Lawn & Garden

How Far Should Your Pool Pump Be from Your Above Ground Pool?

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26 February, 2024 • Updated 3 hours ago
With limited resources available and online and pool company professionals all having personal bias, it can be difficult to get accurate information on where to place your pool pump and sand filter system in regards to your above ground swimming pool.

Below we cover all the information you may need to make an informed decision on your equipment placement based on personal pool owner experiences, professional consensus, and legal requirements.

So don’t worry about making a wrong move that could end up causing extensive costs and labor.

So, How Far Should Your Pool Pump Be from Your Above Ground Pool? this article will help you understand everything you need.

Things to Consider

Distance is not the only factor in determining the perfect placement for your pool pump filter. Below we cover everything you need to keep in mind when making your decision.

Vertical Placement

The general rule of thumb is that your pool pump and filter should be placed at pool level or lower for proper pool water filtration. This places less strain on the pump and extends its lifespan, as less energy is needed to transport the pool water than would be needed if it were functioning against the gravitational pull.

This is especially true in the case of above ground pools as many above ground swimming pool pumps are gravity fed, meaning that atmospheric pressure pushes water to maintain circulation.


In order to simplify the electrical wiring factor of setting up a pool pump and filter, it may be wise to put your pool equipment near your home and as close to the electrical panel as possible.


While your pool may add immense aesthetic value to your home, the equipment necessary to run your pool has the opposite effect. Many pool owners place their pump and filter in a corner or discreet alley so the eye is not easily drawn there, as the items are rather big and unappealing.


Pool pumps and sand filters can produce noises that rival hair dryers and vacuum cleaners. This can heavily interfere with your relaxing summer plans if you place your pool equipment near your above ground pool without any noise prevention methods.

Distance Between Pool and Pool Equipment

Minimum Distance

Something that you might not expect is that most outdoor hot tubs and above ground pools are considered permanently installed pools as per the swimming pool safety guidelines set up by the NEC. This is because all pools deeper than 42 inches classify as permanent and the average above ground pool has a pool water depth of between 48 and 52 inches.

Considering the fact that you likely have a permanent swimming pool, the minimum distance you can place your equipment from your pool is subject to the NEC rules – your pool pump is not allowed to be less than 5 feet from your pool.

If you absolutely MUST have your equipment closer to your pool, there has to be a permanent barrier installed between the pump and the pool. This step is rarely worth the benefit of shorter plumbing pipes and slightly less electricity usage.

Maximum Distance

Most people settle for placing their pool pump up to 50 feet away from their pool, but you can easily get away with couple hundred if your layout accommodates it. This can be seen in cases of public hotel pools where the filter is often hidden away in a maintenance room quite a bit away from the swimming pool.

It is thought by many that a distance this large will wear out the pump faster and cost more in electricity, but in actuality, the biggest cost increase will simply be to lay the longer pipe. This is because your pool pump uses virtually the same amount of energy to pump your water 10 feet as it does 100 feet, as long as that entire distance is level.

Vertical pipes, however, rapidly increase the amount of strain on your pump and the pump’s electricity usage. Even the inclusion of a vertical pipe of only 1 foot will have a more notable influence on your pool water flow rate than the inclusion of a 50-foot horizontal pipeline.

It is advisable to never include lifts of more than 2-3 feet in your pipeline, as this is the most strain that can be placed on a pump to still provide the minimum flow needed to keep your water in circulation.

Ideal Distance

The ideal distance that your pool pump and filter should be placed from your pool depends on your property layout and personal priorities.

Pros of Keeping Pool Equipment Near the Pool

  • Save money on PVC piping between your pool and the pump
  • Less chance of pipes being damaged during renovation
  • May use less electricity to produce higher pool water flow rate
  • Good option for pool owners with limited yard space

Pros of Keeping Pool Equipment Far From the Pool

  • Increased distance decreases noise levels
  • Placing the pool pump and filter out of sight may add visual appeal to your yard
  • More convenient wiring if placed near the electricity panel


There is no universal ideal distance between pool pumps and above ground pools.

Your perfect distance is dependent on legal safety requirements, the vertical positioning of your equipment and whether you want a discreet setup.

We hope this article has helped you set up your above ground pool equipment in preparation for summer.

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