# How To Read a Pool Pump Curve

I know this may sound weird but we can’t tell you how many gallons per minute your pump pushes based off of your motor alone. When asked, we reply with, “I’m not sure, but if you provide the make and model of your pump, I can review your pool pump curve.” That answer usually confuses some pool owners.

Truthfully, the confusion stems from confusing the motor for the pump, or vice versa.  To some, the words are interchangeable, however, they are not. Your motor is just a single component of your pump. Think of it as the engine in your car. The word pump includes your motor but also the pump housing, impeller, diffuser, strainer basket, and lid. For this reason, it impossible for us to know the GPMs of your pump based off of the motor alone.

Now that you have the make and model of your pump, how do you determine the GPMs? The answer: a pool pump performance curve.

After my last article on how to calculate the total dynamic head (TDH) of your swimming pool, I decided to tackle a subject in a similar realm: high and medium head pumps. In the Total Dynamic Head (TDH) blog post we explained that TDH is essentially the force/resistance working against the pump as it pushes water through your pipes. The higher the feet of head, the harder your pump needs to push to counteract that resistance.

Calculate your feet of head according to the blog post or your choice of online calculator and select the style of pump accordingly: