Intex specializes in low cost and mid-range vinyl and steel frame above ground pools. The Prism Frame Pool Set series consists of some of their most affordable steel frame above ground pools.
The pools are constructed with a 3-layer PVC and a lightweight steel frame for support.
Similar to other Intex steel frame pools, the Prism Frame is very easy to set up, and it comes with everything you need including a filter pump (though most customers opted to upgrade to a stronger sand filter), a ground cloth, a pool cover, and a ladder.
Read on for our full review.
If you are still not sure which above ground pool is right for your needs, read our in-depth buying guide to compare the Intex Prism Frame vs. other above ground pools.
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The pool has a total footprint of just under 100 square feet (including the pool itself, the harness frame and the ladder). You can set it up indoors or in your backyard.
The Intex Prism Frame has a PVC and steel construction.
The liner is a 3-ply PVC material that’s designed to resist punctures and tears. It’s also not degraded by weather elements.
To support the weight of the water, a steel frame rings the pool. It consists of steel tubing that snaps together easily.
The tubes are powder coated both on the inside and outside to keep out corrosion and rust.
Aesthetically, the pool looks nice. The white steel frame against the blue of the liner makes for a good overall look that complements your backyard.
2. True Swimming Depth
Though not very wide, the Intex Prism Frame is deep enough for actual swimming. The 42” depth is comparable to some in-ground swimming pools.
While you may not be able to do your laps as comfortably as in a large rectangular pool, you can at least do more than just splashing about.
If you have kids, they can swim from one end to the other.
3. Filter Pump with Hydro Aeration Technology
The Prism Frame pool comes with a cartridge filter pump with a flow rate of 1,000 gallons/hour.
The pump contains a replaceable cartridge that filters out debris, algae and other contaminants from the water.
When the pump is on, you may notice some air bubbles from the water inlet where the water comes back into the pool.
This is caused by the pump’s Hydro Aeration technology. It mixes air with the filtered water coming into the pool.
According to Intex, Hydro Aeration improves filtration by clamping fine particles together. The particles sink to the bottom of the pool where they are easier to remove.
Hydro Aeration also introduces negative ions into the water, which gives the pool a fresher feel. Negative ions are also good for your skin and overall health.
The technology also has an aesthetic benefit. Because of the air bubbles, it makes the water appear clearer and more sparkly.
4. Dual Suction Outlets
The pool has to outlet lines leading from the side of the pool. They join into a single line before connecting to the filter pump.
So what’s the deal with having two outlets?
It increases water circulation since the filter can suck more water out of the pool — increased circulation results in better filtration and cleaner water.
Put, algae and other contaminants have no time to settle and build up in the pool before they are filtered out.
The Intex Prism Frame comes with all the accessories you need including;
- A cartridge filter pump (though we recommend upgrading to a more powerful sand filter pump).
- A 15.5ft ground cloth to protect the pool liner.
- A pool cover to keep out debris. It comes with a rope tie to secure it to the pool.
- A steel ladder. You can remove it when the pool is not in use to prevent access.
- An instructional DVD to help with installation.
Issues & Concerns
The pump that’s included with the pool is not very good. The 1,000 gals/hr flow rate is pretty weak even for a small pool like this one.
It circulates the water slowly, and many customers say it doesn’t last before it gives out.
To get the best out of your new Prism Frame pool, consider upgrading to a higher flowrate sand filter pump.
For one, a sand filter lasts much longer and requires less maintenance. You don’t need to keep replacing the cartridge every few weeks. The filter can last as long as 5-8 years before you need to put in new sand.
Intex sells a series of high-quality sand filters called Krystal Clear with flow rate options ranging between 1,200 GPH and 3,000 GPH.
The 2,100 GPH option is perfect for the Prism Frame above ground pool.
Fair Quality Accessories
Intex does great to include accessories with their pools. The pool is ready to set up as soon as it arrives.
But the accessories are usually not the best quality.
Several customers say the ladder that’s included with the Prism Frame pool feels flimsy and is a bit too narrow. You may have to get a sturdier ladder if you want something long-lasting.
The top pool cover and the ground cloth feel flimsy as well. They’ll not last long.
You can use them at first, but we highly recommend investing in a tougher ground tarp that will offer better protection to the pool liner and a solar cover that will keep out debris while also warming your pool.
Steel frame pools are generally easy to assemble, this one even more so given its compact size.
The first step is to scout for a location. Find a level ground is really important to ensure the pool is stable when filled up with water. Even a slight incline will affect the pool’s stability.
You can use sand to create a level pad but add pavers under the steel feet to keep them from sinking.
Lay down the ground cloth and then spread the liner over it.
The steel frame comes next. The tubes are light and easy to snap together. So you don’t need to lift anything heavy or use any tools.
Finish by connecting the pool outlets and inlet to the pump.
Overall, it takes about 30 minutes to set up the pool. You can do it alone, but it will be faster if you have someone help you.
Filling the pool takes several hours. You can fill it up faster by calling a pool filling service.
Note: You’ll need to plug the pump into a GFCI outlet. So make sure the pool is within proximity of one when you select a location to set it up.
As for maintenance, you balance the chemicals and clean the pool as you would any other swimming pool.
During winter, you can leave the pool up or drain it and store it inside.
If you decide to leave it up, add winterizing chemicals, use a winter cover and close off the outlet and inlet ports. Store the pump and water lines inside.
Our Bottom Line
The Intex Prism Frame above ground pool is great for families looking for an affordable steel framed pool that is easy to set up and maintain.
It’s also great for families with limited space to set up an above ground pool. The pool’s 15ft width takes up little space but is still big enough to accommodate an entire family.