Above ground pools tend to be seasonal pools, torn down at the end of the summer and packed away, while in-ground pools are a permanent feature of the home and often kept in use as long as possible.
The above ground pool pump differs from the pool pumps for in ground pools in several respects. First, the above ground pool pump is often moved to and from storage along with the pool, while other pool pumps are fixed in one location. Secondly, in ground pool pumps tend to be mechanically and electrically permanently connected to the house and the in ground pool. The above ground pool pump may sit by the side of the pool to pump water, be attached to the side of the pool or be connected to it via flexible hoses – it isn’t a permanent fixture and neither are its connections. The side benefit of this arrangement is that you can move the pump to better position or change the hoses with ease.
For these reasons, above ground pool pumps need to be easily moved around, just as easily set up whether for each season or parts swapped out for maintenance, and, most importantly, still meet the water flow needs of the pool and the swimmers.
1. Pentair 340039 SuperFlo High Performance Single Speed Pool Pump
Like many single speed pool pumps, it has a simple design that puts out significant power for a lower price.
This unit is heavier duty than many of its rivals. It has a see through lid to make inspections simple. It comes with an oversized strainer basket so that it doesn’t need to be cleaned very often. The Pentair SuperFlo is an excellent choice for those who don’t want to have to spend as much time on maintenance and inspections of the pool pump. The downside of this unit is that it periodically leaks due to its design, especially from the seal plate between the pump and motor. Conversely, it primes quickly.
2. Hayward Power-Flo LX Series 1 Above-Ground Pool Pump Model SP1580X15
This one and a half horsepower above ground pool pump comes with the necessary power cord to run. It uses a standard power plug, so you can plug this pool pump in to a standard wall outlet anywhere outside or even through a window, allowing you to power a pool pump for an above ground pool even if you lack industrial grade wiring necessary for some pool pumps.
You can see when the strainer basket needs to be cleaned. The unit is compact, readily moved and has a drain plug so it is easy to lift and drain whether for maintenance or storage. However, to drain it, you have to unhook all the pipes and manually dump it out the small drain hole, so draining it for storage and maintenance takes some manual effort. This isn’t bad since it only weighs twenty pounds. Conversely, the lid for the skimmer basket is very easy to access and remove. Cleaning the skimmer is not hard.
One feature some find annoying is the fact that it is only turns off when you unplug it. You can’t turn it off when it is plugged in.
It is an affordable pool pump, but the cost to repair it when it fails is expensive, often more than the cost of a replacement pool pump on sale. It doesn’t last as long as some of its rivals, since it isn’t well sealed against water, so it will only last three or four seasons.
This is the ideal above ground pool pump for setting up anywhere in the yard with a minimum of equipment, even a pool set up at the summer cabin and connected via a standard wall outlet.
3. Doheny’s Replacement Pool Pump for Above Ground Pools
Doheny’s pool pump stands out for its affordability. This above ground pool pump puts out one and a half horsepower, as much as the others on this list. It comes with a six foot cord, but you will need an extension cord for most applications. Be careful of the connectors, because they don’t fit with all filters and hoses. It takes a while to prime. It pulls a lot of power when it starts up, which may trip a breaker if you try to connect it to some power sources.
Like the Hayward Power-Flo, if it is plugged in, it is on. If you want to turn it off, unplug it unless you have an on/off switch on the extension cord.
Sometimes you get what you pay for, so this unit isn’t durable. If you drop it, you’ll break it. Getting the unit serviced is a challenge, but it is so cheap you can easily afford a replacement. Unlike the Hayward above ground pool pump, there aren’t regular user complaints about leaks.
Like its name suggests, this is a good cheap replacement pump for finishing out the season when your more expensive pool pump goes kaput. Just make sure it fits with your electrical system and filtration system or you’re wasting your money.
4. Blue Wave Maxi Pump for Above Ground Pools Model NE6171B
This pump is self priming, an invaluable trait for those who hate to wait for the pump to actually get going. The strainer baskets have decent capacity but aren’t as durable as some of the other brands on this list. Its 74 GPM flow rate is greater than the flow rate of some other above ground pool pumps with the same horsepower; in some cases, you can both filter the water and run a skimmer on it, depending on the turnover time you need for the pool pump.
One of the big benefits of this pool pump is that it its both vertical and horizontal discharge configurations and nearly every filter system. This pool pump is a good choice for those who don’t know what type of pool filter they have or may change pool filtration systems at a later date.