When I have needed advice on anything, I head to online forums. So here I am looking for advice from the experts. Please forgive the new thread; I'm sure that everything that the Mrs and I are looking to learn can be found in other threads. We had considered installing an in-ground pool and were very close to signing with a contractor. But, aside from the $40k cost, we really did not want to drastically tear up the back part of our property. So we've decided to spend one-fourth of that (maybe even 1/5th) and go with an above-ground. We've been doing our homework and spent the day today visiting two stores in the Jacksonville area - one a national company and the other a regional outfit with stores in Florida and Louisiana.
We're planning to go with a 15' x 30' oval. We do not mind spending decent money for a quality pool and components. First off, we would like to get opinions regarding salt systems and AGP. The nationwide company offers two lines that are salt-compatible. The salesperson did not appear to be terribly knowledgeable. But she did not seem to have a problem recommending salt. The other company, on the other hand, does not recommend salt and they do not sell a salt-compatible pool. Online searches seem to offer differing opinions. The Mrs found one pool expert who claimed that salt systems are fine except for possible issues with somewhat premature pump seal deterioration. But we were considering a Hayward Perflex EC40 pump & DE filter system and AQ-TROL salt system, also by Hayward. And, as one of the sales ladies mentioned, the salt is in the pool itself. And she pointed out that salt is actually far less harmful to the liner than liquid chlorine. And, again, the model that we are considering from them IS salt-compatible and, of course, has a stainless service panel. We've got two installers that we are considering using. Neither one recommends the use of salt - salt and ferrous metal are not a good combination.
We also have a question regarding the base padding. Gladon sells a kit called "Perfect Bottom" which includes the padding and cove. It is really expensive. I've found it on eBay for a little over $400. The national company that sells the pool gets over $700 for the same thing. In their store, even THEY said that we didn't really need that; they quoted us the cove for $200 and "foam liner padding" for $250. That's more than the Gladon kit on eBay but a lot less than the kit on their web site. So, in other words, is the Gladon Perfect Bottom kit worth the extra cost? Or will the foam padding and cove suffice? Also, just about everyone has told us that wall foam is a waste of money. Is this true?
Again, we want to make sure that we do this right. The last thing we want to end up doing is RE-doing it.
Thanks in advance!