The Ultimate Intex Pool Care Guide For Beginners

The above-ground pools from Intex and Bestway are becoming more and more popular. But how do you clean an Intex pool, and what should you watch out for in pool maintenance?

First, the parameters in the pool are checked with a water tester and optimized if necessary. Then scrub the walls with a brush and remove dirt from the surface with the landing net and skimmer. Later the floor is vacuumed, and chlorine is used for disinfection.

In this ultimate guide, I will explain from A to Z what you need for an Intex pool and how to clean an above-ground pool. I will also give you additional tips for your pool maintenance.

What do you need for an Intex pool?

Due to its construction, an above-ground pool from Intex is robust and easy to set up in your garden.

This type of pool is an inexpensive alternative compared to large concrete pools. But don’t let that fool you because an Intex pool needs the same maintenance as a classic swimming pool to keep the water clean.

Before we get to the instructions on how to clean an Intex pool, I will explain first which devices and resources you need for this.

Intex filter pump for water circulation and filtration

The Intex pools are usually equipped with a cartridge filter and a pool pump – this makes the whole process easier when coordinating the systems and connecting them to your pool.

The performance of the cartridge filters varies depending on your pool size. So you cannot necessarily use your old filter system on the new Intex pool if the pump is designed for a small above-ground pool.

You should keep in mind that you absolutely need a pump and filter system when cleaning an Intex pool.

The pool water is circulated with the pump to not tip over and become cloudy – water flows through the cartridge filter and gets the dirt out of your pool.

When it comes to water circulation, the running time of the pool pump is crucial for clean pool water.

By default, the pump in the Intex pool should run at least for 4 to 6 hours a day – 8 hours would be ideal.

Intex Skimmer for cleaning the water surface

In addition to the pump and the cartridge filter, an Intex skimmer is also often included in the above-ground pool.

The skimmer is used to remove dirt from the water surface.

Furthermore, the pool skimmer is a connection point between your pool pump and a pool vacuum cleaner – more on that later.

Telescopic rod, pool net, and basin brush

If you have a pool, you can’t avoid buying a classic telescopic rod.

The net, which can remove leaves and insects from the water, will later be attached to the telescopic rod.

The telescopic rod is also important to clean the pool surface with the pool brush.

But the pool vacuum cleaner is also connected to the rod to vacuum your pool floor – more on this in the next chapter.

A pool vacuum to clean the floor

Frequent use of your Intex pool, a wrong location, and a missing pool cover allows a lot of dirt to land on the pool floor.

The dirt on the pool floor must be removed with a pool vacuum to prevent algae and other bacteria from spreading.

Your pool water quickly becomes cloudy if you don’t use a pool vacuum. Additional pool chemicals are necessary to clean your Intex pool.

Water tester to check the parameters in the Intex swimming pool

The pool has to be clean, so it is important to continuously monitor the parameters in the water.

Above all, the pH level, the total alkalinity level, and the calcium hardness are important for the water balance.

But the chlorine content and the proportion of cyanuric acid are also essential for the ongoing optimization of the pool water in your Intex pool.

To do this, use simple water test strips or ideally an electronic water tester to get precise results.

I have described the topic in more detail in my pool water levels ​​table. Still, I will explicitly go into this topic in the case of Intex pool cleaning.

Pool chemistry for water treatment in the Intex pool

The water test in the Intex pool is not unnecessary.

We can only locate problems and remove the cloudiness with the appropriate pool chemistry with an exact measurement result.

Important pool chemicals for Intex pool cleaning are the following:

  • pH plus and pH minus to raise or lower the pH level, if necessary.
  • A pH-neutral Alka-Plus agent with which you can optimize the total alkalinity.
  • Hardness stabilizer, with which limescale formation in the pool is inhibited.
  • An algaecide against the growth of all types of algae in the pool water.
  • Flocculant to benefit filtration in the water.
  • A disinfectant such as chlorine or active oxygen against bacteria.

Tip: If you want to learn more about the chemicals in the swimming pool, I recommend my ultimate guide on pool chemistry. Just follow the link.

How to clean an Intex pool

The water in your Intex pool must be clean, which is only possible with ongoing pool maintenance.

But what if your Intex pool is already dirty?

In this case, you will learn in my instructions how to clean your Intex pool so that no damage occurs.

I have already explained what equipment and resources are necessary for pool cleaning.

Now your entire manpower is required to clean the Intex pool.

Stick to the exact sequence, and the water in the pool will quickly become crystal clear again.

# 1 Optimize the water balance in the Intex pool

If the water balance in the Intex pool is not guaranteed, the water quickly becomes cloudy.

In addition, the pool water looks bad, smells bad, and in the worst case, it can make you sick.

That is why the testing of the parameters in your pool and the optimization of the water balance with pool chemistry are crucial when cleaning a swimming pool.

In particular, testing the pH and TA (alkalinity) levels is essential in an Intex pool as in any other swimming pool.

In addition to the measurement, optimizing the pH level and the alkalinity is also decisive for clean pool water.

Therefore, take a suitable water tester and first test the TA level in the pool water and optimize it if necessary. The TA level in your pool should be 80 to 120 ppm (mg/l).

There is an important reason why the alkalinity is measured and optimized first. The alkalinity prevents strong fluctuations in the pH level and makes it easier to optimize.

The pH level in the pool is then tested – a pH level of 7.4 is considered ideal.

If necessary, optimize the pH level before you continue cleaning your Intex pool.

In my blog, I explain how you can lower the pH level or raise the pH level in your pool if necessary.

Don’t neglect the pH in your swimming pool.

If the pH is below 7.0, the water is acidic, and the expensive pool equipment can be damaged. However, a high pH level above 8.0 is also bad for water quality.

Tip: If necessary, use baking soda to raise the pH level in your pool.

Suppose the pH level in your pool is too high. In that case, you can use a home remedy such as vinegar to reduce it. However, I would generally not recommend using home remedies for the Intex pool care.

Also, pay attention to the water hardness and the level of disinfectants such as chlorine.

The water hardness should be around 300 ppm, and a chlorine level of 0.3 – 1.5 ppm is sufficient for disinfecting the water.

# 2 Clean the pool wall

After the water balance in the Intex pool has been optimized, the cleaning of the pool walls continues.

Take a pool brush and clip it to the telescopic pole. Then scrub the entire wall and, if present, the pool ladder to loosen deposits.

A lot of dirt collects, especially along the waterline. A grease edge is created if the waterline is not regularly scrubbed.

Tip: Do not use a steel brush in your Intex pool to avoid damaging the surface. A classic basin brush is fine.

# 3 Remove dirt from the water surface with a pool net

In the next step, you can start the water filtration to remove the floating dirt with the help of the skimmer.

Pick up the pool net and clean up the loosened debris along the walls.

Use the net to remove floating leaves from the water’s surface and the pool ground.

The basket in the skimmer must later be cleaned to not impair the pool vacuum’s suction performance in the following cleaning step.

# 4 Vacuum the pool floor

Any foreign substances have no place in your Intex pool and must be removed from your pool as quickly as possible.

With a suitable pool vacuum, you can vacuum sand, needles, insects, and other waste from the pool floor.

The pool vacuum is usually connected to the skimmer.

Still, the performance of a cartridge filter is too low, and I would recommend a battery-powered pool vacuum to clean your Intex pool.

After vacuuming the pool floor, the basket in the skimmer is emptied again, and the pool vacuum is laid out to dry.

Tip: With a pool robot cleaning the surfaces in your pool is much faster.

# 5 Complete the Intex pool cleaning

You are almost there, and in the end, all you have to do is clean the Intex filter.

To do this, unscrew the cover from the cartridge filter and remove the cartridge it contains.

Rinse the Intex filter with the garden hose and clean the housing inside before putting the filter back in.

To keep the pool water clean, I recommend putting a flock pillow in the skimmer basket – this improves the filter performance of the Intex filter.

Tip: Normally, a chlorine tablet is placed in a floater to continuously produce free chlorine. But with PVC pool, this can lead to bleaching stains in your pool.

If you still want to use a chlorine tablet in your Intex pool, the best thing to do is to put it directly into the skimmer.

Tips to keep the Intex pool clean

Intex pool cleaning depends on a routine so that there is always clean water in your swimming pool.

Therefore, you should see the cleaning instructions as the first step in your Intex pool care plan.

If you know how to maintain Intex your pool and locate problems quickly, you can avoid cloudy pool water in the long term and reduce your pool cleaning costs.

  • Carry out a daily visual inspection in the Intex pool and, if necessary, clean deposits with the pool brush.
  • Remove floating debris from the surface of the water with a landing net every day.
  • Measure the pH level, the total alkalinity, and the chlorine level in the water 2 to 3 times per week.
  • Use a flocculant pad in the skimmer every 10 to 14 days to improve filtration.

You can find more about the pool maintenance plan and other tips in the blog article I linked to you in the chapter above.

Nevertheless, in the next chapter, I want to briefly go into the crucial steps in the ongoing maintenance of the Intex pool.

The ongoing water filtration in the Intex Pool

An optimized filter run time is crucial to ensure that the water in your Intex pool remains clean over the entire pool season.

The basic rule for water filtration in an Intex pool says: The pool water must run completely through the pool filter at least once a day within 6 to 8 hours.

On sweltering summer days, I recommend that the pool water run 1.5 to 2x/day through the Intex filter to prevent cloudiness.

So you don’t have to completely empty the water from the above-ground pool just because it has become a little cloudy after 3 – 4 days.

Simply start the filter and ensure the filter runtimes.

Nevertheless, it is necessary to do a partial water change in your Intex pool every month.

But why and how often does the water in your Intex pool have to be changed?

Stabilized di-chlorine or tri-chlorine increases the proportion of chlorine stabilizers in the pool water. If the level exceeds the limit of 50 ppm, the chlorine loses part of its disinfecting effect.

Simply remove 1/5 of the pool water every month and then pour in freshwater – this is how you prevent problems with disinfecting your pool.

Do you have to shock the Intex pool?

Under normal circumstances, the chlorine content in your pool is always 0.3 to 1.5 ppm.

But in some cases, it is necessary to shock your Intex pool to remove cloudiness and chlorine by-products such as chloramines.

The pool shock is essential if no chlorine tablets produce continuously free chlorine.

You must use non-stabilized chlorine for the pool shock. Chlorine that has already been stabilized does not have the same effect.

How often you have to shock your Intex pool depends entirely on your personal bathing habits and the climate in which your pool is located.

In this case, I recommend disinfecting your pool with an extra dose of chlorine every 14 days.

You can only swim in your pool again when the chlorine level has fallen below 1.5 ppm.

If you want to learn more about how the pool shock works, I recommend my blog article. To do this, click on the link.

Do I have to dismantle the Intex pool in winter?

One thing is clear: You have to clean your Intex pool before winter.

But here, you have the choice whether you clean your Intex pool in winter and store it in your garden shed or leave it in the garden over the winter.

Suppose you expect sub-zero temperatures and do not want to spend a lot of time wintering your pool.

In that case, it is advisable to dismantle the above-ground pool:

  1. Remove any accessories, such as fountains, etc., from the pool.
  2. Before winter, clean your Intex pool entirely with the pool brush and, if necessary, with an extra pool cleaner.
  3. Empty the entire pool and give it time to dry.
  4. Remove the cartridge filter and clean the cartridge. Then the whole thing has to dry.
  5. The Intex pool is then dismantled and stored in a tarpaulin.

Tip: Some experts recommend dumping some cornstarch on the pool to absorb the moisture.

If you have built an elaborate cladding around your Intex pool, then you have no choice but to winterize the pool.

  1. Remove all pool accessories and toys from the pool.
  2. Completely clean the Intex pool and optimize the parameters in the pool water.
  3. Remove the Intex filter and, if present, the pool ladder.
  4. Dump a recommended pool of antifreeze into the water and, if necessary, use frost pads to equalize the pressure.
  5. Place the Intex pool cover over the pool to prevent dirt from entering.
  6. Get rid of the cartridge, and make sure you have a new cartridge in stock for the new pool season.
  7. Store the filter system, skimmer, and other accessories in a dry place.

Do you have any further questions about Intex pool cleaning?

Contact me at @contactswimfool on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest. I will help you personally.

With this in mind, have fun bathing!

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Hi. I'm Max Berg. I've been in the pool industry since 2015 and have always felt drawn to water. I'm the author behind swimfool.com, where I share my years of experience in pool maintenance and give helpful tips on keeping a swimming pool or hot tub clean. My tips reduce the costs of water treatment and protect the environment.

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