Category Archives: Swimming Pool Pumps

Is my swimming pool pipe 1.5 inch or 2 inch?

One thing that always confuses swimming pool owners is the size of the pipe work on their pool. This is because pipes that are called inch and a half are nearer 2 inches when you put a tape on them. With this article we hope to clear up the confusion.

The first thing to know about the pipes used on domestic UK swimming pools is that they have not gone “European” yet. Everything is in imperial. On the continent everything is in metric and metric pipes will not fit together with imperial pipes without an adaptor. The vast bulk of existing domestic swimming pools in the UK will have been constructed using “inch and a half” pipework. Some may have been built using 2 inch but they would generally be bigger pools. Nearly all pool equipment, pumps, heaters, filters etc are made with inch and a half fittings on them. But not all. Some pumps have 2 inch fittings as standard and so need to be adapted down to inch and a half.

So you would think that if you put a tape measure on your pipes you would see the pipe line up with the 1.5 inch mark on the tape – but it doesn’t.  I have to say that we don’t know why this is! What is known industry wide as inch and half pipe is actually just over 1 and 7/8ths wide on the outside diameter and about 1 and 5/8ths on the inside diameter.

"Inch and a half" pipe is actually nearer 2 inches

If you are looking at a coupler for inch and a half pipe then the inside diameter is a fraction under 2 inches and the outside diameter is 2 and 3/8ths inches. So a typical inch and a half fitting like a 90 bend is nearly 2 and a half inches wide!

To make matters even more confusing there are two types of pipes, one white and one grey in colour. The white ones are the most commonly used and they are made from ABS material known as “Class C ABS”.  ABS stands for Acrylonitril Butadiene Styrene. The grey coloured pipe is PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride) but you can get white PVC also. You can join ABS to PVC but you need to be careful in your choice of glue. Some glues are ABS only, some glues are PVC only and some, like the one we sell, are suitable for both ABS and PVC.

The Intelliflo pump and why it might be worth £1,200

£1,200.00 for a pool pump? You must be joking.

No. We are serious. Read on to find out why.



The biggest drain on your wallet if you own a swimming pool is the fuel bills for your heater. If you have installed a heat pump then you have cut those costs considerably. Often overlooked is how much power is being consumed by the circulation pump. Up until now there was not much you could do about saving electricity with your pump after all it has to be on to keep the pool filtered. You can either leave it on 24 hours per day as many people do or have it come on for about 8 hours per day. A  1 horse power pump will draw 0.75Kw per hour costing about 10p per hour. 8 hours per day for a 150 day season is £120.00, leave your pump on all the time and the cost is £360.00

Think on a 10 year time scale and that is £1,200.00 in electricity plus in a 10 year period you will have to buy at least one more pump at £400.00. If you are considering a purchase now then reckon on one pump now and another in 5 to 8 years time. Below we will see how the intelliflo pump will save your electricity bill but consider also that, because of the way they are made, they will last much longer than 10 years.

The basic premise behind the intelliflo is that a reduction in the power requirement of the pump is way out of proportion to the reduction in the flow rate. A 50% reduction in the flow rate can lead to an 90% reduction in the power consumption. So run your pump for twice as long on half the flow and your filtration rate will be exactly the same but your power consumption will be down by 80%. For example if you run a 1 Horse Power pump for 12 hours per day and it will cost you about £1.00 in electricity. The intelliflo would cost 10p for that 12 hours but you will have to run it for 24 hours because you have half the flow so it will cost 20p. 20p instead of £1.00 equals an 80% saving. See below how those cost savings add up.

We take a 10m x 5m (32ft x 16ft) pool as our example.  Such a pool could have either  a 1 horse power or a 1.5 horse power pump which would typically be run 12 hours per day. The intelliflo would run 24 hours per day. An outdoor pool would typically be open for 150 days per year. We also compare the cost of an indoor pool open 365 days per year.

Typical  10m x 5m pool Daily Cost 150 day cost Saving 365 day cost Saving
Intelliflo pump, 24 hours per day 21.3p £32.00 £77.00
1HP pump, 12 hours per day £1.65 £248.00 £216.00 £595.00 £518.00
1.5HP pump, 12 hours per day £2.48 £373.00 £341.00 £895.00 £818.00


Cost saving is not the only benefit. The intelliflo is so quiet at typical low speeds that you simply cannot hear it. Even at higher speeds it is the quietest pump on the market.

What we like about the pump is the very fact that you can alter the speed it operates at to suit what you want from the pump. You can pre-set 4 speed settings in to the controls. A high speed for a thorough back wash. You can set another speed button to get optimum performance from your heater. When you are not in heat mode it can drop down to minimum flow mode and save the pennies.


The technology behind the pump is cutting edge and the motor is made from a permanent magnet. This means there are no parts that rub together which in turn means there is nothing to wear out. The pump has been on sale in America for 8 years and, so far, the replacement rate is lower than 0.5%.

If all of the above is not enough then the intelliflo pump is the ultimate eco-friendly choice of pump. All that saving in power consumption is also a saving in CO2 pumped in to the atmosphere.

The Intelliflo Pump - saves you money in the long run

When you buy from PoolStore you get a 5 year warranty.

Click here to go to the product page for prices

Swimming pool pumps targeted for carbon reduction

From Swimming Pool News, April 2010:

The European pump manufacturing sector has been actively engaged with the EU in developing policies, standards and programmes to make an impact on carbon reduction.

The move has been made through the European Association of Pump Manufacturers. Pumps are responsible for some 5% of total electro-motive energy consumption, and the European pump sector is only too aware of the need to make a significant contribution to carbon reduction.

Under the EUP directive the Commission focussed first on high production volume products, identifying glandless circulating pumps up to 2500W and various centrifugal based water pumps as the initial targets.

Europump via its standards and technical commissions formed an energy joint working group, who with the co-operation of the Technical University of Darmstadt formulated carbon savings programmes and standards for all the associated pump types. The work on the circulators has now been completed with new and tough efficiency improvements due to come into force in 2013 and 2015 respectively. The changes will require massive production investment by the pump sector largely due to a technology shift, which will require a move toward permanent magnet motor technology and variable speed controls. At the same time the EU approved new energy targets for the majority of electric motors fitted to pumps.

Europump are continuing to negotiate with the EU on the water pumps, where their ‘house of efficiency’ scheme is expected to be used in the removal of least efficient products. They are also working toward the development of extended product and systems standards, where the potential for significant carbon reductions are best obtained.

The EU have now informed Europump that Swimming Pool pumps are next in-line, and it is likely that the programmes and standards being developed by Europump will be adapted to fit products in this sector.

The time is fast approaching when pumps fitted to swimming pools, like those used in domestic heating systems, will face stringent efficiency design standards, along with the need to adopt extended product control and monitoring equipment, and to be applied to efficient system design.

The British Pump Manufacturers Association have as the UK members of Europump been at the forefront of the European energy programme; providing experts, secretariat, and working group chairmen all overseen by the BPMAs representative on Europump Council, Ken Hall, Managing Director of Calpeda Pumps, who has been the President of Europump for the past two years. The BPMA is also in negotiations with the UK government in respect of the EUP directive and UK specific legislation.