Best Above Ground Pool Pump in 2020: A Review & Buying Guide

best pump for above ground poolThe scorching heat of summer is a prime catalyst that compels an average user to buy pool servicing equipment. And a pool pump is one of the necessary ones that ranks top in the list.

One of the key elements for a pool is the pump, which keeps the pool in proper working condition. Although there are other factors that affect the integrity of the pool, the best above ground pool pump offers the most crucial and relevant treatment.

Our guide on how to select above ground pool pumps won’t just offer proper guidelines, it will also show you some of the best available products on the market.

We’ve gone through a plethora of options. Our methodology to find the best possible product for you is really simple: critique each of the benefits and see if they are worth it. And that gave us a clear distinction between the good and the bad.

Enough chat, it’s time to start with the content. We would advise you to hang on till the very last moment as there are some useful information throughout.

 

Pool Pump Basics: The Operation

Before seeing the product lineup, let’s have a look at some of the basics.

A pool pump is a key component that is responsible to take the water through the skimmer and drain and deliver it to the filter. After the filtration process, the water returns to the pool in a cleaner state.

The motor mainly has 4 vital components: The driver motor, the impeller, the hair, and the lint trap. You usually have a voltage requirement of 110 to 220 volts, the regular standard to run the motor. The rotor rotates at a speed that varies from 3000 to 4000-rpm.

Once you start the pump, the motor starts and pushes water through the hair and lint trap. Then it passes the impeller blades and gets onto the pool. Impeller clogging is an important yet regular problem when it comes to an above ground pool pump.

Pump Operation: Timing and others

When the main water pump is undergoing an operation, the above ground pump (which is the secondary) shouldn’t operate. If there is no proper scheduling, the filtration process may not be up to the mark.

Also, there are factors like chemical levels and energy demand.

During the day, the chlorine amount gets a significant decrease because of the ultraviolet rays that derive from the sunlight. But, in many areas, the cost per kilowatt is more in the daytime.

That’s why the user has to maintain a strict timeline to schedule the pump operation. In short, it depends on the user to balance between the chemical equilibrium of the pool and the electricity charges.

The run times are an important factor as well. But there resides an easy fix to such a problem.

From our end, we find the standard timing for every Fahrenheit to be 0.05 hours on an average.

So, let’s say the average temperature on a certain month is around 120-degree Fahrenheit. So, from the above-mentioned rule, we can run the pump for 6 hours every day. The math is really simple and not that hard to grasp.

Here is the list of Best Above Ground Pool Pump in 2020

Now that we have the basics of the above ground pool pump and filter out of the way, it’s time to take a sneak peek at the products we have at hand.

1. Harris H1572730 ProForce

Harris H1572730 ProForce

The Harris H1572730 dominates the top of the mountain because of a few embedded benefits.

First of all, the clever design is compatible with a wide variety of pool configurations. It also allows the users to enjoy noise-free operation, which is commendable by a significant margin.

In terms of the overall usability, we do feel it comes out on top because of the all-around feature set. It’s got a nice solid body with proper adjustability for cleaning and maintenance purposes.

There shouldn’t be any hard-to-clean clogging problems because of the strainer design, which is also a proper addition. Also, the locking mechanism also adds a good deal of value overall.

Overall, we believe the feature set is very in-line with the pricing. Not only are the features fulfilling, but they also justify the pricing as well. For this very reason, we are putting it at the top of the list in our above ground pool pump review.

Pros
  • It features a solid design that leaves a very low noise footprint.

  • The stainless-steel motor shaft has thermoplastic reinforcement, offers solid durability.

  • Features a well-designed strainer with an easy-clean filter basket.

  • It comes with a twist-and-lock lock that allows easy monitoring.

  • It offers good overall value in contrast to the pricing.

Cons
  • The suction power is a bit less than expected.

2. Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series

Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series

The SP1580X15 from Hayward has a lot of nice things to offer in terms of functionality. Despite some minor setbacks, we do believe it has the potential to occupy your home.

The very first notable feature is the dual usability-you can use it both above and below. That’s a feature very few pool pumps have to offer.

Also, the build quality is very satisfactory overall. There are no overheating and sealing issues, giving you proper functionality all the way. Furthermore, the external reinforced shell offers an extra layer of overall security. It ensures a proper flow all the way.

In conclusion, we didn’t really find any major issues despite the absence of an on/off switch. Other than that, if you look at the price, we believe it is a pretty solid overall package. Do give it a try if you’re interested.

Pros
  • It’s very suitable for both above-ground and on-ground operation.

  • The heat resistance is right on par with some of the high-end options.

  • Features a good overall sealing.

  • The clean cover and drain plug offer good cleaning and monitoring capabilities.

  • The thermoplastic reinforcement is very capable of increasing the overall lifetime.

Cons
  • There’s no on/off switch, reducing the overall usability.

3. Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools

Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools

If you’re looking for the best pump for intex above ground pool, then the Clear Sand Filter Pump has got your back.

In terms of build quality, we have to say it’s solid all around. There are not noticeable leaking issues. Also, the noise levels are acceptable as well. In short, this above ground pool pump will last.

One of the more notable features is the control valve. Add a precision timer to the mix. You now have a highly functional pool security option that will help with proper circulation round the clock.

So, what can we take away from all of this?

The Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump comes with a lot of intriguing features. Still, there are some minor tweaks needed that would have made it the best option for any user.

Despite all of this, we would ask our users to give it. There’s a lot more to it that meets the eye.

Pros
  • It features an all-natural sand filter that is super capable of filtration.

  • The 6-function control valve offers solid user functionality.

  • You get a 24-hour timer which is very accurate in maintaining the cleaning timings thanks to 2 to 12-hour timing cycles.

  • Cleaning the strainer basket is relatively straightforward.

  • The overall longevity is more-than-acceptable.

Cons
  • The rare instance of sand-release is a bit off-putting.

4. Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump

Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter PumpThe 28633EG Filter Pump from Intex comes with a decent number of offerings. The brand itself is very considerate about its customer base, offering all the best features in a compact structure.

Speaking of the structure, the build quality is on point. We haven’t noticed any unusual noise levels. It stays pretty quiet. Also, the insulation aspect of it makes it very easy to install and use overall.

The signature Hydro-Aeriation technology is one of the centerpieces of the 28633EG. The filtration process does offer top-notch service. Also, the filter cartridge system makes really easy to use.

Finally, in terms of usability, we believe it’s one of the best choices for an above ground pool pump out there. The usability and functionality are well thought in terms of pricing. So, you may want to do some testing of your own to see if its really worth it.

Pros
  • The double insulation pump is very easy to install.

  • The timing cycles (2 to 12-hour) are very accurate overall.

  • It features an air release and sedimentation valve that offers better functionality.

  • The filter cartridge is super easy to manage.

  • Features the Hydro Aeration technology, offering top-notch filtration and usability.

Cons
  • Essential parts like O-rings don’t come included in the box.

5. Blue Wave NE6171B Maxi Replacement Pump for Above Ground Pools

Best Above Ground Pool Pump in 2020: A Review & Buying Guide 1When you think of above ground pools, usability and longevity are the very first things that pop out. Fortunately, the NE6171B Maxi Replacement pump covers the above-mentioned aspects very well.

For starters, the design of this pump is suited for both upward and downward use. As always, such dual usability options are always tough to get by. Also, its compatibility is commendable as well, showing good usability with a wide variety of filtration systems.

The design also offers an almost noiseless operation.

The motor sound doesn’t really penetrate the shell that much. As a result, noise levels are significantly higher. Also, the cleaning process is fairly simple as there’s a clear lid to take care of it.

All in all, we do feel this pool pump can make a difference for above ground operations. It won’t hurt your wallet if you plan to go for it.

Pros
  • It features a double-polymer construction that offers appropriate corrosion resistance.

  • Its compatibility is very diverse and fits most filtration systems.

  • The design allows both upwards and sideways release.

  • The operation of the pump is silent enough.

  • Features a clear lid that makes cleaning very easy overall.

Cons
  • The pressure is not high enough for heavy loads.

6. Hayward SP2610X15 Super POOL Pump

best sand filter for above ground poolAs far as the components of an above ground pool pump go, there are certain considerations that need attention. And the SP2610X15 takes care of a lot of these considerations.

First of all, the ventilated outer shell features a top-notch design. There’s very little noise output overall. Also, there are no noticeable heating problems. All in all, there shouldn’t be any problems regarding the design.

Then you have the cleaning aspect to consider. This self-priming above ground pump comes with good accessibility options, this makes a very good point when it comes to cleaning, as there are some options out there with not-so-good cleaning capabilities.

In short, the features of the SP2610X15 have a lot to offer to an average user. It’s got good ventilation and performance. So, we would like our users to give it shot. You certainly won’t regret it.

Pros
  • The ventilation design allows cool and quiet operation.

  • Features swing-away knobs and a see-through cover for the strainer, clean-up is very easy.

  • The sealing is more-than-acceptable.

  • It’s a self-priming above ground pump with easy access to all the parts.

  • The longevity and heat-resistance are commendable.

Cons
  • It takes too much time to prime.

7. Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo Variable Speed High-Performance Pool Pump

Best Above Ground Pool Pump in 2020: A Review & Buying Guide 2An affordable above ground pool pump isn’t all about the design. It’s also about power consumption and operational capabilities.

And the Pentair 011018 Variable Speed Pool Pump takes both of the above-mentioned aspects and binds them together in a robust shell.

In terms of the build quality, we don’t have any problems to report. The noise levels are on point. Also, there are no noticeable heating issues that can disrupt the overall operational capabilities.

Also, the variable speed option combined with the higher efficiency output is very convenient for various levels of users. And if you take the internal troubleshooting into account, it’s clearly one of the best available options you can find.

Overall, despite some minor drawbacks, you will find this pump to be a lifesaver in terms of energy savings. So, if you’re looking for something like this, you should probably give it a shot.

Pros
  • One of the best energy-saving options that offer 80-90% savings.

  • The operation is very silent due to its design.

  • Features good internal indicative capabilities for any failures.

  • The 8-settings for varying speeds are convenient.

  • The timer is very precise and allows higher efficiency than other existing options.

Cons
  • The electrical components need good waterproofing.

8. Pentair 342001 SuperFlo

best sand pump for above ground poolThe Pentair 342001 SuperFlo doesn’t just have power-saving capabilities. Although we have set it at the bottom of the pile, it has a lot of solid features to offer.

First of all, the energy-saving capabilities are commendable. And the fact that it can easily adapt to the power input requirements is convenient.

Another important feature of Pentair 342001 is program diversity and motor operation.

It is, by far, one of the quietest options you can get your hands on. The TEFC motor is very capable of keeping the noise levels down. The accessibility to the strainer is also another plus point, as the cleaning operation is easier than other options in the market.

So how does it stack up against the competition?

To be fair, there are some noticeable drawbacks. Still, if you consider the overall performance, we believe it makes its position crystal clear. So, you can go with this option without any doubts.

Pros
  • Features good adaptability to the power ratings.

  • Around 80% of savings in energy is very commendable.

  • The digital display along with the 3-variable programs offers good usability.

  • It features an ultra-quiet TEFC motor that is very competent in producing less noise.

  • All the parts are easily accessible thanks to the design.

Cons
  • The programming could use a bit more polishing.

9. WAYNE 57729-WYNP WAPC250

WAYNE 57729-WYNP WAPC250The word ‘smart’ needs a few characteristics to satisfy its worth. And we believe the Wayne WAPC250 meets those characteristics.

As always, the design is acceptable. There isn’t any noticeable noise problems or heating issues. The operation is pretty much seamless. So, no problems there.

But the noticeable features here are the iSwitch and freeze protection. These two features alone make it a stand out option.

The water level detection of this oil-less above ground pump is relatively accurate than some of the other options. And if you think of the freeze protection as well, you will find that both of these features make a really good team that offers longevity and functionality.

In short, we believe Wayne WAPC250 has potential. And if want something capable, then you certainly won’t be regretting if you choose it.

Pros
  • The intelligent iSwitch can detect water levels without much of an issue.

  • It features an intelligent strainer design that eliminates any major clogging possibility.

  • It’s an energy-saving above ground pump that saves you money by a fair margin.

  • There’s automatic freeze protection in place that offers a good life-time overall.

  • It’s an oil-free pump with a decent flowrate.

Cons
  • The weather resistance may fail at times.

10. Pentair 340039 SuperFlo High-Performance Single Speed Pool Pump

Pentair 340039 SuperFlo High-Performance Single Speed Pool PumpThe 340039 from Pentair features both durability and functionality thanks to its robust design and easy access.

First of all, let’s talk about design. As with some of the other options we have showcased so far, the low-noise level operation was the key.

And that holds true with the Pentair 340039. It’s got proper sound dampening characteristics as well as proper air circulation. Overall, the design is pretty well thought out.

Another noticeable thing with this motor is the low operating costs. The usability aspect depends on the cost of the operation very much. But because of the clever design and power consumption, your internet bill won’t come back to bite you.

Even in the cleaning department- there are very little problems. There are no possible clogging issues thanks to easy cleaning and accessibility features.

Overall, if you are thinking of planning something that checks all the boxes, the 340039 should be enough for you.

Pros
  • It offers low operating costs and allows for better savings.

  • The flow design and hydraulics have a very unique design that emits less noise.

  • The 56-square inch flanged motor is highly durable.

  • Features an easy-access strainer basket allowing solid cleaning performance.

  • It’s a self-priming pump with a fast-enough starting time.

Cons
  • There are some parts that feel cheap.

 

How to choose above ground pool pump

If you’re looking for the best pump for above ground pool, then any of our options should be more than enough for the average user.

But what happens when you’re looking for something that’s a bit more personalized to your needs.

That’s very normal.

And when that happens, we will be there to help you out. Our buyer’s guide should be able to offer some guidance if you’re not sure about your decision.

With that said, here are a few important pointers that can get you the right above ground pump that matches your needs.

Pricing vs. Brand: the dilemma

This is a very common problem among users. They don’t know what to prioritize.

If you wish to go with value, then there is a very high possibility that you’re losing out on a few essential options. Still, there is always the distinct possibility of getting all the necessary features.

Still, if you want to find something between the budget range of $150-$200, it’s okay to let a few fancy features go.

But, if you want something that has better longevity and usability, then going with a 300+ dollar budget is safer. You will find offerings from some of the leading brands out there, who never compromise with their customer services and quality of products.

But our advice would be to spend the money according to the features you want to get. This way you may be able to save a couple of extra bucks.

Pump Housing: The mounting types

In general, there are two types of housing mounts you can find in the market.

Top-Mount

The top-mount option features an intake that sits over the ground pump. The filter of such options may be located on the top portion. These types of mounts are well-suited for sand-filtration systems.

Side-Mount

The side-mounted pool pumps have the intake on the same height as the pump. These types of pumps often have cartridge filters, which are easy to swap most of the time.

Determining the mounting types is very important because it relates directly to your overall usability.

Cartridge systems may seem better at first. But they do have a smaller lifespan. Also, they don’t always offer proper filtration.

But there are problems with top-mounts as well. The release of sand in the water is often a major problem.

Overall, you need to be able to live with some drawbacks for each option. There’s no way around it.

Pump Speeds: Available options

As we move on with the above Ground Pool pump buying guide, the pump speeds come to us a very important consideration.

You can pretty much find three major options overall.

Type-1: Single Mode/Speed

The single-speed options are the most available options out there. They have a constant speed that doesn’t change with the power ratings. In contrast to the dual-speed pumps, they are not that expensive.

Type-2: Dual Mode/Speed

The dual-speed pumps, however, have a higher price tag simply because of a variety in options. You can either have a high setting or low setting at a time. Generally, these types of pumps may have a power-saving option.

Type-3: Variable Speed

The variable speed options have a lot of shenanigans. There are various controls and settings that you can mess around with.

But, at the end of the day, they are pretty expensive. And it’s simply because of the number of options you are getting.

We can recommend digging out some unique features with any of these choices. As budget is a big concern here, there should certainly be some precautionary measures that help you save a few bucks. Remember, research is the key here.

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Heat and Noise Dampening: The combination

When it comes to the above ground pool pump installation, you need to get two important things out of the way first. And that’s heat and noise.

Usually, modern designs have a pretty good noise dampening. Still, asking for a second opinion seems like a good option here.

The heating problem is what matters the most. It’s the thing that messes with the lifetime of the pool pump.

So, you need to make sure that the design is well enough to survive the overheating. It all depends on how well the design execution is here. Our recommendation would be to talk to the representatives of the respected brands. They are the ones who can offer better help.

Energy Consumption: Paying the bills

Saving a few extra bucks can be very satisfying. But finding the correct choice is the key to saving the electricity bill.

Our recommendation here would be to use a variable speed pump. Because during the peak period, you could use a low-speed, power-saving setting.

If you can survive the initial cost, then we believe it’s a worthwhile investment that can save extra costs in future.

FAQ

Q: What is the average life expectancy of an above ground pool?

Ans.:  It depends on the product and how you use it. If you’re careful enough, then you could stretch the usage to 7 years or more.

Q: Should I run my pool pump in the morning?

Ans.: That’s actually better for the water chemistry. But if the electricity bill is a concern, then you may want to devise a plan to bring down the electricity bill.

Q: Should I change my above ground pool water on a regular basis?

Ans.: Not really. Just drain it and refill it once every three years if possible.

Q: How much of raise in electricity bill can I expect?

Ans.: Usually, the bill extends to at least 150 to 300 dollars.

Final Thoughts

Our ‘no-excuse’ methodology is very effective when it comes to finding the right pool pump above ground. But, some of you may not agree with our assessment.

So, we went ahead to offer an in-depth buying guide which we believe will help out all levels of users. Believe us, you will find a few useful tips here and there.

With that said, we believe it’s time to say goodbye. We do hope you land on the pump that satisfies all your needs.

Good luck.

38 thoughts on “Best Above Ground Pool Pump in 2020: A Review & Buying Guide”

  1. Thank you for helping make my life become a dream come true but does an above ground pool pump need to run all the time

  2. Thanks for your article but What should I know before buying and installing an above ground swimming pool pump?

  3. I just wanted to write to say thanks a bunch for the gift! But tell me more What size pump do I need for my above ground pool

  4. Thank you for the beautiful content I can’t wait to wear it this weekend but what size above ground pool pump do i need

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