New Intex XTR owner with a few questions / concerns

DMan1979

New member
May 23, 2021
3
NJ
Hello everyone,
My wife and I just finished installing an Intex Ultra XTR 16x48 pool.

Despite our best efforts to level the ground which required digging down almost 7 inches on one end (we had no idea our yard was so uneven) and then adding a layer of sand to fine tune everything, the water level is uneven by slightly under a 1/2 inch.

We also tried to keep the legs straight as it was filling but as things have settled, the bottom of a few have moved out slightly and some inward. The ones that moved inward, I was able to pull out to make them level but I am unable to straighten the ones that moved out.

I am fairly sure I know where I messed up... I placed the legs/feet on top of the sand when I now know that they should have been placed directly to the soil. I have seen arguments about whether or not to use pavers so i'm still unsure if they're necessary or not. Wish I had done more research before hand...

My first question is - How bad did I mess up or am I just being overly worried? I've read that metal frame pools are ok up to 2 inches uneven and I'm sitting at around a 1/2" so... I hope others with more knowledge can chime in and let me know what needs to be done if anything to correct the situation.

Another question is in regards to adding a through wall skimmer. I see that many have done it but something in my head is telling me that cutting a hole in the liner is just begging for trouble as it adds weak points that can fail and cause the liner to tear. Am I wrong?
 
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Mdragger88

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I agree- 1/2” is great 👍🏻
The pavers help keep the feet from sinking which would then cause the weight to be unevenly distributed & the pool come out of level. If you have the need to ever drain the pool you could/should correct that then. If it is level & full now I would not drain just to add pavers. Its more of a longevity thing if you intend to keep the pool up year round for multiple years.
The book doesn’t call for them because the pool was designed to be taken down at the end of the season & be disposable.
As far as the skimmer goes there are many threads here about doing it. If done properly it’s usually not an issue.
I was lucky that all my pools came w/ through the wall skimmers so I never had to address it.
 
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jseyfert3

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DMan1979

New member
May 23, 2021
3
NJ
Thank you all for the quick replies.

The pavers help keep the feet from sinking which would then cause the weight to be unevenly distributed & the pool come out of level. If you have the need to ever drain the pool you could/should correct that then. If it is level & full now I would not drain just to add pavers. Its more of a longevity thing if you intend to keep the pool up year round for multiple years.


I forgot to mention that a few of the legs have sunk further down then the others... not by much but enough for me to notice with the naked eye. When I throw a level on the top beams (in between the T fittings) most of them are close to level but a few are not.

Is this something that should be addressed right away or will it be ok until next season when I drain the pool and add the pavers?

Regardless of my OCD which is on overdrive due to things not being perfectly level... My main concern is that its safe for my family. The wife seems to think its fine but told me that if I feel the need to drain it and fix it then I should go ahead with it (I'm sure she is tired of hearing me worry about it)

As far as the skimmer goes there are many threads here about doing it. If done properly it’s usually not an issue.

It looks like a straight forward process. Install the skimmer, cut the opening, take it apart and install the butterfly gasket and then put everything back together. I'm just curious how much it affects the integrity of the liner.

The wife is none too thrilled that I want to cut a hole in our brand new pool. :LOL:
 
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Mdragger88

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Time will tell about the feet - if the sinking increases I would make some moves. The more level everything is the less chance u have of a piece of the frame being damaged by undue stress.
@jseyfert3 did u have to drain the pool to put the wood under the legs?
About the skimmer-
If i had a pool with no skimmer I would definitely add one. I can’t imagine not having one. But its all about your personal risk tolerance compared to the convenience of the accessory.
 

jseyfert3

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@jseyfert3 did u have to drain the pool to put the wood under the legs?
No. If you look at the link in my above post I show how I did it. I don’t personally recommend that be duplicated though. It would be much safer to drain.
 

Pv2

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2013
1,017
south east Arizona
skimmer on an intex is fine - liner is much stronger than a regular above ground liner and where the skimmer is attached is a low stress point anyway. the weak point of these pools are the frames and rust issues. out of level by only a 1/2 inch is no problem. on round (only) intex pools you can lift individual legs an inch or so to slip in a paver (look for you tube videos especially the guy that built a lift out of wood, not using a jack) or to slightly dig down for a spot that might be too high.
my legs are rusting out at the bottom and one went completely out. yesterday my two sons lifted the T up by one getting in the pool and slipping a digging bar through the hole in the liner and under the T area. they both lifted on the bar and I wedged two 2 x 4s up against either side of the leg. seemed to work. now to apply for a loan to buy some more lumber for a couple of the others that are about to go. trying to get another year out of the poor thing! :D
 
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bobbydc

New member
May 30, 2017
1
Baker
Hi DMan1979,

I thought I'd weigh in since I've gotten so much great info from so many people in this forum over the years. I normally get one of the Intex pools every summer and I've had them from 12' to 20' over the last 10 years or so. That may sound crazy to some people, but let me know when you decide to take it down, drain it, clean it, dry it out, and pack it up... I can only imagine how fun that would be. They're simply not made to last too long, depending on the climate you're in makes a difference too I'm sure. But for the most part, I think you can get a few summers out of them if you leave them up and take care of them. This last one that I just took down and trashed a few days ago actually lasted almost 3 summers but it was time for an upgrade. It had a few leaks, patches, etc. here and there. I just got the same pool as you by the way, except I went with the 20'. Oh and how awesome is it the way these companies have jacked the prices up?? I used to pay $500-$600, this one cost me over $1,000. (Thanks Covid)

So a few summers ago, I believe it was an 18' Intex, that came with a skimmer. I thought wow, finally, the one thing these cheap pools are missing (well besides a more powerful pump and a bottom drain). The skimmer did it's job for the most part. At the end of the summer I normally drain it, take the frame apart, take a razor knife and cut the liner in a few more manageable sections, and drag it to the road. I always keep the pumps, (they come in super handy around the house, I even use more than one to drain the pool faster when necessary since the only "drain" is a tiny little raft plug brilliantly located 4 inches or so from the bottom, because that makes perfect sense right?). Anyway, the following summer, I couldn't find one anywhere with a skimmer. So since I always keep the pumps and kept the skimmer, I did the same thing you've probably been doing, I stared at my brand new pool trying to decide whether to cut a hole in my brand new liner or not haha. Of course I did it, and I'm glad I did. I drained the pool down to where I could tell there was hardly any pressure on the upper side of the pool where I wanted to make my cut, held the old skimmer up to it to draw the outline, and made the cut. I would tell you to drain it all the way down to be safe, but I'm not gonna lie and say I did, I'm too impatient and like to learn things the hard way ;) . Took maybe 5 minutes to make the cut, had the skimmer hooked up and running in no time, and was good to go.

Our dog stays in our pool constantly so he's always bringing grass and dirt and of course dog hair in with him. Another thing I've learned is a 90 pound crazy boxer constantly clawing at the walls, jumping in and pushing off the bottom, and climbing over the sides has never even came close to tearing a liner in any of the pools I've had. He climbs the ladder now but he's always clawing at a ball against the side, it's some weird game he plays with himself. That's one thing that showed me how tough the liners are. What WILL tear the liner however, is running into it with a mower, and teenage boys using the pool pole like a spear, just FYI ;).

I just setup my new pool yesterday. it came with a sand filter pump and of course no skimmer. I still have the old one and plan to use it again. I've always wanted to add a sand filter, but never had one before. I'm hoping it works well but for the life of me I can't understand why they would even make a pool without a skimmer, but hey I'm no pool expert. I may see how it goes for a couple weeks but from my experience with these pools, the skimmer addition made a huge difference, for me at least. I think if they had a bottom drain like a regular in-ground pool it may be ok but I just know when I would clean out my skimmer it would be full of trash and debris, which tells me it was doing it's job! That's all I got for now, just drain it down to get the pressure off of the sidewall and you should be fine.

Oh and as far as the half inch level thing, that's nothing to worry about other than your own OCD kicking in. But you can always adjust it next time you drain it down a bit, personally I've never made it through a full summer without draining mine at least once to get a fresh start and give it a real good cleaning. As long as you keep up with your chemicals and do at least SOMETHING to it at least once a day (add chemicals, monitor levels, clean debris, etc.) you will be fine.

Just one guy's 2 cents, for what it's worth! Hope it helps.

Screen Shot 2021-05-25 at 12.29.20 PM.pngScreen Shot 2021-05-25 at 12.30.39 PM.png
 

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kellyfair

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You do not need to fully drain to install skimmer. Most of us drain to a few inches below where the bottom of the skimmer will be, to insure that the liner is fully stretched.

If you plan to drain at season end in order to install pavers, you could wait to install the skimmer as you are filling up.
 
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