Questions for those with 12’-16’ Easy Set or Frame Pools

CoolHome

Well-known member
Jun 6, 2020
68
Crawfordsville, IN
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
My questions are for those with Easy Set or Frame Pools in the 12-16’ range. I’m wondering what the upkeep effort is on a smaller pool in this range, and if a 9 and 12 year old would get any enjoyment out one?

1) How long does it generally take to clean one out, when it gets leaves and bugs in it?
2) Are covers easy to put on and remove without filling the pool with debris? With the goal of keeping it covered when not in use?
3) Does anyone have older kids that enjoy these smaller pools? (say 7-13 years)
4) Are they fairly easy to set up in the summer and take down for the winter?

The reason I’m asking is because last summer we bought an 18’ round Coleman Ultra Frame pool to “try out” pool ownership. We figured if the kids used it and the care wasn’t too burdensome we’d invest in a more permanent pool. Well, after two seasons I can say that my kids do not use it enough to justify the amount of work I put into it! Especially because we live in the country an it gets dirty so easily. I have to scoop out bugs multiple times a day. A tiny bit of wind and its full of leaves. Covering it is only for vacation as its too difficult to cover and removing the cover dumps debris in it. I’m sure a pool with a better intake system might alleviate some of smaller debris clean up but its not worth the investment. After the first month this summer my 11 year old hasn’t wanted to swim. The 8 year old does but only if the 11 year old will come out with him, so he hasn’t been either. I’ve told them I’m taking it down at the end of the season but am honestly finding this really hard to contemplate. Not because I enjoy taking care of it, and I haven’t used it much myself, but because I put so much time, energy, and money into it already and I’ve got it all figured out and calling it quits seems like such a waste! I’m going to take it down for the winter and while I wait for next summer I want to consider if having a smaller pool for less frequent use is a reasonable option that would be easier on me or if I’m just done, because I’ll have to decide if I’m selling all the equipment or keeping some.
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,322
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
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Surface
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Chlorine
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SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
I have had small pools a couple 12ft round, a 16 ft round pool & my current 33ft pool. All have required 2 people to put the cover on easily. My kids usually assist.
All of my more easily managed pools have had an in wall skimmer, a sand filter, & a saltwater chlorine generator. Having the intex automatic pool cleaner definitely also made my life easier & reduced my need for manual vacuuming. I still needed to skim with the net occasionally but the skimmer does the heavy lifting if the water level is correct & weir door is in tact. It just needs to be checked/cleaned out.
The only real allure to a much smaller pool is that if things go awry you can dump it & begin again fresh which sounds good until u get the water bill so regular maintenance no matter the size is recommended over this option.
I upgraded depths/size as my children grew & my pools aged so not sure about it being just as fun with big kids as little kids in a smaller pool.
Most of those types of pools come with undersized filter systems that make clearing a problem impractical as they become overwhelmed quickly. Upgrading that can really help with the regular headaches like quickly clogged filters, not enough vacuuming/skimming power etc. It seems yours is a decent size.
Adding accessories like an in wall skimmer & automatic cleaner can do some of the heavy lifting.
A swg can do the heavy lifting of daily dosing. But They’re not set it & forget it. All of these still require some regular checking & routine testing to be sure things are on par.
All pools require regular attention regardless of their size. They’re like a pet - you have to feed /care for them every day whether you play with them or not.
I suggest you try to enjoy your pool yourself along with getting things that might help lighten your load - if I only did all the pool stuff for the kids & didn’t receive any enjoyment from the pool I probably would be resentful as i was doing all the work. Also even small children can help with pool maintenance like skimming & brushing. Older kids can help you test the water or vacuum. It never fails, I go out & float around & here they come !
 

Woodstock1234

Gold Supporter
Aug 4, 2020
247
Illinois
Just my opinion, but if they don't use the larger pool, it seems they wouldn't use a smaller one much either.
My son is 14 and he doesn't use it much but I don't find the maintenance to be a burden.
I keep it covered 24/7 when not in use and it keeps the debris out. The filter is on a timer and runs itself every day. I dump in liquid chlorine every day or every other, which takes a few seconds. I vacuum probably every 2 weeks and it takes about 30 minutes.
I currently have the solar cover on, but also have a lightweight cover that I can put on and off myself.
I have not taken it down since I put it up and don't plan on it.

If the kids want to use it, let them do the work. They can scoop bugs!
 
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CoolHome

Well-known member
Jun 6, 2020
68
Crawfordsville, IN
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Thank you both!
Most of those types of pools come with undersized filter systems that make clearing a problem impractical as they become overwhelmed quickly. Upgrading that can really help with the regular headaches like quickly clogged filters, not enough vacuuming/skimming power etc. It seems yours is a decent size.
Adding accessories like an in wall skimmer & automatic cleaner can do some of the heavy lifting.
Mdragger - I should try to use it more, but I'm not super interested in it truthfully. Though when I go in it the kids definitely want to me there too (which isn't exactly peaceful considering their best frenemy status.) As for the filter, I do have a 3000 GPH sand filter and it does a good job on my pool, its would probably be over-sized if I downsized but I wouldn't change it! I had planned to install an in wall skimmer this summer but we had a big family vacation right in the middle of summer and it felt like it ate the whole summer and didn't seem worth the effort this year. I did think it would help. I've wondered about an automatic cleaner. If it would work with my pool it would probably make the biggest difference. My concern is that the bottom of the pool isn't flat. While its sitting level, when the water was added the ground beneath settled in a wave like pattern. Knowing how an automatic sweeper works do you think it would work without a totally flat bottom? Its not horrible, just not completely flat.

I currently have the solar cover on, but also have a lightweight cover that I can put on and off myself.
I have not taken it down since I put it up and don't plan on it.
Woodstock - Does the solar cover keep out the debris? It seems like it would just settle on the cover and fall in the pool when its removed? If I could keep the pool covered when not in use and only really have to do cleaning when people were using it/or once a week, I wouldn't mind. It's vacuuming it every two or three days then not having anyone get in which wears me out. I've just never figured out how to remove a cover and not make a mess of the pool.
 

Woodstock1234

Gold Supporter
Aug 4, 2020
247
Illinois
I would say the solar cover cuts the debris about 80%. My cover is a little larger than the pool so, it covers pretty well. I remove the cover when it's dry, so yuck water doesn't fall in when I remove it. With both a solid cover and a solar, I pump water off the cover first if needed.
I will use the solar cover until it gets too cold to swim, then will switch to a solid cover. The solid cover won't come off until the spring.

Vacuuming every 2 to 3 days seems like a lot, but maybe that's average, I don't know.
Once I showed my son how to vacuum, he actually likes doing it. So if it's not 100% clean and he wants to swim, he vacuums!
 
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Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,322
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
As for the intex automatic pool cleaner it should be fine for your size pool & filter set up. I have only ever had lumpy, bumpy pool floors & it still performed well. It picks up fine debris although it only sort of sweeps it with fingers that seem to be made out of intex vinyl- it has no brushes. So you will still need to brush the pool occasionally.
I put mine out to pasture this year after about 4 seasons of faithfully carrying out its duties & i invested in a dolphin. Wall-e is still in the shed as backup.
 
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CoolHome

Well-known member
Jun 6, 2020
68
Crawfordsville, IN
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Thank you both! You’ve given me a lot to consider. Unfortunately it comes down to deciding if I’ll spend more money to make it work. It was an odd summer though, and probably not the best indicator of future summers.
 

Woodstock1234

Gold Supporter
Aug 4, 2020
247
Illinois
Woodstock quick question, did you buy your solar cover bigger on purpose? Because I thought most say inside?
No, it was either cut wrong or my pool is slightly smaller than it's supposed to be. Haven't really measured. It's just how the cover came. I have seen some people say they cut theirs to fit more inside. I am sure there is a reason, but I'm not sure what it is.
 

CoolHome

Well-known member
Jun 6, 2020
68
Crawfordsville, IN
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
No, it was either cut wrong or my pool is slightly smaller than it's supposed to be. Haven't really measured. It's just how the cover came. I have seen some people say they cut theirs to fit more inside. I am sure there is a reason, but I'm not sure what it is.
Thanks! I guess I just wondered if the fact that it was bigger helps keep it cleaner? What do you think? Otherwise things could gather on the edges. I'm seriously thinking of keeping the pool now. I broke down and installed the over the wall skimmer I had bought a bit ago but hadn't installed because I'd decided to get rid of the pool right after I ordered it. It definitely helped, though that was with the pump running 24/7 (I had a little algae bloom so had it running the last three days). But if a solar cover would keep it mostly clean the months its not being used and if the skimmer and pump and an automatic sweeper would also ease the burden when its in heavier use in June and July then maybe I can keep it. I just don't want the heavy care in the months when no one cares to use it but twice a month.
 

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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,518
NY
I am sure there is a reason, but I'm not sure what it is.
So it doesn’t blow away nearly as much. I imagine your pool is protected from the wind or you’d be finding it blown over itself or over at the neighbors. :ROFLMAO:

Coolhome, I swept the bulk of whatever fell on mine to one area with the pool brush and then easily scooped most of it off by hand. There was always a wet leaf or 10 that stayed put, but it wasn’t bad.
 

Woodstock1234

Gold Supporter
Aug 4, 2020
247
Illinois
So it doesn’t blow away nearly as much. I imagine your pool is protected from the wind or you’d be finding it blown over itself or over at the neighbors. :ROFLMAO:

Coolhome, I swept the bulk of whatever fell on mine to one area with the pool brush and then easily scooped most of it off by hand. There was always a wet leaf or 10 that stayed put, but it wasn’t bad.
Ah. It does get windy here, but that cover is heavy! It even stayed on during our "derecho". That's about the worst storm we get here.

@CoolHome I definitely think some kind of cover will help keep it cleaner, whether it's solar or a tarp type. Plus the cover helps the chlorine last longer. I would say we go in spurts, sometimes it gets used every day and other times twice a month. For me, having a dip even twice a month is worth it. I don't like public pools and it has been something to do during this pandemic.
 
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CoolHome

Well-known member
Jun 6, 2020
68
Crawfordsville, IN
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Coolhome, I swept the bulk of whatever fell on mine to one area with the pool brush and then easily scooped most of it off by hand.
Newdude, you brush it together on top of the solar cover before removing?

I’ve officially decided to give it at least another year, with a promise from my kids that they’ll learn some of the maintenance! Thanks for the tips!
 
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