there is a relationship between resistance, current, and voltage.
Let me explain.
Ohm’s Law says Current (I) = Power (P) divided by Voltage (V)
That is I = P/V
Let’s say we have a 1.5 hp pool pump. The power use is about 1100 watts. If we put the two different voltages into the formula we get:
Current (I) = 1100 (power) / 115 Volts = 9.6 amps Current (I) = 1100 (power) / 230 Volts = 4.8 amps
As you can see, the current use of the 115V pump is double that of the 230V pump.
You might be thinking that if you run your pump on a 230V supply it will use less power and cost less to run. This isn’t correct, unfortunately. Because it still uses the same amount of power, it costs roughly the same to run.
115V Pool Pump Motor Current (0.5 to 2.5 HP)
Below you’ll find a table with the amount of current a pool pump draws. For the current, I’ve taken a typical current from a pool pump. The power is approximate only, as it has been calculated by converting the horsepower amount of the pump into watts. But it’s close enough for the purposes of this article.
|Pump Horsepower (hp)||Pump Power (Watts)||Current (I) @ 115V AC|
230V Pool Pump Motor Current (0.5 to 2.5 HP)
Here’s the current, in amps, when running a pool pump at 230VAC. As you can see, they use half the current of the 115V model.
|Pump Horsepower (hp)||Pump Power (Watts)||Current (I) @ 230V AC|
Related Reading: Can I Use a Bigger Swimming Pool Pump?
Where to Find Pool Pump Motor Current Rating
Perhaps you already have a pool pump but aren’t sure what the motor current or power is rated at. How can you find out?
Your pool pump motor should have a sticker or metal plaque attached to the motor. This usually includes information such as:
- Serial Number
If you can’t find this but know the model number, Google will be your friend. Just google the model number. Alternatively, check out the instruction booklet, which may be listed here.
How to Calculate Pool Pump Amps
Perhaps you know the power of the pump (watts) but the current isn’t listed for your swimming pool pump. How do you work out the current?
First, you need to know what voltage you will run the pump on. Some pumps run on both voltages, whilst others only run on 115V or 230V.
Knowing the voltage and the power means you can use Ohm’s law to calculate the pool pump current. Here’s the formula again:
Current (I) = Power (P) divided by Voltage (V)
Simply plug in the numbers of your pump.
For example: if your pump is rated at 2300 watts and you’re going to use it at 230V, then you simply divide the wattage by the voltage. That is 2300 divided by 230. The current is 10 amps.
Related Reading: How to Prime a Pool Pump (Above Ground & Inground Pool)