Top 5 Best Pumps For Above Ground Pools

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Besides the filtration system, a pool pump is another important part to ensure you always have a clean swimming pool. The best pumps for above-ground pools will provide you with a cleaner and amazing swimming pool experience. A pool pump circulates and filters the water in the pool.

The main difference between a crystal clear pool and one that is gross is often the pool pump used. Getting a good quality pump is crucial because it will hugely affect the quality of the water in your pool. Without the pool pumps, the water will be stagnant and dirty, which can be discouraging to get in the pool on a sunny and hot afternoon.

The wide range of options and misleading product descriptions can make it difficult for you to get the best above-ground pool pump. For this reason, we have a review of the five best above-ground pool pumps, their good and bad, as well as a buying guide to help you know what features to look out for before buying one.

5 Best Pumps for Above Ground Pools

1. Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools

INTEX 28633EG C2500 Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump...
  • FILTER PUMP: The Intex Krystal Clear filter pump with Hydro...
  • COMPATIBLE: The Intex pump is compatible with pools up to 15,200...
  • FEATURES: Pump is double insulated and has a sediment flush and...
  • FLOW RATE: Features a pump capacity of 2,500 GPH and system flow...
  • PRODUCT INFO: The set includes 2 1.25-inch hoses, 1 29005E type B...

The Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools is an inexpensive pump and the best pump for . It has a built-in timer that allows you to set the times to clean, which means you won't have to monitor it. It leaves the above-ground pool water clean and clear without having to do a lot of work on your part.

The cartridge-based filter makes it simple to clean and do a replacement when they wear out. It is the best overall pool pump when it comes to value for money. It is a double insulated pump that features an air valve to release the air which is trapped in the filter chamber. There is a sediment flush value bottom of the Intex Krystal clear pump.

It features a 25-foot power cord that has a built-in GFCI. It features a pump capacity of 2,500 GPH, a flow rate of 1900 GPH, and is compatible with swimming pools of up to 15,200 gallons and 1.25-inch hose fittings diameter. This makes it an ideal pump for above-ground pools. The Hydro Aeration Technology helps improve water clarity, circulation, and filtration.


  • Easy to clean.
  • Will work on most above ground pools.
  • Features pump priming.
  • Easy to change cartridges.
  • Affordable price.
  • An auto-timer.
  • Energy efficient.


  • The cartridges may require replacement now and then.

2. Hayward Power-Flo LX Series Above-Ground Pool Pump

Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series 1-1/2-Horsepower...
  • The Hayward SP1580X15 PowerFlo LX pump with strainer is a...
  • The 100-percent drip proof, heat-resistant double-sized seal...
  • Features a 1-1/2 inch intake and discharge, high performance...
  • Clear cover lets you see when basket needs cleaning and the drain...
  • Exclusive corrosion-proof reinforced thermoplastic housing for...

The Hayward Power-Flo LX Series Above-Ground Pool Pump is an amazing pool pump that gives a superior circulation of water in the pool. It is a very powerful pool pump that will prevent your swimming pool water from getting dirty. Since it is very powerful, you might be tempted to think that this model is loud. This model tops out about 64 decibels that are quiet enough not to interfere with what you're doing.

It comes with a clear pool filter cover that makes it easy to see when the filter will need to be changed. It is quite easy to install and also use. The above-ground pool pump has a double-sized seal that is heat resistant and drip-proof, giving the motor a long life. It also features a high-performance impeller that is designed for both inground pools and above-ground pools.

Moreover, the Hayward Power-Flo LX Series Above-Ground Pool Pump also features a thermoplastic housing to withstand all weather conditions. It comes with a six-foot and a 120 volts power cord.


  • Durable and corrosion-proof construction.
  • A clear cover.
  • An extra-large basket.
  • Drip-proof and heat resistant.
  • Can withstand all types of weather.
  • Maintenance is simple.
  • Efficient performance.


  • Doesn't have an on and off switch.

3. Pentair SuperFlo High-Performance Single Speed Pool Pump

Pentair 340039 SuperFlo High Performance Single Speed...
  • The Pentair SuperFlo single-speed, 1-1/2-horsepower pump moves...
  • Quiet operation due to superior internal flow design that reduces...
  • Features thick walled body parts, a heavy-duty 56 square flange...
  • Oversized strainer basket extends time between cleanings;...
  • This pump has self-priming for quick, easy start-up; 1-year...

The Pentair SuperFlo High-Performance Single Speed Pool Pump is another great option known for its quietness, energy-efficient, and durability. It comes in six-speed options and includes a 1.5 horsepower pump to help the water move efficiently and gives low energy costs. It features an internal flow design which means less noise.

It features durable and thick walls and also a heavy-duty 56 square flange motor that will last for a long time. The Pentair Single speed pump features an oversized strainer basket which means that you won't have to empty it very often. The strainer basket comes with a clear to make it easy for people to see when the basket is full and requires to be emptied.

It has a superior internal flow design that helps to reduce hydraulic noise. If you're in search of a self-priming pump that is a user-friendly and quick start, you will definitely love the Pentair SuperFlo High-Performance Pool Pump. It helps keep the water moving at a low operational cost.


  • Easy to set up.
  • Energy-efficient, which means low operation costs.
  • Quieter.
  • Heavy-duty and durable.
  • Versatile and efficient.
  • Great performance.


  • Warranty is only two months.

4. Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump

INTEX SX2800 Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above...
  • ✔ HYDRO AERATION TECHNOLOGY BY INTEX – Transforming the Above...
  • ✔ EASY INSTALLATION – Just hook up hoses and plug in! This...
  • ✔ 24 HOUR TIMER – The SX2800 has a built-in 24-hour timer...
  • ✔ 2800 GPH PUMP FLOW RATE – Water flow rate at pump (pump...
  • ✔ SAFETY, QUALITY and VALUE – Intex designs, builds, and...

The Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump is a great option for those who have a tight budget. It features four different tank sizes designed to cater to different pools that have flow rates from 1200 GPH to about 300o GPH. It also features Hydro Aeration Technology, which is a unique feature to Intex pool pumps.

This sand filter pump boasts a lot of benefits, including improved above-ground pool water clarity, increased negative ions at the water surface, and better water filtration and circulation. It is a variable speed pool pump, which means you choose from the different speeds. The options include drain, backwash, rinse, filter, re-circulate and close.

It features a built-in 24 hours timer, which allows users to do something else as the pool is cleaning. This sand filter pump has a flow rate of 3000 gallons per hour, and this will fit the above-ground pools that are 14 feet upwards. It will do most of the work in heavy lifting and cleaning the water, and all you will be needed to do is to replace the sand after every five years.


  • Comes with a 24 hour times.
  • Low maintenance.
  • A great flow rate of 3000 GPH.
  • Easy to set up and use.
  • Great value for money.
  • Double insulated.
  • Easy to clean and replace the filter.


  • One can only use it in above ground pools.

5. Hayward Super Pump Pool Pump

Hayward W3SP2600X5 Super Pump Pool Pump, 0.50 HP
  • The Hayward Super Pump Single-Speed 0.5 HP Pool Pump sets the...
  • Heavy-duty, high-performance motor and airflow ventilation...
  • Extra-large debris basket provides added leaf-holding capacity...
  • Exclusive swing-away hand knobs make for easy strainer cover...
  • Unique service-ease design offers quick 4-bolt access to all...

The Hayward Super Pump Pool Pump has come as dual-speed or single-speed pool pumps. It features a wide range of horsepower options ranging from 0.5 to 2.0. This means that it can fit most inground pools. The swing-away hand knobs will make it easier to remove the strainer cover, with no tools required.

It comes with an oversized basket for picking the debris. This big size means less frequent maintenance required. The Hayward Super Pool pump is made of sturdy and durable materials that will last for a long period. It also features a high-performance motor and airflow ventilation to provide a cooler, efficient and quieter operation.


  • Quiet operation.
  • Extra-large basket.
  • Comes in different size options.
  • Sturdy and durable.
  • Easy to remove the strainer.
  • Efficient and dependable.


  • Poor packaging.
  • The motor may overheat.

Factors to Consider When Buying Above Ground Pool Pump

1. Types of Above Ground Pool Pumps

When it an above-ground swimming pool, there are three main types of pool pumps available. They include;

a). Single Speed Pump

Single-speed pumps come with an impeller that will run at only one speed depending on the motor's horsepower. Unlike other types of pumps, single-speed pumps tend to consume the most energy.

b). Dual Speed Pump

Dual speed pumps come with high and low settings, which means you can choose either when running this pump on your pool. Although the low setting on the dual-speed pumps will consume less energy compared to the high setting, it is not very efficient and powerful in cleaning the pool.

c). Variable Speed Pump

The Variable speed pumps are better than the single-speed and dual-speed models because they consume less energy without compromise on efficiency. The variable speed pool pump is considered to be the best pool pump. Every speed on the variable speed pumps has been designed for different situations, from clearing algae to draining the water from your above the ground pool.

2. Size of the Pool

You need to consider the size of the pool before spending your money buying an efficient pool pump. The size should be in gallons because you may be required to calculate the flow rate per hour, which is indicated as GPM (Gallons Per Minute).

In order to determine the hourly flow rate that is sufficient for your swimming pool, you need to find the size of the pool in gallons then divide it by 8. The 8 represents the standard hours the pool pump should take to complete one cycle of water circulate. You can then divide the flow rate per hour by 60 minutes since pool pumps are labeled as Gallons Per Minute(GPM).

3. Voltage and Horse Power

Above-ground pool pumps are designed to either work when an inline is plugged directly into the power or when it is hard-wired directly to the power line. Either way, the above-ground pool pump will work, but you need to be sure that the voltage is efficient enough for the size of your above-ground pool.

This pump motor voltage comes in two different voltage levels that include 110 and 220 voltages. The 110 is the lowest voltage, and 220 is the highest voltage that most above-ground pool pumps will offer you.

4. Performance

Some pumps are more powerful than others. The best above-ground pool pumps should be powerful enough to circulate the over-pool volume for about four hours or less.

5. Durability

When pool owners are looking forward to buying a new pool pump or replacement pump, durability should be one of the critical factors that anyone shouldn't ignore. This is because you don't want to buy either sand filter systems or cartridge filter systems that will last for only a few weeks or months. Since this is quite a big investment you'll be making, and you should check the reviews and warranty to know the durability of the filter system.

6. Budget

While having a budget is important, it is also crucial to consider if the upfront costs of buying these pool pumps are worth the value they give. Since you'll probably be using the best pump for above ground pool for quite some time, then you should look for quality products within your budget. The budget should be in consideration of the size of the pool as well as your preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Pool Pumps

1. How big of a pool pump do I need for an above-ground pool?

The best pump for above ground pool should have a size that matches the size and shape of your pool. A helpful tip would be to buy one that is at least 1 sq. ft per 10,000 gallons of pool capacity.

2. Can you use any pool pump for above ground pool?

Yes, that's possible for most pool pumps as long as the pool pump is below or at the pool water level and you also have a small pool. However, not all pumps can do this, but if the pump has the ability to turn over all the water in about 8 to 10 hours, and can also reach the desired pool filter flow rate.

3. Is a sand filter pump better for above ground pool?

Although the cartridge filters are the recommended choice for above-ground pools, the sand filters are also a good choice. However, a sand filter will filter the water down to 20 microns while a cartridge filter goes up to 10 microns which is half the amount. Moreover, backwashing the sand filter will only lower the water level of the pool, and you might lose some important chemicals during the process.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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