Last Updated: February 24, 2020
Intex Easy Set Pools have become extremely popular in recent years, especially for people with young children. There are several different sizes for you to choose from. Which one you get will depend on how big your kids are, how many people you want it to hold, and how much room you have in your yard. The big question, though, is: why they are so popular? Is it the price? Is it quality? Is it convenience? We decided to try one ourselves to find the answer. Below, we’ll tell you what our thoughts are.
Editor Rating: 4.6/5
We give the Intex pools a rating of 4.6 stars out of five. We found them easy to set up. They didn’t require any tools and only took a couple of hours. The very first time the pool is set up takes the longest because you have to prepare and level the ground first. After that first time, you pretty much only have to make sure that there aren’t any sharp objects around. It goes a lot faster with the leveling already done.
We also found this pool to be the perfect size for keeping children entertained for hours. It helps keep the kids busy and out of your hair while they’re out of school for the summer. When they need a break, the adults can kick the kids out and enjoy a dip to cool off themselves. The pools are pretty small, so there isn’t much room for swimming, but they are deep enough to get in and sit for a bit in the refreshing water.
We gave it 4.6 out of 5 stars because although these pools are pretty durable, they don’t take a whole lot to puncture, and they won’t last more than two or three seasons, even if you never get any holes in them.
The first time you set this pool up can be a real pain, because you have to make sure that the ground is perfectly level so the sides won’t collapse on you. The hardest part of getting this pool assembled is getting all the wrinkles out of the bottom. The pool is pretty cumbersome and can be challenging to manipulate, but do the best you can. You might find this job more manageable if you have a friend to help you with it. Creases left behind don’t feel too great on the feet and knees.
Other than getting the wrinkles out, setting these pools up is easy. The instructions say that they can be set up in a matter of minutes; we found that it took a few hours. It’s not quite as fast as they say, but it doesn’t take all day. You can set it up in the morning and be using it in the afternoon.
One thing we found out the hard way is that you need to make sure to put a ground cloth underneath the pool. We have some hardier nut grass that punctured and grew through the bottom of the pool. We found that surprising. Since grass is soft, how can it puncture a robust plastic? Not quite sure, but it can.
The air ring is more significant than you may think. It takes a lot of air to fill it, so you’ll need either an air compressor or a pump. Using an air compressor is quick and painless, while a manual pump will take some effort, but they are both beneficial. When we first saw these pools, we thought of air mattresses, how big they are, and the little effort that it takes to blow them up. We felt that this ring would be about the same, but found that it’s a lot bigger — too big to try to blow it up by mouth.
The sidewalls are strong three-ply laminated PVC. They feel as durable as they sound. They feel pretty thick, and they are very smooth. Though they are tough, they still aren’t a solid wall, so they’ll have a limited lifespan. If you have little children who hit the sides a lot, these pools may only last for one season. If it’s mainly used by older kids or adults who don’t play as rough, you should get at least two to three seasons out of it.
We also recommend that when you mow your lawn, your grass is blowing away from your pool whenever you are around it. Grass clippings won’t hurt it, but you never know when you may throw a twig.
Though we have never had a hole in a sidewall, we have had plenty in the air ring. It gets punctured easily. Do your best to keep your dogs and cats away from it, but always have a pool repair kit available just in case. Without holes, the ring can last two to three years before it won’t hold air anymore.
For dog owners, we recommend getting a standalone pool so that you don’t risk puncturing your new brand new pool!
The pump that comes with these pools does a good job of keeping the water circulating and clean. The only issue we had was that at times, the filter will float to the top of the pool, allowing the pump to suck in air instead of water. When this happens, turn the pump off. Unscrew the two air release valves, leaving them open until the air is gone and water is coming out around both screws. Then retighten them, make sure that the filter is down in the water, and turn it back on.
The biggest thing is making sure that the filter stays underwater when you restart the pump. It likes to kick up when it starts, and then you have to do it all over again. It isn’t hard to do; it just gets annoying when you have to do it several times. Try to place your pump within arm’s reach of the filter so you can hold it down at the same time you flip the switch.
The Intex Easy Set Pool is made of materials that can get punctured easily, releasing either water or air in the air ring that holds it up. For this reason, some say that these pools are not durable at all. Others disagree.
If your pool is going to be used mainly by young kids who are jumping around and bumping into the walls a lot, this pool will last you one to two seasons. If it is used primarily by teens or adults who use it to cool off with no horseplay, the pool should last three to four summers.
These pools are very economical, so you shouldn’t expect them to last forever, especially with the roughhousing of young children playing. Make sure that you have a pool repair kit available just in case. You and your family will get many hours of refreshing enjoyment in these pools. Even if it only lasts one season, it’s well worth the money.
Maintaining your pool
Maintaining these pools is very simple. You need to run the filter at least eight hours a day, but that is just a flip of the switch, and you’re on your way. Some pumps have timers, so you don’t even have to walk over to them to turn them on. It is a straightforward system.
The only other thing that you need to do to maintain this pool is to check the chlorine level every day or two to see if you need to add any. The best way to add chlorine is to pour it directly into the skimmer while your pump is running. The pump helps distribute the chlorine evenly throughout to sanitize your pool.
Some people say that these pools are more work than they are worth, but most folks say that the hours of refreshing enjoyment they get from the pool outweigh the little bit of maintenance required.
The Intex Easy Set Pools are an affordable solution to those hot weather days, no matter what size of budget you have. The average cost for the medium-sized 12’ X 30” is around $100. You can probably find a better deal if you shop around, but even $100 doesn’t hurt the checkbook too badly.
You don’t get the same quality with these pools that you do with some of the other models. For example, the Intex pools with the prism frame aren’t going to get holes in them that leak the air that holds the water in the pool. They’re held up with metal poles, so they’ll cost a bit more.
Some people are willing to fork out a little more cash right out of the gate to get the better quality that will last longer. Others find the cost to be so reasonable that they don’t even bother storing their pool away for the winter. When the season is over, they throw it out and buy another one next year.
Who is this pool for?
- Families with small children
Kids like to jump around and splash in the water, but many of them don’t want to get their faces in the water. These pools are shallow enough to allow kids six and up to have their feet on the bottom at all times while keeping their heads above the water.
- Adults who want to cool off
These pools were made with kids in mind, so they are quite shallow. Though adults don’t have room to swim much, these pools are deep enough to get them wet and cool them off. If they are “floaters,” the medium-sized 12’ X 30” pool is the perfect size to hold two rafts side by side. You can float for hours and not have to worry about drifting away.
- People with small budgets
- People with small yards
- Those who want to try a pool to see if they like it
There are people who like the idea of having a pool but aren’t sure if they will like it or not. These pools give you an excellent sense of how labor-intensive it is to prepare the ground for an above ground pool because it’s done the same way.
These pools can also give people a better understanding of how the filters and pump work, and how to check chemical levels and keep the water clean. First-time users almost always have issues with green water, especially right after filling the pool, so they get an idea of how to correct problems like that. It will merely be on a larger scale with a more permanent full-size pool.
The only thing these pools don’t do is show the amount of maintenance there is in having a full-size pool. These pools don’t require washing down the walls and vacuuming. They also don’t need to be winterized. They get taken down and stored away.
Intex Easy Set Pools – A Quick Look
1. Can these pools be set up directly on the ground?
It’s recommended that you place a tarp or ground cloth underneath your pool. It is possible for some hearty grasses to puncture and grow through the bottom of the pool.
2. Can this pool be set up on a slight slope?
These pools must be set up on firm, entirely flat ground. Since the sidewalls of these pools aren’t a solid material, if the pool is on any slope, no matter how slight, one side will bulge and eventually roll over the edge, making the sidewalls collapse.
3. Are chemicals recommended to be used with these pools?
Yes. If you are filling your pool with fresh water through a garden hose from your house, you can go to any pool supply store. Some regions have more metals in their water and require different chemicals. The pool supply employees can give you recommendations on what chemicals you need in your area.
4. How often does the water need to be changed?
If you maintain your pool properly, the water should last you for the whole summer season. To keep your water pure, you need to check the chemical levels every day or two to make any adjustments required to keep them where they need to be.
You also need to run the filter every day for at least the eight hours recommended for your model. It will not hurt if the pump runs longer than the time given. The pump keeps the water circulating through the filter to get rid of any debris. You do want to keep an eye on the skimmer and empty the basket when you see that it has stuff in it.
5. Will algae grow if I use my filter regularly?
The filter alone won’t keep algae from growing in your water. You need to make sure that the chlorine and pH levels are at the correct levels at all times. You can purchase testing strips at your local pool supply store.
6. How do I get rid of algae if it does grow?
If algae starts to grow in your pool, you need to drain it entirely and then use a mild soap and a soft brush to scrub the liner clean. Once it’s clean, rinse the pool out and allow it to dry before refilling it.
7. How often and how long do I need to run the filter?
You need to run the filter on your Intex Easy Set Pool for at least eight hours every day. The circulation keeps the water moving to distribute the chemicals evenly.
8. What should I do if my air ring won’t hold air?
The first thing that you need to do is check that the air valve isn’t leaking. If there is air seeping there, you’ll be able to feel it on the back of your hand.
If no air is leaking there, get a spray bottle with some soapy water in it and spray around the seams. It will bubble wherever there is a leak. Dry the spot where the hole is and patch it up with your pool repair kit.
9. Can I winterize this pool and leave it out all year?
These pools are not meant to be left out year-round. They should be drained and stored away in a dry place for the winter.
What the Users Say
We can only give you our opinion of what we experienced. We know that you want to know more than what we think, though, so we have read many reviews on different websites and blogs to give you more thoughts.
Every review that we read said that they loved how simple these pools are to set up, but they do take anywhere from two hours to half a day instead of the advertised 15 to 30 minutes.
Most people say that the pool is of good quality for the amount of money spent. They don’t expect the best when the price is super affordable. These pools seem to last a couple of years before any issues begin to appear with leakage.
Parents of small children have said that this pool stands up to the abuse that their kids put it through. They think these pools are the best thing since sliced bread.
Some people had problems from the get-go, but whatever your product is, there are always going to be a few duds. The reality is that most of them are great. Return the lemon and get a new one. The odds are in your favor.
As far as punctures go, the only comments we saw about the sidewalls getting pierced were by people who allow their dogs in the pool. Sharp claws, plastic material… enough said.
- Chemicals and cleaning
Some people think that having to check and add chemicals is more work than the pool is worth. Most say it is well worth the effort. They say dipping the test strips in the water to make sure the chemicals are right to keep the pool clean is worth it.
Many people purchase a floating chlorine dispenser. They like the simplicity of using these since the tablets last awhile, so they don’t have to add more as often.
Many folks don’t like the pump that comes with these pools. Intex supplies the bare minimum, and people don’t think it is powerful enough to clean the pool efficiently. Many buy upgraded pumps.
The reviews that we read were pretty split in the decision of how, or where, to store this pool.
Some thought that it weighed too much to haul back and forth from storage to the yard. Others didn’t like that it takes a large area to store it; they don’t have the room. These people have chosen not to save the pools, but to discard them each year. To these folks, storing is a pain, and the pool is low enough in cost that it’s more convenient to buy new ones.
Others love the fact that the pools come down as easily as they went up. They rolled their pools up and stored them until the next year. To them, storing is no hassle; they would rather the pool have a longer life.
Like anything else in the world, some people love Intex Easy Set Pools; others hate them. There will never be a product that will make everyone happy. The general consensus, though, is that although there is some maintenance involved, it isn’t a big deal. These pools provide more fun than the amount of work needed to set them up and tear them down.
There are only a couple of issues people have with them: air leaking from the air ring, and finding a place large enough to store one for the winter. The pinholes in the air rings are easy to find with soapy water, though, and can be patched quickly with the provided pool repair kit. As far as storage goes, the price on these pools is low enough that some people throw them out after each season and purchase a new one the next year.
Most people love their Intex Easy Set Pools. They like them so much that they keep purchasing new ones when the old one wears out. What it boils down to is that you can’t go wrong with these pools.