How To Select Above Ground Pool Pumps

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The pool pump is the heart of your above ground pool; it ensures your water stays healthy by moving it through your filter and chlorinator. Having the wrong pump can mean your pool water will get cloudy, green, and nasty. In this guide, we'll walk you through on how to size your above ground pool pump.

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Step by Step

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Step 1

Sizing above ground pool pumps is much simpler than their inground counterparts. Above ground pool pumps are generally below the waterline thereby gravity fed, with minimal plumbing between it and its suction ports. The simplicity the pool’s plumbing allows you to size the pump by pool size alone (most times.)

Step 2

Round Pools: The chart shows the normal manufacturer pump sizing recommendations for pool sizes. The horsepower overlaps on the “tweener” sized pools 15’ is a small to medium, and 27’ is medium to large.

Ranges:
  • ¾ Horsepower: 8’ to 15’ Round
  • 1 Horsepower: 15’ to 24’ Round
  • 1-1/2 Horsepower: 24’ to 36’ Round

Step 3

Oval Pools: Similar to the round pools, the horsepower recommendations overlap for some models. If your pool falls in one of these overlap areas, then consider how much swimmer traffic you expect. Light to moderately used pools, choose the lower HP, for higher swimmer loads, choose the step up.

Ranges:
  • ¾ Horsepower: 12’ X 17’ to 12’ X 24’
  • 1 Horsepower: 12’ X 24’ to 15’ X 27’
  • 1-1/2 Horsepower: 15’ X 27’ to 18’ X 33’

Step 4

Reasons to step up horsepower: Longer than standard plumbing lines and/or pool accessories may require you to make the jump to the next highest horsepower to ensure proper flow rates. Common causes for larger pumps
  • Suction line from the skimmer to pump is longer than 15-feet
  • You’re planning to use a suction cleaner, e.g. the Hayward Navigator, The Pool Cleaner, and Kreepy Krauly
  • Adding solar panels, especially ones mounted on roofs or fences increase the strain on the pump, requiring extra HP oomph

Comments

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(1 to 40 of 601)

 Posted: 6/14/2019 

I have a 22 x 12 x 52 rectangle aboveground pool what pump and filter is needed
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/19/2019  Latest

I would refer to the oval sizes listed on this sizing guide: How To Size an Above Ground Pool Pump and Filter System
 Reply

 Posted: 6/3/2019 

I need a pool pump for a 18×48 above ground coleman pool can i use any pump? Will my existing hose work if i do get different pump other then the 90401e model?
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/6/2019 

I'm not sure what types of hoses come with those Coleman models, because we do not offer them. But you may want to look into getting stand PVC flex pipe from a local hardware store.
 Reply

 Posted: 6/2/2019 

I have a 17×52 above ground . What size sand & salt water filter do I need?
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/6/2019 

Refer to Step 2 on the following guide: How to Size an Above Ground Pool Filter
 Reply

 Posted: 5/29/2019 

We need a pump from the pool to the roof through 200 feet of garden hose what do we need
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/30/2019 

You will need as much HP in an above ground pool pump as you can get, but I couldn't confirm it would work. That is an otherworldly amount of hose, then tack on the fact you are putting it on an incline to reach the roof. I do not know an above ground pool pump suited for that application.
 Reply

 Posted: 5/27/2019 

need new pump and filter for above ground 27' round 52 "depth pool any suggestions
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/30/2019 

Yes, we do. Sizing recommendations are listed here: How To Size an Above Ground Pool Pump and Filter System
 Reply

Anonymous  Posted: 5/22/2019 

Can you let pump run 24 ours or 12 ours
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/22/2019 

Ideally, you will want to run the pump for only 6-12 hours. This is big window because run-time depends on chlorine demand. A pool that is in the sun needs more turnover than a pool that is shaded and seldom used. We suggest testing out run times; run for 12 hours for a couple of days, check your water, if the water is clear, drop the run time down another hour or two until you see a change in water quality.
 Reply

 Posted: 5/21/2019 

I have 24 feet above ground round pool, i need to purchase a new filter and i was looking into the Hayward sand filter I just don’t know which one to get how big, I already have a 2hp pump Hayward. Thanks
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/22/2019 

Great question, review step 2.
 Reply

 Posted: 5/22/2019 

HI,thank you for your response, step two only tells me what size pump i need, but my question is regarding the filter size. can you recommend one or point me in the right direction. thanks
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/22/2019 

Sorry about that, I misread the question. We cover that in this guide: How to Size an Above Ground Pool Filter. A 16-in to 18-in tank sand filter should be fine for your pool size.
 Reply

 Posted: 5/21/2019 

I am going to purchase a pool approx size 18x48. It is a Coleman. It comes with a cartridge style filter that is mounted on the side of the pool. Can this be switched out to a sand filter?
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/21/2019 

Yes, it can be.
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Anonymous  Posted: 5/17/2019 

We have an intex above ground pool approximately 18’ x 22’. We want it to have enough horse power to run a suction vacuum like Wanda the whale or better. Please let me know what pump you recommend. Ty
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/20/2019 

Step 3 in this guide appears to plant that pool size in the 1 horsepower range.
 Reply

 Posted: 5/15/2019 

So I have a 4' X 16' summerwaves pool from Walmart. I want to get a sand filter for it but not sure which one I should I get. Any suggestions would be helpful.
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/17/2019 

Hello Malissa - We'd recommend something like the Hayward model VL40T32. It's a 5HP pump and 42-pound sand filter.
 Reply

 Posted: 5/14/2019 

I have a 18x36 above ground pool. My pump went out. It is a FlowClear #90401E. 0.14hp which is for 1500 gallon pool. I would like to get a higher HP pump. Will it be more efficient? Can I use a 1/2 HP motor rated for a 2500 gallon pool? Not sure if higher HP is overdoing it.
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/15/2019 

Because the FlowClear are pump/filter combo packs, I would not switch out the motor and impeller. The filter that is connected to the smaller pump, likely won't handle the new jump in flowrate. If you want higher flow, then you will need a new pump and filter system. Bestway systems give you the bare minimum or horsepowers to churn your water. If you look at step 3, you can see the standard hp needed for a pool that size.
 Reply

 Posted: 5/10/2019 

I have a 30 foot round pool with a deep end (about 6 feet about 1/3 of the pool), I am looking to replace my pump, what size should I get? I would like to hook up the pool slide and some solar panels. Do you have recommendations for solar panels?
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Anonymous  Posted: 4/30/2019 

Deciding between hard sided and intex pool 18x52 for either. So I would get 1hp pump correct? Does it matter that one is steelnsided and other isnt? Would i need hayward type pump with intex or would one that comes with pool be sufficient?
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/2/2019 

A 1HP pump would be sufficient for an 18' pool. It doesn't matter if the pool is steel or soft sided. Most pool owners decide to ditch the pump that's included with the Intex pool. They end up upgrading to a Hayward, Pentair, or PureLine above ground pool pump.
 Reply

 Posted: 4/27/2019 

I have a 12 by 4 above ground pool what size pump would I need for that
 Reply

 Posted: 4/26/2019 

I have a 18 by 33 oval pool with a about 23 thousand gallon what pump should I get
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 4/26/2019 

Refer to step 3 in the guide.
 Reply

 Posted: 4/24/2019 

I have a 24' round pool,I need to replace my 1.5 hp pump,but I don't know wich one to buy similar to the old one
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 4/24/2019 

What is the make and model of your current pump?
 Reply

Anonymous  Posted: 4/25/2019 

Hayward power flo LX 1,5 HP 70GPM SP1580Z2
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 4/25/2019 

A drop-in replacement would be another Hayward Power Flo-LX 1.5 HP. Or another option is the Pureline Pro XL 1.5 HP.
 Reply

 Posted: 4/18/2019 

I have a 12×18 oval pool. What size of hsp pump do I need, and what do u recommen from sand to cart.
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 4/19/2019 

Hello Dom - According to the chart in step 3, a 3/4HP would be sufficient. If you're thinking about using an automatic vacuum, I would recommend using a 1HP pump. I would recommend a cartridge filter over a sand filter. The cartridge will catch smaller particles than the sand. For more information on the filters, check out our article titled "Which Pool Filter Is Best?".
 Reply

 Posted: 4/15/2019 

Hi I am aiming to buy a 24”x12”x52” above ground pool what size sand filtered pimp do you suggest?
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 4/16/2019 

Hello Carlee - We'd recommend a 1HP pump and a 16" sand filter. Something like the Jacuzzi Laser model 94084953 would be a good option.
 Reply

 Posted: 4/6/2019 

Hi, we have a 20' x 4 1/2' round pool. Our pump quit last year so we need a new one, hopefully a much better one. Heard that sand filters/pumps do a better job. Is this true and what size would I need? I don't want to break the bank on it, but don't want to waste my money either.
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 4/8/2019 

For a pool, your size, look at the second step of the guide. And for filter sizing have a look at this guide: How to Size an Above Ground Pool Filter
 Reply