Pump & Suction Flow Rate Sizing

The following flow rate data is compiled from information gathered from multiple sources and is a GUIDE ONLY.

spatex will not be held responsible for the accuracy of the following data or any injury or damage that may result from it's use. The pump flow rates listed will vary greatly depending on each specific installation.

The following pump flow rates are APPROXIMATE for normal spa system pressures expected for the type of pump listed.
Use this information to assist in determining appropriate Safety Suction Outlets you may require to install or replace.
In all cases you should seek pump manufacturers up-to-date flow rate data in conjunction with vacuum/pressure gauges, or carry out tests with a flow meter for accurate flow information.
Using Vacuum and pressure gauge method - install the pressure gauge on the pump discharge and vacuum gauge on the pump inlet. Add the two gauge readings in KPa, then divide by 9.804 - this equals the installation in metres of head pressure. Use pump manufacturer flow data to determine flow rate at that head pressure. 
Using the Flow meter method - Install a flow meter in line with the pump ensuring installation is as per meter instructions. Read off the actual flow rate. 

New suction standards require fully approved and tested fittings to be supplied and installed in accordance with AS1926.3
You must ensure that every pump installed has either a minimum of:
A correctly ventilated skimmer (skimmer and safety suction in South Australia), or
A single safety suction exceeding system flow rate AND minimum dimensions of 800mm x 75mm, or  
A minimum of 2 x safety suctions. One additional suction must be installed for the combined suctions specified flow rates to meet/exceed the pump / spa system flow rate, if one safety suction were to become blocked.
e if a pump flow rate is 400 lpm, EACH suction must be at least 400lpm rated (NOT 400lpm combined) for a two suction system. 
Overall combined flow rate of multiple suctions must meet/exceed double the pump/system flow rate - this is particularly important when high flow pumps are installed with lower rated suction outlets.

Exemptions - approved/tested swimjets with integral suctions in their design.

The requirement to meet these standards applies in all instances where a pump is being replaced and particularly if being replaced with a different make or model to the original pump, or an increase in hp rating of the same pump model.
Most pre-existing suctions fitted prior to 2008 will either have a very low approved flow rate or have no approval at all. In some cases post 2008, incorrectly rated suctions have still been fitted.

See the Suction category for approved suction outlets and their flow rate data.

See information at the bottom of this list with regards to pump size versus jet count.

The following pumps cover many popular makes and models used in the Australian marketplace over the last 20 years. 

 1.5hp, 1100w, 450lpm
 2.0hp, 1500w, 600lpm
 2.5hp, 1850w, 680lpm
 3.0hp, 2200W, 890lpm
 0.2hp, 150W, 120lpm

Balboa Water Group
Vico Ultimax
 2.0hp, 1650-1950w, 420lpm
 2.0hp (marked 4.0hp), 1500w, 420lpm 
Vico Ultima Circulation Pump
 0.25hp, 170w, 160lpm

 1.5hp, 350lpm
 1.5hp, 350lpm

LX Whirlpool 
JA Series
 JA35 0.35hp, 250w, 100lpm
 JA50 0.5hp, 375w, 150lpm
 JA200 2.0hp, 1500w, 380lpm
 1.0hp, 750w, 200lpm
EA Series
 EA390 1.25hp, 900w, 260lpm
 EA450 1.5hp, 1100w, 320lpm
TDA Series
 1.0hp, 750w, 200lpm
 1.5hp, 1100w, 320lpm
 2.0hp, 1500w, 380lpm
LP Series 
 2.0hp, 1500w, 520lpm
 2.5hp, 1850w, 600lpm
 3.0hp, 2200w, 660lpm
WP Series
 2.0hp, 1500w, 570lpm
 2.5hp, 1850w, 640lpm
 3.0hp, 2200w, 700lpm 

 1.0hp, 750w, 230lpm
 1.5hp, 1500w, 260lpm
 1.0hp, 750W, 200lpm
 1.5hp, 750W, 200lpm
 1.5hp, 1100W, 275lpm

Spaquip / Davey
 1.0hp, 750W, 270lpm
 1.5hp, 1100W, 300lpm 
 1.0hp, 750W, 300lpm
 1.5hp, 1100W, 340lpm
 2.0hp, 1800W, 490lpm
 1.5hp, 1100W, 380lpm
 2.0hp, 1500W, 500lpm
 2.5hp, 1800W, 580lpm
 3.0hp, 2100W, 620lpm
 0.75hp, 550w, 142lpm
 1.0hp,   750w, 186lpm
 2.0hp, 1500W, 500lpm
 2.5hp, 1800W, 600lpm
 3.0hp, 2200W, 700lpm
 1.5hp, 1100W, 350lpm

 1.5hp, 1100W, 440lpm
 2.0hp, 1800W, 630lpm
 3.0hp, 2200W, 750lpm
 3.0hp, 2200W, 1000lpm

Xylem ITT Laing Thermotech
 0.05hp, 70W, 60lpm
 0.15hp, 115w, 100lpm

Other brands/models not detailed above - approx maximum likely hp rating / flow rates to estimate needed suction outlet type, shown below:

Low flow circulation pumps
 0.3HP, 200-350w, 150lpm

Jet pumps
 0.75hp, 570W, 180lpm
 1.0hp,  750W, 200lpm
 1.5hp, 1100W, 300lpm
 2.0hp, 1500W, 500lpm
 2.5hp, 1800W, 680lpm
 3.0hp, 2200W, 750lpm

Pump flow rate is not only relevant when selecting appropriate suctions, but even more so when selecting pump size to suit the number
of spa water jets associated with the pump.
Pumps need to be primarily sized to suit the number and type of jets to ensure adequate flow for the jets to operate at the correct pressure.
Most jets have an optimum pressure required of 10-12psi. In most cases this equates to approx 40lpm per jet.
Therefore if you have:
4-6 jets you should select a pump with an approx flow rate of 200lpm - ie most 1.0hp pumps suit 4-6 jet spas
6-8 jets you should select a pump with approx flow rate of 280lpm - ie most 1.5hp pumps suit 6-8 jet spas
8-12 jets you should select a pump with approx flow rate of 400-500lpm - ie most 2.0hp pumps

2.5hp and 3.0hp pumps are used on spas with 12-20 jets without diverters in use and normally needs careful testing to correctly match flow and pressure.

A lot of spas have diverter valves dividing 2 jet 'zones' per pump. Often there are 20 jets on the one pump (10 per side of the diverter) In this scenario
you'll often find a 2.0hp or 2.5hp pump in use to provide sufficient flow/pressure to run ALL 20 jets with reasonable pressure or just 10 with great pressure.

Once the pump selection has been made, the suctions will also need to be correctly selected as above.