How to Set a Swimming Pool Pump Timer

Updated on February 21, 2020
robhampton profile image

Rob is a pool-service industry professional with over 20 years of experience.

Intermatic pool timer.
Intermatic pool timer.

Intermatic Pool Timers

These are the most common pool pump timers on the market and the easiest to use. Normally used on basic residential systems, this is a great timer.

I see some very old Intermatic timers quite often. There is a reason for that. It is a quality timer and made by a company that stands behind their product. Intermatic also makes other products—advanced and digital timers—but this article is meant as a tutorial for the basic Intermatic timer as shown in the picture above.

Setting the time: pull the yellow dial out toward you and turn.
Setting the time: pull the yellow dial out toward you and turn.

How Does It Work?

The timer is designed as a clock, with similar gears as a clock. The silver "arrow" should be aligned with the correct time. In the picture at the top of the article, you can see that it is 12 pm.

The trip levers in the picture are aligned to run from 10 am to 6 pm. These timers are quite accurate.

Moving the trip levers.
Moving the trip levers.

Setting the Time

To set the time, pull the dial out toward you and turn it until the the current time is aligned with the silver arrow. The trip levers are quite simple and self-explanatory. Loosen the small set screw, and set the time you want your pump to turn on or off.

There IS a difference in the trip levers, however. They can't be used in place of each other—meaning you can't substitute a lost "on" trip lever with a "off" lever. If you observe the back of the trip levers, they are configured differently for that purpose.

Intermatic Mechanical Timer

Intermatic TMHDT101 T101 24 Hour Dial Timer
Intermatic TMHDT101 T101 24 Hour Dial Timer
These timers rarely fail and are easy to operate. I use these more than any other pool timer.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2010 Rob Hampton


Submit a Comment
  • gina1209 profile image

    Gina Valley 

    2 years ago from Arizona

    Thanks so much Rob for the explanation! I recently bought a home with a pool and had no idea what I was doing. Your articles have been immensely helpful.


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