Product Added : May 17th, 2013
Category : Products
"This Best Selling Intex Easy Set 12-Foot by 30-Inch Round Pool Set Tends to SELL OUT VERY FAST! If this is a MUST HAVE product, be sure to Order Now to avoid disappointment!"
56421EG Above Ground Pool Product Type: Above Ground Pool Physical Characteristics Height: 30.0 Width: 12.0 ft Weight (Approximate): 34.30 lb
1) The sides of the pool rise up as you fill the pool, therefore if you start the pool on an area with a slant you will have problems when the pool fills to the top–one side will have extra material because of the water level. The flatter the surface the better. You can make this work on ground that is somewhat uneven, but it take a lot of work.
2) You MUST make sure that bottom of the pool is pulled out to make a true circle. It is easy to be lazy with this because when there is no water in the pool it can look “good enough,” but if you have an oval there is a chance that the water will push out and start to flow out once it is filled.
3) If you plan to put this away year after year get a ground cloth. If the pool is on grass the bottom is IMPOSSIBLE to clean. At the price, I would recommend throwing it out at the end of the season.
4) The pump is very basic. You will need to add chemicals to keep it clean. Get a net to clean the big stuff out.
For the $60-100 price tag you can’t really go wrong if what you are looking for is some simple fun and a chance to cool off.
After a lot of research and reading loads of reviews and then trying it all out, I feel the perfect combination is this:
Intex 18 foot x 48″ round, which has the better (more GPH) pump than the 15′ round, includes cover, and ladder, and maintenance kit. I also bought the separate option of the salt water chlorine generator. Also bought the Solar Pro AquaQuik 4512 solar pool heater, and a $50 15′ solar pool cover (bubble wrap type). Note the 48″ is the height of the inflated ring, and the pool water height is less than 38 to 40″.
This is July but when I filled the pool with cold city supplied water (our house is served by Lake Michigan)and we are in Chicago metro area, the initial temp was 66 F. We had some cloudy days initially, and ironically not as warm weather as we are used to seeing at this time of year. With the pool in the shade for most of the morning until noon, it doesn’t get sun until after that. The temperature of the pool, went from 66 to around 70F on its own without the 4512 heater, and without real hot days. Now that I have the heater on today, its gone up about 4 degrees. I also just added this afternoon the 15′ solar pool bubble wrap cover. That should hold the heat effectively, and in combination of the sun getting through the clear plastic, and this little gem of a radiator, I’m guessing the pool will get to 80F in one or two more days of this 85 to 87 weather. Not too shabby.
The reason to buy the 15′ round solar cover, is that it floats and fits perfectly INSIDE of the inflated ring. You put this on in afternoon or whenever kids aren’t swimming and it helps to keep it warmer, and then at night, you can simply use the pool cover that fits over the 18 foot inflatable ring, right over the solar cover. Both in tandem should work just fine.
The hoses that came with the pool pump for the Intex 18 foot pool work good with the 4512 heater, and if you bought the Intex salt water chlorine generator, there is one extra hose with that, and the right adapters (these do come with the pool and the heater), and along with one extra medium size hose this Solar heater provides, its a perfect and very easy to assemble combination. With this heater at at around $115 price, the Intex pool, and salt water generator, and lastly a $50 solar cover, I’m all in at less than $500. No chemicals, no expensive gas fired heater, about (4) $5.00 bags of Morton 40 lb bags of pool salt 9can be found at Walmart), 5000 gallons of water, and wa la you have a pretty decent set up that works for kids up to early teens, and very nice for adults who get “hot” mowing the grass, and taking care of the kids all day, and their “needs” so you can take a well earned cool dip in the evening when the kids are all worn out and calmly playing their xboxes or Wii’s.
My only suggestion, and its a minor one for the solar heater mfg., is to simply supply two 10 foot hoses, instead of the ~2 foot and ~4 foot ones that require the panel to be so close to the pool pump set up.
Other than that, folks, how can you go wrong ?
The pool can be taken down during the winter, and re-set up each year in about an hour, and versus an inground that may well be nicer, this is at least a factor of 80 to 100 times less expensive. And its not permanent either, so if you get tired of dealing with pools each year, then you just roll out some new sod in the 18 foot circle you burnt out in your yard !
The solar salt water generator is a very cool device. It works with copper ion genrator, which converts the salt water to a very low level of chlorine. Barely detectable chlorine smell, crystal clear water, and the copper ions kill all the bacteria, along with the small amount of chlorine. Its very soft water, and like swimming in “Visine.” Follow the directions, and definitely use the granular pool salt, pour it in around the edge of the pool a bag at a time, then stir it up using the pool brush and handle that comes with the pool. It will dissolve quickly, but I suggest running it with the pool pump for the full 24 hours so its thoroughly mixed. The chlorine generator will work better that way, and note that I tried to do it sooner,and it wasn’t until all the salt was in there, and it had been mixed for a day that all the chemical strips tested out properly, and the pool had a good “balance.” It will take the recommended full 135 lbs of salt to get PPM up to the right level of salt. The directions are all pretty decent, but some of these high level tips may help you avoid some anxiety or trying to short cut anything, as we men often like to do. (women are better at following directions so for the moms who read this, just ignore what Im saying to the “men.”)
P.S. The kids ranging from 8yrs to 15yrs absolutely love the pool. They’ll probably get “bored” of it in a few weeks and then its back to school. $500 for this gig is less than a family of 5 would spend for one JUST ONE weekend of so called “fun” at a place like six flags, or some other commercially oriented place that is there to take your hard earned money. If I only get 2 or 3 seasons out of this, it will have been more than worth the modest investment. In just a couple of days of use, I already feel pretty good about the purchase even if something tears or breaks. Parts are easy to find too, and again, think about the fact a new inground pool maybe twice this size will run you at least between $40k and $50K without landscaping, take tons of chemicals that run you about $400 per year, and gas bills for heating it close to an extra $200 per month when you do need the heater.
P.P.S. It takes about 15 to 16 hours to fill this pool with water from the garden hose. I didn’t see that mentioned in any review of the pool, and so I thought I’d give the tip in case you are looking to buy this combination. Unless your yard is fairly level, and not on any slope, expect to buy play sand to level it. Also, If you are thinking of the 15′ round pool, I’d humbly suggest you spend the extra few tiny $, and go with the 18′ since it has the larger 1-1/2″ hoses, more powerful pump, pool maintenance kit, and is about 15′ round on the inside of the inflated ring at the top. (hence the purchase of ONLY a 15 ‘ solar bubble wrap cover. which fits neatly inside of the ring, and ring sort of protects it from easily blowing off the pool. if it gets windy, then just add the Intex cover which wraps over and around the inflated ring, and has a slick tie rope to hold it in place.) And even if you aren’t willing to wait until mid-season when these typically go on sale, its still worth the $300 to $400 price you likely would pay for just this pool, plus any extra’s for the heater, and salt water generator, and solar cover combo. Good luck and enjoy the fun !
If all you’re looking to know is the bottom line, I can tell you that the pool has been a great success for us, especially for the price. That said, I notice that the price has nearly doubled since I got mine in June of this year (2012), so it would seem that the word is getting out there as to how good these are for the money so we’re seeing demand, and therefore the cost, go up.
Regardless, if you want more in depth information, I’m going to do this review in two parts; the first talking about the pool, items that come with it, and it’s overall functionality and the second part talking about the set up.
One thing you should know before you buy is that the size advertised is a little misleading. Yes, it’s 18′ x 4′ if you’re looking at the circumference of the bottom and you’re measuring all the way to the top of the ring. However, when you fill it with water, what you’re really looking at is about 15′ of water surface area at the top of the pool, and maybe somewhere between 3 to 3.5′ of depth… unless of course you fill it to the top of the ring with water, which they don’t recommend. We keep ours filled to just a couple of inches above the bottom of the ring and have zero problems with stability, water, or chemical loss.
Remember the 15′ dimension if you decide to buy a solar cover, which I highly recommend you do. I purchased one that was not an Intex brand based on reviews from others who said that the Intex brand solar pool cover was flimsy. I can’t attest to that, but will say that the one that I purchased is great. We seem to have no water evaporation issues at all. If anything, we’ve had to dump water from the pool more than once because it got too full with the rain we’ve had. It also does a great job of keeping the pool water warmer, which I like a lot. I’m in the Virginia Beach area, and my pool temperature has fluctuated between 84 and 92 degrees after the first week or so (it started out in the 70′s). I find 86 to be the ideal temperature for me, personally. Your mileage may vary, and if it gets too warm, all you have to do is leave the solar cover off for an evening and it will lose several degrees over night.
The pool comes with a flimsy ladder. I’m nearly 40 and the first time I went up that ladder, I thought I was going to fall off and injure myself seriously. I started shopping for new ladders immediately, but due to cost of a decent ladder decided to wait and see if it would truly be a necessity. Now that we’ve had it for a few months, we’ve gotten used to it. It’s still flimsy, but I’m better at maneuvering on the thing than I was when we first got it. I’d venture to guess that it would be fine for kids, but not so fine for very over weight or older people. My mother was scared to death going up the thing getting in the pool and there’s no way she’d be able to do it without my assistance. Just some things to keep in mind.
The pool itself seems pretty well constructed. The lining is thick and the air ring seems to be think enough, but I’m quite certain will probably develop small holes that we’ll have to patch over time. None yet though, thankfully.
The pool comes with a filter that seems to work pretty well in conjunction with the salt filtration system I purchased when I got the pool. Other reviewers highly recommended a salt filtration system. I can not tell you how happy I am that I decided to listen to them. We put the recommended amount of salt in when we set the pool up and have only had to add a little bit of salt once. That’s it!!! That is all the chemical maintenance we’ve had to do all summer and our water is crystal clear. In fact, it’s some of the clearest pool water I’ve ever seen. Not to mention that it doesn’t have that nasty chlorine smell and we don’t get eye burn or bathing suit and tan fading from pool chemicals either. So, I’ll say what many other reviewers said before me, I highly recommend you purchase a salt filtration system when you get the pool. It does make the up front cost higher, but you don’t have to spend loads on chemicals, so it does pay for itself over time as well. I think it’s a VERY worthwhile up front investment.
It also comes with a skimmer. We ended up purchasing a replacement skimmer because the one that came with it had pretty large holes and I wanted one with smaller holes in the netting that would do a better job. That’s a cheap purchase. I think we spent $5 or $10 on that. Surprisingly, the vacuum cleaner works better than I expected it to. Because we keep it covered while not in use, we only have to vacuum it once every other week or sometimes once a week if we have a storm that blows a lot of leaves or debris around. Even with the cover, some of that will end up in the pool. We also use a small water basin to rinse our feet before we get in to keep the pool cleaner.
One thing to keep in mind is that vacuuming is easier with two people, one to stay inside the pool and do the actual vacuuming and the other to stay outside and dump the vacuum debris bag. Otherwise, if you’re doing it by yourself, you’ll have to get in and out a couple of times during vacuuming to dump the debris bag. In order to keep the suction strong, we typically have to dump it 2 to 3 times for each vacuuming session. It’s also a good idea to clean the pool filter during these times. If you keep that clean, you’ll save on filter replacement costs. We haven’t had to replace ours yet. A simple, but thorough rinse with the hose works for this.
Now, to move on to set up. I don’t attribute our success entirely to the pool itself. I believe the work we put into the pre-setup has a lot to do with how well it’s worked out. We did a lot of that work due to information I acquired while reading other reviews. So, let me tell you what we did. First, we put down Ground Clear and killed all the grass and weeds and then cleared the area of all the dead growth. Next, we dug out a 2-3″ pit that became the local pond/bird bath temporarily, but that’s a story for another day. After the pond dried up, we then purchased some weed blocker fabric and about 2 tons of play sand. We put the weed blocker fabric down and then put all the sand on top of it in the shallow pit. We then leveled it manually by using a 2×4 and moving that in a circle around several times until the sand height matched the height of the leveling strings my husband had set up around the perimeter.
Describing this entire process in a few short sentences here makes this sound much easier than it is to do in actuality. In actuality, this entire process of prepping the area in this fashion is A LOT of hard labor and took us (primarily my husband) several weeks to accomplish in his free time. Granted, one of those weeks was waiting for the pit to dry out so we could put the sand in, but it was still a lot of work either way.
This accomplished a couple of things for us though. First, and most importantly, we got it as level as we could and we still ended up an inch or so off. That’s about all the margin of error you have with this pool. If it’s not level, or at least mostly level, you will have serious problems with the pool water spilling out and, very likely, the side of the pool collapsing under the water pressure. MAKE SURE IT’S LEVEL! I know other reviewers have said that, and even stressed it, but it’s so important that it’s worth mentioning again.
The other thing all our prep work did for us is ensure that we have no weeds or anything whatsoever coming in from the bottom. If anything grows into the bottom of the pool and damages the pool lining, your pool is toast and Intex does not cover it. That’s in their paperwork, but I’m sure not everyone reads all their documentation all the way through, so I’m hoping future purchasers read this and understand the risk you’re taking if you don’t ensure that nothing can grow through the bottom.
We then put down the blue tarp that came with the pool. Then we placed the folded pool as best we could in the center. This requires two people as the pool, even without being filled, is heavy in and of itself. Not only is it heavy, but it’s awkward as well. We unfolded the pool and had to move it around a few inches to either side to center it. I think this is where we screwed up some of the sand leveling that we worked so hard to achieve prior to putting the pool down. Next time, we’ll ensure to center it better while it’s still folded, rather than just eyeballing it.
Once the pool was unfolded, we did our best to straiten out the bottom. Again, it’s heavy and this is harder to do than you’d think. We then filled the bottom of it with just and inch of water and continued to try to get all the wrinkles out of the lining. Once even one inch of water is in the bottom of the pool, it becomes 10 times more difficult to maneuver, so keep that in mind. We continued to work on getting the wrinkles out until we had a couple of inches of water in there. Finally, we got them all out and left the pool for several hours to fill. Surprisingly, when we had it all full, there were wrinkles in the bottom again! No idea how or why that happened, but we think it was simply because the sand compacted underneath and some wrinkles appeared due to that. They’re not very bothersome to us, but something like that might bother others. I don’t know if/how that’s preventable though. Another lesson learned is that we’ll fill the pool less next time and let rain water take care of the last few inches, just so we can save a little on the water bill.
Then, after all that work, it was time to enjoy our pool. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending how one wants to view it, we had to leave town for a week after we put it up. Well, it was unfortnate in that we couldn’t use it much before we left, but fortunate in that the solar cover did it’s job and the pool was in the 80′s by the time we got back. We’ve been loving it ever since. My husband and I are typically both “beach people,” and haven’t been to the beach once this summer. Since we have the pool right outside our back door, there hasn’t been a need to lug our beach chairs, towels, cooler, etc. to the beach this year. We just go out back and hop in the pool any time we want. We LOVE it and the maintenance with the salt filtration system is far less work than I expected. Like I said, we’ve only had to add salt once and vacuum it once every week to two weeks. What could be easier for such enjoyment? For the winter, we plan to take the pool down and set up the sand pit as a pretty zen fire area (we have a fire pit for the winter months).
So, in summary, I highly recommend this pool. But, I also highly recommend you do some work setting up the area, that you get a salt filtration system and a 15′ solar pool cover to go with it, and you’ll be as happy as a fish in his favorite reef for the summer!
I purchased the 18′x48″ Intex easy set pool at the end of June..we have used this pool daily since it went up with the exception of a few rainy days….it took us longer to level the ground than it did to put the pool in place. We used sand as the leveler and it worked out great. It took about 10 hrs to fill (we have a well) and only about 3 days of 90+ weather to get the temp up to 88degs!!
It has been easy to maintain…the hardest was to figure out the amount of chemicals…what worked for us was a floating chlorine dispenser (I used two 3″ tablets per week), 1/2 bag of shock per week, and 15ml of algaeside diluted in a gallon jug per week and a new filter) We had crystal clear water all summer and the testing was always within the normals. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to maintain….only had to vacuum once (after a storm left a bunch of leaves in the bottom)….I did get a small net to get the daily bugs out with from a local pool company. The skimmer that came with the pool did the larger insects just fine.
My husband was not a firm believer in purchasing this pool, but now that he has had the whole summer to enjoy it, he finally said this week that he is glad we got this pool and how much he has enjoyed it…looking forward to next year…
Hope this will help someone else who is interested in purchasing a pool…this certainly is an easy way to figure out if a pool is something that you would want and you are not out thousands of dollars to figure that out…
My husband and I toyed around with the idea of having an in-ground pool installed, but since we are newlyweds and still working on finances, we decided to get a cheapie above-ground pool to tide us over (no pun intended!) It was a pain to set up at first, when we tried to install it on what seemed to be the level part of our yard. Trust me, no matter how level an area seems to be, it isn’t. We took it down and moved it to our concrete patio. The instructions say not to install on concrete, but the Intex website said it was fine as long as a ground cover was used. We set up the pool again to find that our seemingly level patio was far from being level at all. Since it was such a cheap pool, we decided to level it by stuffing some old cushions underneath the lower sides after it was emptied, then we filled it back up. It took a few people and a little effort but now the pool is at near-capacity and swims great!
This pool DEFINITELY needs chemicals. The filter is basically useless, except to circulate water around. About 2 weeks after we set the pool up, my husband and I both got TERRIBLE ear infections from the water. Seriously, I had never been in so much pain. My ears bled from the inside and I had an eardrum rupture. I refused to get in the water for 3 weeks after that. Finally we got test strips that tested the Ph, chlorine, alkalinity, etc and got the appropriate chemicals to keep the water clean and healthy.
My husband and I love it. It’s perfect for relaxing in the evenings or for getting a tan. We can both fit full-sized floats inside and relax together. It’s also fun to walk around the inside perimeter in a circular path (say, counter-clockwise) and create a sort of whirlpool-like current. When you stop and sit down in the water it pushes you around like a lazy river. It’s so much fun! I giggle like a little girl when we do that! Or you can create the whirlpool and try to swim against the current and go nowhere! That’s great for exercise and it’s fun, too.
Despite being moved several times, drained, refilled, and abused by our concrete flooring, this pool has been quite durable. Even my 2 poodles with long toenails jump up on the inflated ring side and watch us swim, and they’ve yet to puncture the side or the ring. This is our first year of use, so I am not sure how it will be next year if we keep this one though.
I highly recommend this pool for it’s size, price, and fun factor. It’s just enough to bring summer smiles!