Pump and Filter Upgrade

kmb997

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2007
111
New Orleans
I have an Intex 18'x48" metal frame pool that I'm about to setup. It is a little less than 6500 gallons according to Intex's website. I would like to upgrade the pump and filter and possibly the plumbing before I set it up. I'm not sure if I need to completely change the plumbing or just make some modifications to the included hoses? I see where some people here are adding additional lines with their upgrades. Any suggestions on how to do this and is it necessary for easy low-no maintenance?

I'm trying to decide between a sand filter and a cartridge filter. I'm looking for the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way to filter my pool. I've read about each and kind of leaning towards a sand filter. I have no idea which size sand filter would be good for my pool. I know a bigger filter is better, but this is my first pool and I don't know if 19", 21",24" etc. is good enough. I'm sure they are all good enough, but which is the best for low-no maintenance? Also, which brand is the best bang for my buck? Looking for good quality and durability for a cheap price.

Next, which size pump should I get? Can I get by with a 1/2hp. pump? Also, should I get a 1 or 2 speed and should this pump be uprated or fullrated? Again, which brand is the best bang for my buck? I've read the posts and other websites about how to choose a pump, but it is all over my head. Also, what brand of timers does everyone recommend for their pump? I know my Intex is a cheap pool, but I would like to make the above, costly, upgrades now to help with maintenance because of my schedule.

Sorry so many questions, but my wife is on me about setting this thing up. I just want to do it right from the beginning to hopefully avoid any problems in the future.

I appreciate any help I can get.
Thanks
 

waste

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
Coastalish 'down easter'
You asked for any help and I'll tell you my gut feeling.

Get a 200 lb sand filter and keep the 1/2 hp pump. As this is a 'starter pool' , that should be sufficient, it sounds like you are doing this pool for a couple/ few years to see if it would be worth the investment to get something more permanent.

There are some great people here who know total head and flow rates, etc - I'm not one of them :roll: If you find you want to add another return, you can always do it next year - let the pool be for this season and see what you want to 'tweek'

Not a lot of help, but the best I can give you
 

kmb997

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2007
111
New Orleans
Alright, I'm definitely going to get a sand filter. Does everyone agree a 200lb sand filter with a 3/4hp pump is the right combination for this pool?

Thanks
 

NWMNMom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 8, 2007
1,582
Waaay NW MN
For that size pool, maybe more than you need. 1/2 hp is probably fine, but if you are going to a larger pool in the near future, maybe 3/4 is good. For a pool that size, you will turn your water over pretty fast so you won't need to run the pump all that long. I don't know about brands but we just went to our local home store (Menards/Lowes) and you can get a timer meant for outdoors that will work just fine on there - hard wired or direct plug in (ours is the plug in) - Lots of brands out there for pumps and filters and most of them are just fine. Hayward, Pentair, Jandy - they are all pretty fine for the job. When looking at pumps, check to see how easy/hard it is to get at the strainer basket. Find one that has a see through lid and is easy to open. That is a PITA when the lid is hard to open - you WILL need to open it occassionally to empty debris that gets through the skimmer. Make sure you have some silicone lubricant for the fittings, especially the lid on the pump. Good luck on your search!
 

kmb997

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2007
111
New Orleans
I read somewhere that most 1/2hp pumps are really a 3/4hp pump (same motor) with some modifications to make it a 1/2hp, therefor putting stress on the motor. Is this true?

NWMNMom, you said the 3/4hp will turn over my water fast, so I won't need to run the pump as long. Would I then turn the pump off and not have any circulation in the pool? I guess what I'm trying to ask is how long should I go without any water circulation?

Mermaid Queen, you said the 200lb. sand filter is plenty, should I go with 150lb. or 100lb. instead? I want to upgrade to make the pool last longer and maintenance easier, but I don't want to spend the same amount on equipment as the pool.

Thanks
 

kmb997

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2007
111
New Orleans
OK, I know 1/2hp or 3/4hp would be good enough for my pool, but the best deals I've found locally are:

Aquatools 22" Sand Filter with 2hp/2 speed pump for $350 or

Waterway 19" Sand Filter with 1hp pump for $300.

Which is a better deal?
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,831
Pleasanton, CA
kmb997 said:
I read somewhere that most 1/2hp pumps are really a 3/4hp pump (same motor) with some modifications to make it a 1/2hp, therefor putting stress on the motor. Is this true?
For some maufactures it is true. The best way to tell is to look at the full load amps of the motor and if the 3/4 and 1/2 versions are same, they are using the same motor but different impellers. This basically underloads the motor for the 1/2 HP pump a bit which will lower the efficiency (i.e. GPM/kw). I don't think it puts much more stress on the motor though.