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Thread: Newbie wanting to start right, please help

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    Newbie wanting to start right, please help

    Hello all!

    We are wanting to purchase our first pool and we want to be sure we do it right to get the most fun and use out of it. As per the sticky note, I listed the info I know that might help you help me. This pool will get nearly daily use. I suspect if it isn't raining, there will be someone in it. If usage matters.

    We have settled on the AG Intex listed in my sig line bc we can't afford bigger and these are supposedly well rated by users when we researched them.

    We plan to pull up sod for an 18' circle so there is plenty of room for some edging to add protection to the pool exterior and to order a truck of sand.

    We would like to know tips for making it as maintence easy as possible and also to make it as affordable as possible to maintain. (I suspect those might be mutually exclusive?)

    Can someone explain what pump we should upgrade to? (I'm told that is almost always key?) and explain the different ways to maintain the water? (salt, chlorine??)

    Can we keep this up all year or no? Pros/cons to doing that?

    Any other tips?

    Thank you very much.
    M
    Newbie to pool ownership.

    5000 gallons
    Intex Krystal Clear sand filter pump 16" & saltwater system model CS20110
    AG Intex 16' x 48" Ultra Frame
    Leslie Chlorine FAS-DPD Service Test Kit

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie wanting to start right, please help

    Welcome to TFP.
    The best thing to do is learn the chemical balance and use it. That is the single most important thing you can do.
    Upgrades and other things can come at any time.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie wanting to start right, please help

    Have you taken a look at Pool School yet? Nearly all or your questions are answered in those articles. Don't get me wrong, we want to help you and answer your questions, but without a knowledge foundation from Pool School, our answers would likely cause more confusion.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    msgtdan's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie wanting to start right, please help

    Level, level, level. Pavers under the uprights. The Intex sand filters are a good upgrade of the standard pump system. Did I say level? Google search at the bottom of this page for level and intex.
    Dan D
    Used 2003 Aqua Leader 27'x52", 17,800 w/10" hopper, SwimPro SW256T 250# sand filter, Hayward PowerFlo LX pump 1hp impellor, Emerson 1 1/2 hp motor, setup Aug 2012 Summer 2011 used Summer Escapes Ring pool 14' x 42", Intex 1600gph sand filter, HTH 6 way test kitTF-100 w/stirrer, Well water @ FC=0, PH=7.2, TA=290, CH=320

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie wanting to start right, please help

    Buy a good test kit before you buy the pool! Look in my siggy to read/learn about them.

    The kids will have fun watching and helping you do the tests!

    Read pool school over and over and over.

    Once you get your pool take and share the pics!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Newbie wanting to start right, please help

    Okay. I feel stupid. The Pool School seems gibberish to me.

    About the only thing I've learned, is I'm pretty sure I want to use cartridge filters and have zero desire to use DE.

    I have no idea what size pump to get, tho I am fairly confident that I do need one bigger than the Intex comes with.

    Can anyone point me to a step by step no fail guide to installing an Intex? We want to do it right, but we also want to save $600 by doing it ourselves. (I've called around and I can't find anyone who does the dig, sand, and install for less than that, which is more than the cost of the pool!
    M
    Newbie to pool ownership.

    5000 gallons
    Intex Krystal Clear sand filter pump 16" & saltwater system model CS20110
    AG Intex 16' x 48" Ultra Frame
    Leslie Chlorine FAS-DPD Service Test Kit

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    Re: Newbie wanting to start right, please help

    to make it as affordable as possible to maintain
    The Pool School seems gibberish to me.
    You will need to learn the basics or you will be forever at the mercy of the pool store advising you to buy this and buy that.

    Reread "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School. That knowledge will be the key to making your water management much more affordable.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    cramar's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie wanting to start right, please help

    Get a proper drop based test kit like the one in pool school, read pool school several times (I had to) and practice on your home water a couple of times if need be.
    Print the articles out and read them as time allows, everything you need is in Pool School, simple as that.
    Look online for above ground pool install videos, there's lots, even if they are for metal walled pools they will still show you how to proeprly level the site, and site leveling is the most important thing you can do.
    20' X 54" Sharkline Matrix Resin AGP, 9400 Gallons, Sta-Rite 1 HP Dynamo Pump, 150 lb Pentair Sand Filter, Gorilla Pad,
    Foam Cove, Taylor K-2006 kit, BBB method, 8'X20' Fafco Sunsaver Hard Plumb, DIY Fountain, Margarittaville Fiji


    My Build: one-man-one-pool-and-one-deck-agp-pics-t37172.html
    My Build 'To-Do' List for other DIY'ers: my-pool-build-list-t40249.html?hilit=list

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie wanting to start right, please help

    This may be information overload, but a lot of info about Intex:

    useful-links-for-fellow-intex-pool-owners-t29612.html
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie wanting to start right, please help

    Just take your time. It's a lot of information, so we wouldn't expect you to understand all of it right now. Read it a few times, and with each reading more and more will stick.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: Newbie wanting to start right, please help

    Okay. Buy a good testing kit. Check. I'm not even at that point yet bc I need to get the pool up.

    We had planned on digging out our area and leveling with sand then placing the pool.

    Now I see talk of pavers? What like over the sand? Basicly make a round paver patio and put the pool on top of it? I feel stupid bc I don't know why that's necessary and I don't know anyone that does that locally, including the expensive install guys.

    I saw on one of the YouTube how to vids that they didn't dig out at all and instead made a retaining wall and filled with sand and leveled and then put on pool? Hmmm. I like the not digging part and the being able to weedeat right up the the retaining wall that protects the bottom of the pool.

    And lastly, I worry we cannot level the property no matter what bc of moles. I am out there every dawn and dusk beating them with a shovel and spade, but my neighbors don't and I'm outnumbered by the moles. Will the moles trash the pool?

    Going to read some more and google some more...
    M
    Newbie to pool ownership.

    5000 gallons
    Intex Krystal Clear sand filter pump 16" & saltwater system model CS20110
    AG Intex 16' x 48" Ultra Frame
    Leslie Chlorine FAS-DPD Service Test Kit

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    Re: Newbie wanting to start right, please help

    Holy cow. No wonder all the pool company's in my area are going out of business. Called around to get more details about installation. They all require tractor access to where you want the pool. Wtheck? I don't know ANYONE with that. You'd have to take down an entire section of privacy fence! Who does that?! We just put up a brand new privacy fence. My dh would flip out if a contractor said they had to take it down to fit a tractor through. LOL

    Ugh. Okay. Back to figuring out how to do this by hand ourselves. Which is what I figured anyways.
    M
    Newbie to pool ownership.

    5000 gallons
    Intex Krystal Clear sand filter pump 16" & saltwater system model CS20110
    AG Intex 16' x 48" Ultra Frame
    Leslie Chlorine FAS-DPD Service Test Kit

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    msgtdan's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie wanting to start right, please help

    Building up to level should be a last resort, if at all possible dig down to undisturbed soil. The pavers go level with the ground and help spread the load of the poles. The intex instruction manual usually says to use boards IIRC, but 8x8 or 12x12 pavers do a much better job. Without them the poles can sink into the ground causing an un-level situation that could lead to a collapse. You want to be level to within an inch all the way around. Use sand or foam under the pool to protect the liner from rocks and provided cushioning to the feet. A laser level or transit is the best but a 4' level taped to the edge of a 9' 2x6 will work fine. Peg one end to the center and work in a circle until it's level all the way around. (the 9' 2x6 is based on the 18' pool size, so if you go with a different size adjust accordingly). I used both a laser and a level, I used a laser to set the pavers so all were level and then the level to drag and work everything else to level. I ended up within 1/4" all around.

    One the pool is in, if you leave it up year round you could backfill around the edges a couple of inches with gravel or mulch, put in border and be able to weed eat around. Check some of the pics of what people have done with theirs here.

    It's not uncommon for installers to take down a section of privacy fence and then put it back up when they're done. Depending on what's need they may even put down plywood to drive on to keep from tearing up the yard.
    Dan D
    Used 2003 Aqua Leader 27'x52", 17,800 w/10" hopper, SwimPro SW256T 250# sand filter, Hayward PowerFlo LX pump 1hp impellor, Emerson 1 1/2 hp motor, setup Aug 2012 Summer 2011 used Summer Escapes Ring pool 14' x 42", Intex 1600gph sand filter, HTH 6 way test kitTF-100 w/stirrer, Well water @ FC=0, PH=7.2, TA=290, CH=320

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    Re: Newbie wanting to start right, please help

    as a intex owner myself and someone who has installed a few of them i will add my 2 cents on the installation and pump recommendation.
    a few tools that makes the installation alot easier and can be rented from a local tool rental, if you do not own already
    1.rotating laser level or transit(for leveling the site) don't try to eyeball it your setting yourself up for failure!
    2.viberating compactor ( for compacting the soil ) once level
    3.rototiller (optional) for cutting down the high side of ground to lowest point. cut down a little at a time and remove dirt so you don't dig too deep
    4. hand shovel,rake, hand tamper, wheel barrow, 4 or 6 foot level and a good straight 2x4 8 foot long hammer and nails, masons string, duct tape, tape measure, 2 inch wood screws, screwdriver, circular saw, drill and drill bits, dykes,spray paint
    installation below
    1. remove sod from 18 foot diameter that will leave 1 foot around pool
    2. cut high spots down to the lowest do NOT build up lowest to highest (remove all rocks and roots from site)
    3. once area is level compact down with plate compactor or hand tamper
    4. after site is level find the exact center of the circle and take a 2x2x8 inches long and hammer a 16 penny nail in the center of the 2x2 leaving most of the nail sticking out and cut the head off and then drive the 2x2 in the ground in the exact center of circle leaving 1 to 2 inches stick out of the ground for the depth of sand.
    5. spray the entire circle with weed and grass killer followed by insect killer (carpenter ants and grub worms are not good under the liner )
    6. drill a hole close to the edge of the 2x4x8 foot (you remember the STRAIGHT one) lol make the hole just a bit larger than the size of the 16 penny nail and slip the 2x4 over the nail in the 2x2 in the center if the circle.
    7. tape level to the top of 2x4 about a foot from the outside edge and start bringing in the sand and lay it out in the circle and drag the board around making sure to keep it level, once you have the sand level lightly dampen the sand and hand tamp it down until you barely leave footprints when you walk of it.
    8. recheck for level using the rotating laser level or transit ( once happy with the levelness of the site) now comes the fun part....lol
    9. tie a piece of masons string to nail sticking out of center 2x2 measure out 7and a half feet and hold can of spray paint and walk the circle the will be the cicumference of your pool and where it will sit.(after you remove the 2x4 of coarse).....lol. remove center 2x2 and fill with sand and tamp down firmly intil level with surrounding area.
    10. cut 7inch x 7 inch pieces of 3/4 treated plywood 1 for each leg (set aside for now )
    11. now for the moment we have been waiting for..drumroll.....open the pool box....woooo hooooo.....take the liner out and carefully spread it out in the yard in the sun to warm up, make sure bottom drains are tight and inside caps are on if equipped
    12. lay supplied ground cloth on the site, once the liner has warmed up have a few friends help you carry it to the site and center it as close to the paint line as possible ( do NOT drag liner across ground!!!! )
    13. assemble and install top ring through liner loops per instructions,make sure all locking pins are locked in, place plastic feet on bottom of legs and this is where a few friends come in handy
    14. place one person at 12,6 and at 3 and 9 o clock position and with leg in hand raise the top ring and place leg through retaing loop and snap in place,followed by the remaining legs make sure legs are also inside the bottom rope. try not to put divits in sand base if you do take a small piece of 2x4 and re tamp it down.
    15. level and plum legs and go get the pieces of plywood you cut and center it under a leg ( side to side) and make them flush with the back of the foot ( nearest to pool ) and on the outside of the foot drill a hole on each side of the plastic foot ( just a hair bigger than the screws ) as to not crack the foot when screwed to the wood but dont drill through the wood you want the screw to bite into it, i use 2 inch coarse drywall screws.
    16. recheck all legs for plum and level and re-check all clips on top ring and legs.
    17. start filling pool, with about a inch of water in it work out as many wrinkles in the bottom as possible and when roughly 16 inches of water in pool re-check legs for plum and level, the reason i like to screw the feet to the plywood is because the legs move out at the bottom as the pool fills so the leg support moves with them.
    18. install inlet and outlet into openings and install and hook up pump make sure all clamps and fitting are good and snug and continue filling pool untill full.
    pump recommendations
    1. ALL the intex cartridge filter pumps are junk the flow ratings are greatly inflated and they are worthless for vacuhming you pool.
    2. i suggest the intex sand filter either the 1600 gph 14 inch sand filter pump combo or the 2650 gph 16 inch sand filter /pump combo
    my fingers are tired......lol..........jmo.......Mike
    18x52 intex ultra frame pool 6981 gallons, 1 HP LL pump with 19 in sand filter,BBB method,borax 50ppm
    leslies DPD test kit + fas-dpd chlorine test kit + borates test strips
    thru wall skimmer,hard plumbed with 2 returns 1 1/2 sch 40 pvc
    1 large fountain 1 inch sch 40 pvc,shut off ball valves on all

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    Re: Newbie wanting to start right, please help

    sorry for any typo's ^^^^^^^^
    18x52 intex ultra frame pool 6981 gallons, 1 HP LL pump with 19 in sand filter,BBB method,borax 50ppm
    leslies DPD test kit + fas-dpd chlorine test kit + borates test strips
    thru wall skimmer,hard plumbed with 2 returns 1 1/2 sch 40 pvc
    1 large fountain 1 inch sch 40 pvc,shut off ball valves on all

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie wanting to start right, please help

    You got great advice so far. BUT you need to order the pool test kit as soon as you put the first shovel in the dirt or buy the pool. The test kit should be at your house by the time you say the pool is full of water. That way you are off to the right start.

    Yes it can be overwhelming but......there are SO many here ready to help as you can!

    You can do it and will love it!
    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie wanting to start right, please help

    I didn't read all of 1971's post (but I'm sure it's great info) but you only need pavers under the individual uprights (legs) on the pool, not all the way around. And yes, level is very important. As long as your site is relatively level and not some huge hill, you can do everything by hand.

    I know it seems overwhelming now but you take this like eating an elephant... one bite at a time, and soon it will start making sense.

    Getting started is the hardest part. Once it's up and running it gets much easier.

    As for the pump and filter, a lot of people go with the Intex 2650 pump and sand filter combo and are very happy with it. If you're thinking about getting a new pump/filter to start with that's the one to go with.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Newbie wanting to start right, please help

    1971 you are awesome. I found a video that shows almost exactly the same thing as you suggest only instead of wood they used square pavers. And they didn't suggest weed and bug killer, which I think is an excellent suggestion!

    Thank you for the filter suggestion. I'll take you up on it. With 12 people using this pool, I suspect a high quality filter and vacuum is going to be just as essential as the water tester in getting the best and most use out of this pool.

    I've called around and I'm renting a sod cutter and am ordering a 1/2 pickup truck of sand delivered. Got some pavers off Craigslist for .50 each. Have a list of what pump upgrade and test kit to buy.

    I think we will be getting a pool installed this weekend or next!

    Thank you very very much!!
    M
    Newbie to pool ownership.

    5000 gallons
    Intex Krystal Clear sand filter pump 16" & saltwater system model CS20110
    AG Intex 16' x 48" Ultra Frame
    Leslie Chlorine FAS-DPD Service Test Kit

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    Re: Newbie wanting to start right, please help

    alot of people use pavers under the legs as did i the first time but i ended up with a couple under the liner because the legs moved when it filled, that is why i use the plywood now it moves with the legs.....good luck and take plenty of pics of your build and post them here......we love pics......Mike
    18x52 intex ultra frame pool 6981 gallons, 1 HP LL pump with 19 in sand filter,BBB method,borax 50ppm
    leslies DPD test kit + fas-dpd chlorine test kit + borates test strips
    thru wall skimmer,hard plumbed with 2 returns 1 1/2 sch 40 pvc
    1 large fountain 1 inch sch 40 pvc,shut off ball valves on all

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    Re: Newbie wanting to start right, please help

    BTW i would use mortar sand under the pool it is screened
    18x52 intex ultra frame pool 6981 gallons, 1 HP LL pump with 19 in sand filter,BBB method,borax 50ppm
    leslies DPD test kit + fas-dpd chlorine test kit + borates test strips
    thru wall skimmer,hard plumbed with 2 returns 1 1/2 sch 40 pvc
    1 large fountain 1 inch sch 40 pvc,shut off ball valves on all

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