Intex makes a few types of portable pools, namely their Easy-Set™ pool and Frame-Set™ pools. Neither of these are particularly well suited to weather a winter, and most Intex pool owners dismantle their pool at the end of the season.
If the thought of dismantling your pool seems like an awful task, relax and review our 6 step method for draining and storing your Intex pool for the winter.
How to Dismantle and Store your Intex Pool for Winter
Check your pool chemistry levels to be sure that you are not draining water that may contain very low pH or very high chlorine levels. Think about where you will drain the pool to – be aware of any laws regarding discharge of pool water.
Locate the drain valve on the outside of the pool. Run a garden hose out, with the female end near the drain valve. Connect the other end to a sprinkler, and water your lawn or garden (if pH is good and chlorine low). Remove the cap.
Connect the female end of a garden hose to the drain connector and you can now drain the pool completely. If draining to an open area, you may want to move the hose during draining to avoid erosion or over-saturation.
On some Intex pools, you may need to screw a Hose Adapter onto the female garden hose end and then thread the hose adapter into the drain valve. This will prevent the water from coming out immediately when you remove the drain cap.
Because it’s only gravity draining, you can’t drain it too far uphill – and it will take a few hours for small Intex pools, to over 12 hours for larger pools. You may want to begin draining an Intex pool the night before you plan to dry, fold and store it.
Dry the pool. After complete draining, your pool will need to dry completely before folding. For Frame Set™ pools, this may be easier if the pool is left standing, to allow it to air dry. Otherwise, you may find a wet/dry vac useful, or some towels to gently wipe your Intex pool dry.
Dry the pool very well on the inside and on the outside walls, so the vinyl won’t stick together when folded, or grow mildew. As a final step, using Talc or DE powder can help to absorb trace moisture. Screw your pool drain cap back onto the drain valve, so it won’t get misplaced.
Fold your Intex pool for storage, fold the wall part of the material in on all sides, then with two people, pull one side of the pool over to meet the other side. From here, keep folding in half until you have a long strip, about 3-4 feet wide. Roll or fold this up into a manageable size.
Store at room temperature if possible, and away from any nesting mice, birds or other critters that may chew holes through the vinyl. A large, clean and new trash can may be an ideal location for winter storage.
You’ll also want to drain the pump and filter, and store indoor or out of the elements.
You can use a wet/dry vac, or a pail and sponge, but most people move the water to one side and then with 2-3 sets of hands spill the water over the edge. Before you do this however, deflate the top ring on Easy Set™ or disassemble the frame pieces for Frame Set™ pools.
The easiest way to move the water is to have two people grab the floor of the pool on one side, and “walk the water” to the other side of the pool. Allow the water to spill out slowly. If the pool floor has dirt or debris in it, use a pool brush or a soft push broom to sweep the bottom of any film or remaining dirt before draining.
Sometimes the caps are buried just under the edge of the pool, but if you don’t find it, here’s some other ways you can drain the pool.
Gravity Siphon: Push a garden hose, or vacuum hose straight into the pool water, so that the entire hose fills up with water. After it’s full, secure one end of the hose to the pool edge with tape or string, with 3-5 feet of hose still sticking down into the pool water, almost touching the bottom.
Cap the other end of the hose with your thumb, and quickly pull all of the hose over the wall, (except for the 3-5 ft section), and keeping the other end capped with your thumb and low to the ground, pull out the hose to a lower area for draining and release your thumb with the hose on the ground.
As long as the pool end is higher than the discharge end, your siphon should start immediately. This method of siphon draining your pool can also be done with a pool vacuum hose.
Submersible Pump: If you have a small sump pump, or a pool cover pump, these can be used to drain the Intex pool. Connect a garden hose, plug them in, and carefully place the pump in the bottom of the pool, near the edge.
You can rent a small pump at a rental shop, or we have a nice variety of cover pumps.
Skimmer or Return Hoses: You may have already realized that you could remove the hose from the pool filter and drain water right next to the pool. This will work, however only down to the level of the return.
It’s always best to drain or pump out an Intex pool slowly. With the Easy Set pools, you may be tempted to deflate the top ring, and just sort of roll the water out. This can be dangerous! Not just to nearby plants or mulch beds, but the pool can rip or develop holes during the process.
The Wrong Way to Drain your Intex Pool!
There’s a right way to drain your Intex pool, and then there’s the wrong way to do it.
These guys obviously had no desire to maintain their pool the following year, and decided to flood the back yard, and post their method to YouTube, where you can watch the entire video.
If you decide to dispose of your Intex pool (after all, they don’t last forever), please try to recycle the vinyl. Most landfills will accept your vinyl pool for recycling.
Enjoy your winter ~ see you next year!
InTheSwim Staff Blogger