Cutting Larger Intake & Return holes in your Intex

HacoboPablo

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 29, 2013
63
San Diego, CA
Hey guys,

Like many of you I upgraded my dinky cartridge filter/pump to larger sand filter/pump. I tried using the original intake and return hole with that awful "squeeze" adapter that has the plunger valves hanging out all floppy, very restrictive and not solid. So I bit the bullet and cut me some larger holes and took pics while I was at it, hope this helps those of you who are nervous about it...

Big difference in flow:


Stuff you need:

Sharpie, X-acto knife, Plunger valve, Intake & Returns that came with the new pump along with the gasket that came with each one.



These have to go!


Use the Gasket to trace the inside circle around the old hole, you'll still be inside the reinforced area:


Here is where you need to just cut slowly, make sure you cut exactly outside the sharpie line. I used my other hand to stabilized my cutting hand so i couldn't "slip". If at anytime you feel sketchy or your putting to much pressure to cut, just stop and relax then start again. Cut in a way that feels comfortable, I cut in small sections and repositioned as needed. Remember too small of a hole and you'll wrinkle the liner when you tighten and have leaks, too big and you'll have leakage as well, stay right outside that sharpie line and you'll be fine, you've got this!







Insert the head part with the gasket on the inside of the pool:



Center the threads:



Screw on the threaded nut and hand tighten while pressing out from the inside of the pool:



Screw on the return nozzle or strainer to the head base:


Next carefully thread on your plunger valve and hand tighten. Also tighten the dark grey cap under the shut off of the plunger valve, as mine was slightly loose out of the box:


Now do the same on the other side, then fill the pool and check for leaks. Tighten up things more if needed and you'll have solid, free flowing intake and returns for your new awesome pump!
 

yister

Well-known member
Jul 26, 2012
48
Thanks for the great pics, ahhh I should've done it before filling. We have the same pool 14'x42", just finished hayward skimmer. The intex kept popping off, well worth the cut.
 

y_not

Well-known member
Jul 24, 2012
1,086
Redmond, OR
Absolutely love this tutorial, wonderful! Thank you so much for documenting it. This will be so incredibly helpful to those wishing to do this. :goodjob:

Two questions.
1. Did you say at the beginning that you did a partial drain and I missed it?
2. Did you continue to use the floating simmer and which one do you have? Regular, or deluxe (extra crispy)?

Thanks again!
Ps. Lovin the avatar and username.
:cheers:
 

DigbyAllen

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 9, 2012
113
Westchester, NY
Nice photo tutorial. I did the same thing to my Intex pool this year. It made a huge difference in flow and water clarity.

The difference in my case was I cut my liner after the pool was full. As others here recommended, I had a helper (my son) hold a bowl inside the pool pressed tightly against the liner. With the first cut through the liner you get a spray of water and the immediate reaction is OMG WHAT HAVE I DONE? But at that point there is no turning back. I waited for the water inside the bowl to leak out and I calmed down and got on with the job.

I'll repeat what the OP said. Take your time and cut carefully. If at any time it feels sketchy, stop, take a deep breath, and then continue.

In order to minimize water loss, I stuffed a wet rag into the new fitting in advance. After the old fitting was cut away, I had my son move the bowl and then I quickly inserted the fitting with the rag from inside the pool. With the fitting pressed in place, the rag stopped most of the water from gushing out and I had a trickle rather than an open fire hydrant. I was then able to press on the fitting from inside the pool while screwing on the threaded nut from outside the pool. Then once you screw on the plunger valve, there is no more danger of leakage and you can safely remove the rag.

I repeated the process with the second fitting. The entire job took less than 20 minutes.
 

peripatew

Active member
Jul 4, 2013
29
DigbyAllen said:
I repeated the process with the second fitting. The entire job took less than 20 minutes.
What parts did you order? I'm getting the same intex sand filter that you have tomorrow. Did you hard plump everything first?
 

DigbyAllen

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 9, 2012
113
Westchester, NY
peripatew said:
What parts did you order? I'm getting the same intex sand filter that you have tomorrow. Did you hard plump everything first?
I didn't order any extra parts. Just what came with the sand filter. They include two "B" adapters which you can use to attach the 1 1/2" hoses that come with the sand filter to the 1 1/4" fittings on the smaller Intex pools. I ran like this for about 3 days before deciding to cut the old fittings out and use the larger fittings that came with the sand filter, as shown in the OP's photos. I'm glad I did.

I did not hard plumb anything and have no plans to do so.
 

HacoboPablo

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 29, 2013
63
San Diego, CA
Thanks for the feedback guys, I'd rather see a pic of how to do something any day, so I thought I'd share.

y_not said:
Absolutely love this tutorial, wonderful! Thank you so much for documenting it. This will be so incredibly helpful to those wishing to do this. :goodjob:

Two questions.
1. Did you say at the beginning that you did a partial drain and I missed it?
2. Did you continue to use the floating simmer and which one do you have? Regular, or deluxe (extra crispy)?
Mine was a first time fill and I ran outside when I realized I wanted to cut the larger ports in and stopped the water just below the intake!

No skimmer at all yet, need to order one, I might start with the over the wall skimmer first, then move to Hayward later.


@DigbyAllen - Thanks for adding the tips for a filled pool, your braver than I, :-D
 
G

Guest

Thank you HacoboPablo for this excellent tutorial. I just used it last night with a full 12'x30" Intex and it worked like a charm. Had my nine year old in the pool holding a bowl to keep leakage to a minimum during the surgery. I now have much stronger pump flow and no leaks. Just what I was looking for. Now I just have to figure out how to plumb the solar heater back in... :-D
 

laceygirl

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Dec 31, 2013
1,271
Canberra Australia
I am commenting on this so I can use it for a reference when I get to cut my liner in a couple of months.. .:) I haven't assembled my pool yet so I am going to cut it without water in it.. :)
 

dbaines

Member
May 30, 2013
23
Mechanicsville, Virginia
I thought I replied to this already.. but I don't see it..

Looks like it was moved..apparently asking questions about other equipment that may or may not need to be upgraded when upgrading to the 2650 is considered 'hi-jacking'... <sigh>
 

raidencmc

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 18, 2011
235
Cochranville, PA
I am commenting on this so I can use it for a reference when I get to cut my liner in a couple of months.. .:) I haven't assembled my pool yet so I am going to cut it without water in it.. :)
I would imagine that doing it partially filled would help free both and provide some stability.

This was great. I wish I had this when I did it. I did mine full and alone. I was frustrated and terrified. Frustrated with the fact that the adapters didn't work well and terrified I was going to ruin the pool. The best advice I have is make sure your blades are new.
 

mommabeans

Active member
Apr 24, 2013
29
Buffalo, NY
This is what I've been asking about in my own thread, but apparently I've been speaking french because no one seems to have understood what I was asking about. Thanks for the pics! Nice!
 

ariel68

Well-known member
Apr 13, 2014
70
Manitoba, Canada
Thank you so much for posting. We initially purchased the all in one AquaQuik system from our 'local' pool supply store (to replace the manufacturer supplied filter for our Bestway pool), but after reading so many dreadful reviews about them we have decided to go with standalone pump and sand filter instead (Jacuzzi brand). Thinking we are in for a lot of work, but hoping it will be worth it in the end. All of the helpful tips everyone has shared will go along way in helping us achieve our goals