In The Swim Knowledge Pool: Above Ground Pool Filters
Filters for Above Ground Pools
Above ground pool filters are the unsung hero of summertime fun in the sun for anyone with an above ground pool. The above ground filter, used on a daily basis, will trap bacteria and germs, and also pollen, dust, dirt and other contaminants that find their way into your swimming pool. Above ground pool filters use the same technology as in-ground pool filters, in a smaller package and an attractive price point.
ABOVE-GROUND POOL FILTER TYPES:
Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) filters remove very small particles of 2-4 microns. Inexpensive DE filter powder is added through the skimmer, to coat the DE filter grids or Perflex tubes. Every 3-6 weeks, the filter cake is reset with an easy-to-use bump handle, and once or twice per season, the tank is drained, flushed and refilled with fresh DE powder.
Cartridge filters use a pleated polyester cartridge that traps particles down to 10-20 microns in size. Cartridge pool filters for above ground pools have a simple design with very few parts, and also have the lowest resistance level of all filter types. Cleaning is accomplished by removing the filter every 1-4 weeks and hosing clean. Above ground pool cartridge filters include the Raypak Protege and Easy-Clear and the Pentair Clean & Clear.
Sand filters for above ground pools use graded pool filter sand (or alternative media) to trap particles of 20-30 microns. Sand filters may be the easiest to operate, cleaning is accomplished by backwashing the filter every 2-4 weeks. Above ground pool sand filters include the Raypak Protege and VL Series, Pentair Sand Dollar and our smaller Intex and Sandmaster sand filter systems for above ground pools.
How Long Do Pool Filters Last?
Above ground pool filter tanks can last for decades, but the filter media and other internal parts will wear out sooner. DE filter grids or tubes last the longest, perhaps 10 years. Filter cartridges will usually last for 2-4 seasons and filter sand can last for 1-4 years, both depending on how large the filter is in relation to the pool, and also how well the water is maintained, or the condition of the water that the pool filter operates.
Sizing an Above Ground Pool Filter
A larger above ground pool filter has many advantages like longer time between cleanings, faster prevention and clean-up of poor water conditions, and longer lasting filter media. When buying filter systems for above ground pools, it is good practice to buy one or two sizes larger than indicated for your pool size, in gallons. Buy the largest above ground pool filter system you can afford - it's money well spent!
Installing an Above Ground Pool Filter
When buying a complete above ground pump and filter system, an installation kit is included which consists of a base, hoses, adapters and hardware. When joining together a separately purchased pump and filter, our above ground plumbing kit can be used, or find the connectors needed on our filter hoses and clamps page. After connecting the pool suction and return lines, flood the pump with water and plug into a grounded outlet to start the circulation.