You will agree with me, Intex offers some of the best above-ground pool solutions. If you have one, or you are planning to buy one, I recommend you also buy an Intex pool pump – they offer excellent performance just like Intex pools.
But then, pool pumps may be quite technical, especially for starters, so choosing the right one may be quite a hassle. Remember, you have to look at technical factors like pump flow rate, system flow rate, filter type, and so on. Nothing can be as bad as buying a pump that is not compatible with the pool. For that reason, I decided to review the top 3 best Intex pool pumps for above-ground pools so that you get value for your money.
So, without further ado, here are our top 3 picks for the best above-ground pool pumps.
1. Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear – Best Intex Cartridge Pool Pump
If you are looking specifically for a cartridge pool pump, Intex 28633EG is our top choice. It is recommended for use with the 18ft. Easy Set, 18ft. Metal Frame, and 18 by 10ft. oval metal frames.
What I like about it is its filtration efficiency. Remember, this is a cartridge filter and will capture even the smallest particles that sand filters may not. While it may be the best for your family’s health, it will require frequent maintenance.
Besides, it offers more fresh water than sand. You see, cartridge filters are replaced more frequently compared to sand; sand filter systems stay for up to 5 years. In addition to this, the Hydro Aeration Technology that improves water clarity and freshness.
But on the downside, you will be required to replace the filters every two weeks for moderate use and weekly for heavy use. That said, if you are not a DIY enthusiast, or a lady with little handy skills, looking for a pump for the spa, I don’t think this will be a good idea.
The good thing is cleaning it is less frequent courtesy of the sediment flush valve at the bottom. Also, its portability would want to make you a handyman.
I also like the double insulated pump that makes it efficient even in cold weather.
The design too is compact and very friendly. You can easily carry it as it weighs only 19.5 lbs. making it among the best portable pool pumps too.
Regarding performance, this is a 2500 GPH pump designed with GFCI to protect your loved ones from electric shock.
- Filters 10-15 microns
- Energy efficient
- More affordable
- Two-year warranty
- Intensive maintenance
- You need to buy accessories
2. Intex 28645EG Krystal Clear – Sand Filter Pool Pump
If replacing cartridge filters is becoming time-consuming and also, expensive, maybe you should switch to a sand filter pump and the best one today is our list is Intex 28645EG. Retailing at $130, this pump is suitable for medium sized pools from 14 ft. – 16 ft.
But if you want quick action, I’m sorry the 2100 GPH may be too slow for a large pool. But what I like about it is the versatility courtesy of the 6 valve functions.
The Intex 28645EG is recommended for average-sized above ground pools with a capacity of 2,800 gallons to 12,800 gallons. I like the fact that it has a sand filter so being the type who hardly finds time for maintenance, it would best suit me.
This unit also comes with a skimmer basket that captures large particles like leaves and prevents them from reaching the filter. In the autumn when there’s maximum fall foliage, this is when this feature comes in really handy especially if you are in Oregon, Vermont, Maryland, New Hampshire and other areas where there are a lot of trees.
I also like the improved 24-hour timer; remember the Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear has a 12-hour timer. Intex 28645EG also comes with GFCI that is a great safety feature considering the risks of electric shock and besides, it meets the UL/CSA standards.
On the downside, this is not a heavy duty pump and with a 2100 GPH and 1600 GPH pump and system flow rate, it may not be as fast as you’d wish. But for the price, I wouldn’t mind owning it if I had a small pool and time.
- 6 valve functions
- UL/CSA standards
- Built-in GFCI
- Requires little maintenance
- 24 hour timer
- Strainer basket
- Quite slow
3. Intex 56671EG Krystal Clear – Sand Filter Pool Pump
For those who have very large above-ground pools like Intex 28241EH, I would recommend this sand filter pump. It sports a bigger engine and consequently, a 3000 GPH rating enough to handle 16ft. plus above ground pool. It also has the same features as the smaller Intex 28645EG but costs quite expensive.
I have this pump and what I can say, it is real value for money. 3 years since I bought it, it has been very reliable and requires no maintenance at all.
Like earlier said, this pump has been built for performance. It features a 0.75 HP pump motor that delivers up to 3000 GPH when at optimum and also, a 0.59 HP system motor that can deliver a 2450 GPH system flow. I use it on an 18 ft. pool with two cycles daily and every time I feel like swimming, my water is clean and very fresh.
This model also comes with a skimmer so leaves and larger particles won’t reach the filter. I live in Oregon and even before autumn, you will start to see leaves all over. At first, I wasn’t using the skimmer and the impact was instant. The water started becoming discolored and with a funny taste. It is when I realized that a lot of leaves were getting in the filter but the damage was already done. I had to buy more filter sand and attached the skimmer.
That said, remember to attach the skimmer, whether there is leaf fall or not – you just might not be aware what gets in the water while you are away.
On the downside, it’s a little expensive but then, for such a top brand with excellent performance, this shouldn’t be an issue. Also, it’s very bulky – you will actually need 50 kg of sand.
- 6 valve functions
- Impressive performance
- UL/CSA standards
- Built-in GFCI
- Requires little maintenance
- 24-hour timer
- Strainer basket
- Quite expensive
- Quite bulky
Buying Guide – Read this before buying an above-ground pool pump
Now that we have given you our 3 best picks, it’s time we tell you a few things about buying pool pumps. Remember, it is important to always know how to choose a product, not relying on reviews only. So, before we go further, we need to look at Intex as a brand and see if it’s a top brand as most people say.
Excellent performance – You can always trust Intex when it comes to performance. The company invests in R&D to be a market leader in innovation. Looking at the product ratings, you can easily tell that it is indeed the best.
Excellent aftersales – What if your pool has a defect? What if you don’t manage to install it? All these are common problems for new buyers. The good thing is that Intex has a great customer support team ready to help guide you. Above all, the warranty is genuine and you will be sorted in less than 3 working days. This sounds great bearing in mind there are a lot of brands that are not honest with their warranty.
Value for money – I have always trusted Intex and so far, I can say that it is one brand that will give you value for money. It comes with the best in class features and you will get a suitable pump without breaking the bank. Considering the performance and durability, that is real value for money.
Pool pumps and energy efficiency
With the rising awareness and even restrictions regarding energy efficiency, pool pumps have been on the spot in light of energy efficiency. This is because they run all day and considering almost every household has a pool, that’s a strain on our gross energy consumption so there’s need for it to be checked. In states like California, you must use an energy efficient.
But then, what’s an energy efficient motor. Basically, this debate revolves around the speed settings. There are tasks that require little power while others require high power. So, it is perceived to be wastage of energy when you use high power for small tasks and so single speed pool pumps are targeted here.
GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)
I know summer is a good time to spend most of the time in your pool but do you know the dangers you are susceptible to when in the pool water?
One of them is electric shock and statistics show that fortunately, Intex builds their pumps with a technology called GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter). This technology monitors the electricity flow in the circuitry and in the event there is a small surge, it will automatically switch off the current. Considering the increased cases of pool electrocution, it would be a caring idea to buy an Intex pool pump just to make sure your family is safe always.
Sand filters vs. Cartridge filters
I know by now, you are not sure whether to go for sand filters or cartridge filters. There has always been the debate of sand vs. cartridge when it comes to pool filters and in this segment, we want to put the matter to rest.
Sand filters – This is a filter system made out of special sand which filters any debris that may be in the water. I like sand filters because they require very little maintenance and one you replace the sand filter, you can go for 5 years before you replace it again.
Cartridge filters – On the other hand, cartridge filters are more efficient and will capture smaller particles. Sand is known to catch particles as small 20-40 microns but when it comes to cartridge filters, the larger surface ensures they catch particles as small as 10-15 microns. But then, you need to find the time and a few bucks to carry out the frequent maintenance and replacements. When buying, it is important to know the size of filter you need. Look out for the filter type; often defined in letters.
Factors to consider before buying an above-ground pool pump
Now, let’s discuss a little bit about what you need to consider before buying a pool pump. Yes, you have settled on Intex, a top brand but still, there are other important aspects to look at. So, without wasting more time, here are important considerations when buying Intex pool pumps.
1. Above-ground or in-ground?
This is another hard question you will need to ask yourself. Where will your pool be installed? You have to know that in-ground pools are permanent, durable and more expensive. On the other hand, above-ground pools are portable, easy to install and cheaper.
2. Plugged in vs. in-wired pump
There are two types of pumps you can choose from depending on their power orientation. We have plug-in and hard-wired pumps. Hard-wired pumps can be easily hardwired directly to the power line while plug-in pumps use inlines to get power.
The speed of the pool pump greatly determines the time it will take to fill the pool. If you have less leisure time, I recommend that you look for a pump with high speed. In the market, you will find a variety of pumps with different speeds.
For starters, most pool pumps around are single speed and these ones revolve in one speed depending on the hp. On the other hand, dual speed pumps have low and high while variable speed pumps have more than one setting. But note that, in as much as single speed pumps are popular, they have been prohibited in some states like California. This is an energy efficient single speed pump but Title 20 still puts it out of California just because it’s a single speed – Title 20 Law requires two speed or variable speed.
How to calculate the right GPH
I know it may be such a tall order to work your way out when finding the right GPH. To make things easy and straightforward for you, here’s how you calculate the correct GPH when buying pool pumps.
4. Size of pool
You will also realize that these pumps can handle certain pump capacities.
I had to trade my first two pumps because they were too small for my pool. Since then, I learned the lesson; make sure it has enough power. On the other hand, it may also be an unwise idea to spend too much on a powerful motor when you have a small pool.
To help you choose your perfect pool size, the below tables will guide you.
Pool size in gallons
Turnover in hours
Flow rate in gpm
5. Sand or cartridge filter
As we discussed earlier, we have sand and cartridge filters. You must know the pros and cons of each before settling on any pump.
If you want easy maintenance, get a sand filter pump like Intex 28645EG Krystal Clear and for a more efficient filtration, cartridge filter pumps like Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear and Intex 28635EG Krystal Clear are the best. Also importantly, check on the availability of each and also, mind the cost of replacement when weighing in between the two.
If you have an Intex above ground pool, then it will be a great idea to buy an Intex pump for compatibility. Also, if you have any other similar model from another brand, Intex pumps will also serve you well.
That said, get any of the above pool pumps and remember to carefully analyze compatibility before checking out.