First talked to you over a year ago as I was scheming on a possible little tiled concrete block soaking pool I wanted to build: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...pa-Pool-Advice. You helped get me started (thanks!) so I thought I'd keep it going as I finally start on the project.
I'll use this thread to post my progress, ask questions, get advice, and be told I'm "doing it completely wrong"! Always happy to hear your advice or suggestions. So here we go!
The Plan (Very Simply)
- A 9' x 6' x 3' deep heated/filtered soaking pool (900 gallons about). Has a bench 18" high and deep running around the entire perimeter. 3, 1' deep steps on one side going down into pool. Mostly in ground, but 1' above grade too.
- Poured concrete floor/bench (w/rebar), concrete block walls (masoned in, vertical rebar, concrete filled)
- 1 skimmer, 2 main drains, 1 return, 1 small light, 1.5hp pump, 50sqft cartridge filter, 5.5 or 11kw electric heater (debating, hoping to maintain at least 100 degrees F, in Portland, OR so never gets too cold)
- Covered with waterproofing membrane (Laticrete 9235?), then titled (ceramic). Capped with a natural stone coping
- Ultimately going to be something like this or this
Digging, digging, digging (tip for those who have rocky clay soil like myself, wet dirt is 10x easier to dig than dry!). Only about a 1' left to go, then sort of the 'fine' digging where I straighten edges, even things out etc.
The Next Step
After finishing up the digging it'll be:
- 2" of crushed rock tamped down in bottom
- Lay rebar (#3) on 1x1' grid in bottom
- Put in main drain (planning on just 1 in the bottom, centered; putting a 2nd one in the wall later on) and plumb back to filter/pump area
- Run #8 bare copper bonding wire along rebar, leaving plenty of room to connect to light fixture, rebar in walls, pump/filter, and heater
- Pour concrete in floor (4" thick)
- Looks like if you have a main drain, you need to have 2 to avoid suction/entrapment stuff, correct? This is a little pool (the very bottom is only 4'6" x 3'4") so putting in 2 8" drains at least 3' apart seems like it's a) an unecessary amount of drainage for 900 gallon pool and b) will take up a lot of floor space if I put them both in the bottom of the pool. Thinking now is to do one, centered in the bottom, 1 along near the bottom of the sidewall. Question is, are there any alterative drain setups for a small spa/pool like this? Or is it perhaps just smart to just use the skimmer as th drain (goes back to the pump/filter)? Any other thoughts on this?
- Plan right now is to have one of the main drains in the bench wall about 5" up from the bottom of the pool. The return would be on that same side, about 8" from the top of the water line (so roughly 20" higher than the main drain). Is having the return (pumping hot water out) and the main drain (pulling water back in) on the same wall inefficent? Meaning is the drain just going to be pulling out the hot water I pumped in and it won't be circulating well?
- As mentioned, it's about 900gallons. Debating between 5.5kw and 11kw electric heater. 5.5kw are suggested for about 600gallons, but I could get a 'spa pack' meaning it includes a lot of the thins together (heater, light, controls) so less room for error on my part which is appealing. Seems like 5.5 would just heat up slower, but should be able to maintain 100 degrees just fine. Any insights?
- Trying to figure out the light situation/niche. Debating between a fancy, proper Pentair SpaBrite (w/proper niche) or something smaller/simpler which I'd mount in a PVC pipe. Would the smaller one be bright enough in your opinion? Any experience installing a light into a PVC pipe niche (as opposed to a specifically made niche)?
- Planning to dig a little box (covered eventually) right next to the pool to house the heater/filter/pump. Is that OK or are their restrictions on how close the electrical stuff can be to the pool? Would there be noise issues if it's so close (small heater/filter/pump so hoping not)?
Anyway, obviously I have way more detailed plans, but didn't want to bore you with all those. Let me know if you have any questions, see I'm doing anything wrong, or have any advice! Thanks all!