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Thread: Need Start-Up Advice Concerning an Intex Ultra 16x48

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    Need Start-Up Advice Concerning an Intex Ultra 16x48

    Hello all,

    My husband and I are about to become pool owners for the first time and I have dedicated a lot of time searching this site for answers to the many questions I have (he travels a lot for work, so this is my project and I am beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed).

    I became fairly comfortable w/ the BBB method, but after finding the pool we wanted (an Intex Ultra 16x48) for super cheap on clearance today, I have decided to go ahead and invest in a saltwater system.

    With this being said, before asking the questions I have, I need to mention the pool site is approximately 55 ft. from our outdoor outlet, which is just a standard outlet. We are currently renting our home and while of course safety is our #1 priority, we don't want to invest a lot of money running electricity out to the site, etc., nor are we able to given the fact we don't own the home.

    My questions are:

    1) Is the pump that comes with the pool (Krystal Clear, 1,500 gallons-per-hour, 110-120 volt) sufficient to attach to the saltwater system I am about to purchase, or do I need to upgrade to a nicer pump (sand filter?). If I just use this pump for now to save on initial cost, will it harm my saltwater system if/when it burns out?

    2) I know there is a lot of debate concerning using extension cords on these pumps (I know you are really not supposed to). With that being said, I also know you are really not supposed to because people may use the wrong cord. If I were to get a contractors extension cord (water-proof with built in GFI), would this be okay to use to extend the cord of the pool pump to the outdoor (non-GFI) outlet?

    3) I am confused about what I will be testing the pool water for if the saltwater system monitors the water and adds salt when needed. I saw some very nice testing kits mentioned when I was researching the BBB method. Since I am using salt, would I still use the same kit and test for the same things (I am guessing so since the saltwater is just another method of adding chlorine).

    Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Need Start-Up Advice Concerning an Intex Ultra 16x48

    Quote Originally Posted by tipaye
    Hello all,

    My husband and I are about to become pool owners for the first time and I have dedicated a lot of time searching this site for answers to the many questions I have (he travels a lot for work, so this has pretty much become my project and I feel a bit overwhelmed).

    I became fairly comfortable w/ the BBB method, but after finding the pool we wanted (an Intex Ultra 16x48) for super cheap on clearance today, I have decided to go ahead and invest in a saltwater system.

    With this being said, before asking the questions I have, I need to mention the pool site is approximately 55 ft. from our outdoor outlet, which is just a standard outlet. We are currently renting our home and while of course safety is our #1 priority, we don't want to invest a lot of money running electricity out to the site, etc., nor are we able to given the fact we don't own the home.

    My questions are:

    1) Is the pump that comes with the pool (Krystal Clear, 1,500 gallons-per-hour, 110-120 volt) sufficient to attach to the saltwater system I am about to purchase, or do I need to upgrade to a nicer pump (sand filter?). If I just use this pump for now to save on initial cost, will it harm my saltwater system if/when it burns out? That pump will be barely adequate. The 2650 gph sand filter would be a better choice. Best to get the SWG separate from the pump/filter, as they rarely go out at the same time.

    2) I know there is a lot of debate concerning using extension cords on these pumps (I know you are really not supposed to). With that being said, I also know you are really not supposed to because people may use the wrong cord. If I were to get a contractors extension cord (water-proof with built in GFI), would this be okay to use to extend the cord of the pool pump to the outdoor (non-GFI) outlet? A 12 AWG with GFI no longer that 25 ft would be the minimum you should use. The warning about extension cord is because most people will use whatever lamp cord they have handy, with too small wire size and no protection.

    3) I am confused about what I will be testing the pool water for if the saltwater system monitors the water and adds salt when needed. I saw some very nice testing kits mentioned when I was researching the BBB method. Since I am using salt, would I still use the same kit and test for the same things (I am guessing so since the saltwater is just another method of adding chlorine). You will be testing your FC, CC, pH, TA, and CH. Salt test is separate test.

    Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
    Since you know about the test kits, you should go ahead and order yours as soon as you can.

    The SWG doesn't add salt, you do that. All it does is separate the chlorine from the salt that is in the water. Chem Geek has a good write-up on how it works.

    Your best bet after leveling the ground and setting up your pool would be to learn to operate it as a manually dosed pool, then add your salt and SWG. That way you will know how your pool behaves, and can spot trouble before it happens.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Need Start-Up Advice Concerning an Intex Ultra 16x48

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie_R
    Quote Originally Posted by tipaye
    Hello all,

    My husband and I are about to become pool owners for the first time and I have dedicated a lot of time searching this site for answers to the many questions I have (he travels a lot for work, so this has pretty much become my project and I feel a bit overwhelmed).

    I became fairly comfortable w/ the BBB method, but after finding the pool we wanted (an Intex Ultra 16x48) for super cheap on clearance today, I have decided to go ahead and invest in a saltwater system.

    With this being said, before asking the questions I have, I need to mention the pool site is approximately 55 ft. from our outdoor outlet, which is just a standard outlet. We are currently renting our home and while of course safety is our #1 priority, we don't want to invest a lot of money running electricity out to the site, etc., nor are we able to given the fact we don't own the home.

    My questions are:

    1) Is the pump that comes with the pool (Krystal Clear, 1,500 gallons-per-hour, 110-120 volt) sufficient to attach to the saltwater system I am about to purchase, or do I need to upgrade to a nicer pump (sand filter?). If I just use this pump for now to save on initial cost, will it harm my saltwater system if/when it burns out? That pump will be barely adequate. The 2650 gph sand filter would be a better choice. Best to get the SWG separate from the pump/filter, as they rarely go out at the same time.

    2) I know there is a lot of debate concerning using extension cords on these pumps (I know you are really not supposed to). With that being said, I also know you are really not supposed to because people may use the wrong cord. If I were to get a contractors extension cord (water-proof with built in GFI), would this be okay to use to extend the cord of the pool pump to the outdoor (non-GFI) outlet? A 12 AWG with GFI no longer that 25 ft would be the minimum you should use. The warning about extension cord is because most people will use whatever lamp cord they have handy, with too small wire size and no protection.

    3) I am confused about what I will be testing the pool water for if the saltwater system monitors the water and adds salt when needed. I saw some very nice testing kits mentioned when I was researching the BBB method. Since I am using salt, would I still use the same kit and test for the same things (I am guessing so since the saltwater is just another method of adding chlorine). You will be testing your FC, CC, pH, TA, and CH. Salt test is separate test.

    Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
    Since you know about the test kits, you should go ahead and order yours as soon as you can.

    The SWG doesn't add salt, you do that. All it does is separate the chlorine from the salt that is in the water. Chem Geek has a good write-up on how it works.

    Your best bet after leveling the ground and setting up your pool would be to learn to operate it as a manually dosed pool, then add your salt and SWG. That way you will know how your pool behaves, and can spot trouble before it happens.
    Thank you for your reply. If I'm reading what you wrote correctly, I am unable to use an extension cord longer than 25 ft. (?). This is going to pose a problem since that leaves at least 30 ft. I am going to have to make up for and I don't believe the cord on the sand pump is 30 ft.

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Need Start-Up Advice Concerning an Intex Ultra 16x48

    If you can find one, a 50 ft might work. Just make sure you are getting a heavy enough one. Many people make the mistake of "This is huge, so it must be heavy gauge". Look on the outer sheath. Most are embossed with the wire size and type. It should say 12 AWG somewhere in the lettering. If it doesn't have that, find another.

    Without getting too technical, the reason you want that heavy of cordset is voltage drop. You may read on a meter where you plug it in 120V, but at the pump itself while running, you could meter it and read 100V or less. This damages the motor. The wire size (not the insulation size) will determine the voltage drop. Since your pump will be drawing 10A at the absolute most, and only during start-up, you should be ok.

    If you know an electrician, you could have him make up a cord set for you the proper length, with a weatherproof box on the end.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Need Start-Up Advice Concerning an Intex Ultra 16x48

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie_R
    If you can find one, a 50 ft might work. Just make sure you are getting a heavy enough one. Many people make the mistake of "This is huge, so it must be heavy gauge". Look on the outer sheath. Most are embossed with the wire size and type. It should say 12 AWG somewhere in the lettering. If it doesn't have that, find another.

    Without getting too technical, the reason you want that heavy of cordset is voltage drop. You may read on a meter where you plug it in 120V, but at the pump itself while running, you could meter it and read 100V or less. This damages the motor. The wire size (not the insulation size) will determine the voltage drop. Since your pump will be drawing 10A at the absolute most, and only during start-up, you should be ok.

    If you know an electrician, you could have him make up a cord set for you the proper length, with a weatherproof box on the end.
    Thank you. I'm assuming 12/3 AWG is the same as the 12 you're referencing? I was able to find this cord and it's 12/3 AWG:

    http://www.amazon.com/Tower-Manufacturi ... +gfci+plug

    I am going to take your advice and manually take care of my pool (BBB method) before exploring the salt water option.

    Thanks so much!

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Need Start-Up Advice Concerning an Intex Ultra 16x48

    That one will do. It will handle your pump, and when you are ready for the SWG, it should handle both.

    If you have been reading Pool School (link in upper right of this page), you will know to have bleach and cyanuric acid on hand for when you start filling your pool.

    Look also at http://www.poolcalculator.com/ , and play around with it a bit so you can get used to using it.

    When you are ready to fill, take a sample of your fill water, and do all the tests on it, so you have a starting point for adding your chemicals.

    Remember, your pool will not have a full 4 ft of water, more likely 40-42 inches, so you will need to adjust your number of gallons to match.

    Good luck with your new pool!

    Any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

    Sorry I didn't see the PM, It was answered here though.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Need Start-Up Advice Concerning an Intex Ultra 16x48

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie_R
    That one will do. It will handle your pump, and when you are ready for the SWG, it should handle both.

    If you have been reading Pool School (link in upper right of this page), you will know to have bleach and cyanuric acid on hand for when you start filling your pool.

    Look also at http://www.poolcalculator.com/ , and play around with it a bit so you can get used to using it.

    When you are ready to fill, take a sample of your fill water, and do all the tests on it, so you have a starting point for adding your chemicals.

    Remember, your pool will not have a full 4 ft of water, more likely 40-42 inches, so you will need to adjust your number of gallons to match.

    Good luck with your new pool!

    Any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

    Thank you so much, I appreciate it!

    Sorry I didn't see the PM, It was answered here though.

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