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Best Sand Filter Pump For Above Ground Pool – 2021 Review & Buyer’s Guide

When you have a pool, you want to make sure that it is ready at a moment’s notice for use and one of the ways you do this is by having a sand filter pump. Looking into your pool and noticing sand in there can really put you off wanting to take a dip, especially if you have to then try and manually clean out sand. This can be tedious and hot days; it really would be the last thing you want to do. A sand filter pump takes away all the hard work and will keep your pool free from debris and sparkling clean, but which one do you chose? Don’t worry, we’ve found the 7 best sand filter pumps for above ground pools and we’ve even included a buyer’s guide to help you make the best decision.

Quick Compare of Our Top 7 Sand Filter Pump 

Product Image


Sand Capacity (lbs)

Suitable for pools


Intex Krystal Clear Sand filter Pump for Above Ground Pools

Intex Krystal Clear Sand filter Pump for Above Ground Pools


2800 Gallons

Blue Wave 22-Inch Sand Filter System for Above Ground Pools

Blue Wave 22-Inch Sand Filter System for Above Ground Pools


24,000 Gallons

Rx Clear Radiant Complete Sand Filter System for Above Ground Swimming Pool

Rx Clear Radiant Complete Sand Filter System for Above Ground Swimming Pool


21,000 Gallons

Sand master Soft Sided Above Ground Pool Sand Filter System

Sand master Soft Sided Above Ground Pool Sand Filter System


9,600 Gallons

Rx Clear Radiant Sand Filter for Above Ground Swimming Pools

Rx Clear Radiant Sand Filter for Above Ground Swimming Pools


21,000 Gallons

Intex Krystal Clear 1500 GPH Sand Filter Pump

Intex Krystal Clear 1500 GPH Sand Filter Pump


1500 Gallons

Hayward SandMaster Sand Filter Tank W/Valve

Hayward SandMaster Sand Filter Tank W/Valve


21,120 gallons

Best Sand Filter Pump For Above Ground Pool Review

1. Intex Krystal Clear Sand filter Pump for Above Ground Pools

Intex Krystal Clear Sand filter Pump for Above Ground Pools Review

One of the best things about having a sand filter pump is having the ability to set it and the Intex Krystal Clear allows you to do just that. The automatic operation gives you an easy to use pre-set of between 1 and 12 hours, so you can set it in the morning, before your first swim, or you can have it set after your last evening swim. Whichever way you chose to set it, you can make it work at a time that suits you.

Not only does the Intex remove sand extremely effectively, it comes with an array of functions to help you keep your pool crystal clear at all times. It has the standard filtration option, but you also get backwash, rinse, recirculate, drain and close system. All these works together to maximise the effect of this system and ensure your pool stays algae and sand free.

The flow rate for this system is really good considering the size of the unit. It pumps through 2800 GPH, so even in larger above ground pools, this is an effective cleaner. Not only that, the intext is easy to dismantle and clean out, so you won’t have a green pool again. If you are concerned about noise level, don’t be, this pump is quiet and won’t disrupt you.


  • Digital pre-set timer
  • Flow rate of 2800 GPH
  • 6 features
  • Quiet when in use
  • Effective cleaner


  • This won’t be an effective system for larger pools
  • Some of the instructions for instillation can be difficult to follow

2. Blue Wave 22-Inch Sand Filter System for Above Ground Pools

Blue Wave 22-Inch Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools Review

One of the standout features of the blue wave system is the care and detail that has been put into the tank. Constructed out of a single piece of polyethylene, there are no failure points in the tanks, which is where other systems fall down. As it is made of polyethylene, it is also impervious to rust, it has been designed and built for an outside life.

The Blue wave is a very simple system, if you are looking for one with all the bells and whistles, this isn’t it. It provides users with a sound pump to make sure that your pool is clean and debris free, but you won’t benefit from any additional features that other brands have. It is quiet when it is on, but you will need to go and turn it off and on as there is no timer switch.

It does come with an extra-large hair and lint pot to make sure that even if you forget to empty it a few days running, you won’t damage the system. This pot is easy to get out and clean. This pump is ideal for someone with a smaller pool who is looking to reduce their overheads related to it. The pump is a high efficiency, but low cost, keeping your bills down.


  • Simplistic system
  • Quiet when in use
  • Extra-large hair and lint pot
  • Easy instillation
  • Efficient and safe design


  • No timer
  • No other features

3. Rx Clear Radiant Complete Sand Filter System for Above Ground Swimming Pool

Rx Clear Radiant Complete Sand Filter System for Above Ground Swimming Pool Review

The RX gives customers the all in one sand filter system that is essentially plug and play. It comes with everything you need to keep your pool in the best shape and to stop you from having to clean it. The one-piece tank makes sure that there are no failure points and it can survive outside, even in the most of humid weather.

One of the features that we really liked about the RX clear is that it has a see-through screen. This small design feature makes sure that you can see what is traveling through the two-piece strainer cover. This limits the chances of the system becoming blocked or damaged as you will be able to intervene before this happens. The filter baskets are a good size, so you don’t have to be emptying them out every day.

The RX clear is designed to handle the conditions of modern-day pools and their needs, so you can be sure that the design is new and up to date. It is excellent at cleaning the debris from small to medium size above ground pools, but if you fall into the large pool category, this will be too small to operate effectively.


  • All in one system
  • Plug and play, everything is included
  • Excellent for small to medium sized pools
  • Clear window design so you can see the lint baskets
  • One-piece tank reduces potential failure point


  • Can be difficult to set up
  • Not ideal for larger pools

4. Sand Master Soft Sided Above Ground Pool Sand Filter System

The sand master provides users with an economy pump that can reduce their overheads when it comes to running their pools. If you are looking to curb costs, then this is a good option as it doesn’t draw a lot of power when you are running it. It is slightly louder than other models we have reviewed, and the features are limited, but it is a solid economy option.

Sand Master Soft Sided Above Ground Pool Sand Filter System Review

The tank is corrosion proof, making sure that it won’t rust from the inside out, you can be confident that it will keep going. Ideally, this pump is for smaller pools as it will clean these most effectively. If you put it into a medium to large pool, you will find that it doesn’t have the enough power to be able to pull the debris to it.

Whilst it doesn’t come with a timer, all you need to do is turn it off and on. If you want to prolong the life of the pump, you can have it running for an hour in the day and an hour at night, before and after use. This may slightly decrease your water quality, but you will curb the amount of money you spend on powering the pump and your pool remains sparkling clean.


  • A solid economy option for people looking to curb costs
  • Well-constructed
  • Corrosion proof tank
  • Suitable for pools up to 9600 gallons
  • Easy to put together


  • It is noisy
  • For smaller pools only

5. Rx Clear Radiant Sand Filter for Above Ground Swimming Pools

Rx Clear Radiant Sand Filter for Above Ground Swimming Pools Review

If you have a pool that is up to 21,000 gallons, the RX clear is the sand filter for you. The system is a plug and play option, so once you have installed everything that came with it, you are able to start cleaning your pool straight away. The construction of the RX is quality and you can be sure that the tank is corrosion free. There are also reduced failure points in the tank as it is constructed from a single piece of material.

The RX is a very quiet and efficient option, even if you do have a 21000 gallon pool. It comes with 6 functions to make sure you can keep on top of your pool maintenance. One of the standout features of the RX is the sight glass. This makes sure you can keep an eye on exactly what is happening in the unit and prevent any blockages before they become a problem. The lint and hair baskets are easy to empty, all you need to do is check them regularly.

This particular model holds 175lbs of silica sand, it may seem like a lot, but if you have a big above ground pool, the volume is needed. It makes for a heavy unit, so once you have chosen a place for it to go, there it will stay unless you have help moving it. It is excellent at cleaning debris and dirt from your pool and it’ll leave it sparkling clean and ready to jump into a moment’s notice.


  • 6 Functions
  • Solid construction
  • Excellent for large pools
  • Quiet
  • Effective cleaning


  • Can be difficult to install due to instructions
  • Not suitable for small pools

6. Intex Krystal Clear 1500 GPH Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System with E.C.O.

Intex Krystal Clear 1500 GPH Sand Filter Pump Review

The intext krystal system is ideal for users with small to medium sized pool between 2600 gallons and 8500 gallons. The intext system uses electro catalytic oxidation to keep your pool sparkling and safe, it also lessens the impact of chlorine on human skin but keeps it exceptionally clean. You won’t need to replace this system for five years from instillation, so it gives you amazing value for money.

The intext system is very quiet, you won’t notice when it is in use and it won’t disturb your bathing time. It is very easy to set up, you don’t need a pool expert, just follow the instructions and away you go. The construction of this pool cleaner is top quality, there are no failure points in the tank as it is a single piece of material.

As standard it comes with the six functions that you need to keep your pool in top condition, filter, backwash, rinse, re-circulate, drain and close system. You won’t require any other products to keep your pool clean. For a small system it is really very powerful, and you won’t need to manually stir up debris on the bottom for the system to pick it up.


  • Small to medium sized pools
  • Electro Catalytic Oxidation
  • 5 year life span
  • Very quiet
  • 6 functions as standard


  • Not the most economic pump system available
  • If you have no experience of installing a sand pump, seek professional advice

7. Hayward SandMaster Sand Filter Tank W/Valve

Hayward SandMaster Sand Filter Tank W/Valve Review

The hayward is possibly the most durable and rugged system on the market. It has been designed with hot and humid climates in mind, the ones that breed corrosion and rust. The tank itself is moulded in one piece and is made from strong ABS plastic to make sure that there are no failure points and it doesn’t let you down.

This is the system to go for if you have a large pool, it will comfortably clean and work with systems that are up to 21,120 gallons. It is very easy and quick to install, especially if you have use this type of system before. You will need to fill with sand prior to starting it but the instructions are hazy as to how much you need to put in, so it is worth contacting someone who has external pump knowledge prior to use.

Even though it is for larger pools, the Haywood is exceptionally simple in its design. It has an on off switch, so if you don’t want to use it all the time, you can simply turn if off. It is also economic on power and can help you keep your electricity bills under control.


  • Easy installation
  • Large moulded tank
  • Corrosion free
  • Simple design
  • For large pools


  • No indication of how much sand is required
  • No automatic timer system

Things To Consider Before You Purchase A Sand Pump

Before you settle on your purchase, you want to make sure that you are making the right decision for you and your pool, here are a few key considerations to make before you buy!


You essentially want a plug and play system. You don’t want to be spending hours of time on fitment and you also don’t want to have to bring in a professional, especially if you are keeping costs down. Ideally, you want a system that matches the current pipe work you have in place or it comes with its own pipework to make sure you can get the pump up and running in the same day!


Some pumps will not come with sand included and as sand is the primary cleaning agent, you need to have some before you can get it up and running, so make sure you have some to hand for when the pump arrives to save disappointment.


The pumps we have reviewed either come with features or they don’t, you need to consider what type of system you want and if you require features. If you are a busy person and turning the system on and off may slip your mind, why not look to purchase a system that has an automation clock built in? This way you can be sure that your pool will always be clean and ready for use.

Pool Treatment

Even though sand pumps remove the harshness of chlorine and other chemicals that you use to treat your pool, it doesn’t mean that you stop using these compounds. The only time you would stop using these treatments is if you switched to a saltwater system which is very expensive. When you select your pump, make sure you read the manufactures guidelines on how much chlorine and other pool cleaner you need to keep your pool safe for use.

What Size Sand Filter Do I Need?

Each above ground pool will fit into two categories and depending on how big your pool is, will depend on the size of the system. If you buy a pump that is too small, your pool won’t be cleaned, if you buy a pump too large it can cause poor filter performance and even damage it.

Sand Filter Pump

If your pool has 15300 gallons of water in it or less, you will only require a 1 horsepower pump. If your pool is bigger than 15300, you will need a 1.5 horsepower pump. Another factor to consider is the flow rate of your filter and pump. You will need to find this out as it will show you how much water per hour can flow through it.

How Does A Sand Filter Pump Work?

Sand filters are one of the most effective methods at cleaning your pool, they rely on natural sand to catch the debris and keep your water clean. When the pump is on, the system draws water from your pool and then forces it through the sand in the canister. As sand is naturally dense, it catches debris particles and won’t let them pass through. The clean water then exits out the system and back into your pool. Because there are limited moving parts in this system and the sand is housed in a tough container, these systems can last for years with very little maintenance. They are an extremely economic and effective way of keeping your pool clean.

How Do You Use A Sand Filter Pump?

If you have purchased a basic system that has an on and off switch, all you need to do is turn it on. Most a designed to run 24/7 but that isn’t always practical due to the noise they produce, and they will also last longer if you use them intermittently. However, if you use them for only part of the day you will be sacrificing a level of water quality.

If you have a sand pump that comes with the most common 6 features, each one will do a different thing. The most common setting you will use will be the filtration setting, this keeps water flowing through your system and keeps your pool clean.

If your pool is looking a little bit green with algae, use the backwash system once a week to help you clear it and the sand. Use the sight glass to see what colour the water coming out is and once it runs clear you can stop. You will then need to rinse it out once you have backwashed it to make sure all the debris that the sand has caught within your tank can be cleaned out to make way for new debris. Make sure you turn the filter off between changing settings to make sure you don’t damage it. If you are ever in doubt, make sure that you consult the manufactures guidelines and instruction manual.

Final Thoughts

It can feel overwhelming when you are looking for a new pump for a pool, especially if it isn’t a system that you are familiar with. The beauty of sand filtration pumps is that they are simple. They are easy to install, use, clean and maintain and require very little involvement from you in order to keep it on top form.

The main consideration you need to make before you make a purchase assessing the capacity of your pool. Once you have figured this out, you can then select a pump based off the features that you want. If you want an all singing all dancing pump, look for options that have the most common six features that allow you to close the system, back wash and rinse. Not only will these features keep your pool clean, they will also increase the life of your pump as you are able to effectively clean the sand.

One of the best things about sand filters is that they are essentially a plug and play system, so you can have it up and running on the same day as delivery. Make sure you find a system that comes with everything you need or fits to the attachments that you already have. If at any point you are unsure, simply call the manufacture and ask what type of pump is best suited to your pool!

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