Do NOT Buy Above Ground Pool Sand Filters Until You Read This!

Article Last Updated: December 2020

Before talking about above ground pool sand filters, let’s talk about your pool.

Above ground pools usually include a number of things when you buy them. For instance, you will typically get a floor cloth, chemicals, a maintenance kit, a winter cover, a lamp, a ladder and a filter / pump system.

Notice that you already get a filter included?

Jacuzzi Bath Tub Spa JetsHowever, the problem is that most sand filters that are included with above-ground pools are not always the best quality.

Many pool owners find that the included filters are neither effective nor fully functional.

Using a weak or inefficient filter for a long period of time can cause water or mechanical problems for your above ground pool.

Apart from being weaker than sand filters that are available on the general market, the included filters are also likely to be smaller.

Super Shimmer Water ClarifierSo if you find that your pool has a small, inefficient sand filter then it is time to upgrade.

This article reviews the best above ground pool sand filters and pumps available to buy today. Most of which cost between $200 to $400.

I only select products that are manufactured by top brands like Intex, Pentair and Hayward. Which are all well established and well known pool filter companies.

Unlike other online reviews, I’ll be pointing out all the flaws and bad points about each product.

So, let’s get started.

Types of Pool Filters

Above ground pool filters have three basic types: sand filters, cartridges and diatomaceous earth (DE). Most surface pools are sold with sand filters by default.

However, it’s a good idea to know the main 2 types of pool filters that work best with above ground pool systems:

  1. Cartridge Filters
  2. Sand Filters

1. Cartridge Filters

Cartridge filters are among the newest types of filters. They are made from different types of pleated mesh materials. These pleats filter water that is pushed through before it reaches your pool.Tub Pool Filter

However, these filters sometimes allow large dirt particles through to your pool water. Especially if too much water is forced through the pool pump at a rapid pace.

Although they can last for between 1-3 years before you need to replace them, you need to routinely clean the cartridges to keep them working effectively. To do this you must remove the filter and either rinse it or soak it in a detergent solution.

Sand Filters

These are filters that contain fine specially graded sand that traps dirt particles in the 20 – 100 micron range.lazy placeholder

Unlike other types of filters, the efficiency of sand filters increases the longer it works.

In fact the claim is that sand filters can last for between 5-10 years.

This is perhaps the oldest type of above ground pool filter system.  given how many years the filters last, sand filters are more cost effective than cartridge filters.

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The Best Above Ground Pool Sand Filters Online

When choosing your next pool sand filter, you should consider other factors besides the filter type.

For instance, you will need to consider factors like filter efficiency, durability and, above all, its maintenance requirements.

And last, but not least, it is extremely important to make sure that the filtration system you choose matches the size of your pool.

There are many options when it comes to sand pool filters but I’ve shortlisted the best ones I could find.

Below is my review of each one, including all their negative points.

Sand Filter Reviews

Sand Master Soft Sided Above Ground Pool Sand Filter System

The “Sand Master” not only pumps but filters your soft sided pool. It keeps pool water clean and clear so you can use it for longer without having to change the water.

This system is good for all above ground soft sided pools. It has a 20-gallon-per-minute pump and a convenient 4-function valve. This product comes with all the necessary connections to install the pump and the filter system to your pool (hoses, nails, etc). Also, the filter tank is resistant to corrosion, cold and wet weather and can contain up to 42 pounds of sand.

This system measures 21.8 x 12.8 x 16.5 inches, weighs 22.4 pounds.

Red CrossThe Bad
  • The disadvantage of this product is that you must buy the sand separately.
  • It does not have an on / off switch built into the timer.
  • Difficult to obtain spare parts if one of the pieces breaks.
Green Plus ArrowThe Good
  • It is easy to install and takes only 10-15 minutes.
  • Works very quietly.
  • It comes with all the necessary equipment to carry out the installation, such as nails etc.
  • Saves you time and money as you do not have to replace the filters often.
  • Works with pools up to 9.6K gallons.
  • Has a 1 year warranty.
  • It is a good pump with a good price especially as the sand only needs changing every 5 years.

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Best Choice Products Pro 2400GPH 13′ Sand Filter Above Ground Swimming Pool Pump 10000GAL

“Best Choice” are one of the most popular manufacturers of pumps and filter systems for above ground pools. The Pro 2400GPH model is easy to install and easy to use. lazy placeholder

This sand filter pump system complies with CSA standards.

The Pro 2400GPH 13 also fits most current surface pools and is a cost-effective low maintenance option to keep your pool clean and free of sediments.

The sand filter drum measures 23.5 “H × 13″W with capacity 42 lb. sand filter. Has a size of 18.5 x 26.5 x 23.5 inches and weighs 26.2 pounds.

This system has a powerful 2.4 gallon per minute pump and a 4 function valve.

Red CrossThe Bad
  • You need to buy sand separately as this will not come with the filter.
Green Plus ArrowThe Good
  • The sand bed has a large capacity, which allows it to trap a greater amount of dirt and use longer filtration cycles.
  • It works with elevated pools of up to 10,000 gallons and has a self-priming pump.
  • The pump is thermally protected and the filter basket is included.
  • The size of the sand is 0.018-0.022 inches. This tiny size means it will catch a lot more dirt and sediments. lazy placeholder
  • It is labeled “ETL listed”. This means that the product has been independently tested and meets the applicable safety standard.
  • It has a large capacity sand bed.
  • Comes with a 60 day guarantee.

Dashed LineIntex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools

This Intex above ground pool sand filter has a six-function control valve that will filter, backwash, rinse, recirculate and drain your water. Thereby giving you a lot more control of how to treat and maintain your swimming pool water. lazy placeholder

The flow of the pump is 1.2K gallons per hour. So it works well with any above ground Intex pool. Especially for the 18-foot ultra-box group, the 24×12 foot ultra-rectangular group and the 16-inch model Wooden frame pool.

The system measures 15 “x 13.6” x 20.5 “and weighs 22.8 lbs.

Red CrossThe Bad
  • It does not come with the piston valves and the 1.5 inch inlet / outlet connections.
  • Customers have complained about slow customer service response times from the Intex help desk.
  • The system can be noisy.
Green Plus ArrowThe Good
  • mrwatergeek winner badgeIntex is a well established brand in this sector.
  • It includes a RCCB (Residual Current Circuit Breaker). This is a great security feature that helps to avoid short circuits and system overloads.
  • Contains a strainer basket, which extends the life of the sand and is easy to clean.
  • It has a 24-hour timer to set automatic filtration times, which helps reduce daily maintenance.
  • Also, it has been proven to comply with UL / CSA standards and also complies with international safety standards.lazy placeholder
  • This pump has a 24-hour timer that allows you to set the automatic up time and a security override system that makes it easier to maintain the pool.
  • The Intex sand filter pump is extremely efficient and cost-effective because the sand only needs changing every five years.

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4500GPH 19″ Sand Filter w/ 1HP Above Ground Swimming Pool Pump

This is one of the most efficient above ground pool sand filters and pump systems. It is very easy to install and easy to operate.

The filter itself is a one-piece blow mold tank that rests on a universal base that you can use with most pumps. This system is recommended for pools of up to 18,000 liters of water.

Its size is 29 x 19 x 37 inches and has a weight of 35 pounds. This tank also has a capacity of 175 pounds of sand, which is not included in the purchase price.

Red CrossThe Bad
  • You may need to buy sand, additional accessories or adapters.
Green Plus ArrowThe Good
  • The filter has a universal base that can accommodate most pumps.
  • Has a self-priming pump.
  • It’s an efficient filter that is also easy to clean.
  • The 1 horsepower pump has a flow rate of 4.5K gallons per hour and does not require a primer.lazy placeholder
  • The sand in the filter is easy to change.
  • Also has a 6 position valve and a large capacity sand bed that helps trap more debris.
  • The instructions for assembly are very clear and easy to follow.

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Above Ground Pool Sand Filters, Which Is The Best?

The “best” above ground pool sand filter is the one that is the right size for your pool and works effectively.

Mr Water Geek ThinkingIt is important that you install a good and reliable pool filter system to keep the bottom and surface of your pool clean and reduce the need for too much maintenance.

The main task of above ground pool sand filters are to remove the particles of undissolved dirt from your pool water.lazy placeholder

Having a good one installed will make a lot easier for you. This is because it will cut down the amount of cleaning that you will need to do, avoid unnecessary clogging and keep the water safe for all who use it.

My favorite from all the above ground pool sand filters is the 4500GPH 19″ Sand Filter.mrwatergeek winner badge

This is because it is compatible with most above ground pools, it is cost effective and provides good quality filtration.


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About The Author

About The Author Of This Post

I'm Luke and I enjoy researching, testing and writing about water treatment products. Read full bio.