Best Above Ground Pool Pumps: Buyer’s Ultimate Guide

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best above ground pool pumps

In this article, we’ve given you a detailed overview of the 3 best above ground pool pumps in the market. For our research, we personally tried out some of the most critically acclaimed and popular pool pumps in the market. We tested these pool pumps on a variety of criteria and factors which we’ve listed out later in this article in the ‘Buyer’s Guide’ section.

There are a lot of people out there who are not sure about what a pool pump is for exactly. In this introduction, we’ll give you a brief crash course into above ground pool pumps and their purpose.

A pool pump basically controls the operation and filtration of the complete swimming pool. Without a pool pump, there would be no way for the water in the pool to get filtered adequately. This could lead to contamination and other issues related to dirty pools. So if you don’t want to be swimming in muck and filth, you better invest in a strong above ground pool pump.

Some of the best brands for pool pumps are Hayward, Intex, and Columbia. However, since there are so many great pool pumps with different features, the search can be intimidating. So we’ve narrowed it down for you. The following are the 3 best above ground pool pumps in the market.

Hayward SP15932S PowerFlo Matrix
  • Hayward SP15932S PowerFlo Matrix
  • ★★★★★
    Our rating
  • Price: see Here
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Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series
  • Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series
  • ★★★★★
    Our rating
  • Price: see Here
Check on Amazon
Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump
  • Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump
  • ★★★★★
    Our rating
  • Price: see Here
Check on Amazon

1. Hayward SP15932S PowerFlo Matrix

The Hayward SP15932S PowerFlo Matrix is our Editor’s Choice for the best above ground pool pump because it’s extremely robust and has some of the most powerful features. This is a dual speed pool pump meant for above ground pools, and has a feature that can change it from horizontal to a vertical discharge orientation.

Product Highlights

  • Industrial-size strainer basket for large debris collection.
  • Automatic thermal overload feature.
  • Converts from vertical to horizontal discharge.
  • Has a horsepower of 1.5.
  • Heavy-duty and high performance motor.
  • Comes with a 6’ attached cord.

Body

This pool pump comes with an industrial sized basket strainer which can collect both large and small debris. It is is also large enough that you don’t have to keep cleaning it out. The basket is clear and so that the user may peer in to see whether it needs to be opened and cleaned.

It also has a feature which can turn it from vertical to horizon orientation for discharge, or vice versa.

User Experience

This pool pump is reasonably priced and it can switch between two speeds. Using the low speed is a great option for long-term energy-efficient usage. This also affects the water flow, disruption, and the sound produced. Largely speaking, this pool pump is quite silent and doesn’t cause any background noise.

Safety

The engine has an automatic thermal overload protector which prevents it from overheating. If there’s an anomaly, either in the form of debris being stuck or the device overheating, it automatically shuts down until normal circumstances are restored.

The Good

Customers were extremely impressed with just how much power this pump packs. Before installation, you should ideally fill the intake with water and it starts up immediately. The installation is a breeze, and you can be done with the complete process within 30 minutes.

The Bad

Other than the minor inconvenience of having to turn it off directly from the source, there are no real drawbacks in this piece.

Pros

  • Can be run 24 hours a day at low speed without losing efficiency
  • Strainer basket is extremely large and collects debris easily
  • Produces no sound
  • Automatic thermal overload feature keeps the engine safe

Cons

  • There’s no Off switch so has to be unplugged from the source
  • Only comes with a limited 1-year warranty

2. Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series

Hayward is one of the most reliable companies when it comes to pool pumps. We’ve rated the Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series our Best Value product because it packs a surprising degree of power and efficiency even though it’s relatively cheap. This pool pump is meant for both above ground and on-ground pools.

Product Highlights

  • Made of a 100% drip-proof, heat-resistant, and double-sized seal.
  • Has a horsepower of 1 to 1.5.
  • It features a 1-1/2 inch intake and discharge.
  • Has a clear cover for the debris basket.
  • Comes with an efficient drain plug.
  • Features a corrosion-proof reinforced thermoplastic housing.
  • The accompanying power cord is 6-foot long and packs 120-volts of power.

Body

It comes with a strainer that’s rated 100% drip proof and it’s also heat-resistant and corrosion-proof. This is a necessary feature because pool pumps are constantly in contact with water. As such, you need one that won’t corrode quickly.

The body of the pump is covered by a thermoplastic housing which prevents weather conditions and changes from affecting it. The pool pump also has a clear cover for the debris basket. As such, you always know when it’s time to change the basket.

User Experience

When you’re relaxing at the pool, the last thing you need is to hear a loud pump or motor in the background. This pool pump is entirely silent and doesn’t disturb the atmosphere. Use of the extra large basket ensures that the pump doesn’t need to be cleaned too often. And the clear Perma Glass cover allows you to look into the pool and check for debris without having to take it all off.

Safety

This pool pump comes with a thermal overload which shuts the motor off should any abnormal circumstances arise such as overheating, or if the motor gets clogged up with debris. Once the normal conditions are restored, the pump will start up again automatically. This ensures that the pool pump doesn’t get damaged or hurt anyone else.

The Good

The ideal and most powerful pool pump for large above ground swimming pools and customers stated that it works perfectly for over 5 years.

The Bad

Some customers complained that the top of the pool pump is extremely difficult to remove, even after greasing it. You need someone extremely strong to remove it so it can be cleaned.

Pros

  • This is a strong pool pump for swimming pools with over 13,000 gallons of water
  • It’s easy to clean the debris basket
  • The debris basket is large and can accommodate a lot of waste
  • Has a versatile design and can be rotated into a horizontal position

Cons

  • There’s no off switch so it must be unplugged at the source
  • You can’t modify its speed

3. Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump

The Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump is our Budget Pick because it’s one of the most reasonable above ground pool pumps in the market. This pool pump is meant for pools sizes between 2800 and 12800 gallons, that are 16 feet above ground or more.

Product Highlights

  • Comes with a 6-way valve that allows users to Filter, Backwash, Rinse, Re-Circulate, Drain, and Close the System.
  • Has a built-in 24-hour timer with 2 to 12 hour preset cycles for independent and efficient usage.
  • Large strainer basket.
  • Has a pump flow rate of 3,000 gallons per hour.
  • Has a system flow rate of2,450 gallons per hour.
  • The 0.75 HP pump motor operates at a 75% efficiency.

Body

This pool pump comes with an effective strainer basket that helps keep the sand clear for a longer period. This helps with filtration and in capturing the debris. This pool pump is extremely powerful in terms of filtration, however, it has an extremely heavy body, especially after you add about 50 pounds of sand into it.

User Experience

The best aspect of this pool pump is that the natural sand filtration system leaves your pool feeling soft and clear. Sand is believed to be a stronger filtration medium than anything else. In addition to simply cleaning the water, it also gets rid of algae and sanitizes the water.

The pump runs in 6 modes of control. It starts by filtering, backwashing, and rinsing the pool. Following that, it recirculates and drains, and finally closes the system. All of these processes happen in an automatic circuit, thus removing any necessity for human intervention.

The only maintenance that this pool pump requires is the replacement of sand every 5 years or so. Unlike some of the other pool pumps in this list, it generates a bit of noise. It’s not distracting at all, but it’s not entirely silent either.

Safety

This pool pump is rated at 110-120 volts and it comes with the GCFI (Ground Circuit Fault Interrupter) safety feature. This feature cuts off the current flow to the system when there’s some abnormality like overheating or debris collection. This prevents any catastrophes from occurring and it preserves the life of the pool pump as well.

The Good

Customers were extremely pleased by the fact that this pool pump requires almost no supervision or maintenance. Once you assemble and install it, you can allow it to run in its own stead. All of its operations are automated so you don’t need to check in every once in a while.

The Bad

The only thing that certain customers complained about was the fact that a lot of sand had to be added to it. However, even they conceded that sand serves as a great filtration tool.

Pros

  • Comes with a self timer so the owners can set the period of the filtration
  • Requires no maintenance other than replacing sand every 5 years
  • Ideal for large pools

Cons

  • Generates a little noise
  • Has a heavy body that’s hard to carry, especially once sand has been added to it

Above Ground Pools Pump Buyer’s Guide

There are a variety of factors you need to take into consideration when you’re trying to decide which above ground pool pump is ideal for you. In this section of the article, we’ll give you an overview of all the determining factors so you can make an informed decision.

Type of Pool Pump

Over the past couple of years, manufacturers have developed three different types of pool pumps based on their motor’s capabilities. The following are the three types of pool pumps.

Single Speed Pumps:

Single-speed are the most commonly used pool pumps in the market. The motor spins the impeller at a uniform speed according to the motor’s horsepower. As such, you can’t adjust the speed towards higher efficiency. An example of this type of pool pump is the Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series.

Dual Speed Pumps:

These are advanced versions of the Single Speed pumps. They come with two settings — high or low. The high speed of the pump correlates to the Single Speed pump’s speed. However, the low setting is used when you’re trying to conserve energy. The lower setting is usually used when the pool is not being actively used or cleaned. An example of this type of pool pump is the Hayward SP15932S PowerFlo Matrix.

Variable Speed Pumps:

These are some of the most popular and most expensive pool pumps in the market. They pumps make use of a permanent magnet motor to modify the pump’s flow rate and speed to any degree you want.

When you’re purchasing an above ground pool pump, you should consider all these types of motors and decide which one of them you need, and correlate that to your budget.

Pump Housing Mount

A Pump Housing Mount comes in two types, and you have to decide which one you need based on the type of filter you use.

Top-Mount:This is used if the intake to the filter is situated over the ground pump. If you are using a pool pump with a sand filter (they largely comprise of a top-mount multiport valve), then you’ll need a top-mount.

Side-Mount: This is used if the intake for the filter is at the same height as the pump. Commonly used for pumps with a cartridge or DE filter.

You have to figure out which type of filtration system your pump uses and get a pump housing mount accordingly.

Pump Motor Voltage

Some pumps come with a 110 volt setting and some come with 220 volts. You should know that above ground pools generally only require 110 volts.

Horsepower

You need to determine wether your horsepower can adequately accommodate both the swimming pool and the pump’s filtration system. A typical domestic pool generally needs between 1 to 2 horsepower’s of energy. However, you can get a 1.5 HP if you’re uncertain.

Once you have considered all of these factors, you need to put them up against your budget and determine which one offers you the best deal at the most reasonable rates.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we’ve given you a detailed review of the 3 best above ground pool pumps in the market. We’ve narrowed down these products based on all of the factors we outlined in the Buyer’s Guide section of the article.

If you have any other questions that we haven’t answered in the article or in the FAQ section, please feel free to comment down below.

People also ask

How long should the pool pump be allowed to run everyday?

You need to meet the minimum recommended time for pool pump usage. That can range from 10 to 14 hours a day. This is usually the ideal time which will keep your pool pump in good condition while also ensuring that your pool remains clean.

If your pool looks dirty, you can increase the amount of time you keep the pump turned on. You can keep the pump turned on 24/7 as well. However, that will age the parts earlier than they have to, which means the time for maintenance will come sooner than necessary.

How often should the strainer basket be emptied and cleaned?

You should empty the strainer and the motor basket at least once every week. When you open the basket for cleaning, also backwash the pool filter. Backwashing reverses the flow of water, which allows debris and lint to be discharged through the backwash line.

When should I run the pool pump?

The timing of when you run the pool pump comes down to the following factors:

Energy Cost: In some parts of the world, the cost of energy is higher during the day than at night. In these cases, it would be more economical to run the pool pump at night.

Chemical Demand: You should aim to maintain a chlorine level of 3.0 ppm or above during daytime. However, during the summer months, there is more chemical demand because of the UV rays, environmental factors, more usage, etc. During these days, the pool pump should run at least 12 hours every day. And during the cooler months about 5 hours should suffice.

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I am Nicholas Stanley a swimming pool enthusiast with more than 22+ years of swimming pool construction and maintenance in corporate, residence and spa. I have initiated this website Pools point to share my experience by trustworthy product reviews, pool related how-to guides, DIY tips ans tricks to maintain the pool. I want my readers and customers to be aware of all the technicalities of pool and pool related equipment's.

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