Pump switch vs. Timer switch vs. Circuit Breaker


Active member
Jun 29, 2012
I just spent the better part of this last weekend vac'ing my 12k gal. vinyl pool, removing cement dust from a deck project that was done this spring. Turns out, there was a lot of suspended particulate and as a result I spent a fair amount of time, turning off and on my pool pump. The way I've always done this was to hit the manual switch on my Intermatic timer. It occurred to me as I reached into this box with moist fingers that this is not the ideal mechanism for on/off as my particular Intermatic has a small, plastic shield sitting over the electrical poles which are most certainly charged.

An alternative to switching on/off at the Intermatic timer is to utilize the circuit breaker which sits nearby. I'm not a huge fan of doing this, if only because my darn timer ends up getting out of sync with reality.

Would it not be more prudent / safe to install a switch between timer and pump that was designed for exterior use? Am I the only one with this concern, or is there a well tested idea that hasn't occurred to me.

The dog

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2017
sacramento CA
If you add an external switch you will still have the same problem with it getting out of sync.

What you would need to do to avoid this would be to keep the timer powered on with its line side wires. You could then (depending of it is a 1-pole or 2-pole load) you could add an external switch between the load side. You would take the load side wires off the time clocks terminals and connect them to one side of the switch and then use the other side of the switch and land them back on the load side. That way your external switch would turn off and on the load while the timer motor still has its power to run the clock motor. Do you follow what I'm trying to say ?

Id just dry my hands before opening the clock and leave it alone.

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