Above Ground Pool Filter System

Match The Pump With The Filter

Did your pool package come with the top of the line above ground pool filter system and it's still not as clean as it should be?  You are not alone.

The salesman may tell you that his one and a half HP sand filter system is the top of the line.  But is it really the best thing for your pool.

These high HP pump and filter combos that everyone is pushing these days are probably the worst things for above ground pools.  They look real fancy and 1.5 HP sounds very impressive.  The question is, do you really need to use all of that extra electricity to run these things when less horse power would clean better and cost less?

Pumps need to be matched with the correct filter for maximum efficiency.  One and a half horses pushing water through only a hundred pounds of sand is not going to get the pool clean.  The water passes through the media too quickly for it to get a chance to come out clean.  300 lbs of sand would be a better match for that above ground pool pump.

While smaller sized pumps do a better job of cleaning the pool and use less electricity in the process they are not the perfect solution.  I personally miss the suction power on the end of the vacuum when cleaning a pool with only a 3/4 HP pump.  Some automatic pool cleaners prefer the extra power of a larger pump.  What is the solution?

My ideal above ground pool filter system is a sand filter holding about 200 pounds of filter sand and a 2 speed pump.  The pump would have a 3/4 HP position for normal filtering and a 1.5 HP for cleaning.  Why this type of system is not pushed more I am not sure.  I think the powers that be are just now coming around to the fact that the customer is getting smarter and this type of system is really what they need.  I am just now starting to see filter systems with this kind of set up.

Power Flo Above Ground Pool Pump
A filter and pump combo system is not the only way to go.  You can always buy them separate.  Find a 2-speed pump and a good quality sand filter and plumb them up.  It is really very easy.  The Hayward Power Flow is available in a 2-speed and would attach to just about any filter.

When you are at the pool store impress the salesman by asking him if the pump you are looking at is a full rated, an up rated or a max rated.  As a general rule a full rated pump will actually be one size bigger than an identical up rated pump.  That means a full rated 1 HP would be equivalent to a 1.5 HP up rated pump.  If you compare the price the 1.5 HP will be more expensive.

Most of the time above ground pool pumps are up rated, or inflated, where in ground pumps are full rated, a more accurate measurement.

It is best to stay away from the max rated pumps as their actual HP is usually much less than what it says.


Cartridge Filter
A sand filter is not your only option, of course. There are many good quality cartridge and diatomaceous earth filters available. Sand filters are the most popular because they are the easiest to operate. If you don't mind spending a little extra maintenance time these filters will actually do a better job of keeping the pool clean. As with sand filters it is important to match the pump size with the size of the cleaning elements.


Visit the pool filter page for more pool filter information.


AGP Pool Help - Everything on this site about Above Ground Pools



top of Above Ground Pool Filter System