New Intex pool, thinking of upgrading to SWG and sand filter to start

lilcajun

New member
May 27, 2020
4
Louisiana
Hi everyone. After months of researching, finally found and bought a 20x52 Intex Prism pool. I've read that the filter that comes with it is generally undersized, and was thinking of upgrading to a sand filter. Also, after reading here, thinking of getting it setup to make it a saltwater pool for ease of maintenance.

I'm not sure if I want to dump a bunch of money into the pool to get started with everything, but I wanted to see what you guys thought. Should I do it all from the get go, or piece it together as time goes on? Also, can the SWG work with the filter pump? If I piece it together, which should I get first, the sand filter or SWG? So many questions, not enough time.

Anyways, thanks for any help you can provide. This is very new to me and want to do it right from the start.

Thanks.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Welcome to TFP! :wave: Owning a pool is great summer fun, but it also comes with some basic care and maintenance responsibilities. If you've never owned a pool before, starting with the basics is fine just so you have time to get a basic understanding of what is required and to see if you like it. It would be a shame to invest into additional upgrades only to find out it wasn't for you. However, some of the things you mentioned, like an undersized filter that requires more cleaning, or relying on liquid chlorine (bleach) to be added each day, can sometimes interfere with that pool owner experience. A SWG can be added at any time. Even the filter (and motor if needed) can be upgraded later. The one thing that makes water care easy or difficult is chemistry, so make sure you start-out with a TF-100 (link below) or Taylor K-2006C. It doesn't mater what size your filter is, or how many accessories you have, if the water gets cloudy or green from poor chemistry. So make the test kit your first investment, and I think you'll find upgrading will work itself out as you learn the pool.
ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
 
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scout123

Bronze Supporter
Feb 18, 2018
386
Northwest GA
What was said above! Now, if you want to upgrade without spending a lot of money I'll tell you what I ended up doing when I was asking those same questions: I bought the intex combo sand filter/pump/swg. I got it off amazon and am on my 3rd year with it. The reason I think it's good for a starter pool, besides the price, it's easy to set up and operate. The only downside to the combo is that the timer will turn on the swg the same time everyday, but if you want just the filter to come on after running the swg, you have to manually change it. When I move on to a permanent walled above ground pool, I'll invest in the bigger and separate filter, pump, and swg, but using the intex combo was great for me when I was just getting started.
 
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lilcajun

New member
May 27, 2020
4
Louisiana
Thanks for the quick replies....I had looked at the sand filter/SWG combo, but sounds like I should just go ahead and upgrade the pump for now and then get the SWG. I'm looking at the Intex 3000gph pump, to make sure I don't regret getting one too small. If I can upgrade to SWG at anytime without having issues, I think this will be my best route. I really do not want to waste money on the replacement filter cartridges and also save the headache.
 

Colymbus

Bronze Supporter
Aug 10, 2017
10
St. Louis, MO
Hi and welcome! We are starting our 4th year with our Intex 20x52 pool. We started with the standard cartridge filter and as EVERYONE says, WAY underpowered, especially if its a well-used pool. We upgraded to the same Intex sand filter you are looking at that next year and we have NEVER regretted it! It works like a champ. We did also install a Hayward thru-the-wall skimmer which helped as well. This year we purchased the Intex SWG but we're just starting the opening pool SLAM session so haven't used it yet.
 

scout123

Bronze Supporter
Feb 18, 2018
386
Northwest GA
Thanks for the quick replies....I had looked at the sand filter/SWG combo, but sounds like I should just go ahead and upgrade the pump for now and then get the SWG. I'm looking at the Intex 3000gph pump, to make sure I don't regret getting one too small. If I can upgrade to SWG at anytime without having issues, I think this will be my best route. I really do not want to waste money on the replacement filter cartridges and also save the headache.
Looks like you have a good plan!
 

Townlakecakes

Member
Aug 24, 2016
20
Houston area
I’m jealous. We’re limping through our 3rd summer with our 2nd 20x52 Ultra frame pool and we hope It doesn’t collapse like the first one did but it isn’t looking good. We’re done throwing good money after bad so next year upgrading to A hard sided AGP.
However, after 6 years of Intex pools, here are my thoughts:

First step is definitely Hayward Wide mouth skimmer. Keeping the stuff from getting into your filter in the first place is key. Then
the bigger pump/sand filter. The large SWG (up to 15,000 gal) won’t cost you a whole lot more than a whole season worth of chlorine in any form .
At some point, a vacuum like the Hayward aqua bug will make your life a lot easier too
.
 
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