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Thread: Automation/Robotic Cleaner At purchace-Worth it? Which pool? Stress.

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    Automation/Robotic Cleaner At purchace-Worth it? Which pool? Stress.

    Okay, I have 3 good bids for pool. They all have good reviews, etc. For a family of 3, including a 3 year old. I want to get the best for her...and her friends. We want to be the hangout place.

    But not sure what vinyl pool to get. First note, this is a simple set up, no sun decks, jets, spas or fancy decking. 35k budget and need a fence.
    ALL POOLS WITH AROUND 1000' of decking. 6 people came out, none offered drawings, so I don't have any.

    First
    17x33.5 4-5-4' sport pool from big locally own company with store front.
    3 deck jets,
    2 Color Splash® XG Series LED lights,
    Reliant SWG.
    Quad filter,
    Energy efficient Pump,
    ALL AUTOMATED
    1K Dolphin Apollo robotic cleaner
    ...but they are nickle and diming me on installing. $500 Extra for pump truck, $700 extra to spread dirt, $600 extra to make a 4-5-4 pool. Electric not included
    Total Around $30,600.

    Second
    20' x 35' grecian 4-5-4 sport,
    Hayward DE filter
    Hayward Prologic 4.0 LED,
    Hayward SWG,
    Hayward Tri-Star pump
    Electricity included
    No Automation
    and extra $450 per deck jet.
    No "extra" on install, One standard price.
    No cleaner.
    $31K without deck jets. $32,500 with deck jets

    Last
    18 x 36 4-5-4 sport,
    Sand Filter,
    Hayward SWG,
    Prologic LED Light,
    NO Automation,
    Electric included,
    Hayward Tri-Star pump
    no extra install
    NO Cleaner
    Deck jets $350 each.
    $30k. (31,500 with deck jets)

    This is eating at me...what would you do? I can fit ALL the pools in back yard with a fence that will cost me about 2K.
    Is Automation worth it?
    I know NOTHING about pools, so the easier the better.
    Is a bigger pool worth it?
    I have trees close by, should I get the robotic cleaner now, but smaller pool?
    Again, attached is my back yard...after I cut down trees in April
    image1.jpg
    Losing Sleep!

    HELP.

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    Re: Automation/Robotic Cleaner At purchace-Worth it? Which pool? Stress.

    Anyone?

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    bmoreswim's Avatar
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    Re: Automation/Robotic Cleaner At purchace-Worth it? Which pool? Stress.

    I think seeing the layouts and bigger picture of your backyard would be helpful in seeking opinions. I have automation on a simple pool and I like it for the automated lights and ease of adjusting the pump timer and SWCG percentage. At this point (new build) robot vs pressure cleaner is a no brainer to me. Robot. I went pressure with a booster but that was not the best choice. It's harder to use, uses more electricity, doesn't cover the surface better well, etc. Bigger is almost always better if space and budget allow. Don't sweat those price differences. That's a dead heat assuming apples to apples which they never really are.
    When you say good reviews, have you spoken with a few people from each PB that had pools built this year? The headaches will still be fresh in their minds.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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    Re: Automation/Robotic Cleaner At purchace-Worth it? Which pool? Stress.

    I have spoken to several folks. They all claim they service well.
    For some reason, no one has offered renderings. But it's pretty simple, nothing elaborate and about 20' away from the house, so a break from an existing patio. Not a fan of the "extra cost" for the cheaper pool, but I was told that would be the case. Still cheaper overall.

    Ideally the bigger pool and robot and automation is great...but that's putting me over 36K for that one.

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Automation/Robotic Cleaner At purchace-Worth it? Which pool? Stress.

    On your first bid for the smallest pool, depending on where your Breaker Box is and where the pool equipment will be will determine the price for the electric. But, you might figure 2000 to 2500 to get that done. For me, that would be a deal breaker with a price at 30K and then nickel and dime you on top of that.

    the automation is one of those things that's a personal choice. Thats something that can always be added later if you wanted to. Automation is not my style. They make my head hurt! I have a couple of simple timers to control the equipment. Once I have figured out how much pump run time and swg output works for my pool, I set the timers and forget it. Just have to reconfigure them a couple times a year for the season changes. (no pool closing here).

    The deck jets are cool when they work. The thing about them is the nozzle have to be kept perfectly clean so as not to disturb the water tension. So, there will be considerable mainteance associated with those if you decide to get them. Even 1 grain of sand or dirt on the nozzle will disturb the stream and cause it to start breaking up. IMO? Not worth it.

    Robot. Definitely. Do your homework though. Some are way more reliable than others.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Automation/Robotic Cleaner At purchace-Worth it? Which pool? Stress.

    Dave, thanks for the information. I am told electric would be around 2K. Automation is not a deal breaker by any means, I am not that lazy. Just something neat. Deck jets are for my little girl, but thanks for the heads up. Something to think about.

    As mentioned, it's just the 3 of us. Notice your pool of 15x30, do you ever find that it's too small?

    While a little on the wide side, seems the bigger pool might be the better deal...given its bigger?

    So with that in mind, I will write the specifics.
    20x35 grecian 4-5-4' sport bottom
    27mil liner
    1.65 Hayward Tri-Star Pump (100 gpm turnover)
    48sq ft DE filter
    skimmer/dedicated auto cleaner line
    high pressure return jets
    14 gauge steel walls
    8' poly braced concrete reinforced steps
    dual anti vortex main drains
    foam cushion between liner and wall
    aluminum coping
    hayward SWG with timer and freeze controls
    hayward pro logic LED 4.0
    One rate for electric installation ($1500)
    plumbing for slide (down the road)
    3 deck jets.
    TOTAL: $32,835 including tax


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    Re: Automation/Robotic Cleaner At purchace-Worth it? Which pool? Stress.

    Anymore thoughts before I bite?

    Others are telling me...get the toys now, as a little extra water will not mean much down the road. But a robot, deck jets, lights...will or become costly after the pool is installed.

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    Clayswen's Avatar
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    Re: Automation/Robotic Cleaner At purchace-Worth it? Which pool? Stress.

    I like paying a little more and have everything included, then the PB is responsible for the warranty issues or at least mine is. They usually get bids done cheaper than an individual also.
    102 Perimeter Freeform Pool, Rock Waterfall, Jandy Deck Jets, Depth 3'6" - 6', Stonescapes Aqua Blue Mini Pebble, Inpool Table, Rock Salt Decking, Jandy 2.0 Epump, Jandy 580 Cartridge Filter, Polaris 280 with booster pump, Jandy Power Center w/ PDA, Stenner Pump
    A country boy's pool build...Dean, Texas

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    Re: Automation/Robotic Cleaner At purchace-Worth it? Which pool? Stress.

    I bought my Robot on my own from Poolzoom, as a matter of fact I ordered it yesterday, can not wait to get it!!!

    I bought the Dolphin Triton Plus, great reviews and decent price IMO.

    Good Luck!!!!
    24X44 IG Vinyl Custom Shaped Pool, Starite S7M400 Cartridge Filter, Starite Sumpermax VS Pump, built July 2015, TF-100 Test Kit, Pentair Intellichlor IC40 SWG, NG Starite SR400 Heater, Easytouch with Screen Logic, Magicstream Laminars, Bullfrog A7 Spa

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    Re: Automation/Robotic Cleaner At purchace-Worth it? Which pool? Stress.

    My pool is 16x33 and I think its pretty short. I mean when I dive in ( no diving board ) I can touch the slope no problem with my hands. We have a Polaris and like it a lot. Ive only vacuumed my pool once in 3 seasons. Also have a SWG and wouldn't go without one.
    18k: IG: Black Granite Liner: Aspen: 16x33.5: SWG: Polaris 280

    My pool build new-pool-build-in-nh-t60957.html

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    Re: Automation/Robotic Cleaner At purchace-Worth it? Which pool? Stress.

    Hi, I was also on a pretty tight budget last year when mine was built, so I will throw in my $.02. 1000' feet is a lot of decking. Any chance you can reduce that and spend the $$ on your robot/lights? And, negotiate - I had both of my final 2 builders tell me they don't like it, but they expect it.

    I also wanted deck jets, but didn't get them. I did purchase a fountain to hook up to my returns, but then found my returns were glued so will have to order another piece. Total cost, maybe $40, and my 9 year old will be just as happy. I have a robot (tiger shark) and love love love it. it is absolutely worth the $$ spent. I found most of my vinyl fencing on craigslist from a fence installer who over-ordered, and bought the remaining at Lowe's with a coupon. And I bought a turbo twister pool slide off Ebay for 1/2 the price (the cost of the deck jets).

    The only thing I would do different today is consider an owner build. My pool was small enough so that only 5 or 6 different sub-cntractors were involved, and I could tell by their t-shirts they worked for a lot of different builders - they were not employees of my pool builder. One of the best things I did was join this forum and ask questions. The feedback I got back was so valuable and, since I've never had a pool built, I would have been lost without it.

    Good luck and keep posting how it's going!!

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Automation/Robotic Cleaner At purchace-Worth it? Which pool? Stress.

    I would like to have built a larger pool, but I could not fit a larger one into my yard they way I wanted to and still leave me plenty of lawn, plenty of pool tropical garden space etc. I have big trees on each side of the yard and positioning a longer pool horizontally would mean each end of the pool would be under a big tree. Not cool, and im not cutting down my nice trees. Positioning it 90 degrees longways would have cut my lawn in half and made the whole project more difficult. So that was out. I also have plans for other things out back in the future. The long term plan just wouldnt accomodate a much larger one.

    Even though its on the smallish side at 15x30, it's enough for how I use it.

    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Automation/Robotic Cleaner At purchace-Worth it? Which pool? Stress.

    Very nice setup there Dave. I like it.
    Gunite Phase || 16500 gal FreeForm 33'x18' IG, 89 perim, 491 sq ft. || Blue Surf Pebble Sheen || Pentair Intelliflo VS || Pentail C&C 520 || 2 Pentair Intellibrite 5G
    Previous Pool || 13500 gal. FreeForm 31'x19' IG, 87' perim, 481 sq ft.|| Pebble Sheen || Pentair IntelliFlo VS || Pentair C&C 420 || Pentair Intellibrite 5G

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    Re: Automation/Robotic Cleaner At purchace-Worth it? Which pool? Stress.

    From what I've read on this forum you need to get as big a pool that works for you.
    Marla
    No longer living vicariously through other people's pool builds. Pool build is complete on my IG SWCG pool, approx 10,000 gallons. All Jandy equipment - VS 1.5 hp pump, 580 cartridge filter, AquaPure 1400 salt cell, AquaLink PDA system. Dolphin m500. PebbleSheen Blue Surf with shells and beads added. TF-100 w/ SpeedStir. A Houston Pool Build Inside the Loop

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    Re: Automation/Robotic Cleaner At purchace-Worth it? Which pool? Stress.

    Quote Originally Posted by doobs41378 View Post
    My pool is 16x33 and I think its pretty short. I mean when I dive in ( no diving board ) I can touch the slope no problem with my hands. We have a Polaris and like it a lot. Ive only vacuumed my pool once in 3 seasons. Also have a SWG and wouldn't go without one.
    33.5 is the size we were looking at...but no deep end. I worry that it will be too short. But there is only 3 of us.

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    Re: Automation/Robotic Cleaner At purchace-Worth it? Which pool? Stress.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marlahoutex View Post
    From what I've read on this forum you need to get as big a pool that works for you.
    That decision has become one of the hardest things we have dealt with.

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    Re: Automation/Robotic Cleaner At purchace-Worth it? Which pool? Stress.

    DW is big on allowing kids to have friends over, and her friends too. More so than I thought she would be. And we like to entertain for family/friends on the weekends. So although I underestimated how much use it would get
    by so many people during M-F day times, we went as big as we could already and it has served well.
    Our Polaris pressure cleaner doesn't climb well on our fairly steep sloped middle section despite multiple adjustments. So the shallow end gets little attention from it. I feel a robot would better but I can't be certain since i didn't go that route. I will upon replacement someday but hopefully not soon. Our debris load is low and I only put it in a few times a month.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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    Re: Automation/Robotic Cleaner At purchace-Worth it? Which pool? Stress.

    Quote Originally Posted by bmoreswim View Post
    DW is big on allowing kids to have friends over, and her friends too. More so than I thought she would be. And we like to entertain for family/friends on the weekends. So although I underestimated how much use it would get
    by so many people during M-F day times, we went as big as we could already and it has served well.
    Our Polaris pressure cleaner doesn't climb well on our fairly steep sloped middle section despite multiple adjustments. So the shallow end gets little attention from it. I feel a robot would better but I can't be certain since i didn't go that route. I will upon replacement someday but hopefully not soon. Our debris load is low and I only put it in a few times a month.
    Seeing that you are well away from the house...mind if I ask what the electric cost to put in? I am looking at my box/pump being 60' at least from the garage box.

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    Re: Automation/Robotic Cleaner At purchace-Worth it? Which pool? Stress.

    Yeah, it's about an 80-90' run but was just included in the base pool price before options, since we didn't have the 'option' of not doing it. I liked the way they quoted.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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    Re: Automation/Robotic Cleaner At purchace-Worth it? Which pool? Stress.

    Mine is the same size as your first one and we were SHOCKED at how big it is now that we have it. We entertain all the time - I would say 2 days a week we have 6-7 people in the pool and 1 day a week we have 10-15. Had a few parties with over 50 people here and I would say 15-20 adults in the pool at any given time - but since they can touch just about anywhere it never felt crowded. (Sports Pool was the way to go for us - for SURE!) Tried to find a pic with tons of people in it - where you could see the entire pool - this is as close as I got.

    I would NOT go with the first bid - you never know what "other" things might not be included that you are expecting. 1000 is a lot of decking - we got 800 decking and it is a good bit and we have a huge yard. I got the automation and I love it - but I like gadgets. I also got a robot - BUT I have trees, lots and lots and lots of trees. To me the Robot is a must have. I wouldn't go without it. I agree get the fun stuff if you can while you are building.

    [IMG]July 4th by misplaced_texan_usaf, on Flickr[/IMG]
    ~Wendy
    33'X17' Sports Pool (3'6"-5'-4'6") 7' flush Spa, Blue Granite PT, Waterfalls, Weeping Wall, Baja Ledge and Doggie Beach Entry! Pentair Clean and Clear 420, IntelliFlo XF Pump, SuperFlo 1.5 HP Feature Pump, MasterTemp Heater, Pal-Treo LEDs, Dolphin M4, Liquid Chlorine & TF-100 - My Build Thread

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