Intex is a renowned manufacturer of soft-sided, above-ground swimming pools. Their products come in two types. So-called "Easy Set" pools are inflatable soft-sided pools intended for no more than four people at a time. Intex's framed pools are larger, taller pools meant for larger groups. They are also soft-sided but are reinforced with metal legs and rim. Both types of pools are taken down at the end of the season and stored for swimming the next year.
Although neither pool is as tough as a steel or aluminum above-ground pool, Intex soft-sided pools will last for many years if you take good care of them, as directed here.
Review Pool Directions and Setup Video
Read the setup directions and watch the pool setup video before you put up your pool for the first time. Both types of Intex pools can be set up in an hour or less. The Easy Set pool has an inflatable ring that must be blown up using a pump. Once the ring is blown up, water is added and the ring and the pool walls gradually rise with the water level. The framed pools are made of rubberized canvas supported by PVC or powdered metal piping. This type looks like a traditional above-ground pool before you add the water. Framed Intex pools have a slightly larger usable space, because the sides don't angle in as they do with the inflatable Easy Set pools.
In subsequent years as you bring the pool out of storage and put it up again for the season, it's a good idea to review the instructions and video. If you have misplaced these, Intex offers them online.
Inspect the Liner
Check for rips in the liner when you set up your pool each year. Tears can also occur in the inflatable ring in the Easy Set pool. Finding and repairing rips before you put any water in the pool is much easier than trying to patch a pool full of water. Make sure that the plastic covers on the pool ladder legs haven't come off—the unprotected legs can tear the liner.
Install Your Pool "On the Level"
Find a level spot in your yard to set up the pool. If the pool is set up on an uneven surface, there will be too much pressure on the "deep" end of the pool and the pool may burst at the seams. Not only is this a frightening event, but it also means a costly trip to the store to buy a replacement pool.
An area of your yard that has an overall level character but is not perfectly flat can be an acceptable pool site. Spread a few bags of sand over the site to fill in low spots, or do some other grading work to flatten the area, and you'll have a perfectly acceptable site for your pool.
Watch Your Chemistry
Although this is true with any pool, it's especially important with pools you are refilling each year: maintain a good level of free chlorine in the pool. A floating chlorine dispenser alone won't do it. You need to shock the pool on a regular basis.
When you first fill the pool for the season, use double the amount of shock you normally do, since this is the very first chlorine treatment of the year. If it is very hot or has rained, you will need to add shock more often. You can buy test strips at any pool store; use them often to determine if you need more chlorine or need to adjust the pH levels. Add algaecide once a week to prevent your pool water from developing a greenish tinge.
Vacuum the pool whenever the bottom starts looking dirty, usually every few days. Clean out the filter cartridge every few days by squirting it with a hose. Although it is recommended that you replace the filter every two weeks, it will last a month or two if you wash it out regularly.
End of Season Storage
When the swimming season is over for the year, drain the pool water. You may find that all of the water doesn't drain out through the drain opening. If that happens, rent a small pump to remove those last few inches of water.
Once the water has drained, clean the bottom and sides of the pool using rags or paper towels, and store the pool away from the elements. Be careful to put a tarp or ground cloth under the pool as you drag it away, or you risk ripping or abrading the liner. Make sure the liner is completely dry before you store it; this prevents mold from developing.
If you are storing the pump in a cold garage or shed, first remove the black rubber ring in the pump lid and keep it inside so that it doesn't crack.