I have almost pulled the trigger and bought a heater for my Intex pool about twenty times in the last four months. I always chicken out because I am not very mechanically-inclined and have worried about fittings to get it onto the Intex. Well, I finally decided to shop around and found a Pool Store guy willing, it seemed, to think a bit outside the box. I showed him some of the threads on TFP about people adding skimmers, and hard-plumbing an Intex, etc.
Ultimately he told me the following, making me again chicken out and not buy my much wanted heater:
1. Says I would NEED a thru-wall skimmer to use a heater. Says just using the hose won't work. I guess I could toughen up and force myself to cut the liner and add a skimmer the way many of you have, so maybe that is not the end of the discussion. But . . . does anyone believe I could run the heater through the hose without having a skimmer?
2. He then said even if I put in the thru-wall skimmer, it would not work because the heater I said I want to buy is 400,000 btu and he says that is only for in-ground pools. Something about below or above the water line and that it would be extremely dangerous to put an "in-ground pool heater" on an above-ground pool. So then I asked if he sold "above ground pool heaters" and he said there is only one he knows of that is approved for above ground pool use and that it is a RayPak and is 100,000 btu. Does anyone agree or disagree with his assertion that it would be dangerous to use a 400,000 btu heater on an above ground pool (Intex or otherwise)? I thought many of you on this forum had above ground pools and larger than 100,000 btu, special "above-ground pool heaters" but maybe I have glanced over that detail for two years.
3. He says that even if I put in a thru-wall skimmer and buy a special "above-ground pool heater" that I am ill-advised to try it on an Intex. I showed him how you guys put in the skimmers and that they work, etc. He said his guess is that none of you take your Intex down seasonally and that is why they are working and the skimmer is not ruining the liner. So . . . Do any of you with a thru-wall skimmer on your Intex take your Intex down seasonally? Do you store it with the skimmer on, or do you unscrew it and then re-install it the following year?
4. I really just want a heated pool that I can use for four months and re-claim my yard the other eight months of the year. Hoping it is still do-able and that this guy is wrong. But, I have several thousand into the site prep, etc (gas; electric; moving sprinklers, etc) and I don't want to throw another $3000 for heater, filter, pump down the drain if it is not feasible to "pimp my Intex" the point of having a heater.
Thanks for reading a long post and for any insight offered.