Over the past 15 years or so the sale & use of Intex® brand or other Soft-sided aboveground pools (sometimes known as "instant" pools) has literally exploded helping to get many more families into their own backyard swimming pool. That's the good part!
People purchase these pools at Walmart®, Kmart®, Target® and many other "big-box" discount stores. By and large they're easy to set up and use. But believe it or not, they're NOT so easy to maintain. And instead of going back to Big-mart for questions and problems, many of these customers come to us. And after much hemming and hawing, they realize that we have the answers; Big-mart does not.
Intex® or Soft-sided pool owners also come to realize that they have purchased something that requires some regular care and maintenance. Unfortunately, some realize this fact a little too late and become frustrated and even irritated. But, you know what? These pools serve a tremendous number families all over the country who just want to cool off on a hot summer's day. And if it's treated as a swimming pool should, (don't call it "just one of those pools I got from Walmart") then it can & will provide many summers of fun. PoolSpaGuru.com is here to help & educate you.
Here is a list of the most common problems (all treatable & even preventable), along with the cause(s), that we see with these backyard pools:
The GOOD news is that you CAN successfully operate and maintain any Intex® or Soft-sided pool economically. You can even have sparkling blue, crystal clear water. You may want to take a look at our "Cloudy Water" video later on.
Now that we've listed the issues, let's get down to solutions!
Almost ALL soft-sided pools have inadequate pool filter systems.
Now that we've listed the issues of Intex® brand or Soft-sided aboveground pool (sometimes known as "instant" pools) , let's get down to solutions! It really is simple.
The trick is, you've got to follow these directions to the letter. If you do, you will succeed. Skimping - with the idea that you're going to save some money - WILL NOT work. I can guarantee that from dealing with hundreds of these pools over the years. Please trust us...
First, Basic Maintenance.
Getting the basics down pat is the first step in successfully maintaining your Intex® brand or Soft-sided aboveground swimming pool. Here are the things that you just have to do everyday.
The good news is, is that those 4 steps should take you no more than 5 to 10 minutes. Isn't your family's health & safety worth those few minutes?
Now let's look at the Regular Maintenance. These steps should be about every week for best results. After that, we'll look at some changes in equipment that you may want to consider.
These steps should be followed about every week for best results in your aboveground Intex pool brand or Soft sided pool. Then, we'll look at some changes in equipment that you may want to consider. These Regular Maintenance steps should be considered a "check list" of what you should be doing to not only have crystal clear water, but safe, healthy and easy to care for water.
Weekly Steps. These steps shouldn't take more than 30 minutes to perform.
Shock the pool. Shocking the pool is the single most important thing to do on a weekly basis when it comes to pool chemicals. Shocking oxidizes and helps to get rid of the contaminants that eat up chlorine and make the water smell, taste and look bad. If the water is CLEAR, use about 1 pound of Lithium or Calcium hypochlorite per up to 10,000 gallons. Don't skimp! The chlorine level may be high for a day or so, but you've oxidized a lot of nasties that you don't want in the pool water.
Add a maintenance dose of Algicide. Adding this small dose of algae will help to prevent algae growth in the pool. Algicide works as a "back up" in cases of heavy use or a sudden rain storm that may compromise the chlorine level. Good quality algaecides such as BioGuard Algaecide 28-40 or Back Up work to kill and prevent algae in all those little "nooks and crannies" that are difficult to clean or vacuum.
Most customers pool water problems start because they do not perform these 2 very important maintenance steps. Shock & algaecide every week.
Vacuum the pool. Do a weekly vacuum and inspection of the pool. Get out the excess dirt & debris that has accumulated.
Clean the filter. Especially if you have a cartridge filter. Chemically clean it. Don't just rinse it off. Chemically cleaning the cartridge removes the greases and oils that have accumulated. Think about your clothes or dishes. Do you simply rinse them and put them away? Of course not! You use the proper detergent to break up the dirt, greases & oils. And so it is with your filter. An easy to use spray on filter cleaner like BioGuard Kleen It works well & is easy to use.
A couple of DON'Ts: DO NOT use plain acid to clean your cartridge. The acid will set the greases & oils in place. DO NOT soak it in chlorine bleach. Bleaching will not remove the dirt, greases & oils.
Clean the Ladder. Almost everybody forgets this step. Removing and cleaning the pool ladder takes accumulations of slime and algae that grows and hides under the ladder treads. Didn't think of that did you? That's why we're here for you!
Here's one last step... get the kids involved!
Hey, they're the ones using it most and these maintenance steps are pretty simple for kids (let's say over 7 years of age) to help with. Plus, they'll gain a certain amount of ownership and respect for "their" pool.
Lastly, let's briefly take a look at some optional extras that have proven to make sense for so many of our customers.