We purchased an 18' x 42" Summer Escapes pool last summer, and I made the decision a few weeks ago to purchase a sand filter for it as we opened it for this summer. After haunting this site and others for weeks, trying to gather enough information to make the switch, I saw others with the same problem: moms who are not hardware-savvy and just want straightforward how-to advice (and weren't finding it). I purchased a filter, and when it arrived, I realized the hoses weren't compatible with what I had (none of the spec info I read when purchasing it gave me any clue that it wouldn't fit my existing connections). It took two trips to the hardware store and two more orders from Amazon to finally get everything figured out and set up after days of trial-and-error and frustration. So now I want to offer these instructions to other "mom-types" who just want a step-by-step solution. I'm going to tell you about my specific situation/setup...
Again, we have an 18' x 42" metal-frame Summer Escapes pool (not a Pro Series or anything Ultra-whatever...): white metal frame with blue vinyl liner. The skimmer says SFS1000 on the side. It did not come with plunger valves or anything like that...So, moms, here is what you should purchase if you want to add a sand filter to an 18' x 42" Summer Escapes pool with an SFS1000 skimmer filter (don't know personally if this will work for any other equipment configuration):
1. Purchase your sand filter: After research, I bought this one for my particular pool (and you have to go buy sand too... two 50-lb bags of pool filter sand, and you'll use about half of the second bag): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
2. Purchase a conversion piece that will allow your filter to "plug" into the bottom of your existing skimmer:
3. Purchase these hose adapters (make sure you get a pair):
4. Purchase a 1.5 to 1.25 reducer coupling... I bought mine at Ace Hardware. It is part #4224044. You can probably find something comparable at your Lowe's or Home Depot. (looks like this) Attachment 36485
1. Put your sand filter together according to the instructions, fill with sand, etc.
2. On your old skimmer, take off the white accordion hose that ran from the black pump to the water return nozzle (my hose had metal clamps). Remove the old black pump out of the bottom of the skimmer (you can discard both this pump and the old white hose). Stick your new conversion adapter into the hole in the bottom of the skimmer and secure it with the locking ring. Attach one of your new hose adapters to it, and screw the hose that came with the new filter onto it. (see photo #4441 in the shared folder below)
3. On your water return nozzle, add the reducer coupling. Then use your second hose adapter to attach the hose for the new filter. (see photo #4438 in the shared folder below)
4. The pic of my entire finished setup is #4442 in the shared folder below.