Do I need to upgrade to a larger filter pump?


Bronze Supporter
Dec 24, 2018
Columbus, OH
I bought a brand new Intex Ultra Frame 18' x 52" round pool that is 7000 gallons. It came with the Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump which is 12" and has a pump flow rate of 2,100 per hour and a system flow rate of 1,600 per hour. It says the minimum gallons for this filter is 2,800 gallons and the maximum is 12,800 gallons, so TECHNICALLY it should be able to handle my 7000 gallon pool but I know Intex kind of exaggerates these numbers). I know people always say the Intex pools always come with filter pumps that are not adequate for the size pool. However, since this is a sand filter and not one of those paper ones, I am wondering what I should do.

The Intex Krystal Clear sand filters (without saltwater system) have stellar reviews on Amazon but most of them are from people who upgraded to the 16" pump (which is what I want to do, but I am already spending a lot on extras for the pool). I guess my question is, is this an adequate filter or do I need to upgrade in your opinion? I want to make sure it keeps my pool crystal clear and is powerful enough to run a pool vacuum. Please help! Thanks in advance!


TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
Quaker Hill, CT
Since you already bought the pool and the pump/filter, I would just run for the season with what you have. If you maintain your water chemistry you should be able to keep a clean pool with that pump.

Where you will possibly notice the short falls of that pump will be in vacuum and skimmer performance. You will also need to backwash more frequently with the smaller filter. That's not really a problem but you will need more make up water and have to keep an eye on the filter pressure regularly.

I would put a bigger pump on a wish list for next season if you find you really can't manage with what you have now. Oh and enjoy playing in the new pool that's the important part.
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TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
Pleasanton, CA
Rarely, does a pool ever "need" a larger pump. Most can get by with a smaller one though.

About the only issue that you may have with that pump is that a manual vacuum may be a bit weak. Or if you plan to put solar on a roof, then you may need a larger pump.

Also remember that water quality issues (e.g. algae) are due to chemistry problems and have little to do with pump size.
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