Intex Sand Filter - MN Winter

awvickers

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Apr 12, 2021
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Minneapolis, MN
I've read the winterizing above ground pools post in pool school and it seems there is a basic and common sense process to winterize the filter/pump. Drain all the components, bring tubes and valve inside, leave tank outside. I'm just looking for "real world" confirmations of other people that have drained and left the sand filter outside in MN winters and haven't experienced any cracking of the tank?
 

jseyfert3

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Last winter (my first) I brought my Intex sand filter inside but that was mainly because I waited until my water was actively freezing with the pump running before I winterized, so leaving it outside wasn’t an option as it didn’t have time to drain before freezing.

My filter is rather heavy, 70 lbs or more, moving was a pain. This winter I will winterize a tad earlier and I’ll be leaving the filter outside. I’ll bring the pump in though.
 

cj133

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May 6, 2018
503
NJ
I've been around sand filters for 40 years and I've never seen one brought in side of any size.
I previously had a smaller Intex sand filter and I left both the filter and the pump outside all winter and I believe we had -8F at one point that winter.

Remove the drain plug / cap from the filter and the pump and throw them in the pump basket. Remove all hoses etc as well.

I know many who remove the multivalve from the top of the filter, but I've always been too lazy and just throw a bag over it to keep water / snow out of the handle components.

I'm not saying it's right, but it's worked so far.
 

chi-chi

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How about if it's outside in a deckbox enclosure? If it is still drained and all the hoses, sight glass and valves removed can it stay outside in an enclosure or even a shed?
 

Kiss4aFrog

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I was in Wis with an inground and sand filter where it hit's below zero quite often during the winter. I'd take the drain cap off at the bottom of the filter and let the filter drain and never had a problem. With the bigger filters having a couple hundred pounds of sand and likely being solidly plumbed in bringing it in really isn't an option nor has it been necessary. If yours is easy enough to move and you have the room you can bring it inside if you want but my experience is it's not necessary. Think of all the folks with sand filters that physically can't bring them in and they winter just fine in place.
I'd garbage bag it, tarp it, deckbox, ... just to protect it from the sun.

.
 
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cj133

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May 6, 2018
503
NJ
The way I view it is the baby sand filters work the same as the big ones.

If we aren't worried about bringing in 300-400 pound ones costing $500+ to replace, why would anyone waste time moving a baby one?

I'm not putting down baby filters, just trying to give some perspective. The baby ones won't be harmed either. Just drain them and let them be. I'm sure there's other things everyone would rather do then lug a 70 pound filter in for no reason.
 

YippeeSkippy

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Agaiin, I was picturing, when I first answered, one of those very small intex filters (like 50 pounds) . If you refer back to the original post it is from deep snowy MN, and there was no information given as to size. My mistake was to assume it was one of those small gadgets.
 

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Newdude

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I brought my honking 500 sq ft cartridge filter inside every year. I just bought a new one for the new pool and it was $1875. I couldn’t care less that the housing can handle the elements. It’s a boatload of money to leave sitting in a snow drift for possibly months to save 20 mins of work.

I wholeheartedly admit that 99% of this is for me and not the filter, but I’d spend longer going to the Dr for sleeping pills. :ROFLMAO:

If someone has one without unions or the ability to install unions, then of course that changes the equation.
 

cj133

Well-known member
May 6, 2018
503
NJ
I brought my honking 500 sq ft cartridge filter inside every year. I just bought a new one for the new pool and it was $1875. I couldn’t care less that the housing can handle the elements. It’s a boatload of money to leave sitting in a snow drift for possibly months to save 20 mins of work.

I wholeheartedly admit that 99% of this is for me and not the filter, but I’d spend longer going to the Dr for sleeping pills. :ROFLMAO:

If someone has one without unions or the ability to install unions, then of course that changes the equation.
Curious how much does a filter that size weigh?
 

Newdude

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Curious how much does a filter that size weigh
That’s a GREAT question and everything I’m finding online lists the GPM/ heights / sq ft. Nobody has them for sale so I can’t find it from the suppliers either. I figured they might have it for shipping purposes.

But it’s heavy. I’m a big dude 6’4’’ with long arms to grip that kinda thing and I can barely carry it dry. If the filters were wet I’d be outmatched. But it comes apart into 4 much more manageable pieces. Just the top for example or one of the cartridges.
 

jseyfert3

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I have the Intex sand filter that came with my pool. Without sand, I think it weighs 2 pounds. My understanding is that they were not built to be installed year round, so that's why I bring mine inside.
Without sand, any sand filter is light. You scoop the sand out of your filter every year?

FYI Intex also says the pool isn’t supposed to stay outside year round. ;)
 

Newdude

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know you left yours out last year! I was intending to do so this year but am still waffling a bit!
A game of mine is while driving around everyday spotting who put up new Intex pools. For the first year or two most of them come down and by year 3 the folks are sick of the headache and leave them up. When I spot them left up I chuckle knowing why. Lol.
 
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cj133

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May 6, 2018
503
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Without sand, any sand filter is light. You scoop the sand out of your filter every year?

FYI Intex also says the pool isn’t supposed to stay outside year round. ;)
Well,
The way I look at it is the following.

Leaving a sand filter outside all winter properly drained is harmless.

However, trying to remove all of the sand and then haul it inside and then next season haul it back out and once again pour / dump sand in it risks breaking laterals etc. Broken laterals that you won't find until you start the system up and then have to get parts, tear the filter back apart etc.

Pouring the sand into a sand filter is by far the most risky time for it so it should be avoided when possible.
I'd also bet trying to move a sand filter while it's full of sand could also cause damage to the filter.

When I had an Intex 15' 48" pool we took the pool down for the winter and left the sand filter in place.
 
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Woodstock1234

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Aug 4, 2020
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Without sand, any sand filter is light. You scoop the sand out of your filter every year?

FYI Intex also says the pool isn’t supposed to stay outside year round. ;)
I did scoop out most of the sand last year to bring it inside. You have a point that the pool isn't supposed to stay outside either and I did leave the pool out last year. Maybe I'll leave the filter out too this year, but probably not. I guess I just feel better bringing it in.
 
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