Hey there, fellow pool enthusiast! 🏊‍♂️ It's your trusted pool maintenance buddy here, ready to dive deep into the world of choosing the perfect pump for your above-ground oasis. 

Whether you're just starting on this wet and wild adventure or you're a seasoned pool pro, picking the right pump is like finding the right swim trunks – it needs to fit just right! 

So, grab your favorite poolside beverage, kick back, and let's splash into the factors you need to consider when selecting that all-important pool pump.

How Does a Pool Pump Work?

Before we delve into the specifics of selecting the right pool pump, let's take a moment to understand how this unsung hero works its magic.

At its core, a pool pump operates through a simple yet effective mechanism. Water from your pool is drawn into the pump through the skimmer and main drain, thanks to the impeller's spinning motion. This impeller, resembling an inverted blade, generates a powerful suction force that pulls water into the pump's housing.

Pump Anatomy and Types: Understanding the Heart of Your System

Let's take a closer look at the anatomy of your pool pump. It consists of several essential components:


The powerhouse of the pump, the motor drives the impeller to circulate water. Energy-efficient motors not only save on utility bills but also reduce wear and tear on the pump.


This fan-like component is responsible for moving water through the pump. Different impeller designs can impact water flow and efficiency.

Strainer Basket

Like a pool skimmer, the strainer basket catches debris before it reaches the pump. Regular cleaning of this basket prevents clogs and maintains smooth operation.


The outer casing protects the internal components. Look for corrosion-resistant materials for longevity.

Seal and Gaskets 

These prevent water from leaking out of the pump. Good seals are crucial to maintaining proper pressure and efficiency.

Choosing the Right Size Pool Pump: Not Too Big, Not Too Small

Sizing Matters

Just as a snug-fitting swim cap is essential for a smooth swim, the size of your pool pump matters. If you choose a pump that's too big for your pool, you'll end up overspending on energy bills. On the flip side, a pump that's too small won't effectively circulate and filter the water. Find that sweet spot by calculating your pool's turnover rate – the time it takes for your pump to circulate all the water.

Calculating Turnover Rate

To find the right pump size, divide your pool's total volume in gallons by the desired turnover time in hours. For example, if your pool is 15,000 gallons and you want a turnover time of 8 hours:

 Turnover Rate = Pool Volume / Turnover Time

 Turnover Rate = 15,000 gallons / 8 hours

 Turnover Rate = 1,875 GPM (gallons per minute)

Aim for a pump with a flow rate close to the calculated turnover rate. Going a bit higher is okay, but avoid going significantly overboard.

Pump Power (HP)

Ah, horsepower – the engine that drives your aquatic playground. For above-ground pools, you usually don't need a monster-sized pump. A 1.5 HP pump is often more than sufficient for most above-ground pools. Going bigger might sound appealing, but it can lead to unnecessary energy consumption and higher operating costs.

Pump Efficiency

Just like you want to glide through the water with minimal effort, you want your pump to work efficiently. Look for pumps with a high-efficiency rating (check for the ENERGY STAR certification) to keep your energy bills from going off the deep end.

Filter Compatibility

Your pump and filter are like synchronized swimmers – they need to be in harmony. Ensure your pump and filter are compatible in terms of flow rate and connection size. A well-matched pump and filter combo will keep your water sparkling clean and your maintenance tasks a breeze.

How to Choose the Right Filter for You—Pool Size 

It’s essential to make sure your filter works for your pool size. If you buy a filter too small, it just won’t do the job, and you’ll be swimming with bacteria. Buy a filter too big and you’ll waste money on your energy bill every month.  

Another note: when sizing your filter to your pool size, be careful when reading the manufacturer’s instructions: they have a tendency to overshoot just how much their filter can take on.  

See the chart below to get it just right—and if you’re not sure how to calculate the size of your pool, now is the time to do it.

How to Choose the Right Filter for You—Pump Size

Your pool pump needs to be just strong enough for water to be sucked in from your pool and pushed out through your filter. And no, that doesn’t mean you should go out and get the most powerful pump on the market—too much horsepower and you’ll be losing a lot of money every month on energy costs. 

Keep in mind that pool filters are sized from gallons per minute per square foot, not the actual size of the unit. Don’t worry—that largest cartridge filter won’t take up your entire backyard and then some. 

See the chart below to match your horsepower with your pool filter.  

Got a big pool? Lucky you! Keep it in top shape with the ultra-powerful BLACK + DECKER 3 HP Variable-Speed Pump. It includes a warranty, qualifies for utility rebates, and pays itself off in up to 80% of energy costs saved in all stages of operation.

Noise Level

Nobody wants a noisy pool pump that's louder than the splashes and laughter. Opt for a pump with noise-reducing features, such as insulated housing or a quiet motor, so you can relax poolside without any unwanted background noise.

Durability and Warranty

Just as you'd want a swimsuit that doesn't fade after a few dips, a reliable and durable pump is a must. Look for pumps made from corrosion-resistant materials like stainless steel or thermoplastic. And don't forget to check for a solid warranty – it's your safety net in case any unexpected poolside drama unfolds.

Installation and Maintenance

You're no stranger to maintaining your pool, but a pump that's a pain to install or service is like a belly flop – it's best avoided. Choose a pump with user-friendly installation instructions and easy-to-access components for hassle-free maintenance.


Your pool pump is an investment, but you don't have to break the bank. Consider your budget and find a pump that ticks all the boxes without draining your pool of funds. Remember, a slightly higher upfront cost for a more energy-efficient pump can pay off in the long run.

So, my friend, there you have it – a comprehensive guide to choosing the right pump for your above-ground pool. Remember, this decision is all about finding the perfect fit for your pool's size, your preferences, and your wallet. With these factors in mind, you'll be well on your way to a summer filled with refreshing swims and worry-free poolside lounging. And if you ever run into any snags, you know I'm just a message away, ready to dive in and help you troubleshoot any pool pump woes. Happy swimming! 🌊🌞

Pool Pump Types: Choose Your Swim Style

There are two main types of pool pumps: single-speed and variable-speed.

Single-Speed Pumps

These pumps operate at a fixed speed and are usually the most affordable upfront. However, they can be energy hogs since they run at full power all the time, even when lower flow rates are sufficient. 

Variable-Speed Pumps

These pumps offer more flexibility by allowing you to adjust the pump's speed to match your pool's needs. They're quieter, more energy-efficient, and can significantly reduce operating costs over time.

So, if you’re asking yourself: ,,Should I Replace My Pool Pump With a Variable Speed?”, read this comprehensive guide. Or if you’re already looking for variable-speed pool pumps read our comprehensive guide “Choose the Right Variable Speed Pump - PPTG's Ultimate Guide

BLACK + DECKER Above-Ground Pool Pumps

To get the full list of above-ground pool pumps check out our product category linked here.