Pentair vs. Hayward — you have probably heard this debate from plumbers or pool service technicians.
In this article, we will review the Pentair SuperFlo® 342001 and the Hayward Power-Flo. We chose these products for review, as they are regarded by many as the best variable speed pump and best-selling single-speed pump, respectively.
Pentair is holding a steady reputation over the years by making quality equipment, although there are some complaints regarding warranties. The said company is particularly notable for producing the best variable speed pumps in the industry. After all, Pentair pioneered these types of pumps and are always improving their tech.
Hayward, on the other hand, isn’t as well-established as Pentair, but they produce a line of incredible products, as well. As far as pumps go, the competition between Pentair and Hayward is an even playing field as far as reliability is concerned.
Last update on 2023-05-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Even though the installation of Pentair and Hayward pool pumps is easy and detailed instruction is included in the package, you should remember that the warranty is valid only with the installation of a certified professional. Pentair provides 2 years warranty, and Hayward provides 3 years warranty. You can rely on a free change of defective materials or workmanship during this time.
Pentair SuperFlo® VS Pool Pump (Model 342001)
Everyone is familiar with Pentair because they have been on the market for a long time. They came out with the first variable speed pump, the IntelliFlo®, and many homeowners still have it in their backyards. Then the company introduced the Pentair SuperFlo® 342001, which is another excellent pump.
The SuperFlo® is unique among its kind because it runs what they call a dual-voltage. Given its ability to convert the voltage, it makes an excellent option for older pools.
Although it isn’t as powerful as the IntelliFlo®, it is sufficient for a majority of pools. At 1.5 horsepower, it packs enough power to animate water in a standard pool and get water features moving.
As for installation, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out. The SuperFlo® includes two 1 ½” unions for easy plumbing installation. If you have 2-inch plumping, you will only need to buy 1 1 ½” to 2” fittings. Electrical wiring is also just as simple. There are only three wires inside the pump. The machine will accept power from a 110-volt or 220-volt breaker without problems.
On a side note, Pentair has come a long way in producing user-friendly pumps. The SuperFlo® features a real-time clock with 24-hour memory retention.
You can leave the machine pumping for an entire day before needing to program it again using the three-speed settings. Just leave the pump do its thing at various speeds, allowing it to clean your pool without compromising energy or performance.
Best of all, the Pentair 342001 SuperFlo® uses a lot less wattage, and so, you can generate substantial savings.
- The only VS pump that you can wire to either 110V (nominal voltage range) or 220V
- Ideal for new and standard pools requiring up to a 1.5-HP pump
- Can be used for old pools with copper pipes
- Easy self-installation and user-friendly digital controller
- Features a real-time, 24-hour clock
- You can program in your own run time and RPM speeds
- Energy-Star certified/Pentair’s most energy-efficient product
- Ultra-quiet TEFC motor
- The 2-year warranty is only applicable if you purchase the product from a retail brick-and-mortar store
- Self-installation voids warranty: you have to pay Pentair for their services
Hayward Power-Flo Pool Pump
The Hayward Power-Flo is an affordable pool pump made for circulating water on all types of above-ground pools. With its weight of 24 pounds, it is a compact and fairly light machine that should fit into the plumbing system of any regular pool.
One of the highlights of the Power-Flo is the PermaGLass XL housing. Among its benefits is that you can use the pump in any place irrespective of the weather condition. The housing is entirely resistant to corrosion, and you should not expect cracks or dents to occur.
The Power-Flo produces 1.5 horsepower to provide sufficient water filtration in standard pools.
Likewise, its electric motor features a stainless-steel shaft to keep it tuned for optimal performance even in the long term. There is an overload protector to it, as well. This feature is highly valuable, as it shuts the motor off in case of overheating. At the same time, it turns the engine on when the conditions are back to normal.
Additionally, the pump includes self-lubricating bearings and shaft seals. Hence, maintenance is minimal or perhaps, you may never even have to provide any. The strainer basket also has a capacity of 118 cubic inches, and so, busy pool owners should clean it less frequently. Its cover is transparent, so you can monitor the amount of debris it had accumulated.
Unfortunately, the Hayward Power-Flo works at one fixed speed. You should also be aware that you have to plug and unplug the electric cord each time you use the pump.
- Ideal for above-ground pools requiring up to a 1.5-HP pump
- Weather-resistant PermaGLass XL houses the motor
- Thermal overload protector provides self-regulating functions
- Comes with a heat-resistant and drip-proof double-sized seal
- Requires minimal upkeep: large strainer basket with clear lid, self-lubricating bearings, and shaft
- Operates at a single speed
- The lack of an on/off switch could affect energy consumption
How to Choose the Right Pool Pump for You
Single Speed vs. Variable Speed
If you’re thinking of installing a pool or replacing an existing pool pump, you might be wondering which type of pool pump you should be getting.
- Single-speed pumps, such as the Hayward Power-Flo, are traditional pool pumps that account for 75% of the residential swimming pools in the United States. As the name hints, it runs at a constant speed as soon as you turn it on. Single-speed pumps also have the least expensive upfront costs. Unfortunately, this type of pump is an energy hog.
- In contrast, variable speed pumps, such as the Pentair SuperFlo®, address this wasted energy by utilizing what they call a permanent magnet motor, which is the same type of motor in electric cars. This feature allows you to run your pump at lower flow rates for extended periods. When you lower the speed, you cut the amperage, which is what you pay for electricity bills.
If you compare Pentair vs. Hayward in terms of energy efficiency, we’d say the SuperFlo® is a clear winner in this round. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, variable speed pumps are 90% more efficient than single-speed pumps.
Motor, the Heart of the Pump
However, a higher horsepower doesn’t always equate to better performance. A 3-HP motor would be an overkill for a backyard swimming pool.
If the engine is too powerful, it could affect the designed flow rates of other equipment and cause a lot of problems. Pumps with such power are for massive pools with high flow demands and intricate water features.
On the other hand, a 1.5-HP pump, such as the Hayward Power-Flo and the Pentair SuperFlo®, is better suited to the pipe size, water volume, and filter design of an average residential pool.
More Flow Isn’t Always Better
Pentair SuperFlo® VS 342001
- Maximum flow rate: 103 – 113 GPM
- Flow rate at 30 ft. of head: 83 GPM
Hayward Power-Flo: 75 GPM
- Flow rate at 30 ft. of head: 80 GPM
You might be inclined to think that a pump that moves the most water is better. However, the flow rate isn’t an overriding factor to consider if you purchase a variable speed pump because it is unlikely that you will run the pump at full speed.
That would defeat the purpose of getting a VS pump in the first place. Again, this is why variable speed pumps, such as the Pentair SuperFlo®, have the upper hand against single speed pumps.
Some people do this by shutting down their pump at some part of the day at the expense of the proper circulation and filtration of the pool water. You won’t be generating chlorine whenever you turn the pump.
The output noise of your pump is another thing to consider, mainly if you live in a subdivision.
You want to run your pool during the off-peak hours when electricity is cheaper without enraging your neighbors.
So, which is better — Pentair vs. Hayward? In the end, you can’t answer this question by simply stating that one company is better than the other, as both companies make amazing products.
The Hayward Power-Flo is a dependable above-ground pool pump that provides enough power to circulate water, run a sand filter, or power a suction-side pool cleaner. More impressively, it has the durability of a Nokia 3310!
Likewise, the Pentair SuperFlo® 342001 VS pump would be a great purchase if your older single-speed pump is on the way out. If you have a 110V, you can install it now and have the option to switch over to 220V in the future to benefit from improved performance. Most importantly, it costs less to operate, and so, you won’t have to blow your bills sky-high.
Hi! I’m Markus Robertson, and water is my passion.
Five years ago, I graduated from the University of California-Los Angeles and was going to become a professional marine biologist. However, my fate had other plans for me, and due to family problems, I had to find a more stable and well-paid job. I had only one wish for my job to be connected with water.
During this period of my life, I worked as a sales manager at Olympic Pool & Spa Supplies. The job helped me learn everything about swimming pools and related pool equipment, as well as how to choose the best option and what to pay attention to.
Having worked there for three years, I decided to start my own blog about pools, where I can tell people about the best new pool equipment models and share my knowledge and experience.
A marine biologist by education, I became a pool blogger by trade. Now I’m glad I can help the guests of my store and the visitors of my blog know a lot of exciting things about pools, their types, best pumps and filters, necessary equipment maintenance, and so on.
I welcome all people who want to choose a proper basin and the stuff to my blog! Hope you’ll find this information interesting and useful!
Hi! I really like the Pentair SuperFlo pump. Will it be sufficient my 20 000 gal pool? Thanks!
Hello, Mason! Thank you for your question! The answer is yes, definitely. Since Pentair SuperFlo is a variable speed pump, you just need to figure out how much flow you need to turn your water over. The model is powerful enough for pools over 30 000 gallons. Real users’ reviews prove it works great.
Hello! Thanks for the review! What filter system can you recommend to complement Hayward Power-Flo LX Pool Pump?
Hello, Make! Thank you so much for your question! The filter choice will depend on the size and type of your pool. However, we can say that this pump has a recommended size for most sand filters. Hayward itself recommends complementing the Hayward Power-Flo LX pool pump with the ProSeries Systems sand filter. You can find a more detailed description and buy the product here.
Hi! Is it possible to install these Pentair and Hayward pumps both horizontally and vertically or the manufacturers require one orientation only? Thanks.
Hello, Dean! Thank you very much for your question! As far as we know, these Pentair and Hayward pumps allow one way of installation with a fixed position. But with Hayward, the manual contains instructions for reorienting the discharge for those who’d like to rearrange the pump.
Hi! Can I use any of these pumps for my above-ground pool (18ft x 48in)? Thanks.
Hello, Rorry! Thank you very much for your question! If choosing a pump for an above-ground pool, we’d recommend trying a quieter Whisper series by Pentair. These pumps are not the most powerful, but we don’t need it in above-ground pools. An optimal combination of silent work and decent power may please you a lot.
Marcus, thank you for the comparison. Hayward is my personal favorite here. But I’d recommend the MaxFlo model (more powerful/up-to-date in some way and costs almost the same money).
Hi, Gran! Thank you very much for your comment and sharing your experience with us! Indeed, Hayward also offers a slightly improved modification called MaxFlo. Our readers can find more detailed information on this and some other pumps in our Best Variable Speed Pool Pump in 2022.
I noticed the Pentair model is twice heavier than the Hayward. Is it an important moment? Who did installation, can you help? Thanks
Hi, Nikita! Thank you very much for your question! Yes, the weight is an important factor when it comes to the pump installation, its location and further usage. So please decide where and how you’re going to install your pump and mind it before purchasing.
Hi! Which model can you recommend for an inground pool (I have a 20×40 ft concrete)
Hi, James! Thank you very much for your question! If you own a residental pool, we’d recommend choosing a 1.5-HP pump, such as the Hayward Power-Flo and the Pentair SuperFlo. They’re better suited to the pipe size, water volume, and filter design of an average inground pool.
What are the benefits of several programmable speed pumps?
Hello Patrick! Thank you for your interest in pool pumps. Variable speed drive on pumps allows you to adjust the speed based on your needs. At low speed, you increase the durability of pool equipment, make energy and cost savings, and perform water treatment procedures to improve water quality. Conversely, you can increase the flow and enhance the performance of water equipment at high speed. Quiet operation mode is helpful while you are swimming without any disturbance. Three speeds of Pentair SuperFlo are sufficient for convenient pump operation.
Thank you for your comparison, it is just what I was looking for. Do you know the cord size of the Hayward W3SP1580X15? I have the 10” from the socket to the pool.
Hello Patrica! I am glad that you found helpful information. The cord size of the Hayward W3SP1580X15 is 6”.