How to Fold and Store an Intex 16-Foot Pool

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No one wants to see summer come to a close, so it's easy to wait a little too long before dismantling your above-ground Intex pool, but once the temperatures are a little chilly, the task will be harder, not to mention wetter. The key to pool storage is to fold up the pool when it is completely dry. Whether your pool is 16 feet across or smaller or larger, the basic task is the same.

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Why Take Down the Pool at All?

Some pool owners think it's a great idea to avoid the chore of taking apart and storing their pools completely and are proponents of leaving it up all year if they live in a climate that doesn't experience hard or frequent freezes — or even if they do. Intex itself recommends disassembling and storing a pool if your area experiences temperatures lower than 41 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid liner failure.

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If you go this route, however, you'll need to carefully winterize the pump, any attached hoses, and the pool itself. This entails removing the pump and all hoses, adding chemicals to a shock level, running the pump regularly (especially in cold weather), and covering it. Depending on your climate and how you use your yard, it's often easier to dismantle your pool and store it.

Taking Your Pool Apart

The first thing to do, of course, is drain the pool. Because the drain plug is a few inches up the side, you'll need to lift up one end to gravity-feed more water into the drain plug until it's as empty as you can get it. Wipe the liner down to clean it and dry it, being sure to clean both the sides and the bottom. Reinsert the drain plug on the inside and also the drain cap on the outside for storage.

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Remove all pumps and hoses and then begin to take apart the structure. As you remove the connecting pipes, get a permanent marker. The paper labels that identify part numbers on each piece can easily rub off with moisture and weather, so use the marker to label each pipe. Make sure each piece is dry and then use bungees or rope to wrap them up in a nice bundle for storage.

Folding the Pool Liner

This is the tough part because the liner must be completely dry, which is why you want to do this before rainy weather hits. If you can get a helper, this job is easier with two people. Because the area where the pool was installed is likely moist underneath, drag the liner elsewhere in the yard if it's a smaller pool that's not too heavy and you have room, ideally on top of a big tarp or patio to keep it as clean as possible. Spread it out and let it air-dry until you know it's completely dry.

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Next, talcum powder is key. If you don't have talcum powder, cornstarch is a good alternative. Sprinkle the powder on the inside to absorb any excess moisture and to keep the vinyl from sticking to itself.

For a rectangular pool, Intex recommends first folding the sides in over the floor. Then, starting on a short side, eyeball about 1/6 of the liner width and fold this amount over twice; repeat on the other side. You'll have a long, thin rectangle at this point. Fold this in the middle and then fold it in the middle again. As you fold, sprinkle a little more powder on both the inside and outside. For a 16-foot-long pool, you'll have approximately a 4-foot-wide bundle. If possible, fold this again to make it more compact, depending on where you plan to store it.

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If you have a round pool, first fold it in half, then half again so that you have a triangle shape similar to a pizza slice. Smooth all the edges so there aren't any creases. Then take the pointed end, fold it up, and tuck it under the straight edge to make it neat. Walk around on the liner to get the air out; at this point, you can just roll it up.

Grab some more bungees or rope and wrap them around the liner. Find a nice, dry, protected spot that's temperature-controlled so that it never goes below 32 degrees. Next summer, you should be good to go for another season.

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