If you are looking for the best pool pumps for your above-ground pool, it is essential to consider their speed, flow rate, and noise level, among other factors. Below, I will discuss my shortlisted products based on these features. Read on to learn why they might matter to you.
When I think about installing a pool in my backyard, one of the first things that come into mind is how to ensure its maintenance and water quality. I am aware that investing in an above-ground pool pump can help in pool maintenance. But with so many products on the market today, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your needs.
Fortunately, I performed intensive research to come up with this list of the best pool pumps for above-ground pools. Each product will include a detailed review and a list of pros and cons. Hopefully, this information will help you compare one item to another.
And if you still have difficulty choosing the right pool pump for your needs, do not worry. I will also walk you through the factors to consider before finalizing your purchasing decision.
Finally, I will give answers to some of the frequently asked questions about pool pumps for above-ground pools.
Without any ado, let us jump right into my top picks!
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7 Best Pool Pumps for Above-Ground Pools
Below, I have handpicked the best above-ground pool pumps available on the market today. Each item can effectively circulate the water to ensure it stays free of debris.
1. INTEX 26651EG SX3000 Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump – Editor’s Pick
The INTEX 26651EG SX3000 Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump is the first product on this list of the best pool pumps for above-ground pools.
It utilizes sand to provide effective water filtration. Together with the six-function control valve, the sand filters allow you to clarify, backwash, rinse, recirculate, drain, and close the water system.
Additionally, this sand filter pump has a strainer basket. It promotes further cleaning to keep your pool water clear and safe to use. At the same time, it can prolong the lifespan of sand filters, so you can enjoy their benefits for years to come.
Moreover, this INTEX Pool Pump boasts a built-in innovative Hydro Aeration Technology. It can improve water circulation and filtration. Besides this capability, it can also boost the number of negative ions at the water surface. So whenever you swim at your above-ground pool, the water pump offers numerous health benefits, including increased oxygen flow into your brain.
There is also an automatic 24-hour timer included in this above-ground pool pump. It turns on and off the pump each day by itself with little to no supervision. It also allows you to run it for up to 12 hours.
Plus, this best above-ground pool pump has a pressure gauge. It makes it easier to monitor the water pressure, which is handy for backwashing.
On top of all these benefits, it comes with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GCFI). It instantly shuts off the device in the event of a ground fault to ensure your safety.
Hence, it does not surprise me to find out that most pool pump reviews for this product were overwhelmingly positive. If there is any criticism, it would be the unclear assembly instructions that were difficult to follow. A few users also noticed a loud pumping sound.
But as you can see, the pros far outweigh the cons. As such, I chose the INTEX 26651EG SX3000 as the best pool pump for above-ground pools.
- A sand filtration system with six functions can effectively filter and circulate pool water
- A Hydro Aeration Technology can improve water clarity and increase negative ions at the surface
- A strainer basket can help in pre-filtering
- The built-in digital timer automatically turns the pump on and off each day
- The included pressure gauge lets you monitor water pressure
- A long power cord with a GCFI to ensure your safety
- The assembly instructions were difficult to follow
- A few users said that the pump produced a loud sound
2. Hayward W3SP1580X15 PowerFlo Pool Pump – Runner-Up
The Hayward W3SP1580X15 PowerFlo Pool Pump is another high-quality water pump worth considering for your above-ground pool.
It features a heavy-duty motor with a horsepower rating of 1.5. This pump motor can ensure dependable performance, energy efficiency, and smooth operation. Meanwhile, the double-sized seal means the motor is drip-proof and heat-resistant to guarantee long service life.
Additionally, the Hayward PowerFlo LX Single-Speed Pump has an extra-large debris basket. It can effectively trap dirt, fallen leaves, and other debris that may be stuck in your pool. It also includes a clear cover that makes it easier to tell when it is time to remove wastes from the basket.
Furthermore, this best pool pump comes with a drain plug. It helps you maintain the pump with relative ease.
Plus, this above-ground pool pump has durable exterior housing. It can effectively withstand corrosion and harsh weather. There is also the added benefit of quiet operation.
But before finalizing your purchasing decision, it is best to consider the downsides of this item. First, it lacks a power switch. Hence, users were forced to unplug the pump or walk to their breaker box to turn it off. Second, a few customers had trouble removing the clear cover to clean the basket out.
Nevertheless, the Hayward W3SP1580X15 PowerFlo Pool Pump is known for its value and performance in the industry. It deserves a place in this list of the best above-ground single-speed pool pumps.
- A heavy-duty 1.5 HP motor offers dependable, energy-efficient, and silent operation to ensure lower energy costs
- The extra-large debris basket can provide reliable pool maintenance
- A removable clear cover makes it easier to clean out the pool waste
- A durable housing can withstand corrosion and harsh weather conditions
- The package includes a drain plug to help maintain the pump
- The lack of a power switch on the pump forces users to unplug it or walk to their breaker box to turn it off
- A few customers said that the lid to clean out the basket was difficult to remove
3. XtremepowerUS 75125 Above-Ground Pool Pump – Best Value Pool Pump
If you want a heavy-duty pool pump on a budget, then consider looking into the XtremepowerUS 75125 Above-Ground Pool Pump.
It retails for half the price of the previous two products. With that said, it offers more or less the same benefits, which is ideal for value-minded consumers.
The XtremepowerUS Pool Pump boasts a high-performance motor with a horsepower rating of 1.5. Hence, it can offer energy-efficient, reliable, and self-priming operations. It also provides cooler and quieter functionality, owing to the airflow ventilation.
Additionally, it has a maximum flow rate of 90 gallons per minute (GPM) or up to 5,400 gallons per hour (GPH). It is ideal for medium and large-sized swimming pools.
What’s more, this above-ground pool pump features an extra-large debris basket. It can effectively collect dirt, dust, fallen leaves, and other wastes to keep pool maintenance to a minimum, similar to a pool filter. Meanwhile, the included clear cover allows you to see instantly when the basket already needs cleaning.
Plus, this best pump for above-ground pools offers a dual-threaded female union connection. This connection ensures simple installation.
There is even the added benefit of durable construction. The pump has a waterproof level rating of IPX5, which can withstand moisture damage. At the same time, it can handle a maximum temperature of 122°F.
However, it is best to consider the downsides of this pool pump before buying one. First, it does not come with an automatic timer or switch on the motor. That simply means you have to plug the pump manually. Second, a few users were disappointed with the suction power because it seemed a little less compared to other expensive options on the market.
But for its price point, the XtremepowerUS 75125 Above-Ground Pool Pump is hard to beat. It is one of the best budget pool pumps for swimming pools.
- A budget-friendly pool pump
- A 1.5 HP motor with airflow ventilation to ensure energy-efficiency and quiet operation for lower energy costs
- An extra-large debris basket can trap dirt, dust, and other pool wastes
- The durable construction can last you for a long time
- The dual-threaded union connection offers simple installation
- There is no timer or switch on the motor, which means you have to plug it in
- Some users noticed that the suction seemed a little less powerful than other pool pumps
Those who are looking for an industry workhorse can probably consider getting the Hayward W3SP2607X10 Super Pump Pool Pump.
It is available in either single or dual-speed pumps. Each one offers a range of voltage and horsepower options.
This specific model from Hayward features a single-speed motor with a one horsepower rating (HP). It offers energy-efficient and dependable operation. Together with the airflow ventilation, the pump motor can ensure cool and silent performance.
Additionally, the Hayward Super Pump for above-ground pools boasts an extra-large debris basket. It can collect dirt, dust, and other wastes to keep your pool water clean. Plus, it provides an extra leaf-holding capacity to guarantee less frequent maintenance.
Moreover, this pool pump has a strainer cover that comes with swing-away hand knobs. These make it easier to remove the lid without the need for tools or clamps. They ultimately promote convenient cleaning of the pump.
Finally, the unique service-ease design allows quick 4-bolt access to all internal components. So if you encounter any problem with the motor, the construction of the pool pump can guarantee simple servicing.
However, before buying this item, it is essential to consider its downsides. First, some users noticed that the Hayward Super Pump produces a loud sound, which can disturb neighbors. Second, a few customers had to tighten the bolts holding the pump to the motor because they were loose.
Overall, though, the Hayward Super Pool Pump is one of the best above-ground pool pumps. It ultimately sets the standard for efficiency and dependability.
- It is available in single-speed pump or dual-speed pump design with a range of horsepower and voltage options
- A high-performance motor can provide cool, energy-efficient, and quiet operation
- An extra-large large debris basket with added leaf-holding capacity for less frequent maintenance
- The exclusive swing-away hand knobs make it easier to remove the strainer cover for cleaning the pool filters
- It comes with quick 4-bolt access to internal components for easy servicing
- The pump produces a loud rumbling sound that can possibly disturb neighbors or sleeping pets
- A few pool owners noticed that the bolts holding the pump to the motor were loose
The W3SP1593 PowerFlo Matrix Above-Ground Pool Pump is another high-quality pump worth considering from Hayward.
It features a single-speed 1.5 HP motor for energy-efficient and quiet operation. Together with the integrated automatic thermal overload protector, this pump motor can last you for a long time.
Additionally, the Hayward PowerFlo pump includes a high-performing impeller with wide openings. It can effectively avoid clogging due to leaves and other debris.
And speaking of debris, this swimming pool pump comes with an extra-large strainer basket. It can successfully trap dirt, dust, and other pool wastes. Hence, it can help you achieve clean and clear water that is safe for your kids and pets.
Moreover, it offers a horizontal and vertical discharge feature. It allows you to convert the pump from vertical to a horizontal orientation with a press of a button.
Finally, the Hayward Single-Speed Pool Pump has a quick disconnect intake and discharge pipe connection. Both these features enable simple installation and maintenance.
Despite these benefits, this particular item still has a few downsides that you need to be aware of. First, some customers said that the clip connecting the strainer basket to the pump tends to be flimsy. Second, a few users noticed that the pump produced loud noise.
Nevertheless, the Hayward W3SP1593 PowerFlo Matrix Above-Ground Pool is still among the best pool pumps for above-ground pools.
- The single-speed pool pump motor and integrated automatic thermal overload protector can last you for years to come
- A high-performing impeller with wide openings to prevent clogging by debris
- A large strainer basket can collect large amounts of debris
- A convenient horizontal and vertical discharge feature
- The quick disconnect intake and discharge pipe allow simple installation and maintenance
- The plastic clip that connects the strainer basket and the pump tends to be flimsy
- A few pool owners complained about the loud noise of the pump motor
Are you looking for a premium pool pump? Then, the Pentair 342001 SuperFlo VS Variable Speed Pool Pump might be the best product for your needs.
As its name suggests, this best swimming pool pump offers variable speed technology. It is available in either 115 or 230 volts and 50 or 60 hertz single-phase capability. Both variations can help you save more money in the long run compared to a single-speed pump running 12 hours per day. At the same time, the pump motor ensures energy-efficient and ultra-quiet performance that eliminates unpleasant noise.
Additionally, the SuperFlow VS Pump does not require any costly rewiring. It can automatically adapt to your 115- or 230-volt power. Plus, the wiring compartment is easy to access to promote fast connection.
Moreover, this Pentair SuperFlow pump features an advanced onboard digital display and a real-time, 24-hour clock. The former allows you to choose from three programmable speed settings and an extra override option to meet your specific pool pump requirements. Meanwhile, the latter makes it easier to monitor and program almost everything.
Finally, this powerful pool pump is easy to install on any above-ground pool. For the best installation, simply attach a valve on both the pump suction and return lines. Doing so can help protect and isolate the pump motor during routine maintenance.
However, there are a few downsides to consider before buying this variable speed pump. First, some users said that the LCD screen started to show defects after a few months of use. Second, a few customers had trouble opening the skimmer lid to clean the pump.
With that said, I still think the Pentair 342001 SuperFlo VS Variable Speed Pool Pump is worth looking into if you want a high-performance pump.
- A unique variable speed technology can reduce energy costs
- It circulates and moves water more efficiently, even at lower speeds
- It does not require any expensive rewiring and automatically adapts to your 115- or 230-volt power
- The built-in digital display and timer allow you to monitor and program the pump
- The pump is easy to install
- Some users noticed that the LCD screen started to show defects after a few months of use
- The skimmer lid was hard to open, which makes it difficult to clean the pool filter
The last product on this list of best above-ground pool pumps is the INTEX Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump.
It takes advantage of sand filtration media to provide effective water filtration. Sand also tends to last you two to three times longer than typical cartridge filter pumps. At the same time, this efficient filtration system can save you money because it does not require you to replace the cartridges every season or so.
When paired with the six-function control valve, the INTEX Pool Pump enables you to filter, backwash and rinse, recirculate, drain and close the system.
Furthermore, this best water pump has a maximum flow rate of 2,100 gallons per hour (GPH). It can effectively handle above-ground pools 16 to 24 feet in diameter and with a relatively large pool volume.
Plus, the package includes an oversized strainer basket. It can effectively trap dirt, dust, leaves, and other debris to keep your pool water clean and clear.
There are also a 24-hour timer and a pressure gauge. The former allows you to leave the motor for automatic operation. Meanwhile, the latter makes it easier to monitor and program the pump to meet your demands.
Finally, this water pump provides a high-quality wire with a built-in ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). It automatically shuts off electric power in case of a ground fault to keep you safe.
But before buying this product, it is best to consider its downsides. First, some customers noticed that the pump left sand all over their pool. Second, a few users complained about the packaging missing a few parts.
Fortunately, INTEX offers reliable customer service. Feel free to contact the manufacturer if you encounter any problems with the item.
For this reason, I deemed the INTEX Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump as one of the best water pumps with sand filter systems on the market today.
- The sand filtration media can effectively clean pool water while lasting you longer than traditional cartridge filter pumps
- A six-way valve for convenient pool maintenance
- A maximum flow rate of 2,100 GPH is ideal for medium above-ground pools
- It offers a 24-hour timer and pressure gauge that makes it easier to monitor and program the pump
- A built-in GFCI can keep you safe in the event of a ground fault
- Some customers said that the sand filter system left sand all over their pool
- A few users received packaging with missing parts
How to Choose the Best Pool Pump for Above-Ground Pools
If you are still having trouble choosing the right pool pump for your needs, do not worry. Below, I will discuss the considerations to think about before finalizing your purchasing decision.
Size of Your Pool
The size of your pool is perhaps among the most important factors to consider when choosing an above-ground pump. Make sure to take note of the pool volume.
It is easy to determine this measurement if you have a square or rectangle pool. Simply multiply the pool length, depth, and width in feet to find out the average. Then, multiply this figure by 7.5, which is the number of gallons in a cubic foot.
You might find it a little tricky to measure the pool volume of circular pools. However, the easiest way is to multiply Pi (3.14) by the radius squared, average pool depth, and 7.5.
The result of these calculations can help you learn the flow rate you need in a pool pump. I will talk more about this factor below.
When searching for above-ground pool pumps, you will encounter models with different flow rates. These are expressed in terms of GPM (gallons per minute) or GPH (gallons per hour).
The flow rate will determine how many gallons of water your pool pump will be able to circulate for a specific period.
Always look for the maximum flow rate and system flow rate. The former can tell you the maximum amount of fluid you can transport within a given time. Meanwhile, the latter dictates the expected water flow you can achieve while the pump is operating.
The higher the pump is, the quicker it can discharge water into the pool.
Besides flow rates, it is also essential to consider the pump speed when buying an above-ground pool pump. You will usually encounter three different choices, namely single-speed, dual-speed, and variable speed pumps.
Most pool pumps are available in a single-speed motor. It will rotate the impeller using a speed that is dependent on the horsepower (HP) rating of the motor. There is no way to adjust the speed, so it is important to choose the model carefully. The downside of single-speed pumps is that they use a lot of power, which can cost you a lot if left to operate continuously.
Meanwhile, dual-speed pumps enable you to choose between low and high speeds. The high setting is usually the same as you can expect on single-speed pumps. But since there is an option to run the motor at low speeds, it can cost considerably cheaper while using less energy.
Finally, variable speed pumps feature a permanent magnetic motor, similar to those found in vehicles. These do not use electricity and allow you to change the motor speed through a digital display screen. Variable speed pumps also ensure cool, quiet, and reliable operation. However, this type of pool pump has an expensive upfront cost.
Choosing between these different swimming pool pumps will depend on your needs. If you own a larger pool, it is best to get a pump with more speed control.
The noise level is another factor to consider when choosing the best pool pump for above-ground pools.
It is best to get a model that operates quietly. If not, the background hum can prevent you from enjoying your relaxing pool time. You also risk disturbing the neighbors and any sleeping pets within the vicinity of your swimming pool.
To know whether the pump runs silently or not, check out customer reviews online. Users will usually comment if the noise of the pump bothers them.
It is also essential to check if the pool pump has been certified in various categories, like efficiency, product safety, and sanitization. Look out for the following marks on the product description or manual:
- CSA – It meets the recognized standards for safety or performance of the CSA Group, a respectable product-testing organization.
- NSF – This mark proves that the item fulfills sanitation safety.
- UL – It shows that the product met the qualifications of Underwriter Laboratories (UL), one of the oldest safety certification companies in the world.
Finally, do not forget to check if the pool pump offers a warranty or not. It is essential to get a unit with warranty coverage. It can guarantee that you will be able to get your money back or ask for a replacement if the water pump does not live up to your expectations.
Research the warranty coverage carefully to know what the manufacturer will insure. Avoid those policies that hide behind initial defects or poor customer service.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should I run my pool pump?
The exact amount of time that you should operate your new pool pump will depend on several factors. But if you want to keep your pool clean and avoid stagnant water, it is a must to turn over your pool at least once a day.
To give you an idea, you should run your water pump for one hour for every 10 degrees of air temperature. So during the summer, you will need to operate the pump for around eight to 12 hours on average. However, during the winter, this can drop to around four hours.
It is still best to determine the demands of your swimming pool. Only then can you find out the ideal figures for your needs.
What pump size do I need for my above-ground pool?
The right pump size for your above-ground pool will depend on its capacity and shape. Fortunately, this type of pool does not have much variation in its shape, unlike inground pools. The average above-ground swimming pool is usually circular or rectangular in shape. You will often find their overall capacity of volume on the box they came with.
If your pool has less than 10,000 gallons of water, you can invest in a 1 HP water pump.
But for swimming pools with more than 10,000 gallons of water, it is best to get a 1.5 HP pump motor.
How long should a pool pump last?
A pool pump typically lasts you for ten years if you use it regularly. However, as long as you properly maintain it, the pump can offer a longer lifespan.
It can take several years before you need to replace your swimming pool pump. The exact time will depend on a variety of factors, including your pool size, frequency of usage, and the type of filtration system that you are using.
That sums up this article about the best pump for above-ground pools. I highly recommend every item because it can circulate water effectively and remove pool debris.
But if I can only pick one item to suggest, it would be the INTEX 26651EG SX3000 Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump. The sand filtration system can effectively clean the water while keeping maintenance costs low. Meanwhile, the Hydro Aeration Technology can improve water circulation and increase negative ions at the water surface to boost health benefits. Furthermore, the 24-hour timer automatically turns the pump on and off to save energy. Plus, the included pressure gauge helps you monitor the water pressure. Finally, this pool pump has a built-in GCFI to ensure your safety in the event of a ground fault.