Intex Pool Filter Pump Upgrades: A Buyer’s Guide

sick-intex-filter-for-poolsIs your Intex pool filter a little… tired? Intex pools are very well known to be a quality pool for the price; a nice starter pool.

Intex Fast Set and Frame Set pools are also known for coming with filters that are a bit on the small side, to make the package price competitive.

If you’ve struggled with Intex pool filter problems, and have ever thought you may need to upgrade someday ~ well, today may be that day!

Benefits of Bigger & Better

The Benefits of a larger filter system are many, suffice it say that when you water is over-filtered, you’ll have fewer pool water problems.

  • Larger filter surface area goes longer between cleanings.
  • Poor water conditions are cleaned up faster, or prevented.
  • Larger pump with basket makes it easy to vacuum to pool.
  • Greater suction and circulation keeps the pool cleaner.

Now, let’s get down to some actual equipment recommendations for an Intex pool. I’ve grouped the pump and filter suggestions below by the type of Intex pool – Inflatable Easy Set, Frame Set or Ultra Frame Pool.

intex-easy-set-poolEasy Set Pool Filter Systems

These pools have been available in many sizes, from 8′ round, all the way up to 24′. Which is why there are so many sizes of Intex filter pumps for these pools.

intex-filter-systems-for-intex-poolsEasy Set pools come with an integrated pump and filter unit that is matched to the pool size. These filters are rated in gallons per minute of water flow; 530 gpm, 1000 gpm, 1500 gpm and 2500 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. They all have the same filter size however, except for the 2500 gpm unit, which uses a larger filter cartridge.intex-sand-filter-systems

To upgrade even further, look at the Intex sand filter systems. For under $270, you get a 16″ sand filter coupled with a pump and oversized strainer basket.


intex-metal-frame-poolsMetal Frame Filter Systems

Metal Frame pools are much deeper than the Easy Set pools, and with a sturdy frame around the laminated canvas pool shell, they can hold much more water.

More water = more pump capacity. Our 24′ round Metal Frame pool is sold with a 2500 gpm cartridge filter. It’s adequate, but if your pool sees a lot of dirt and debris or swimmers and sun, you may need something bigger and better.

sand-master-filter-systemsDepending on your frame pool size, you could look at the 16″ or 19″ Sand Master filters, with full-tilt pool pumps mounted on a skid, from $330.

hayward-EC-30-pool-filterIf you need even greater filtering capacity, the Hayward EC-30 Perflex DE filter will make any Intex pool shine like a diamond, with the power of diatomaceous earth filtration.


intex-ultra-frame-poolsUltra Frame 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, which wear out quickly under the strain of so much water.

hayward-21-inch-sand-filterUltra Frame pools can use a 19″ Intex sand filter, but if you have one of the larger Ultra Frame pools, you may be better off with the Hayward 21″ sand filter and pump.

xstream-pool-filterTo upgrade to a ridiculous level (which you’ll never regret, trust me), look at the Hayward X-Stream pool filter system. This is the real deal, industrial sized equipment for permanent above ground pools.

ec50-perflex-pool-filter If you want the most superior form of pool filtration in terms of particle size, then look at the Hayward EC-50 Perflex filters, with the same Power-Flo pump as the X-Stream cartridge filter, but with a diatomaceous earth filter.

Installing a New Intex Filter System

All you need to do is swap hoses from the old system to the new, prime up the pump and plug it in! However, if you replace with a sand filter, you’ll need some filter sand, and DE filters need DE powder. Both of these items can be purchased online, but pool filter sand is best bought locally, to save shipping costs

Let your old filter retire and order your new bigger and better Intex filter system today, and start enjoying a more carefree summer!

Joshua Foster
InTheSwim Staff Blogger



Intex Pool Filter Pump Upgrades: A Buyer’s Guide — 42 Comments

  1. Hi Dave, we have a Bestway 14ft x 122 Steel Pro Frame Pool. Can we use Intex frame parts to replace broken frame parts on our pool? In other words, are Intex frame parts interchangeable with Bestway frame parts? They look exactly the same in pictures I’ve seen..

    Appreciate any advice. Pia

    • Hi Pia, Although I’m not sure, it’s doubtful that they are exactly alike – when a manufacturer copies another manufacturer’s product, they must make it slightly different, or risk being sued for infringement. This usually includes small details like frame pole diameter, or the spacing distance between snap-lock fittings. However, I am not sure, perhaps Bestways poles would adapt to an Intex pool…anyone else know?

  2. Hi we have a 15 foot summer escapes pool and I purchased a intex sand filter that is the sf601101 and it’s for much larger pools. My husband thinks it is too big and can’t be converted, I think we can make it work. Help!!

    • Hi Cheri, in most cases you can make a larger pump/filter system work, with the use of adapters to use larger hose sizes. If you search the intex owner manual for the new pump system, it will often have adapter information, to fit the 15′ soft sided pool. Summer Escapes and Bestway are knock-offs of Intex pools, but I believe that the hose/fitting sizes are the same. Generally, 12 and 15′ pools will use either the 530 gph or the 1000 gph system, and to go larger, you need to use adapters for the skimmer and return ports, to connect the larger hoses. Visit to see all available adapters.

      • I need help! Have a summer escapes metal frame 10×30 has crappy skimmer pump I think 330gph. Can’t even vacuum. Want to upgrade to sand filter found an Intex 2800gph sand filter with pump for 58.00!! I Already bought the summer escapes bottom of line salt system. I don’t want to pay twice the 58.00 for a smaller sand filter if it’s not necessary. What will happen if this is too powerful for my small pool? Any info is appreciated. Thank u

        • Hi, when pump/filter systems that are too large for the pool are installed, it can cause the vinyl around the return or suction hole (in the pool wall) to vibrate so much that it tears, especially for the easy set, perhaps not so much with the frame set pools. For Intex pools, maybe the same for Summer Escapes by general foam, the smaller pools (8′, 10′, 12′) can upgrade to a 1000 or 1500 gph cartridge system easily and without problems. larger than 1500 gph and you will need to use hose adapters to fit the larger hoses and flow rate.

          Larger filters are always a good thing, but larger pumps are not, the pump should be sized to the filter ‘design flow rate’, and for the size of the pool in gallons, to be able to pump all of the water in the pool within at least 8 hours time. If a pump is too large for the filter and pipe size, it is less effective, noisy and could damage the filter or softsided pool wall fittings, or the wall liner itself. I once saw an aboveground pool (permanent style) with an inground system on it, pumping 90 gpm, and it had a vortex in the center! 🙂 But with Intex style flexible pool walls, too much flow could create problems, go with a 1000 or 1500 gph system, and I think you’ll be happy, on your 10′ pool. If you really want a larger system with separate pump, for vacuuming, etc – you may need a bigger pool, too…

  3. I have a Intex 14′ x 42″ Prism Frame Pool. I want to upgrade the pump and filter. I want to go with a sand filter. what do you suggest? Thanks

    • Hi, the 15′ round Prism pool comes with the Intex 530 gph filter, you could switch to the 1000 gph with no adapters. Going to the 1500 gph cartridge or the intex sand filter may require a wall fitting adapter, see the owners manual. I would recommend the 12″ sand filter system, 50 lbs sand. It says the sand lasts 5 years, but I would change it every 2-3 years, as a general rule for very small sand filter sizes.

  4. Hi Dave, I have a 12 x 36 Easy Set and am getting a lot of algae. I have to clean or replace the paper filter every week at least. I’ve tried all different chemicals. Would it help to switch to Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools, 16-inch, 110-120V with GFCI? Is that too big a filter pump? If not,do I need to buy adapters to connect to my pool?

    • Hi Lenny, you are right to blame the filter, even running 24/7, those little carts can’t keep up in some cases. I’m a little concerned that the 3000 GPH (50 gpm) may be too much water, for the walls and wall fittings, which may vibrate or leak? Not sure. It would require adapters, I believe they are Intex 10722/25009 – not something we carry, probably we should!

      • What filter pump would you recommend I use? Is there a bigger one than the one that came with the pool that doesn’t need adapters?

        • Hi Lenny, the 500-1000 GPH filters have a different hose and wall fitting size than the 1500-2500 GPH models. So, you can go to the 1000 GPH model without adapters, but to go 1500 GPH or higher, you would need Intex Adapter 10722 (we don’t currently carry). For the larger Intex filter systems 1500 GPH and higher, if you want to switch to 1.5″ piping, or add a Hayward or other 1.5″ filter/pump, you would use the 40mm to 1.5″ intex hose adapters.

  5. Hi. I have the 15×36 metal frame and am purchasing the 2500 gph model pump. I already ordered the hose adapters and plunger valves for the 1.5 hoses. My question is do I also need to buy the conversion piece that goes into skimmer ?to replace where the old pump used to be.

    • Hi Joe, according to Intex FAQ on the 12″ Intex sand filter
      Does the sand filter pump system include hoses or other fittings to attach to an INTEX swimming pool?
      Yes. It includes two hoses of 38mm (1.5in) diameter, two plunger valves fittings and two adaptors B to fit smaller size pools with 32mm (1.25in) diameter hose fittings. If used with other brands of swimming pools, additional fittings will be required.

  6. We have a 16x32x52 intex rectangular with a swg. We are currently using the pump/sand filter it came with (2650 gph), but we would like to upgrade to a bigger pump/filter if this would keep our pool cleaner and make our Hayward Aquabug vacuum work better. We run our pump 12 hrs and our swg 8 hours currently. We also have our Intex pump connected with 1.5″ pvc because we added a sprayer and through-the-wall Hayward skimmer at installation last year. What would be the best upgrade for our situation? TIA!

  7. I have a 12×30 pool, just upgraded from pump model 603 to model 633T. 2500 gallon. Hoses seem to be to big to connect to pool and the new “jet” is definitely to big with no chance of sliding through the small opening. I figured it would be a seamless transition but looks like I will have to be purchasing several adaptors as the box didnt come with any. Am I missing something or is it just all about getting extra parts?

    • Hi Chad, yes you will need adapters, to connect the larger hoses to the smaller wall fittings of your pool. The adapter that I believe will fit, is the GAME 4552 adapter, however, I read one review however that did not work for a 12′ x 30 metal frame pool, and I think he may have used these

  8. Hello need help, purchased a 15×48 intex frame pool and upgrade my filter from the 1000gal pump to the 1500 and the hoses dont fit what can i do to make it fit.Pleas help!!!

    • Hi Shamonica, the 500/1000 are the same, and the 1500/2500 are the same, so I see your problem. Fortunately, there is an adapter available. Intex-Conversion-Adapters-Design-10722, we don’t carry part 10722 (by Intex), but you can find online.

  9. I have the 1500 gph intex filter installed on my pool now. Thinking about purchasing the 2500 gph pump. will the hoses fit or will I need couplings. If so what size? Thanks so much for any advise you can give me

  10. I have an Intex Ultra 22 x 52 pool. We have a Hayward sand filter from a previous pool that we would like to use on this pool. We are also adding a Hayward skimmer. My question is about grounding the pool since this Hayward sand filter is 115 volts – HP 1.5 SPL and HZ60. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Debbie, the pump is already grounded, if you are using a 3-prong cord, plugged into a GFCI protected outlet, either with a GFI test button on the outlet, or on the breaker that powers the outlet. Inground pools are Bonded, which is different from grounding, where a bare copper wire is attached to all metal equipment, on the equipment pad, and also around the pool. This is to capture any stray voltage, and take it to ground. Not usually done on abg pools… If you have concerns about pool electrical safety, call a local electrician to come check things out.

      • OK. So an INtex pool does not need to be grounded? Our old pool was steel and had a ground wire going to one leg of the pool from the Hayward sand filter and pump. Can we still ground the INtex pool the same way…just because that was how the old pool was done?

        • Hi Debbie, if you have the steel frame INtex pool, you could attach the bonding wire to a lug, screwed into one of the rails. I’m not sure if it needs to be done or not in your location, contacting the pool inspectors within the local building and zoning dept would find a definite answer, but if you want to connect it, like it was on the old pool, that seems like a solid plan.

  11. I have a 15’x33″ Easy Set Intex pool. The pump is worthless, but as I’m reading this article it sounds like I can just get a different filter instead of pump. Is this correct?

  12. Hello, I have an Intex 24×12, with the integrated pump/chlorine generator. I[‘m wanting to upgrade the pump, but at some point we’ll likely upgrade the pool to the 32×16. What I’m wanting to do is future proof things and get a pump that can handle that as well.

    I’m looking for recommendations for equipment.


    • For a 16×32 pool, aboveground, you should look at small inground filter and pump systems. A 21″ sand filter would be a good choice. Look at item E3230 and also the Hayward Xstream, item E3015. (just search the item numbers on the website)

  13. I have a 16 x 32 Ultra Frame salt water pool. To upgrade to the Hayward 21″ sand filter and pump do I need any other parts or adapters or hoses, etc? What about my salt system? Does it hook it to the Hayward equipment with no problem?

    • Hi Patti – Hayward (and most other larger systems) use 1.5″ plumbing, but the INtex systems use a 40 mm hose (about 1-1/4″). THere are adapters by GAME that are used to connect 40 mm to 1.5″, so you can keep the existing hoses, or for better flow, you can replace all of the 40 mm hose with 1.5″ hoses to and from the pool. If you want to keep your existing Intex salt system, I think you will just need 2 more adapters, to connect it inline after the filter, on the return line.

  14. Hi. When replacing a new intex pump (1000 gph) can we just use the old hoses and hook the new pump up? The pump that came with the pool is a 530gph summer waves.

  15. I have a sand filter from a different brand, above ground pool that was able to stay up all year (dough boy I think). Will that work as a replacement if I invest in an Intex pool? We had an intex before and it definitely didn’t stay clean because the pump was to small. I want to purchase another one and am hoping the large sand filter that I have will work.

  16. I have an 8foot by 30 inch intek pool. Do they sell a better brand pump then inteks brand. Lasted about a month and has no warranty passes 30 days. Thank you.

  17. I have an Intex Ultra frame 16 × 48 pool. It holds around 5,600 gallons of water. I just purchased a polygroup summer waves sand filter that says universal use up to 1,400 gallons. Can i use this sand filter with the above mentioned Intex pool or did I buy the wrong profit. My current setup does not have a skimmer basket. I don’t want to open this sand filter , if it won’t work and I can’t find any information online about using the polygroup sand filter on an Intex pool. Thank you in advance for any wisdom and advice You are willing to pass on.

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