Monday, October 3, 2016

Making a Pool Adapter to Fit Big Pump on Little Intex Pool

Difficulty Level (Easy, Medium, Hard, Insane):

We bought a 12' round (2' deep) cheap-o walmart intex pool last year and the kids loved it. This year, I acquired a larger (used) pool with all the fancy accessories but because the kiddos are still pretty small we decided not to put up the big one this year.

Along with the new-to-us pool, I also got a solar heater and a 1hp pump with filter. Since this summer was pretty crappy, I wanted to see if I could hook up the small pool to the large pump and solar heater.

For the first few months I just put the suction hose right into the pool, over the ridge and then through the pump, filter, solar heater and back into the pool, but it was a bit of a pain in the butt to cover it without the wind blowing it off so I figured if I could hook up the two outlets to the pump suction I'd only have to have one hose go back into the pool over the edge.

The only problem was that the two intex outlets were about an inch inside diameter and the suction hose for the bigger pump was about 1-5/8" so I called the store to see if they had some sort of adapter but she played the liability card and said that they wouldn't be allowed to sell us anything rated for a larger pump because of the risk of a kid getting stuck to the suction cups.

After some more testing I realized that it was all baloney and there was literally no way anyone or anything could get stuck to the outlets since it had a fairly large mesh around it and even the bigger water pump didn't suck out enough water to make it dangerous.

What I ended up doing was taking a chunk of solid ABS, cut some 1.250" slugs out of it, turned them to size, glued them into a regular 1.500" ABS T-connector and fitted a barbed PVC piece on the other end. What I ended up was a T-connector with two (approximately) 1" diameter ends and one 1-5/8" end. All that was left to do was hooking up the hoses to the T-connector and to the water pump and I as able to put the bigger pump to good use.


The slug of ABS I cut on the metal band saw
Dividing up the slug
I had to cut the slug by hand because the band saw kept melting the ABS
Drilling out a smaller slug
Another view
The rough stock ready for center drilling
Drilling the center to 1/2", then to 1" so I could use the boring bar on the lathe
The two blanks ready to turn
The blanks in the lathe
The second blank getting ready for boring
Another view
Gluing it to some 1-1/2" ABS pipe
One part done
Boring the second part
Cutting some more 1-1/2" ABS pipe on the table saw
Facing the front of the adapter ring
Gluing the bored part with the adapter ring together
Gluing the two smaller ends into the ABS T-connector
Starting to work on the larger end
Using a pice of PVC for the larger end
The PVC again, glued to an adapter ring first, then turned to size
A sample of what I want to end up with
Cutting the barbs into the PVC with a left-hand cutting tool
The finished, larger, barbed end
Another view
I forgot to cut the o-ring grooves into the piece so I had to do some fancy jigging with an iron core clamped into the chuck and press-fit to the smaller 1" diameter ABS end
Another view
The finished adapter
Another view
The pool and the adapter in all its glory
Close-up of the installed adapter
Metal lathe & accessories
Metal band saw
Bi-metal hole saw kit

3" of 4" diameter ABS
ABS/PVC glue


2 hrs


It works great


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