Help! Intex Ultra Frame Sides bowing with winterizing lower water level


Jun 16, 2020
Kentucky, USA
I’ve searched many threads and can’t find a similar question, so feel free to direct me if this has been answered elsewhere so I don’t waste anyone’s time.

This was our first summer with our Intex 12x24 ultra frame, therefore this is our first winterizing. We decided that we would keep it up year round as we have nowhere to store it, and didn’t want the hassle anyway, after years of taking down a much smaller round one each year in the past.

I know that Intex doesn’t recommend leaving it up, but there are plenty of threads showing that lots of people do leave it up with success, in much harsher climates than here in KY. We used the winterizing kit from InTheSwim, and we lowered the water to an Inch or 2 below the lowest side hole. (Which was a pretty significant drain). We removed all tubing, and brought in the salt w6ater pump and sand filter. We put in a large pool pillow, and covered it with the heavy duty cover that came with the pool.

BUT...when it rains, and I assume when it snows, if it snows, the big puddles form around the edges and pull down the cover. We’ve added extra side holders and have so far fixed the gap problems, but I am super concerned about the bowing sides. Just like when originally filling the Intex, the sides bowed until full, of course it bowed again when lowering the water for the winterizing instructions. I feel like the extra weight of rainwater and snow will cause great stress on this sides. We are using a pool cover drain, but there are still times the water collects, and snow will be another problem.

So my question is specifically for Intex ultra frame owners who have winterized. Did you lower your water level like instructed, and did the sides bow, and did it matter? E24B1A59-6BFF-46B2-B4EF-41C030D5F27F.jpeg


Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
Southern OK
That is the way that type pool looks like when it is filling or emptying... it uses the water to push out the sides and with less water..... I do not think there will be any issues with it like that, with that said, you could put some plugs in the 3 holes and refill with no issues.. :)

I do believe these would work great


Well-known member
Jun 19, 2017
Siloam Springs, Ar
I always drain beneath the lowest hole, about 3 inches below it. Mine doesn’t look like that. But, they do pretty much look like that as you fill, so maybe ok. I am not really qualified, only from personal experience.
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Active member
Feb 13, 2018
Fort Lauderdale Florida
water weight is what pushes the top rails of the pool into good position. Without that weight, it’s going to bow in like that. I’d say it’s ok to leave it like that.. if you think the sag creates some strain or something on the frame maybe through in a couple 2x4x12 braces in the opening to keep the top rail rectangular and straight. Could also help a bit with the cover having support underneath I would imagine
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Bronze Supporter
Dec 24, 2018
Columbus, Ohio
Pool Size
Liquid Chlorine
You could always take the cover off. I have a round Intex Ultra Frame and don’t cover my pool after closing for the winter. A cover would put a lot of stress on the frame, IMO. I drain mine an inch or 2 below the returns also but the rectangular pools will bow out when they’re not full. I wouldn’t keep the cover on personally or maybe you need more water in it?
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