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Thread: New AGP Shoppers Seeking Advice

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    New AGP Shoppers Seeking Advice

    Hello!

    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!

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: New AGP Shoppers Seeking Advice

    Welcome. The types of bottoms and wall foam you are considering is a largely a matter of personal preference. I'm just as happy with mine with a sand bottom, NO wall foam, and NO foam cove. Make sure the pool you purchase warranties it for salt water usage. Very, very few, to even rare problems reported here on any AGP using a SWG though.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: New AGP Shoppers Seeking Advice

    Hi, welcome to TFP!

    Quote Originally Posted by SharpestJim View Post
    Hello!

    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.
    As far as salt vs freshwater, the important thing is what does the pool warranty say? If it specifically says do not use salt or it will void the warranty then don't use salt. If you want a saltwater pool then select a pool you like from a company that will keep it under warranty. As far as the installers go, did anyone ever tell them water and ferrous metal are not a good combination either? If you have unprotected ferrous metal and water gets to it you will develop rust over time. My steel AGP has visible rust on the top rails and a few rusty patches on the wall and I have never added a spec of salt to the water. Liquid bleach leaves a little salt in the water but not enough to be a factor. Get the system you want.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharpestJim View Post
    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!
    You can forgo the Gladon kit and use any combination of foam bottoms and coves for much less cost. Gorilla bottom is a popular pool floor liner/padding that can be found at a wide variety of retailers. Wall foam will not keep the pool warmer or cooler and really only acts as a barrier between the liner and the wall. Its not needed. If you want to keep the pool warmer invest in a solar cover or consider solar panels to heat the water.

    I hope this helps!
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: New AGP Shoppers Seeking Advice

    I've been relying upon the expertise of others online for the better part of twenty years. I knew that I came to the right place.

    Two of the three pools that we've been considering ARE specifically listed as salt-compatible. And I've heard good things about using SWG systems.

    I'm sure that I'll come up with more questions as we work through the process. Happy to be here. Thanks VERY much for the advice!

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    Re: New AGP Shoppers Seeking Advice

    I had my pool installed a little over a year ago. When I went to the showroom, I touched a pool with the wall foam and loved it. Then, I did some reading and decided that I did not want to risk puncturing the liner. I have no regrets for leaving it off. I have had a foam bottom in previous pools and it was nice. For this pool, the budget did not allow it so I have a Gorilla Pad. I have never said, I sure wish I had put the foam down. My bottom is level and it feels fine with the pad.
    I have had a SWG and liked it fine and I felt it saved me lots of time. With this pool, I did not do the SWG. I follow the TFP method and just add bleach. I am not good about adding bleach so I installed a liquid chlorine feeder and I love it more than I ever cared for the SWG. The liquid chlorine feeder is more hands off than my SWG ever was and if breaks, I only need $150 to replace it. I would recommend that you start with adding bleach and see how that goes. You may find that you can live without the SWG.
    Sharkline Reprieve 15x52 (3/14). Still using Intex 2650 Sand Filter with Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 3/4 HP pump (6/15). Solar Cover cut into strips for easy removal, (2) 2*10 Space Saver solar panels. Swim Jet HD Robot (by Aquabot) (3/15). Chlorine Liquidator (4 gal). 4 person hot tub. Hard pipe is the way to go for improved flow! Retired Lil Shark (3/15). Starite Max E Therm 333k BTU Propane Heater w/ 24 gal tank (7/15).

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    Re: New AGP Shoppers Seeking Advice

    Thanks, f3! I think that we're going to forego the SWG and just stick with conventional chlorination.

    Another question: Does anyone have any experience with The Pool Factory? I take online reviews with the proverbial grain of salt. But they do seem to have much more positive feedback online than negative. And, from what I've seen, their web site is terrific.

    I've put together a 15' x 30' oval Saltwater 8000 package (even though we've decided against the SWG - for now). With beaded liner, Hayward DE pump/filter kit, and Confer Roll-Guard ladder (is that a good model?), they're about $1500 LESS than what we were quoted for the Wilbar Cypress RTR JUST for the pool and liner. Not only that, but with TPF, we do not have to pay Florida sales tax which is going to save us $300 or more. So for a savings of nearly $2000 (or well over one-third), unless I hear really bad things about The Pool Factory, I'm leaning toward them.

    BTW...y'all are great. I really appreciate the advice!

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    Re: New AGP Shoppers Seeking Advice

    Had my pool installed last year. If I had to do it over again, I would get a foam bottom or some sort of mat. My sand bottom has little divits in it. Not a huge deal, but I wish they were not there. Also, if you plan to build a deck, you may want to consider that in your build cost. Our deck ended up costing just as much as the pool (but we are very happy with it). No experience with SWG (the pool store said they did not recommend it with any of the pools they sold except for the resin ones which were all smaller than what we wanted). Used the TFP method with bleach since day one and never had any problems.
    TF-100 | 13.6k gal (24' Round) AG | Chlorine | Sand Filter | Two Speed Motor | Installed June 2014 | Last Opened April 24 2016

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    Re: New AGP Shoppers Seeking Advice

    My experience

    Wall foam - I have it, I don't see the need for it (plus I found it a pain to install smoothly)

    Foam cove - I have it, and I find it so much nicer than my old sand cove. I like things consistent, and it is a consistent profile, plus it you are doing it yourself it makes life a lot easier.

    Bottom pad - I don't have one. I am kind of torn on it. I like my sand bottom just fine, except for the one small rock I can feel in the bottom that I am worried one day might poke through. I have no idea how that rock got there. I guess a pad would have been some extra insurance against rocks, but as far as feel goes, the plain sand feels fine to me.

    Salt system - I am seriously considering one. I have no idea what the warranty on my pool is, or even who makes it. I have a friend with an IG salt pool, and I just like the feel of it. Plus the idea of not having to lug jugs of bleach all the time and having something that automatically adds chlorine to the pool when I am not home appeals to me. I just have to make sure my current set up can handle it.

    -dave
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    Re: New AGP Shoppers Seeking Advice

    What to do, what to do? Lol. We definitely have opinions. Hopefully, we have helped.
    Sharkline Reprieve 15x52 (3/14). Still using Intex 2650 Sand Filter with Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 3/4 HP pump (6/15). Solar Cover cut into strips for easy removal, (2) 2*10 Space Saver solar panels. Swim Jet HD Robot (by Aquabot) (3/15). Chlorine Liquidator (4 gal). 4 person hot tub. Hard pipe is the way to go for improved flow! Retired Lil Shark (3/15). Starite Max E Therm 333k BTU Propane Heater w/ 24 gal tank (7/15).

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    Re: New AGP Shoppers Seeking Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by f3justusc View Post
    What to do, what to do? Lol. We definitely have opinions. Hopefully, we have helped.
    Most definitely, f3. And it is greatly appreciated.

    We stumbled upon the EZ Panel extruded aluminum pool which appears to be the "Mac Daddy" of AGP's. I was totally astounded, not just by the fact that dealers (especially here in Florida) are unbelievably hard to locate, but by the company's way of doing business. After having zero luck getting the company to respond to my e-mails, I found a dealer in Illinois who was kind enough to reply. Unfortunately, they do not ship to Florida. I decided to try CALLING EZ Panel. I dialed the number on their web site and received a "Hello" from the gentleman who answered. That right there turned me off. He basically told me that they were sold out for the season. At no time did he express an interest in taking my name and putting me on a waiting list. I work in sales and I was flabbergasted. I would FIRE one of my employees if they were to fail to get a customer's contact information, even if we WERE sold out of a product. The president of the dealer in IL contacted the manufacturer and got pretty much the same response from the president of EZ Panel, a Mr. Cohen. I wouldn't do business with these a******s if they were the last pool company on Earth.

    Then again, we just may end up doing business with them after all. EZ Panel, I believe, was a Wilbar company. I'm not sure if they still are. We're now looking at the Bermuda Oasis which is made by...yep, Wilbar. I'm wondering if this isn't the same pool that is sold by The Pool Factory as the Intrepid. It sure looks like the same pool. I met a pool contractor today in our local area whose name I received from an installer. The gentleman showed me some sample panels and top rail which seem to be very well-made. Not sure what make/model it was, but I'm betting that it is a Wilbar.

    I found the 15'x30' Bermuda Oasis online for less than $5000 delivered. I'm thinking that we're going to be hard-pressed to find a better deal than that. Stay tuned.

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    zombiejeep's Avatar
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    Re: New AGP Shoppers Seeking Advice

    I am hardly an expert, more like a total noob. We just had our pool installed last week. When we ordered everything they had asked us if we wanted a vermiculite bottom. "It's better than sand or foam" they said. I had thought that they were going to mix and spread the stuff. I was wrong. They compacted our area and then spread about 3" of dry, loose, vermiculite down. Then the liner was put in.

    Like I said, we are total pool noobs, so after everything was done, I searched and can't find too many places that do this. As far as feel, it is nice and soft, and squishy. I would guess it is more squishy than sand.

    The only problem so far is that since it is squishy, our feet leaves divots, and our automatic vacuum can get stuck sometimes.
    21' Revelation AGP ~10,500 gal, Pentair SD60 Sand Filter w/ 1 1/2 HP Dynamo Pump, TF-100 Kit
    Installed 07/25/2015 with city water.

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    Re: New AGP Shoppers Seeking Advice

    Just wanted to update...first to again let you all know how much I appreciate your assistance and, secondly, to let you know that we have our pool up and running.

    We ended up purchasing the 12' x 24' x 54" Intrepid extruded aluminum Wilbar pool from The Pool Factory. I've got to tell you, I can't begin to express how impressed I am with the people at TPF. I worked with Tom and he is superb. I ordered our pool on Thursday, 8/20. It as delivered last Tuesday, the 25th. Although Tom originally told me that they would not be able to ship our pool out until Monday, they ended up getting it shipped the day I ordered it. He phoned me after it was delivered to make sure everything was OK. You can't beat that kind of service.

    I had already purchased a 25 mil liner from a merchant on eBay. So Tom gave me a credit which I applied toward a Confer ladder (I'll write about that in a separate thread). I purchased a Hayward EC40C92S Perflex 1HP pump & DE filter package on Amazon. That saved me about $300 from what we were quoted for the same package from Leslie's when we first began our search over a month ago. The 1HP pump may be a bit of overkill for a 12' x 24' pool. But it sure seems to circulate the water and I guess that that's the name of the game, isn't it?

    I found, through word-of-mouth, an installer here in northern Florida/southern GA. Once we finally got the gentleman on-site, he had our pool up in two days. We paid him an arm and a leg. But after looking at all of the boxes and seeing the site work that he did to our sloped property, I cannot imagine undertaking a project like that on my own. I consider it to be money well-spent. We could not be happier.

    We did not have power to the pump when we started filling the pool Saturday. Monday morning, the pool was full and turning a pretty shade of green. The wife was not happy. I went and purchased a 12 gauge extension cord so that I could at lest fire up the pump until we could get electricity out to the pool. After adding a gallon of chlorine, it didn't take more than a couple of hours before the pool went from green to blue. By the time the Mrs got home from work, it looked gorgeous. We took our first swim last evening. Our 170 foot deep well puts out pretty cold water. I don't have a thermometer but the local springs in this area are famous for 72 degree water. The pool wasn't much warmer than that.

    Again, I wanted to express my appreciation for the kind help of strangers as we got through our odyssey. If you're considering the purchase of an AGP, I strongly urge you to contact The Pool Factory. Top-notch operation. Wish me luck as I navigate the pool chemistry waters.
    12' x 24' x 52" Wilbar (Pool Factory) Intrepid; Hayward Perflex EC40C92S DE Filter/1HP pump

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