How to Winterize an Intex Pool the Easy Way

Michael Keenan


Pool Maintenance

Preparing your Intex pool for the cold weather is essential if you want to keep it in good condition throughout winter. This easy to follow guide will show you exactly what needs to be done so that you can enjoy using your Intex pool again when summer comes around.

I’ll cover checking city/county rules before disposing of water, cleaning & drying equipment and liners, storing items safely, and dumping filter cartridges. This article covers everything you need to know about prepping an Intex swimming pool for winter!

These pools are not really suited for winter and we are going to help you take care of it before you regret getting a pool in the first place.

winterizing an intex pool

Quick Answer:

Winterizing an Intex pool is a simple process that involves draining the water, cleaning and drying the liner, pump, and filter, storing them in a dry space indoors, and getting a new filter cartridge.

Following this guide step by step will help you properly winterize an Intex pool so it’s ready to use again next summer without any structural damage or health risks. Keep reading for all the details.

What Does ‘Winterize a Pool’ Mean?

To winterize a pool means to get it ready for the cold months of the year – also called closing the pool. If you live in a warm climate you’re lucky – you might never need to worry about winterizing!

When you winterize your pool, it is important to take measures to protect it from the damaging effects of cold temperatures. For traditional inground or regular above ground pools, this usually means removing equipment and draining out any water that could freeze and cause damage.

It also involves adding chemicals to the water to prevent black algae, bacteria, and mold from growing while your pool is covered and not in use. That’s for pools in general.

Winterizing Intex Pools

However, winterizing an Intex pool requires a slightly different approach due to their lightweight construction. Since these pools are partially inflatable, leaving them exposed in cold weather can result in extreme damage such as rupturing of the lining.

This can be a costly problem that might even lead you needing to buy a new pool if repair is not possible. That’s why Intex advises draining and disassembling your pool when temperatures drop below 41°F (5°C).

It’s definitely worth following this precautionary measure so that you can enjoy your cozy winter by the fire – without worrying about a messy pool collapse!

So, winterizing is not an option but a necessary step in maintaining an Intex swimming pool. If where you live has cold winters.

intex swimming pool

The best way to prevent ice damage, which is the whole point of winterizing a pool, is to store it well and avoid freezing temperatures. Intex pools are meant to be drained before winter. Don’t worry. I’ve broken down the process into easy to follow steps so that you get it right.

If you have installed a saltwater system in your Intex pool you will still need to follow this guide. The only special considerations are to make sure to drain and clean the parts of the salt water generator. Everything else should still apply.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Close an Intex Pool

At a glance, this may seem like a long-drawn process tempting you to give up. But they are fairly easy. So, don’t let your impatience get the better of you.

Step One: Check Your City/County Rules

The first thing to do is check if your city or county has specific rules about disposing of the water from a swimming pool. Some places have strict rules to protect the environment.

Step Two: Clean Your Pool and Get Ready to Drain It

It’s a good idea to clean the pool before you drain it. Remove any attached appliances and accessories from the pool – ladders, chlorine dispensers, toys. Clean them and store them in a dry place so that they are ready to use after winter.

You must also make sure the stainer grid which connects the pool to the filter is clean. If it is not, remove the debris and replace it.

Then, clean the water and vacuum the pool on the sides and the bottom. This will help keep the pipes free of debris when you drain your pool.

I have a detailed guide on how to unclog swimming pool pipes – check it out if you need help.

Step Three: Connect the Garden Hose to the Drain Connector

Check the drain plug that is inside the pool and make sure it is plugged in. Find the drain connector and attach its thin end to the female end of the hose. The side of the hose that is attached to the faucet is referred to as the female end.

Make sure the other end of the hose is not pointed towards anything that can be structurally compromised.

intex pool filter removal

Step Four: Drain the Pool

To drain the pool, remove the cap from the drain valve and attach it to the drain connector and hose. Make sure the connector is tightly attached to the valve. Push the connector into the valve and let the water flow.

Be prepared to wait a while for the pool to drain. Check the progress every so often to make sure the connection is secure and the draining is happening smoothly.

Make sure the hose does not move while the pool water is still flowing out. Let this happen till the water in the pool can no longer be drained using the garden hose. As the water levels go down, start cleaning the sides of the pool with a soft cloth.

If you use rough materials, it will damage the liner of your pool. Once you are done cleaning, you can lift one side of the pool to drain the remaining water.

Step Five: Dry the Pool

Once the draining process is complete, you must leave the pool to dry for a bit. You can simply leave the pool standing and let the air dry it. You can also use a wet/dry vacuum and some dry towels to help it along.

Make sure the pool is dry on the inside and the outside so that there is no chance for mildew. You can also use talc powder to make sure there is no remaining moisture. Screw in the drain cap onto the valve.

Step Six: Let the Liner Dry

If there is a frame to your Intex pool, make sure you follow the owner’s manual and take it down. Allow the different pieces of the frame to dry well before you can store them in a dry place. Meanwhile, let the liner air dry.

Step Seven: Fold the Intex Pool Liner

This is an important step and one that a lot of pool owners struggle with. Not to worry. There are quite a few ways to fold the liner and we got the easiest one for you. The idea here is to get the liner into a circle or square shape.

Start by folding one-sixth of the liner at each side of the pool. This will form a square. Then fold the two opposite sides on themselves two times to form a long rectangle.

At this point, the sides of the pool should be along the center seam. This indicates that the two sides are folded. Then fold the pool along the center seam in half.

folding an Intex liner

If you look at the owner’s manual, this step is described as “closing a book”. Starting at one end of the liner, remove the air by pushing it out towards the other end. Roll and unroll the liner to make sure the compression is tight.

Then fold the bottom fourth of the liner up towards the center. The top fourth of the liner should go down in the opposite direction.

When you’re done, the ends meet at the center seam. Fold the liner along the seam. If you don’t find any edges exposed, you have done a good job. If not, don’t worry too much. As long as your liner is dry, any kind of folding that helps you store it safely works.

Step Eight: Secure All the Dried Items in Storage

Make sure your pool and its accessories are stored in a frost free space, away from spaces that are visited by mice and birds. You must also look for critters that can chew through vinyl.

You must also store the pump and filter after thoroughly drying them out. Make sure you drain and sanitize the pump and filter chamber. They must be completely dry before you place them in storage.

If you keep all the attachments in one place, setting up your pool next summer will be an easy task.

Step Nine: Dump the Filter Cartridge

Your Intex pool filters are actually quite cheap. So it makes no sense to clean and store them for many months. It is a safer and more hygienic practice to get a new one when you are ready to get the pool back in the yard.

Although, if that doesn’t sound right, remember that you can reuse these cartridges as long as you can clean them completely. The moment you can’t do that, it’s time to dump the pool filters.

Your Intex pool is now completely winterized and ready to be stored. Make sure there is no stagnant water in your backyard from all the draining activity. Little puddles are a welcome invitation to mosquitoes and other insects.

above ground pool in back yard

Some Hiccups along the Way?

One of the common problems while winterizing an Intex pool is trouble with finding the drain plug. More often than not, these caps are just under the edge of the pool. But if you can’t locate it for some reason, there are other ways to drain the pool.

You can push a garden hose into the water, secure one end of it with a tape or string once it is full. Cap the other end with your hand and pull the hose over the wall of the pool. Place it as close to the ground as possible, release your hand and let the water drain.

This works as long as there is enough water in the pool. You can do the same with a vacuum hose. You can also use a small sump pump to drain an Intex pool. Plug-in the garden hose and place the pump at the bottom of the pool.

Bottom Line

Winterizing your Intex pool is very important to make sure it is not absolutely destroyed (or repulsive) when you come back to it next summer. It also keeps your pool from falling prey to ice damage.

Winterizing an Intex pool is a simple process that should be done before the cold winter months arrive.

By following the steps above, you can easily prepare your pool and store it in a dry place indoors. Remember, replacing the filter cartridge with a new one will ensure proper hygiene for the next time you use your pool.

Lastly, make sure to check city or county rules regarding disposing of large amounts of water from swimming pools. You don’t want to get into trouble now do you?

Thanks for reading.

michael keenan author

Author - Michael Keenan

I'm Michael Keenan the owner and creator of the Outdoor Care Guide. I'm a trained horticulturist with over 30 years of experience in pool care, plant care, and landscape care! Seemed like a good idea to share - I think I can make your life easier and save you some time and money!