The Top Sand Filter for Above Ground Pool

It seemed quite intriguing to us that why people are shifting to sand filters for their pool filtration system.

To find out the plausible reason for it, we went through all the features, customer experiences, and ratings. And from that, we can tell that sand filters surpass D.E or other filtration systems in terms of maintenance. You will only need to exchange the filter once in 5 years, and it’s energy-efficient as well.

But how do you determine the best sand filters for above-ground pools? No worries. We have looked into it thoroughly and handpicked 6 top-rated ones to suffice your various needs.

Our Top List of Sand Filter for Your Above Ground Pool

We have spent an entire week on this topic to extract the best ones with maximum positive feedback about the overall service. Let’s get to the reviews one by one!

#1: Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools

When you want to ensure a significant outcome and energy-efficient cleaning, sand filters always prevail. Not just any ordinary ones but instead something competent with the legacy of distributing high performance.

In this case, the Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter merges all your expectations. It produces a 3000 gallon per hour pump flow rate—no wonder it’s suitable for any above-ground pools which are 16 ft and above.

Moreover, you will have a 24-hour built-in timer for automatic operation and hassle-free cleaning.It features six functions to ensure sparkling water on an above-ground level surface.

The filter, backwash, rinse, re-circulate, drain and close – all six filtration systems work in harmony to clean a minimum of 5,500 gallons to a maximum of 19600 gallons of pool size or water capacity.

Furthermore, all the air pollutants, molds, and dust particles are ideally sanitized through the layers of sand.

After removing the bad stuff from your pool water, it circulates the water back to the pool. On top of that, you will get a strainer basket to facilitate effective pre-filtering.

Apart from the 25 ft. power cord and water pressure control for backwashing, there are a few additional features, such as the 38mm connector hoses. It will allow you to soak in the optimum amount of water for filtration to ensure a faster cleaning session.

Here the sand capacity is 55kgs which is more than the standard amount needed for a sand filter system. Undoubtedly, this above-ground pool filter traps all the small to large particles from the pool and ensures returning clean and sanitized water effortlessly.


  • Effortless installation
  • High-performance and energy-efficient
  • Automatic 24-hour pool timer
  • Ideal for above-ground pools
  • No maintenance is needed except sand replacement every 5 years


  • Might require additional adapters

#2: Hayward S244T ProSeries Sand Filter, 24-Inch, Top-Mount

Contrary to popular opinions, Hayward’s Top-Mount Sand Filter exhibits impeccable performance. The fact that most people believe that Hayward works best for catering to in-ground filtration might perplex you.

Because in reality, the S244T Pro series stands out amongst the top-rated sand filters due to its all-weather suitability and corrosion resistance. This above-ground pool filter arrives with a 1-1/2-inch VariFlo control valve.

Now, if you want swift repairing or quick winterizing, then the pressure draining feature will come in handy. Unlike most expensive sand filters, this one ensures maximum pressure drainage.

On top of that, the full-flow technology is perfectly balanced and determined. Hence the machine gets the proper amount of energy it needs.No wonders it saves up your overall energy costs while expanding life expectancy.

See, questions were raised in the past about its durability, but looking at the energy efficiency, we believe that if it’s used with proper guidelines, it’ll last longer.

Also, the fact that this sand filter is crafted with corrosion-proof materials is another testament to it being durable as well as weather compatible.

In addition, this sand filter offers reinforced water distribution over every square inch of sand, thanks to the integral top diffuser, manual cleaning underdrain, and 360-degree slotted laterals.

In conclusion, the detailed backwashing and enhanced full-flow technology assure crystal clear pool water and energy efficiency consecutively.

Thus, bringing this beast home for your above-ground pool won’t be a bad idea, especially if the weather is mostly cold.


  • Balanced backwashing
  • Effortless assembly
  • All-weather suitability
  • Easy drainage
  • Energy-efficient
  • Ideal for cold weather sand filtration       


  • The filter might crack over time

#3: Intex Krystal Clear 2150 GPH Saltwater System with Electrocatalytic Oxidation

If you have an above-ground pool in your backyard which has around 4800-gallon capacity, then IntexKrystal Clear 2150 GPH can render effective cleaning. In fact, this sand filter has a maximum capacity of sanitizing 15000 gallons of above-ground pools.

The sturdy filter pump is associated with hydro aeration technology that nourishes the overall circulation and filtration process. In addition, it ensures a see-through water clarity and enhanced negative ions at the water surface. Just so you know, negative ions are beneficial to our health.

Here, this sand filter operates on 110-120V with GFCI and offers a pump flow rate of 2650 GPH (gallon per hour) and a system flow rate of 2150 GPH. The GPH rate depicts how many hours you can run your sand pump in a day.

If you have a pool with a 4800-gallon water capacity, then having the 2650 GPH rate is more than enough given the math (total water gallons divided by the hours your pool pump runs per day).

No wonder why the pump here incorporates a 24-hour timer function to provide improved expediency while sustaining your above-ground pool. Furthermore, this sand filter offers a 6-way filter valve –making the entire filtration process easier than most standard cartridge systems.

You will have access to backwash, rinse, re-circulate, drain, filter, and close the system. All of them are backed by the built-in24-hour timer. In sum, the durable basket strainer, streamlined water quality, and rapid operation can appease your various necessities.


  • Built to last
  • Versatile cleaning with increased negative ions
  • Built-in24-hour timer
  • Easy to use
  • Ensures quick operation 


  • Weighs too much, thus reducing mobility
  • Noisy      

#4: Best Choice Products Pro 2400GPH 13″ Sand Filter

Are you hoping for a summertime pool party? But what if your pool water is all moldy and dirty? Rejoice! Best Choice presents above-ground sand filters with a 10,000-gallon maximum pool size capacity.

It can sanitize the pool water within a few hours, ensuring faster operation and effective cleaning by its powerful filtration facility.

The top-mounted 6-position multiport valve removes all the contaminants from your pool at a speed of 2400 GPH. Besides, the 13 inches thermoplastic tank offers 42 pounds of sand holding capacity.

Moreover, it consists of a pressure gauge and other necessary accessories such as the 4-way valve, 3-prong plug, a system tray, and a connection hose for better water suction. In addition, an electric cable is also included.

Here, the pressure gauge plays a vital role in exhibiting whether the filter pressure is normal or not to ensure a seamless water flow.

On the other hand, the connection hose comes in handy for effortless suction and circulation. Speaking of this, this sand filter incorporates a strainer basket as well to inhibit dirt particles from clogging.

Sometimes, the contaminants take shelter in your pump, and as a result, it fails to deliver proper filtration. To prevent such happenings, having a strainer basket is necessary.

This filter confirms optimum filtration, even performance, and effective backwashing by keeping the sand height exposed to the overall water surface.


  • CSA-certified
  • Impressive suction power
  • Faster cleaning operation
  • User-friendly
  • Cost-effective


  • Replacement parts missing

#5: 4500GPH 19-inch Sand Filter with 1HP Above Ground Swimming Pool Pump

One of the common problems of the sand filter pump is the rattling noise. The faster the pump runs, the more noise it generates that causes discomfort as well as hinders energy efficiency.

If you want to get past this problem and obtain a quiet filtration session, then this above-ground swimming pool pump can do the job.

It is strategically tailored to distribute maximum flow rate, which ensures visible water clarity. All the debris and air pollutants that reside in your pool will be consistently absorbed.

Thanks to the dependable performance, which keeps the water exposed to the overall sand height. Now, let’s talk about the strainer basket of this sand filter. Gladly, it’s one of the largest in its class with an effortless assembly.

You can open it with ease while the quick-lock mechanism ensures sufficient protection. Moreover, the see-through pump lid mitigates your hassles and assures a better swimming experience.

Furthermore, it offers 5-way multi-port filtration for user-friendliness and rapid back-washing.

Well, the overall backwashing performance of this sand filter is noteworthy as it ideally dislodges the trapped residues and flushes them out through the waste line. With the 4500 gallons per hour sand pumping caliber, it reigns over most of the sand filters, given the competitive price.


  • Quiet operation
  • The lightweight pump offers superior portability
  • 175 pounds per hour sand pumping capacity
  • Extremely easy to use
  • A transparent lid facilitates less work and more swimming
  • Affordable


  • The filter leaks
  • Vague installation guide

#6: Blue Wave 22-Inch Sand Filter System with Pump for Above Ground Pools

The best part of this sand filter system is the overall pump construction. It’s crafted with polyethylene which is immune to corrosion and lasts long.

Besides, the flow rate of this above-ground pool filter is enough to deliver clean water quality. You will have a 24,000-gallon turnover capacity within 8 hours due to the 1-1/2 HP motor.

On top of that, the pump ensures energy efficiency and noise-free operation for a prolonged time. It requires 220lbs of sand for optimal functionality, and luckily the assembly is effortless.

Also, the cleaning process becomes relatively easier as you have the extra-large lint and pot. While having all these ingrained attributes, this sand filter falls short when it comes to maintenance.

Throughout our research, we found out that it needs excessive care and time to ensure it doesn’t break. Keeping this thing in mind, we don’t recommend this to pool owners who aren’t willing to invest much labor and time.

Albeit, if you are okay with persistent maintenance, then this can work out for you. Another thing that you should keep in mind is the price. This filter system might not be budget-friendly for you, or in simpler words, it’s quite expensive.

Rationally thinking, if you fail to instill proper maintenance, then it might incur a huge loss. Thus, ensure to consider this part before you install it for your above-ground pool filtration.

However, Blue Wave sand filters are ideal for public swimming pools as it offers high efficiency by minimizing the system cost and a noise-free operation.


  • Powerful motor
  • Easy to install
  • Remains quiet during operation
  • Works for a prolonged period


  • Costly
  • Doesn’t come with sand  

What to Look for Before You Choose One?

It can be extremely exhausting to assess every feature while looking for your above-ground pool filter. Hence, we have outlined an in-depth buying guide where only the important features are highlighted and discussed.

No matter if it’s the first time you are purchasing sand filters or want a replacement, you must consider these crucial facts. It will help you to determine the ideal sand filter for your various needs.

Pool Size

The first thing to take into account is your pool size. You need to know how much water your pool can hold.

Here, the rule of thumb to determine it accurately is that you require one square inch of filter area for every 1000 gallons of water residing in your above-ground pool.

For instance, if you have a pool with 30000 gallons of water holding capacity, then you will need a 30-inch tank. However, if you are still confused, then you can check out the seller’s guidelines to have a more precise idea.

GPH (Gallons Per Hour)

Secondly, before you start the sand filtration process, you need to ensure the overall running duration of the pump in a day.

You can do quick math to obtain a clear insight into the required GPH. Here, take the total volume of water and divide it by the estimated hours for running the pump. The equation will represent the ideal filter you need.

Weather Criticalities

No matter what, the weather around your region will always have its influence over things. For example, when you live in a country where it’s mostly cold or snowing, then your sand pump is more susceptible to corrosion and damage.

In this case, make sure to get a sand pump with a strainer basket, effortless uninstalling, and winterization. Also, it should offer storage convenience.

On the contrary, if you reside in a place where it’s comparatively hot, then there’s no need to worry about corrosion or moisture build-up as long as the pump is made with durable materials. In fact, summer is the best time to enjoy swimming.

Price and Value

Well, buying a sand filter for your above-ground pool is like a perpetual investment. Because just buying it won’t be enough, you have to do proper maintenance such as replacing the sand filters, repairing the important parts, etc.

However, as sand filters only require replacement once every 5-7 years, you will barely need to bear high maintenance costs.

So, it’s one of the most cost-effective filtration systems for your pool. Here, one thing that you need to make sure of is whether the product’s overall maintenance cost is higher than the initial cost or not.

Besides, if the maintenance seeks a lot of money plus the buying price is high, then you better not buy it at all. Because eventually, if you fail to take proper care, it will cause a huge loss.

Types of AboveGround Pool Filters

There are basically three basic types of above-ground pool filters. Such as the D.E, cartridge, and sand. Check out below to see how each of them works.


These filters are some of the most effective ones you will ever come across. As the name suggests, it uses D.E powder that hauls out dust particles as small as 2-4 microns. The diatomaceous earth (D.E.) is a sedimentary rock harmonized with a bunch of small skeletons and microscopic organisms.

It may sound a little gross, but that’s rather a very normal thing that is highly accessible in natural water bodies.

So, when the D.E. is introduced to your pool water system, it starts concealing the filter cloth. Then, as the water penetrates over the filet grid, the diatomaceous particles trap the tiniest residues and contaminants. Once all the dirt particles are captured, the water flow is reversed for cleaning.


The cartridge filter is typically a piece of tubular filtration accessory.

It remains exposed to the water surface or any form of liquid that requires sanitization. These can wipe out pollutants as small as 10-15 microns. The cleaning process of such filters is very straightforward.

You have to install it in the system, and it will filter all the gunk and grimes out when the water passes across it. The reason why some people prefer these filters is because of the ease of use, unlike D.E and sand which need backwashing. So here, the maintenance is easier than in others.


These are some of the most prominent filtration systems for above-ground pools because of their affordability and energy-efficient performance. However, they aren’t as powerful as D.E and cartridges yet able to capture dust particles down to 20 microns.

And no wonder 20-micron is still too tiny for any eye to see. In this filtration process, the sand filter uses natural sand accompanied by silica.

So, when the water penetrates through the sand crossing the sand pump, the sand traps all the debris and small dust particles.

Once the cleaning is done, the sand pump sends back clean water to the pool. If you take care of your sand filter properly, then it can go for years, in fact, more than its life expectancy. Just make sure to backwash them.

Tips for Pool Filter Maintenance

The pool filter is like the kidney to your pool. Hence, taking good care of it is paramount.

Here are some quick and effective tips for sand filter maintenance of above-ground pools. It will help to extend the life expectancy than excepted and deliver effective cleaning every time.

First, gather the necessary tools such as a backwash hose and sand filter cleaner. After getting all the materials in hand, start the maintenance process.

  1. Start backwashing the filter for 4 to 5 minutes to eliminate all the debris.
  2. Now, turn off the pump and turn the valve to Filter.
  3. Detach the filter lid from the pump.
  4. Start pouring sand filter cleaner into the strainer basket.
  5. Alter the lid with a new one.
  6. Now, turn on the pump for approximately 15 seconds.
  7. Wait till the cleaner passes from the pump to the filter.
  8. Switch off the pump and let it rest for a minimum of 8 hours or, for better results, keep it overnight.
  9. For enhanced cleaning, repeat the backwashing process for 5 minutes. It will help to deter the contaminants removed by the filter cleaner.
  10. Now that you are done, put the filter system back on.

It is also recommended to use a good above-ground pool vacuum for cleaning the leaves, dirt, and debris from the bottom or from the surface.

Frequently Asked Questions

What determines the amount of sand needed for a pool filter?

Honestly, it depends on the pool filter you are using. To determine the proper amount of sand you need, you have to look at the pool filter’s owner’s manual. It will inform you of the exact sand requirement.

Usually, these sands are sold in 50lb bags. So, if you are using a sand filter that requires 100 lbs of sand, then buy two bags to meet the standard.

How often should the sand be replaced in a pool filter?

You must know that the sand filtration system needs less cleaning and maintenance of the filtering media. Contrary to D.E and cartridge ones, the sand filter needs to be replaced once every five years.

That’s the standard period for replacement. However, it can vary from one product to another, yet it hovers around 5-6 or 7 at best.

How long should I backwash a sand filter?

Four to five minutes or wait till the water runs clear.

How often do you have to change the sand in a pool filter?

It’s advised to change the sand every three years. However, some customers suggest that changing them every year is beneficial as the sand tends to clog the residues in the tank.

What happens if you don’t backwash your pool?

The sand starts to accumulate in the water when you don’t backwash your pool. As a result, the flow keeps going down, and sand filters continue to clog.

What should be the sand filter size for the 10000-gallon pool sand filter?

For a 10000 Gallon pool, you need at least 1 sq. Ft sand filter. That means when selecting a sand filter, just keep in mind the formula, 1 sq. Ft/10000 Gallon of pool water.

Final Words

Before you start the sand filtration process, ensure whether the process is ideal for the type of pool you have or not.

Depending on the pool water capacity, environment, weather divergence, and yearly cost, including maintenance, you have to choose an ideal sand filter for the above-ground pool.

Our top 6 picks have their individual specialties, and we tried our best to portray it as precisely as possible. We hope the reviews and the buying guide will help you reach a sensible decision.

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