Pool Care Pool Equipment

What Size Sand Filter for Above Ground Pool?

What Size Sand Filter for Above Ground PoolAs the name suggests, a sand filter is a type of pool filter that uses special sand made of a silica-based compound or other organic matter like crushed glass. A sand filter feature a large tank which holds the sand. The tank also has a multiport valve with multiple positions for several functions. The mechanism makes it easy to operate and maintain the sand filter.

How does sand filter work?

Typically, the pool pump pushes water inside the filter tank. The water passes through the tiny sand particles. During the process, the sand filters out the debris in the water up to 20 microns. The water is then returned to the pool while clean. It’s that simple.

After some days, the sand in the tank will require backwashing to remove any sand which might have been pushed into the pipes and clean the sand itself.

Sand filters are quite famous and favorite to many since they are affordable, easy to maintain, and durable.

As you might have noticed, choosing the right size sand filter isn’t an entirely straightforward task. There are two or three things that will help you determine the size of your above-ground pool sand filter. One is the size of your pool pump, and the next is the capacity of your swimming pool.

Why does the size make a difference? With the wrong sizing, you can end up buying a too big or too small sand filter. A too big sand filter can be an expensive mistake or even worst, over-power your pool’s filtration system.

A too-small model might, on the other hand, lack the power for optimal filtration. That means a small sand filter won’t get the filtration job done. It won’t have the ability to handle the amount of unwanted debris and contaminants present in your large pool. With such a sand filter, you will need to backwash it frequently.

What Size Sand Filter for Above Ground Pool? – (Tips & Tricks)

What is the perfect Size Sand Filter for your Above Ground PoolWays to Size Your Sand Pool Filter

Sizing a sand pool filter doesn’t have to be challenging. The tips I have provided below will help you figure out the right way to find the best size sand filter for your pool.

1) Size of your pool

First, you need to find your pool’s surface area or the physical size. You need to start small to make the process as smooth as possible. If you have just installed your pool, then you probably have some paperwork stating the size in square feet. If not, you can still do some simple calculations.

Mostly, it’s comfortable with a circular, square, and rectangular pools. With the square and rectangular swimming pools, you need to measure the length and width. Multiply the two and get area.

Length x Width = Area

If your pool is circular, then you need to measure the distance all around, square it and multiply it with pi (3.14).

Area = 3.14 x radius x radius

2) Determine the pool’s volume

Mostly, sand filters are sold based on the overall swimming pool volume. Getting the above-ground pool’s capacity is much more challenging the area. It’s a good idea to check the paperwork you have to give all this information. If you can find the info, but you do know the brand name and the model of your pool, you can look up for its volume online. You can also calculate its size yourself using this formula.

Volume = length x width x the average depth x 7.5 for the rectangular/square pool and 5.9 for the round pool.

Having found the volume in cubic feet, you need to convert it to gallons. To do so, you need to divide the cubic feet with 7.48 to have the capacity in gallons.

3) Figure out the pool turnover rate

Sand for Above Ground PoolNext, you need to figure out your swimming pool’s turnover rate. It’s time it takes for the water to go through a full cycle using its current filter. The turnover rate is determined by the local laws on the place you live. Most positions require a swimming pool filter to complete a filtration cycle at least two times in a day. But, it’s healthier to pick a turnover rate between 6-12 hours. Some sand filter will even come with a programmable timer.

4) Check water resistance on flow

The type of piping used in your pool filtration system can make a big difference when it comes to water flow resistance. An above-ground pool can use either type of pipe, but you need to make sure your water flow doesn’t get much resistant. The manufacturer will specify how many head feet they can handle.

5) Consider the Water features

Sand Filter for your Above Ground PoolNext, consider the Water features you plan on installing or may have now. The waterfalls and the fountains can add value to the turnover rate and the resistant of your swimming pool. The floor cleaning system also makes a difference. If you do have a solar heating or a hot tub which is partly attached to the swimming pool and share the same filtration system needs to be considered.

6) Bigger better

A bigger sand filter for your above ground pool is better, but that I’m not saying you should go and buy a massive. If you have a small-sized and a medium-sized above ground pool, you do need to find a commercial-sized sand filter. But that won’t be easy. So, you need to calculate the numbers above and determine which pool size first. With this, you can go with slightly larger dimensions.

7) Buy the pump separately

You need to buy your pool pump separately from your sand filter if you are going bigger. Most of the times, you can do more damage if the pump has more power than the sand filter. But you might want the sand filter section which comes with a significant and powerful pump. You need to buy them separately and connect through the piping to have the better of the two worlds.

8) Upfront budget vs. over time

Another thing, you need to think about how much investment you have to spend upfront against time. While making your sizing, you also need to ensure you have the ideal space to install your sand filter. It can be quite frustrating to buy a model that doesn’t fit in your preserved area. Still, on that, the installation base needs to be enough to support your pool sand filter.


All ready now! I hope you’re prepared to head out there and buy a pool sand filter now. With all the information I have given you here, you should now be able to settle on an ideal sand filter for your above ground pool. You need a device that is enough to keep your pool clean and safe all the time. Even though it can cost you more upfront, its better you pick a larger, more powerful pool sand filter for a start. But with that no need to worry of replacement soon.

About the author

Sharif Miah

Hi! I'm Sharif, the founder of Globo Pool® and I have been working in the pool & hot tub industry for the last few years. I love to share my experiences with people & hope you are enjoying my information and lessons!

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