It’s no secret that more and more consumers are looking to beat the heat by installing above ground pools every year, but you shouldn’t forget about important accessories such as above ground pool pumps or ladders as they’re essential for a pool to function properly.
As annual heat temperatures record are broken every summer and the economy picks up, more families than ever before are looking for economical ways to spend time together and get some refreshment from rising summer heat.
Best Above Ground Pool Pumps
|Pump Horse Power
|Where to buy?
|Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump
|Harris H1572730 ProForce
|Intex Krystal Clear
|Zodiac PB4-60 Polaris
That is just a quick reference for the best above ground pool pumps for the money currently on the market.
If you have decided to purchase an above ground pool, one of the first accessories you will need in an above ground pool pump.
Shopping for above ground pool pumps can be overwhelming. With so many terms, unfamiliar to the new pool owner, and parts to consider, it’s no wonder many pool owners are ready to throw in the towel before their pool is even set up!
With hundreds of options available from a wide variety of sellers, first you must understand the basics of pool pump technology, and then you can pick the best above ground pool pump for your setup and needs.
To better understand why above ground pool pumps are necessary; let’s look at their role in a basic pool setup.
Pool pumps are considered the heart of the swimming pool’s circulation system—it pumps water through the skimmer system and main drain, pushing water then through the filter and returning it to the pool.
Without a pool pump, your pool cleaning system is completely useless. Above ground pool pumps are usually located below the water level, unlike in-ground pool pumps, where gravity forces water into the pump.
Table Of Contents
- 1 Best Above Ground Pool Pumps
- 2 Components of an Above Ground Pool Pump
- 3 When to Run an Above Ground Pool Pump
- 4 What determines the price of an above ground pool pump?
- 5 Flow Rate of Above Ground Pool Pump Systems
- 6 “Feet of Head” for Above Ground Pool Pump Systems
- 7 Above Ground Pool Pumps Maintenance
- 8 Above Ground Pool Pumps Reviews
- 9 Hayward LX Series 1.5HP Above-Ground Pool Pump
- 10 Hayward SP15932S Above-Ground Pool Pump
- 11 Intex Krystal Clear Pump for Above Ground Pools
- 12 Intex Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools
- 13 Harris H1572730 ProForce Above Ground Pool Pump
- 14 Hayward SP2610X15 Pool Pump
- 15 Pentair 342001 Pool Pump
- 16 Pentair 340039 Pool Pump
- 17 Pentair 340038 Pool Pump
- 18 Pentair 011773 Pool Pump
- 19 Hayward SP2303 VSP Pool Pump
- 20 Intex Krystal Clear Pool Pump
- 21 Sand Master above Ground Pool system
- 22 Zodiac PB4-60 Polaris Pool pump
- 23 Pentair 340040 Pool Pump
- 24 Conclusion:
Components of an Above Ground Pool Pump
Above ground pool pumps consist of three main components:
- The motor – The motor is electric and air cooled, open to the environment, so take heed to any excess water entering the motor through the cooling vents on the underside of the motor housing.
- The impeller – The impeller is connected to the end of the shaft of the motor and as it turns, pulls water in through the hair and lint trap at the end of the pump – pushing this water out of the top of the pump through a pipe, pushing it down to the filter. Check the impeller regularly to ensure it is not clogged with debris. If the pressure gauge is reading low, then the amount of water flowing back to the pool has decreased, typically because of a clog in the impeller.
- The hair and lint trap – A special trap for hair and lint is located at the end of the pump to prevent debris from entering the impeller assembly. The basket of the trap should be checked and emptied regularly – at least twice per week. Clogged hair and lint tramps lead to restriction of water flow and will cause the pump to pump air instead of water. This problem is known as “loss of prime” and can burn the motor of a pool pump, therefore, it is absolutely mandatory to check the basket and impeller every other day for clogs or debris.
Proper cleaning and maintenance schedules are an absolute must to keep your above ground pool pump running well for the life of your pool.
If you have algae in your pool, one problem could be that you do not have the correct pool pump for your above ground pool.
Pump failure usually results in a very green pool, very quickly!
Because the primary function of above ground pool pumps is to remove debris from the water, from large leaves to sand and dust, you must choose the correct pool pump for your system or your water will quickly become dirty and unmanageable.
The right above ground pool pump can keep your pool water clean and save you both money and time on manual cleaning costs.
When to Run an Above Ground Pool Pump
Two factors should help you determine what time of day to run your above ground pool pump: energy cost and chemical demand.
Due to the higher cost of electricity in many parts of the world during the day, it may be advisable to run your pool pump at night, from sunset to sunrise.
Chlorine levels should remain at or above 3.0 ppm during daylight hours.
During summer months, chemical demand is at its peak due to UV light and higher usage, as well as more debris typically with pollen, flower petals, and tree leaves floating into the pool.
At monthly averages of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater, the pump should operate for a minimum of five hours per day.
It’s typically recommended to keep your above ground pool pump running at least 12 hours per day during summer and 5 hours per day during cooler months.
This could be divided into multiple cycles, though that may be more trouble to the operator, constantly running in and out to turn the pump on and off.
Consider your flow rate as well – the pump should always be run a minimum of one turnover cycle, typically 4 – 5 hours at any one time.
What determines the price of an above ground pool pump?
Pool pumps vary in price for above ground pool pump systems, with two key elements determining what pool pump is best for your system:
Flow rate, measured in gallons per minute (GPM) and head, measured by feet of resistance or “feet of head.”
To properly determine the best above ground pool pump for your system, you must first understand these two terms, and how to calculate them.
Many consumers believe that higher horsepower always equals better filtration, but this is not always the case.
Having the right pool pump will help you avoid unnecessary wear on your other equipment and prevent wasting electricity.
Flow Rate of Above Ground Pool Pump Systems
Flow rate refers to how much water can be moved within a certain amount of time. To calculate flow rate, you must first determine how often your above ground pool pump filters the total amount of water in your pool.
One to two turnovers per day with a turnover time of 5 – 10 hours is recommended for longevity and clean water.
To determine your flow rate:
- Determine the capacity in your pool (usually shown by manufacturers in gallons. For this example we will use 10,000 gallons.)
- Divide the total gallon capacity of your pool by the number of hours you want per turnover (for this example, we will use the recommended 10 hour turnover time.)
- Divide this number by 60 to determine the flow rate per minute (GPM).
So if we have a 10,000 gallon above ground pool and we want one turnover to take ten hours, the minimum desired flow rate would be 16.66 GPM (17 GPM rounded).
This is a relatively low GPM rating – much lower than many consumers would assume, wasting precious electricity, money, and wear on other parts of the system by unnecessary horsepower.
The number of intakes on your pool also affects maximum flow rate. As pool water rushes through the line to the pump, it is passed through the filter, further restricting maximum flow.
This is why it is important to pay attention to the maximum flow rate on your pool filter as well. Sand filters, cartridge filters, and D.E. filters all have different maximum flow rates.
“Feet of Head” for Above Ground Pool Pump Systems
“Head” refers to the amount of resistance to water flow that exists in your current plumbing system.
The other parts of your pool system, such as the heater, chemical feeding system, and more, as well as the amount of bends, size, and distance of piping, all play a role in determining the “head” calculation.
Therefore, these calculations can become very complex. Here are a few tips for estimating your total head.
- Determine the amount of pipe between the pump and pool return.
- If you use a filter, cut this number in half.
- 90 degree turns in your plumbing system add 1-2 feet of head per turn.
- For each foot below the water surface your return line is, add 1 foot of head to your final number.
Above Ground Pool Pumps Maintenance
Cleaning and maintaining your above ground pool will ensure continued proper pool pump functionality.
- Keep your pool pump running for the minimum recommended time – 24 hours a day certainly won’t hurt your pool, though it will age the components of the pool pump system quickly. Maintain at least 10-12 hours per day to keep your pool clean and the pool pump components from unnecessary wear. If the pool continues to look dirty, then increase the amount of time your pool pump runs daily as needed.
- Backwash the filter weekly and treat the pool with chemicals once a season. Check your owner’s manual for cleaning and recharging instructions.
- Wipe down the walls and floor of your pool at least once a week to disrupt any algae growth, especially in pools with corners and angles.
- Vacuum your pool at least once a week, more as needed.
- Use a 4 way test strip weekly to monitor chlorine, Ph, Alkalinity, and bromine in your pool and adjust accordingly. The more you run the pool pump, typically, the less chemicals you will need to use in your pool.
- Once a week, empty the skimmer basket and pump motor basket (turn the pump motor off first) and backwash the pool filter
Backwashing the pool filter reverses the flow of water through the system, allowing any debris, sand, or lint to be discharged through the backwash line. Following manufacturer’s directions to backwash your system weekly.
With the basics of pool pump knowledge covered, let’s review some of the best above ground pool pumps.
Above Ground Pool Pumps Reviews
As you calculate your flow rate and feet of head, keep in mind some of these options may be too powerful, or not powerful enough, for your system.
Each of these products is the perfect product for specific circumstances and they are not ranked in any order. What is the perfect pool pump for one above ground pool may not be the best fit for your needs.
Hayward LX Series 1.5HP Above-Ground Pool Pump
The Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series pump includes a strainer and is rated 100% drip proof, heat resistant, and corrosion proof.
The 1.5HP Pump and 1HP Pump sells for a very reasonable price, both with free shipping.
The clear cover lets you see when the extra-large basket needs cleaning, while the thermoplastic housing shields the unit from weather and debris.
This above ground pool pump claims to also be one of the quietest on the market, which may be important to those not wanting their relaxing pool session to be interrupted by loud motors.
The extra-large basket keeps cleanings to a minimum and the PermaGlass cover lets the owner simply peer into the basket to check for any debris instead of having to open the entire unit and remove the basket before visualizing any necessary maintenance.
The thermal overload with shut the motor off under abnormal conditions such as overheating if clogged before damage to the motor occurs, a wonderful safety addition.
- Plenty of power for 13,000 gallon above ground pools
- Easy to see and clean extra-large debris basket
- Quiet, less noisy option for pool owners
- Can be easily rotated to horizontal position by loosening 4 bolts and turning
- No off switch, user must unplug to complete cleaning cycle
- One speed of use
Hayward SP15932S Above-Ground Pool Pump
As one of the only complaints about the previous mentioned above ground pool pump was the inability to switch speeds, we found the Hayward Power-Flo 2-Speed Above Ground Pool Pump has reasonable price and comes with free shipping for the 1.5HP option.
This pool pump boasts an industrial-sized strainer basket for large debris collection (and therefore less cleaning or emptying), easy conversion from vertical to horizontal use, an energy efficient, protected switch, and an automatic thermal overload protector.
As previously mentioned, the unit may be switched from high to low speeds, affecting the water flow and disruption as well as sound output.
It also features a clear basket so that the owner may peer in for cleaning purposes, as opposed to removing the entire basket unnecessarily.
- Could be run 24 hours per day at low speed for maximum energy savings
- Clear basket for maintenance
- Quiet unit
- No off switch
- 1 year limited warranty
Intex Krystal Clear Pump for Above Ground Pools
For a very reasonable price, with almost 800 5 star reviews, this unit appears to be one of the best above ground pool pumps on the market.
It boasts 41.66 GPM, 110-120V, and replaceable cartridges. There is a sediment flush valve at the bottom of the filter chamber and it is specifically recommended for Intex’s line of 18 foot Easy Set and Metal Frame pools, though in the fine print it states it will work with any pool up to 24 feet in diameter.
The built in timer allows you to operate the pool pump effortlessly, without having to turn it on and off or unplug it twice per day.
- Great GPM rate
- Built in timer for operating automatically
- Included in box: bulkheads, plungers, and 2 hoses
- Type B cartridges must be replaced weekly or bi-weekly
- Limited to smaller pools up to 24 feet in diameter
Intex Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools
The Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools comes in a variety of GPH options, with the most powerful 3000 GPH (50GPM) option selling for over 150 dollars, by far the most economical above ground pool pump on the market for the power.
The all natural sand provides water filtration as the 6-function control valve allows the owner to filter, backwash, recirculate, or drain and close the system at the end of the swimming season.
Intex also includes a 24 hour timer, adding to the hassle-free maintenance for any pool owner not wishing to constantly manually time and turn their pool pump on and off or plug and unplug the system.
This particular above ground pool pump has a flow rate of 3,000 gallons per hour, ideal for above ground pools 16 foot in diameter and above.
As far as maintenance is concerned, pool owners must simply replace the sand in the filter once every five years. At .95HP, the motor is not as powerful as some, though as we mentioned above, more horsepower does not always equal the best set up for your above ground pool pump needs.
The strainer basket is also clear for easy viewing and requires lower frequency of cleaning than other, smaller strainer baskets.
- Maintenance friendly: sand must be replaced once every 5 years
- Great for larger above ground pools
- Quiet operation and 6 function switch
- Lower horsepower than other units, be sure to figure your calculations before purchasing
- Restricted to pools under 8,400 gallons
As you can see, there is a lot of science to purchasing the right pool pump for your needs.
By understanding the components of a pool pump, the calculations needed to measure exact output needs, and reviewing the best above ground pool pumps, you can easily pull the trigger on the perfect pool pump purchase today.
With regularly monitoring, weekly maintenance, and careful ownership, your above ground pool pump will last for many years to come.
You can get this Harris ProForce pool pump at much less price as compared to other top-rated and best above ground pool pumps. The device employs sturdy and robust material in its construction and offers a productive outcome through its operations.
The material in construction is completely rust-resistant and ensures a prolonged life span. Considering its inner components, this pool pump equips the best working 1.5 HP shaft made from the stainless steel material along with the highly enduring thermoplastic body.
Also, the shafts rotate at a faster speed with minimal noise, which can save your power consumption as well and comes out as a good choice for the money.
The overall strainer component includes the giant and easy to use basket which filters even the smaller particles as well. Strainer also equips the see-through feature that lets you see what happens inside.
This ProForce uses 115V to operate the 1.5 inches of the suction port. The internal and external threading measures 1.5 inches and 2.5 inches, respectively. The device meets all the standards of CSA and ETL.
- Durable due to reinforced thermoplastics
- Advanced engineering technology
- 1.5 HP outstanding motor
- No ON/OFF switch
This device’s superior construction and a large capacity to hold debris make sure the best above ground pump and filter combo. The machine equips the standard size along with the balanced Pool pump that can perform the best operations on any pool size.
An efficient impeller lets you increase the flow rate through the inlets and outlets that can reduce electricity consumption. The large 110 cubic inches basket can hold even the large leaves and other pool debris. Extender ribbing assists you in attaining the smooth flow and helps you in cleaning.
The device also equips the Lexan see-through design can provide you a clear view of the basket, which is controllable via a swing away handle.
The device makes use of corrosion-resistant internal components, which are just four bolts far away from the outside. This top-rated and perfectly engineered device features the stress-free design, which requires easy maintenance.
This Hayward Pool Pump further comes with the easy installation and hassle-free mounting and demounting of pipes. Performance, quiet operations, and versatility are the best features of this device.
- Leaf-holding capacity
- Lexan see-through design
- Rugged and one-piece housing
- A little noisy
This device is one of the top-rated above ground pool pumps, which features the powerful and ultra-quiet and operations. This Pentair 3420001 device offers you the easy installation, which can save you time as well as cost. This SuperFlow device is best for the variety of applications as it provides the variable speed characteristics and requires no wiring at all.
The device further exhibits the on-board good display that depicts the real-time 24-hours clock. Also, you can easily observe and adjust everything about the device’s operation via an easy controller. Also, you can control the programmable speed along with the override speed collectively.
This Pentair 34001 can be the best choice for the money because of its quiet operations. You’ll feel no extra vibrations and unwanted noise if the device is running. The ultra-quiet TEFC motor supports the functionality to reduce the high-pitched sound.
Also, this motor offers the utmost efficiency by providing the 1.5HP Power to filter 20000 gallons of water. This best above ground pool pump is all you need for intuitive yet straightforward functioning.
- Real-time clock display
- Three operating speed settings
- Highly powered
- No warranty
You don’t need to worry about the water flow any more with this best above ground pool pump as it features the 1 ½ horsepower, 56 inches flange motor, which can move the water through the device efficiently by saving much of the energy costs.
Also, the powerful motor not only maintains the flow but can reduce the wear and tear effectively and increases the overall life. Quick operational work can quickly lessen the clogging possibility in the hoses or the internal compartment. This SuperFlo above ground pump has the sturdy and robust internal components that let you trust on your investment and make it an excellent choice for the money.
All the internal components as well the outer compartment equips the unique and durable components that assist you in the run the device all day long.
Quiet running and effective cleaning are the major advantageous characteristics of this Pentair 340039. The device also features the premium body controls that support smooth movement and lid lock functions. You can have an easy start-up as you don’t need to buy any external accessories to run the first time.
- High horsepower motor
- Premium hydraulics
- Quick operations to avoid clogging
- Low energy efficiency
The 1-horsepower is what you need for economical operation in an effective manner. You can employ this top-rated pool pump to clean the debris, including leaves, dust, and other smaller particles from the water using the 56-inches fully powered flange motor.
However, the quiet operations are one of the best features of this Pentair 340038 as it equips the hydraulic technology, which reduces much of the excessive noise. The SuperFlo mechanism further adds to the convenience as you can easily filter out large leaves and other large-sized particles using the powerful flow.
Large body parts are worth buying advantage of this pool pump, which ensures you a longer life span of this device. This device is suitable for heavy use as you need less maintenance. The large strainer basket assists you in storing the massive waste and extending the emptying-out time as well.
You can employ the device for pool, spa, and other water bodies cleaning via offering you the quiets as well as effective cleaning operations. Premium quality and excellent working come out as the right choice for the money.
- UL/CUL/NSF certified
- One year warranty
- Less demanding installations
- Less energy-efficient
The high performance, along with the massive usage ability, are the significant advantages you get by employing this Pentair 011773 above ground pool pump. This device equips the unique Whisper Flow technology, which gets its name from the quiet and silent operations of this device. You can attain a higher efficiency as well by utilizing the single-speed powerful motor with a horsepower of 1.5 HP.
This powerful motor uses the 208-230 Volts by equipping the 2-inches suction as well as discharge ports and maintaining the flow rate across them.
Moreover, self-priming and higher flow rates help you to get rid of the extra time and cost, which can be used later on in any other job. A see-through design assists you in having the perfect view.
Additionally, this Pentair device implies the best usage via utilizing the 40% glass-filled thermoplastic material and ensure you an excellent above ground pool pump and filter combo. Also, the device supports its compatibility along with the standard jets, filters, and built-in cleaning systems of the pools. Easy installation and Uprated motor efficiency add to the sturdiness.
- Heavy-duty construction
- Whisper Flow mechanism
- Increased energy as well as life
- Might be noisy for some
This Hayward pool pump device is featuring the perfect variable speed technology that lets you enjoy the effective functioning via the highly powered motor. One of the best advantageous features of this device is increased efficiency, which provides 80% of the energy saving.
The device works well via both the 115V and 230V supply and features no worries at all.
This top-rated device is famous for its variable speed that can improvise its use for various applications. You can clean any of the water reservoirs, including above ground pools, spas, and other water bodies with separate speeds and efficiencies.
Max Flow technology is what comes out as the perfect choice for the money. You can maintain the flow rate of the water through the inlets and outlets using the TEFC based powerful motor.
Also, this perfectly engineered high-rated engine makes this device of best usage and utilizes the dual working system that works on 115V and 230V. Another good feature is the permanent magnet of this pool pump that increases the efficiency of the fan-cooled motor.
- Max Flow technology
- Dual voltage working
- TEFC motor
- Questionable durability
This Intex Krystal Clear pump uses the sand as the filter medium to effectively clean the whole pool water. This technology comes out as a cost-effect and a good choice for money because it uses cheap resources. The device further employs the cheap and inexpensive filtering medium inside the primary device, which can save you much of the cost and help you reduce plastic pollution.
Low or easy maintenance make this device a good choice for the pool owners as you need to replace the filtering media after five or six years. Apart from cleaning the debris, another effective method that these devices are offering is the filtration of the saltwater system with ECO. In this way, this Krystal Clear pump becomes an excellent selection for the money.
This 2-in-1 complete package offers low cost and effective cleaning mechanism. The device is safe to use and clean out chlorine from the water as well to reduce eye irritation. The robust motor yields 0.75 HP and a flow rate of 2650 GPH. The digital timer adds more worth as it depicts the running time of the machine as well on the sharp display screen.
- GFCI 110-120V
- Two years warranty
- Filters Chlorine effectively
- Sand weight can cause a problem
This SandMaster pool device features an economical way to deal with water cleaning. You can employ the device for multiple purposes that lead you to a cost-effective method of cleaning.
The sand Master brand has taken care of the quality by featuring the best components that are good for above ground pools. The device can easily take up to 9,600 gallons of water to filer continuously. Also, this pool pump equips the powerful motor with an efficiency of 20 GPM. The four valves follow the multi-position system.
These differently located valves let you employ the device in a variety of places along the poolside. The base of the invention is ergonomically stable, which makes it easy to use.
The Sand Master ground pool system employs the filter tank that can purify the water efficiently. Hence, a perfect above ground pool pump and filter combo are what you need for this corrosion-resistant device. The device also equips lightweight components that are just 42 lbs., in weight, and enables you a secure transport.
This powerful filtration unit works on the 115V that saves much of the Power and cost as well.
- Powerful motor
- Effective functioning
- 1-year warranty
- Filter medium requires periodic changing
This Zodiac PB4-60 device is all set to provide you with a stylish and modern way of functioning. This best above ground pool pump equips the ultra-high efficiency that can effectively treat and clean the water of your pool within minutes. Also, the powerful motor having the horsepower of ¾ HP provides you with a productive outcome.
Considering the construction assembly, the device makes use of sturdy and heavy components, which are capable of prolonging the life of the device. Stability has been enhanced in this filter pump by employing the heavy-duty base feature which can stand the device still.
Moreover, the pool pump comes out as a good choice for the money due to higher efficiency. Another unique attribute of the device is the drain plug. The fully versatile and ergonomic drain plug has the O-rings to prevent the collapsing.
Polaris brand has also launched the Polaris pressure or booster pumps, which are the optimum cleaner device. There are seals present in the whole unit which prevent water leakage. The package includes the quick connectors along with the soft hose pipes for an easy installation.
- Easy to maintain
- Ergonomic O-rings
- Boosted pump technology
- The boosted pump is mandatory
This top-rated Pentair 340040 pool pump employs the exclusive SuperFlo technology that effectively cleans out the debris from the pool water. The powerful motor having the 2-HorsePower will use less power to filter out large water capacity.
Moreover, not only the efficiency but the quiet operational work is also another advantage of this Pentair device. You’ll hear no sun data all as long as the machine is running. This best pool pump device further features the flange motor with 56-square heavy-duty components to clean the above ground pool water with minimal effort.
The SuperFlo technology is featured with the hydraulic technique, which is precisely engineered via the premium quality parts. You can maintain the flow of water easily by the flow regulator.
Furthermore, this device will produce no excessive vibration, which prevents heating up and also reduces the wear and tear over time. The large strainer basket enables you to increase the maintenance span, and you’ll feel no worry about the removal of waste as well. The sturdy construction and thick-walled internal parts make this device a perfect choice for the money.
- Thick-walled body parts
- Oversized strainer basket
- Hydraulic technology
- Warranty is only for mechanical parts
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the best pool pump for an above ground pool?
There is a variety of pool devices which work well for several different pool dimensions and types. However, among the devices mentioned above, Harris ProForce is one of the best ones with 1.5 Horsepower.
What size pool pump do I need?
The answer to this question lies in the dimension of your pool. If you have a large pool you’ll need a pool pump of at least 1.5 HP with great efficiency. Also, you can look at the mentioned (in GPH) efficiency for each pool pump.
How to quiet pool pump?
You can do a lot of essential steps to quiet your pool pump. You can clean the basket, raise the water level, replace the bearings, reduce the speed, and can clean the skimmer in order to reduce the excessive vibrations and noise.
Should you run a pool pump 24/7?
The pool pumps are quite efficient that let you clean the pool water within 2-3 hours. You can run the pool pump every other six hours to maximize efficiency.
Well, now the answer to the question; ‘’what is the best pump for an above ground pool?’’ is completely clear from this guide. We have provided you all the essential facts about the pool pumps in this above ground pool pump review.