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Thread: Long Island Pre-Construction Questions

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Long Island, NY

    Long Island Pre-Construction Questions

    Holy cow, this is frustrating. I've been having conversations with pool owners, pool builders, friends, and now strangers on a forum; all trying to determine what is the best option for our pool project. These are the things that I know:

    - We're doing a 20x40 rectangle
    - Vinyl-lined
    - Inground
    - Saltwater Chlorinator
    - Corner steps in the shallow end
    - Corner bench in the deep end
    - Diving board
    - No heater option at the present time

    After that, I'm at a loss. Hopefully I can get some firm answers from the great contributors on this forum. I've read a bunch here, but I still would like some clarity on the following questions:

    1) Is there any difference between a steel-walled vs concrete walled vinyl pools? The steel guys say that their way is better. The concrete guys say that their way is better. Other guys say that it really doesn't matter. Steel rusts. Concrete cracks. Steel steps flex. Concrete steps are not as precise. etc, etc, etc. Does it really matter?

    2) Is there any difference between equipment manufacturers (ie Pentair, Hayward, or Jandy)? Guys that sell Jandy say they are the best. Guys that sell Hayward say that they make the best products. And the same can be said for Pentair. Does it really matter?

    3) Is there any difference between poured concrete vs an RCA base for a paver patio around the pool? Again, guys that work in RCA claim it's better because it's permeable and the manufacturer's warranty states that it needs to be on RCA. The concrete guys say that concrete will not shift and it's better for pavers. Does it really matter?

    4) Is there any difference between having two main drains vs having deep returns in the pool? Some guys say main drains aren't necessary anymore because the returns are more powerful and circulate water better, while others say that it would be will stupid not to have main drains. Does it really matter?

    I'm sure I have more questions, but let's get the dialogue started with these questions so far. Thanks in advance for all of your insight!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)

    Re: Long Island Pre-Construction Questions


    Vinyl -lined inground pools are almost unheard of in California, so I can't help with most of it. The drain, though... a floor drain, plumbed to a three way valve that allows it to be isolated from the skimmer, will help you drain the pool when you winterize. If you have a multiport valve for the filter, you can set things up so the pump drains the pool and discharges the water out the waste line, no fuss or bother. And rather than two extra returns down low, I'd rather have two extra returns to get a good surface flow going to assist skimming.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Sacramento, CA

    Re: Long Island Pre-Construction Questions

    Some opinions:

    1. Concrete is much more permanent that a steel walled vinyl pool. You can drain down a concrete walled pool more without risk of wall collapses or other issues. Why not go gunite? Why not composite walls?

    2. In the real world not much difference between manufacturers. They do things differently and there automation is programmed differently but in the end its difficult to say that one stands out above the others.

    3. If you are subject to freeze thaw cycles many contractors use a RCA base (recycled concrete aggregate) base for pavers to allow some flex in the system. Generally contractors should follow the manufacturers instructions for a product. So find your paver manufacturer's site and download the instructions and that is how they should be installed. That way you get the warranty. In the construction business the warranty way matters, the best way does not.

    4. Many pools are built without main drains. Deep returns can provide circulation in deep areas. So they really are not necessary. There are studies that prove that. However you live in an area where your pool may be partially drained down in winter ("closed"). In that situation it is easier to use a main drain to bring the pool level down and not have to use a sump pump or a siphon.

    The above is solely my opinion and I reserve the right to be hard headed or wrong.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    'burbs of Augusta, Georgia

    Re: Long Island Pre-Construction Questions

    The only posters whose pics of their vinyl lined cement pools with padded cement steps have been up in your area. I just assumed it was a local thing due to the freezing temps???
    I'll tell you I've thought that they have all been the *best looking vinyl pools* I've seen pics of. The full length steps are so much nicer looking than auxiliary type white fiberglass steps, IMO.
    There was one poster last year from Long Island who put in one, had a beautiful yard and pool when done. I'll keep my eyes peeled and see if I can find it for you.
    Maddie :) 12K 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

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Long Island, NY

    Re: Long Island Pre-Construction Questions

    Thanks for all the insight guys!

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