Pros: Affordable, simple set up
Cons: Need level spot
Intex Easy Set 15' x 42" Above-Ground Pool
So many times you read a review and wonder how an item will hold up long term. As I put up my now 3.5 year old Intex Easy Set 15' x 42" Above-Ground Pool, I thought this product deserved a commentary. I bought this several years ago for my 4 year old son. We had a just-born daughter so I figured she'd get some use out of it if it lasted a while. It has.
WHY THIS POOL?
Well, we have been planning to move for several year and did not want to invest in a 'real pool'. This pool is portable. You can easily remove and reseed the ground if you decide you do not want to use it anymore. It was cheap...clearance priced at about $160 or so at Walmart when we got it. It came with everything needed, video, pool, filter, ladder, ground cover and pool cover.
You really need a level spot for this pool. We did not start with one and had to have some dirt brought in to level it off. Over the years one side had drooped. The only ill effect is that one side of the pool is deeper than the other. Personally, if your ground is only off a bit, give it a try. If you buy the 48" High model so much the better. Worst case, you just drain it, level and reinstall.
Installation consists of opening the pool, spreading it out and blowing up the round ring. We use a dual action pump and take turns. If you are alone you may want to fill it with an electric pump. The next step is MOST important. Spend a good half hour or so pulling the liner taught into a nice circle eliminating as many wrinkles as possible. It is far easier to get the wrinkles out before you start filling the pool. In fact de-wrinkling is most time consuming and annoying aspect of putting the pool up. Once you have done that start filling it.
While filling, connect the filter and be sure the drain cap is in place. If your pool area is not quite level and you can position the drain cap at the lowest point it will make emptying the pool easier at the end of the season.
Once up enjoy!
WHAT ABOUT THE FILTER?
I am amazed the filter is still going strong after almost 4 years. We use the pool June thru September and have the filter on a timer running it in the evening for about 6 - 8 hours a night - a little longer in the hotter months. As instructed we run at night when it is cooler and I guess the filter does not work as hard. Paper replacement filters can cost up $10 but usually you can get them for as little as $5 at Wal-Mart or even for a couple of bucks at a year end clearance sale. I would clean the filter every 2 weeks; sooner under heavy use. I usually remove the paper filter, give it a good cleaning and replace it maybe twice a year. So far I suffered only a split hose which was replaced for a few bucks a local pool store.
WHAT ABOUT CHEMICALS? WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED?
Yea, you need them. I bought a float that holds those chlorine 3" disks. I usually put one disk in and add another as needed. I also bought a test kit and add some soda ash as needed. I have found that adding Algecide (the cheaper stuff) helps a bunch too. I add some each month. By a vacuum and USE it regularly too to keep the pool clean. The little filter is not going to suck dirt from the bottom of the pool. If the filter is running while there is activity in the pool that will help get the dirt up to filter I suppose.
So far the liner has held up. Personally I said if we got two years out of the pool I'd be happy. I am in year 4. Again, the only thing that has failed so far has been a hose. NOTE: I do take car of the pool. By this I mean I empty it in the off season, clean it up and store in my shed. I am a carefull with it during the installation / take down process too! I also have the pool on my ground. I used the original pool ground cover but also put a nice dark green tarp over it. My custom green ground cover blends better with grass than the blue one provided and adds an extra layer between the liner and ground. I also leave the ground cover on the ground all year...some bricks hold it in place.
If your yard is not level this might be a pain. It really could be a job for two or three to get all the water out. It might be nice if they had 3 drain plugs located around the pool instead of just one. If you can get it odd the ground it dries pretty fast. We drape it over 6 or so of those white vinyl chairs we have in our shed.
WORST THING THAT HAPPENED?
If you do not keep it vacuumed and the chemicals in, you can get algy and dirt on the bottom which them leads to cloudy water. I think extreme heat might add to this. It usually is rectified by vacuuming and chemicals although once I let about a third of the water drain and added some new.
My ladder is not very wobbly and seems sturdy. It has not started to rust. I keep it in my shed - out of the weather (and for safety reasons) when not in use.
Its great for kids up to five or six years old. Two adults and Two kids can frolic at once. It is likely not to intimidating for a smaller child. Ages 7 and up will likely yearn for something bigger and deeper Note too that the pool appears to be 15 feet in diameter but that is at the base. I think it is only 12 feet at the top. Same with the depth, I'd say my 42" pool is really maybe 36" deep with water. The ring is the other 6" I guess. If the size is an issue, find an assemble one and measure for yourself.