Rob is a pool-service industry professional with over 20 years of experience.
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.
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.
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
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
Gina Valley from Arizona on September 23, 2017:
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.