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What Size Above Ground Pool Pump Do I Need

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Determine The Pools Volume

How To: Size A Pool Pump

Mostly, sand filters are sold based on the overall swimming pool volume. Getting the above-ground pools capacity is much more challenging the area. Its a good idea to check the paperwork you have to give all this information. If you can find the info, but you do know the brand name and the model of your pool, you can look up for its volume online. You can also calculate its size yourself using this formula.

Volume = length x width x the average depth x 7.5 for the rectangular/square pool and 5.9 for the round pool.

Having found the volume in cubic feet, you need to convert it to gallons. To do so, you need to divide the cubic feet with 7.48 to have the capacity in gallons.

Above Ground Pool Accessories

These fun accessories are really self-explanatory, so we arent going to spend a lot of time on them.

There are a lot of accessories that can actually make your life easier as far as maintaining your above ground pool . In most cases, you will be provided with basic maintenance equipment when you purchase your pool, but its important to know there are variations of this equipment and differing levels of these tools.

Once your pool is installed and you start to see what you need help with, then you can upgrade or add to your equipment. For example, if leaves are a problem in keeping your pool clean, there are specifically designed leaf vacuums and even a bracket & net you can install on your wall that will collect the leaves before they drop to the bottom. This will help prevent algae from having something to bloom on and you winding up with a bright green pool.

On the vacuum heads, you will discover there is a wide variety to choose from. There are different vacuum heads you can upgrade to that will cover more surface area as you vacuum, or ones that will brush the pool floor as you vacuum, helping you collect more of the fine dirt/dust from the bottom.

If the thought of vacuuming anything else around your home makes you cringe, there are robotic vacuums that are essentially a self-contained unit. You simply plug them in and turn them on and they will vacuum the pool while you are at work or sleeping at night very similar to a Roomba!

Determine The Volume Of The Pool

The first thing that you need to do is to determine how many gallons of water are in the pool. The size of your pool, depth, and shape, among others, will have an impact on this. There is an online calculator that will let you easily compute the volume. Find one so that you dont need to rely on guesswork.

In our example calculation, let us say that the above ground pool has a volume of 24,000 gallons.

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Is My Filter Too Small For My New Pump

After selecting your pool pump, verify the GPMs of your pool filter. The GPM information is typically listed on the outside label on the filter housing. If unavailable or weathered, you can also locate this information in the user manual. If for whatever reason you cannot find your manual, we recommend doing a quick search in our manual database or a Google search. Once you find the manual, print and keep it. I guarantee that you will use it in the future. If its an antique of a filter, you may want to call the manufacturer.

Inside the manual, the filter specs typically include the flow rating, filtration area, port size, and turnover rates. The flow rating is essential because it dictates the maximum gallons per minute your filter can handle. In other words, do not go over this number. If your GPMs on the pump exceed the GPMs on your filter, sit back and analyze which one needs to be bigger, the pump, the filter, or both.

Look at the turnover rate listed on the filter. Your pool size should fit within those parameters. If they do not, you should consider purchasing a bigger filter. A properly sized filter is always larger than the gallon size of the pool. You want wriggle room in your filtration area because that way you arent backwashing or cleaning your cartridges every week. So, unlike your pool pump, we always recommend oversizing your filter.

How To Calculate The Appropriate Pool Pump Size For Your Swimming Pool

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

Here is how you go about determining the best pool pump for your swimming pool:

Step 1: Figure Out Your Swimming Pools Water Volume

To come up with a pool volume in gallons for your swimming pool, you have to take into consideration several pool dimensions. These include:

  • The shape of your swimming pool
  • The length and width of your swimming pool
  • The average depth of your pools shallow end
  • The average depth of your pools deep end

You can use this handy pool volume calculator from to avoid stressing out over determining how many gallons of water are in your swimming pool.

For our calculations here, we will say our pool has a 30,000-gallon capacity.

Step 2: Determine the Minimum Flow Rate Necessary to Filter Your Pool Efficiently

This is a fairly easy calculation once you know your swimming pools gallonage. You use the following formula.

Pool gallonage x 2 ÷ daily hourly run time ÷ 60 .

So, for a 30,000-gallon pool that runs continuously , the formula is:

30,000 x 2 ÷ 24 ÷ 60 = 41.6 or rounded up its a 42 GPM minimum flow rate.

Step 3: Establish the Maximum Flow Rate Necessary to Filter Your Pool Efficiently

To establish the max flow rate needed for your swimming pool, I like to go by filter surface area.

Here is a chart containing filter surface area and associated maximum flow rates:

144 GPM

You should be able to find his information on the label of your pool filter or by referring to the website of the manufacturer of your pool pump.

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Is It Ok To Leave My Pool Pump Running 24

This is one of the oldest debates among swimming pool professionals such as myself. I am a big fan of running a swimming pool pump 24-hours a day during the swim season.

You then get continuous filtering and chemical distribution of the pool water. It also does not hurt a pool pump because they are designed to be run for long periods and they are very energy efficient when operating.

Detractors always point out that pool pumps dont need to be run 24-hours a day to keep pool water clear, the heat buildup in the motor takes away from a pool pumps useful life, and a pool owner will waste electricity and pay more for their energy bill.

Perhaps a better question is if its necessary to run your pump continuously? The answer to this is no. You just have to run your pump long enough to circulate all of the water in your swimming pool 2X a day.

For example if your pump is rated at 30 gallons per minute and you have a 10,000-gallon swimming pool, it takes 5 ½ hours to circulate all of the water in your pool once. So, you will need to run your pump for at least 11 hours a day.

Find The Perfect Pump

Youve done the hard part, all the calculations to determine exactly what size pool pump will filter your pools water in a day. But before you run off to the store, lets talk about a couple of other considerations you should think about.

For example, you have three speed choices for your pump. They are:

  • Single-speed pumps. When pool pumps were first invented, they were all single speed. Some states, like California and Arizona, dont allow them anymore because they use so much energy.
  • Dual-speed pumps. These pumps have two speeds: low and high. The high-speed setting is equivalent to a single-speed pump, while the low speed is much less. Depending on the size of your pool, the low speed may not be enough to turn over the water in your pool within a day.
  • Variable speed pumps. These pumps are more energy-efficient because they use a magnet motor as opposed to the induction motors the other two types use. Magnet motors produce less friction, which increases efficiency. Theyre also quieter than the other types. You will pay more for a variable speed pump, but save in the long run.

Did You Know?

You will hear about horsepower when you go to purchase a pump, but just because a pump has more horsepower, that doesnt mean its the right pump for your pool. You need to ensure that the pump will work well with your filter. If the pump is too strong, it can overwhelm the filter, making for an ineffective filtration system.

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Above Ground Pool Sand Filters Which Is The Best

The best above ground pool sand filter is the one that is the right size for your pool and works effectively.

It is important that you install a good and reliable pool filter system to keep the bottom and surface of your pool clean and reduce the need for too much maintenance.

The main task of above ground pool sand filters are to remove the particles of undissolved dirt from your pool water.

Having a good one installed will make a lot easier for you. This is because it will cut down the amount of cleaning that you will need to do, avoid unnecessary clogging and keep the water safe for all who use it.

My favorite from all the above ground pool sand filters is the 4500GPH 19 Sand Filter.

This is because it is compatible with most above ground pools, it is cost effective and provides good quality filtration.

Above Ground Pool Liner Price

How do I choose the right size pump and filter for my above ground pool?

Above ground pool liners will range in pricing depending on their thickness and how they attach to the pool wall. Common liner thicknesses are 18 – 25 mil, and the liner will either overlap the pool wall or will attach to the top track of the pool .

Pricing for the pool liner ranges from $100 – $1,000 depending on thickness, type , and the size of your pool. Entry level liners will be a plain blue overlap style. Next will be printed bottom overlap liner, and then a full print overlap liner. Finally, you have beaded liners which fluctuate in price simply based on their thickness, as they come in full print options only.

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What Size Sand Filter For Above Ground Pool

As the name suggests, a sand filter is a type of pool filter that uses special sand made of a silica-based compound or other organic matter like crushed glass. A sand filter feature a large tank which holds the sand. The tank also has a multiport valve with multiple positions for several functions. The mechanism makes it easy to operate and maintain the sand filter.

Best Pump For Above Ground Pool + Intex Filter Pump System Reviewed

This independent website is funded by its readers. It can earn a commission on any purchases made through product links, at no extra cost to the buyer. Learn more >

This guide has been compiled to help owners find the best Intex above ground pool pump to match their pool installations.

If youre upgrading, or just need a replacement pump, weve highlighted the some of best pool pumps and pump / filter systems on the market.

Were concentrating on the brilliant Intex above ground pool pump range, but weve also included pumps from other trusted manufacturers.

Theres a lot of pump choices and filter systems available to above ground pool owners. Most of them are simple to understand, and very simple to install.

The Intex filter pump range is especially straightforward for easy installation by the pool owner rather than a professional.

As one of the most popular manufacturers of above ground pools Intex has made owners lives very easy by combining and matching pump and filter systems for their pools into a single combo unit.

Of course Intex is not the only provider of above ground pool pumps and filter systems, there are other excellent alternatives for permanent above ground pool installations. Thats why weve included the Hayward product range in our guide.

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Determine The Gallons Per Hour

Now that you know the volume of your above ground pool, the next value that you will need to determine is the gallons per hour or GPH. This dictates the volume of water that is pumped through the filter in an hour.

Going back to our example, if the volume is 24,000 gallons and you divide it by 8, then you will get 3,000.

However, most pumps will be labeled based on gallons per minute or GPM instead of GPH. If thats the case, then you have to divide the GPH by 60. In our example, it will be 3,000 divided by 60. From here, you will be able to determine that the appropriate water flow rate is 50 GPM.

Based on the calculations earlier, you are probably wondering why we used 8 in dividing the volume of the pool. This refers to the turnover time, which is described as the amount of time it takes to move a volume of water, equal to the size of your pool, through the filtration and sanitation process once. The range can also be ten hours, and if that is the case, then you have to divide 24,000 by 10 instead of 8.

Upfront Budget Vs Over Time

What Size Pump Do I Need for My Above Ground Pool

Another thing, you need to think about how much investment you have to spend upfront against time. While making your sizing, you also need to ensure you have the ideal space to install your sand filter. It can be quite frustrating to buy a model that doesnt fit in your preserved area. Still, on that, the installation base needs to be enough to support your pool sand filter.


All ready now! I hope youre prepared to head out there and buy a pool sand filter now. With all the information I have given you here, you should now be able to settle on an ideal sand filter for your above ground pool. You need a device that is enough to keep your pool clean and safe all the time. Even though it can cost you more upfront, its better you pick a larger, more powerful pool sand filter for a start. But with that no need to worry of replacement soon.

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Add In Total Dynamic Head

So far weve covered the ideal flow rate your pool needs and the limits of the pipes and filter. There are several other factors we need to take into account that can impede the flow of water.

Factors such as:

  • distance of the pump from the pool
  • the number of corners or bends in the pipes
  • height difference i.e. a pump may be installed higher or lower than the level of the pool
  • the size of pipes
  • other equipment installed such as heaters and water features

All of these factors create friction losses, which means the pump will use more energy to make the water flow. In fluid dynamics, this is whats known as Total Dynamic Head.

Its not easy for the DIYer to calculate the impact of these things without a working knowledge of fluid engineering.

What should you do then?

Heres a table showing an average of the total dynamic head for residential pools.

Above-Ground Pool

If your pool is a fairly standard pool and your pump is not 50 feet away or located well below or above the water level of your pool, use these measurements. Otherwise, you may need a larger pump and a professional to help you choose the right size pump.

What The Heck Is A Micron

Pool filters measure the size of contaminants theyre capable of removing in microns. Its short for micrometer, which is one millionth of a meter.

Having trouble picturing just how small that is? A single strand of human hair is about 50 microns, or about .05 millimeters in diameter. Some bacteria measures about 2 microns, or about .002 millimeters in diameter.

Whether theyve been killed by chlorine or not, bacteria and other contaminants can only be filtered out if the filter mediathe material that actually does the filteringis fine enough to collect those teeny, tiny particles.

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Size And Selection Of Swimming Pool Pumps

Youve come to the mountain top, seeking wisdom and truth, or the answer to a question that has plagued humanity for all timeWhat is the best pool pump?

The first thing you need to know is that not all horsepowers are equal. Every pump has different flow characteristics, and the flow rate will vary by manufacturer and model.

But the question cannot be answered without some other key insights, namely your Pool Type, Turnover Rate, Filter Design Flow Rate and estimated Resistance, in Feet of Head.

Can I Use A Bigger Pump For My Pool

Choosing the Right Pump for Your Above Ground Pool

It isnt recommended that you use a bigger pool pump unless the pool already has an undersized pump installed, as the filter will not operate properly. Most residential pools will require a 1/2 to 1 horsepower pump. Though, the pool pump size must match the pools plumbing size and the pool filters flow rate.

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