Last summer we made the decision to get a pool, the small inflatable pools were just not cutting it in our hilly yard so we decided to get something a little closer to permanent. We are a family of 4 living on one income so when we encountered the $79 on sale Summer Escapes 12' x 26" above ground pool, we jumped on the opportunity. My wife's family followed suit, it is a great deal for a little summer fun (especially with two toddlers), enough water for mommy and daddy to get in, yet shallow enough that our one year old is able to stand on the bottom.

Everything was going great for about three weeks, then it started, the water started to get a little cloudy then green, we had the chemicals right, the filter just couldn't keep up. The filter itself is not much more than a slightly oversize aquarium filter. The pump, strainer, filter cartridge and chlorine holder are all in one unit. It is just not able to keep up. The only way we were able to keep the water swim worthy was to change it out about once every three weeks, water is expensive, this wasn't going to work.

I was ready to give up and take it to the dump this spring. My in-laws were ready to do the same and offered to let us have all of their parts including their clean liner and larger filter from their old pool that wasn't a direct replacement. I gathered my tools and my two apprentices and got to work making it fit.

Note: Your materials/tools may vary slightly depending on your filter/pool model.

1 - 1.25" Bulkhead union
1 - 2" x 1.5" flexible PVC coupling
Intex pool filter kit
2 - pieces of 2x lumber approximately 6" longer than the diameter of the filter's widest point.

Utility knife
Flat screw driver
1.25" hole saw
2 x pliers (slip joint, oil filter)
Sheet metal snips (optional)
2 x Bar clamps (at least 3" longer than the filter housing is tall)

Disclaimer: using power tools is inherently dangerous, please be sure to educate yourself on the dangers and proper methods for their use. Always wear proper safety equipment and be sure to keep your children safe as well. Performing this modification will most likely void your warranty and is not reversible once you start cutting, you have been warned. Modify at your own risk, be sure you understand the risks involved in cutting/modifying a vessel holding thousands of pounds of water, you are responsible for any damage or injury that may be occur.

Step 1: Remove filter from pool.

a. The filter on this model is held on with 10 metric self tapping screws. Take note of how the filter is assembled.
b. Remove stkimmer basket and any filter cartridge.
c. Disconnect the outlet hose and diffuser.
d. Remove the undersized pump from the bottom of the filter.
e. Thoroughly clean and dry the housing (unless you want green slime spread across your work area).

<p>The step about leaving the old filter cartridge out is very important, glad you included it. i remember we left ours in thinking it would help keep cotton wood seeds from gunking up the inlet strainer on our sand filter but the filter cartridge clogged very quickly and the suction force of the filters pump collapsed the skimmer in on itself. fun times.</p>
<p>yeah, i had intended on using the few cartridges we had left as a prefilter but they collapsed in on themselves without being clogged so i figured we'd be best off just tossing them. now if only we could come up with a cheap/free sand filter to replace the cartridge one.</p>
<p>There's one here at Instructables ... maybe that'll work.</p><p><a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/diy-non-pressurized-sand-filter-for-backyard-pool/" rel="nofollow">http://www.instructables.com/id/diy-non-pressurize...</a></p>
Works like a charm. I do it to.

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Bio: I have a loving wife and two wonderful daughters that are the center of my universe. I am an engineer by training, and have picked ... More »
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