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Thread: Super-simple recipe for Intex type swimming pools

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    Default Super-simple recipe for Intex type swimming pools

    The process here works, but I'll be revising it extensively over the next week to make it simpler. May 2018


    Super Simple Pool Chemistry Recipe
    -- for Intex-type pools with a pump and filter, 12 feet in diameter, or larger --

    [ -- for smaller pools and pools without filters, see http://pool9.net/tiny/ -- ]


    Intex pools are fun, relatively durable, and a tremendous bargain for folks that would like to have a real pool for a fraction of the cost and hassle of a regular in-ground or above-ground pool. But Intex pools are NOT forgiving. Many new Intex pool owners end up draining their pool 2 or 3x during their first season -- or they suffer through a season of algae and cloudy water.

    But problems are easy to avoid, IF you follow the plan below and IF you start your plan before you fill!

    Filling first and planning later is the #1 cause of Intex pool problems!

    The process below is not the only way but it's probably the way for newbies, and it's a good way for anybody. Later, once you know more, you may decide to things differently. However, you need to understand a little about what you are doing to your pool water, before you start.

    Because you'll may have to order some things, we've included a 7-day 'get-by-with-bleach' option, to follow if you have to wait for supplies to arrive.
    _____________________________________________

    Dose Chart
    • 2500 - 3500 gallons => 1/2 cup = 1 dose
    • 3500 - 5000 gallons => 3/4 cups = 1 dose
    • 5000 - 7000 gallons => 1 cups = 1 dose
    • 7000 - 11,000 gallons => 1 1/2 cups = 1 dose
    • 11,000 - 14,000 gallons => 2 cups = 1 dose

    Intex-type Pool 7 Day Start-up Plan
    1. Before you fill, purchase
      + (2) gallons of PLAIN 8.25% bleach & (1) box of 20 Mule Team borax for every 3,000 gallons in your pool. (6% used to be common; 8.25% is now most common)
      + A cheap OTO / phenol red test kit (or the HTH 6-way drops kit from Walmart) -- NO 'guess-strips'!!!
      + A SET of plastic measuring cups, from 1/4 to 1 full cup.

    2. Test your fill water for metals and other problems:
      + Fill a CLEAN 2 - 5 gallon bucket 3/4 of full.
      + Add 1/4 of cup of bleach to the bucket, mix, and wait 15 minutes.
      + If the water changes color or turns cloudy, DO NOT FILL YOUR POOL! You are going to have to do things the hard way. Tell us what color it turned, and we'll go from there. Sorry!

    3. If the water does NOT change color, start filling your pool. Add 2 doses of bleach once you have 6" or more in the bottom of your pool.
    4. Add 1 dose of bleach every 8 hours while your pool fills. Add 4 doses of bleach EACH evening, while filling.
    5. Once your pool is full, test the pH. If the pH is 7.0, or below, begin adding 4 doses of borax every 8 hours, 4 doses at a time. Check the pH before the next dose. Once the pH reaches 7.4 or above, stop adding borax.

    Intex Pool Care Plan
    1. Get everything listed in the 7-day plan
    2. Get 10 to 25lbs of dichlor (a sunlight stabilized form of chlorine). There are two reliable sources:
      + PoolBrand bagged dichlor shock @ Sams Club
      + Kem-Tek Dichlor 22 lbs @ Amazon
      + Other possible sources, below.

    3. Once your pool is full add one dose of dichlor each evening. Do NOT skip! Add 1/2 dose before each group swims. Add borax in equal quantities as dichlor (ie, if you add 1 cup of diclor, then also add 1 cup of borax)
    4. At the first sign or algae, or slippery sides of the pool (pre-algae) add 4 doses of bleach in the evening, IN ADDITION to your regular dichlor dose.
    5. Test the chlorine and pH each morning; if chlorine is below 2 ppm, add 1/2 dose of dichlor; if the pH is below 7.0, add 4 doses of borax. If the pH is above 8.0, skip borax additions till it goes below 7.4.
    6. Order the Taylor K-2006 testkit. If you were able to buy an HTH 6-way test kit, you can postpone this purchase for 4 - 6 weeks, but you will need the K-2006 before 6 weeks are up.
    7. Complete the pool chart, and let us help you calculate a regular dosing plan for you. -- SUBSCRIBER FEATURE FOR NOW.

    That's it! Three chemicals; two regular tests (chlorine & pH). But, it will go better IF you learn a bit more:

    _____________________________________________

    There are 5 parts of pool water management:
    1. Burn up the people 'goo' -- sweat, pee, lotion, etc -- that the filter can't remove. You do this by "oxidizing" it with chlorine. In a properly operated pool, this is what uses up most of your chlorine.
    2. Destroy algae spores when they enter your pool, and kill them when they sprout, so your pool stays clear and algae free. Chlorine is the STRONGEST algaecide you can buy. So long as you keep your chlorine high, this will use up very little chlorine. But, if algae gets a start, it can consume HUGE quantities of chlorine.
    3. Keep your pool safe, by killing germs and viruses before they can make your kids sick. This is VERY important, and chlorine is MUCH better at this, than anything else you can buy, but this task uses up only a tiny amount of your chlorine.
    4. Protect your pool, by keeping your pool's pH level between 7.0 (neutral) and 8.0 (slightly alkaline), to make the pool water comfortable for you, and for your pool. Low pH can damage liners quickly; high pH can damage them eventually.
    5. Filter out all the 'goo' that chlorine doesn't oxidize -- dirt, skin cells (people shed a LOT!), lotion bits, and more all end up on your filter IF it's working properly.

    As you can see, keeping chlorine in your pool at ALL times is the #1 thing you can do, to make sure your pool works well. Your pool doesn't care HOW you add it: bleach, dichlor, trichlor, cal hypo, salt water chlorine generation, or whatever. It's all the same, once the chlorine is in the pool.

    But, each form of chlorine adds OTHER things to the water as well. Bleach has the fewest side effects, so we recommend any time we are sure what's going on. Using dichlor, instead of bleach, adds stabilizer to your pool, as well as chlorine. Stabilizer protects your chlorine from sunlight; without it you can lose ALL the chlorine in your pool. Each dose of dichlor will tend, after time, to make your pH drop. Borax raise it.

    Over time, the dichlor will add enough stabilizer, so that you can add chlorine 2x per week, instead of every day. However, you will also need to run higher levels of chlorine, so you'll need the K-2006 kit.

    That's all you have to know, at first. But, you'll need to read the rest of the page eventually.

    _____________________________________________
    Last edited by PoolDoc; 05-28-2018 at 02:30 PM. Reason: update Amz links, add tiny pool links

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    Default Small pool maintenence

    I have a small 10' x 30" Intex above ground pool. It holds just over 1000 gallons. I found the link for the "Super-simple pool chemical recipe for Intex pools: startup and routine care", on this forum, but it says it's for pools 12' or larger. I really like the simplicity of this system and would like to use it. Can I follow the steps for my smaller pool, and if so, how much would be a dose for my size pool?

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    Default Re: Small pool maintenence

    Quote Originally Posted by NannyAng View Post
    I have a small 10' x 30" Intex above ground pool. It holds just over 1000 gallons. Can I follow the steps for my smaller pool, and if so, how much would be a dose for my size pool?
    Not really. The problem is, as a pool gets smaller, the effect of swimmers on the water gets larger. How much? Dunno.

    What you can do is cut the dose size in 1/2 (ie, 1/4 cup dose would become your standard) . . . and THEN test after doses. AND, after use. You may find you need an extra daily dose of chlorine on days the pool is used. Or not.

    I don't know; you can try and see.

    The SS recipe is intended as a get-you-started method that you can chose to follow or not, once you have a bit more experience. With the very small pool, you really need to be a little more 'hard-core' about your testing, right from the start.

    Another option? Check around for a slightly larger pool on clearance. Summer Escapes pools have some quality control problems, and very poor customer service, but are really, really cheap. Intex Ultra pools are better, and have better -- if slow and inconvenient -- customer service. Walmart, KMart, Target are all possible sources for something like a 14' Intex Ultra.

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    Default Re: Small pool maintenence

    Great Thread,

    Is this setup perfect for a 14' x 42" with intex sand pump and separate intex saltwater system. I am first time owner basically once i get my water balanced i should proceed to add the salt. Please correct me if i am wrong.

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    Default Re: Small pool maintenence

    However, with salt you'll need to switch to accurately testing your own water sooner. You're OK for a couple of weeks, but you'll need the K2006 kit AND the AquaCheck salt strips. See http://pool9.net/tk/

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    Default Salt vs bleach/borax???

    Choice is between salt system and your "Super-simple pool chemistry recipe for Intex type pools" involving bleach, borax and that other thing:
    Okay, even if i get into it and it's simply, putting in a cup here and a cup there depending on how things measures...sure, i could figure that out but when i'm away NO CHANCE my wife will want to do that stuff. Is it not simpler to just get a saltwater pump system and couple of bags of salt?
    4.5k gal Intex 9 x 18, Krystal Clear 1200 gph Sand Filter Pump. PF=27

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    Default Re: Super-simple pool chemistry recipe for Intex type pools: start-up & routine care.

    The general consensus on this board, as far as I can determine, is that SWCGs are MUCH more convenient AND more costly than manual chlorination. Whether or not the extra expense is worth it or not is a HIGHLY personal decision based on YOUR needs and desires. Even if you decide to go with a SWCG, you STILL need to get your pool started and chemical levels correct BEFORE you turn on the SWCG to maximize the life of the SWCG. ALSO, if you do run into a problem (algae) it is best to turn the SWCG off and clean up manually so as to maximize SWCG life expectancy.

    Pappy
    Intex 15ftx4ft 4500 gal. Intex 2150 gph .75 hp 14" pump/sand filter combo. Taylor K-2006 & K-1106 kits. PF=27

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    Default Re: Super-simple recipe for Intex type swimming pools

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolDoc View Post
    Order the Taylor K-2006 testkit. If you were able to buy an HTH 6-way test kit, you can postpone this purchase for 4 - 6 weeks, but you will need the K-2006 before 6 weeks are up.
    I am curious why I will need the K-2006 kit - I haven't stumbled across the reason yet.

    Thanks

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    Default Re: Super-simple recipe for Intex type swimming pools

    Thanks. I should make that clearer.

    Basically, If you are having no problems and have a vinyl or fiberglass pool, you can get by without.

    But having only the HTH can make it difficult to figure out what's wrong, when something does go wrong . . . and pool stores simply can not be trusted. Much pool store testing is inaccurate, and ALL pool store testing is designed to sell more chemicals, often chemicals that will ADD new problems.

    Essentially, the K2006 is a device to help you anticipate and avoid problems AND to keep you out of pool stores!

    One issue: you MUST keep an eye on CYA levels. That is ESSENTIAL.

    Test strip CYA results are EXTREMELY inaccurate; HTH 6-way and K-2006 results aren't super accurate, but are accurate enough to do the job. However, the HTH only includes enough reagent for 3 tests.

    . . . but I'll update the testing info on the main page this weekend!

    Thanks again!

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