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Opening Up Your Above Ground Pool for Summer? Here is Our Experience Keeping Our 18' Intex Ultra Frame Pool Clean

Updated on August 19, 2014

We Learned an Easy Way to Keep our Pool Clean!

This is our pool in our backyard.

After spending WAY too much money on pool chemicals, we learned a very easy way to keep our pool clean and sparkling. This is our 3rd year for this pool, but different home. It's been a struggle learning how to maintain this pool,

as we have very hot weather here, but I've learned a little bit about keeping it clean.

What you need to keep the water clean

The right combination works, the right chlorine and the right shock.

Beginning June of this year we had the worst problem keeping that ugly green algae out of the pool. I went to ALL the pool supply stores in our area, talked to the salesmen and came away with just having to spend more money. Something wasn't right and I was determined to figure it out.

Be sure to use chlorine tablets that include ingredients to kill algae and helps to protect against sun burn off.

And add shock once a week.

2x3" Chlorine tablets in the floater will keep the chlorine level correct for this size pool.

These are the only chemicals we have had to use for the last 2 months which have kept the water crystal clear.

You can buy the Shock at Amazon!

This is the best shock for this pool, and family only has to wait 15 minutes to swim.

PoolTime 6-in-1 Pool Shock XtraBlue w Clarifier PH Buffer Algicide w test 5 bags
PoolTime 6-in-1 Pool Shock XtraBlue w Clarifier PH Buffer Algicide w test 5 bags

Amazon offers the one with clarifyer, which help filter out the really small particles.

 
Photo of our pool 9/1/13
Photo of our pool 9/1/13

Here is our pool after 60 days of using a good maintenance schedule

Keeping a good maintenance schedule!

Keeping a good maintenance schedule is important. We haven't bought new filter cartridges for this pool for 2 months.

That is because I take the cartridge out and spray it clean every two days.

Here is my schedule:

Take filter cartridge out every two days - spray clean with hose and replace. Check connections and chlorine floater and clean out the filter basket.

Add shock once a week - every 7 days

The intake
The intake

But What Else is Important?

Clean the Intake

This is the intake for water that is pumped thru the filter. You must unscrew this little thing at least every 2 or 3 days and

clean all the little things that get thru the filter basket and get stuck there. This will slow the flow of water, make your pump

work harder and cause a problem when vacuuming the pool.

This is the out take valve
This is the out take valve

Getting Rid of the Silt at the Bottom of the Pool

And this is where the problems happen! **Try a Venturi Vacuum!!***

Keeping the bottom of the pool clean is a big challenge, especially with the vacuum and pump that this pool comes with.

A lot of above ground pool owners get frustrated because when vacuuming, the filter pump can't keep all the cloudy little stuff, including dead green algae, sediment and other little ugly things from going back into the pool.

But we solved this problem - Just vacuum it right out onto the lawn!

This is how - the picture at left shows the return valve.

Put the valve handles in the down position to stop the flow of water.

Unscrew the return hose from the valve and lay it on the lawn. Take the filter cartridge out of the canister and clean it and leave it out. Screw the top of the canister back on.

Set up the vacuum, but do not put the little filter bag in it.

Raise the lower out take valve into the open position so the water can flow into the pump.

Turn the pump on and vacuum as usual, but do it quickly. This removes ALL of the sediment, green stuff, leaves and bugs out onto the lawn. You may lose 1-maybe 2 inches of water, but the cost of adding that water back is very little compared to the cost of chemicals to try to keep your water clear and blue.

Once you've got the bottom clean, turn off the pump. Put the valve back in the down position, screw the hose back up to the return. Don't forget to bleed the air out of the pump before turning it back on!

Make sure your return valve is in the up position and turn the pump on.

The problem with this way is that you work your tail off and waste water. We have discovered a great Venturi vacuum that will suck up the silt and dirt. This vacuum uses your garden hose and attaches to your existing 1-1/4" pole, meaning, we don't have to get IN the pool to vacuum it.

We tried a less expensive Venturi that came with a teeny little pole, but the pole snapped and was really too small for our pool, so we tried a new Black Magic Jet Venturi Vacuum. This new vacuum allowed us to suck up the silt without having to get in the pool. Not only that, but it has an adapter if you want to hook it up to the pool pump.

This has solved our silt problem, which saves electricity - not having to run the filter.

Saves on supplies-we don't have to buy so many filters

Saves on water - we no longer have to dump waste water outside of the pool.

Our Pool has Been Such a Blessing! - Keeping Cool

our pool
our pool

Our summers are hot, hot, hot! My daughter and I found this pool at Walmart on sale. It was the only one left.

We went half and half on the price and bought it. The salesman at Walmart told us we would need a pick up truck to take it home, HAH!!!! he did not realize that we had other plans!

I have a 2007 Chevy Malibu - which has a huge backseat. We simply took everything out of the box and packed that back seat full and put the rest in the trunk. It fit perfectly!

The pool sets up in an hour maybe two, depending upon if you have help and can be ready to swim in as soon as it's full.

Because of this little trick of vacuuming the gunk out onto the lawn, I've spent less than half of the cost I spent for chemicals last year.

Here are a few things we actually use in our pool from Amazon

Thanks for visiting our pool lens. Hope I've helped by telling you our pool maintenance experience.

If I can answer any questions, please feel free to ask!

Keeping an above ground pool clean can be a chore... - but it doesn't have to be

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