New to the forum and pool ownership. Just got an Intex 16ft ultra frame. After what felt like weeks of leveling and careful yard prep, it's setup and running now with the stock filter, but I have a Hayward C550 cartridge filter system with 1HP pump on order. I have also purchased three 20ft x 30" cheapo solar panel kits on Amazon. I'm hoping that the Hayward 1HP will be able to pump 50ft horizontal, 11-12ft up, through the three panels that will be end to end 60ft long, and back down to my pool. So I have some questions.
1) How important is it for me to replumb my Intex for 1.5" versus the 1 1/4 that comes out the stock valves? I'm pretty sure I'm going to do it regardless, but it sure would be nice if someone said "nah, don't bother!" to save me a load of trouble.
2) Is there any clever way I replumb without draining the pool below the ports? I was thinking about getting a plunger from Home Depot (we need another one anyway) and have my wife make a good seal from the inside of the pool while I swap out the fittings. What could go wrong?
3) Is there a recommended automatic skimmer that pairs nicely with this pool? I'm noticing it's bug central right now, and I'm getting sick of skimming constantly.
4) Any other tips or advice on my setup as described? I'm making this up as I go along!