How To Upgrade an Intex Pool Pump and Filter System


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You bought an Intex Pool last year and your water flow is way down, water is not clear and the Intex salt chlorine generator won't work because the water flow is below the working threshold. You tried everything including replacing a less than year old pump and filter system. Maybe it's time to look at replacing the Intex pump and filter with a better quality but affordable pump and filter set. For Intex pools less than 15,000 gallons, we are recommending Game Sand Pro 50 Filter System. It is more durable that the Intex filter-pump system and very reasonably priced.

Step by Step


Step 1

Buy Game Sand Pro 50 Filter System •For pools up to 15,000 US gallons •Ultra-quiet and easy to use •Self-priming pump •INTEX® 2 ¼ " hose adapters included •Conventional 32mm, 1 ¼ " and 1 ½ " hose fittings included •7 position multi-port valve •Accurate and easy-to-read pressure gauge •Hair and lint strainer basket •Integrated base plate •Requires 38 lbs of #20 silica sand (not included) •Compatible with alternative sand products •Operates on 110v/60Hz •1-year limited warranty

Please click here to view our Hayward above ground pump/filter systems. (specifications may vary)

Step 2

Buy Sand - No. 20 Silica Sand: 4510 – You will need 38 pounds. Sand is generally sold in 50 pound bags.

Step 3

Gather tools and other required equipment: • #2 Phillips Screwdriver. • Rubber Mallet. • A tube of a silicone-based lubricant. • One 1½ inch backwash hose long enough to drain away from the pump. • A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) Plug. If not currently installed.

Please click here to view our lubricant. 
Please click here to view our backwash hose. 

Step 4

When you receive your Game Sand Pro 50 Filter System, check that you have all the parts listed in the owner's manual. Note This Game Sand Pro 50 Filter System is designed to connect to pools with standard 1¼” or 1½” diameter hose connectors and has 2¼” hose adapters for Intex pools.

Please click here for the above ground pool hose kit. 

Step 5

Unplug the existing Intex pump. Note: the Intex pump has a GFCI built into its plug. If your power box does not have a GFCI, install one before you plug in the new pump. If you are unfamiliar with GFCI circuits, have a qualified electrician install the GFCI.

Step 6

Shut off water hoses from the skimmer and to the return port using the Intex shut off valves. This is the shut off valve for the hose to the pump. You will also have to shut off the valve at the hose returning to the pool.

Please click here to view the Intex soft side accessories page. 

Step 7

Disconnect the two hoses coming into and out of the Intex pump at the pump ports.

Step 8

Remove the Intex pump and filter

Step 9

If the Intex pump and filter set was not placed on a level hard surface, construct that surface now. We used to large patio pavers.

Step 10

Start assembling your new Game Sand Pro 50 Filter System by securing the water pump to the base plate. Use the mounting hardware provided. The flat washer and lock washer goes under the wingnut with the lock washer between the flat washer and the wingnut.

Please click here to view the Game Sandpro parts. 

Step 11

On the output port of the pump (middle top) place the 2 1/4" O-ring in the groove and lubricate it lightly with a silicon-based lubricant like Magic Lube.

Please click here to view o ring lubricant. 

Step 12

Screw the base of the filter-pump hose into the output port.

Step 13

On the input port of the pump (outside top) remove the threaded ring (collar) off the port. Check to see that the strainer basket is inside the port.

Step 14

Place the 3" O-ring in the groove around top of the hair and lint strainer basket. Lubricate the O-ring lightly.

Please click here to view o ring lubricant. 

Step 15

Place the transparent hair & lint strainer cover in place and then screw the threaded ring (collar) back on securely over the cover

Step 16

Insert O-ring inside the outward-facing opening of the transparent hair & lint strainer cover. Lubricate lightly.

Please click here to view o ring lubricant.  

Step 17

Pull the bottom strainer out of the tank. Remove any debris of spare parts and replace the strainer making sure it is set in properly.

Step 18

Insert the tank separator plate inside the main tank in the guides provided. The plate divides the tank into two compartments, the Filtered Water Chamber and the Sand Filter Chamber. Ensure it is place all the way down into the bottom groove.

Step 19

Place the base plate and pump on the level hard surface next to your pool.

Step 20

Place the filter tank on the base plate with the feet inserted into the base plate.

Step 21

Fill the sand chamber half full of water. Once the take is filled, it should not be moved. Make sure this is where you what to place the filter-pump.

Step 22

Fill the sand filter chamber with sand. Be careful not to get any sand in the filtered water chamber.

Step 23

Only fill the sand chamber to the "FILL" line marked on the partition.

Step 24

In preparation for assembling the filter tank, inspect the tank O-ring and ensure that it has no cracks or flat spots.

Step 25

Wipe any sand or debris out of the groove on top of the tank.

Step 26

Place the tank O-ring securely into the groove. Note: this may take two people to do. Lightly lubricate the top of the O-ring.

Please click here to view o ring lubricant. 

Step 27

Locate the upper distributor and press it into the center hole located under the tank cover.

Step 28

Carefully place the tank cover onto the filter tank. The tank cover should be oriented as shown so that the notch on the cover is aligned with the matching tab on the filter tank – this ensures proper alignment.

Step 29

Use the tank cover lock ring to secure the tank cover and filter tank. Make certain that the head of the hinge pin is facing up on the ring assembly. The insert shows a picture of the head of the hinge pin.

Step 30

Align the bolt with the receiving hole and squeeze the gap closed as far as you can. Hand tighten knob.

Step 31

Use a rubber mallet to tap around the ring for a better fit. Hand tighten the ring again. You may have to do this a couple of times to get the ring completely on. Have someone push on the opposite side of the tank as you are hammering.

Step 32

Connect the free end of the filter-pump hose to the filter tank by first lightly lubricating the tank intake port on the tank cover then attaching the hose to the port. Secure the hose with a hose clamp.

Step 33

The next step is to attach the filter-pump to the pool skimmer hose. Make sure the O-ring is still inserted into the transparent strainer and screw the short Intex adapter into the strainer.

Step 34

Now attach the pool skimmer hose to the short adapter with a flat gasket placed between the hose nut and the strainer adapter.

Step 35

To attach the pool return hose to the filter discharge port, first lightly lubricate the small O-ring and place it inside the long Index adapter. Then screw the adapter onto the pool return port on the filter. Note: If you find that this fitting leaks, you have to wind 4-5 layers of plumber's tape around the threads of the filter return port.

Please click here to view Teflon tape. 

Step 36

With a flat gasket inserted between the adapter and the face of the hose, screw the pool return hose onto the adapter. Note: as above, if this joining leaks, you have to wind plumber's tape on the threads of the long adapter.

Please click here to view Teflon tape. 

Step 37

Note that his pool system includes an Intex Salt Chlorine Generator between the filter-pump and the pool. The connection from the filter is the same. You will just be connecting to the Intex hose from the SCG instead of the pool. The connection fittings are the same.

Step 38

Attach a length of pipe onto the waste port which is opposite the filters return post just connected. This hose is just force fit onto the waste port.

Step 39

Open shut off valves

Step 40

Rotate the valve to position "4", Backwash. Plug in power to pump

Step 41

Check for leaks

Step 42

Turn off power to the pump.

Step 43

This is a picture of the fully assembled and installed Game Sand Pro 50 Filter System with a Intex Salt Chlorine Generator in the background.

Step 44

The new sand should be cleaned of dust and very small sand particles that will get past the bottom strainer. For instruction on cleaning the sand, see our guide and How To Operate the Game Sand Pro 50 Filter System.

Please click here to view our guide for How To Operate the Game Sand Pro 50 Filter System. 


(1 to 18 of 18)

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 9/7/2017 

Jeannie - The Intex filter/pump system is not built to last long. I would suggest replacing it with a small name brand filter/pump system like the Hayward VL Series Sand Filter System.

 Posted: 9/5/2017 

I have a Coleman 18'x48" pool using an intex SF60110 filter/pump. The filter seems to be sucking air in because I can't get it primed fully and its blowing a lot of tiny bubbles in the return. The housing between the basket and the sand filter is a little loose and the lid on the basket won't seal properly even with the silicone lubricant/sealer. Also there is a small amount of sand beneath the basket and the basket moves up and down with the surge of water/ air.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/7/2017 

Anonymous (Coleman 14x48) - We would recommend a 1 HP pump for your 14' pool. We generally recommend a 1 1/2 HP for pools 24' and larger. But you could use the 1 1/2 HP. Just cost more to run and requires a larger filter to match it. For the 1 1/2 HP, I'd recommend a Hayward Sand Filter with Top Mount Valve 18" Tank.

Anonymous  Posted: 7/5/2017 

I have a Coleman 14x48 above ground pool. Wanting to upgrade filter system. A friend gave e a Hayward power flo 1.5hp pump. Is it correct size pimp for pool and what sand filter show I get to go with it
Thank u


InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/5/2017 

Wickedirishman - I would recommend this Hayward VL Series Sand Filter System for your size pool. Hose adapters are provided.

 Posted: 6/5/2017 

I have an intex 18'x9' rectangular pool with a 4006317 1000gpm pump. The spot were the pump installs is much bigger than 1 1/2" how can I upgrade to a sand filter pump

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 3/19/2017 

Tracy - Unfortunately, we no longer sell the Game Sand Pro Systems. You will need a 1 HP pump and filter system and the least expensive 1 HP system we currently sell is the Carefree 16" Sand Filter & 1 HP Single Speed Pump. It is equivalent to systems like Hayward and Pentair and is vastly superior to what Intex provides with their systems.

 Posted: 3/15/2017 

I have an Intex above ground 32 by 16 rectangular pool with saltwater sand filtration system from Intex. It's been nothing but work and problems from day one. Despite what Intex says this system does not circulate the entire pool, we get a circle in the middle of the pool that is clean to the bottom and the water is clear but the two outer ends never gets circulated and we always wind up with algae growth and eventually if we're not dumping chlorine in it and vacuuming once or twice a week the water will turn green. It doesn't matter how we rotate the outtake, what direction it faces it never circulates all the water in the whole pool. So we want to upgrade sobwe can swim in it rather than just spend our time cleaning it, what do you recommend for the size pool?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/30/2016 

Tracey - I would recommend a Hayward VL Series Sand Filter Systems for pump/ filter set for your size pool. If you have the standard soft-sided Intex Pool, you will have to use something like an AquaTrol RJ Chlorine Generator. There are less expensive SCGs but they cannot be mounted on a soft-sided pool.

 Posted: 7/28/2016 

Hi there- I have a 18X48 Intex round pool. I am looking to upgrade the filter system for a more powerful system, and I'm interested in the salt water systems as well. Now that my pool has been opened and I have been using chlorine so far, can I upgrade mid season without having to drain the water? Which filter/pump/salt water systems do you recommend for this type of pool? Thanks!

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/2/2016 

two pumps - There is only one pump. Through this guide, you are replacing the Intex pool pump (and filter) with a Game Sand Pro 50 pump (and filter). In this configuration, you are running the pump in series with a Salt Chlorine Generator and they will operate together.

Anonymous  Posted: 6/30/2016 

Do you run both pumps at the same time then

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/17/2016 

Jackie - We do not sell Intex pools so I do not know what options they have for a pool vacuum. As far as I know, your Intex pool only has two ports, one output to the pump and one input fro the filter. Many above ground pools have a skimmer that you could attach a cleaner to but yours does not, so I don't know how you would attach a cleaner.

 Posted: 6/13/2016 

I am trying to figure out how to upgrade my sand filter for my 18x9 rectangle intext pool. I would like to change the who filter system including connections on the pool so that I would be able to use a traditional pool vacuum instead of the chincy ones intex sells. Do you have any suggestions for me or can you point me im the right direction?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 3/18/2016 

Peter - Reducing the pump's input or output from 1 1/2" to 1 1/4" will not damage the pump. And the input and output ports on the filter are 1 1/2".

 Posted: 3/18/2016 

Thank you for your prompt reply!
What if the pump outlet is 1 1/2" and the Intex swimming pool is 1 1/4"; I assume this will reduce the effective use of the pump/filter, but is there a risk of damaging the pump as it will be forcing the water through a much small connection, no?
What is the outlet size of the S180T92? 1 1/2"?
Thank you again


InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 3/7/2016 

Peter - The Hayward S180T92S pump/filter system will work on your 12' x 30" pool and will accommodate upgraded pools to 21'.

 Posted: 3/5/2016 

Hi, we have a small 12'x30" Intex which we might upgrade later. Will a Hayward S180T92S work? Is there a risk that the pump/filter is too big? Thanks in advance!