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Thread: Intex Ultra 18 x 52 pool with sand filter, chlorination how to and other questions?

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    Intex Ultra 18 x 52 pool with sand filter, chlorination how to and other questions?

    We just finished setting up an ultra 18 x 52 pool.. the one that comes with the sand filter.. i put HTH sand #20 in the filter and have it all hooked up.. had the ground leveled beforehand.. though we are off by maybe 1 to 1.5" from one side to the other which i read is probably the max to be ok (its about 1 to 1.5 extra square blocks on the liner on the one side vs the other)... so this i hope is ok (i have paver bricks under each of the legs and i'm going to backfill around the pool slightly, just with sand lightly around the edge at the bottom, then about 2" away ill use round small river rocks in an 18" pathway along the outside of the pool.

    My main question is on chlorination.. we have the sand filter, but not the saltwater system. From my understanding, i should buy the 5 lb buckets of 3" chlorination tablets like HTH for around $25 and put one in the filter basket off the pump and let it work from there.. when it disappears add another (maybe once a week)?

    Is this what people with the intex ultra pools?

    Do i also need to throw a bag of shock into the pool once a week, the shock and swim type (say HTH at about $20 for just 5 bags though?).. or is this maybe more optional and only needed in the spring if its been winterized before opening?

    I did order a few of the $8 chlorination flotation devices as well, but i'd rather avoid adding things to the pool if i can avoid it.. I have the intex wall skimmer to attach as well, plus the vacuum / net kit.



    Thanks for any advice..

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    DigbyAllen's Avatar
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    Re: Intex Ultra 18 x 52 pool with sand filter, chlorination how to and other question

    Welcome to TFP! You have come to the right place. Lots of knowledgeable people who love to help.

    First, order a good test kit.
    Pool School - Test Kits Compared
    Most people here have the TF-100. You can order it here. TFTestkits.net

    Read Pool School Pool School - Pool School then read it again.

    I would not bother with tablets or shock. Except for Cyanuric Acid (aka CYA or Stabilizer or Conditioner), all the chemicals you need can be purchased at a supermarket: bleach, borax, and baking soda.

    Order your test kit, and while you wait for it to arrive (only a couple of days, they ship fast) get some CYA and bleach in the pool. Use the Pool Calculator here http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html to determine how much you need.

    Enjoy your trouble free pool and let us know how you're doing.
    Jim
    Intex 15' x 42" -- 4,000 gallons
    installed August 2012
    Intex 2650 sand filter, Hayward skimmer
    TF-100 test kit, TFP method

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Intex Ultra 18 x 52 pool with sand filter, chlorination how to and other question

    nice post, Jim!

    Welcome to TFP, tsitl99!
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    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Intex Ultra 18 x 52 pool with sand filter, chlorination how to and other question

    Quote Originally Posted by DigbyAllen View Post
    Welcome to TFP! You have come to the right place. Lots of knowledgeable people who love to help.

    First, order a good test kit.
    Pool School - Test Kits Compared
    Most people here have the TF-100. You can order it here. TFTestkits.net

    Read Pool School Pool School - Pool School then read it again.

    I would not bother with tablets or shock. Except for Cyanuric Acid (aka CYA or Stabilizer or Conditioner), all the chemicals you need can be purchased at a supermarket: bleach, borax, and baking soda.

    Order your test kit, and while you wait for it to arrive (only a couple of days, they ship fast) get some CYA and bleach in the pool. Use the Pool Calculator here http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html to determine how much you need.

    Enjoy your trouble free pool and let us know how you're doing.
    Thanks, ill dig into this info a bit more..

    Are you saying ph meters (digital) like this are no good?

    My friend and others in the local area have basically said dont worry about dumping all sorts of chemicals into the water and checking the ph, just keep 2 chlorination tabs in the floating chlorinator and shock it once a week and be done with it, so long as the water is clear..

    But in reading, i see there are perils with it getting to acidic or alky levels either direction outside of 7.2-7.8.. that can harm the pool/pump etc.

    For instance.. my digital meter now reads 7.14.. i initially had a single 3" tablet in the filter in the pump (which i now stopped doing and only use the floater).. Now there is none in the pool.. still around 7.14.. so by statistics, if i put chlorine tabs or clorox etc, in the pool, one would think the levels would go down below 7.14 (assuming no massive sun that day to eat up the chlorine). I guess baking soda would help raise it up as well.

    I also dont currently use a solar cover or "solar heater", the water is a cool 72F after just being filled 7 days ago in moderate heat.. 78-87F.
    I was considering at least a solar cover at night, rather than one of the "game" solar heater devices that might possibly leak (reviews arent too solid). I also dont cover the pool at night (with a debris cover), which i dont think many do anyway.


    Is any of this accurate?

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    Re: Intex Ultra 18 x 52 pool with sand filter, chlorination how to and other question

    At 18', you'll pretty much want to treat it like any other AGP. I cover mine at night, it helps a great deal. You'll truly want to stay away from the tabs, as mentioned above. Maintaining a steady level of chlorine is much more beneficial (and sanitary) then throwing a large quantity and letting it drop over the week.

    I'm a little unsure which value you were talking about when you mention 7.14 above. Baking soda is used to raise your total alkalinity.

    You
    L need to get the quality test kit so you know an accurate CYA level, which in turn lets you know where to keep your free chlorine level.
    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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    Re: Intex Ultra 18 x 52 pool with sand filter, chlorination how to and other question

    Quote Originally Posted by PAGirl View Post
    At 18', you'll pretty much want to treat it like any other AGP. I cover mine at night, it helps a great deal. You'll truly want to stay away from the tabs, as mentioned above. Maintaining a steady level of chlorine is much more beneficial (and sanitary) then throwing a large quantity and letting it drop over the week.

    I'm a little unsure which value you were talking about when you mention 7.14 above. Baking soda is used to raise your total alkalinity.

    You
    L need to get the quality test kit so you know an accurate CYA level, which in turn lets you know where to keep your free chlorine level.

    That test kit cost, i think $68, seems a bit steep to me.. how many tests can someone get out of the $68 kit?

    From everything i've read, the amount of chlorine present in house hold chemicals is too low to justify using those according to some, but i do see many using this method (bbb?). I think the tabs i have from HTH also have CYA stabilizer built into them.. but i am seeing how for micro organism protection and UV burnoff of the chlorine, cya / stabilizer would be important and important to check levels.

    I guess the digital ph meter is somewhat useless.. higher than 7 being alky doesnt show the ppm counts or cya etc.. ill probably get a test kit of some kind.

    Would using a floater with chlorine tabs be bad for the ultra intex.. i read its bad for vinyl liners, but i think the intex is pvc?

    EDIT: i'm going to test out this saltwater pump that has rave reviews (the 7000 gallon one).. i guess test strips are still needed along with stabilizer but less so on all the other chemicals. I've read the aquacheck strips work but not so much for CYA testing, so the other kit or better kits are needed?

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    Re: Intex Ultra 18 x 52 pool with sand filter, chlorination how to and other question

    Quote Originally Posted by theskyisthelimit99 View Post
    That test kit cost, i think $68, seems a bit steep to me.. how many tests can someone get out of the $68 kit?

    From everything i've read, the amount of chlorine present in house hold chemicals is too low to justify using those according to some, but i do see many using this method (bbb?). I think the tabs i have from HTH also have CYA stabilizer built into them.. but i am seeing how for micro organism protection and UV burnoff of the chlorine, cya / stabilizer would be important and important to check levels.

    I guess the digital ph meter is somewhat useless.. higher than 7 being alky doesnt show the ppm counts or cya etc.. ill probably get a test kit of some kind.

    Would using a floater with chlorine tabs be bad for the ultra intex.. i read its bad for vinyl liners, but i think the intex is pvc?

    EDIT: i'm going to test out this saltwater pump that has rave reviews (the 7000 gallon one).. i guess test strips are still needed along with stabilizer but less so on all the other chemicals. I've read the aquacheck strips work but not so much for CYA testing, so the other kit or better kits are needed?
    Even with a SWG you still need to maintain your PH, CYA, TA, etc....... All the SWG does is generate chlorine.

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    mulia's Avatar
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    Re: Intex Ultra 18 x 52 pool with sand filter, chlorination how to and other question

    As you'll see in my other post, I have a smaller INTEX pool than you do.I have used the TF 100 test kit for many years successfully.My husband marvels at my " knack for pool chemistry"! It's not hard at all. At first it was regular bleach. Now with a salt water chlorine generator, I use bleach while opening the pool, and the SWG efficiently generates enough chlorine to make my pool effortless all season. I test PH and chlorine every day, total chlorine & total akalinity each week and rarely need adjustments. On opening, however, due to filling from our well, I adjust TA. You need a way to measure your CYA, which is included in the TF 100 kit. If you decide to buy the INTEX SWG, you will need know your CYA level.If you start to see cloudiness or algae, you will need a way to chlorinate higher than 5 ppm, which is as high as a cheap kit will test.With the TFP method, we know our pool's chemistry & react before we see any problems. We are confident in the sanitation of the water & we are not " guessing". I wholeheartedly recommend the methods here.
    INTEX AGP 15'x 48", 4440 gals.,INTEX 2650 gph pump w/ 16" sand filter, Hayward widemouth skimmer,INTEX SWG-CS8110, 1 1/2" hard plumbed PVC, Lil' Shark vac w/ leaf canister, INTEX floating LED pool light, solar cover with polaris solar reel, Access pool steps 200600T, TF 100 test kit, "The Slime Bag" x-tra polishing 18" x 30"

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    Re: Intex Ultra 18 x 52 pool with sand filter, chlorination how to and other question

    Quote Originally Posted by mulia View Post
    As you'll see in my other post, I have a smaller INTEX pool than you do.I have used the TF 100 test kit for many years successfully.My husband marvels at my " knack for pool chemistry"! It's not hard at all. At first it was regular bleach. Now with a salt water chlorine generator, I use bleach while opening the pool, and the SWG efficiently generates enough chlorine to make my pool effortless all season. I test PH and chlorine every day, total chlorine & total akalinity each week and rarely need adjustments. On opening, however, due to filling from our well, I adjust TA. You need a way to measure your CYA, which is included in the TF 100 kit. If you decide to buy the INTEX SWG, you will need know your CYA level.If you start to see cloudiness or algae, you will need a way to chlorinate higher than 5 ppm, which is as high as a cheap kit will test.With the TFP method, we know our pool's chemistry & react before we see any problems. We are confident in the sanitation of the water & we are not " guessing". I wholeheartedly recommend the methods here.
    How often do you run out of reagents with the tf100? Is it that costly to refresh the supply to keep testing?

    I guess there is no test strip quick check method for testing the CYA that works as well as the TF100.. but what about the 2600 test kit.. any reason to choose the tf100 over that? i guess it only saves about $10. Probably wont be using the digital ph tester anymore.

    Do you use test strips to test the salt levels though? Or do you just rely on the intex generator values? (seeing that 2500-4000 ppm on salt is considered good and should have no salt taste too).

    I guess there is no quick way to order a test kit, taking 3 days or more (IE: no amazon choice unless getting the 2600).

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    Re: Intex Ultra 18 x 52 pool with sand filter, chlorination how to and other question

    Click on POOL SCHOOL, then TEST KITS COMPARED in the upper left corner. It shows how many tests you get from every kit. I, personally have only had to get more CYA reageant. I store my kit in a drawer in the house. Cool & dry. They are still good.

    Walmart has salt strips that I use. Seem OK, as I have had no " low salt" readings from my SWG and produce more than enough chlorine. I believe my salt level is 3000 right now. INTEX spec.

    I just checked the CYA reageant refill for the TF100. It is $8.00. That is all I have repurchased.
    INTEX AGP 15'x 48", 4440 gals.,INTEX 2650 gph pump w/ 16" sand filter, Hayward widemouth skimmer,INTEX SWG-CS8110, 1 1/2" hard plumbed PVC, Lil' Shark vac w/ leaf canister, INTEX floating LED pool light, solar cover with polaris solar reel, Access pool steps 200600T, TF 100 test kit, "The Slime Bag" x-tra polishing 18" x 30"

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    Re: Intex Ultra 18 x 52 pool with sand filter, chlorination how to and other question

    Quote Originally Posted by mulia View Post
    Click on POOL SCHOOL, then TEST KITS COMPARED in the upper left corner. It shows how many tests you get from every kit. I, personally have only had to get more CYA reageant. I store my kit in a drawer in the house. Cool & dry. They are still good.

    Walmart has salt strips that I use. Seem OK, as I have had no " low salt" readings from my SWG and produce more than enough chlorine. I believe my salt level is 3000 right now. INTEX spec.

    I just checked the CYA reageant refill for the TF100. It is $8.00. That is all I have repurchased.
    Ah ok, kudos, thanks for the tips.. ill probably just get the tf100.

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    Re: Intex Ultra 18 x 52 pool with sand filter, chlorination how to and other question

    Don't forget to add your chlorine until your test kit comes!
    I have estimated that at 0 ppm FC, your pool needs a little less than 1/2 gallon (44oz.) of 10% liquid chlorine ( walmart has pool essentials chlorinating liquid) to raise your FC to 4ppm. or 51 oz. of Great Value bleach ( walmart generic regular bleach). you need to raise your CYA level to 40 ppm with 46 oz. by weight or 48 oz. by vol. with stabilizer ( aka conditioner or cyanuric acid). this is also sold at walmart.The recommended way to add the stabilizer is to put it into an old sock or pantyhose, tie it off & put it in front of your return outlet. It will dissolve slowly. I squeeze mine to make it dissolve quicker. I would add half the rcommended amt. now & wait until you can test your cya level.

    cya comes in liquid also, just very expensive.
    Add chlorine once a day until your test kit arrives

    If you have your 3" trichlor tabs, and want to use them, plug them into pool math at the top & it will tell you how much fc & cya each will add to your pool water until you can test the levels yourself.
    But, you have to have fc in there asap or you will be green before you know it!
    INTEX AGP 15'x 48", 4440 gals.,INTEX 2650 gph pump w/ 16" sand filter, Hayward widemouth skimmer,INTEX SWG-CS8110, 1 1/2" hard plumbed PVC, Lil' Shark vac w/ leaf canister, INTEX floating LED pool light, solar cover with polaris solar reel, Access pool steps 200600T, TF 100 test kit, "The Slime Bag" x-tra polishing 18" x 30"

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    Re: Intex Ultra 18 x 52 pool with sand filter, chlorination how to and other question

    We've had an Intex pool for the past year and I had NO clue how to maintain a pool before we got it. After reading here I followed the instructions and tested the water daily for months, then every few days, then not too much at all in the winter as I had a good idea after all the testing about how much chlorine needed to be added daily. I mainly just add bleach every day to maintain the pool (simple bleach from the regular store, I don't go to the pool store). I do have the chlorine tabs and a floater and if you find your CYA is a little low you can float those in the pool now and again. But honestly it has been mainly just keeping the chlorine level where it should be and I've never once had a green pool. (I should mention that many years ago we had a different AGP that my hubby took care of and it was green more often than it was blue).
    AGP 33' x 54" Lomart Verona, Approx. 27,300 gallons, Pentair cartridge filter/pump 2-speed, 1.5 hp, Dolphin Escape robotic cleaner.

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    Re: Intex Ultra 18 x 52 pool with sand filter, chlorination how to and other question

    At this point i'm waiting on the saltwater intex pump (7000 size one) to arrive.. bought 6 bags of sand crystals.. need about 4.5.. ill still check the cya and other levels to make sure its in check, but there will be far less fussing with other chemicals in the future. My sand filter is the 2800 gph one for reference. Right now i've been leaving the sand filter on roughly 3pm till 9pm.. i think the saltwater pump runs about 4 hours as well (same time as the main pump i think).. i may be switching the hours though, adding the solar cover and i've heard that its better to run the pump during the daylight time of the day to circulate the water better.. so maybe 10am till 4pm or for 10 hour stretches on the sand pump.

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