Above Ground Pool Pumps: How Does it Differ from an Inground Pool Pump?
May 16, 2017
This question comes up a lot when swimming pool customers are faced with pumping options. Basically, there are above ground pool pumps and inground pool pumps. They may even come equipped with similar electrical and mechanical specifications, but they're intended for different pool duties. First of all, the inground model is designed to deliver more power, so it's a more expensive purchase. What's the deal here?
Power and Head
That inground pool pump is engineered as a powerful head impeller. It's hard-wired into the property's electricity and constructed heavier than its above ground sibling. As for the performance differences, the inground pump and its associated pipes provide the biggest application diverging clue. In essence, this is a device that's designed to operate with a higher head, so its "inground" housing works on the spot to push water vertically up long pipes. Above ground pool pumps just don't have that kind of power.
Next, there are the plumbing differences to consider. The above ground model does pip the post here, with its relocatable build allowing for a measure of portability. Additionally, that pump type is easier to swap out for a replacement. Meanwhile, in the case of the inground pool pump, this heavy duty variant suggests permanence. It's obviously built for an inground swimming pool, whereas the lower head appliance is designed for walled above ground pools. Far from being temporary, though, many contemporary above ground swimming pools are built with concrete or wooden walls, the frames that avoid ground digging but still deliver a permanent property fixture.
A Hard Line Down The Middle
It's hard to draw a line between these two different pump types. In olden days, only inground pool pumps could self-prime, but now a modern above ground pool pump can self-prime (Evacuate air and suck water) as well as any high head model. Still, there are differences, some pretty obvious differences on display. That lighter above ground type is typically made of reinforced fibreglass and lighter plastics, plus its plug-tipped electrical cord works on 115 Volts. A rugged inground swimming pool pump, on the other hand, is built tougher, perhaps with a corrosion-proof metal housing and a requirement for 115v/230v of power.
A broader profile greets an installer when he picks out an inground pool pump. The pipes are wider here, and its housing is made of metal. Secondly, its impeller chamber is designed for greater vertical water displacement. In short, it's built for a pool that's been scooped out of the ground. Still, that doesn't mean above ground pool pumps are designed for flimsy applications, not when there are so many brick-walled pools being built today.
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