Best Above Ground Pool Pump – Top 5 Reviews and Buying Guide

Published on August 31, 2018 by Duncan
Best Above Ground Pool Pump – Top 5 Reviews and Buying Guide

Here’s what you need to know to choose the best pool pump for above ground pool to meet your needs and budget, plus our top 5 recommendations.

If you have an above ground pool, you know how hard it can be to keep it clean and have clear water. Even if you have an exceptional circulation system installed, you won’t achieve the desired results without a pool pump. It is an integral part of the circulation system and ensures that the pool has a constant supply of clean, fresh and clear sparkling water.

Since the market has a lot of pool pumps to offer, we have compiled a buying guide and review to help you know what to look for in a pump as well as compare the top five pool pumps available.

Also read: 8 Best Pool Pumps Reviews and Buying Guide

What to Look For In an Above Ground Pool Pump?

  • Pool pumps operate at different speeds. There are generally three types; single-speed, dual-speed, and variable-speed. Single-speed pumps can only run at one speed and work exceptionally well. However, they make a lot of noise. This is because they use electromagnetic induction to operate. They require very minimal maintenance compared to other pumps.
  • Dual-speed pumps are similar to those using single-speed, with the difference being dual-speed pumps can run at two speeds. They can operate at high or low speeds, and you can switch between the two. Variable-speed pumps, on the other hand, offer you more flexibility. However, they require a lot of maintenance.
Pool Size
  • The size of your pool will always affect the type of pool pump you should buy. It is advisable to get a pool pump that is rated for the size of your pool. If you buy a smaller pump than your pool, the pump will have to compensate too much and won’t function efficiently.
  • If you want to get the best experience with a pool pump, you should opt for one that can handle your pool size. Most standard swimming pools need a 1.5 HP pool pump, but you should check your pool measurements before buying a pump.
  • This determines how frequently you need to clean change the pump’s filters and drain the pool. This usually depends on the type of pool pump you have and how frequent the pool is used. There are pool pumps which use filter cartridges that need to be replaced after a couple of weeks and some that use a sand filter that needs replacement after five years.
  • How often you use your pool also determines maintenance frequency. The pool is usually heavily used during summer, and that means the pool will have to be cleaned regularly. The pump will also collect a lot of debris so the strainer basket will need frequent emptying as well. Some pumps have large strainers that can hold a lot of debris. This helps extend the time between cleaning.

5 Best Pool Pumps For Above Ground Comparison

No Name Size Dim (Inch) Price
1 Hayward PowerFlo Matrix Pool Pump 1.5 HP 23.5 x 11 x 9.5 Check!
2 Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump 1.5 HP 27.1 x 17.6 x 25.5 Check!
3 Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Above Ground Pool Pump 1.5 HP 13.8 x 18.5 x 16 Check!
4 Hayward SP1580X15 Above-Ground Pool Pump 1.5 HP 8.5 x 10 x 22.5 Check!
5 Harris ProForce Above Ground Pool Pump 1.5 HP 22 x 8 x 10.8 Check!

#1 Hayward PowerFlo Matrix Pool Pump

Hayward PowerFlo Matrix Pool Pump

If you are looking for a powerful pool pump that operates quietly and efficiently, the Hayward PowerFlo Matrix Pool Pump might be the one for you.

The Hayward PowerFlo Matrix Pool Pump has been specifically designed for aboveground applications. As a single speed pool pump, this unit operates at 1.5 HP which is enough power to run a swimming pool of any size. It is one of the most energy-efficient pool pumps as it can circulate water throughout your pool at a constant and efficient rate while using less energy. The on/off timer also allows you to power on or switch off the pump as needed. This nifty feature sets this Hawyward model apart from other pool pumps which operate continuously and as a result, consume so much energy.

This self-priming pool pump has an advanced impeller that ensures the pump works efficiently and without interruptions. It prevents blockage from large debris and leaves. The industrial-size strainer basket can hold huge quantities of debris and leaves, and this can extend the period between cleanings. You don’t have to clean out the strainer basket every day and thanks to its transparent lid, you can easily tell when to clean. The lid has hand knobs that make it easy to open the lid and clear out the strainer. You can also easily service the pump by hooking up the quick-connect pipe to the built-in drain plug. You can even turn the pipe horizontally or vertically by pressing a button.

The motor uses airflow ventilation that allows it to operate quietly. It also has an automated overload protector that detects any power problems and prevents the motor from overheating. The motor housing is made of an anti-corrosive material that is drip proof and heat resistant. This allows the pump to operate efficiently in any weather, even in the dead of winter. Thanks to this design, the pool pump will serve you for a very long time.

  • High energy efficiency
  • Has two adjustable intake angles
  • The motor has an automated overload protector
  • The strainer basket is industrial-size
  • It is heat resistant
  • Can operate in any weather
  • Has the quietest operations
  • It is a bit hard finding the switch button for the intake angles
  • The included power cord is too short

#2 Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump

Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump

If you are tired of a cartridge filter pool pump that needs a cartridge replacement every two weeks, perhaps you should consider getting the Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump. Unlike cartridge filter pool pumps, the Intex Sand Filter Pump virtually requires no maintenance. All you need to do is replace the sand in the filter every five years.

This sand filter pump can handle any above ground swimming pool irrespective of size thanks to its high flow rate and 1.5 horsepower. It can circulate water throughout your pool at an average flow rate of 2,800 GPH, but this can go up to 3,000 GPH. The sand filter contains natural sand that filters the water of impurities as it passes through. It removes algae; odor and bad taste and balances the water pH level to a neutral 7. As a result, you will always have very clean and clear water in your pool, that is safe should kids swallow it.

This pool pump can perform six different functions, and you can use the control valve on the pump to set the functions. You can set it to filter, backwash or rinse. The pump can also recirculate the water, drain and when you are done, you can close the pump. The pump has an extra-large strainer basket that is very easy to clean. You can also use the built-in 24-hour timer to set up maintenance to be automatic.

The Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump is protected by a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter or GCFI. This feature performs the same function as a thermal overload relay but does it better, and has much more safety features. For example, if water gets into the electrical line, the GCFI will cut off electrical current which will prevent electrocution. Setting up this pump is very simple, as it comes with all the components installed.

  • Has an inbuilt 24-hour timer
  • Has six different functions
  • The sand filter needs replacement every five years
  • Has a 3,000 GPH max flow rate
  • Equipped with GCFI
  • Extra-large strainer basket
  • It is very heavy
  • It isn’t energy efficient

#3 Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Above Ground Pool Pump

Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Above Ground Pool Pump

With a capacity of 2,500 GPH, this pool pump is one of the most powerful cartridge filters from Intex. The average flow rate of the pump is 1,900 gallons per hour which is enough to filter and circulate water in an 18-foot swimming pool. This powerful pump has an automatic timer that you can set to 2 or 24-hour pump cycles.

What we love about this pump is the inlet fitting that uses Hydro Aeration Technology. This advanced technology improves the filtration and circulation of water. This is made possible by mixing air and water through the aeration process which makes fine particles to clump together thus making it easier to filter. The process also induces oxidation of manganese and iron, which results in sparkling pool water that you love. Thanks to the increased negative ions in the water, the pool water will not just look amazing, it will feel awesome as well.

The Intex Cartridge Filter Pool Pump has an air release valve that allows you to release trapped air pockets inside the filter. Maintenance for this pool pump is such a breeze thanks to the sediment flush valve and the easy-to-clean filter. You also need to replace the filter cartridge every two weeks. The pump has GFCI to avoid overheating and electrocution. The This Intex Cartridge Filter Pool Pump is durable as it is double insulated and can withstand any weather conditions.

  • It has a high flow rate
  • Uses Intex’s Hydro Aeration Technology
  • Has an air release valve that discharges trapped air
  • It is very easy to maintain
  • Protected by GFCI
  • It is not energy efficient

#4 Hayward SP1580X15 Above-Ground Pool Pump

Hayward SP1580X15 Above-Ground Pool Pump

Everything about this Hayward pool pump is impressive. It is powerful, efficient, quiet and durable; everything you want in a pool pump. With 1.5 horsepower and an impressive impeller, this pool pump can comfortably filter and circulate water in your pool to ensure a constant flow of clean and fresh water.

The pump has a durable strainer and an industrial-size strainer basket that can hold up to 118 cubic inches of debris. As such, you won’t have to do clean up frequently. The basket lid is transparent, so you can easily tell when it is full. The pump is self-priming and has a 1.5-inch intake or discharge pipe that creates enough pressure for quick water intake and pool clean up. The self-lubricating bearings provide for low maintenance so the pump can operate without a hitch. The pump shuts off automatically after operation thanks to the auto shut-off mechanism.

The SP1580X15Power-Flo Pool Pump is one of the most durable models from Hayward thanks to the safety features and impressive engineering of the pump. It features an automatic thermal overload system that protects the pump from overheating or electrical overload due to power surges or power malfunctions. The pump’s housing is made of reinforced thermoplastic that is 100% drip proof, heat-resistant and corrosion-proof.

  • Self-lubricating bearings
  • Industrial size strainer basket
  • Very powerful motor
  • Has an automatic thermal overload feature
  • Has an auto start/shut-off feature
  • The pump is very durable
  • It is not energy efficient
  • The package doesn’t include heater and filter

#5 Harris ProForce Above Ground Pool Pump

Harris ProForce Above Ground Pool Pump

Although Harris is not a big brand name, its products have the same quality and efficiency as those of big brands. With this Harris pool pump, you get a reliable, efficient and durable pump for almost half the cost.

This pool pump is constructed with heavy-duty and corrosion-free materials to prevent rust and ensure the pump lasts for a very long time. The motor shaft is made of stainless steel, and the pump has a thermoplastic housing that protects the pump from elements and allows it to function in any weather condition.

Harris ProForce Above Ground Pool Pump operates at 1.5 HP and uses advanced engineering to circulate and filter water at a consistent flow rate. It is a very efficient pool pump and the quietest. It is meant for use in a permanent pool so be sure not to use it on a portable one.

The pump is easy to maintain. The extra large strainer container has a transparent lid that allows you to easily check if it needs to be cleaned or not. The lid also has a twist and lock knob that makes it easy to get in and clean the basket.

  • It very affordable
  • Operates efficiently and quietly
  • Has a durable and powerful motor
  • Easy installation
  • Doesn’t have an auto on/off switch
  • Doesn’t come with a filter


Choosing the right pool pump is one of the most important decisions you have to make concerning your pool. The right above ground pool pump will save you a lot of money and give you peace of mind knowing your investment is well taken care of.