Best Intex Pool Pumps

Best Intex Pool Pumps: Reviews, Advice & Buying Guide

Looking for a good quality pump for your Intex pool? 

You’ve come to the right place. 

Intex makes some of the most popular above ground pools. Their smallest kiddie pools don’t need a pump since they are meant to be emptied and refilled regularly. 

But if you have one of their larger above ground pools, you’ll need a pump to circulate the water and keep it fresh and safe to swim in. 

Some Intex pools come with the filter pump included. Usually, however, the Pump is too small to circulate the water efficiently. We recommend upgrading to a more powerful pump if your current one seems to struggle to move the water through the filter. 

It will circulate your water more frequently, which keeps the pool cleaner and contaminant-free. It also reduces how much chemicals you need to use. 

What's In This Buying Guide?

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    In this buying guide, we review the top five best Intex pool pumps. 

    We’ve picked pool pumps from Intex to make sure they are compatible with any Intex swimming pool. But most Intex pools will work fine with other brands such as Bestway and GAME. 

    If none of our top picks meet your needs, feel free to expand your search to other brands. Just be sure to check the pump specifications, specifically the size of fittings and what size of pool you can connect it to.

    In addition to our reviews, we explain how pool pumps work, the different types of Intex pool pumps, and how to choose the right one for your Intex pool. 

    If you’ve not yet bought an Intex pool, or are thinking about replacing your current one, read our reviews of the best Intex pools

    Best Intex Pool Pumps Compared

    Intex 16-inch Sand Filter Pump
    • 16” Sand Filter Pump

    • Best for large Intex pools
    • Max pool size:
      19,600 gallons

    • Pump flow rate:
      3,000 GPH

    • Pool turnover:
      2,450 GPH

    • Type of filter:
      Sand

    Intex 14-inch Sand Filter Pump
    • 14” Sand Filter Pump

    • Best for medium size Intex pools
    • Max pool size:
      17,200 gallons

    • Pump flow rate:
      2,800 GPH

    • Pool turnover:
      2,150 GPH

    • Type of filter:
      Sand

    1500 GPH Cartridge Filter Pump
    • 1500 GPH Cartridge

    • Best for small Intex pools
    • Max pool size:
      9,400 gallons

    • Pump flow rate:
      1,500 GPH

    • Pool turnover:
      1,180 GPH

    • Type of filter:
      Cartridge

    Intex 26679EG Sand Filter Saltwater System
    • Intex 26679EG

    • Best with a saltwater system
    • Max pool size:
      15,000 gallons

    • Pump flow rate:
      2,650 GPH

    • Pool turnover:
      2,150 GPH

    • Type of filter:
      Sand

    Intex 28637EG Cartridge Filter Pump
    • Intex 28637EG

    • Best budget
    • Max pool size:
      6,000 gallons

    • Pump flow rate:
      1,000 GPH

    • Pool turnover:
      750 GPH

    • Type of filter:
      Cartridge

    Intex Pools vs. Traditional Pools

    Intex pools

    An Intex pool is a low-cost option for those who want a swimming pool without spending a lot of money. 

    Unlike a traditional in-ground swimming pool that can cost more than $30K to build, you can get an Intex above ground pool for under $1,000.

    The best part is that setting up an Intex pool does not require any construction at all, which further reduces the overall cost. 

    Accessories and maintenance are cheaper too. Intex pools run on smaller and cheaper filters that are easy to maintain. They also use small pumps that use less electricity than an in-ground pool pump. 

    Similar to a traditional pool pump, you select an Intex pool pump based on the size of your pool in gallons. 

    Which Pump should I buy for my Intex Pool?

    Intex Pool pumps

    The best Pump depends on the type and size of your Intex pool. 

    Easy Set pools are the smallest Intex pools that require a pump. A 1,000-1,500 GPH cartridge filter pump should be adequate for most Intex Easy Set pool sizes. 

    Intex Metal Frame pools are larger and deeper, thus hold more water. The smaller 10′ to 16′ metal frame pools will do with a 1,500 GPH filter pump. 

    If you have an 18′ metal frame pool, get an Intex pump with a flow rate of at least 2,000 GPH. For a 24′ pool, bump that to at least 2,500 GPH.

    Intex Ultra XTR Frame pools are the largest. For this nothing less than a 2,000 GPH pump will do. If you have the large 32′ rectangular pool, you’ll need a 2,800 GPH or 3,000 GPH Intex sand filter pump. 

    Types of Intex Pool Pumps

    There are two main types of Intex pool pumps: cartridge filter and sand filter pumps. 

    Cartridge Filter Pumps

    1500 GPH Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump

    These pumps come with a cartridge filter that can remove very fine debris as small as 10-15 microns. 

    A filter cartridge does not require backwashing, but you’ll need to wash it frequently and replace it after a few weeks. 

    Intex filter cartridge pumps are usually paired with the smaller Intex pumps (15′ and under). 

    Pros

    Cons

    Sand Filter Pumps

    Intex Pool pumps

    Intex sand filter pumps use special sand as the filtration media. The sand catches a lot of the debris and contaminants in the water but only up to 20-40 microns. A sand filter can miss finer impurities such as mold spores. 

    Sand filter pumps last much longer (you replace the sand roughly every five years), but they need regular backwashing to get rid of debris trapped in the filter. 

    Some Intex sand filters come combined with a chlorine generation saltwater system

    Pros

    Cons

    Best Intex Pool Pumps: In-Depth Reviews

    #1

    Intex 16″ Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump, 3000 GPH

    BEST FOR LARGE INTEX POOLS (UP TO 19,600 GALLONS)

    With a pump flow rate of 3,000 gallons per hour, the Intex Krystal Clear sand filter pump is perfect for most above ground pools. 

    It turns over water in the pool at a rate of 2,450 GPH, ensuring debris and contaminants are quickly filtered out before they settle into the pool.

    Pros

    Cons

    Our Review

    Best Features

    1. 3,000 GPH Pump

    When you are choosing a pump for your above ground pool, it’s a good idea to get one that’s a bit more powerful than you need. 

    This not only guarantees that your pool stays clean, but it also ensures the Pump can handle additional accessories such as a skimmer or a solar pool heater. 

    The 3,000 GPH Krystal Clear sand filter pump is one of the most powerful pool pumps Intex manufactures. 

    The powerful, but surprisingly quiet, the motor has a turnover rate of 2,450 gallons per hour. For a 10,000-gallon pool, that means the entire pool is cleaned every four hours. 

    The high turnover rate removes debris before it settles on the bottom and walls of the pool. This keeps the pool clean and reduces maintenance work since you don’t need to scrub the pool as often. 

    Intex recommends the 3,000 GPH Krystal Clear pump for above ground pools with a capacity of up to 19,600 gallons. 

    To avoid energy wastage, we recommend using it in a 26′ to 30′ round Intex pool.

    2. Easy to Install and Operate

    Installing the pool is easy. It’s a quick DIY job that takes less than an hour. Note that the sand is not included. But all other parts and fittings you need for connecting the Pump to your pool are provided. 

    For power, the Pump plugs into a standard GFCI outlet. The plug itself has built-in GFCI protection.

    Once the Pump is installed, the control lever can be set to one of six positions: backwash, rinse, filter, recirculate, drain, and close. 

    3. Timer

    A built-in digital timer saves you the trouble of manually turning the Pump on and off. You can program pre-set cycles lasting between 2 and 12 hours.

    4. 5-Year Filter Replacement

    One of the biggest advantages of buying a sand filter is the longevity of the filter media. The sand in the Kyrstal Clear filter lasts for up to 5 years. 

    Of course, you should replace it earlier if your pool gets particularly dirty.

    Issues & Limitations

    The Intex Krystal Clear sand filter struggles with ultra-fine debris, a common limitation for sand filters. You may notice some fine sediment remaining at the bottom of the pool. 

    But you can easily deal with that using an automatic pool cleaner (read our reviews of the best robotic pool cleaners).

    Another issue with the Intex Krystal Clear sand filter pump is the lack of a backwash hose. Remember to buy one when you order the sand. A 1.5″ hose (same as the input and output hoses) will do.

    The Bottom Line

    The Intex Krystal Clear sand filter pump is a great choice for those who own a large Intex above ground pool. The max capacity of 19,600 gallons covers pools as large as 30 feet with a 48″ depth.

    #2

    Intex 14″ Krystal Clear Sand Filter

    BEST FOR MEDIUM-SIZE INTEX POOLS (UP TO 17,200 GALLONS)

    If a 3,000 GPH pool pump feels like overkill for your smaller Intex pool, we recommend the 14″ Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter (Good to know: 14″ refers to the size of the sand-holding tank). 

    With a pump flow rate of 2,800 GPH, it still packs a punch, making it a good choice for medium-size pools of up to 17,200 gallons in capacity. 

    Pros

    Cons

    Our Review

    Best Features

    1. 2,800 GPH Pump

    If your Intex pool is 16′ to 24′ in size, the 2,800 GPH Intex Krystal Clear sand filter pump is the best choice. 

    The 2,800 GPH pump flow rate is ideal for pools with up to 17,200 gallons of water. The Pump turns over water in the pool at a rate of 2,150 gallons per hour. 

    2. DIY Installation

    The 14″ Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump comes with everything you need for installation, except the sand itself. 

    The package includes two hoses, a GFCI plug, and a strainer basket. 

    The basket catches large debris like leaves, buds, and twigs, which prolongs the life of the sand filter. 

    Once you’ve installed the Pump, use the control level to select a specific function. Options include backwash, rinse, filter, recirculate, drain and close.

    3. Easy Maintenance

    Maintaining the filter pump is easy. All you need to do is regularly backwash the sand to get rid of trapped debris. 

    As for replacing the sand, you don’t need to do that until after five years.

    4. Timer

    A programmable 24-hour timer lets you set automatic on and off cycles. Instead of turning the Pump on and off manually at specific times, you set an automatic cycle between 2 and 12 hours.

    Issues & Limitations

    The 14″ Krystal Clear sand pump has the same two issues as its 16″ sibling: inability to filter out fine particles and the lack of a backwash hose. 

    The Bottom Line

    The 14″ Krystal Clear sand pump is a great choice for owners of a medium-size Intex pool. It has just the right amount of power to clean 16′ to 24′ Intex pools.

    #3

    1500 GPH Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump

    BEST FOR SMALL INTEX POOLS (UP TO 9,400 GALLONS)

    If you have an Intex Easy Set or Metal Frame pool that is 16′ to 18′ wide, the 1500GPH Krystal Clear cartridge filter pump is the best choice. 

    It’s not overly powerful that it’ll waste electricity or damage your pool, nor is it too weak to turn over the pool water efficiently.

    Pros

    Cons

    Our Review

    Best Features

    1. 1,500 GPH Pump

    Most people buying the 1,500 GPH Krystal Clear cartridge filter pump are replacing the virtually useless 530 GPH pump Intex includes with some of their pools. 

    With a pump flow rate that is three times as high, the Krystal Clear cartridge filter pump cleans your pool much more effectively. You don’t have to run your pool for hours to keep it clean. 

    2. Easy to Install

    Almost everything you need is included along with the Pump. This includes the connection hoses, a cartridge filter, and a Hydro Aeration Technology inlet fitting (aerates the pool water to keep it clean and clear). 

    Installation is easy and quick.

    3. Improved Filtration

    One advantage of picking a cartridge filter pump over a sand filter pump is that a cartridge filter picks up more and smaller debris. 

    Unlike a sand filter that leaves fine sediment at the bottom of the pool, the Krystal Clear cartridge filter picks up almost everything.

    4. Timer

    Similar to the other Krystal Clear filters pumps, you can set the Pump to cycle on and off automatically every 2-12 hours. 

    Issues & Limitations

    If like most buyers, you are upgrading from the small Pump that came with your Intex pools, you’ll need to buy adapters separately.

    Small Intex pools have 1.25″ outlets and inlets, while the larger sizes use 1.5″ fittings. You’ll need a pair of 1.25″ to 1.5″ type B hose adapters.

    Something else you’ll need to order soon is an extra set of cartridges. Intex recommends replacing the cartridge every two weeks with a type A or C filter. We recommend this pack of 6.

    The Bottom Line

    The 1500 GPH Krystal Clear cartridge filter pump is the best Pump if you own a 16′ or 18′ Easy Set or Metal Frame Intex pool.

    #4

    Intex 26679EG Krystal Clear Sand Filter Saltwater System

    BEST INTEX POOL PUMP WITH A SALTWATER SYSTEM

    Thinking about converting your Intex pool into a saltwater system? We recommend the Intex 26679EG system, which combines a sand filter and a saltwater system. 

    With a pump flow rate of 2,650 GPH, it’s ideal for Intex pools with a capacity of up to 15,000 gallons.

    Pros

    Cons

    Our Review

    Best Features

    1. 2,650 GPH Pump

    The 2,650 GPH pump works great for most Intex pools, even the larger ones. The maximum manufacturer-recommended pool size is 15,000 gallons. 

    This covers round Intex pools of up to 27′ in diameter.

    2. Attached Saltwater System

    The saltwater system attached to the Pump lets you easily switch from a chlorine pool to a saltwater pool. 

    A saltwater system that generates chlorine automatically makes pool maintenance easier and cheaper. It also maintains chlorine levels at a stable level (which reduces algae and bacterial growth) and causes less irritation on your skin. 

    The Intex saltwater system has a chlorine output of 11 gallons per hour. 

    3. Easy to Set up

    Everything you need to set up the sand filter and saltwater system is included. Installing the entire system takes less than an hour. 

    4. Timer

    A built-in digital timer lets you set automatic on/off cycles ranging between 2 and 12 hours.

    Issues & Limitations

    Similar to other sand filters, the Intex 26679EG system struggles with fine particulates. You may notice fine sediment left at the bottom of the pool.

    Another potential problem is corrosion. Before you install the saltwater system, make sure there are no metal parts in your pool that could be corroded by the salt. 

    The Bottom Line

    The Intex 26679EG sand filter pump and the saltwater system is a good choice for Intex pool owners looking to upgrade to a more powerful pump and convert their pool into a saltwater pool.

    #5

    Intex 28637EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump

    BEST BUDGET

    If you are on a budget, the Intex 28637EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump is the cheapest Intex pool pump with a flow rate of at least 1,000 GPH. 

    Intex manufacturers smaller and cheaper pumps – 330 GPH and 530 GPH models – but we don’t recommend these even for small pools. They have a very low flow rate and won’t clean your pool efficiently. 

    And anyway, they are only a few dollars cheaper than the 1,000 GPH pump. It’s a better value for your money. 

    Pros

    Cons

    Our Review

    Best Features

    1. 1,000 GPH Pump

    With a pump flow rate of 1,000 GPH and a pool turnover of 750 GPH, the Intex 28637EG filter pump is only ideal for small pools of up to 6,000 gallons. 

    Intex recommends it for 15′ Easy Set and Metal Frame pools and 18′ by 10′ Oval Frame pools. 

    Though the Pump is not as powerful as the others we have reviewed, it is much better than the small pumps Intex includes with their small pools. 

    Indeed, most people buying this filter pump were replacing the 530 GPH pump that came with their pool. 

    The increased flow rate removes more contaminants and keeps your pool sparkling clean.

    2. Easy to Set Up

    The Intex 28637EG comes with the hoses and fittings you need to connect the Pump to your Intex pool. It should take no more than 30 minutes to set it up

    If you have a very small pool or an Intex Kiddie pool without outlet and inlet ports, you can just place the two houses directly into the pool. But you’ll need something to weigh them down. 

    Issues & Limitations

    The Intex 28637EG pump does not have a digital timer. You have to switch it on and off manually.

    To calculate the right cycle time, divide your pool’s capacity with 750 gallons, the Pump’s turnover rate. If you have a 3,000-gallon pool, you’ll need to run the Pump for four hours every day to clean all the water.

    Never run the Pump for more than 8 hours a day, as that can damage the motor and reduce its lifespan.

    If you are afraid you’ll forget to turn the Pump off, consider connecting it to an external timer.

    Something else you may need to buy is a pair of adaptors for the hoses. The hoses included are 1.25″ wide. If your pool uses 1.5″ ports, you’ll need a 1.5″ to 1.25″ adaptor.

    Finally, you’ll need to stay on top of filter replacements. Unlike a sand filter that can go five years without replacement, the Intex 28637EG pump requires a new Type A filter cartridge every two weeks.

    The Bottom Line

    The Intex 28637EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump is a great choice for Intex pool owners looking for an affordable but powerful filter pump for their 15′ or smaller pool.

    How Do Intex Pool Pumps Work?

    Intex Pool Pumps

    An Intex pool pump consists of two essential parts. 

    There’s the Pump, which pulls debris-containing water from the pool and pushes clean water back into the pool. And there’s the filter that does the actual cleaning. 

    The Pump is powered by a motor, which, in turn, is powered by electricity. 

    The Pump uses suction to pull water from the swimming pool through a hose. The water passes through a strainer basket to remove leaves and large debris (not all Intex pumps have a strainer). 

    The water then goes through a cartridge or sand filter pump that removes remaining debris and impurities. 

    After the filter, the water is pushed back into the pool by the Pump. 

    To keep the pool clean, all the water should pass through the filter at least once a day. This can take as little as an hour or up to 12 hours, depending on the size of your pool and the pump flow rate. 

    Most Intex pool pumps have a timer that lets you program the length of a cycle. 

    If you know your pool takes 4 hours to get clean, you set the timer for four hours. The Pump will then run automatically for four hours every day, starting at the same time each day.

    Intex Pool Pump Buying Guide

    Intex pool pump vs. traditional

    Here’s what to consider when shopping for an Intex pool pump.

    1. Pump Flow Rate and Turnover Rate

    The first thing you should check when buying an Intex pool pump is the flow rate. Intex pumps have two types of flow rate: pump flow rate and system flow rate.

    There’s the pump flow rate (GPH or gallons per hour). It indicates how powerful the Pump is. The larger your pool, the more powerful the pump should be. 

    A 1,000 GPH pump is ideal for a 3,000-gallon Intex pool. If you have a 20,000-gallon Intex pool, you’ll need a 3,000 GPH or higher Pump. 

    The system flow rate, also called the pool turnover rate, indicates how much water the Pump runs through the filter per hour. It is usually lower than the pump flow rate. 

    As long as you choose the correct pump flow rate for your pool size, you don’t need to worry about the system flow rate. 

    The only benefit of knowing the system flow rate is to determine how long it takes the Pump to clean the entire pool. This tells you how long to set the timer.

    2. Type of Filter

    Should you get a cartridge filter or sand filter? 

    Intex cartridge filters capture more impurities, including fine particulates, but require frequent replacement (every two weeks). Maintenance costs add up. 

    A sand filter is easier and cheaper to maintain (you replace the sand every five years), but it does not filter out fine debris.

    Furthermore, a sand filter requires regular backwashing, which ‘wastes’ water. 

    If you struggle with dust and fine sediment in your pool, get a cartridge filter pump. If you don’t, a sand filter pump is the best choice.

    3. Max Pool Size

    Don’t forget to check the maximum pool size Intex recommends for use with a specific pump.  

    Under-sizing an Intex Pump will reduce its cleaning performance. You’ll notice more debris in your pool, and your water may turn color because of algae growth and dirt accumulation. You’ll also be overworking the Pump, cutting down its lifespan. 

    Over-sizing an Intex pump is just a waste of electricity. Too much water pressure can also damage the soft pool liner.

    4. Size of Fittings

    Finally, check whether the size of your pool’s inlet and outlet ports is compatible with the size of the pump hoses. 

    If it’s not, you’ll need to order adapters.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    above ground pool cost

    How do I install an Intex sand filter pump?

    Make sure you have media for the filter ready – either glass or silica sand. Add the sand or glass into the tank and close it with the 6-way valve. 

    Attach the strainer or leaf basket. 

    With the filter and Pump placed on flat level ground, attach the right hoses between the Pump and the pool. 

    Check the in and out markings on the Pump to know which hose should go where. 

    When you are done, you should have one hose running from the pool’s suction port to the pump inlet and another running from the pump outlet to the pool’s inlet port. 

    Connect the plug into a GFCI outlet and turn on the filter. 

    You may need to backwash the filter first until you see clear water coming out.

    How long should I run my Intex pool pump?

    For as long as it takes to run a full cycle. That is until all the water runs through the filter at least once. 

    To calculate the length of the cycle, divide the system flow rate (turnover rate) by the amount of water in your pool. 

    For convenience, set a timer so that you don’t have to turn the Pump on and off manually.

    After how long do I replace an Intex filter cartridge?

    After two weeks. 

    However, if your pool is unusually dirty such as after a storm, replace the filter after 2-4 days.

    Conclusion

    intex pool pump features

    Regardless of the type and size of the Intex pool you have, there’s a perfect Intex pump for it. Choose the right pump size to ensure your pool stays pristine. 

    The Intex pool pumps we have reviewed above are ideal for most Intex pools ranging from the small Easy Set models to the large Ultra XTR frame pools.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *