What Size Above Ground Pool Pump Do I Need?

What Size Above Ground Pool Pump Do I Need

Swimming pool pumps are essential for keeping your pool water fresh and clean. To make sure you’re swimming in the highest quality water possible, you need to use the right pump. Some think that upgrading to a larger pump will mean cleaner water, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, a larger pump is less effective and can end up costing a lot more in operating costs. If you’re wondering “What size above ground pool pump do I need?”, you’ve come to the right place.

Below we’ll explain everything you need to know to choose the right size above ground pool pump.

What does a pool pump do?

An above-ground pool pump has one very important job: move the water in the pool through the filter. Think of it as the heart of your pool. The pump circulates the water, cycling it through the filtration system where dirt and debris are removed. The filter is also where the water is sanitized and the chemical reactions that keep your pool water safe take place. Without a pump, the water wouldn’t be able to travel through the filter and stay clean and safe.

What size pump do i need?

Ideally, you want a pool pump that can cycle all of the water in your pool through the filtration system once every 12 hours. To figure this out, you need to know how many gallons of water are in your pool.

This is pretty easy to do with some simple math using the following formulas:

  • Rectangular Pools: Length x Width x Depth x 7.5 = gallons
  • Round Pools: Diameter x Diameter x Depth x 5.9 = gallons
  • Oval Pools: Width x Length x Depth x 6.7 = gallons

So, when considering some of the more popular sizes of above ground pools, a 24-foot round pool has roughly 13,593 gallons of water and a 15 x 30-foot oval pool has about 10,000 gallons. This means for a 24-foot round pool, you need a pump that circulates 27,186 gallons per day. For a 15 x 30-foot oval pool, the pump has to circulate 20,000 gallons a day.

Now, here’s where it gets a little tricky. Some above ground pool pumps are specified in gallons per minute and not gallons per hour. So, you’re not quite done with your calculation. To convert to gallons per minute, you have to divide the gallons per day by 24 hours and then by 60 minutes. In our examples, the 24-foot round pool, you need 27,186 gallons cycled per day. This is about 1,132 gallons per hour or 18.8 per minute.

The 15 x 30-foot oval pool is a little easier to figure out. You need a pump that circulated 20,000 gallons a day, or 833.3 gallons per hour, or about 14 gallons per minute.

Are there other options?

Yes! It’s generally better to start with the highest recommended filtration and taper down. Once you have an algae bloom or the water chemistry gets too far out of whack, it can be very difficult to get things under control.

How the water in your pool behaves depends on a lot of different factors – how often you use it, how many people use it, how much direct sunlight it gets, etc. Some people feel that cycling the entire pool once in a 24-hour period is enough and you may find that it is.

Some people run the filter for eight hours overnight and turn them off during the day. Others do leave the filter off at night and do eight hours during the day or you can try four hours in the morning and four hours in the evening. It all depends on what works best with your swimming pool. That’s why it’s good to find a pool pump made with these options in mind. Most of them have different speed settings as well as timers so you can customize it to your needs.

Best above ground pool pumps and filters

Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools

The Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump 2100 GPH above ground pool with Auto Timer provides cool, refreshing, clear water, and less hassle every swim season. If you are tired of buying and replacing pool filter cartridges, this filter is the one for you. With virtually no maintenance, your sand pump only needs replacement every five years. Hydro Aeration Technology improves circulation and filtration, improves water clarity, and increased negative ions in the water. This sand pump features a powerful motor, 6-function control, and a built-in automatic timer. It meets the UL standards and is an excellent upgrade to the filter cartridge system on your Intex Above Ground Swimming Pool. This filter works with pools that are easily set with a metal frame, and ultra frame, up to 12,800 gallons. Simple to use and easy to operate, this Intex sand filter will outperform your standard cartridge filters and keep your pool crystal clear.

ProsCons
With 24hr automatic timer.
Sand is not included.
Improved circulation and filtration.
Not the best quality
Increased negative ions at water surface.
Best above ground pool pumps and filters

Hayward W3S166T1580S ProSeries 1 HP Sand Filter System

The Hayward ProSeries 16-Inch Above-Ground Pool Filter System includes an 16″ polymeric tank, a 7-position filter control valve and a 1 HP PowerFlo LX pool pump, and it’s performance matched with the above-ground pump series to ensure a system that maximizes its filtration ability. It utilizes a precision-engineered umbrella-fold self-cleaning lateral system to provide efficient flow and evenly distributed water for long lasting performance.

ProsCons
Provides maximum flow.
Difficult to set up
Large pressure sand.
Pump is not heavy duty.
Self cleaning sysytem.
Best above ground pool pumps and filters

Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System with E.C.O. (Electrocatalytic Oxidation)

For above-ground pools between 4,800 to 15,000 gallons, this Intex Krystal Clear sand filter pump from Intex is a great choice, especially if you’re looking for something with a timer. This system automatically turns off and on in 12-hour cycles. The E.C.O. system helps keep the pool water clean without the traditional problems associated with traditional chlorine. Plus, this pump is covered by a two-year warranty.

ProsCons
Digital Timer
Parts are easily broken
Automatic Pump
Not the best quality
With Ground Circuit Interrupter.
Best above ground pool pumps and filters

Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools

One of the great things about this Intel Krystal Clear Cartridge filter and pump from Intex is that you have a lot of control over when and how long it’s running. You can set the auto-timer for two to 12-hour cycles and it’s appropriate for pools between 4,000 and 15,200 gallons or any above-ground pool up to 24-feet in diameter. Installation is super easy and they even include a filter cartridge so you can get set up and started right away.

ProsCons
Easy to install
Not compatible with some pool
With air release valve
Some parts are not included
One Hydro Aeration Technology inlet fitting included.
Best above ground pool pumps and filters

Rx Clear Radiant Complete Sand Filter System for Above Ground Swimming Pool

Last but not least, we recommend this Rx Clear Radiant Sand Filter System pump and filtration system. It uses a one-piece tank, universal base, and top-mount six-position multi-port valve. This system is appropriate for pools up to 16,000 gallons and comes with a three-year limited warranty. This filter is designed to handle the filtration needs of many of today’s pools. It provides an efficient, easy to use, simple to install and operate system that will keep pool water clean and sparkling. The core of these systems is the one-piece blow-molded tank that sits atop a universal base that accepts most pumps. Includes a top mount, 6-position multi-port valve and has a high capacity sand bed to catch more debris and extends filter cycles.

ProsCons
All in one pool equipment.
Poor instruction manual.
High performance
Hard to install.
Easy to use operating system.
Best above ground pool pumps and filters

Time to purchase an above ground pool?

Now that you know the answer to “What size above ground pool pump do I need?”, are you ready to buy a new above ground pool? If so, check out our selection for the best above ground pools on the market. Once the ground has been leveled and your above ground pool is installed and filled with water, be sure to check out our picks for accessories. Must-buy add-ons include the best above ground pool lights and solar-powered pool heaters to heat your above ground pool. Or if winter swimming doesn’t appeal, learn how to winterize your above ground pool so it’s ready to go next spring!

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Learn more about above ground pools

Before making the plunge into an above ground pool, make sure you’ve gotten educated. Are you curious if above ground pools can have different depths? Or perhaps if above ground pools can be converted to saltwater? Whether you’re wondering if above ground pools can be buried or how to empty an above ground pool, we’ve got everything you need to know. Enjoy your new pool!

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