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Thread: First time buying a pool need Help!

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    First time buying a pool need Help!

    Hello!!! This is my very first post although I have been reading for awhile. Love this site, is so full of information. We have never own a pool before so this is all new to us. The size of the pool we are getting estimates for will be 36' x 15' rectangular or L shape (we keep changing our minds on this) from 4' to 6' deep. If we do the L would be to build a sun shelf and stairs on that side otherwise a simple rectangular with no sun shelf and no spa. The pool will be for exercise and do some physical therapy. We have no kids and do not socialize much.

    We are trying to decide on a heater between Jandy Pro Series JE Heat pump or Gulf Stream GPS automation. One of the pool builders told me the GulfStream was more economical on the electrical bill. She went further to say it would only be about $40.00 a month?? The other question is salt system, between the Jandy or Copilot Ozonator.

    I have to say I called 2 pool builders and after a month they are still working on a proposal. I am very dissapointed about that so I called another 2 pool builders and at least I got some response. I really wanted to have my pool ready by November but it doesn't seem it's going to happen. By the way we live in Miramar, Florida.

    I appreciate any comments, advise, suggestion, anything. Thanks so much!
    Miramar, Florida

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: First time buying a pool need Help!

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    I am confused about your question on the salt system. We do not recommend ozonators or UV systems for outdoor residential pools. A SWG is certainly a nice to have so you do not have to add chlorine every day, but you still need to be testing and adjusting often.

    Have you discovered Pool School yet? Start with these to learn about the chemistry:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool

    Also take a look at the Pool School - Construction section.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: First time buying a pool need Help!

    Hi Jason, thank you for your reply. Yes, it is residential and outdoor pool so I should not get the copilot Ozonator system then. One of the pool builders is giving me the option of the Jandy, AquaPure salt water sanitizing or Copilot Ozonator which combines salt chlorine generator with ozone generator.

    Thank you for the links, I will check them out right now.
    Miramar, Florida

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    Re: First time buying a pool need Help!

    I would pass on the ozone system. I use ozone with my reef tanks to increase my ORP (Oxidation Reduction Poetential). The ozone essentially burns off or oxidizes excess organics without killing my fish, invertebrates or beneficial bacteria. Chlorine kills everything and I mean everything...so ozone is just not needed . HTH!
    39YO 13K gallon former SWAMP/MONEY PIT, concrete bottom/Fiberglass Walls, Ecotech VS pump, Hayward Sand Filter, Dolphin DX5 Plus, Loop-Loc safety cover and YES, I have a TFT-100 test kit!

    Shock Level and Maintain - CL/CYA Chart

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    Re: First time buying a pool need Help!

    Thank You Jaduck for your reply. Just to clarify I am getting either system AquaPure or Copilot for the same exact price.

    Any advise on the heater?

    Tomorrow we will meet with one of the PB so hopefully we can make our decision and get our pool build.
    Miramar, Florida

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    Re: First time buying a pool need Help!

    I live in a differetn climate than you do, but is a pool heater a big need in Florida where the weather is warm? Maybe I'm answering my own question, but maybe you need the heater in the fall adn winter.

    The other question that I have is about your shape choice. To me the L shape is a higher end pool. And in your scenarios, you have the higher end option with high end options like a sun shelf. Or you have the lowe end option without any options with it. Can you provide any mroe details about your goals for the pool, and why your two options are on such opposite ends?
    IG W/Vinyl Liner Oval 18x40, 21K gal, Oval 3'-8'
    Pentair Intelliflo VS Pump, Sand Filter

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    Re: First time buying a pool need Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Yev View Post
    I live in a differetn climate than you do, but is a pool heater a big need in Florida where the weather is warm? Maybe I'm answering my own question, but maybe you need the heater in the fall adn winter.

    The other question that I have is about your shape choice. To me the L shape is a higher end pool. And in your scenarios, you have the higher end option with high end options like a sun shelf. Or you have the lowe end option without any options with it. Can you provide any mroe details about your goals for the pool, and why your two options are on such opposite ends?
    Hi Yev! Have gotten quotes for both types and so far is all pretty much the same. With the rectangular will get more deck space (travertine). On both was quoted for a couple of water features, and 2 jets on deeper end bench. I don't want the sun shelf in the rectangular pool because I don't want to take any space from the length so we can swim. The pool will be as I mentioned for swimming and therapeutic PT so I would like a comfortable 83-86 and will love to extend the use of the pool as much as possible. I have many friends with pool without heater and don't even use the pool for a full 6 months. I originally wanted the L for easy entrance for me and I thought my dogs (we have 3 dogs) will like the sun shelf. Not sure about that though, I know they will swim but I wonder if they would want to lay down on the sun shelf. We do not have kids and do not socialize much, mostly never really. I will put a hand rail on either one. I used to get PT at the hospital pool and the temperature was always 90 degrees going with a 6' deep end so I am kind of taking that as reference. I am a breast cancer survivor with many, many issues...

    I was talking with my neighbor who is building a pool now, they just put the Gunit on his pool. They decided to install solar panels so that is another possibility. Maybe add the solar panels now and leave it ready for a heater pump if we feel we need that in a future??? So many decisions, We just like to make the right one. We do not want to save a few dollars on equipment that will cost us later.

    Thanks again for the comments and suggestions.
    Miramar, Florida

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    Re: First time buying a pool need Help!

    Cleoland thanks for the explanation. I just wanted to get a feel for what your thought processes were, and that helped a lot. I have a vinyl lined pool, an oval 18x40. While I know it is different than gunnite, You can click HERE to see a picture if you want. (Had to use a wide angle lense so it looks a bit curved, but it is a true oval).picture of what we did.

    I had similar goals as you, in that I did not want to lose space inside the pool for a bench, sun shelf or stairs. Therefore, what we did, is we put the stairs outside of the pool shape, and then largely increased the top shelf to make it into a shallow sun shelf. The top step basically is a platform that has a water depth of about 4.5 inches (the height of the standard first step into a pool) and then it is 9 foot across and 6 feet front to back. So I ended up with a shelf and stairs, and did not lose pool space. If you look at the picture, it is far easier to see than what my words are trying to say.

    When I built my pool, I decided to wait on my heater, though I had the electrician pre-wire for a heat pump. That way the pad for the equipment is big enough to hold it, and the wiring is already done and waiting for me. Therefore once I decide I want to add it, it becomes a pretty simple task.

    Agree on the not needing an ozonator. But the SWG will work well for you in Florida.

    Here are some other random thought in no particular order.

    If you want an automated cleaner, then get a robot that has its own extention cord and plugs into the wall. Make sure you have a GFCI outlet near the pool. This is better than a Pressure Side or Suction side cleaner.

    Make sure that you have enough returns on the pool. 36x16, I would guess that 4 returns will allow you to end up with pretty good circulation. 2 skimmers is a nice option. If at all possible, try to place at least one of the skimmers downwind from the prevailing wind. This will allow the skimmer to catch things mush easier. Many people put eh skimmers upwind, or have them on teh side, and then you are relying on the returns to shoot the debris into the skimmer. Let the wind do the work for you.

    Others may disagree, but for me, pool lighting is overrated. For a rectangle that size, one light in the deep end pointing towards teh shallow will probably be enough if you use the standard 500W light. If you use LEDs, then maybe get two, as teh LEDs are nto as powerful in terms of lumens produced. To me, the lighting in the pool is for ambiance in a party mode. I prefer to swim at night with little to no light. The light just attracts bugs. I rarely ever turn on the light. Well, I will turn the light on, make sure there are no critters swimming in the pool, and then turn the light off.

    Pool depth is a big debate issue here. For me, I have a diving pool, so 3 foot to 8 foot. I love that I have a deep end, because I like to tread water as a bit of a workout. As someone who is jsut over 6 foot tall, it is nice to be able to easily not hit the bottom.
    IG W/Vinyl Liner Oval 18x40, 21K gal, Oval 3'-8'
    Pentair Intelliflo VS Pump, Sand Filter

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    Re: First time buying a pool need Help!

    Hi Yev, thank you for sharing the picture of your pool, very nice. My husband is 6'1" so originally he wanted to be 7' deep but all 4 PB that we spoke to told us this area it's just full of rock and they don't even guarantee they can go to 6'. We live in a cero lot property so they can only use a small machine to dig.

    Okay, thanks again.
    Miramar, Florida

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    Re: First time buying a pool need Help!

    The concern about rock is valid. But, do not let the builder be lazy, and just say they could not go deeper. Watch the excavation. See for yourself how many rocks they are getting. Of course you are not a professional excavator, but you will be able to see if they put their bucket in the ground and come up with a scoop full of rocks, or a scoop full of nothing. If it is half full of rock, then they can still go deeper. If it is mostly empty, then they are probably hitting bottom. You may want to ask what happens if they hit heavy rock at 3 foot depth. Will they power through to get to a minimum depth for you? Will they charge you extra for harder work and extra time to get to a minimum depth. Im not proposing you be difficult with your builder, but you have to be prepared to deal with issues that can arise.

    When I built my pool, my builder said excavation should take 12 hours, but his quote included up to 16 hours. I had lots of rock, and they needed 19 hours, so I was left with a bill of 3 hours of excavation time.

    And when you sing you final agreement with your pool, they PB will give you a payment plan. For my build, the day the excavation was complete, I paid a certain amount. The day the pool materials arrived (walls, pump, etc.) I paid an amount. The day the pool deck was done, I paid a check. And the day the deck was approved by the building inspector, AND I agereed there were no open issue, I paid the final amount. The key is to never give 100% of payment until the pool is complete and has passed inspection. No reputable PB should have an issue with this. Of coruse, you have to be reasonable, you cannot hold back 50% of payment, but try to get them to agree to the final 5% upon completion. If they object, simply say "I understand that you need to make money on this pool, but why would you object to making sure the pool passes inspection and has no open issues before getting final payment?" If they try to answer with I need to pay my people and for my materials, you can then follow up ans ask "so you are making no money on this pool? Seems like my request is reasonable and fair"
    IG W/Vinyl Liner Oval 18x40, 21K gal, Oval 3'-8'
    Pentair Intelliflo VS Pump, Sand Filter

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    Re: First time buying a pool need Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleoland View Post
    Thank You Jaduck for your reply. Just to clarify I am getting either system AquaPure or Copilot for the same exact price.

    Any advise on the heater?

    Tomorrow we will meet with one of the PB so hopefully we can make our decision and get our pool build.
    If the copilot is made by Autopilot it is suppose to be a very good unit...and I have heard that Jandy has more issues. Some others may have better advice! I chlorinate with bleach, so my opinion is not great. I would not rely on the Ozone part of the system, just use it for chlorination, if that is even possible.

    I have heard really good things about Raypac heaters and that is what will replace my old LAARS heater.
    39YO 13K gallon former SWAMP/MONEY PIT, concrete bottom/Fiberglass Walls, Ecotech VS pump, Hayward Sand Filter, Dolphin DX5 Plus, Loop-Loc safety cover and YES, I have a TFT-100 test kit!

    Shock Level and Maintain - CL/CYA Chart

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    Re: First time buying a pool need Help!

    Thanks so much for your comments and suggestions. We met last night with one of the PB and we decided to go with them. At least one decision made. We love the pool design now just trying to make a decision on travertine or concrete paver ha. Anyway, we are getting very close to purchase our pool. Okay so here is one of the pictures of the pool.
    image.jpg
    Miramar, Florida

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