Last Updated: March 28, 2020
The best above ground pool pump will be able to keep your background sanctuary in top shape throughout the summer. However, the tough thing about buying the right pool pump is that everyone’s needs are a little bit different. What might be great in one backyard could be disastrous in another one.
The guide here is intended not just to expose you to some great products, but also to educate you so that you can choose the perfect pump for your situation. We have scoured the market, personally experimenting with dozens of pool pumps.
We reduced our findings to the top eight units on the market and even supplied a handy buyer’s guide to help you choose a good pool pump. Without further ado, read on for some above ground pool pump reviews!
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
The 8 Best Above Ground Pool Pumps – 2021
1. Harris ProForce Above Ground Pool Pump – Best Overall
The Harris ProForce is perfect for large pools. It features a beastly 1.5-horsepower motor that will be able to maintain crystal clear water in even the largest of above ground pools.
The unit is designed to operate quietly and features a three-foot cord that makes it easy to install alongside most pool equipment setups.
It is fairly expensive relative to most of the other pool pumps on our list today, though that is mostly attributable to the power. Buyers living in California will also want to note that this product does not meet the state’s environmental regulations.
2. Intex Pump for Above Ground Pools – Best Value
The Intex pump for above ground pools is a reasonably priced unit that most people will find convenient and easy to maintain. Because of the price, we have designated this product as the best above ground pool for the money. It operates fairly quietly, and only requires a new filter cartridge every two weeks.
This is a double-insulated filter which will help protect it against wear and tear, as well as a range of other environmental factors.
It also features a sediment flush and air valve that effortlessly releases excessive debris or air. However, issues can arise from these valves as well. The Intext tends to waste quite a bit of water, which can be costly over time.
3. Hayward Above-Ground Pool Pump – Premium Choice
The Hayward is one of the most expensive pool pumps on our list today. It features an impressive 1.5-horsepower motor that will be good for larger pools. Perhaps most importantly though, it is extremely well built. The housing is fortified with corrosion-resistant materials that will keep everything in working order for a long time to come.
Meanwhile, the motor is double sealed to protect it from the elements. Combined, these features account for a product that will stand the test of time.
The pump is also heat resistant and entirely immune to dripping so that you don’t waste water. If you have a big above ground pool and you want to get something high end, this premium choice will be for you.
4. Blue Wave Pump for Above Ground Pools
The Blue Wave is a moderately priced product for larger pools. It features a 1.5-horsepower motor that will do a good job of removing contaminants and maintaining water purity.
The pump features a clear lid which is great for easy cleaning, and it primes itself automatically for easy maintenance. In terms of issues, there are two things you should know about. For one thing, this is another pump that can’t be purchased in the state of California due to emission standards.
There are also some user reports claiming that the pump did not last long. Granted, several factors may contribute to how long a pump lasts. It’s hard to say how likely it is that you will experience this issue, but it is worth considering all the same.
5. SUNCOO Swimming Pool Pump
The Suncoo is an affordable swimming pool pump that boasts 1.5 horsepower. It features a durable construction and is fairly easy to clean. The housing is specifically designed to protect against harsh weather and it can be easily installed and maintained. It also features an extremely silent operation.
Unfortunately, we have heard from a few people that claimed their pump did not even last for an entire season. Of course, as mentioned earlier, this can be for several reasons. Still, it’s always a good idea to keep user complaints in mind when considering a purchase.
6. XtremepowerUS Above Ground Pool Pump
The XtremepowerUS is a low maintenance self-priming pump that will be good for people that have moderate to large-sized pools.
This is a fairly quiet pump that can be easily installed and maintained simply enough with bi-monthly cartridge exchanges.
It is worth noting that the pump tends to go through a lot of water. The operation process keeps the pool very clean but it does mean that you will need to refill often and pay close attention to your pool’s water levels.
7. Quality Pool Products Above Ground Pool Pump
With 2 horsepower its disposal, theQuality Pool Products pump is one of the most powerful on our list. If you have a large pool you might appreciate the opportunity to get an effective pump at a fairly reasonable price.
However, forgetting the power factor, there are several issues to contend with. For one thing, this is a very noisy pump which makes it quite conspicuous to use. It also suffers some major durability concerns and the motor seems to struggle somewhat, stopping and starting without warning on a regular basis.
The inconsistent performance may make some people think twice about going with this pump.
8. Pentair 340210 Above Ground Pool Pump
The Pentair is an effective and easy to clean product. With a 1.5-horsepower motor, it will be good for moderate to large pools.
It ranks last on our list for several reasons, but they can all be categorized under the umbrella classification of value. This is a very pricey product that doesn’t do well to compete against even some of the most affordable pumps on our list.
This is a very noisy pump and it also tends to waste lots of water, which can lead to frequent and costly upkeep concerns.
Here are some buying considerations that will hopefully help you choose from the eight great products on our list.
Pool pumps can be rather loud which can be disruptive if you are trying to enjoy a nice day outside with your family. Add the fact that pool pumps run for most of the day, and you also need to worry about the volume of your unit disturbing neighbors. Pumps with noise dampening technology will generally advertise the feature prominently on the packaging.
Some may even tell you how loudly the machine runs right up to the decibel, giving you a very precise understanding of what type of user experience you can expect.
Where do you live?
Did you know that depending on where you live, the pool pump you want might be illegal? It’s true. California is particularly notorious for outlawing yard equipment. That state has very rigid emission standards, which is great for protecting the ozone layer, but a little bit restrictive when it comes to shopping.
While many would argue that the compromise is well worth it, the fact remains that great pumps such as our top choice, are illegal in California.
The power level of a pool pump will have a large impact on your overall user experience. The more powerful the pump, the better it is at extracting impurities. However, that is not to say that you should buy the most powerful pump you can get your hands on.
If you get a pump that is more powerful than your pool requires, you may be wasting water and creating an unsafe swimming experience.
The good news is that it isn’t hard to find the right power level. Most pumps will advertise on the packaging what size of pool they have been made to work with. And of course, if you are ever unsure you can reach out to the manufacturer for further information.
Pool pumps can be a little bit pricey but it is always worth the money to invest in something reliable. In addition to ensuring that your pool looks good, the pump also does its part at keeping the water safe. It is never a good idea to skimp on quality to save a few dollars.
The good news is that decent pool pumps tend to last awhile. And, when they are doing their job properly it means that you might save money on incidental costs, such as having your pool treated for mildew or other contaminants.
Bottom line? It’s better to buy one good pump than it is to continue paying for the mistakes of a not so good one.
Pool pumps go through a lot. It isn’t easy running all day every day for months on end. As a consequence of this, there is lots of room for something to go wrong. A good warranty can help alleviate the risk that you will wind up paying out of pocket for a premature error.
Ideally, your warranty will keep you covered for at least a few years. Great warranties might even go for five years or more. And of course, the better the warranty, the more confident the manufacturer is that they’ve shipped out a good product. Most companies do not offer to make free repairs on subpar equipment, after all.
The temperature can have a bearing on the health of your pool pump. Specifically, radically sub-zero temperatures have been known to damage pool equipment even when they are not in use. It’s not necessarily an extremely prevalent problem, but it is something to keep in mind if you live in an area that has extreme winter temperatures.
As a consequence of this problem, many pumps are thermally protected to guard against these scenarios. Most buyers aren’t likely to experience a problem but it is never a bad idea to protect yourself, right?
Above Ground vs. In Ground
However, some pumps are not. If you decide to do further independent research, you will want to make sure that all of the pumps you look at are specifically optimized for the needs of an above ground pool.
This is particularly important because equipment that is made for inground pools literally will not work with above-ground units and vice versa.
You don’t necessarily need to buy for the brand name but it may not be a bad idea. Many of the same companies that make above ground pools also make above ground pool pumps. For example, Intex and Hayward are big names in the above ground pool game, and they also make very good pool pumps.
If you have an Intext pool, it may be a good idea to buy an Intex pool pump for the simple fact that it has been made for the exact model that you have in your backyard.
Necessary? No, but it can certainly be to your benefit.
Pool pumps do require fairly regular maintenance. As the pump draws water and contaminants in, they are processed by a filter, which then needs to be cleaned frequently.
However, the nature of the onboard filtration system can have a major impact on how much maintenance is required. For example, cartridge-style filters need only to be changed out every couple of weeks or so, and the entire process only takes a matter of minutes.
Depending on how much pool maintenance you plan to do, you may also want to have all of your equipment looked over and serviced by a qualified company several times a year. Professional upkeep can be a little bit pricey, but it is also a good way to ensure that your pool and its equipment do not experience any serious problems that run up major bills.
The build quality will go a long way towards determining how long your pump lasts. Being an outdoors piece of equipment pool pumps go through quite a bit.
As a consequence, it is to your benefit to invest in something tough. Some of the units that we looked like went to special measures to improve the quality of their performance. For example, we saw some products with corrosion-resistant hardware. This feature will guard the pump against all manner of weather.
We also saw products that are double-insulated to further guard the motor against weather exposure. These features may ramp up the cost but they pay for themselves eventually. The longer the pump works, the more likely it is that you will get your money’s worth.
Hopefully, these above ground pool pump reviews have helped you decide on a product. We looked at a lot of good stuff today, so you should be able to zero in on a couple of standout products.
For example, our top choice, the Harris H1572730 ProForce Above Ground Pool Pump is going to be good for people that want something high end.
However, if you need to save some money on your purchase, you can still get something good by choosing our best for the money product, the Intex 28633EG Pump for Above Ground Pools.
Featured Image Credit By: Bart Everson, flickr
Table of Contents
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 8 Best Above Ground Pool Pumps – 2021
- 1. Harris ProForce Above Ground Pool Pump – Best Overall
- 2. Intex Pump for Above Ground Pools – Best Value
- 3. Hayward Above-Ground Pool Pump – Premium Choice
- 4. Blue Wave Pump for Above Ground Pools
- 5. SUNCOO Swimming Pool Pump
- 6. XtremepowerUS Above Ground Pool Pump
- 7. Quality Pool Products Above Ground Pool Pump
- 8. Pentair 340210 Above Ground Pool Pump
- Buyer’s Guide