Information for Owners of Intex Above Ground Pools

Water Quality in your Intex Pool - When Problems Arise

Even with an effective and regular water maintenance routine, your pool water will eventually develop a problem from time to time. There can be many reasons for this - Equipment failure while you're away from home.. Power outages.. Weather blowing in dirt or debris.. Heavy pool use..

Whatever the reason is, water problems will happen from time to time. If you've established your daily & weekly routine of testing & adjusting your water, you already know that there is no reason to panic. If you're new to pool maintenance or you're starting with slimy, green water, then relax. It doesn't take a professional chemist to get clean pool water, and it's not expensive either. There will be some time & effort to get your water clean, but it's not likely to be an expensive, long term nightmare.

Steps for cleaning water in your Intex pool:
1. Ensure that your pump is operating - If your water is stagnant and not circulating, it will be very difficult to get it clean. In fact, it's probably a good idea to run your pump 24 hours per day (if it's not already) when you're addressing water problems.

2. Clean your skimmer - A clean, clear skimmer ensures that your pump is circulating your water well and prolongs the useful like of your filter.

3. Clean or change your filter - As the chemicals kill algae, bacteria & other organisms, the filter will remove them from your water. It will also remove dirt & other floating debris from your water.

4. Clean water with Pole Skimmer/Net - If your water has large clumps of algae, leaves, or other debris, clean it out with the Pole Skimmer/Net attachment that came with your Intex pool. If this isn't adequate for the job, you can buy a replacement at the pool stores, but be aware that the Intex hardware is not compatable with conventional retail hardware. If your water is in very bad shape, this is probably the least pleasant and most time consuming part of the job. But most Intex pools can be cleaned in just an hour or two.

At this point, you've established good water circulation & filtration and you've manually cleaned up your water as much as possible. Now you can put some chemicals to work.

The goal is to ruthlessly bombard your water with high levels of chlorine (aka "Shock" your water) so that any bacteria, algae or mildew that has taken over will be quickly & forcefully killed.

5. Measure Stabilizer (CYA) - Measure the stabilizer (CYA) level with your test kit and adjust to the suggested level. If your level is too high, then you will need to drain water & refill to adjust. If it is too low, then add a stabilized chlorine tablet, or use the calculator at chlorine level needed to shock your water, based on your level of stabilizer. Then, use the calculator at daily and weekly routines.

ASK A QUESTION
Previously answered questions for this page...

Question From: Brenda N. on 4/9/2013 9:09:29 PM
"I just bought a house and the previous owner left their intex pool and I assume all the needed chemicals and equipment..My question is this will it need to be drained and refilled? It's got a bit of debris from trees and bugs in it. It doesn't appear there's any algae, but its just now starting to get warm. Is it possible to clean and retreat the water?"

Answer:
Hi Brenda, thanks for the great question. If the debris isn't excessive and you donít mind spending the time to clear it up, then the existing water should absolutely be fine. Keep in mind that the sooner you get started on our water quality schedule, the easier it will be to get your water clean.

The first step youíll want to take is to clean or replace your filter and get your pump running. After that, get a pole & net and start working on the leaves and other debris. Next, begin to chlorinate the water with unscented bleach to start killing any algae that may have gotten started. In the first few days, the amount of bleach isnít critically important Ė a quart would be good on the smaller 10-12 foot Intex pools, maybe two quarts on the bigger 15-18 foot pools. The idea is to shock the water to prevent any scum from even getting started.

Youíll want to get a good water test kit soon after so that you can begin getting accurate measurements. You will especially want to check for high levels of stabilizer because the previous owner might have used stabilized tablets to sanitize the water. Check our page about stabilizer to see why this may be an issue. If you find that the stabilizer is too high, then you will need to drain some of the water to bring those levels down.

Please donít hesitate to ask a follow up question if you need to.



Question From: larissa on 5/5/2013 6:01:16 AM
"I just bought a 10x30 easy set pool that uses 1,018 gallons of water-what type of chlorine should I use, how much, and how often. Thank you."

Answer:
Hi, Larissa. The answers to those questions take up several pages on this site, but I'll try to give a short version here.

For the first several weeks, use stabilized chlorine tablets because these will provide chlorine and gradually build up levels of stabilizer. Just add a tablet and replace it once it's dissolved.

After you've gone through a few tablets, start testing your water for the right amount of stabilizer (also called CYA). Keep using the tablets until your CYA gets to the right level. After that, you'll want to switch to plain chlorine bleach so that your stabilizer levels don't get too high.

How much bleach to add and how often really depends on how much you use your pool and how much sun it gets. A starting point might be to add a cup or two of bleach per day and then test (with a good test kit) every two or three days to see where your chlorine level is at. If you keep track of your levels in a notebook, you'll start to figure out what works best for your pool and then just stick with that.

That's the short version, but I would encourage you to read the pages on our site about water care, because there is quite a bit more that it would be good for you to know.


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Certain chemicals used in the maintenance of pool water can be very dangerous. Always read & follow warning labels.