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Thread: Installing new 22' Intex Ultra Frame. A few Questions.

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    Nittany Lion's Avatar
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    Installing new 22' Intex Ultra Frame. A few Questions.

    Hello All,

    New to TFP but have looked at this site from time to time and found answers to questions without having to post. I have always been impressed with the expertise and quality of advice given from the members that reside here. Now I am venturing into new territory so I figured I would join and maybe share some of my growing pains so that others new to this hobby if you want to call it that can learn.

    First I have had an 18' Intex Ultra frame pool for 5 years I went through the same growing pains I am sure all newbies go through that didn't understand the basics. LEVEL LEVEL LEVEL!! First year I put the pool up I tried it on an area that LOOKED level . After filling it 3/4's of the way I saw that wasn't going to work and drained it back down and tried to level it. Watched a few videos and attempted to lower the ground some and raise it in other areas.

    Keep in mind as your about to laugh at all my techniques I bought the pool on a whim at Target on sale for 399 and I had a 50 dollar gift card. So I was not terribly into this project for a ton on money and I figured worst case was I would just take it back if it became more of a hassle then it was worth.

    Anyways that first year after trying my leveling job with a rototiller and a 2 x 4 with a 4ft level. I got the pool within 2 inches of level. Considering it was out at least 6 inches before I drained it the first time this wasn't too bad.. My fix for this was to drain the pool about 3/4 and then use a jack and a 2x4 to raise the legs on the low side and use bricks and patio blocks to raise the pool.

    I know!! Incredibly unsafe but it worked. While I am sure it created some stress on the pool when it was full. The pool not only held up very well but was level Not very proud of it and my wife was deathly scared at first that the thing would burst apart, but after the first few times getting in it and even horsing around in it. The thing held up just fine. After the season I tore it down for the winter and had no issues whatsoever with the frame or liner.

    Next year I rented a sod cutter and drew out the circle and really determined to get it level. Used a 2x4 with my 4 ft level and I thought I was good. It looked very pretty before I put the pool on it. Of coarse what happened was the low side that I raised once again, the dirt was still loose and when the weight went on it, it sunk down and created the same **** 2 inch out of level that I had before. Given into defeat I once again raised the low side with bricks and patio blocks and prayed it would make it another year till I could fix it again. All went well and it survied yet another year.


    As they say 3rd times a charm!! 3rd year realizing my mistake I proceeded to level again but this time making sure I tamped down the dirt on the low side so it was well compacted and then checked my leveling. Finally after the third year all was good!!

    This pool has been indestructible all things considered. It was stored outside but in my shed over the winters. Each year I got it out I wondered if it would leak, or if the poles would be rusted, and each year it held up and I have had zero issues with it. 5 years straight and not put up the first 2 years under the best conditions this thing has held up and I got my money out of it. The only issue I had was last year after I setup the stock cartridge filter system went out after I filled the pool, so I was quickly trying to find a new one the week before memorial day. Huge nightmare! I saw the Sand Filters were on sale on amazon and now was as good as any to upgrade. Knew very little about them, but through this forum and others I gathered enough info to set it up and get it working without an issue. I must say I could kick myself for not doing this sooner. Good riddance cartridges!!


    That brings me to this year. I have been so impressed by my 18' that I decided to upgrade to a 22' pool and build and attach a deck with a covered awning About 1/4 of the way around the pool. Shooting for 6' x 16' L Shaped deck.

    Anyways that brings me to a why I am here. Pool has been ordered and should be here by next week. I have read the pros and cons of leaving these things up for the winter. I really do not want to tear down and set this thing up yearly. I would prefer to set it up once and be done. If the thing lasts 5 years I consider it money well spent and would gladly replace with another. Especially since I caught this one on sale for 549.00.

    I live in PA and we get snow and it gets cold. This year we had the blizzard so we got 26" of snow. That's not the norm, but we can get years where we get snow regularly and 1 foot of snow is not uncommon around here. Temps in January and February can stay below freezing and can go in the single digits for days at a time. So my fear is I may be setting myself up for a huge disaster by doing this, but I am willing to give this thing a shot after I ran the last one through some pretty rigid conditions and it held up just fine.

    Things I have questions about are

    1. Best type of Winter Cover to buy. ( Keep in mind I will have a deck. I think I am going to raise the deck above the frame so I will have room to get the cover on ) Or I can anchor it to the deck but I really don't know if I like that idea. Anyone with experience please chime in.
    2. Anyone with Salt water systems have experience with closing this type of pool and what are the things I should take special care with?
    3. I don't really care about the water. I will certainly condition it as recommended, but my plan would be once spring rolls around I would drain the pool 90 percent and replace with fresh water. I have city water and it will run me less than 150 bucks to fill it.
    4. Recommended base? I just used two tarps for 5 years. Thinking of using sand or some foam this time since the pool will be more permanent. Plus the tarp.
    5. Any helpful tips that will go a long way to keeping this thing in great shape being exposed to the weather all year long?


    Once again thanks a bunch for any advice and I will be sure to take pictures of the project when it gets underway. If the weather holds up I will start my leveling project this weekend. I am dreading this part but I have learned a ton and will either use a laser level or a transit to get this right the first time because I cant afford to be out of level with this thing since I am putting a deck onto it.
    Last edited by Nittany Lion; 03-30-2016 at 03:18 AM. Reason: Spelling
    Intex 22' Ultra Frame Pool
    Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter 2800 GPH
    Intex Krystal Clear Salt Water System

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    cowboycasey's Avatar
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    Re: Installing new 22' Intex Ultra Frame. A few Questions.

    You have already learned this one level, dig down all high spots until level with low.. I dug down and got within 2 inches level, used 6 tons of sand to get level within 1/2 inch then used 3/4 inch tungue and groove foam... best base ever

    1. I tested this winter and went with NO cover, as long as you have no kids that are going out there or a way to lock it down.. I had none of those issues so no cover worked great for me.

    2. just close the pool like normal, I droped down pool water and blew out all lines just like in in ground pool.

    3. i did not drain anything, just cleaned up and went on

    4. sand and foam

    5. some more people will help wit tips also

    some pictures and stuff from my build
    New above ground oval 18x33 install

    have fun


    Quote Originally Posted by Nittany Lion View Post
    Hello All,


    Things I have questions about are

    1. Best type of Winter Cover to buy. ( Keep in mind I will have a deck. I think I am going to raise the deck above the frame so I will have room to get the cover on ) Or I can anchor it to the deck but I really don't know if I like that idea. Anyone with experience please chime in.
    2. Anyone with Salt water systems have experience with closing this type of pool and what are the things I should take special care with?
    3. I don't really care about the water. I will certainly condition it as recommended, but my plan would be once spring rolls around I would drain the pool 90 percent and replace with fresh water. I have city water and it will run me less than 150 bucks to fill it.
    4. Recommended base? I just used two tarps for 5 years. Thinking of using sand or some foam this time since the pool will be more permanent. Plus the tarp.
    5. Any helpful tips that will go a long way to keeping this thing in great shape being exposed to the weather all year long?


    Once again thanks a bunch for any advice and I will be sure to take pictures of the project when it gets underway. If the weather holds up I will start my leveling project this weekend. I am dreading this part but I have learned a ton and will either use a laser level or a transit to get this right the first time because I cant afford to be out of level with this thing since I am putting a deck onto it.
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    PAGirl's Avatar
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    Re: Installing new 22' Intex Ultra Frame. A few Questions.

    I didn't cover my 26' Intex this past winter. It was an usually warm winter, so I have a little algae and some leaves in it. I drained and removed to pump, left everything else as is. Everything looks good so far. A link to my build is in my signature. A laser transit was my best friend during the install.
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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    Nittany Lion's Avatar
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    Re: Installing new 22' Intex Ultra Frame. A few Questions.

    Thank you both Cowboycasey and PAGIRL for the input. Much appreciated. I am not totally incompetent when it comes to this stuff, but I didn't want to put a ton of money into this when I bought the first one 5 years ago. I figured it was cheap and it would break. Little did I know it wasn't as cheap as I thought and actually turned out to be a very good pool for the money.

    Now having a little experience under my belt I had considered buying a expensive above ground pool and forget the deck this year. But when I researched Above ground pools and all the pitfalls with them, I came to the conclusion that the Intex was just as good when you consider it doesn't have much in the way of too many things that can go wrong with it other than leaking and rusting. Both of which can be addressed just like any other above ground pool and probably cheaper, unless you have a major failure in the liner at one of the seams.

    Anyways I saw your builds and I must say well done. Excellent pools and pictures for ideas.

    So the no cover works well even with snow? I wont have issues with kids, I have one in college and one in high-school and my yard is fenced in.

    PAGIRL you said you had leaves and such in yours, and that could be a good possibility for me since I have a Maple tree that would be fairly close to the pool area. Any concerns with staining the liner? being left in there for a long period of time?

    The base I was thinking about just using foam. My ground is fairly soft and I didn't end up with much in the way of rocks or debris under the tarps.I did clear some rocks obviously when I leveled up but I didn't have a ton of them and the ones I did have were more like pebble size and I never felt them on the floor. When I would tear the pool down and remove the tarps the ground was obviously very smooth from the weight of the pool and nothing was growing underneath it. Anything that was under there sunk down into the dirt once the pool weight was added. The last two years I just had to rake the the spot the pool was going on before I placed the tarps down. Leveling was done after my 3rd time doing it

    Now I read this article about pool bases and I had some concerns or if this really even applies to Intex pool owners. I am not 100% sure how the bottom of our liners differs from regular above ground pool liners. Check this article out and see what you guys think.

    | What to put under an above ground pool during installation
    Intex 22' Ultra Frame Pool
    Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter 2800 GPH
    Intex Krystal Clear Salt Water System

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    Re: Installing new 22' Intex Ultra Frame. A few Questions.

    Tossing my two cents in...

    I've always been of the opinion that leaving these pools up over the winter was easier on them than taking them down. I always seemed to get a few small punctures any time I took one down. I've never had any problem since leaving them up, other than the inevitable rust out on the rails after a few years.

    I covered mine this year with a tarp I bought on Amazon that had a cable than runs around the edge that can be ratcheted down to keep it from blowing off. I weaved it between the legs to help further secure it.

    I put my solar cover in the pool first, under the tarp, because it floats and would keep the tarp fron sinking into the water. That happened to me last year, and the water on top got very dark and nasty. There was no good way to drain it off to remove the tarp, and much of it ended up back in the pool, requiring a SLAM to clear it up.

    This year, the tarp is bone dry and ready to be taken off.
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    Nittany Lion's Avatar
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    Re: Installing new 22' Intex Ultra Frame. A few Questions.

    Thank you Jeff that is originally how I was planning on doing it. Other than not having to do a full fill of the water is there any other reason to cover the pool other than to keep debris out of it. I wasnt sure if there was some scientific reason why it is usually advisable to cover the pool.


    Last year my water bill the month I filled the pool was roughly 95 bucks more then normal. So to me that's not a huge issue to drain it down during the spring and replace with new water. Obviously I know the new pool will have about 4000 more gallons so I am figuring about 60 bucks more to fill it if I drain it.


    I guess my biggest fear is I do not want to have to add tons of chemicals to the pool and upset the water balance when I add the salt. Since I have been doing this for 5 years I balance once it is filled. My water is pretty good and I only have to raise the alkalinity to get it to the proper PH. After that my pool stays within within 7.2 to 7.6 PH range. the SWG does an excellent job of keeping everything perfect. I do as a precaution shock the pool once a month just to insure I don't have anything that takes hold in there.


    Testing the water once a week I am always tickled that I never have to do anything to it. So my fear is using water that needs to be treated will upset this perfect balance that I have had over the last few years.


    Am I overly concerned or is this a valid point?
    Intex 22' Ultra Frame Pool
    Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter 2800 GPH
    Intex Krystal Clear Salt Water System

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    Re: Installing new 22' Intex Ultra Frame. A few Questions.

    don't worry about that link, they are talking normal pools with metal walls not intex type... I really love mine and have had no issues...

    Jeff, I never though about leaving the solar cover in there, good idea to help the cover..

    I do not have trees with 1/4 mile of me but I still had leaves and dirt and things in the bottom, many of the leaves were white from the amount of bleach I had in it from talking my pool to SLAM levels and I bumped it back up to SLAM level on a nice sunny warm day in Jan.. I only got about 1/4 inch of ice this winter in the pool.

    With that said I had no staining what so ever, but that is not to say you will never have staining, just depends on the amount and how long they sit in the bottom and where the chlorine level is..

    I started out with no deck and as I got the funds built the deck later, if I had to do it again I would do it the same way



    Quote Originally Posted by Nittany Lion View Post
    Thank you both Cowboycasey and PAGIRL for the input. Much appreciated. I am not totally incompetent when it comes to this stuff, but I didn't want to put a ton of money into this when I bought the first one 5 years ago. I figured it was cheap and it would break. Little did I know it wasn't as cheap as I thought and actually turned out to be a very good pool for the money.

    Now having a little experience under my belt I had considered buying a expensive above ground pool and forget the deck this year. But when I researched Above ground pools and all the pitfalls with them, I came to the conclusion that the Intex was just as good when you consider it doesn't have much in the way of too many things that can go wrong with it other than leaking and rusting. Both of which can be addressed just like any other above ground pool and probably cheaper, unless you have a major failure in the liner at one of the seams.

    Anyways I saw your builds and I must say well done. Excellent pools and pictures for ideas.

    So the no cover works well even with snow? I wont have issues with kids, I have one in college and one in high-school and my yard is fenced in.

    PAGIRL you said you had leaves and such in yours, and that could be a good possibility for me since I have a Maple tree that would be fairly close to the pool area. Any concerns with staining the liner? being left in there for a long period of time?

    The base I was thinking about just using foam. My ground is fairly soft and I didn't end up with much in the way of rocks or debris under the tarps.I did clear some rocks obviously when I leveled up but I didn't have a ton of them and the ones I did have were more like pebble size and I never felt them on the floor. When I would tear the pool down and remove the tarps the ground was obviously very smooth from the weight of the pool and nothing was growing underneath it. Anything that was under there sunk down into the dirt once the pool weight was added. The last two years I just had to rake the the spot the pool was going on before I placed the tarps down. Leveling was done after my 3rd time doing it

    Now I read this article about pool bases and I had some concerns or if this really even applies to Intex pool owners. I am not 100% sure how the bottom of our liners differs from regular above ground pool liners. Check this article out and see what you guys think.

    | What to put under an above ground pool during installation
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Nittany Lion's Avatar
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    Re: Installing new 22' Intex Ultra Frame. A few Questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by cowboycasey View Post
    don't worry about that link, they are talking normal pools with metal walls not intex type... I really love mine and have had no issues...

    Jeff, I never though about leaving the solar cover in there, good idea to help the cover..

    I do not have trees with 1/4 mile of me but I still had leaves and dirt and things in the bottom, many of the leaves were white from the amount of bleach I had in it from talking my pool to SLAM levels and I bumped it back up to SLAM level on a nice sunny warm day in Jan.. I only got about 1/4 inch of ice this winter in the pool.

    With that said I had no staining what so ever, but that is not to say you will never have staining, just depends on the amount and how long they sit in the bottom and where the chlorine level is..

    I started out with no deck and as I got the funds built the deck later, if I had to do it again I would do it the same way
    Thanks a Bunch! That's what I did for the most part. I always wanted to put a deck up around my 18' pool. I did not because I didn't want to spend the money and at the time I wasn't sure how long the thing would hold up.

    Now that I am upgrading I also have some extra funds stashed away ( Vacation fund for this year ).It made sense to go all out and build the deck when I add the new pool. Wife is all for it since I will make most of it covered so we will add to the enjoyment of being able to hang out on the pool instead of swimming and having to get out and move to the patio.

    I also plan on building with pavers a walk way from the steps of the pool to a rumble-stone fire-pit that we built last year. My wife said I am biting off way more than I can chew on, But I think I can manage. If I can get the pool and deck done before memorial day weekend the other stuff I can just do at my leisure.
    Intex 22' Ultra Frame Pool
    Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter 2800 GPH
    Intex Krystal Clear Salt Water System

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    Re: Installing new 22' Intex Ultra Frame. A few Questions.

    You can do it I promise

    Just keep us up to date and keep asking questions...
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Re: Installing new 22' Intex Ultra Frame. A few Questions.

    If you are maintaining proper FC levels according to your CYA levels, there is no reason to SLAM the pool once a month so nothing takes hold. By using the tf100 or K2006 test kit, you would know if something was wrong before you add any chemicals. Not only that, your water quality and clarity would be another reason to believe something may or may not be growing.

    You dumping water every spring is such a waste of money. Please read the links found in Pool School namely the ABC's of pool water chemistry and get educated on how simple taking care of your pool really is. Its not about swimming in a chemical soup. Its about properly maintains your pool for maximum pleasure.

    As far as covering the pool or not, I would suggest you purchase a 24ft cover and cover it, especially if you have maple tree dropping in the pool. Buy a leaf rake n take the leaves off the cover next year n keep the water off periodically.

    Good luck.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Installing new 22' Intex Ultra Frame. A few Questions.

    I agree with Casey, there's no reason to dump and refill. In addition to the cost of the water, you need to factor in all the new salt you'll need to purchase too.

    I expect to pull the cover off of mine in a couple of weeks, top it off, and maybe toss in a bottle of bleach. I'll probably need to add a little salt, then kick on the SWG and wait for it to get warm enough to swim.
    25000 gallon free-form gunite
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    Nittany Lion's Avatar
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    Re: Installing new 22' Intex Ultra Frame. A few Questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Casey View Post
    If you are maintaining proper FC levels according to your CYA levels, there is no reason to SLAM the pool once a month so nothing takes hold. By using the tf100 or K2006 test kit, you would know if something was wrong before you add any chemicals. Not only that, your water quality and clarity would be another reason to believe something may or may not be growing.

    You dumping water every spring is such a waste of money. Please read the links found in Pool School namely the ABC's of pool water chemistry and get educated on how simple taking care of your pool really is. Its not about swimming in a chemical soup. Its about properly maintains your pool for maximum pleasure.

    As far as covering the pool or not, I would suggest you purchase a 24ft cover and cover it, especially if you have maple tree dropping in the pool. Buy a leaf rake n take the leaves off the cover next year n keep the water off periodically.

    Good luck.
    Again thank you for the advice. I am not properly educated on winterizing the pool which is why I am here This will be the first year I leave the pool up and it will be a new pool so I have a little learning to do as far as how much of everything I need to add to this new pool.

    I agree draining the pool may be a waste, but I have done it every year for the past 5 years so I am used to doing it. When I do afresh fill of water I have never had algae and or anything growing in it. I do use a Taylor K2006 test kit and bought the saltwater addon.

    I guess I got in the habbit of shocking the pool because I heard other people in reviews of these pools state that they used this same technique. My water is always crystal clear. The only stains I have had were from last year when I added the salt to the pool before I tested my cartridge filter. I had to replace the filter system and bought a sand filter system. but it took 3 days before I had any kind of circulation in the pool and where the salt laid down I had white patches. Again it wasn't a big deal and the pool was 5 years old.

    When I look at Youtube and other sites and see the water problems people have, I tend to look at the if it aint broke dont fix it method. For the last 5 years I got to enjoy my pool without having to do much at all to it so I thought I was doing ok. But I will certainly take a look at things this year a little differently.

    As for covering the pool that's what I originally planned to do although some people said it wasn't necessary. If the leaves are the only reason to cover it I would just make sure I stayed on top of it and didn't let a bunch of them sit in there for too long. I am not opposed to getting a cover though if this will prolong the life of the pool better than leaving it uncovered.
    Intex 22' Ultra Frame Pool
    Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter 2800 GPH
    Intex Krystal Clear Salt Water System

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    Re: Installing new 22' Intex Ultra Frame. A few Questions.

    I just realized we had the same location in our profiles, lol. We are a little northwest central, kind of, ha ha.
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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    Nittany Lion's Avatar
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    Re: Installing new 22' Intex Ultra Frame. A few Questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by PAGirl View Post
    I just realized we had the same location in our profiles, lol. We are a little northwest central, kind of, ha ha.
    Ah Ha! Close to Penn State or am I too far north? I am in Dauphin county.
    Intex 22' Ultra Frame Pool
    Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter 2800 GPH
    Intex Krystal Clear Salt Water System

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    Re: Installing new 22' Intex Ultra Frame. A few Questions.

    I'm west of State College, a little more than an hour. This yoYoIng weather is driving me crazy!
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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    Nittany Lion's Avatar
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    Re: Installing new 22' Intex Ultra Frame. A few Questions.

    I know exactly what you mean. A few weeks ago we had high 60's and low 70's which started me down this path of thinking about the swimming season. Now I go ordering a pool and have work to be done, and the weather decides it wants to get cold again. I was hoping for an early spring but looks like we are going to get cool weather for the first week in April.

    My son is up at State College. This is his sophomore year. I will be heading up your way in a few weeks for the Blue and White game. Love that part of the state. Especially in the fall. Beautiful area!

    Hoping this weekend holds up! at least Saturday. 70's tomorrow and Friday. I wish I had off work, I could start Friday. Then Sunday starts the cold spell for the week. Hopefully it gets out of here by the weekend.
    Intex 22' Ultra Frame Pool
    Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter 2800 GPH
    Intex Krystal Clear Salt Water System

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Installing new 22' Intex Ultra Frame. A few Questions.

    We're getting the yo-yo weather here in the SW part of Pennsylvania too. They are calling for snow this weekend but not much. My granddaughter is pointing at her pool wanting the cover off.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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