The Intex Prism Frame Pool is an excellent and affordable way to get a pool in your backyard. Intex became very popular for its Easy Set Pools. The company decided it was on to something and wanted to expand its market, but it couldn’t do that with the air ring pool. The sides aren’t sturdy enough for the larger sizes. These Prism Frame pools come in several sizes, from 10’ X 30” round pools to the massive rectangular 10’ X 30” pool.
Once you choose between a round and rectangular shaped pool, the questions begin to mount. Which size can your property accommodate? Do you have little ones who will be the primary users? Do you have teenagers who need more space to swim and horse around? Is it easy to set up and maintain?
Are the Prism Frame Pools worth all the hype that they get? We decided to try one and find out.
Installation: 4.0 / Fairly easy but time-consuming
If this is the first pool you’ve ever had, installation can be a pain because you need to make sure the ground where you want it is flat. It’s a lot of hard work, but once the ground’s ready, set-up is pretty simple.
You can put this pool directly on the ground as long as there are no sharp objects underneath, but we learned the hard way that you need a tarp as a screening. We have some hardy grass that grew right through the bottom of the liner. You will also need a ground cover if you put it on concrete with a rough surface.
The liner is stiff when it first comes out of the box, so we would recommend that you open it up and let it warm up in the sun while you get the poles and sort them out. The liner is more maneuverable when it’s warm.
There are a lot of parts involved in putting these pools together. It can be a little overwhelming when you first see them all, so make sure you have a buddy or two there to help. The first thing to do is visit the Intex website and watch the instructional video for your pool. Intex ships new pools with an instructional DVD, but we didn’t have a DVD player on hand. It was much easier to pull up the videos on a portable tablet computer and have it at the site.
Intex claims that these pools only take 30 to 90 minutes to set up, depending on the size. It took four of us a little over three hours.
Durability: 4.4 / Good to very good
We have owned Intex Easy Set Pools in the past, so we were familiar with the air ring at the top that holds in the water. Those are nice, they don’t offer the best stability, so we decided to upgrade a bit.
The sidewalls are the same thick material as the Easy Set Pools, but the metal frame makes them 1,000 times sturdier. The Easy Set is held up by an air ring that doesn’t offer any support to the body of the pool. If you’re on the slightest slope, the whole pool will sit lopsided, and water will flow over one side and ultimately cause it to collapse.
The metal frames on the Prism Frame Pools give the walls more rigidity. Although it’s important that your pool is on a flat surface, if it isn’t perfect, the pool will still sit firmly in place. The walls are soft and flexible, but they don’t have nearly as much give, thanks to the stiff support poles, which are also rust-resistant.
Pump: 3.5 / Average
Intex supplies the smallest possible pumps with its pools. While they can keep the water circulating, we didn’t think it kept our pool as clean as it could, so we upgraded to a bigger one. We still used an Intex brand, just more substantial, and it works great. You may want to consider upgrading before you even install the first pump.
We also added a skimmer to the system. It sucks debris off the top of the pool and keeps it nice and clean. You can use a hand skimmer for this, but we highly recommend one that attaches to the pump.
Sizes: 4.8 / Excellent
Intex Prism Frame Pools come in many different sizes to fit different needs. The smaller circular ones are perfect for families with small yards and young children. Some of them are the same sizes that are available in the Easy Set Pool line, but they’re sturdier and last longer.
Others are as large as the Ultimate Frame Pool line, with several sizes available in between. We have the 14’ X 42” and find that it fits our needs nicely. Find the size that fits your yard and your family the best.