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Thread: Making an old pool NEW again

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    tcrote5516's Avatar
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    Making an old pool NEW again

    Just wanted to share my 3 year project with some people that can appreciate it! This has taken me 3 years but I did it all by myself in the spring, took the summer off to enjoy and picked back up in the fall. My wife and I bought this house 4 years ago and it was a foreclosure that we found in the winter (in NH). We had no idea what was under the safety cover until the snow melted and we found an old pool. It clearly haden't been opened in a few years, was missing the diving board and some other fun stuff but we got it open. The deck was concrete that was cracked up something terrible and dangerous. The right side had only a 36" path before a fence and a dropoff.

    I started by constructing a retaining wall to extend the pool deck on that side.


    The retaining wall is 6' high at its peak and 80ft long (This picture was taken before the final 2 layers were added to hit the grade of the new pooldeck):


    This spring I ripped up the old pavers, backfilled up to a new level and graded/packed it.


    Picked out new pavers and began the 1400sqft install (All the pavers that meet up with the edge of the pool were set in construction adheasive so they would lay down tight):




    I wanted to keep the diving board and the height of it (Get crazy air off this thing) but it looked goofy so I decided to build a base out of the old pavers to act as a platform/steps and a place to mount to return waterfalls:


    That got fully covered in stone facade and additional pavers.


    In the end I think it came out great and really takes a basic rectangle pool and gives it some distinction:


    I couldn't be more happy with the result and for ten's of thousands of dollars saved over contracting it out.




    The last step I have to complete is a knee wall that will border the top of the retaining wall and then it's DONE!
    My Restoration Thread: Making an old pool NEW again

    16x32/28,000 gallons/Twin 400GPH waterfalls off stone faced diving platform/1,200 perimeter LED lighs/Sand filter/2hp Pentair/VERA Automation/Southern NH

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Making an old pool NEW again

    Awesome!

    Such a fantastic job of craftsmanship and a great idea on the waterfalls bordering the slide. Really like your choice in pavers. I also know how much work those retaining walls can be and you did a great job. I'm sure you spent a great deal of time on the base work for the walls and the pavers, because it pays off in the end product.

    Inspires me to get together some ideas on my pool area. It's rather structurally blah and the only way it's going to get better is if I do it... or win the lottery I never buy a ticket for.

    Congrats on the gorgeous pool and the patio area to match!
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    tcrote5516's Avatar
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    Re: Making an old pool NEW again

    Thank you very much! Let me be the first to tell you these pavers were a NIGHTMARE to work with. The irregular shape means you can't measure anything as the orientation angle cant be accurately marked for end pieces like it can be for square or rectangle pavers. That means every single cut was done using a posterboard cutout. I was able to reuse the same posterboard multiple times when just one straight cut was needed by folding it over and over but for any paver that needed a notch or multiple cuts a new template had to be made and trimmed.

    I don't play the lottery either so when I got a quote on the professional job I thanked them for their time and jumped on Google to learn about laying pavers Just to lay the pavers (not build the diving board setup/fountains or grade out the base) the labor alone would have been $14,000. The retaining wall, add another $7,500. I would think the diving board setup would have been another $2k in labor but never got it priced.

    I easily saved myself $25k on this job and got one heck of a workout with no gym fees!
    My Restoration Thread: Making an old pool NEW again

    16x32/28,000 gallons/Twin 400GPH waterfalls off stone faced diving platform/1,200 perimeter LED lighs/Sand filter/2hp Pentair/VERA Automation/Southern NH

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    tcrote5516's Avatar
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    Re: Making an old pool NEW again

    First off, I'm showing how I did this lighting project for entertainment purposes only, not a suggestion for others to attempt or a DIY.

    The pool had no light so I sodered up led lighting to fit so I could edge light the whole thing. The strip sits on the bottom edge of the coping facing down so you get a mirror image (looks like two rows) off the surface of the pool. 1,200 LED's and they really do a nice job of lighting both the surface and the bottom of the pool. Helps bring it into this century from a coolness factor.
    This pic was taken before I did the pool deck but you get the idea:

    My Restoration Thread: Making an old pool NEW again

    16x32/28,000 gallons/Twin 400GPH waterfalls off stone faced diving platform/1,200 perimeter LED lighs/Sand filter/2hp Pentair/VERA Automation/Southern NH

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    Re: Making an old pool NEW again

    Amazing rehab. That is 50k of sweat equity for sure.
    34x17, IG gunite pool, Cathedral shape, Hayward Pro-Logic automation, 40,000 gal T-cell 15, Hayward EcoStar VFD, Hayward Star-Clear Plus C1200 Cartridge Filter, Hayward ColorLogic LED lights x 2

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    Re: Making an old pool NEW again

    Very nice work, well done.

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Making an old pool NEW again

    Quote Originally Posted by tcrote5516 View Post
    Oh, forgot to add this. The pool had no light so I sodered up led lighting to fit so I could edge light the whole thing. The strip sits on the bottom edge of the coping facing down so you get a mirror image (looks like two rows) off the surface of the pool. 1,200 LED's and they really do a nice job of lighting both the surface and the bottom of the pool. Helps bring it into this century from a coolness factor.
    This pic was taken before I did the pool deck but you get the idea:

    I may have to try this next year. Tired of fighting with my aged Amerilite fixture and this would be a very cool way to light the pool.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Making an old pool NEW again

    I really like those pavers for some reason haha...
    Pool is done! Only took 17 months! - Natural shape in-ground pool: 37x23, 505sq ft, 96ft perimeter, 7ft deep end, 18,950 gallons, tanning ledge, blue surf pebble sheen/luminous blue blend, Belgard coping, 910 sqft paver deck/walkways, retaining walls out the yinyang. Jandy SWG, 2 LED Color lights, VS 2HP Pump, 460sqft cartridge filter, PDA RS P8 controller. My build

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Making an old pool NEW again

    Wow! This is an awesome rehab! Nice job man. Very nice.
    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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    tcrote5516's Avatar
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    Re: Making an old pool NEW again

    Thank you all very much!

    I do have a question though. For the past three years I've struggled with a green algae problem and really had to keep chlorine levels stable to avoid problems. Now this year with the fountains I've been able to get away with murder (water balancing neglect...I know....bad move but it happens). Is it possible the increased oxygen level is reducing my chlorine needs?

    The fountains run whenever the filter is running as I split the flow between the two normal pool returns and the fountains and it's been like that all summer. I used to have to keep 3-4 puck's in at a time, now that's cut in half and at times it's run out. Not a hint of algae all year!
    My Restoration Thread: Making an old pool NEW again

    16x32/28,000 gallons/Twin 400GPH waterfalls off stone faced diving platform/1,200 perimeter LED lighs/Sand filter/2hp Pentair/VERA Automation/Southern NH

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Making an old pool NEW again

    Pucks are not recommended here for long term pool sanitation. I'm not sure if you've spent much time in Pool School but the methods here rely on accurate home testing and a specific FC (free chlorine) level for maintenance that is based on the CYA (cyanuric acid or stabilizer) level. Long term use of trichlor pucks will lead to high CYA levels, which never goes away unless the pool is drained. Each trichlor puck adds 10 ppm of FC and 6 ppm of CYA. The FC is consumed by sunlight and bather waste (and algae, if it's allowed to grow) but the CYA is not.

    Perhaps the waterfalls have helped keep your circulation better in that area of the pool to keep algae at bay. Did you drain quite a bit of water in the last year before you had a good year this year?

    Check out ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry for the basics on what we teach here and the CYA/Chlorine chart in my signature for reference on what I'm talking about for FC level requirements.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Making an old pool NEW again

    Outstanding rehab dude!
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Re: Making an old pool NEW again

    you did an awesome job with that wall and pavers and diving board and LED's

    now that you have a beauty of a pool get into pool school and get that water looking as good as the deck...

    1. toss those pucks and use liquid chlorine/bleach
    2. get a great TF100 test kit
    3. drop your TA so your ph does not raise as fast now that you have the waterfalls
    4. test daily
    5. enjoy
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Re: Making an old pool NEW again

    WOW, now that is an upgrade...

    Congrats!

    John
    AquaMaster Deluxe 8000 AGP, 5500 gallons, 12x18. Liquidator and Pool Rover JR.
    1st Pool so go easy on me I'm using a TF 100.

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    Making an old pool NEW again

    Quote Originally Posted by tcrote5516 View Post
    Oh, forgot to add this. The pool had no light so I sodered up led lighting to fit so I could edge light the whole thing. The strip sits on the bottom edge of the coping facing down so you get a mirror image (looks like two rows) off the surface of the pool. 1,200 LED's and they really do a nice job of lighting both the surface and the bottom of the pool. Helps bring it into this century from a coolness factor.
    This pic was taken before I did the pool deck but you get the idea:

    That is so cool! I have looked into led edge lighting but worried about the electrical hazards. Can you provide any details on the led strips? Brand, water proof rating, vendor, etc.? Any installation tips would be appreciated also. Again, beautiful!

    Robert
    10k Gallon, IG Kafko Vinyl Liner (8/1/12), 200# Sand w/ 1 hp Hayward MaxFlo pump, Taylor K2006
    3 4x12 Heliocol East facing + 3 4x12 Heliocol West facing 2015
    Robert from Sunny Southern Oregon

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    tcrote5516's Avatar
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    Re: Making an old pool NEW again

    Thanks again for all the positive feedback, it means a lot!

    As far as the lighting goes, it was very simple and I did it myself so I'm happy to answer any questions. The lighting setup has been through 4 summers and 4 winters here in NH....pretty tough stuff. The LED strips I got on ebay, super inexpensive and everything is low voltage/low amperage near the water + GFCI protected. :

    IP67 Waterproof Tube 5M 5050 SMD 300Leds Cool White Flexible LED Strip 12V DC | eBay

    I purchased 4 of those for about $25. Because of what they are subjected to I DID NOT buy the cheasy plastic connectors to join them. I paired them up by sodering the two pairs together leaving leads on one side of each set. I then heat shrinked that connection to seal it up and protect it. This way the current comes in in one corner of the pool and goes both directions. Otherwise if it was just one long rope the 1,200ith LED wouldn't be near as bright as the 1st LED. When you split it's not noticeable as the 600ith LED is meeting the 600th LED from the other side.

    The power source is in the house and its tied into my home automation system so what you see below is all the pool related lighting/pump automation. All of this is controlled by my computer and will run the skimmer when windy + normal cycle with run time based on temperature. The power supply is one of the silver boxes at the top (one is for pool lighting, one is for landscape lighting around the pool and I have a spare spot for future additions)



    I got the power supply on ebay as well: AC 110V 220V to DC 12V Regulated Transformer Power Supply for LED Strip Light | eBay I believe I have a 10amp but it may be a 15amp...can't remember. Just do the math on the LED's needs and get a supply as big or the next step up.

    I also added in a additional waterproof kill switch by the pool just in case but it's all on a GFCI and the 12v side is fused with a simple automotive blade fuse to prevent a current surge from making it to the pool area.

    I would say I have all of $50 in this setup (+ the automation portion of course)
    My Restoration Thread: Making an old pool NEW again

    16x32/28,000 gallons/Twin 400GPH waterfalls off stone faced diving platform/1,200 perimeter LED lighs/Sand filter/2hp Pentair/VERA Automation/Southern NH

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    Re: Making an old pool NEW again

    tcrote: Your work is something that the rest of us only dream about doing. Do you have a construction background that gave you the courage and skills necessary to tackle such a job ? The LED lighting around the perimeter is something I have not seen anywhere - so cool and unique. Putting in those extra pavers for the diving board and the additional sheers in that area was not just a great idea, it was also executed very well.

    Thanks again for posting your work - a true inspiration to us here.

    PJ

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    Re: Making an old pool NEW again

    Quote Originally Posted by philboyj View Post
    tcrote: Your work is something that the rest of us only dream about doing. Do you have a construction background that gave you the courage and skills necessary to tackle such a job ? The LED lighting around the perimeter is something I have not seen anywhere - so cool and unique. Putting in those extra pavers for the diving board and the additional sheers in that area was not just a great idea, it was also executed very well.

    Thanks again for posting your work - a true inspiration to us here.

    PJ
    Rehab and the pool looks great!

    We're in the middle of a renovation now, and I have been talking to a landscape lighting guy about some lighting options (was looking at some different options around lighting our sheer descent waterfalls). According to him, he didn't know of any LED light strips available now that were UL approved for use near pools. (there are special requirements for lights within 5ft of pools I believe, and I think even the transformers that feed them). He mentioned that there was one company that was close to getting UL listing, but it's not done yet. So just beware if you go down this road with LED lighting near the pool that you understand the risks / etc. We ended up going with some small in-pool ColorLogic 320 lights under our waterfalls. Costs a bunch more as we had to bore holes through our pool wall, but definitely approved for pool usage...
    ~25000 gal IG gunite pool, built 2001 - renovated 2015
    Pebble Sheen Blue Surf + Shimmering Sea, Gemz, Classic Pool & Tile Rodio waterline
    Grey Granite Paver Deck, with TechoBloc Blu60 Smooth accent strip
    Hayward OmniLogic, UCL and CL320 LED lights, DE6020 filter, EcoStar pump, TF-100, T-15 SWG, Raypak P406A heater

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    tcrote5516's Avatar
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    Re: Making an old pool NEW again

    Philboy, Thank you VERY much for your feedback! No, I'm not a contractor or tradesman (nor have I ever been). I'm just the grown up version of a kid that took everything apart as a kid and believed why pay for something to be done when you can figure it out, buy the tools to do it right and still save money. That concept has bitten me in the butt before and I'm sure it will again but I've self taught myself on a wide variety of skills that serve me everyday.

    Chinatti, I'm no electrical engineer that's for sure and I would never recommend someone follow's my lead without doing their own due diligence and making their own decisions but I do have common sense and a fundamental understanding of electricity so here's how I see it:

    1) Power surge from the mains: Cause a short in the power supply which is grounded and UL approved so the GFCI will see the difference in flow going into the circuit vs out through the neutral and it will immediately trip the GFCI; cutting the flow of power.

    2) Internal fault in the 12v power supply (which would as likely as a pool pump failure which has no additional safety precautions outside of the GFCI @ 110v mind you). Let's assume this failure pushes full bore 110v through the lighting circuit. Again the GFCI would sense the difference but let's say it didn't to paint the worst case scenario. The increased voltage could cause a potential arc to the pool but the resistance of the lighting diodes heating up and the arc itself would smoke the (properly sized) inline fuse on the low voltage side of the circuit.

    3) No shortage of research has been done on how electricity effects the body. It's the old voltage/amperage story. While as little as 15ma can cause problems that needs to happen at 50v and up. If you had a saltwater pool (with heavy amts of salt) that number can drop as low as 30v. When your talking about 12v, you need to get well into car battery levels of current (amperage). Those levels are WELL outside the scope of the LED driving power supplies I'm discussing.

    I try to keep things simple. When you understand why you can drop a hair dryer into a bath and not suffer a shock I struggle to see why this setup could be unsafe.

    Additionally, there are now sellers marketing this same equipment specifically for this purpose. That would be one heck of a liability if it was any more dangerous than the pool pump you have 110v @ 20amps (or higher in some cases) flowing through motor brushes sitting on steel shafts that feed the impeller on the water side of the pumps.

    Pool Outdoor Light Waterproof LED Lighting Strip SMD 5050 300 LEDs 20 ft Blue | eBay
    My Restoration Thread: Making an old pool NEW again

    16x32/28,000 gallons/Twin 400GPH waterfalls off stone faced diving platform/1,200 perimeter LED lighs/Sand filter/2hp Pentair/VERA Automation/Southern NH

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    Re: Making an old pool NEW again

    I actually am an electrical engineer .... but .... I deal with transistors not electrical power ... so that's no use to me here

    I know this topic has come up a few times in the past:

    New building code for low voltage lights around pool?

    Landscape lighting, pool, and electricity

    Transformer for waterfall lights: pond grade vs pool grade

    are low voltage lights safe?

    Just pointing out that there may be some more aspects to using these kinds of lights that people may want to investigate. If you aren't sure (I know I wouldn't be myself), it's probably safest to ask your local electrical inspector...
    ~25000 gal IG gunite pool, built 2001 - renovated 2015
    Pebble Sheen Blue Surf + Shimmering Sea, Gemz, Classic Pool & Tile Rodio waterline
    Grey Granite Paver Deck, with TechoBloc Blu60 Smooth accent strip
    Hayward OmniLogic, UCL and CL320 LED lights, DE6020 filter, EcoStar pump, TF-100, T-15 SWG, Raypak P406A heater

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