Upgrade Intex filtration System

CT-Steven

Well-known member
May 26, 2020
144
CT
Pool Size
5050
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Well we have survived the winter and the pool has remained standing which is a good sign :)
This year I want to upgrade the pump and filter from the inadequate stock system. As the pool is on 9x18x52 I was looking at a hayward W3SP15922S (1HP 2 speed) pump. I think I want to couple this with an 18" sand filter and still utilize the Intex SWG (probably upgrade that next year). The system will be hard PVC piped (1.5") and I am adding a fountain to the mix as well as a robot cleaner. Does this setup make sense or should I look at the 1.5hp pump? Any other thoughts or suggestions?
 

V&T_ATX Pool

Member
Jul 27, 2020
11
Austin, TX
With kind permission, we'd like to jump in on this thread with some similar questions of our own, because we're looking to upgrade our pool pump system as well, and so many of the pump upgrade questions seem to apply to much larger pools. (I had intended to post my own query until I did a search and saw this post.)

We have the same Intex 9'x18'x52" AGP and are still using the original 1200 gph pump that came with the pool. On the Intex website it's rated as .25hp (1200 Gph Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump, 110-120V with GFCI) though when I looked at our pump, it says it's only 0.18hp. Regardless, we've now upgraded our pool with a Hayward skimmer and 1 1/2" PVC hard plumbing, and we're thinking we need to get a stronger pump so that among other things, we can run a pool vacuum, something we don't think our current pump can handle. With only one season of pool ownership under our belt, maintenance has been a chore!
Better results in pool cleanliness and reduced maintenance are our primary goals so with that in mind, we are looking for advice in any/all of the following categories:
  • Pump upgrade - for a 4500 gallon pool - .75hp or 1hp pump? Single speed or variable? We'd like to avoid overkill and it seems some posts have advised not to go too large as that can be no only wasteful, but possible harmful or counterproductive.
  • Best vacuum for this size pool? We'd like to keep it affordable and were thinking some sort of vacuum that can attach to an inlet valve, now that we have an extra 1 1/2" port available with the hard plumbing. (As many others have recommended and done, we replaced the smaller dual Intex inlets with Hayward SP1023g inlets.)
  • Upgrade to SWG? Given the cost of a new SWG, is it cost effective for a pool our size?
Any and all thoughts and suggestions are very welcome!
 

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cowboycasey

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That is always the problem..

They have really small pumps that just do not work and nothing in between small and normal pool pumps... all of them cost big money now and I love a SWG but they are expensive up front...

With that said any kind of small VS or 2 speed pump is perfect for a small pool 3/4 to 1hp is all that is needed unless a VS pump and the small ones are 1.65 and work great but not cheap...

This looks like a good VS pump https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B07MVN2ZXF/ref=emc_b_5_i

this one is 3/4 hp pump https://smile.amazon.com/XtremepowerUS-Above-Ground-Swimming-Pool/dp/B07N7QTC1C

just a couple I found on Amazon :)
 

V&T_ATX Pool

Member
Jul 27, 2020
11
Austin, TX
With that said any kind of small VS or 2 speed pump is perfect for a small pool 3/4 to 1hp is all that is needed unless a VS pump and the small ones are 1.65 and work great but not cheap...

This looks like a good VS pump https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B07MVN2ZXF/ref=emc_b_5_i

this one is 3/4 hp pump https://smile.amazon.com/XtremepowerUS-Above-Ground-Swimming-Pool/dp/B07N7QTC1C
Unfortunately the the VS pump you highlight is 230V and our only nearby power supply is 110V. I don't think we can afford the expense of having an electrician run a 230V supply just for this.

I also got to wondering if a replacement pump work with our existing Intex sand filter? It's only a 10" model. Or will we need to replace the filter as well? Most folks I read on TFP say to get the biggest filter possible, but considering our pool size, what might you recommend? I see you use a Pentair CC320 Filter, which is actually a cartridge filter, but that and the VS pump you use are wayyy out of our price range and probably overkill for our pool which is only a third the volume of yours.

You mention you used to use a 2 speed pump. Like CT-Steven's preference for a 2-speed Hayward, would that be the better choice for us? You indicated it would be a perfect fit for him and his pool is essentially the same set-up. I was thinking we could run the filtration on the lower speed for general filtering and on the higher speed to use a suction vacuum? But it does add a couple hundred $$ to the pump vs. a single speed pump. I've also had a hard time finding a 2 speed pump in anything less than 1.5hp, which leads back to the dilemma of whether or not that's too much pump for a 4,500 gal pool.

Help! I'm confused!
 

cowboycasey

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It is confusing... Yes a 320 cart filter is great but probably overkill for your pool.. A bigger sand filter and a small 2 speed would be a good fit... Yes it is a little more than a 1 speed but you will get that money back after a year of use in electricity...

The 2 speed hayward would be good.. and a little bigger sand filter..

this 16 or 18 would be a good fit :)

 

V&T_ATX Pool

Member
Jul 27, 2020
11
Austin, TX
Hey cowboycasey, I'm back again.
After (over)doing a ridiculous amount of research looking at matching a properly sized pump (3/4 to 1hp) and filter for our small pool size, and studying other posts of a similar nature including your latest reply to CT-Steven in a similar post,
Pump Choice, my SWMBO suggested I try one of local dealers here in Austin.

Initially their prices seemed too rich, with a price of $450 for the Hayward W3SP15922S (1hp 2 speed), and $500 for the Hayward S180T 18" sand filter. However, I thought I had finally found the solution when they told me they had the two mated together in this Pro Series filter pump combo for $629 - S180T932S. When I got it home and opened the box, I realized the pump is actually the 1.5hp, not 1hp as they told me over the phone. Some subsequent online research indicates that Hayward don't make a 'kit' with a 2 speed 1hp pump, only the 1.5hp. Buying the items separately adds considerable cost.

My question is, do I just roll with it, or is 1.5hp for such a small pool like using a rocket launcher to kill a mosquito? In another thread here: New to the forum... Hello and pump size question
In that post, hwy17 said,
I have an 18ft round / 7700 gal AGP with a 1HP Hayward Powerflo Matrix and consider even it to be overpowered. It will turn my pool into a giant whirlpool if I turn the return eyeball at all to the side and the bare end of the vacuum hose will try to rip your hand off. Placing the vacuum plate onto the skimmer while the pump is running is what I would describe as a violent endeavor.

You'll have the benefit of a two speed, mine is single speed, but still, I don't think over 1HP is necessary or beneficial.

This is all assuming short AGP plumbing, 6ft flex hoses for suction and return. If you're planning to have your equipment pad hard plumbed further away from the pool that's another matter.
I should add a couple of notations:
  • The price now seems right, and I can't find anything comparable..."a bird in the hand" so to speak... with the run on equipment these days.
  • I'm plumbing everything with 1 1/2" PVC, so I'll probably need a slightly more powerful pump with the greater head created by the plumbing. (I think I expressed that correctly?)
I really appreciate your insight.
 

cowboycasey

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You made a great find.. go with it... You can/will run on low 90% to 95% of the time saving money and skimming away and when you need to use a vacuum or connect a waterfall or sprinkler you have some power to do it... Perfect :)

Connect the vacuum when the pump is off and it may work just fine on low, if it does great run it on low 100% of the time.. The high 1.5 hp is there if you need it... :)
 

V&T_ATX Pool

Member
Jul 27, 2020
11
Austin, TX
Thanks!

I'm sure I'll have some other questions for you once I get ready to plumb the remainder of the system. Here's the plumbing I've done thus far when I added the Hayward skimmer:

tempImage8oR6xx.pngtempImageOU3gWL.pngtempImage5tLorw.png
I was thinking of closing off the Intex intake and adding two evenly spaced Hayward eyeball intakes at the end of the pool nearest the blue building you see in the photo, with the pump next to that building. (Near the power supply.) That way the pool flow would travel the length of the pool toward the skimmer. Any thoughts?

I'm really looking forward to getting rid of the old underpowered Intex pump/filter! As you can probably tell from the photos, the water isn't exactly crystal clear, even with the pump running 10 hours a day...
 

cowboycasey

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So I am using all 3 of the old suction side and return but 1 of them is a suctions side for a vacuum.. it works great when I need it.. I think a return on the end would work great :)
 

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CT-Steven

Well-known member
May 26, 2020
144
CT
Pool Size
5050
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear

V&T_ATX Pool I ended up with the 1hp single speed & 18" Pro kit for $509 As you noted they do not sell the 1hp 2 speed in a kit and the price to peace meal the same parts together is not cheap, plus you get the pad. The 1.5hp I decided was really just too big for the pool and would not be worth the added cost. I am not over ally concerned with electricity as we have solar and are maintaining more than 100% off set with everything running (central AC included).


I actually started to hook everything up last night and decided I would hard plumb the rest at a latter point. When I turned it on one of the hoses acted more like a sprinkler (the one missing in the picture). So will be calling the vendor today and most likely heading the pool store for a replacement.
 

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cowboycasey

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You need head back to lowes and get a schedule 40 connection for this joint as that is DWV and will blow out along with any others you have that look like that one... DWV is a "no Pressure" pipe and is not designed to hold any pressure at all...

1622118081530.png
 

CT-Steven

Well-known member
May 26, 2020
144
CT
Pool Size
5050
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Which one are you talking about?
 

hwy17

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2021
162
Northern California
I mean I don't think it's actually likely to blow out there. It's only under like 1psi. But still a good lesson to learn.

Both of those bend fittings are DWV. Look for Schedule 40 on all fittings when buying.
 

cowboycasey

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Which one are you talking about?
I know these 2 are DWV.. I can not see the other side well enough to see if you have any on that side.. they are the pipes that the connector to the next pipe is 1 inch not 2.5 inch like schedule 40... With your pump and filter system your probably pushing about 15 or 20 PSI... I just want to make sure you know about it and if it blows out you understand why... your not the first person to do this and will not be the last :)

1622131222605.png
 

CT-Steven

Well-known member
May 26, 2020
144
CT
Pool Size
5050
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
I know these 2 are DWV.. I can not see the other side well enough to see if you have any on that side.. they are the pipes that the connector to the next pipe is 1 inch not 2.5 inch like schedule 40... With your pump and filter system your probably pushing about 15 or 20 PSI... I just want to make sure you know about it and if it blows out you understand why... your not the first person to do this and will not be the last :)

View attachment 338298

You know, now I went back and all the connectors are DWV... Sigh expensive mistake/learning experience. I'll have to source the parts out and do a slow replacement as I am not in a position to shell out the $$$ at the moment. Hopefully everything will stay together for just 1 season...

BTW, if it does blow, I sure do not want to run the pump dry. Is there a low water cut off switch made for pools?
 
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cowboycasey

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Not that I know off... Most of the time the pump is toast by the time people find out something is wrong...
 

Pv2

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2013
878
south east Arizona
I think it will be fine, people use those flimsy flex hoses (not the flex pvc, just the thin vinyl-like ones) all the time. mind you those split pretty fast but that drain pipe is a lot stronger. just check it once in a while. maybe paint it if you get a lot of sun so it doesn't get sun rot.
 

V&T_ATX Pool

Member
Jul 27, 2020
11
Austin, TX
I was thinking of closing off the Intex intake and adding two evenly spaced Hayward eyeball intakes at the end of the pool nearest the blue building you see in the photo, with the pump next to that building. (Near the power supply.) That way the pool flow would travel the length of the pool toward the skimmer. Any thoughts?
So I am using all 3 of the old suction side and return but 1 of them is a suctions side for a vacuum.. it works great when I need it.. I think a return on the end would work great :)
cowboycasey: I ordered some additional Hayward SP1023G returns which I plan to install on the end of the pool farthest from our skimmer once they arrive - 2 evenly spaced apart. I also plan to replace the old Intex "Hydroaeration" return with a Hayward SP1023G as well, just so everything is compatible. I'll close that one off for the time being, but then it will be available for use with a waterfall or other aeration device if needed later. I'm not sure if 3 returns matched to 2 suction side inlets (1 Hayward skimmer and one Hayward intake) would be in sufficient balance? (Will it really matter for such a small pool?)

BTW, we set up a simple resistance swim band rig last year for my wife so she could swim in place, with a simple PVC pipe set-up and a $25 bungie type swim belt off Amazon. With 2 return jets at one end of the pool, that should give her some added resistance! 😅 Not exactly an endless pool, but a heck of a lot less expensive! 🤣

Also, I'm installing cut-off valves on each return, because I was planning on running them all into one return line back to the pump just to keep the total amount of plumbing to a minimum. Any reason why I would want to run each line separately and combine them just before they enter the pump? That seems like it would just create more head? (However, from your build pictures, it appears that's what you did. Any reason why?)

FYI, in reference to all discussion regarding CT-Steven's plumbing issues, all my PVC is schedule 40.

I also ordered both 3/4" and 1" eyeballs for the returns to experiment with that to see what works better. I've read a ton of info on TFP on head, flow and plumbing calculations, eyeball sizes, etc., but honestly, it's out of my depth, pun intended. I'm more or less winging it here. Any further words of wisdom appreciated.

(I can open a new thread just for my plumping questions if need be. I certainly don't mean to put the onus on you for all advice, but really appreciate all given thus far.)
 

cowboycasey

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I did it just in case I wanted to balance the flows.. if you have 2 connected the last one will be stronger than the first one.. the way I have them they are almost exactly even... I love less expensive :)
 

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