How To Choose Above Ground Pool Pumps

The pool pump is the main part of your above ground pool; it ensures your water stays healthy by moving it through your filter and chlorinator. Having the wrong pump can mean your pool water will get cloudy, green, and nasty. In this guide, we'll walk you through on how to size your above ground pool pump.

1. Sizing above ground pool pumps is much simpler than their inground counterparts. Above ground pool pumps are generally below the waterline thereby gravity fed, with minimal plumbing between it and its suction ports. The simplicity the pool’s plumbing allows you to size the pump by pool size alone (most times.)

2. Round Pools: The chart shows the normal manufacturer pump sizing recommendations for pool sizes. The horsepower overlaps on the “tweener” sized pools 15’ is a small to medium, and 27’ is medium to large.


  • ¾ Horsepower: 8’ to 15’ Round
  • 1 Horsepower: 15’ to 24’ Round
  • 1-1/2 Horsepower: 24’ to 36’ Round

3. Oval Pools: Similar to the round pools, the horsepower recommendations overlap for some models. If your pool falls in one of these overlap areas, then consider how much swimmer traffic you expect. Light to moderately used pools, choose the lower HP, for higher swimmer loads, choose the step up.


  • ¾ Horsepower: 12’ X 17’ to 12’ X 24’
  • 1 Horsepower: 12’ X 24’ to 15’ X 27’
  • 1-1/2 Horsepower: 15’ X 27’ to 18’ X 33’

4. Reasons to step up horsepower: Longer than standard plumbing lines and/or pool accessories may require you to make the jump to the next highest horsepower to ensure proper flow rates. Common causes for larger pumps

  • Suction line from the skimmer to pump is longer than 15-feet
  • You’re planning to use a suction cleaner, e.g. the Hayward Navigator, The Pool Cleaner, and Kreepy Krauly
  • Adding solar panels, especially ones mounted on roofs or fences increase the strain on the pump, requiring extra HP oomph

If you have any other questions about pool and spa products please do let us know - we are here to help!

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