What Size Pump Do I Need for My Above Ground Pool

The correct-sized pump will keep the water running while ensuring that it doesn’t become a breeding field for bacteria. To reap the maximum benefits of a pump, it’s essential to have an ideal pump for your pool. You may ask, ‘how do I decide whether the size is ideal or not?’ Worry not, because in this article we will be catering to all your doubts.

The Importance of Having a Proper-Sized Pump

What Size Pump Do I Need for My Above Ground Pool 2Why is the pump size so important? This is another question that many pool owners may be having. You are thinking of picking the one that has a high GPH or GPM, but that’s not the case always. Just like the pool heater sizing, choosing the right-sized pool pump is essential for top-notch performance.

For example, If you are picking a low-powered pump, it will be ineffective in moving the water. This can induce bacteria growth in your swimming pool.  This will make your above ground pool more unhygienic and unsanitary. A weak pump can result in a stagnant swimming pool, leading to a chemical imbalance.

On the flip side, a pool with an overtly big pump can result in a waste of energy. This is going to hurt the longevity of your pump and your electricity bills. The pump may not be able to deliver the expected results. The right pump size will be good for your wallet as well as your pool.

Things to Consider in a Pump for an Above Ground Pool

If you think that picking a pool pump is an easy task, then you indeed have never shopped for one. Buying a pool pump requires getting technical and making some serious calculations. When it comes to the above ground pool, picking a pump and a pool heater is similar.

To cut the pain from the process, we’ve curated a detailed guide that will help you determine the right pump size. You must consider all these factors to find the best match for your pool. Let’s go ahead and help you find the right pump.

The Volume of the Pool

This is the first and foremost factor that you should consider while picking the size of your pump. You have to see how many gallons of water is your above-ground pool is holding. The depth, shape, and size of the pool also have a considerable effect on this. Many online calculators will help you to analyze the total volume of your pool.

These calculators will eliminate the guesswork, and you’ll have accurate numbers. For the sake of better understanding, let’s consider a pool of 32,000 gallons. As we move ahead, we will be using this example to explain to you all about the right pump size.

Gallons Per Hour

What Size Pump Do I Need for My Above Ground Pool 3Once you have calculated the total volume of the above-ground pool, you need to determine GPH or gallons per hour. This is a critical aspect while picking up a pump for an above ground pool. This will determine the total volume of pool water that will be pumping through the filters within an hour.

Let’s go back to the 32,000-gallon pool example we took earlier. If the total volume is 32,000 gallons and you divide it by 8, then you get 4,000. You should know that most pumps work according to the gallons per minute (GPM) and not GPH. In the example given above, we have to divide the GPH by 60.

After all the calculations, the optimal GPM for a pump will be approximately 65 GPM. We are dividing the total volume by eight as it’s the turnover time. This range is variable, and you may also have to divide it by ten instead of eight.

The Correct Pool Pump

Now that you are over with all the calculations, the moment for choosing the right pump is finally here. You have to refer to all the technical specifications stated by the manufacturer. You can also check the table below to glance at the right pump size for your above ground pool.

Pool Size (US) Turnover Flow Rate
18,000 Gallons 8 hours 38 GPM
18,000 Gallons 10 hours 30 GPM
24,000 Gallons 8 hours 50 GPM
24,000 Gallons 10 hours 40 GPM
35,000 Gallons 8 hours 73 GPM
35,000 Gallons 10 hours 58 GPM

Measuring the Feet of Head

If you are confused about the pump size for your ground pool, you can refer to the chart mentioned above. That chart will answer most of your doubts about the ideal pump size for above ground pools. However, if you are willing to go more technical, you can also consider feet of head.

The feet of the head is the total resistance to the water flow. This implied the average length taken by skimmer to get to your above ground pool. For pools that have multiple skimmers, you will require to draw out an average. The foot of the head is an unnecessary aspect; hence you can find the right pump size with the above table.

What Size Pump Do I Need for My Above Ground Pool 4


1.    How do I size a pump for an above ground pool?

If you have a 35,000-gallon pool with a turnover of eight hours, you will need a pool pump with 73 GPM at least. A 24,000-gallon pool should pick a pump with a 50GPM flowing rate. For different above ground pool capacity, you will require a different size of the pump. The rule of thumb here is the higher the capacity, the more the rate of flow.

2.    What is the correct size pump for a pool of 15,000-gallon?

A 15,000-gallon ground pool is relatively small. Ideally, it would be best if you went for around a 20 GPM pump. A 20-GPM pump power will keep the pool running for at least 24 hours. Don’t make the mistake of buying anything beyond the mentioned size to avoid a lack of performance.

3.    What other factors should I consider while picking the right pump size for my above ground pool?

If you think knowing the capacity of the pool is enough to buy the right pump size, then you’re wrong. Factors such as the shape, swimmer traffic, extra water features affect the functioning of the pump. If you have a lot of swimmers, then a higher flow rate will be much better.

Similarly, extra water features like fountains, waterfalls, and spas require a higher flowing rate. Additionally, the pump should be proportional to the size of the filter. Your pool’s pipe should also be able to handle the flow rate of the pump.

A few people also like to go green with their above ground pool pump. Having a larger pipe will supply more water without consuming a significant amount of power.

Wrapping It up

After reading everything about the above ground pool’s pump size, we hope you no longer have any questions lingering. As stated above, the prime factors such as shape, size, and capacity are important for picking the right pump. Along with the right pump size, you must also have a pool sand filter.

You have to ensure that you’re equipping the right pump size to enjoy the maximum benefits for your above ground pool. We know that taking care of an above-ground pool is not easy, but it’s all worth it. Once your above ground pool has a perfectly paired pump, maintenance and care will be a breeze.

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