The beating heart of any above ground pool is the pool’s pump. A good pump will not only circulate the pool’s water, but it will also push it through the pool’s filter, so the pool’s water stays nice and clear. On the other hand, an inferior pump may struggle with this basic task, it may be too noisy, or it may not last as long as it should.
That’s why it’s extremely important to find a pool pump for your above ground pool that’s not only high-quality but also has the proper capacity for the size of the pool it’s being used on. To help everyone find the perfect pump for their pool, we’ve decided to seek out and list ten of the best above ground pool pumps that are currently being manufactured. And we’ve not only found them, but we’ve listed them below.
Best Above Ground Pool Pumps
10Intex Krystal Clear 16-Inch Filter Pump
This sand filter pump is designed to be used on pools with a water capacity between 5,500 and 19,600 gallons in size. It’s a 16-inch model that has a flow rate of approximately 3,000 gallons per hour and has a system flow rate of 2,450 gallons per hour. This pump features a 24-hour timer that makes it easy to operate and a 6-way flow valve that can filter, rinse, backwash, recirculate, drain or close the system. It also has a pressure gauge, a strainer basket, and a heavy-duty tank. The sand in its filter only needs to be replaced every 5-years for it to remain effective.
9Intex Krystal Clear 12-Inch Filter Pump
This above-ground sand filter pump is ready to keep anyone’s pool cleaner. It has 6 different functions that enable it to not only recirculate water around the pool but also to backwash, filter, and drain. Other features found on this 12-inch pump includes an automatic 24-hour timer, a strainer basket and a system flow rate of 1,600 gallons-per-minute. This sand filter pump is capable of being used on pools with water capacities of up to 12,800 gallons so just about any home pool owner can use it. Using one of these pumps, a pool can be cleaner than it has ever been before.
8Harris H1572729 ProForce 1 HP Pump
Small, inexpensive, and efficient, this pool pump is ready to make any above ground pool owner very happy. That’s because this pump model is not only designed to last for years to come but is also designed to save on energy bills. It’s made with a durable thermoplastic body that’s corrosion-resistant, and it has high-quality internal components that increase its service life and allow it to run quietly. It’s a 1-HP pump that has 1.5-inch connection sizes on both its discharge and suction ports, and it also has a drain plug that makes maintenance a breeze.
7Harris H1572730 Pro-Force 1.5-HP Pump
This pool pump from Harris is less expensive than some comparable pump models, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have the features of these other models because it does. This 1.5-HP pump is made with a thermoplastic body that resists corrosion and is made with high-quality internal components that make it efficient and quieter than some other pump brands. This product also comes with a 3-foot power cord and meets all ETL and CSA requirements. And finally, this pool pump is extremely easy to install, so just about anyone can set it up and have it running in no time flat.
6Doheny’s Replacement Swimming Pool Pump
This Doheny pool pump is a mid-range model that is a good combination of price and features. It has a 6-foot long power cord and operates at 110-volts AC, so it’s easy to install and operate. It’s made with a corrosive resistant outer layer that allows it to hold up against rain, wind, sun or snow, and it has durable internal components that allow it to operate for years to come. It’s also a 1.5-HP model that pumps a good deal of water and features an easy-to-clean filter basket for easy maintenance. All things considered, it’s a nice pool pump that does a pretty decent job.
5Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX 1.5-HP Pump
Although this pump is a little more expensive than many comparable pool pumps currently on the market, it does have a few interesting features that can make pool owners think twice about it. This product is made with a drip-proof and heat-resistant seal that allows it to operate for longer periods without fail. It is a 1.5-HP pump that features a 1.5-inch intake and discharge and operates relatively quietly. It also has a clear cover that alerts the pool owner to when they need to clean its basket, and it has a drain plug that makes maintenance snap. It comes with a 6-foot power cord, and it has corrosion-resistant thermoplastic housing.
4Hayward SP1593 Power-Flo Matrix 1.5-HP Pump
Not many pool pumps for above ground pools can boast that they have a design that’s attractive and functional, but this pump sure does try. And it’s pretty easy to see why. This pump does have a nice design and does have the features that many pool owners look for when they’re searching for a quality pump. It’s a heavy-duty model that has an integrated thermal overload protector built into it and it has performance impellers that are made with wide openings. These two features alone allow this pump to operate for years on end and to do it without the pump becoming clogged by leaves.
3FlowXtreme NE4515 Pro II 2-Speed Pump
This 2-speed pump is ready to handle the water pumping needs of many different above ground pools. It can pump up to 4,920 gallons of water per hour and do it to a max head of 36-feet. It’s a commercial-quality pool that is made to be energy efficient and reliable for swim season after swim season. That’s because it’s made with real copper wires and windings that allow it to work every day without fail. Since it has two operating speeds, a 2,160 GPH, and a 4920 GPH speed, it’s capable of working hard when needed or to operate in a way that’s quieter and more energy-efficient.
2Intex 28635EG Krystal Klear Cartridge Filter Pump
Designed to circulate and filter the water for above ground frame pools 16 to 18-feet in diameter, this pump has the build quality and the features a pool owner expects out of one of these devices. It’s a double insulated pump that’s easy to install and has an auto-timer that can be preset from 2 to 12-hour cycles. It also features a sediment flush valve, an air release valve for discharging air that’s been trapped in the filter chamber and it has a system flow rate of 1,180 gallons-per-hour. The pump’s flow rate is approximately 1,500 gallons-per-minute.
1Blue Wave NE6171B 1.5-HP Pump
With a very reasonable price tag and high-quality construction, this above ground pool pump is ready to do its job right. This 1.5 horsepower model is made with a polymer construction that allows it to stay out in all types of different weather conditions and is corrosion-resistant. It’s designed as a replacement pump for many of the name-brand pumps including Sta-Rite, Pentair, and Hayward. This model features a dual-port design that allows it to be used for either horizontal or vertical discharges and it’s designed to fit just about any above ground filter system. It also operates at 110-volts AC and has a 6-foot long power cord.
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A Guide To Above Ground Pool Pumps
Anyone who’s been searching for the best above ground pool pumps has come to the right place. Not only have we listed the ten best models available, but we’ve created this guide. A guide that will help consumers hone in on the absolutely best pump for their above ground pool. So without any more grandstanding, let’s jump right into this guide and find out what consumers need to look for when they’re buying a new pump for their pool.
How Does An Above Ground Pool Pump Work?
Above ground pool pumps don’t have a very complex design, but it is worth taking a moment and discussing how they work. All of these pumps have three basic parts, the housing, the motor, and the impeller. The housing has a basket with a clear lid on top, and the impeller is a blade that spins quickly and pushes water through the filter. The impeller is powered by the motor, which is located most of the time in the back of the pump. And that’s all there is to it. Although it’s only three basic parts, these parts can have a significant impact on how the pump works, so it’s important to pay them some attention.
Single Speed VS. Dual-Speed Pumps
The next thing for the consumer to keep in mind is whether they need a single speed or dual speed pool pump. Although many of the pool pumps manufactured for above ground pools are single-speed, there’s an increasing number of dual-speed models to consider. In this section, we’re going to examine each of these types of pumps briefly, so consumers can choose the one that’s right for them.
- Single Speed Pumps – These pumps are called single-speed because the motor spins the pump’s impeller at one single, constant speed. A speed that’s determined by the horsepower of the pump’s motor. These pumps are usually less expensive than other types of pool pumps, but they’re not as efficient as dual-speed pumps. And not only that, but they’re not even allowed in some parts of the U.S. For example, at the time of the writing of this guide, Arizona, and California prohibited their citizens from installing a new single-speed pump for their above ground pools.
- Dual-Speed Pumps – These pool pumps are called dual-speed pumps because they have two different speeds: low and high. The high speed runs about the same speed as a single-speed pump, but the lower speed is much more energy-efficient. Consumers can keep these pumps in low for day-to-day pool maintenance but can turn it to high if they’re dealing with an exceptionally dirty pool. Of course, these pumps cost a little more than single-speed pumps.
What About Variable Speed Pumps?
Another option for pool owners to consider is variable speed pumps. These pumps don’t use an induction motor like most other types of pumps but use a permanent magnet motor instead. This means the pump operates more efficiently and with less friction than other types of pool pumps. They can not only turn the water over quicker than other pumps but they also consume less power. Over time, this low level of power consumption translates into significant energy savings. The downside of these types of pumps, however, is their higher initial costs. These pumps cost more than either single-speed or dual-speed pumps.
Choose The Right Size Pump
One of the most important considerations the pool owner can make is the size of the pump they need for their above ground pool. As a rule, a good pump should be able to filter all of the water in the pool at least once a day. The process of filtering the water is called the turnover rate, and pools require a turnover rate that works best for their pool size. To come up with the right turnover rate for their pool, the consumer is going to have to do a little bit of math to figure it out, but don’t worry, this isn’t high math. In only a few minutes, just about anyone can figure out the pump size they need for their pool.
To figure out the size pump that’s required for your above ground pool, you are going to have to figure out the pool’s volume. Once that figure is obtained, you can then figure out the GPH, or gallons-per-hour that the pump needs to pump for it to thoroughly push water through the pool’s filter. Unfortunately, most pool pumps aren’t rated by GPH but are instead rated by GPM or gallons per minute. That means that you are going to have to divide the GPH by 60 to come up with the GPM of the pump needed for your above ground pool.
Before we can figure the GPM of the pump out, we first have to obtain the total pool volume of the above ground pool. And figuring out total pool volume depends on some of those mathematical formulas that you’ve learned in high school. For example, to figure out the area of a rectangular or square pool, you are going to multiply the length by the width of the pool. To figure out the area of a circle, then multiple the radius squared of the pool by PI. Once you have the total volume of your pool, you can then find out the GPH and then the GPM of the pump needed for the pool. So take the total pool volume and divide it by eight. That number is the pump’s GPH. Now take the GPH and divide it by 60. That’s the GPM.
Choose The Right Pump Motor Voltage
The last thing that you’re going to want to consider is what voltage the pool pump runs at. Pool pumps are available in both 110 or 220-volt models, so it’s important to choose the right one before buying your pump. 110-Volt models generally plug into an outdoor outlet, while 220-volt models usually have to be hardwired into the home’s electrical grid. Choose a pump with the wrong pool voltage can costs you money to run extra electrical wiring for the pool, so be sure to choose wisely.