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Ronald Parrs, Basic Author

How to Maintain an Intex or Soft-sided Aboveground Pool, page 1

Over the past decade the sale & use of Intex® brand or Soft-sided aboveground pool (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. is just 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:

  • Cloudy water - inadequate or poor filter system and circulation

  • Algae growth - same as cloudy water and also involving inadequate or improper chemical treatment

  • Slimy feel to pool - see above

  • "Burning" eyes and/or skin - inadequate or improper chemical treatment

  • "Constant" clogging of the filter -  inadequate or poor filter system, poor maintenance

Before we go on, we have to realize a couple of things:

  1. All the filter & pump systems that come "standard" with these pools are inadequate. Period. A 3,000 to 5,000 gallon that is using a 5 (Five) square foot filter cartridge (typical "A" style cartridge) with a 1/8 HP pump will not stay clean for very long. In comparison, a typical metal sided 8,000 gallon aboveground pool will have, at minimum, a 40 - 50 square foot filter and a 3/4 HP pump.

  2. The bather load of these pools is typically higher than most backyard swimming pools. In other words, having 6 to 8 children swimming & playing in 4,000 gallons of water is vastly different than having those same children swimming in a 8,000 gallon pool. Plus there's the poor filter system as we just mentioned.

  3. The water temperature in almost all Intex® or Soft-sided pools gets warmer and stays warmer much faster than other pools. Higher water temperature, higher chlorine use leading to quicker, more significant water problems (as mentioned above).

  4. Most Intex® or Soft-sided pool owners have not or were not properly instructed as to how to use or care for their pool. The "pool-in-a-box" went into the shopping cart and out to the car with a barely a quick swipe of the credit card. These stores could really care less about your pool care needs; they just made the sale... just try bringing in a water sample for help...

  5. Your Intex® or Soft-sided pool should be treated and maintained as if it were any other swimming pool. Use the right equipment. Follow a good chemical program. Follow the 5 Keys to Pool Care.

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.

Click here for Intex Replacement Filter Cartridges.

Now that we've listed the issues, let's get down to solutions! Click here to continue with this article...


If you still need help, here's how to reach us:

Telephone (during store hours): Shelton  203-377-0100


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