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How to Choose the Right Hot Tub Pump for Your Needs

How to Choose the Right Hot Tub Pump for Your Needs

The first heated swimming pool was built in 1st-century Rome by Gaius Maecenas. He was a wealthy patron of the arts who enjoyed the luxury of warm water in his private pool. Today, millions of people around the world share his passion for relaxing in a hot tub, whether it's indoors or outdoors, at home or at a spa.

But owning a hot tub also means you need a hot tub pump. Choosing the right one requires doing some due diligence. From size to type, read on to discover factors you need to consider when comparing options.


The size of your hot tub pump refers to the diameter of the inlet and outlet ports that connect to the plumbing system. The most common sizes are 1.5 inches, 2 inches, and 2.5 inches. Ensure that the size of your pump matches that of the plumbing system, otherwise, you may need adapters or reducers to make them fit.

The size of your pump also affects the flow rate of the water, which is measured in gallons per minute (GPM). A larger pump can move more water per minute than a smaller one. However, it also consumes more energy and may create more back pressure in the system.


This refers to how fast the motor spins the impeller, which is the part that pushes the water through the system. The speed is measured in revolutions per minute (RPM). Most hot tub pumps have either one or two speeds: low and high.

A single-speed pump operates at a constant high speed, which means it delivers maximum power and flow at all times. This is ideal for powering multiple jets or features, such as waterfalls or fountains. However, a single-speed pump also consumes more energy and makes more noise than a two-speed pump.

A two-speed pump can operate at either low or high speed, depending on the setting you choose. A low-speed setting is sufficient for filtering and heating the water, while a high-speed setting is used for activating the jets or features. A two-speed pump can save energy and reduce noise when running at low speed, but it may not provide enough power or flow for some applications.


The power or amount of force a pool pump can exert on the water is measured in horsepower. It determines how strong the jets will be and how fast the water will heat up. A more powerful pump can provide a more intense massage and a faster heating time, but it also consumes more energy and may wear out faster than a less powerful one.

Ensure that the power of the pump matches the size and capacity of your hot tub. A small hot tub with few jets may only need a 1 HP pump, while a large hot tub with many jets may need a 4 HP pump or more. You should also consider the elevation and climate of your location, as these factors can affect the performance of your pump.


It's also important to ensure that the new pump fits and works well with the rest of your hot tub equipment. A compatible pump is easy to install and connect to the plumbing and electrical system without requiring major modifications. This can save you a lot of time and money.

The compatibility of your pump depends on several factors. These include the size, speed, power, voltage, amperage, frame size, and wiring configuration of the pump. The first step to ensuring compatibility is checking the specifications and requirements of your existing system before buying a new one.

Also, prioritize pumps compatible with your specific hot tub brand or model. Some pumps may have proprietary features or connectors that only work with certain systems.

Noise Level

The noise level of your pump depends on several factors. These include the speed, power, design, quality, and installation of the pump. A noisy pump can be annoying and disruptive to you and your neighbors, especially if you like to use your hot tub at night or in a quiet area.

To reduce the noise level of your hot tub pump, look for features such as vibration dampeners, sound insulation, rubber mounts, or variable speed technology. Also, consider installing your pump away from your hot tub or inside an enclosure to muffle the sound. Additionally, stay on top of the hot tub maintenance and replace any worn or damaged parts to prevent rattling or squeaking noises.

Types of Hot Tub Pumps

Different types of hot tub pumps serve different purposes and functions in your hot tub system. There are three main types of hot tub pumps: circulation pumps, jet pumps, and combination pumps. Each type has unique characteristics and advantages, and understanding these differences can help you make an informed decision.

Circulation Pumps

A circulation pump is designed for continuous use to filter and heat the water. Circulation pumps are lower horsepower, usually around 0.5 to 1 HP. They operate 24/7 at lower speeds to gently push water through the filtration system and heater. The benefits of a dedicated circulation pump are:

  • Keeps water clean by constantly cycling through filters
  • Maintains stable, ready-to-use water temperatures
  • Energy-efficient for continuous operation
  • Quieter operation for relaxing soak time

The trade-off is circulation pumps do not provide enough power or water flow for running jets and hydrotherapy features.

Jet Pumps

These pumps offer the horsepower needed to operate jets, air bubbles, and high-powered massage features by rapidly increasing water flow. Jet pumps range from 2-3 HP on most portable hot tubs up to 5 HP for large built-in hot tubs. The advantages of a dedicated jet pump are:

  • Produces strong massage action from jets
  • Quickly amplifies water flow when massage jets are activated
  • Allows for more custom jet configurations

The downside is jet pumps are noisier and use more energy when running the jets.

Combo Pumps

For simpler systems, a combination pump combines both circulation and jet functions into a single 2-speed pump. They circulate water quietly at low speed and rapidly amplify flow at high speed for operating jets. The appeal of combo pumps are:

  • Single compact pump saves space and complexity
  • Lower purchase cost than buying two pumps
  • Simplified servicing with just one pump

The limitations are performance trade-offs in flow rate and efficiency when trying to serve two roles from one pump.

Brand Reputation

A reputable brand is likely to produce high-quality products that will last longer and require less maintenance. Look for brands that have a proven track record of producing reliable and efficient pumps.

One way to gauge a brand's reputation is to read online reviews and ask for recommendations from friends or family members who have purchased a hot tub pump. Pay attention to comments about the pump's performance, durability, and ease of use. Also, check the warranty offered by the manufacturer and the level of customer support they provide.

Another indicator of a brand's reputation is its presence in the industry. Look for brands that are well-established and have been around for a while. These brands have had time to refine their products and have built a loyal following of satisfied customers.

Additionally, check if the brand is a member of any professional associations. These include the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance and are a good indication of a brand's commitment to industry standards and best practices.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is an important consideration when choosing a hot tub pump for your Canadian home. Not only does it help reduce your carbon footprint, but it can also save you money on your energy bills. Look for pumps that have an Energy Star rating, which indicates that they meet strict energy efficiency regulations set by Natural Resources Canada.

One way to improve energy efficiency is to choose a pump with a variable-speed motor. This allows the pump to adjust its speed based on the demands of the hot tub, reducing energy consumption when the pump is not in use. Additionally, look for pumps that have a high-efficiency rating, measured in terms of the pump's hydraulic horsepower (HHP) per watt.

Another feature to look for is a sleep mode or auto-stop function. It allows the pump to automatically shut off when the hot tub is not in use, reducing energy consumption and saving you money on your utility bills. A timer function is also handy because it allows you to schedule the pump to turn on and off at specific times, further optimizing energy usage.

It's also worth noting that some provinces in Canada offer rebates and incentives for energy-efficient appliances, including hot tub pumps. Be sure to check with your local government or utility provider to see if there are any programs available that can help offset the cost of purchasing an energy-efficient hot tub pump.

Ready to Upgrade Your Hot Tub Pump? We've Got You Covered!

If you need help with choosing or installing a new hot tub pump, look no further than Pool Store Canada. We are not only one of Canada's leading pool supply stores but also your trusted expert in water care. If you're in the market for the best hot tub pumps, we offer a broad selection from top manufacturers.

Feel free to reach out now-we can't wait to help with your hot tub pump needs!

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