Small Pool Filter: Pick Small-Sized Cartridge Filtration

Small Pool Filter
Filtering dirt particles from even the smallest pools is essential for sparkling clean pool water. Read about cartridge filtration systems and pool filters for small pools in our pump/filter feature. Shop water filters for small pools today.

INTEX 28633EG C2500 Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above...
35,717 Reviews
INTEX 28633EG C2500 Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above...
  • FILTER PUMP: The Intex Krystal Clear filter pump with Hydro Aeration Technology improves circulation and...
  • COMPATIBLE: The Intex pump is compatible with pools up to 15,200 gallons with 1.25-inch diameter hose fittings. The...
  • FEATURES: Pump is double insulated and has a sediment flush and air release valves. With a built-in ground fault...

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Small Swimming Pool Filters Galore

Filters come in three different types. These are Sand filters, Diatomaceous Earth (DE) and Cartridge filters. Regardless of the filter you ultimately choose, the combination of a small pool with filter and pump is most essential to keeping your pool’s system healthy.

Much like the valves of the human heart, the small pool filter pump is the thing that gets the water to where it needs to be. It’s the “heart” of the pool as it were! Let’s look at the different systems on the market. Here are some great options available, complete with our reviews so you can take your pick.

Sand Filter Offers

Option #1. Blue Wave 12in Above Ground Sand System with 1/2HP

This option is one of the smaller types of systems . This offer is less expensive than the average large size sand filter would be. By all reports it does just as much of what people expect out of a sand system. This choice is an above ground only system..


  • This option is corrosive proof and winter perfect.
  • This offer is a complete system that includes everything you need to set up and run your system.
  • Comes with it’s own hose fittings. Made of durable polyethylene. Complete system that includes: base, pump, tank, 4-position multi-port valve, clamps, fittings and pressure gauge.
  • Runs very quietly and is energy efficient.


  • Holes may be large enough that they allow some debris in.
  • This offer may get clogged sooner than other systems of a similar type.
  • The provided hoses aren’t as snug and may have to be replaced.
  • Will only work with a 115volt pump.

Option #2. Intex 16in Krystal Clear Sand System for Above Ground Pools

This choice is a competitively priced system  that packs a punch. This option will keep your water clean and free of growth such as algae, not to mention dirt and particulates. On average it needs to be run about six hours a day. This offer has a gauge that is colour coded making it easy to read. There is also has a built-in strainer basket for filter tabs. It’s fine enough that it keeps leaves and large debris from clogging the system. It’s recommended that the system be installed outside of a housing unit to prevent the restriction of airflow. You can however install a shield over it to guard from the sun’s rays. Minimum pool capacity is 5,500 gallons Maximum pool capacity is 19,600 gallons


  • Has a system flow rate of 2,400 gallons per hours.
  • ​There’s a menu control valve that lets you filter, backwash, rinse, recirculate, drain and close the system.
  • ​Includes a safety shut off and an automatic 24hr timer so you don’t need to be there to perform all tasks.
  • Works with both saltwater and chlorine pools.
  • Built-in ground fault circuit breaker.
  • Includes two connector hoses.


  • You’ll need to get very specific sand media that is only sold through manufacturer.
  • Laterals are two wide and can cause sand to shoot into the pool at times.
  • Pump may not be able to keep pressure over time and will have to be replaced.

Option #3. Hayward S166T92S Pro Series 16-In Top-Mount Sand System

Although on the pricier side, this top mount series features a complete system of full flow power pump, filter and a base . The tank is a perfect all weather tank with a multi-port valve. The energy costs associated with running this product are reduced because you can operate it less frequently. Suitable for all weather conditions, the large sand and water drain so that you can quickly winterizing or service. The valve provides max flow with low pressure drop and seven positions. Included clamp allows for 360-degree rotation which makes installation a breeze.


  • Outfitted with a self-cleaning underdrain a top diffuser and 360 degree slots for even water distribution through the sand, for clean water and a balanced flow.
  • ​Multi-port valve has positions for filter, closed, backwash, recirculation, rinse, waste and winter as well as pressure gauge with sight glass.
  • ​Compatible with in-ground, above-ground pools and aquariums.
  • Injection molded and corrosion proof.
  • Clamp allows for 360-degree rotation making installation a breeze.


  • Only 120V with no adaptaion for 240V.
  • Fittings are loose and may cause leakage
  • 16in model may not be powerful enough for pools over 10,000 gallon capacity
  • This product is very loud and at an odd angle which may cause backwash to get into the pool

Option #5. Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge for Above Ground Pools

This choice is a good inexpensive system with a lot of good reviews . This option has a flow rate of 1,900 gallons per hour which is makes getting a 20,000 gallon pool completely filtered in about ten hours. It’s also possible to vacuum the bottom just using the auxiliary port while filtering the pool at the same time. However If you plan on using this product for the smaller Intex pools with the smaller diameter hoses, you’ll need to buy a hose conversion adapter kit for 1500 gph and 2500 gph pumps. Those are relatively easy to find at e-tailers.


  • Double insulated.
  • ​Has a sediment flush valve in the chamber
  • ​Works with 18-feet Easy Set, 18-feet Metal Frame, or 18-feet by 10-feet Oval Frame pools
  • The suction quality is strong enough to pick up even the smallest bits of gravel.
  • Air release valve to free trapped air from chamber.
  • Built in timer so that you can set operation times.


  • Cartridge needs to be replaced every two weeks.
  • Does not come with plungers or adapters.
  • Housing is weak and prone to cracks and breaking.
  • Pressure starts to fall after about two hours of running.
  • Only suitable for above ground pools.

Option #6. Hayward C225 25sq ft Micro Star Clear Pool System

This cartridge  is what’s known as a full flow element system, it’s specially developed for above ground pools. This option is also injection molded, so it’s one piece and in that sense eliminates the worry that bits could break off. In addition being a one piece unit, this option is also created to be installed on any part of the pool via a snap-on tightening knob with no bolts or clamps.


  • Head can be rotated to reposition pressure gauge and manual air valve.
  • ​Is designed for pool capacities up to 15,000 gallons.
  • ​Strong filtration elements catch dirt and debris easily
  • Designed for maximum water and energy efficiency.
  • This choice can be used for both in and above ground systems.


  • Is a stand-alone system, a pump must be purchased separately.
  • A 1.5hp pump will be too strong for this offer.
  • Tends to be leaky and can sometimes clog quickly.
  • Spin-on system that will take two people to remove.

Option #7. Waterway BS5205160-6S Blue Star Clearwater II Cartridge System

This complete Blue Star system  is packs a punch. You won’t need to search for additional components as everything that you’ll need is included in the package. The pump that it comes with is a powerful 1.5hp pump, and the system even includes a leaf strainer and six foot three pronged grounded cord.


  • Great for both above ground and in ground pools.
  • ​Complete system.
  • ​Includes all hoses, adapters, converters and connectors.


  • The motor of this choice is very loud, so it’s best to run in when you’re either away from home or doing something that doesn’t require quiet and tranquility.
  • There have been some complaints that it doesn’t develop enough pressure for adequate output.
  • 1.5hp may not be strong enough and may have to be replaced. Has the potential to throw off the balance of your pool.

Option #8. Hayward EC50AC Perflex Extended-Cycle D.E. System

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Hayward EC50AC Perflex D.E. Pool Filter, Hayward EC50AC Perflex D.E. Pool Filter, 1,478 Reviews

This DE system  is a pretty versatile fellow what with being able to be used in both in and above ground filters and having a capacity of 30,000 gallons. Because this option is for DE, you’ll get the most comprehensive cleaning experience, as it will clean even things that you aren’t seeing.


  • Should only be used with oval pools 28-33ft and round pools 18-39ft
  • ​Can be used with both in ground and above ground pools.
  • ​Bump handle causes the flex-tubes to clean themselves of dirt and powder.
  • Backflow is prevented by integral check valve when pump is off.
  • Injection molded one piece corrosion free filter.


  • A pump is unfortunately not included with this system, you will need at least a 1.5hp.
  • Plastic this offer is made from is somewhat fragile and prone to breakage.
  • There are also no instructions in the package so you’ll need to search for installation and maintenance instructions.

Option #9. Hayward EC50C92S Perflex Extended-Cycle 1-Horsepower D.E. System

A powerful and complete system, this DE system  is designed to be used with in ground pools, but also includes a 1.5hp power-flo matrix pump intended for above ground pools. This offer also includes two six foot hoses, hose adapters and clamps as well as the instructions needed for easy, worry free installation. The capacity is 3,000 gallons per hour.


  • Simple installation, corrosion free, injection molded and easily winterized.
  • ​Has function for chlorine feeder on included platform base.
  • ​Includes two pumps for use with above and in-ground pools.
  • Timer feature available on this choice.
  • Designed to withstand continuous use.
  • Newer model a secondary skimmer basket for catching more debris.


  • This offer does have some issues with leaking, so you may need to find a way to secure couplings to prevent that.
  • The suction has also been known to lose it’s abilities rather quickly and may need to be replaced often.
  • Pumping this option is the only way to assure backwashing so you’ll have to keep up with that manually to ensure that your chemicals are circulating properly.
  • This choice may need to purchase new suction pump and hosing frequently.

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About The Author

Joseph Bartley
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Joseph Bartley, also known as the WaterFilterFanatic, is a seasoned content writer who specializes in water filtration and water quality topics. On AllAboutWaterFilters, he has written a range of water filtration system reviews, water health and quality articles, swimming pool, hot tub and aquarium filtration guides, DIY methods to assist people clean their drinking water, and much more. Joseph enjoys spending his time working with the #AllAboutWaterFilters Editorial Team to provide some of the best quality water filtration content available on the web.

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