7 of the Best Pool Timers for Above-Ground Pools

For most of us, remembering to switch your above-ground pool pump on and off each day is a chore. Enter the pool timer.

You’re looking for a pool timer for your above ground pool whether that’s an Intex pool, Bestway pool, Summer Waves pool or something more permanent. But you’re not sure which type to choose. Should you go with mechanical or digital timers? Or maybe one with Wi-Fi control? What are the best pool timers for above-ground pools?

Here are our top 7 above-ground pool timers:

  • GE Z-Wave Direct Wire Indoor/Outdoor Smart Switch
  • Migro Outdoors Smart Wi-Fi Outlet Box
  • Intermatic T101
  • BN-LINK 7-Day Outdoor Heavy-Duty Programmable Timer
  • Intermatic P1121 Heavy-Duty Outdoor Timer
  • Honeywell Industrial Programmable Timer
  • Woods 50015WD Outdoor Heavy-Duty Timer

You need an above-ground pool timer that works easily and without much of your involvement. We have seven such timers to discuss today. Ahead, we’ll review each one. Included also will be recommendations on how to choose a timer, so make sure you keep reading!

Best Pool Timers
Best Pool Timers For Above-Ground Pools

These Are the 7 Best Pool Timers for Above-Ground Pools

Best WiFi Timer

GE Z-Wave Direct Wire Indoor/Outdoor Smart Switch

GE Z-Wave Direct Wire Indoor or Outdoor Smart Switch
GE Z-Wave Direct Wire Indoor/Outdoor Smart Switch

First on our list is the GE Z-Wave, a smart switch that’s compatible with your smartphone and other devices that use Wi-Fi. This Amazon’s Choice product has a rugged metal shell that’s weatherproof. The NEMA-3R door locks so the weather can’t affect the elements within.

With all the wiring you need for installation included as well as labeled screw terminals for easy identification, mounting the Smart Switch is quick and simple. Use the toggle switch to go into Z-Wave Mode or turn the timer on or off. You can also control the timer via an included remote.

LED lights on the exterior housing let you see how much power the Z-Wave has while keeping its door closed.

You must have a central Z-Wave hub to use the Z-Wave Direct. Besides controlling your pool pump, you might also use this timer for interior and exterior lights and your water heater. 

Suits:

  • 120V or 230V pumps
  • Large pumps (it’s rated at 40 amps)
  • Great for permanent above ground pools

Click here to check the price >>

Best Alexa, Google Controlled Timer

Migro Outdoors Smart Wi-Fi Outlet Box

Migro Outdoors Smart Wi-Fi Outlet Box
Migro Outdoors Smart Wi-Fi Timer

Here’s another smart pool timer, this time from Migro. The waterproof enclosure around the front of the timer keeps the junction box safe from rainwater. Built-in Wi-Fi capabilities let you connect the Migro outlet box to any router in your home.

You can always control the timer by remote if you want, but voice commands are an option as well. If you have an Amazon Echo device in your home, you can tell the Migro timer to turn on or off. There’s even a manual override switch.

Suits:

  • 230V pumps
  • Large pumps (it’s rated at 40 amps)
  • Great for permanent above ground pools

Click here to check the price >>

Best Mechanical Timer

Intermatic T101

Intermatic TMHDT101 T101 24 Hour Dial Timer
Intermatic T101 Mechanical Timer

Some of us pool owners are a little more old-fashioned. If you’d rather turn a mechanical timer switch to control your pool pump, the Intermatic T101R is a long trusted choice.

This timer is very popular and is easy to operate and reliable. . Its max amperage is 40 amps and its max voltage is 125 volts. Jump into manual override mode whenever you need it or access the on and off switch in non-emergency situations. 

Suits:

  • 120V pumps
  • Large pumps (it’s rated at 40 amps)
  • Great for permanent above ground pools

Click here to check the price >>

Best Digital Timer

BN-LINK 7-Day Outdoor Heavy-Duty Programmable Timer

BN-LINK 7-Day Outdoor Heavy-Duty Programmable Timer
BN-LINK 7-Day Outdoor Heavy-Duty Programmable Timer

Here’s another Amazon’s Choice pool timer for your above-ground pool: the BN-LINK programmable timer.

It’s weatherproof so it’s appropriate for use outside. When the pool season ends, you can always bring the BN-LINK timer indoors and use it for holiday lights or any other devices that you wish to power down without manual involvement.

You can use a pre-set on-off schedule or choose the days that you want the timer to turn off. Create up to eight custom programs that can suit your pool usage at the beginning of the season through to the end.

Suits:

  • 120V pumps
  • Small pumps (it’s rated at 15 amps)
  • Perfect for Intex, Bestway, Summer Waves pools

Click here to check the price >>

Best Budget Timer (for Intex Pools)

Intermatic P1121 Heavy-Duty Outdoor Timer

Intermatic P1121 Heavy-Duty Outdoor Timer
Intermatic P1121 Heavy-Duty Outdoor Timer

The Intermatic P1121 is a heavy-duty programmable timer and yet another Amazon’s Choice recommendation.

Its included flip cover safeguards the P1121 from splashing pool water and passing rains. Since the cover flips open, accessing the mechanical dial is easy. You can set the timer to run for 30 minutes minimum before it turns off on its own.

The dual on/off settings let you configure daily pool pump hours. Included with your purchase are two sets of pins, one green and one red. The green pins indicate the time the pump will turn on and the red pin is for when the pump will turn off. An override switch is available as well.

Intermatic recommends the P1121 not only for above-ground swimming pools, but appliances, engine block heaters, fans, patio lighting, holiday lighting, and even water fountains.

Suits:

  • 120V pumps
  • Small pumps (it’s rated at 15 amps)
  • 120V pumps
  • Small pumps (it’s rated at 15 amps)
  • Perfect for Intex, Bestway, Summer Waves pools

Click here to check the price >>

Best Multi-Program Timer

Honeywell Industrial Programmable Timer

Honeywell Industrial Programmable Timer

You know and trust in the Honeywell name, so try their industrial programmable timer for your swimming pool.

This timer will allow you to run up to 7 programs at once. Many timers only allow one on time and one off time, but this one allows you to program different on/off times for different days.

Its temporary bypass allows you to override the settings without ruining the mechanical programming. The tough plastic casing is weatherproof and NEMA 3R-rated for heavy-duty use outdoors. The casing also locks.

You select the voltage to power your pool pump, with available options 120 to 230 volts.

Suits:

  • 120V or 230V pumps
  • Medium Sized pumps
  • Great for permanent pools

Click here to check the price >>

Cheapest Timer

Woods 50015WD Outdoor Heavy-Duty Timer

Woods 50015WD Outdoor Above-Ground Pool Timer
Woods 50015WD Outdoor Above-Ground Pool Timer

The last above-ground swimming pool pump on our list is the Woods 50015WD outdoor heavy-duty timer.

The Woods brand was founded in 1929, so you can trust in their long-term legacy for your above-ground pool pump. This digital outlet timer has three modes. The first is a countdown timer so your pool pump only runs for an allotted time.

The second setting is random, which you probably won’t use much. Then, with the third setting, you can select an amount of time for the pool pump to run. The 50015WD is programmable for up to seven days in a row. All you have to do is schedule a week’s worth of pool pump operation and you can spend more time enjoying your pool than maintaining it.

The digital timer switch users a three-pronged outlet so you can plug it in and go. Its self-charging backup feature prevents your week of timer settings from being wiped should your home lose power. 

Suits:

  • 120V pumps
  • Small to medium sized pumps (< 15 amp rating)
  • 120V pumps
  • Small pumps (it’s rated at 15 amps)
  • Perfect for Intex, Bestway, Summer Waves pools

Click here to check the price >>

Are Above-Ground Pool Timers Different?

That list of above-ground pool timers is certainly going to help you tremendously. If you hold onto your pool timer for a while and someday decide to switch to an in-ground pool, can you use the same timer?

If your timer is in workable condition, an above-ground pool timer will work for an inground pool or a hot tub too! Many of the pool timers we covered in the last section can power many other appliances and items, everything from pool heaters, Christmas lights to patio lights and even interior lighting. There’s no reason to switch to a new pool timer if you go from an above-ground to an in-ground pool unless your timer is toast.

How to Choose a Timer for Your Above-Ground Pool

We recommended pool timers that run the gamut from digital to mechanical models and even a few smart timers. How do you select the right type of pool timer for you?

Here are our suggestions…

Choosing the Correct Voltage & Current Ratings

There are a few different specifications you will need to satisfy when buying an above-ground pool pump timer. It’s very important you get this right.

Every electrical device, including pool timers, pool pumps and other pool equipment is rated for current and voltage. When you select your pool timer, you must match this or you may detroy your new timer. Here’s how.

You’ll need to know two things:

1. The pump voltage rating.
2. The pump’s current (amps) rating.

You can usually find this information in the instruction manual or on a metal plate fixed to the pump. Failing this, you can Google your pump’s model number (usually written on the pump) to find this info.

Pump Voltage Ratings

The voltage rating will either be 230V or 120V. Sometimes pumps are capable of being wired both ways, so you’ll need to check if your above-ground pool pump is set up for 120V or 230V.

You’ll usually be able to use a 230V timer to operate a pump wired for 120V but not the other way around. If you have a 230V pump, you cannot use a 120V timer.

Pump Current Rating

Current is measured in Amperes or Amps for short. When you look at the pump you’re looking for a number that is labels “Amps”,“Current” or “Amperage”. It could also be something like 240V, 15A. That means it’s a 240 volt pump and the current rating is 15 amps.

Your timer’s current rating will need to be a little more than pump rating. Using the above example, a 20 amp timer is suitable for a 15 amp pump. It’s OK to use a timer rated higher than the pump’s current rating but not lower.

That is, you can use a 20A timer with a 15A pump, but not the other way around.

Determine Your Budget

The average price for a quality pool timer is around $90, but you can find lower-priced options as well. That doesn’t necessarily mean the timer is going to break on you after a week of usage. The Woods 50015WD Outdoor Heavy-Duty Timer, for example, is low-cost but highly rated.

Only you can determine how much money you can afford to pay for a pool timer. If it’s under $50, you have some options.

Should you be willing to spend close to $100 or over, your options open up even further. Some above ground pool timers cost as much as $500, and they are capable of switching multiple items, such as pumps, heaters and lights, and are even controllable via WiFi through a smartphone app.

Decide on the Timer Style That Suits You

Besides the cost of the timer, you also have to consider which pool timer style best gels with your lifestyle. For those who grew up with swimming pools and are used to mechanical dials, then configuring the settings for one of these takes a few minutes. You might be more confounded trying to figure out how to set up a digital pool timer.

Others wouldn’t be able to use anything but a digital timer. For the truly tech-savvy dads out there, a Wi-Fi pool timer is a fantastic option. You can use the included remote to control the timer or your smartphone. Some Wi-Fi timers even utilize voice control. Want to control your pool whilst on vacation? A WiFi timer will allow you to do that.

Talk about convenience! Technology truly has come such a long way.

Read Reviews

Since pool timers aren’t one of those try before you buy type of products, the only way to ensure the quality of your timer is to read the reviews. The products we suggested for you today all have plenty of reviews for you to comb through.

Expect at least some negative reviews. No product has 100% reviews. You want a pool timer in which the positive reviews far outweigh the negative ones.

Keep reading: 9 Problems with Intermatic Timers and How to Fix Them

Choose a Known Brand

Choosing a known above-ground pump timer brand can go a long way to guaranteeing long jevity. Brands such as Intermatic, GE and Honeywell have been around for decades and all make quality products.

Do You Need a Timer for Above-Ground Pools?

Above-ground pools do not need a pump timer to operate. A filter pump timer will however partially automate the cleaning of a swimming pool.

Running the pool filter is one of the most important things you can do to maintain a clean pool. It’s something that needs to be done every day. That’s where a timer comes in. You can set it and forget it.

If you’re not sure how long to run your pump for, check out this article here:
How Often Should You Run Your Pool Pump? And how long?

Unless you enjoy going out to switch on your pool’s pump rain, hail or shine 365 days a year, we’d highly recommend you get a timer.  

Conclusion

Above-ground pool pumps are integral, and so is a timer that can turn your pump off for you. If you’re more old-school, you can use a mechanical dial and pins to set the on-off times for your pump. Other timers allow you to use voice commands or your smartphone to power down your pump so you don’t even have to step outside.

You have plenty of options at a variety of price points, so do your pump a favor and pick up a timer today.