Best Sand Filter Pumps for above Ground & Inground Swimming Pools

The right pool filter pump will require much less effort from you to keep the pool water clear and clean. With sand filter pumps, you have very little to do apart from the occasional backwashing and changing of the filter sand. Changing the filter sand can be done every 5 to 8 years hence not a task to worry about.

In our review of the best sand filter pumps for pools above or in the ground, we decided on seven of the best for your choosing. These are sand filter pumps that are the right size, have the

The best sand filter pumps we reviewed include the following:

1. Intex 2150 GPH Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System

Intex Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System
Intex 26679EG

First up is the Intex 2150 GPH sand filter pump with a flow rate of 2,650 GPH (0.95 HP) and a system flow rate of 2,150 gal/hr. This is a sand filter pump suited to above-ground pools between 4,800 and 15,000 gallons in capacity. It scores high marks for its power and simplicity when in use.

The highlight for this filter pump is the 6-way filter valve operation mechanism. This allows you to carry out some tasks such as backwash, rinse, recirculate, drain, filter and close system with ease. As such, maintaining this sand filter pump is very easy. More features include

  • The built in 24-hour digital timer that can be turned on/off each day adds to the hassle-free experience with maintaining a cleaner pool
  • Hydro Aeration Technology provides improved circulation and filtration, improved water clarity, and increased negative ions at the water surface
  • Comes with two 11/2in(38mm) connector hoses
  • 25ft power cord with ab inbuilt GFCI


  • 6-way filter valve allows for easy maintenance.
  • Powerful 0.95 HP pump (2,650 GPH).
  • Best suited to pools between 4,800 and 15,000 gallons in capacity.
  • Versatile
  • Quiet operation.


  • Suited to small pools only.

For swimming pools above the ground and with a capacity of 15,000 gallons and below, this is the best sand filter pump.

2. Hayward W3S166T ProSeries Sand Filter

Hayward W3S166T Pool Sand Filter Pump
Hayward W3S166T ProSeries

Hayward is known for many great swimming pool items among them sand filter pumps like this W3S166T ProSeries. It’s a 16-inch above-ground pool filter system with a 16-inch polymeric tank, a 1 HP PowerFlo LX pool pump and 7-position filter control valve.

Besides that, it comes with a large pressure sand/water drain for easy servicing and rapid winterizing. Its 7-position VariFlo valve provides maximum flow even at low pressure to maintain the rate of filtration. The top diffuser provides an even distribution of water over the entire sand for maximum filtration.


  • Pump rated at 30 gallons per minute.
  • 1 HP PowerFlo LX pool pump.
  • 16-inch polymeric tank that is weatherproof.
  • 7-position filter control valve for ease of maintenance.
  • 7-position VariFlo valve provides maximum flow at lower pressure.
  • Simple pump-to-filter union connection makes it easy to assemble and disassemble the pump.
  • Top diffuser ensures that there’s an even distribution of water on the sand for faster filtration.
  • Large pressure sand/water drain for faster winterizing and servicing.


  • None

An easy choice when looking for a sand filter pump for medium-sized swimming pools.

3. Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools

Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter
Intex Krystal Clear

The Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump is essentially the bigger sibling to the Intex 2150 GPH as they share a lot of good features. These include the favored 6-function control valve which makes maintaining the filter easy as it puts functions such as backwash, rinse, recirculate, drain, filter and close system functions in one place.

The Krystal is, however, larger in that it generates a pump flow rate of 3,000 gallons per hour and works best for swimming pools between 5,500 and 19,600 gallons. This means that it’s more suited to larger pools although it’s still for above-ground swimming pools.

The Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump also comes with a 24-hour timer which makes it easy to clean your pool. With the timer, you can be sure the pump will clean the water then turn itself off after 24 hours.


  • 6-way filter valve allows for easy maintenance.
  • 24-hour timer reduces the effort needed to maintain the pump.
  • Pump flow rate of 3,000 GPH (0.75 HP).
  • Suited to pools between 5,500 gallons (20.8m3) and 19,600 (74.2m3) gallons.
  • Heavy duty tank lasts longer than comparable pumps.
  • Strainer basket offers easy cleaning thus prolonging the life of the sand.
  • Two 1.5” connector hoses improve its overall performance.


  • Less than optimal customer service.

If your swimming pool is slightly larger, then this one will suit you better than the previous entry also from Intex.

4. Rx Clear Radiant 24-inch Sand Filter System

Rx Clear Radiant 24-inch Sand Filter System
Rx Clear Radiant 24-inch

This filter is designed to handle the filtration needs of many of today’s pools. It provides an efficient, easy to use, simple to install and operate system that will keep pool water clean and sparkling.

The core of these systems is the one-piece blow-molded tank that sits atop a universal base that accepts most pumps.

The Rx Clear Radiant 24-inch sand filter is designed for inground pools measuring up to 33,000 gallons.

It is compatible with the following swimming pool sizes:

  • 12’ round, 15’ Round, 18′ Round, 21′ Round, 24′ Round, 27′ Round, 30′ Round, 33′ Round
  • 12’ x 24’ Oval, 15′ x 24′ Oval, 18′ x 33′ Oval
  • 18′ x 36′ Rectangular

It is easy to install- Labeled ports on the 6-way top mount filter valve are clearly visible for the pump and return. Comes with 1.5 inch threaded connections, a filter base and user’s manual.

Filter Media Options Available for optimal performance. This 24” unit requires the following media amounts: 6 Boxes RX Clear Luster Filter Media, 150 lbs.of Zeo-Clear Filter Media or 300 lbs of traditional Grade 20 Silica Sand

In terms of durability, the core of this filter is a one-piece blow-molded tank. The interior consists of the sand pipe and laterals

The downside is that the filter media and hoses are sold separately making it quite pricy

5. Hayward S244T ProSeries Sand Filter, 24-Inch, Top-Mount

Hayward S244T
Hayward S244T

For in-ground swimming pools, the Hayward S244T is an easy choice thanks to the many great features it comes with. The tank is made of a weatherproof material that is tough, color-first and polymeric in nature. It has a 6-position multi-port valve with a lever for easy control.

The top diffuser ensures that water is distributed evenly over the sand. The filter pump also has a self-cleaning underdrain and 360 degree slotted laterals for better diffusion. The full-flow technology achieves excellent levels of filtration reducing the power used to filter the water.

It’s one of the best sand filters since it features a 7-way multi-port valve with the functions being filter, waste, winter, closed, backwash, recirculation and rinse.


  • Strong and durable weatherproof tank.
  • Even water distribution on the sand filter by a top diffuser.
  • Self cleaning under drain.
  • 360 degree slotted laterals.
  • Advanced full flow technology makes the filtration process efficient and thorough.
  • 7-way multi-port valve with the functions being filter, waste, winter, closed, backwash, recirculation and rinse.
  • Comes complete with a tank, 7-way multi-port valve, pressure gauge and sight glass.


  • None

Those with in-ground swimming pools can benefit from the thorough cleaning abilities of this sand filter. It’s also incredibly easy to use and maintain.

6. Harris H1572230 Vortex 24” Sand Filter System with 1.5 HP Pump

Harris H157230 Vortex Sand Filter Pump for pools
Harris H157230 Vortex

Wrapping up our list is the Harris H157230 Vortex 24-Inch Sand Filter System with a 1.5 HP pump. It’s a filter pump for above-ground pools with temperatures between 32 and 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

It has a 50 gallons per minute flow rate operating at a maximum pressure of 40 PSI. It has a large 2.8 feet filter area and requires 300 pounds of sand for filtration. It’s best suited to use with ZeoSand and #20 Silica Sand for the best results.

It comes with a top diffuser providing the best utilization for the large sand surface area for the best filtration. The 7-position dial valve also makes it easy to run and maintain in general.


  • 24 inch filter.
  • 1.5 HP pump.
  • 2.8 feet filter area.
  • 50 GPM pump flow rate.
  • Works with water between 32 and 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Requires 300 pounds of sand for filtration.
  • Suited to #20 Silica Sand and ZeoSand.


  • None

7. XtremepowerUS 4500GPH Sand Filter w/1HP Above Ground Pool Pump

XtremepowerUS 4500GPH

For one of the easiest to use yet most reliable sand filter pumps, the XtremepowerUS 4500GPH fits that description perfectly. It comes with low noise features that are ensure a quiet operation and high levels of energy efficiency.

It has a powerful 4500GPH motor and a strainer basket which work to keep your swimming pool water clean with minimal input on your end. These are capped with the handy 5-way multi-port filter which enables easy functions among them backwashing.


  • Strainer basket makes the water clean and extends the life of the sand.
  • Low noise design keeps it quiet and efficient.
  • Perfectly engineered pump and sand filter system to provide clean water in the pool.
  • Automatically keeps the sand height level for maximum filtration, consistent performance and easy and efficient backwashing.
  • 5-way multi-port filter makes it easy yo maintain the filter pump through activities such as backwashing.
  • Durable construction to work in all types of weather without an issue.
  • Built in thermal overload protector ensures your safety and that of the pump when in use.
  • Heavy duty motor with airflow ventilation keeps it cool and quiet for heavy tasks.
  • 4500 GPH rating for heavy loads.
  • Works well for large pools.


  • The manual instructions could be better.

If you have a larger pool and want to keep it clean, this sand filter pump enables you to do that with lots of handy features.

For larger pools above the ground, the Harris H157230 Vortex 24-Inch Sand Filter System is a powerful choice.

Buyers’ Guide

When you’re in the market looking for a sand filter pump for your swimming pool, consider the following aspects:

The flow rate

The flow rate is measured in gallons per hour or gallons per minute and, generally, the higher the flow rate, the better the pump. A higher flow rate simply means your pump will take less time to filter the water. The flow rate depends on the power and size of the pump you choose on.

Control valve functions

The control valve helps in maintaining the pump by allowing for tasks such as backwashing, filtering and others. Usually, it has a single lever which can be used to carry out all these tasks with ease. The higher the number of functions on the control valve, the better the pump will be.

Diffuser type

The diffuser feeds the water from the pool to the sand filter and there are several types for sand filter pumps. The best of the lot is the top diffuser for circular filters as it allows for the maximum utilization of the surface area of the sand.

The type and size of pool you have

As you might have noted, there are sand filter pumps for above-ground and in-ground pools. An inground pool is that which has been dug into the ground while an above ground one is that which is above the ground either on stilts or simply in a tank placed on the ground. When choosing a sand filter pump, make sure you get one meant for your type of pool.

Size is also an important factor as it determines the extent to which the pool filter pump will be effective when cleaning the pool. In fact, you need a pump that can handle the size of your pool to take the shortest time cleaning the water out.

Materials used

The best sand filter pump should be weatherproof such that its parts don’t get rusty or corroded by exposure to the elements outdoors. You will thus need a filter pump with high quality materials such as steel and titanium which would be further protected by a layer of weatherproof paint.

Noise level

You need a sand filter pump that’s quiet when in use. This is an appliance that will be used on the regular and will be let to run for hours on end. As such, it should be designed to operate quietly even through the night to keep the pool clean.

Sieve basket

The sieve basket helps sieve out the larger types of debris before they reach the sand filter. This only leaves the tiny dirt to be handled by the sand. In general, it elongates the life of the sand filter as the large debris easily clog the filter.

Thermal overload protector

The thermal overload protector is meant to protect the machine and the user from overheating and causing damage and injury respectively. This should be included with the filter pump since they can run for hours on end. The chances of heating up are quite high in such cases.


A timer, while not a must-have, helps you clean your pool within a given timeframe. For most pools, a 24-hour run will be enough to clean a swimming pool.

This will require that you have the right size of pump for your pool. With a timer, you simply set the filter pump to run then when the time is up it shuts itself off.


Some important peripherals need to be included with the sand filter pump to keep the pump in working condition. For example, some hoses and connectors should be included with your sand filter pump by the manufacturer.

Having these aspects in mind will help you make the right decision when it comes to the right sand filter pump for your swimming pool.

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