First timer looking for advice


Jun 8, 2010
Situation: Absolute first timer that knows nada about pools except what I've read in recent weeks. My son is 2 years old & loves the water. I hate those little dinky kiddie pools that get so nasty so fast & want to put in a simple, easy, small pool with a good filter that will last me for at least 3 seasons. From what I've read & heard I think I'd like to have a SWG instead of using bleach (after reading up on the BBB method of course!). I'm the kind of person that doesn't mind spending a bit extra to do something right and do it right the first time.
Location: Central Georgia
Product sitting in my garage: Intex 10'x30" inflatable ring job (1018 gallons).

Sooo with all the above in mind here is my current thoughts on this process.
I'm going to clear myself out about a 12x12 square of property (rock hard Georgia red clay), set up a single layer of 4x6's around this, level the inside, fill that in with sand for an inch or two, tamp the heck out of it, put down a layer of the pink insulation foam stuff & duct tape it, put the pool down & partially fill it, smooth out the bottom & then fill er up, put down a bit of mulch between the bordering wood and the edge of the pool just to make things look nice. I'll have a cover that will stay on the pool about 70% of the time. It'll only come off when someone is in the pool basically.
Here's the more tricky part & what I think will be the more expensive bit. I've already been told by Intex customer support that I need a larger filter/pump than the one which is packaged with the 10x30 pool (this is to do the whole SWG option). Intex has an easy route here to get their SWG and an upgraded pump & use those. BUT I've seen plenty of comments where folks don't think the Intex pumps are worth a flip. I'm considering some kind of sand filter & pump set up as well. I don't have a dedicated electrical set up for this. I would like to have a system that I can just plug up via extension cord to a standard outdoor electrical outlet. That part isn't a show stopper - I can handle running some wiring if I can't get around it but something I can just plug in would be much preferred.

What I am looking for are comments on the above plan of attack, suggestions on products that I should go with, experiences, things to watch out for as I go into this; basically any constructive advice the experienced folk on the board can offer. Particularly advice in regard to the Intex pools and using "aftermarket" filters & SWG.

Thanks in advance for any help you kind folks around here can offer me!



TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 8, 2007
Waaay NW MN
Well the Intex SWG will give you the most bang for the buck - many folks with larger pools are usin them satisfactorily. We used one for several years and only upgraded really for more bells and whistles. As for pump and filter all I can say is that what you have read is right about the Intex filters/pumps lacking. Keep in mind that plug in pumps either 3 prong or twist lock (that you don't hard wire direct) will generally have a 3' cord and using an extension cord is not recommended. Someone with more experience sizing pumps and filters will be along to help with that part.


Active member
Jul 10, 2009
I really like my Intex pump/SWG combo unit (the model 8111 that you can likely find at any WalMart, Target, or K-Mart), and it seems to do the job just fine on my 12,000 gallon pool. I can't imagine any situation where this equipment wouldn't be sufficient for a 1,000 gallon pool. Just make sure you test your water regularly, clean the filter cartridge every week or so, and keep your pH level reasonable.

One big question I've gotta ask about your plan is if you are thinking about a fence or railing around the pool area with a good self-closing gate and latch. Your local bylaws and your home insurance may likely already require this, but it really is critical with a two year old water bug in the family.


LifeTime Supporter
Jan 11, 2009
Cupertino, CA
I can't say I've been taking notes but my impression is that the Intex SWG does okay once you get it tuned in. And Intex already told you to upgrade the pump.

The site prep sounds pretty thorough... normally we say don't build up with sand, the issue being that with rain (or just time) it tends to wash/crumble away. With 4x6's to enclose the site, you've addressed that concern.

There's a seasonal/temporary pool guide in Pool School that discusses water maintenance, but it's geared for manually dosed pools; with an SWG you are taking a different approach, so ignore that. When the time comes, you'll want salt and CYA and then you're good.


Jun 8, 2010
Thanks for the advice everyone. I'll keep checking back to see if anyone else wants to chime in. For now I think I may just go the cheap route, go with the all Intex stuff & see how she goes.

to answer a couple of questions - The fence issue will be addressed, I just didn't see the need to include that in my "situation". :) The wifey is a teacher so during all the time that the pool will actually be up & filled (another reason I want a small pool. It's going in the garage at the end of the summer break.) she will be with the little one. But we all know how young uns seemingly teleport at times...

Yeah, I figured some slight build up shouldn't be too big of a problem with the 4x6's and it being a relatively small pool.

and lastly I'll include that HD tarp!

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