Above Ground Pool Pumps: A Buyer’s Guide in Choosing the Best

best above ground pool pumpsThinking of the perfect way to beat the summer heat? Interested in making the backyard a better place for both kids and adults to hang out? Why don’t you consider having a swimming pool? By now, you are most probably thinking that it is an expensive and labor-intensive idea. With an above ground pool, however, such is exactly not the case. It is cost-effective, easy to install, easy to maintain, portable, safe, and most importantly, a lot of fun to have!

More than just the pool itself, one of the most important parts would be an above ground pool pump. The latter will provide the swimming pool with clean water, which will make it safe. Choosing the best for your pool’s filtration system will depend on a variety of factors. Some of the essential considerations include cost, durability, flow rate, pool capacity, and performance, among other things. Before making a decision, make sure to take a look at various factors and consult with what other people have to say.

Are you looking for the best above ground pool pumps? For sure, the options can be overwhelming, but this does not mean that you can just choose any brand or model. At the end of the day, it is important to play the part of a responsible buyer. With this, keep on reading and we will provide you with insights on some of the factors to consider and compare some of the best models that are currently available in the marketplace.

Top 3 Best Above Ground Pool Pumps Recommend on the Market

1. Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump

2. Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump

3. Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump

Features and Comparison of Above Ground Pool Pumps

1. Construction

When it comes to above-ground pool pumps, construction would refer to the way the product is made. You should take a look at the quality of the housing or the materials that are used, which is going to make it easy to differentiate one option from the other. This will have an impact not only on the efficiency of the unit, but more importantly, its durability as well. Keep in mind, however, that if the construction is superior, the price can also be more expensive.

  • Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump: The construction of this model is one of its most impressive features. It is made with a corrosion-proof housing, which is a major reason for its durability. It can also deliver reliable performance in all weather conditions. It is drip-proof and heat-resistant, which prolongs its motor life. It also comes with a clear cover, which will make it easy for you to decide if the basket is already in need of cleaning.
  • Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump: The manufacturer claims that it is equipped with a heavy duty tank. Other than that, however, there are no other details given with regards to its construction, which is why many might be a bit hesitant about this model.
  • Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump: One of the things that should be highlighted about the construction of this above-ground pool filter is its double insulation, which extends its functional life, while also being able to promote safety. It has also undergone rigorous testing in order to ensure its durable body. Nonetheless, its durability is still not comparable to the features of Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump.

WINNER: Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump

2. Speed

To differentiate the options that you will be confronted with, it is also going to be essential to take a look at its speed. In this case, you will generally have three choices. The first one is a one-speed pump. This is the oldest type of pool pump that is available. They can be good in terms of budget since they are cheap, but their functionality is not as impressive, especially because they can be inefficient and noisy.

The second type is the two-speed pump. It has low and high speed options, which makes it efficient. You can turn the motor to low, and hence, making it better when it comes to efficiency. In most instances, they are ran under low setting for 24 hours, except when there is a need for vacuuming. They can last from 3 to 8 years. Compared to single-speed pump, they can save as much as 70% energy.

The last type is a variable-speed motor. This is the most modern from the three. It is powered by a permanent magnet motor, which is different from the induction motors that can be found in the two models earlier mentioned. This is going to be a flexible option as it can provide users with the opportunity to select the specific flow rate. They are also quieter and runs cooler. Vibrations are also lesser. However, they are more expensive.

  • Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump: This model comes with a single-speed pump.
  • Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump: This model comes with a two-speed motor. This is different from the speeds of the motor of Hayward SP1580X15 LX Series Pump and Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump.
  • Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump: This model comes with a one-speed motor, which is similar to Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump.

WINNER: Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump

3. Filter Type

Generally speaking, there are three different types of above-ground pool filters, each with their respective pros and cons. The first one is sand filter, which is known for its simplicity. Basically speaking, it is like a bucket that is filled with sand. Water passes through the sand and this is where dirt is trapped, and hence, preventing such from penetrating the pool water.

The second type is known as cartridge filter. It is equipped with a pleated polyester cartridge, which is the one that is responsible for the filtration of water. There is no multi-port valve and it offers the benefit of being able to conserve water since there is no need for back-flushing, unlike in the case of sand filter.

The last type is known as Diatomaceous Earth or DE filter. It is able to take out smaller particles of impurities within a short period of time, which makesit excellent in terms of its filtration performance. It can filter dirt of up to 3 to 5 microns, which is basically the reason why it is ranked as the best when it comes to efficiency.

  • Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump: This model comes with a cartridge filter. It has excellent capability to filter dirt form the water, making sure that it is going to be crystal clear before it will reach your swimming pool.
  • Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump: This model comes with a sand filter. This is the most basic form of filter, which is why its efficiency is not as high compared to Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump and Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump.
  • Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump: It also comes with a cartridge filter, which is similar to Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump.

WINNER: Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump and Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump

4. Maintenance

This is one thing that is often ignored by many people in spite of its importance. Make sure that it is effortless to maintain, which will prolong its functional life and will make it effortless to clean as well. To make it easy to maintain, it should be easy to have the filters changed. More so, the filters should not also require frequent replacement, which will also make it more economical in the long run.

  • Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump: One of the best things about this model is that it comes with an advanced design, which keeps maintenance at its minimum. The extra-large debris is also worth highlighting. It accumulates a large amount of dirt, which means that maintenance does not need to be done frequently.
  • Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump: When it comes to maintenance, the sand in its filter is perhaps its greatest asset when compared to Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump and Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump. The filter needs to be changed only once within five years, unlike in the case of the cartridge filters that should be replaced after every few weeks.
  • Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump: One of the notable features that this model is the sediment flush valve found at the bottom of the unit, which makes it easy to maintain. This is one feature that cannot be found in Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump and Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump.

WINNER: Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump

5. Flow Rate

In choosing from the above-ground pool pumps, it is important to consider the powerful performance of each option. In this case, one of the things that should be looked at would be their flow rate. Simply put, it refers to the amount of water that can be processed by the pump at a given time. It is measured in gallons per minute or hour (GPM / GPH). Ideally, a higher flow rate is better because it means that more water can be pumped within a short period of time.

  • Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump: This model has a pump flow rate of 2,500 gallons per hour. However, the system flow rate is not specified.
  • Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump: This model has pump flow rate of 3,000 gallons per hour and system flow rate of 2,450 gallons per hour. Compared to Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump and Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump, this can be considered as the best when it comes to flow rate.
  • Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump: This model has a pump flow rate of 2,500 gallons per hour, which is similar to Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump. More so, it has system flow rate of 1,900 gallons per hour.

WINNER: Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump

6. Motor

As you try to evaluate the options that are available for the best above ground pool pumps, you should also take a look at the quality of the motor. Make sure that it can deliver dependable performance, which is going to be indicative of how powerful the pump will be. In addition, the motor should also have innovative features, such as a timer. It will also be good if there are safety features, like automatic shutoff, which will have a positive impact on its durability.

  • Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump: This model is equipped with 1 and ½ HP motor (115 volts), which makes it the most powerful from the three models that we are comparing. It comes with automatic thermal overload protection, which is an ideal safety feature. It also has 20-amp circuit breakers. It does not come with a timer since it has to be manually plugged and unplugged to function. There is no on and off switch. Nonetheless, with the horsepower of this motor, it is still considered to be the most reliable from the three.
  • Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump: This model comes with a .95 HP motor (110 to 120 volts), which is lesser compared to Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump, but more compared to Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump. To be able to minimize the risk of electric shock, it comes with ground fault circuit interrupter. It comes with 24-hour timer, which makes it effortless to use. It also comes with safety shut-off valve.
  • IntexKrystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump: This model has ½ HP motor (110 to 120 volts), which is the least compared to Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump and Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump. It comes with a built-in timer, allowing users to set it to up to 12-hour cleaning cycle. It also comes with ground fault circuit interrupter, which is going to minimize the risk of electrical malfunction. It also has automatic shutoff function when exposed to water.

WINNER: Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump

7. Warranty

It is also recommended that you look for a model that comes with an extensive warranty coverage from the manufacturer. If the manufacturer is confident that their product is going to be fail-proof, they will not be hesitant to offer a good warranty. With the warranty, this simply means that you will be able to have the product returned to the manufacturer within the period that is covered. They will execute free repairs on the pump, provided that the problem does not result from your negligence.

  • Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump: This model has 1-year warranty from the manufacturer, which is pretty much the basic coverage within the product category.
  • Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump: This model has 2-year warranty, which is longer than Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump.
  • Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump: This model has 2-year warranty, which is similar to Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump.

WINNER: Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump and Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump

Conclusion

Indeed, evaluating the options for the above-ground pool pumps will never be an easy task. The abundance of the options can be overwhelming, yet you should never resort in making a decision in haste. Do not be tempted to choose the cheapest option that is available. At all times, make sure to take a look at the technical specifications, feedback from other people, and overall functionality of the product.

From the discussions and table above, if there is one model that we can recommend, it would be Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pump. From our comparison, it has ranked well in terms of its overall construction, filter type, maintenance, and motor. Its warranty may be only one year and it may be a single-speed pump, but when you take a look at the overall quality of the product, it will surely prove to be an impressive pick, besting many others that are available in the marketplace, and not only the two other products that have been the subject of our comparison.

Read more information about Intex 18ft X 52in Ultra Frame Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump here!