Maintaining clean and clear water in your above-ground pool is essential for a safe and enjoyable swimming experience. One of the most popular and effective ways to achieve this is by using a sand filter.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore what above-ground pool sand filters are and how they function, and present our top three picks and overall recommendation for ensuring your pool water remains sparkling clean.

Above Ground Pool Sand Filters

What is an Above Ground Pool Sand Filter?

An above ground pool sand filter is a type of pool filtration system that uses specialized sand to remove dirt, debris, and other contaminants from your pool water. As water is pumped from the pool and through the filter, the sand traps and filters out impurities, allowing clean water to return to the pool.

Sand filters are known for their efficiency, durability, and low maintenance requirements, making them a top choice among above ground pool owners.

How Above Ground Pool Sand Filters Function

Above ground pool sand filters operate using a straightforward but highly effective process:

  1. Water Circulation: Your pool pump draws water from the pool and pushes it through the sand filter.
  2. Filtration: As water enters the filter tank, it is evenly distributed over the bed of sand. The sand captures dirt, debris, and microscopic particles as small as 20-40 microns.
  3. Water Return: Clean, filtered water is returned to the pool through the return jets, ensuring continuous circulation and filtration.

As the sand in the filter becomes clogged with trapped contaminants over time, its efficiency decreases. To maintain optimal performance, sand filters require regular backwashing, which involves reversing the water flow to flush out the accumulated debris.

Top 3 Above Ground Pool Sand Filters

When selecting an above ground pool sand filter, consider factors such as pool size, filtration rate, ease of installation, and brand reputation. Here are our top 3 recommendations:

Here are the updated top 3 above ground pool sand filters with a new number 1 choice:

Top 3 Above Ground Pool Sand Filters

When selecting an above ground pool sand filter, consider factors such as pool size, filtration rate, ease of installation, and brand reputation. Here are our top 3 recommendations:

1. Bestway Flowclear Sand Filter Pump

The Bestway Flowclear Sand Filter Pump is our new top pick for above ground pools. It features a durable polyethylene tank, user-friendly 6-position valve, and a built-in safety shut-off valve for added protection.

Key Features:

  • Suitable for pools up to 15,100 gallons
  • 14-inch tank with 0.6 HP pump
  • Easy to install and operate
  • Efficient filtration and backwashing

2. FunSicle Pool Sand Filter System

The FunSicle Pool Sand Filter System is a reliable choice for above ground pools. It features a corrosion-resistant tank, 4-position multiport valve, and a clear sight glass for monitoring sand condition.

Key Features:

  • Suitable for pools up to 12,000 gallons
  • 13-inch tank with 0.5 HP pump
  • Durable, weather-resistant construction
  • Efficient and dependable filtration

3. STA-RITE Cristal-Flo T-100 Pool Sand Filter

The STA-RITE Cristal-Flo T-100 Pool Sand Filter is a high-performance option designed for above ground pools. It boasts a rugged thermoplastic tank, easy-to-use 6-position valve, and a large filtration area for superior water clarity.

Key Features:

  • Suitable for pools up to 20,000 gallons
  • 19-inch tank with 1 HP pump compatibility
  • Durable, corrosion-resistant construction
  • Efficient and reliable filtration

Our Overall Pick: Bestway Flowclear Sand Filter Pump

After evaluating factors such as performance, versatility, and value, our new overall recommendation for above ground pool sand filters is the Bestway Flowclear Sand Filter Pump. This filter offers an excellent combination of efficiency, durability, and user-friendly features, making it a top choice for most above ground pool owners.

The Bestway Flowclear Sand Filter Pump is compatible with a wide range of pool sizes, up to 15,100 gallons, and features a 14-inch tank with a 0.6 HP pump for effective filtration. The 6-position valve simplifies operation and maintenance, while the built-in safety shut-off valve provides an extra layer of protection.

With its reliable performance and competitive price point, the Bestway Flowclear Sand Filter Pump is our top pick for maintaining clean, clear, and inviting above ground pool water.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the lifespan of sand in an above ground pool filter?

With proper maintenance, the sand in an above ground pool filter typically lasts 5-7 years. However, if you notice a decrease in filtration efficiency or increased pressure, even after backwashing, it may be time to replace the sand.

How do I know if my above ground pool sand filter needs backwashing?

It’s recommended to backwash your sand filter when the pressure gauge reads 8-10 psi above the normal operating pressure. This usually occurs every 1-2 weeks, depending on pool usage and environmental factors. Backwashing helps remove accumulated debris and maintains the filter’s efficiency.

Is it possible to use alternative filter media instead of sand in my above ground pool filter?

Some alternative filter media options include glass media, zeolite, and recycled crushed glass. These media types can offer improved filtration, water clarity, and extended periods between backwashing. However, always consult your filter’s owner’s manual or a pool professional before making any changes to ensure compatibility.

Can I use my above ground pool while the sand filter is running?

Yes, using your above ground pool while the sand filter is running is safe and recommended. The filter is designed to operate continuously, circulating and cleaning the water while you swim. Running the filter for at least 8-12 hours daily, or longer during heavy usage, helps maintain optimal water quality.

How do I properly maintain above ground pool sand filters?

To keep your above ground pool sand filter in top condition, follow these maintenance tips:

    • Backwash the filter regularly, as indicated by the pressure gauge or every 1-2 weeks.
    • Inspect the sand filter for leaks, cracks, or damage, and repair or replace components as needed.
    • Monitor the sand level and top off or replace the sand as necessary.
    • Clean the skimmer and pump baskets regularly to prevent debris from entering the filter.
    • Winterize the sand filter properly before storing it for the off-season.

By following these guidelines and the manufacturer’s instructions, you can ensure your above ground pool sand filter remains efficient and reliable for years.

Conclusion

Above ground pool sand filters are a popular and effective choice for maintaining clean and clear pool water. By understanding how sand filters work and considering our top 3 picks and overall recommendation, you can make a well-informed decision when selecting the best filter for your above ground pool.

Remember to perform regular maintenance, such as backwashing, monitoring sand condition, and replacing sand as needed to keep your sand filter functioning optimally. With the right sand filter and proper care, you can enjoy a pristine pool and a carefree swimming experience throughout the season.