This may end up being a rant, and if so, I apologize in advance but there's so many things that are driving me crazy about my pool (Intex 16x48), I'm ready to drain it and sell it, or gut it with a knife while laughing maniacally. Maybe some of you can offer some advice.
The number one thing that is driving me bonkers right now is gnats. Yep, gnats. And ants. But mostly gnats. I promise, this is no exaggeration, but every day before my kids can get in the pool, I'm out there with a net fishing HUNDREDS of gnats off the surface of the pool. It literally takes 30-45 minutes and even then I don't get them all. Would one of those Hayward skimmers help me with this? If so, can I plumb this without hard plumbing everything?
The number two thing driving me nuts is dirt. There is dirt piled up nearly every day in the middle of the pool, or in the creases. Now, I can understand why there is dirt - we had to dig a hole in our yard to make a level spot for the pool, and the landscaping isn't finished, and there is dirt piled up all around the pool. We've only been running the pool about 2 weeks, and I've already changed the filter, in addition to cleaning it out about every 2 days. But it's a drag to have to skim gnats, and THEN VACUUM everyday, which leads me to...
#3 - The vacuum that came with the pool is one of the ones that attaches to the water hose, so it adds water to the pool while you vacuum; not to mention that it only really vacuums about 40% of the dirt, and blows the other 60% of the dirt back up into the water. I was able to take a short hose and start a siphon to get the excess water out without fiddling with the drain at the bottom of the pool, so at least that worked well.
#4 - The cover. I was excited about the cover at first. It seemed heavy and durable. Of course I tore it on the first use trying to tighten up the strings (the string ripped out about 9-12"). I "patched" it with gorilla tape which seems to be holding. BUT, it seems a gentle breeze picks up an edge of the cover and moves it over onto the pool, no matter how tight I think I have it. And then it's a beast getting it off the pool and I don't know what to do with it. It's filthy and I don't want to put it back on the pool (it won't stay anyway). I thought if it was clean, and I had a way to keep it clean, I could put it on the pool each day to cut down on the gnats and dirt, but it doesn't seem like it's meant to be.
Anyway, these are some of the daily things that are turning the pool into a nightmarish chore. It's just really sucking the fun out having the pool. Last year we had a little Easy Set pool with a 12' base (probably 8-10' across at the top), and we had a lot fun in that little pool, and it seemed like it was low maintenance. Maybe I'm just remembering things with rose-colored glasses.