8 Best Above Ground Pool Filters

Pools May 4, 2020
Best Above Ground Pool Filters
Amy

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8 Best Above Ground Pool Filters

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If you are in the market for an above ground pool filter system, you will want to consider the features, as well as the type of filter. Some of the features include efficiency, durability, size and how much maintenance is needed.

If you are looking for the best above ground pool vacuum then keep reading to learn more about our picks as well as their pros and cons.

How We Researched Best Above Ground Pool Filters

  • We spent several weeks researching several above ground pool filters
  • We considered over 20 above ground pool cleaners and fine tuned it down to the 8 reviewed in this article
  • We did this by reading hundreds of reviews, watching videos and comparing the features of each

What to Consider When Buying an Above Ground Pool Filter

There are 3 types of filters for above ground pools: sand, cartridge, and diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) filters. Before shopping for an above ground pool filter you will want to know which is best for you.

Sand Filter – Sand filters remove dirt or debris from a pool by using a technique called back washing or reversal of the flow of water. It is necessary to backwash the filter when the pressure gauge displays an increase of 7 to 10 lbs. Sand filters are capable of removing dirt even as small as 20 microns. These filters can last five to ten years before replacement is needed and are considered to be an economic option.

Cartridge Filter – Cartridge filters are one of the newest filter types and are capable of removing dirt as small as 15 microns which is a bit better than sand filters. The cartridge does need to be removed from the filter system for cleaning the accumulated dirt and debris often. Cartridge filters are known to last for about one to three years before needing a replacement.

D.E. Filter – DE filter systems are considered to be the most efficient of the three types but the most expensive. They are built to be extremely efficient and can clean dirt as small as 4 microns and cleans the water most effectively. While these filters maybe the most expensive, they are highly durable and don’t require frequent backwash.

Comparison Chart

PICTURE NAME RATING SHOPS
Best Above Ground Pool Filters
1
Hayward W3CC15093S XStream Above-Ground Pool Filter Pump System 
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Best Above Ground Pool Filters
2
Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools
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Best Above Ground Pool Filters
3
Intex Krystal Clear 1200 GPH Sand Filter Pump
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Best Above Ground Pool Filters
4
Hayward W3EC40C92S Perflex 1 HP D.E. Filter Pump System
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Best Above Ground Pool Filters
5
Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools 
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Best Above Ground Pool Filters
6
Rx Clear Radiant Sand Filter for Above Ground Swimming Pools 
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Best Above Ground Pool Filters
7
Intex 26665EG Ozone Saltwater System
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Best Above Ground Pool Filters
8
Rx Clear Patriot Sand Filter System for Above Ground Swimming Pools
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The Best Above Ground Pool Filters

Hayward W3CC15093S XStream Above-Ground Pool Filter Pump System 
Product
Best Above Ground Pool Filters
Overall Score
Pros
  • Easy-Lok ring design
  • Extra large filter
  • Easy to install
Cons
  • May need to upgrade the hoses
  • Noisy when running
Pros
  • Easy-Lok ring design
  • Extra large filter
  • Easy to install
Cons
  • May need to upgrade the hoses
  • Noisy when running
Durability
Installation
Efficiency
Price

Hayward W3CC15093S XStream Above-Ground Pool Filter Pump System  is made for above-ground and on-ground pools. Hayward’s XStream Cartridge Filter and Pump System provide a massive filter body for added debris-holding capacity and longer, more efficient filtering cycles. It has a larger filter body for equal distribution of dirt and debris throughout the filtering element

It is made with an easy-Lok ring design which allows quick access to all internal components in a single turn. This filter is engineered for easy use with flexible or rigid plumbing.

Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools
Product
Best Above Ground Pool Filters
Overall Score
Pros
  • Double insulated pump
  • Air release valve for trapped air
  • Sediment flush valve in filter chamber
Cons
  • Very loud when running
  • Does not move a lot of water fast
Pros
  • Double insulated pump
  • Air release valve for trapped air
  • Sediment flush valve in filter chamber
Cons
  • Very loud when running
  • Does not move a lot of water fast
Durability
Installation
Efficiency
Price

Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools has a pump flow rate of 2,500 gallons per hour and a system flow rate of 1,900 gallons per hour. In addition, the maintenance requires the occasional cartridge rinse or swap and should be changed every couple of weeks. This 2,500 GPH filter pump is the most powerful cartridge filter pump made by Intex.

This is made for above ground pools up to 24 feet in diameter and can be used with any Intex above ground pools. It features a built-in timer to set operating times for convenience.

Intex Krystal Clear 1200 GPH Sand Filter Pump
Product
Best Above Ground Pool Filters
Overall Score
Pros
  • 24-Hour automatic timer
  • Easy clean strainer basket
  • Pressure gauge for backwashing
Cons
  • Hoses are flimsy
  • Will need extra clamps for hook up
Pros
  • 24-Hour automatic timer
  • Easy clean strainer basket
  • Pressure gauge for backwashing
Cons
  • Hoses are flimsy
  • Will need extra clamps for hook up
Durability
Installation
Efficiency
Price

Intex Krystal Clear 1200 GPH Sand Filter Pump uses a powerful 0.25 horsepower motor to achieve a 1200 GPH water flow rate (1050 GPH System Flow Rate). The unit offers 6 modes: Standard Filtration, Backwash, Rinse, Re-circulate, Drain and Close. This sand filter pump only requires sand replacement every 5 years on average. You can set the timer to the desired operating hours of 2, 4, 6, 8 or 12 hours.

This heavy duty 10″ tank has a 26 pound sand capacity and 18 pound glass capacity. This pump works best for Intex above ground pools with a 16 foot diameter or smaller.

Hayward W3EC40C92S Perflex 1 HP D.E. Filter Pump System
Product
Best Above Ground Pool Filters
Overall Score
Pros
  • Extended-Cycle DE filter
  • Flex-Tubes instantly and uniformly clean themselves
  • Heavy-duty Injection-molded filter tank
Cons
  • Seals need replaced after a few years
  • Pump needs to be drained when adding D.E.
Pros
  • Extended-Cycle DE filter
  • Flex-Tubes instantly and uniformly clean themselves
  • Heavy-duty Injection-molded filter tank
Cons
  • Seals need replaced after a few years
  • Pump needs to be drained when adding D.E.
Durability
Installation
Efficiency
Price

Hayward W3EC40C92S Perflex 1 HP D.E. Filter Pump System is designed to operate with less resistance than conventional units, producing more filtered water with less pump horsepower. The heavy-duty Injection-molded filter tank is corrosion-free and the extended-cycle DE filter cleans pools fast by removing small particles. The unique bump mechanism allows DE flex tubes to instantly and uniformly clean themselves of dirt and DE filter media.

This filter has a 20 square foot effective filtration area and is for above ground pools.

Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools 
Product
Best Above Ground Pool Filters
Overall Score
Pros
  • Hydro aeration technology inlet fitting included
  • Easy to clean, replaceable filter cartridge.
  • Air release valve for air trapped inside filter
Cons
  • No on/off or timer switch
  • Instructions are hard to understand
  • Hoses and clamps could be better
Pros
  • Hydro aeration technology inlet fitting included
  • Easy to clean, replaceable filter cartridge.
  • Air release valve for air trapped inside filter
Cons
  • No on/off or timer switch
  • Instructions are hard to understand
  • Hoses and clamps could be better
Durability
Installation
Efficiency
Price

Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools  is easy to set up with hoses to just attach and plug in. The maintenance for this pump requires a cartridge rinse or swap about every two weeks. It offers an air release valve for air trapped inside filter chamber for pump priming.

This filter is designed for Intex pools up to 6,000 gallons with a 1.25 inch diameter hose fitting. It can pump up to 1,000 gallons per hour.

Rx Clear Radiant Sand Filter for Above Ground Swimming Pools 
Product
Best Above Ground Pool Filters
Overall Score
Pros
  • Holds 220 lbs of sand
  • One-piece blow-molded tank
  • Filters down 5-3 microns
Cons
  • Instructions are hard to understand
  • Threads on fittings incomplete
Pros
  • Holds 220 lbs of sand
  • One-piece blow-molded tank
  • Filters down 5-3 microns
Cons
  • Instructions are hard to understand
  • Threads on fittings incomplete
Durability
Installation
Efficiency
Price

Rx Clear Radiant Sand Filter for Above Ground Swimming Pools  is designed with a luster filter media which unlike sand won’t clog your filter and requires less back washing. It can hold four to five boxes of luster media as an alternative to sand. This one-piece blow-molded tank sits on top of a universal base that accepts most pumps.

This filter can handle pools up to 26,000 gallons and has a 220 pound sand capacity. This system is made for above ground pools and comes with 1.5 inch threaded connections, a filter base, user’s manual and 6-position valve.

Intex 26665EG Ozone Saltwater System
Product
Best Above Ground Pool Filters
Overall Score
Pros
  • 3 self-clean modes available
  • 24 hour auto-clock cycle
  • Titanium electrolytic cell uses natural salt
Cons
  • Pump is sold separately
  • Some leaking from hoses
Pros
  • 3 self-clean modes available
  • 24 hour auto-clock cycle
  • Titanium electrolytic cell uses natural salt
Cons
  • Pump is sold separately
  • Some leaking from hoses
Durability
Installation
Efficiency
Price

Intex 26665EG Ozone Saltwater System has a redesigned control panel with display and easy access buttons as well as an added power button for convenience. It has 3 self-clean modes available for 6, 10, and 14 hour cycles and a 24 hour timer. This salt water system concentration is a tenth of that in sea water and the ozone generator instantly destroys bacteria and viruses. 

This pump requires a filter pump with a flow rate between 1,500 – 4,000 gallons per hour and has a max pool size of 15,000 gallons.

Rx Clear Patriot Sand Filter System for Above Ground Swimming Pools
Product
Best Above Ground Pool Filters
Overall Score
Pros
  • Tank holds 220 pounds of sand
  • One-piece blow-molded tank
  • Filters particles down to 5 -3 microns.
Cons
  • Hose could be more durable
  • May need to replace clamp
Pros
  • Tank holds 220 pounds of sand
  • One-piece blow-molded tank
  • Filters particles down to 5 -3 microns.
Cons
  • Hose could be more durable
  • May need to replace clamp
Durability
Installation
Efficiency
Price

Rx Clear Patriot Sand Filter System for Above Ground Swimming Pools is made with corrosion-proof housing for all-weather functionality. This half horsepower pump will pull water from your pool, push it through the filter and return it to the pool with quiet operation. The 4-way push-pull valve provides simple control of water flow. This system allows you to replace sand with Rx Clear Luster Filter Media which are eco-friendly and made from 100% polyethylene. It comes with a skimmer basket and 6 foot cord.

This filtration system is designed to work with above ground swimming pools up to 6,000 gallons. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do above ground pools have filters?

Yes, there are 3 types of filters for above ground pools: sand, cartridge, and diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) filters. Each has their own features and filter to different microns.

How do sand filters work in above ground pools?

Sand filters allow water to cycle through a canister that contains sand. The water flows through the sand while larger particles are unable to pass through. Once the debris and other particles have been filtered out by the sand, the pump moves the clean water back into the pool.

How often should you backwash your pool filter?

It is recommended you backwash and rinse your filter about once a week, usually right after you vacuum the pool. Back washing after substantial rains, treating for algae, or after heavy use can be done twice a week.

Amy

Amy is a writer and editor who loves the outdoors, landscape design, and home improvement. She has been remodeling homes since 2013 and is an avid do-it-yourselfer. In her spare time, you can find her hiking, gardening or working on DIY projects.
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