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What Pool Filter Size Do I Need

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How To Select The Best Pool Filter

What Size Pool Filter Do I Need?

Pool filters are as important to your pool as your kidneys are to your own body. We know that sounds kind of gross, but its true. Though chlorine and other sanitizers work to kill bacteria and other contaminants, the filter is what actually removes them from the water. Without it, your pool water would grow cloudy and fill with debris. Not exactly fun for swimming.

So how do you choose the best one? Its not about which one is the least expensive, though cost is certainly a factor. You want a filter that will trap contaminants, be easy to clean and maintain, and last more than just a few seasons. In order to make the best selection for your pool, first get a handle on your options.

Pump Size To Filter Size Requirements

With a big pool filter, youll have a peace of mind knowing that the pump will not be too large for the filter. If your pump looks undersized for a larger pool filter, dont wreck your brain it just looks that way.

When the pump is too strong, on the other hand, it can cause all sorts of trouble. Dirt will be pushed through the filter, internals can become damaged or cracked, and high pressure will make for slow, inefficient and potentially unsafe conditions.

How To Select The Right Filter Type And Size For Inground And Above Ground Pool

Swimming pool filter cleans your water by removing debris and dead bacteria that might get into your pool and make your water dirty and cloudy.

Wether for residential or commercial pool, inground or above ground pool, there are three types of swimming pool filters and to know which is best for you, you have to know a few things including right size pool filter, how they work, how to maintain each, how efficient they are and their prices.

To set-up a filter in above ground swimming pool, you will use special strong hose pipes to connect filter to the pool to let water in via return jets, and a hose to connect pump to the pool to draw water from the pool.;;

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Find The Volume Of Water Your Pool Holds And Its The Surface Area

You will find different pools with different shapes, but then, the common pools are round and rectangular in shape. Depending on the shape you own, it is important you correctly calculate the size of the pool using the right mathematical formulas. It will also be well to measure the surface area of your pool yourself, but then if in case you had purchased it, the measurements obvious should have been provided to you by the seller upon purchase.

Calculating Your Swimming Pool Water Pump Needs

How to Find and Buy The Best Pool Filter

Now its time for a little arithmetic. Get out your calculator to figure out what you need to properly circulate your pool water and squeeze out the most efficiency. Using the example below, substitute your pools volume and do the math:

Remember: Pool Volume × 2 = gallons required daily for a 12-hour turn


  • We have a pool that holds 15,000 gallons of water.
  • 15,000 gallons × 2 turnovers/day = 30,000 gallons/day
  • We need to circulate 30,000 gallons of water every 24 hours but remember, a pump has specifications of Gallons Per Minute

Now convert that to GPM:

  • 30,000 gallons ÷ 24 hours = 1250 gallons/hour
  • 1250 gallons/hour ÷ 60 minutes = 20.8 gallons/minute

A 15,000-gallon pool needs about 20 GPM output if we want to run it 24 hours per day.

Most people run their pool on an 8-hour on/16-hour off cycle. That means for the majority of the day, the pool water is just sitting there, not circulating. It is during this stagnant period that bad things happen:

  • Algae outbreaks
  • Debris build-up
  • pH swings

Not only will running your pool around the clock cost less, but it will also be much easier to maintain. The reason is that you will no longer let the pool sit idle, where it drifts out of that perfect pool water condition. This makes you think back to that 2 HP upgraded pump you received when building your pool. Perhaps it wasnt such a good deal, after all!

Trying to learn how to size a pool heat pump?

In this post, we show you how

It needs to be the right size.

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Can A Pool Pump Be Too Big

Too large of a pump can cause poor filter performance and even damage it, if the filter is not also oversized accordingly. Another possible consequence is pump cavitation in which bubbles form in the water inside the pump and then burst with great force, resulting in damage to the impeller and other internal parts.

What Size Pool Filter Do I Need For My Pool

Filter SizeThe filtertheyourpool filtersthesizetheyourfilterpool

Herein, how do I know what size pool filter I need?

The equation used in calculating filter sizes is:

  • Pool capacity in gallons divided by the desired turnover rate in hours.
  • This will give you the minimum flow needed in gal/m .
  • Divide this number by 60 to get the gal/m.
  • Find a pump that meets the gal/m you just calculated.
  • Beside above, is a bigger pool filter better? The high amount of pressure pushes debris back in your pool and can crack or damage your pool filter. A good rule to remember is bigger, in this case, is better. Although larger filters come with a bigger price tag, they provide better filtering and easier maintenance for pool owners.

    Accordingly, what size pool filter do I need for a 20000 gallon pool?

    Filter Sizing Chart #2

    Cartridge – 300-400 Sq. Ft. Sand – 3.9 Sq. Ft DE – 48 Sq Ft
    Cartridge – 400-500 Sq. Ft. Sand – 4.9 Sq. Ft DE – 60 Sq Ft
    35,000 2.0 hp

    What size pump do I need for my above ground pool?

    For round above ground pools up to 24 ft. use a 1 HP pump. For round above ground pools over 24 ft. use a 1.5 HP pump.

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    What Do Pool Filters Do

    In short, pool filters do a lot! You might think of your filter as a part of your pool you dont really understand, or even one you find a little bit irritating. After all, you probably have to clean it pretty often, and if youre looking into replacing it, yours might not be working very well. Its understandable if you feel frustrated with your filter, but remember that they have a lot of important functions and theyre very necessary. Check out this list of the things pool filters do for you.

    Pool Pump Sizing Step By Step

    What size of pool filter should I buy?

    We’ve put together a simple step by step guide to help you calculate what size pump is ideal for your pool. This will ensure that the pump is the most efficient size for your specific pool system. It will take a few minutes to work through these steps but it’s worth every minute when you figure out the correct size pump to circulate your pool water while saving you money every month in electrical savings.;

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    Types Of Sand Filters

    There are two types of sand filters: Top mount sand filter and side mount sand filter, depending on where the valve is mounted.

    1) Top Mount Sand Filter

    Top Mount Sand Filter has got valve settings fitted mounted at top of the tank. It’s cheaper than side mount sand filter, it also occupies less space because than side mount sand filter.

    However, changing sand in top mount sand filter involves a little work than side mount filter since you have disconnect the pipes in order to remove the valve before replacing the sand.;;

    2) Side Mount Sand Filter

    Side Mount Sand Filter comes with valve settings mounted on the side of the tank. It occupies more space since valve is fitted on the side. Side mount sand filter is more convenient when it comes to changing sand because you don’t have to remove pipes and the valve to replace your filter sand.

    How Does Sand Filter Work?

    Sand filter tank is halfway filled with sand or any filtering media you choose to work with, allowing water to pass through the filter sand where debris and dirt are trapped, as clean water passes to the bottom of the tank where perforated plastic fingerlike are fitted to collect filtered water and move it to the pool.

    Filter Sizing Chart #1

    2 1.5or 1 2.0

    Cartridge 300-400 Sq. Ft.

    2 1.5or 1 2.0

    Cartridge 400-500 Sq. Ft.

    Cartridge 500+ Sq. Ft.

    Note that these recommendations are only approximations based on typical conditions.

    On-site analysis must be done to insure that the filter matches up properly with the pump and the pool. For instance, if the plumbing runs on the equipment are particularly long, then the resistance to flow in the piping will be greater and intake lines may need to be larger than specified in this chart.

    Note also that this may differ from the recommendations listed by the manufacturer .

    The literature may indicate that it is OK to match up a 2.5 or 3.0 hp pump to a 60 square foot DE filter, but we never recommend it because we have seen plenty of DE filter grids blown out by these larger sized pumps. It is always better to oversize the filter. With an oversized filter, the water flows through the filter media at a slower velocity and that results in finer filtration and longer filter cycles.

    Some builders will install a 3.0 hp filter pump on a pool/spa combination in order to give maximum water flow through the spa jets.

    This is nice except for the fact that the pump is so powerful that it has the potential to damage the grids in the filter. The better way is to install a smaller filtration pump for the pool and then run a separate booster pump. This keeps you from having to run a large 3.0 hp pump every day on the normal filter cycles.

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    Sizing The Pump For Your Swimming Pool

    You might think bigger is better in terms of pump size, but a pump that is too big can cause serious problems.

    The first step in sizing your pool is to know the volume of water in your pool, which is the average depth:

    Calculation – Example

    Measure the shallow end depth. – 4 feet

    Measure the deep end depth. – 12 feet ;;;;;;;;;;

    Add them together. – 16 feet

    Divide by two. – 16 ÷ 2 = 8 feet

    In the example above, the pool’s average depth is 8 feet.;

    Now use the formulas below to determine the volume of water in your pool.

    • Circular Pools: Diameter x Diameter x Average Depth x 5.9 = Total pool capacity in gallons
    • Oval Pools: Length x Width x Average Depth x 6.7 = Total pool capacity in gallons
    • Rectangular Pools: Length x Width x Average Depth x 7.5 = Total pool capacity in gallons

    Once you know the volume of water in your pool, youre ready to calculate the flow rate and turnover required to circulate the water in the number of hours you want.;

    Whats The Right Size Pool Filter

    Best Pool Filter Types

    A good rule to remember is bigger, when it comes to Pool Filters, is better. Although larger filters are more expensive, they provide better filtering and easier maintenance for pool owners.

    • Increased time between cleaning and backwashing
    • Increased filtration of small particles
    • Increased longevity of filter media

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    Are Sand Filters Better

    FiltersSand Filterfiltration

    Cinzia Hillebrandt

    • Best overall: Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump.
    • Best cartridge pool filter: Intex 28635EG Krystal.
    • Best pool sand filter: SUNCOO Pro 2450GPH Sand Filter Pump.
    • Best D.E pool filter: Hayward Perflex Extended-Cycle D.E. Filter.
    • Best inground pool filter system: Hayward S270T Pro Series 27

    Chenyu Szardowsk

    How Do You Size An Above Ground Pool Filter

    Step 1 Measure the Size of Your Pool

    You then need to calculate the number of gallons of water in your pool. Do this by multiplying the total volume of your pool times 7.48, the amount of water in a cubic foot of space. For a 24-foot diameter pool with a center depth of 48 inches, the pool holds about 14,000 gallons.

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    What Other Factors Come Into Play

    The above calculations are based on a basic pool configuration with no extra water features such as: waterfalls, fountains, spas, solar heating, and in floor cleaning systems. The extra features generally require a higher GPM;rate, which dictates a higher HP pumps/filters.

    In addition, if your pool requires more than 60 GPM,;you might need at least 2 diameter suction pipes. Suction pipes of 1 1/2 have a physical limit of 60 GPM while 2 pipes can handle up to 100 GPM.

    Have in mind that it will need a regular maintenance. Learn how to clean a pool filter.

    Determine The Volume Of Your Pool

    Choosing The Correct Size Sand Filter For Your Pool, Things To Consider

    To determine the volume of your pool measure the surface area and then multiply that by the average depth. For example, a rectangular 3 x 5 metre pool with an average depth of 1.4 metres has a volume of 21 cubic metres. There are 1000 litres in a cubic metre, so the volume of our example pool is 21,000L.

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    Make Your Filter Choice

    Do you prefer sand, diatomaceous earth or cartridge filters? Pressure or vacuum filters? If you have narrowed your filter choice down to a preferred manufacturer, it will make it even easier to perform your calculations and select a filter that will do the job.

    The example weve been using refers to characteristics of a sand filter. Its important to note that both DE and cartridge filters have notably lower filter rates. Nevertheless, the mathematical relationships between filter area, filter rate and filter flow rate will remain the same.

    For Kidney Shaped And Irregularly Shaped Pools

    Depending on the actual shape of your pool, the calculations can be quite distressing. One good way to go about this is to divide your pool into rough rectangular and circular sections, calculate the volume for those sections and add them all together.

    The formula for each irregularly shaped pool is as unique as the design of the pool itself, so if you need help on determining the volume of your irregularly shaped pools, give us a call or reach out via the contact us page and well be happy to help you out.

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    How To Select The Correct Filter Size For Your Swimming Pool

    wikiHow is a wiki, similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 25 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 361,809 times.Learn more…

    Choosing the correct filter for your pool is not always easy. However, before purchasing your filter, it is best to know every detail about your pool so you can buy the best filter possible. Then, you can go out and get a filter so youll have perfectly clean pool water to jump into.

    Selecting The Best Filter For Your Pool Is Found In The Equations

    What Size Sand Filter Do I Need For My Above Ground Pool?

    Upated for 2018. A good filtration system for a pool or spa depends on your ability to properly size and select the filter.

    To accomplish that, you must calculate the vessels volume, capacity and flow rates, and some other key factors including the type of pump. After all, the filter fits into the equipment sequence after the pump, so regardless of whether youre replacing an old filter or installing a filter on a brand-new pool or spa, youll need to match the filter to the pump and the size of the vessel. Below is a step-by-step guide that explains how to correctly assess filtration needs.

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    Find The Right Pool Pump

    Now that you are done with the calculations, it is time to start looking for the right pool pump to optimize your above ground pool. Refer to the technical specifications from the manufacturer to find one that matches your needs.;

    Based on the computation above, check the table below for a quick summary of the right pool pump sizes based on the most common pool sizes.;

    Pool Size
    30 GPM;

    Filter Sizing And Flow Rates

    There are three common pool filter typessand, cartridge and Diatomaceous Earth . All three of these pool filter types will keep your pool and spa clean, but you should consider the needs of your specific application, your other equipment and plumbing size before making a selection.

    When choosing a filter type and size, we recommend enlisting the help of a pool professional to ensure the proper products are selected for your pool. Our pool pros will take into consideration the weather conditions in your area, the types of debris that can land in your pool, and they will also evaluate your entire application how many gallons your pool has, your plumbing size and the needs of and types of other pool equipment you have.

    Tip: An undersized pool filter will render it ineffective and lessen its life; the larger the filter, the longer the time between cleanings.

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