Pros: easy to set up and maintain, durable
Cons: must run filter/add chemicals every day, soft sides mean water gets out easily
Id always had one of those little plastic pools growing up, and continued the tradition for many years with my own kids. I tried the softer sided - and deeper - pools, but our water bills skyrocketed. Id seen the Intex Easy-Set Pool several times, but I was always nervous about it, thinking that it would be a lot of work and a lot of headaches. In addition, I was worried about the pump working right and having to run it constantly.
Despite my misgivings, last summer we took the plunge and bought the Intex Easy-Set Pool in the 10-foot diameter. Everything comes packaged in one box. The 30-inch high vinyl pool, the pump, two hoses, and a filter cartridge. I also purchased a solar cover for the pool, feeling that it would keep out bugs and leaves as well as warming the water. Replacement filter cartridges can be found in just about any pool store or Toys R Us.
When the time came to set it up, I chose the most level spot in our backyard, between our patio and the shed. This still left the pool on a slight slant. Still, I just inflated the ring which went around the rim of the pool and started to add water. As it filled, I had to keep pulling at the walls to get the bottom as straight as possible with no wrinkles. Other than that, I had no problems with the pool filling up, despite about a 2-inch difference in the level of the pool from one side to the other.
Hooking up the filter was easy, and I did that while the pool was filling with water, before it reached the spot where the hoses needed to be attached. I attached the hoses - with hose clamps - to the pool and the filter (make sure you thread these clamps on the hose on before you attach it to the pool. I didnt and couldnt get the clamps over the thicker part of the hose and getting it off to re-thread it was a pain). I inserted the filter cartridge and primed the pump, and plugged it into the outlet on the outside of our home.
We had a jacuzzi, but the bromine tablets we use for that just werent going to cut it in this pool, so it was off to the pool store for some liquid shock. I just used this all season, adding a little at a time so I didnt have to worry about powder or tablets dissolving. I just added a little in the evening and left the pump running all night. The next morning the pool was fine. The only time we had a problem was when we left for two weeks and just left the pool with the solar cover on. Of course, the water turned green. It took 3-4 days of shock and running the pump and cleaning the filter before the water was clear again. If I had it to do over again, Id probably just suggest emptying the pool and starting over again when we came home.
The Intex Easy-Set Pool was very durable. I have a 12 year-old, 8 year-old, and 3 year-old. They played in it last summer quite a bit, including bringing in toys, and seeing if they could jump over the side. I was worried about the PVC getting a hole easily, but we didnt have a single problem with leaks all summer. It has a very heavy feel to it, so unless your kids bring a sharp object into the pool (or someone gets too close with the weed whacker) it shouldnt develop a leak. Our dog is in the year too, but she doesnt venture in and does manage to usually keep the neighborhood stray cats away as well. Either none of them made it near the pool and the dog kept them away or the pool was durable enough to hold up to claws.
I always stayed outside with the kids in the pool. I was comfortable with them in it, but accidents can and will happen. One time my 8 year-old fell against the side of the pool and pretty much emptied half of the water (about 1,000 gallons) out into our yard. Even the most responsible kid can do something stupid sometimes. It was the perfect size for my 3 year-old and he probably got the most out of it. I was amazed at how little work it actually took. We bought a skimmer and Id skim the top just about every morning and sometimes again in the afternoon. Other than that, all I had to do was add the liquid and plug in the pump at night.
If the Intex Easy-Set Pool doesnt get a lot of use, there will be a slimy build-up on the bottom, but that will generally happen in any pool. This happened once or twice after a couple of days with no use. I dragged my feet on the bottom to stir it up and just circulated the water a bit more that day. Once my kids used it daily again, it disappeared.
When the time came to pack it up for the winter, it was easy to do as well. We drained the Intex Easy-Set Pool of water, deflated the ring, rinsed it out, and let it dry for a day. After that we rolled it up and put it back in the same box it came in, although we couldnt fit the filter in with it as well. Its sat there in storage all winter, and now will be passed onto a new family as we decided that since our village is running behind with the reconstruction of the pool that we should put a 20-foot round, 52-inch deep pool in our own backyard. Part of what convinced me to do this was managing the Intex Easy-Set Pool last summer.
Many of the larger sizes come with options such as ladders and ground covers, although Id recommend pricing what a regular pool would cost as youre going to end up with a spot of dirt or dead grass every winter. Not wanting a mudhole in my backyard over the winter, I re-seeded that area of the grass after we used the pool. Id not recommend setting the pool up on cement as a fall would more easily result in a head injury.
I highly recommend the pool to anyone who wants something easy to manage in their backyard for kids this summer. All my nervousness that I had about owning my own pool and maintaining it disappeared after using the Intex Easy-Set Pool for one season.
Other pool-related reviews:
Sharkline Escalade Emerald Series Pool
Robo-Kleen Robotic Pool Cleaner
Insta-Test Pool Water Test Strips
Smartpool PoolEye Alarm
Water Warehouse Online Store
© 2004 Patti Aliventi