How to Drain & Store an Intex Pool

how to drain your intex pool for winter, or winterize your intex pool
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.
Removing the last few hundred gallons from your intex pool
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.
Draining your intex pool
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.

That’s our super-simple six-step system for draining your Intex Frame-Set™ or Easy-Set™ pool. Take the time to do it right, and you’ll enjoy many more years of fun with your Intex Pool.

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!

Elizabeth knows intex pools
Elizabeth Poulin
InTheSwim Staff Blogger


How to Drain & Store an Intex Pool — 15 Comments

  1. I need to store water from my pool for a few days so i can reuse it. Do you have any suggestions on what I can use to do that . Approximately 30,000 gal. The cost of refilling my pool is so expensive that my only other fill it in.😂🤔

    • Hi Jim, water issues are real tough in some places. Some large pool service companies sometimes have small water bladders, but they only hold about 5000 gallons. You could get an 18-wheel tanker – but those only hold about 10000 gallons. But for 30K gallons, I’m thinking about shipping containers or roll-off dumpsters, but I don’t think that they are normally waterproof, or sealed, unless they were modified or a liner was used. Any solution I think… would likely cost more than the water…? Water around here where I live is only $5 per 1000 gallons, your cost much be much higher. BTW – in my area, which is not drought-ridden, you can let the water authority know details about filling your pool, (water meter readings before and after), and they charge you only for the water, not the sewer, because the water is taking a one-way trip, and not reentering their system.

  2. I apologize if this has already been answered elsewhere, but what kind of chemicals, covers & accessories would you suggest for those of us who can’t take take down our pool for the winter?

    We live in Eastern Washington state, last winter we had six straight weeks with negative degree temperatures & ten foot high snow drifts! Hopefully that won’t happen this year. Our pool is a 22’x52″ saltwater intex ultra frame.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
    Thank you

    • Well, I’ve not had the question before, I’m a bit stumped. What did you do last year? If it were my pool, I would disconnect the filter system, and plug the lines at the pool, and then I’m not sure what else, or how to cover it effectively, unless there were some sort of structure, deck or frame around the pool, maybe permanent on the prevailing wind side, and a temporary rigging on the other side – I’m not sure how else you can keep it from collapsing (catastrophically) from 10 ft high snow drifts, unless you’ve got some structure to protect the pool… nothing easy comes to mind!

    • Hi Peggy, just open up the air valve, it’s kind of like an air mattress valve. Let it deflate naturally, then very carefully have two people working opposite sides, flatten the top rim, to push out the remaining air. Be careful not to snag the air ring, it’s kinda fragile.

    • There are a few ways to store the pool – I like to roll it up and not really fold it, then wrap it up in a sheet or a tarp and tie ropes around it every few feet, then store on a shelf or on boards in the garage rafters. You could also use a large trash can, but it’s best not to overfold an intex pool when storing for winter, it can develop creases when the vinyl is old. But for newer pools, one or two folds won’t hurt, and you could place in a large can, but best is a long 8-12′ roll, wrapped and tied, and laid upon a warm shelf near the ceiling, if you have such a location. The garage is OK in most cases, or make some room in the back room, basement or storage room, somewhere semi climate controlled.

  3. Someone told me to use a oil or lube to rub on the outside to prevent cracking while stored. But I’ve read you guys saying the pool needs to be free of moisture and oiling it would leave it full of moisture so that is a bad idea, correct?

    • Hi, oil moisture is different from water moisture I guess. Oiling (the outside) is not a bad idea, I have not heard of it before, but ‘sounds legit’! Maybe a light cooking oil…? Rolling the pool, instead of folding, and storing in a long roll, should also be better.

    • Hi, that’s a good idea actually. DE powder or Aquaperl powder can be used, or Talcum too I suppose. Drying the pool first completely is important, or you’ll get a mess with wet talcum or DE powder. Powder can help vinyl from sticking together if a bit of moisture is left between folds.

  4. Can you please make a video how to fold a 10 by 30 Intex quick set pool and what do you do about the edges that seemed really hard like they might crack when you go to fold it thank you

    • Hi Christina, a video would be great, but that’s probably too much prep work for us, lol! The most important thing is to have the pool completely dry before folding. Easier to say than to do, but, try your best. And of course folding a round pool is a bit awkward, and you’ll never get it as small as the box it came in. It’s best not to overfold it anyway, so creases don’t form. If you can fold it 3 times and store in a heated and dry location for winter, that would be best. If the edges crack from the folding, I guess the pool is at the end of its life. 🙁

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