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Thread: New Pool Build Equipment Upgrades - Cost Question

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    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    BEDFORD/NH
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    New Pool Build Equipment Upgrades - Cost Question

    We're just about to start the build of a 20x40 SWCG Gunite pool, and the "options/upgrades" are fairly perplexing. The base pool makes sense, and I think that we've narrowed down to a few final choices. But here's where I just don't get it.

    The total upgrade price to go from the "base package" (halogen lights, single speed pump, chlorine (not SWCG)), to (LED lights - intellibrite, SWCG - intellichlor, VS Pump - intelliflo, spa pda - Easy Touch) is a few multiples of the "street price" of the equipment. So I could save ~$5k by installing the base option and then ordering all of the upgrades and installing afterwards. As an example, the "upgrade cost" for the SWCG was ~$2500. From what I can tell, it can be purchased for ~$1000.

    Some of these things are items that make sense, but they quickly drive the cost of the project up. I also get the the pool installer needs to make money, and would fully expect to pay the delta in equipment cost plus a bit, but multiples of it seem excessive.


    • Is this common? Do pool installers make most of their profit on options?
    • Are these items easy to retrofit afterwards? From what I can tell they are. As a point of reference, I've installed a 20kW generator, electrical and gas, sub-panels, renovated houses, etc.
    • I'm leaning towards going with the base option, upgrading everything myself and selling the "new/base equipment" on Craigslist.


    Thanks and sorry for the rambling.

    CW

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    Helen203's Avatar
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    Jul 2015
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    Re: New Pool Build Equipment Upgrades - Cost Question

    You should upgrade the lights at a minimum because they are hard to retrofit. And my experience is that the cost of a 2-speed pump is about the same as a single speed pump through the PB, so that may be worth exploring instead of moving to a VS pump. As you point out, the SWCGs and heaters are straight-forward add-ons.
    My Pool Build (2015): inground 12K gals gunite/plaster pool, SWG, 2-speed pump, cartridge filter, gas heater, and polaris cleaner (Jandy). TF-100 Test Kit w/ Speed Stir

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    Re: New Pool Build Equipment Upgrades - Cost Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Helen203 View Post
    You should upgrade the lights at a minimum because they are hard to retrofit. And my experience is that the cost of a 2-speed pump is about the same as a single speed pump through the PB, so that may be worth exploring instead of moving to a VS pump. As you point out, the SWCGs and heaters are straight-forward add-ons.
    Thanks Helen,

    I would assume that the lights are no harder to retrofit than to replace. Also, what I would probably do is just install them before they ever install the base lights. I just need to ensure that the niches are correct.

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    Agent99's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
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    San Jose, CA
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    Re: New Pool Build Equipment Upgrades - Cost Question

    I think you have a sound plan and it is the way I would go. I had quotes of 1500 to upgrade my pump to the Pentair IntelliFlo VS pump so that is 2x street cost. Pass.

    In my recent pool/backyard remodel, *I* did 95% of the plumbing AT THE PAD but you're getting a new pool so you wouldn't want to handle THAT much plumbing. If you can get a handle on the equipment you want at the pad, you can get the pipes placed exactly where you want so that you can 'gut' the equipment later and install what you really want and organize it how you want.

    For whatever lights they install, odds are excellent the same company makes LED upgrades so it is just a matter of replacing them later, pulling the lines and hooking them back up in your electrical panel with a GFCI breaker. The only downside is that you either need scuba equipment (or a long snorkel??) or drain half your water to more easily reach the lights to mess with them.

    Plumb in an auto-fill as well. Your pool water will then remain magically at the same level all the time. I'm glad I added one during the remodel.
    ----Chris----
    25k IG/Spa Figure 8, 18x36, Pebble Sheen Blue Granite, Sta-Rite S8M150 Cartridge Filter, Pentair 460805 400k BTU Heater & 011018 IntelliFlo VarSpd
    Liquidator, Fafco Solar Heat, Polaris PB460 Booster Pump w/280 cleaner, Katchaleaf Cover, TF100 Test Kit, FAKE MAIN DRAIN

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