How to Vacuum an Intex Pool: The Ultimate Guide

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Learning how to vacuum an Intex pool gives you a chance to spend more time swimming than cleaning. Vacuuming is also the most efficient and effortless way of cleaning and maintaining an Intex swimming pool. It may be a little work, but the paybacks of vacuuming are worth the effort.

An Intex above-ground pool is convenient if you can’t have a buried above-ground or inground pool. Like traditional swimming pools, keeping an Intex pool clean is essential. Plus, there is no better way to keep your pool free of dirt and debris than to vacuum it. Read on for Intex pool vacuuming methods and more.

a) How to Vacuum Intex Pool Manually

Vacuuming Intex pool manually

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The most common method for vacuuming a pool is manually using manual vacuums. However, before you start, ensure the pool pump and filter run at good pressure. Also, note that the pool water level will drop while you vacuum. So, use a garden hose to add fresh water while vacuuming. Here are the steps to follow for manual Intex pool vacuuming.

1. Skim the Surface

Many Intex pools don’t have a skimmer. Therefore, removing the floating debris before it sinks is a good practice. So get a leaf rake or skimmer to remove leaves, bugs, and other debris from your pool.

2. Prime the Vacuum

You should first prime the Intex pool vacuum by purging all the air from the system. The air pockets can make the vacuum lose suction so remove them before you start vacuuming to ensure that the system cleans for a longer time.

To prime your vacuum;

First, attach the vacuum head to the telescoping pole and drop it into the bottom of your pool floor. Then connect the other end of the hose to a jet and leave it to push the air out of the garden hose.

You will notice air bubbles coming up from your vacuum head, indicating that air is getting out via the hose. When no bubble is coming up, the hose is free of air and ready to start vacuuming.

3. Connect the Hose to the Pump

The vacuuming system connects it to your pool skimmer line and is powered by the suction of the pool’s pump. So connect the vacuum to the pool’s pump, then plug the other hand of your vacuum hose into the suction port at the base of the skimmer.

4. Vacuum Your Intex Pool

Now, you simply need to move your vacuum head back and forth along the pool’s surface until it’s clean. If you lose suction, check the vacuum system connection, and reset it properly. When you begin vacuuming, you will notice air bubbles rising from the vacuum head, don’t fret. The air is flowing through the hose.

Vacuuming Intex pool

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The vacuum will suck all the debris and dirt that will go right inside the debris bag via a hose. Hold the handle to reach all the corners and narrow spaces of the pool walls. You may have to clean the bag often to avoid dirt returning to the pool.

5. Brush the Pool

Brushing the pool helps clean hard dirt or where the vacuum head didn’t reach. In cases where vacuums or other cleaners are ineffective in removing algae and stains from the pool surfaces, the brush does it effortlessly. So use a brush to scrub them enough to clean the surface.

Clear all debris from your vacuum bag and give your pool filter backwash to remove all the collected dirt. Test your pool water and adjust the alkalinity, pH, and chlorine. When you are done vacuuming, ensure that you cover your pool. You can use a solar pool cover to prevent dirt from getting into your Intex pool and ensure that the water remains warm.

b) How to Vacuum Intex Pools Using Automatic Pool Vacuums

Automatic pool cleaner

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An automatic pool cleaner is the best option to keep an Intex pool of any size clean. Automatic vacuums come in three types;

i) Robotic Pool Cleaners

A robotic vacuum cleans the swimming pool using electricity. To use it, plug it into a power source, submerge it into the pool, and leave it to do the cleaning. Keep in mind to empty the filter bag when it gets full. Most robotic vacuum models come with LED  pool lights, so you can easily know when it is full.

ii) Pressure-Side Pool Cleaners

Pressure-side vacuums connect to a dedicated pressure cleaner line or the return line of the swimming pool. They use the water pressure from a pool’s pump to move the cleaner around your pool.

iii) Suction-Side Pool Cleaners

Suction-side pool cleanersconnect to the main filtration pump in the pool and use the suction to move the cleaner around. They scrub the pool surface and remove dirt and debris, which are then returned to the pump basket through your pool’s filtration system.

The suction-side pool cleaner is simply an auto version of the vacuum cleaner. The hose is connected to either a skimmer or a dedicated suction line. Suction cleaners also utilize an internal turbine spun by the force of the pump’s suction.

c) How to Vacuum Intex Pools Using Garden Hose

Using a garden hose to vacuum Intex pool

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One of the simplest methods of vacuuming a pool is to attach a vacuuming system to the garden hose. This method is effective, inexpensive, and great for small above-ground pools.

Step 1

Connect the vacuum bag to the right end of the garden hose vacuum body. This vacuum bag collects the dirt and debris you vacuum up from the swimming pool.

Step 2

Attach the telescopic pole into the handle hole on the garden hose pool vacuum.

Step 3

Connect the end of your garden hose to the spigot on the vacuum.

Step 4

Switch off your swimming pool filtration system.

Step 5

Turn on the water to the garden hose and submerge the vacuum into the pool.

Step 6

Use the telescoping pole to steadily and slowly move the vacuum along the surface of the pool to remove dirt and debris.

If the vacuum cleaner loses suction while you are vacuuming your pool, pull it out and empty the bag. If it is still inefficient, turn off the water, then turn it on again before submerging the vacuum back into the pool.

Step 7

Finally, switch on the filtration system to remove any dirt that might be left in your pool after vacuuming.

How to Maintain Intex Pools

How to maintain Intex pools

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There’s endless information on how to care for a traditional swimming pool properly. But how does Intex pool maintenance differ from traditional inground or above-ground pool maintenance? Below are tips on how to care for and maintain an Intex pool.

1. Use Tap Water to Fill Your Pool

Ordering pool water for your Intex pool is not the only option you have for filling your pool. You can fill the Intex pool with plain tap water.

Connect a garden hose to your outdoor tap, then drop the other end in the pool and get your pool filled with clean water.

2. Upgrade Your Filtration System

The filtration system included with your Intex above-ground pool isn’t large enough to remove all the contaminants. Therefore, you have to upgrade to a more efficient system. 

Intex pool filtration system

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Here are the benefits of upgrading to a better filtration system:

  • It prevents poor water conditions.
  • Better suction and circulation keep the pool cleaner.
  • A large pump makes it easier to vacuum your pool.

3. Vacuum Often

The filtration system cannot remove everything, so it is advisable to vacuum at least once or twice a week. Vacuuming prevents algae growth, allows chemicals like chlorine to work better, and keeps your pool water clean.

You can use any of the vacuuming methods above to keep your Intex swimming pools clean.

4. Get a Robotic Pool Cleaner

Get a robotic pool cleaner if you need a more simplified way to clean your pool. This automatic cleaner has an electric motor that generates suction to remove debris and dirt from the pool. The debris is stored in a separate filter bag attached to the cleaner.

Besides saving you time, robotic pool cleaners also save you money and energy. They require low voltage to run. Hence they don’t consume much energy, saving you up to 50% on energy bills compared to other pool cleaning equipment.

5. Get a Monitoring System

Chemical imbalances in a pool can cause scaling, cloudiness, algae, and skin irritation. With the help of a smart pool monitoring system, you can detect imbalances and take action. 

The smart pool monitoring system allows you to check and manage the following

i) Chlorine Levels

Too much chlorine can cause skin irritation, and too little chlorine does not sanitize your pool. Keeping track of chlorine volume will help you maintain balanced levels in your pool.

ii) Calcium Hardness

Calcium is essential to pool health, but an imbalance can result in corrosion and scaling. A smart monitoring system can help you keep track of calcium levels.

iii) PH Levels

An imbalanced pH can pose problems such as low water quality, damage to equipment, and skin irritation. A monitoring system ensures that your pool water’s pH levels are balanced. 

6. Use High-Quality Chemicals

Maintaining your Intex pool can be expensive, and you may be tempted to cut costs and purchase cheap pool chemicals. However, poor-quality chemicals can pose some serious issues. Low-quality pool chemicals throw off your pool’s water balance, damaging the pool’s liner and other pool system components. Adding chemicals in the wrong quantities could also irritate skin and damage hair.

Most of the pool chemicals sold at the local stores have fillers and various chemical formulations that might not perform as well as full-strength versions. Using high-quality chemicals will not only save you the headache of balancing your pool water’s chemistry but also extend your pool’s lifespan. So, purchase high-quality chemicals from a specialized merchant.

7. Invest in a Pool Cover

Pool covers are designed to keep swimming pools clean and reduce evaporation and energy costs. Here is how using covers such as solar pool covers makes maintaining your pool easier.

Intex solar pool cover

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  1. Pool cover keeps out debris by preventing everything from twigs, dead insects, and leaves from making their way into your pool.
  2. Reduces chemical use:Too many chemicals could cause respiratory allergies and irritation. Using a pool cover could reduce your pool’s chemical consumption by 30 to 50 percent.
  3. Covering a heated Intex pool at night helps keep it warm, meaning you can enjoy a swim in the pool on a chilly day. Also, you will use less energy to heat your pool, saving you money on your electricity bills.

8. Use Cleaning Accessories

There are several pool cleaning accessories you can use to maintain your Intex pool. Here are a few cleaning tools to make maintaining your pool less exhausting:

  • Skimmer net that helps you fish out large objects.
  • A vacuum brush helps you clean areas of the pool that a standard vacuum head cannot clean.
  • Floating chlorinator that floats around your pool and sanitizes it by adding chlorine. It is an effortless and efficient way to keep your pool chlorinated.
  • A surface skimmer that draws water in from the surface of your pool, eliminating sunscreen, pollutants, hair, and body oils. The skimmer’s suction power is so discreet, and you won’t even notice it’s cleaning.

9. Regularly Clean and Replace the Filter

The pool filters have the heavy task of capturing debris that might pollute your pool. Therefore, they should be cleaned once or twice a week. It is also essential to replace the filter cartridge when it’s not performing well. It is recommended to get a new filter every three to five years.

10. Do Weekly Shock Treatments

Shock treatments involve powdered chlorine that kills bacteria, algae, and other contaminants. Weekly shock treatments will help the chlorine work its sanitizing magic.

The best time for shock treatments is at the end of the day, preferably when the sun has gone down. This is because the sun will cause the chlorine to evaporate out of the pool.  Additionally, shocking brings the chlorine to levels that might irritate eyes and skin, so ensure no one is in the pool during treatment.

11. Run the Pools Pump at Least Eight Hours Daily

The pool’s pump keeps water flowing, preventing algae growth. Additionally, moving water directs debris and dirt into the filters and keeps your pool water clean and crystal clear. 

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Vacuum Intex Pool Types

Vacuuming Intex pools

1. How can I use a skimmer system to vacuum Intex pool?

A skimmer system is an automatic cleaning device connecting directly to the pool’s skimmer. It uses the pool’s skimmer suction power to remove debris from the pool water. To use it, attach it to the skimmer using a hose with a vacuum head at the other end and move it across the surface of the pool.

The debris collected will pass through to a filter strainer basket, which should be cleaned regularly to keep the cleaner working properly.

2. Do I vacuum an Intex pool on a backwash or waste setting?

If you are vacuuming a lot of heavy debris from your pool, the filter setting should be turned to the waste setting. Don’t use the backwash setting. The goal is to bypass the filter entirely, which is what the waste setting does. Backwashing will reverse water flow through the sand filter to clean it out.

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Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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