We just purchased the 26' Intex from Walmart, after debating on pools for a LONG time. Biggest reason for going with Intex is cost (son is 15 & don't know how much pool will really be used after 2-3 years). Pool is still in box in garage ... hope to break ground this weekend!
After reading lots of info on this great site, I just want to be sure I have all my ducks in a row and am hoping for advice from the experts ....
WARM CLEAR WATER
-TF100 test kit ordered yesterday and is in route. We have city water and once test kit arrives, I plan to go ahead & test some of the water so I have some idea of what I'm dealing with. Anything else I should be doing to "prepare" for clear swimable water ASAP after pool is set up?
-What is the typical "comfortable" (ie not cold) water temperature?
-I'm in Raleigh, NC ... once pool is filled with the waterhose and assuming at least 85 degree sunny weather, how long before the sun will warm up the water to the "comfortable" temperature?
PUMP / FILTER SYSTEM
-Sadly this model does NOT come with a sand filter ... it's a 2500gph "paper" cartridge. Trying to determine what are my best options. In no particular order here's what I'm thinking ....
-am I better off never hooking this thing up and going ahead and purchasing a "normal" sand filter and pump. I could sell the original one new on ebay / craigslist for about $75. I've read about needing to convert the size of the hoses / pipes which is a major concern (single mom here learning as I go ... not too handymanish). Another concern is if I go this route, will I need an electrical plug by the pool, or can I still run a drop cord? (electrical plug will cost me an additional $275 and WE must dig a 50' trench)
-I realize / think there are other advantages to going ahead & converting pipe size to "standard" ... i.e I can add "normal" skimmer later, I can use other "standard" ABG stuff like vacuum systems, etc (don't think this Intex model comes with a vac), etc. Am I correct on all this?
-if I hookup the original one, will it really keep the water clear? Am I better off also purchasing the Intex salt generator to go along with the original pump? (I'm not set on a "salt" pool ... just want whatever option will be lowest maintenance ... single mom = super busy)
MAINTENANCE / DEBRIS IN WATER
-I realize I won't know until the pool is setup, but I anticipate there is going to be a fair amount of bugs and debris in water at any given time (lots of pine trees about 20' from pool). Any necessary accessories to help with this?
-What kind of vac should I plan on purchasing? I'd prefer an autovac but I don't think any of these will work with the Intex. Is this true?
-Existing screened porch height is about 12" lower than pool. Thinking of adding deck around pool same height as existing porch. Am I going to regret the deck NOT being pool height?
These are my 4 top items right now. If there's anything else I should be caring about PLEASE tell me !!
I greatly appreciate any and all input! Many thanks!
PS - Think I forgot to add this to my sig but per box pool should hold 14,667 gallons at 90% capacity.