How to Choose the Right Above Ground Pool Filter System

Finding the perfect combination of swimming pool pump and filter is essential in creating an effective filtration system for your above ground pool.  Below we have included some, easy to follow, steps to make sure you are choosing the right pump/filter combination for your pool. To make shopping easy, we also offer these pool filter combination systems HERE


The purpose of choosing the correct combination is to avoid any problems that could potentially create premature malfunctions, ineffective filtration or safety hazards. The pump and filtration system of an above ground pool sits fairly close to the pool, creating a shorter travel time for your water to pass through your filter and back to your pool. Before deciding what horsepower you need, it’s important to take the following factors into consideration:

  • General Pool Size – small, medium, or large
  • Filter Type – sand or cartridge
  • Cleaner Type – suction side, pressure side, or robotic


Finding the correct sizes that work well together will greatly affect the way your pool will perform. Above ground pool pumps range from 1/2-1½ HP and a pump with too much horsepower will create excess water movement.  If you have a smaller pool, this could pose as a safety hazard, creating unpredictable water flow.

Above Ground PoolsFirst, figure out what size range your pool falls into. Filter sizes are relative to the pool size. A smaller pool will require a smaller filter and a larger pool will require a larger filter.
Filter TypeSecond, find out which filter type you’d prefer. There are two main types for above ground pools: sand and cartridge. Each has their own benefits and filter to different microns.
Pool Cleaner TypeThird, know what type of cleaner you’ll be using.  Suction side, pressure side, and robotic cleaners effectively clean an above ground pool but are powered differently.
  • Suction Side Cleaners – Suction side cleaners are affordable and most commonly used. Attaching to the suction side of the plumbing system, the pool pump powers the cleaner, drawing in dirt and debris. Large debris or high volumes of debris, such as leaves, can clog pipes leading to the filtration system.
  • Pressure Side Cleaners – Pressure side cleaners conveniently capture their own debris and also help to circulate water and pool chemicals. This is convenient because uncirculated water in “dead zones” will encourage the growth of algae. Pressure side cleaners attach to the return port, and a vacuum is created to pick up dirt and debris.
  • Robotic Cleaners – Robotic cleaners run independent of your pool’s pump and filter, collecting debris in a self-contained fine mesh bag.  They are the most efficient out of all pool cleaners because they do not clean the same area twice.
Things to Remember:
  • Choosing a higher horsepower will increase water flow movement and water turnover.
  • A higher horsepower will change the performance of your cleaner, increasing speed and suction. Note: This change could potentially harm your above ground pool liner.
  • When using a sand filter, anything above 1.5HP will create excessive water movement and push sand into your pool.
  • For a standard above ground swimming pool, a 1HP pump is sufficient to sanitize your water and run cleaners.
For your convenience, we offer filter and pool pump combinations. Take the guesswork out of choosing the correct swimming pool pump and filter by selecting one of our many packages. We offer a selection of pool pump and filter combinations to properly fit your above ground pool.