Do NOT Buy Small Swimming Pool Filters Until You Read This!

Article Last Updated: June 2022

Small swimming pool filters are essential because big one’s either might not fit or not work as well for smaller pools.

If you’re like most people, you like to swim or at least enjoy time by the pool.

Maybe you want to have parties at the pool. Or perhaps entertain friends and colleagues.

However, due to lack of space and lack of knowledge, most people believe that they can not own their own pool. Especially people that live in a city or built up area.

Also, the idea of ​​putting a sunken pool in a backyard can be daunting.

Not everyone knows that they can put a small portable swimming pool in their garden.

And those that are aware of this possibility typically reject it. This is because we are mostly familiar with tacky looking children’s pools.

More importantly, people do not know how to care for a small pool by getting good quality small swimming pool filters.

If you do not know what to do with a small pool, then continue reading.

My research will help you make a more informed decision about how to easily maintain your small pool. I will also tell you everything you need to know about small swimming pool filters.

This will include reviews of the best small swimming pool filters available on the market today.

What Is A Small Pool?

Well it’s a smaller than normal pool. They offer good alternatives to the cost and time of larger buried pools. The costs are generally much lower because the equipment is different and maintenance definitely does not take as long. lazy placeholder

Most people have no idea how small a swimming pool can be.

When you think of small pools, the images that pop into your head are probably kid pools. A tiny pool where you can simply sit or something for the kids to splash around in.

However, a small pool can be anything that includes the following:

  • It can store less than 20,000 gallons of water.
  • The pool is 600 square feet or less in size.
  • The fact that they are small does not mean they are not for swimming.
  • The shape of the kidney is the most common form. Followed closely by square and triangular shapes.
  • While small pools can be used safely for exercise purposes, they are not recommended as they generally are no more than 6 feet deep.lazy placeholder

Here are the main different types of small pools that are available:

  • Training pools.
  • Leisure pools.
  • Above ground pools.

Training Pools

This is the most typical exercise pool. It has a triangular shape to provide the most space available for you to make forward and backward turns. This is preferred by swimming enthusiasts.

Also preferred by people who want a full body workout and competitive swimmers. This type of pool can be installed on the ground or above (with a step ladder).

Leisure Pools

This, as the name implies, is to relax in the sun and for entertainment. lazy placeholderIt is not ideal for heavy exercise. But that’s good, because that’s not the purpose. A recreational pool can be any type of shape like a kidney, square or round. You can even equip it with different accessories, like a waterfall.

Above Ground Pool

This is probably the kind of small pool that most people are familiar with. It is a good option if you do not want to invest too much money or have a lot of time to set up. In general, they have a very simple configuration and are generally ready to work in about a day. This means that, theoretically, you could buy your pool in the morning and enjoy it at night.

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Buying Small Swimming Pool Filters? Here Is Your Checklist.

All pools require filters and pumps. Small pools use filters adapted to their size and specific needs. However, there are a number of different filters that can be used with small pools.

So, how do you choose the right filter for your small pool?

The first way is to speak to the small pool manufacturer and ask them to recommend the best pool filter for your specific model. This is the best option as they will be in the best position to help you select the right filter.lazy placeholder


If your pool comes with a filter already installed, simply re-purchase that specific make, model and size.


You can use the instructions below that will help give you an idea of how to get the right small pool filter size. It can be a bit complicated and include mathematical formulas.

BUT don’t worry.

I have broken down everything you need to know to make this process as simple as possible.

  • First, what is the size of your pool? It is very likely that there are already specific measurements provided to you by the manufacturer or distributor. This means it will probably be in the manual or instruction booklet.
  • How long does it take all the water in your pool to pass through the filter? This is called the turnover rate and should generally be done at least once every 10 hours.
  • Find the flow rate of your pool. Since so much water can pass through your filter per minute. There is a maximum and minimum flow rate for all filters and this is important to know.
  • How much water resistance will the filter offer to your pool? The greater the resistance to water, the faster it will let more water through.
  • The correct filter is one that takes into account the rotation rate depending on the size and amount of water in the pool.
  • Also remember that it is okay to go with a filter that has a capacity that is a little larger than the capacity of your pool.

Why Do Small Pools Need Filters?

Because of pool health.

I am specifically talking about the pool equipment that can be kept healthy by maintaining a certain level of cleanliness. lazy placeholder

This means that the water stays healthy and does not pile up with all kinds of horrible things. The fact that you can not see any dirt in the pool does not mean it is not there.

Cleaning the pool manually is both inefficient and ineffective.

You can certainly try to clean your pool manually. But you will never have enough time, strength or microscopic sight to keep your pool clean enough.

So what do you do?

This is where filters and pumping systems come to the rescue.

You need to use pool filters to move and purify the water to maintain optimum functionality. lazy placeholder

A filter and pump system is essential to ensure that the chemicals used to maintain your pool are well balanced. If your pool is out of balance or has no filter, bad things can happen. For instance, contaminants and bacteria can quickly form if debris falls into the tank.

A pump pulls the water and pushes it through the filter to clean it and trap the dirt.
Then, the filters eliminate the residues and contaminants that cause the risk of bacterial growth and the hoses return clean water to the pool.

Intensive use of the pool can also cause pool water and chemicals to become unbalanced.

Unbalanced or contaminated water causes deposits on the surface of the pool and possible corrosion of the equipment. This leads to an increase in repair costs and the need to replace equipment.

The Best Small Swimming Pool Filter REVIEWS

Let’s look at the various small pool filters or small pool filter pump systems on the market for your swimming pool.

Below, I present you with the very best filter systems available today. This includes everything good and everything bad that you should know about each product.

I’ll do this by dividing them up into different categories that include:

  • Sand Filters.
  • Cartridge Filters.
  • Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

Sand Filters

A small sand filter for the pool is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a small pool filter that uses specially designed sand. It is the most common and cheapest type of filter. And works by pushing the water in your pool through the sand to remove all dirt and particles. There are some advantages and disadvantages of having a small sand filter for the pool.

For instance, they are easier to use and relatively economic compared to other filter types.

It requires little maintenance and takes an average of 8 to 10 years before it needs replacing.

Unfortunately, it will reduce the water capacity of the pool because it reduces the water level as it cleans.

Intex 16in Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump For Raised Pools

This is a low cost pump and filter system that keeps water clean and free of growth like algae, not to mention dirt and particles. It has an indicator that is color-coded making it easy to read. lazy placeholderThere is also a basket filter built-in and the maximum capacity of the pool is 19,600 gallons. This is good enough to prevent leaves and large debris from clogging the filter.

I recommend you install the system outside a housing unit to avoid restricting air circulation. However, you can install a shield over it to protect it from the sun’s rays.

Red CrossThe Bad
  • The sides are two wide and sometimes they can cause the sand to seep into the pool.
  • You must obtain very specific sand cartridges that is only sold through the manufacturer. lazy placeholder
Green Plus ArrowThe Good
  • Built-in RCCB (Residual Current Circuit Breakers), which is a great safety feature.
  • It has a system flow rate of 2400 gallons per hour.
  • There is a menu control valve that allows you to filter, backwash, rinse, recirculate, drain and close the system.
  • Contains two connection hoses.
  • Works with chlorine and salt water pools.

Hayward S166T92S Pro Series 16-In Top-Mount Sand Filter Pool Pump

Although on the more expensive side, this top mount series offers everything.

A complete full flow power pump, filter and base system. The tank is a perfect all-weather tank with a multi-way valve. The combination of pump and filter reduces the cost of energy of the pump because it can work less frequently.

Suitable for all weather conditions. The drainage of sand and water is large, so you can condition or repair it quickly. The valve provides maximum flow with low pressure drop and seven positions. The included clamp allows a 360 degree rotation so installation is very simple.

Red CrossThe Bad
  • Only 120V without adaptation for 240V.
  • The pump is very noisy and has an unfavorable angle with the filter. This can cause backwash in the pool.
  • The connections are loose and can lead to leaks.
  • The 16-inch model may not be powerful enough for pools with more than a 10,000 gallon capacity.

Green Plus Arrow

The Good
  • It is equipped with a self-cleaning low drain.
  • Resistant to corrosion.
  • Has an upper diffuser and 360 degree slots for an even distribution of water through the sand filter. This let’s it obtain clean water and a balanced flow.
  • The clamp allows a 360 degree turn and makes installation very easy.
  • Compatible with most pool types.
  • The multi-port valve has position to control the filters, backwash, re-circulation, rinse etc.

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Cartridge Filters

Cartridge filters are small swimming pool filters and have the same characteristics as sand filters. But they filter twice as much dirt and smaller particles.

Unlike the sand filter, a cartridge filter is removable and easy to clean. lazy placeholderSo they cost less to operate because they use lower pumping pressure. But are more expensive to buy.

There are also lower costs associated with the purchase of pool cleaning chemicals. Remember that sand filters destroy the balance of your pool water? This is because when you remove the waste and the water returns to the pool, you lose part of your water and any chemical from the pool.

However, due to the way cartridge filters work, you will lose less water and associated chemicals in the pool as there is no backwash. The water is simply filtered and returned to the pool through the same source.

Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter and Pump

This filter and pump is very affordable, easy to clean, maintain and has a good flow. I always recommend replacing the pump that comes with the pool with one that has better performance. Based on the reviews, this device seems to do that. The Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge has a system flow rate of 1,180 gallons per hour.

Red CrossThe Bad
  • The cartridge needs frequent replacing. lazy placeholder
  • It does not come with piston valves and the cost is almost as much as the pump.
  • The pump makes a very loud sound while running.
  • Requires an adapter if you want to update the pump.
  • You can only use it in small pools above ground.
  • Some people have reported that the pump burns quickly or loses power.
Green Plus ArrowThe Good
  • Comes with additional cartridge and two hoses.
  • It has automatic pre-set timers from two to eight hours.lazy placeholder
  • Double insulated pump for longevity.
  • It has a built-in timer to set the operation times.

Waterway BS5205160-6S Blue Star Clearwater II Cartridge Filter System

This complete “Blue Star” system is specifically built for small pools.lazy placeholder

Therefore getting this pool filter means a lot of benefits for small pool owners. For instance, you do not have to look for additional components because everything you need is included in the pack.

The pump is a powerful 1.5-hp pump. The system even contains a leaf strainer and a three-foot long cable with a three-foot tip.

Red CrossThe Bad
  • The pump motor is very noisy. So it is best if you are away or doing something that does not require rest or silence.
  • The 1.5 hp pump may not be strong enough and may need to be replaced.
  • There have been some complaints that it does not develop enough pressure for adequate pumping.
Green Plus ArrowThe Good
  • Complete pump and filter system.lazy placeholder
  • It contains all hoses, adapters, converters and connectors.
  • Ideal for both surface pools and small pools.

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Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

DE filters are unique small swimming pool filters. They contain a very fine and natural powder that consists of fossil remains of diatoms, which are a kind of algae.

The dust is so fine that it filters almost everything in the pool water.

It is also relatively expensive but many believe it is the best type of pool filter as it is a more practical form of filtration than others.

Because of the way the filter works, you need to add powder yourself and then remove it if it needs replacing. The good thing is that on average, they last about ten years. Filter parts need regular soaking to remove limescale. But a special cleaner is available for this.

Key facts about DE Small Swimming Pool Filters:

  • DE filters are ideal for the person who wants a completely natural system.
  • They are more expensive but seen as the best type of filter on the market.
  • It filters most waste and particles from pool water.
  • This type of filter is often called the most durable filter available.

Hayward EC50AC Perflex Extended-Cycle D.E. Filter

This DE filter is a very versatile type that can be used both indoors and out. It has a filter capacity of 30,000 gallons.lazy placeholder

Being a DE filter, it gives you the most complete cleaning experience, as it also cleans things you do not see.

Red CrossThe Bad
  • Unfortunately, a pump is not included and you need at least 1.5 horsepower.
  • There are also no instructions in the package. So you need to look for installation and maintenance instructions online.
Green Plus ArrowThe Good
  • You can use it with an oval basin of 28-33 feet and a round sink of 18-39 feet.
  • The stopper grip cleans the dirt hoses and filter dust.
  • It is a one-piece filter molded by injection that prevents corrosion.lazy placeholder
  • Can be used in almost all ground pools.
  • The integral check valve prevents stops water flowing when the pump is off. This is a great safety feature.
  • The filters can last for years.

Hayward EC50C92S Perflex Extended-Cycle 1-Horsepower D.E. Filter System

This DE filtration system is a powerful and complete system designed for use in small pools. It includes a 1.5 PS Power Flo matrix pump for above-ground pools.

It also includes two six-foot hoses, hose adapters and clamps as well as the necessary instructions for easy, worry-free installation.

The capacity is 3,000 gallons per hour.

Red CrossThe Bad
  • Pumping this filter is the only way to guarantee backwash. Therefore, you must maintain the pace manually to make sure that your chemicals circulate correctly.
Green Plus ArrowThe Good
  • Easy installation.
  • Corrosion-free, injection molded and easy to use in the winter.
  • Designed for continuous use.See Customer Reviews Button
  • The most recent model has a secondary skimmer basket to catch more dirt.
  • Includes two pumps for use in pools above and on the ground.
  • Pump timer function available on the device.
  • Option for chlorine supply.

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Best Small Swimming Pool Filters?

Although small pools are less expensive and require less labor than larger pools, they still need care and on-going maintenance.

Mr Water Geek Thinking

Getting good quality small swimming pool filters (and pumps) will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your pool.

Doing this means a longer lifespan of the product and fewer maintenance issues.mrwatergeek winner badge

This article gives you a clear idea of the filters available on the market today.

But I don’t just give you all the best features, I also explain their flaws. This means you can make a better informed choice.

So which one is the Best small swimming pool filter?

lazy placeholderPersonally, my favorite small pool filter is the Hayward EC50C92S. It is a good quality product that works efficiently and is made with durable materials.

You really can’t go wrong with its worry-free installation combined with the pumping power of 3,000 gallons per hour.


  1. I’m really hung up on this point. What do you mean under Sand Filters when you state, “Unfortunately, it will reduce the water capacity of the pool because it reduces the water level as it cleans.” Are you saying the pool level needs to be kept less high compared to other filter types? Or that when you backflush the system you end up with less water in the system> Or something im not quite understanding? Thank you.

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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.