How to Buy The Best Above Ground Pool Pump in 2022

The pool pump is the heart of the pool, and it is essential for clean water. But which pool pump is the best, and how do you calculate the required power for your pool?

In order to find the right pool pump, the strength of the pump performance must be set in relation to the pool water volume. The pump must circulate the pool water at least 1-1.5x/day within 6 to 8 hours.

In this article, you will find the best pool pumps in comparison and my recommendations. You will also learn to determine the right pool pump for your swimming pool.

Nevertheless, you should read the entire article to decide which pool pump is the best for you.

Info: The pool pumps shown above are only a pump. A suitable filter (sand filter system) must be purchased separately.

Compare the best pool pump

Choosing the right pool pump is crucial, how clean the pool water will stay and how intensive your pool maintenance will be in the future.

Therefore, you must choose the proper and best pump for the pool right from the start.

In this list, you can see the current best pool pumps in comparison.

Pool pumps are available in different price ranges, from 100 dollars, and can cost over 1000 dollars.

All the pool pumps shown here are available in other versions. You may find a smaller or larger pump from the same brand.

Which pump is best for your pool depends heavily on the size of your pool.

Read more in the following chapters, how to buy the best pool pump for your above-ground pool.

Why do you need a pool pump?

Many new pool owners find out late that the pool needs a pump and filter to stay clean over the long term.

But how does a pool pump work, and why do you need a pump for water treatment?

The pump used in the pool is electrically operated and has a small motor. The electric motor drives the impeller (propeller) via a shaft and thus pumps the water out of the pool.

The water that circulates with the help of the pool pump prevents the pool from turning green – we speak of tipped water when the pool water has become green and cloudy.

Furthermore, the pumped water also runs through a sand filter system, where it is filtered before it flows back into your swimming pool.

A running pool pump also promotes the even distribution of the pool chemicals, such as chlorine, pH reducers, and algaecides.

However, just any pump for the pool is not enough.

It must be a pool pump that is matched to the pool volume and has a corresponding minimum output. Otherwise, the water in the pool threatens to turn green.

A fitting pool pump is required in the swimming pool.

Tip: A pump is not absolutely necessary for small paddling pools. That’s why I wrote an article on how to keep the pool clean without a pump.

Which pool pump is the right one?

Good purchase advice is rare, and many sellers in pool stores sell inexperienced users a too weak pump for the pool.

The consequences: The pool water becomes cloudy, and the costs for additional disinfectants increase.

But the stores also sell often expensive and oversized pool pumps to inexperienced pool owners.

But how should a beginner know which pool pump is the right one and which factors are important?

First, you need to know that each pool pump slightly differs. A difference is made between a normally priming pump and a self-priming pump.

  • Normal suction pump: This pool pump should be below the water level so that the water flows in by itself.
  • Self-priming pump: A self-priming pool pump can convey air and vent itself. The location can be chosen more flexibly.

The difference is not unimportant and plays a role in the location of the pool pump.

But that is by no means all you need to know when purchasing a new pool pump.

Important factors to consider when buying a pool pump:

  • Output rate: The water must run through the pool pump at least 1-1.5x/day in a certain time so that the pool remains clean. As a rule of thumb, it is said that the pump should circulate the pool water at least once a day in 6 to 8 hours.
  • Connection: The pool pump will later be combined with a filter system, and the diameter of the connection must be taken into account. Further down in the text, you will find a detailed table showing which pump fits your filter.
  • Costs: A pump for the pool shouldn’t be too weak, but it shouldn’t be unnecessarily too strong either. You can often save pool maintenance costs by replacing the more powerful pool pump with a smaller one.

In the further text, you will learn more purchase criteria for the pool pump to save costs and avoid problems with water treatment in the future.

Which pump is suitable for your swimming pool?

Comparison tables and individual pool pump tests are helpful to get an initial overview of which pump would be optimal for your above-ground pool.

But to know exactly which pump is suitable for your swimming pool, you have to set the pump’s output in relation to the fill water volume.

Note: In practice, water circulation in pool care has proven to be at least 1-1.5x/day (some advisors also talk about 2x/day) within 6 to 8 hours when the pool is in use.

To check whether a pool pump is suitable for your swimming pool, follow these steps:

1. Calculate the pool volume

It takes some math to find out the exact amount of water in the pool. Just use the formulas shown here for your pool.

  •     Rectangular pools: Length x width x average depth
  •     Round pools: Radius² x 3.14 x depth (r² * π * h)

In a pool with an oval or free shape, the amount of water must be estimated.

It is best to estimate a little more so that the pump does not fail too weakly.

Tip: Round up the values ​​to a thousandth to make the further calculation easier. A pool with 74,700 liters becomes a pool with 75,000 liters of water.

2. Calculate the required output rate of the pool pump

Suppose your pool has almost 75,000 liters of water, and we want to circulate it 1.5 times a day in 8 hours.

You must calculate the pumping power using the following formula:

(Water Volume x Circulation) / Running Time.

  • 75,000 liters x 1.5 = 112,500 (the result is the total amount of water to be pumped).
  • 112,500 liters: 8 hours = 14,063 L/hour

What does the value tell us?

The output rate of the pool pump must be at least 14,063 liters/hour (14 m³/h) in a pool with 75,000 liters/water.

You now know your required pumping capacity and only have to look out for the suitable pool pump – when you buy one, the total pumping capacity/hour is printed on the packaging and on the pump itself.

Tip: Some manufacturers indicate the output in liters/minute. In this case, you multiply the value by 60 (minutes) to get the total output in liters/hour.

Pay attention to the maximum head of the pool pump

In addition to the general pump capacity per hour, it is essential to consider the permissible head value given in meters.

The delivery head shows a pool pump’s power in a performance diagram (m³).

Assume a pool pump has 0.7 kW. With a head value of 4 m, the pumping capacity is 18,000 liters/hour, and with a head of 17 m, the value drops to zero.

And what does that mean exactly?

Before you buy a pool pump, you need to calculate the total resistance that will appear on the return lines. This includes the pool filter, the pool heater, and all other resistances on the pressure line.

But the inlet lines to the pool pump also create resistance if there is strong resistance during suction. This can be avoided by installing 2×45° angles instead of a 90° angle when applying the pipes.

Short pipes also reduce resistance, if possible to use them.

Too complicated? No problem.

Just stick to the following rule of thumb: In a pool with 50 m³, you need roughly a pool pump with 0.7 kW. A pump with 1 kW or more is required for a larger pool.

Tip: If you are unsure, it is best to always use the more powerful pool pump.

The prices are almost identical, and a strong pump won’t clog easily because of the higher flow rate.

Take the pool pump basket into account

Choosing the pool pump based on the amount of water and the filter times is only half the story.

In many amateur guides, the pool and the pump basket location are completely neglected.

Why are the pump basket and pool location so important?

If the swimming pool is close to trees, regular pollution and even blockages of the pool pump can be expected.

Especially with a small pump, the cleaning process often has to be interrupted when vacuuming the pool floor to empty the pump filter – this can be annoying and time-consuming.

Therefore, when buying a new pool pump, make sure that the basket is big enough.

The combination between pool pump and filter

A circulation with the pool pump alone is not enough to keep the water in the pool permanently clean. The pump must be combined with a filter to avoid disruptions in the water treatment.

There are several types of filters available on the market, the most common of which are:

  • Cartridge filter: Filtering the water with cartridges, often made of polyester.
  • Sand filter systems: The water is filtered to a thousandth with the help of sand.
  • Multi-layer filter: Have two or more different filter layers.
  • Diatomaceous filter: The DE filter filters the water with DE soil and is clunky to clean.

The sand filter is most common for private swimming pools due to the relatively cheap filter medium (sand) – the filtration reaches up to 15 microns (µ). It can be increased significantly by using a pool flocculant.

But how is the filter system combined with the pool pump?

Very simple: The filter system is selected based on the determined pump power in relation to the diameter (filter size). See the table below.

  • D 410 mm: Pumping capacity of 6 m³/h
  • D 510 mm: Pumping capacity of 10 m³/h
  • D 630 mm: Pumping capacity of 15 m³/h
  • D 710 mm: Pumping capacity of 20 m³/h

As an example above, you determined a pumping capacity of 15 m³/h. The table shows that from a pump capacity of 15 m³/h, a filter size with a diameter of 630 mm is necessary.

Remember: The bigger the pump capacity, the bigger your filter should be.

This rule is useful for checking harmonies in the system.

If you already have a filter system, you can use the table to see whether your current pool pump fits the system or whether it can be replaced by a smaller pool pump.

Tip: You don’t necessarily have to replace a pool pump that is too big.

Simply reduce the rpm and save energy in pool maintenance – you will find more information in my other blog post about the running times of the pool pump.

Do you have further questions about the pool pump?

Contact me at @contactswimfool on Twitter. I am happy to help you.

Have fun in the warm pool water!

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Hi. I'm Max Berg. I've been in the pool industry since 2015 and have always felt drawn to water. I'm the author behind swimfool.com, where I share my years of experience in pool maintenance and give helpful tips on keeping a swimming pool or hot tub clean. My tips reduce the costs of water treatment and protect the environment.

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