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Intex Pool Filter Pump Upgrades: A Buyer's Guide

Is your Intex pool filter a little, shall we say, tired? Intex pools are known as a quality starter pool for the price. However, Intex Fast Set and Frame Set pools often come with filter and pump combos that are a bit on the small side. Of course, this helps keep the prices competitive, but it comes at the cost of efficacy and efficiency. If you've struggled with your Intex pool filter or have considered upgrading your circulation and filtration system, keep reading!

Benefits of a Bigger and Better Pool Filtration System

The benefits of a larger filter system are many. Needless to say, you'll have fewer water problems with over-filtered water than you will with water that isn't filtered enough. Here are just a few of the more specific reasons why it's a good idea to upgrade your above ground pump and filter system to a larger model:

  • A larger filter surface area holds more debris and can go longer between cleanings, saving both time and water.
  • Clear up poor water conditions faster, or prevent them from happening in the first place.
  • Larger pumps make it easier to efficiently vacuum the pool or run an automatic above ground pool cleaner.
  • Greater circulation helps distribute chlorine throughout the pool, keeping the pool clean and algae-free.
  • Larger pumps may not need to run as long each day to circulate the water. Depending on pump efficiency, this may save you money on your electric bill.

Now that we've established some of the benefits, let's get down to some actual equipment recommendations for an Intex pool. Below, we've grouped the pump and filter suggestions according to the type of Intex pool: Inflatable Easy Set, Frame Set, or Ultra Frame.

Intex Easy Set Pool Filter Systems

Easy Set pools come in many sizes, from 8' round all the way up to 24'.

easy set pool

Easy Set pool packages include an integrated pump and filter unit matched to the pool size. Ratings for filters involve gallons per minute (GPM) of water flow. Common sizes include 530, 1,000, 1,500, and 2,500 GPM.

An easy way to upgrade your Easy Set pool filter is to just buy a larger Intex Filter System to increase the water volume per hour. However, they all have the same filter size except for the 2,500 GPM unit, which uses a larger filter cartridge.

To upgrade even further, look at the Intex sand filter systems. For a great price, you can get up to a 16" sand filter coupled with a pump and oversized strainer basket for increased efficiency.

Intex Metal Frame and Prism Frame Pool Filter Systems

Metal Frame and Prism Frame pools are much deeper than the Easy Set pools. With a sturdy frame around the laminated canvas pool shell, this means they can hold much more water. And you guessed it – more water means you need more pump capacity.

hayward ec40 perflex

The 24-foot round Metal Frame pool comes with a 2,500 GPM cartridge filter. It's adequate, but if your pool sees a lot of dirt, debris, swimmers, and sun, you may need something bigger and better.

Depending on the size of your Intex framed pool, you may want to consider a filter and pump package made specifically for above ground pools. From 1/3 HP all the way up to 1.5 HP pumps, they come paired with a sand or cartridge filter to efficiently circulate and filter your pool water.

If you need even greater filtering capacity, the Hayward EC-40 Perflex D.E. (Diatomaceous Earth) filter will make any Intex pool shine like a diamond, with the power of D.E. filtration.

Intex Ultra Frame Pool Filter Systems

Ultra Frame pools need the largest filters, but these pool sets may be sold in the box with one of the smaller filters. While they may do the job, they tend to wear out quickly under the strain of so much water.

Ultra Frame pools can certainly use a 16" Intex sand filter without any issues. But if you have one of the larger Ultra Frame pools, you may be better off using something like the Hayward Pro Series or Pentair Sand Dollar filter and pump systems to maximize filtration efficiency.

hayward xstream

To upgrade to a ridiculous level (which you'll never regret, trust me), look at the Hayward XStream pool filter system. This thing is the real deal, offering industrial-grade equipment for permanent above ground pools. You'll never again have to worry about insufficient filtration or circulation.

If you're looking for superior pool filtration in terms of particle size, then look no further than the Hayward EC-50 Perflex filter. When purchased as a combo, the package comes equipped with the same Power-Flo pump as the X-Stream cartridge filter. The only difference is you'll have the added filtration efficiency that comes with a diatomaceous earth filter.

Installing a New Intex Pool Filter System

All you need to do is swap hoses from the old system to the new one, prime the pump, and plug it in! However, if you replace with a sand filter, you'll also need some filter sand. Or, if using a diatomaceous earth filter, you'll also need some D.E. powder. Both of these items can be purchased online, but pool filter sand is best purchased locally to save on shipping costs.

If you're ready to upgrade to a bigger and better filter system for your Intex pool, In The Swim has plenty to choose from! For the savvy DIY pool owner looking to set up their own pool pump and filter combo, we have a couple of articles that will help you choose the right ones for your pool volume that will pair nicely together. Learn How to Size a Pool Filter and discover the ins and outs of Size and Selection of Swimming Pool Pumps with a little help from In The Swim!




In The Swim makes every effort to provide accurate recommendations based upon current ANSI/APSP/ICC-5 2011 (R2022) standards, but codes and regulations change, and In The Swim assumes no liability for any omissions or errors in this article or the outcome of any project. You must always exercise reasonable caution, carefully read the label on all products, follow all product directions, follow any current codes and regulations that may apply, and consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. In The Swim assumes no legal responsibility for your reliance or interpretation of the data contained herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the quality, safety, or suitability of the information, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.