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How to Set a Pool Timer

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

Set up your timer today!

Set up your timer today!

Intermatic Pool Pump Timer

Intermatic is the most common pool pump timer brand on the market and the easiest to use. This is a great timer that's normally used on basic residential systems.

I often see some very old Intermatic timers. 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 below.

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 a Pool Pump Timer Work?

The timer is designed as a clock, with gears to a clock. The silver "arrow" should be aligned with the correct time. In the picture below, 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.

How to Set the Time

To set the time, pull the dial out toward you and turn it until 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 an "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.