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Thread: Far West Houston Pool Build

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    Far West Houston Pool Build

    We are at the bidding stage of our pool building journey. We originally wanted a lap pool, but our yard isn't big enough (14ft easement) . So we've decided to build a smaller pool (either 28 x 15 or 30 x 15) and include a current system, like a RiverFlow or Endless Pool Fastlane. For a design, we're interested in a pool with a geometric design.

    Use: We don't have kids, but my elderly dad does live with me. My husband and I participate in triathlon and my husband swims a lot. He's doing a 3k swim in two weeks. My dog, a Chesapeake bay Retriever, also swims. So we want something simple, but functional. But we didn't want to go with just a swim spa.

    We have three bids so far and our planning to get another tomorrow afternoon. Our main sticking point right now is that we can't seem to get a demo of the RiverFlow system. We are planning to demo the Endless pool this weekend.

    Bids without the riverflow system range from 43k to 58k. The Riverflow adds about 20k to each bid. One builder offered to put it in for 14500. Tempting! So adding the RiverFlow will be a third of our cost! You can see why we are eager to test it out.

    I've attached one of the designs we were given. I'm really not sure about the elevated wall. I had initially wanted a more streamlined approach. This design is for the 58K pool. (With riverflow, it would be 78k)

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    Re: Far West Houston Pool Build

    I really like your design! When we were trying to finalize our design, a couple of the builders we interviewed suggested keeping the spa close to the house for ease of use in the colder months. We ended up adding an elevated wall to our build after we signed the contract, but before dig, just to add some interest. I LOVE the way it turned out!
    Water in, we're swimming! IG 18x29 gunite, 3.5-6.5 depth, 14,000 gallons approx, 1 skimmer, Hayward 4030 cartridge filter, Hayward Tristar VSP, 20 ft. raised bond beam with sprayers, 40 sq ft sunshelf with 2 bubblers, 7 ft round attached spa, Hayward 250k heater, quartz plaster, travertine coping, approx 800 sq feet acrylic deck

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Far West Houston Pool Build

    Hello and welcome to TFP. Best thing about your project (in my opinion) is that it caters to everyone in the family - including the furry ones. Sounds to be a very nice project, and your listing of equipment in your sig looks quite good. Great to have you with us.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Far West Houston Pool Build

    We haven't settled on equipment yet, but we will probably go with the following -
    1. Filter - Pentair DE filter
    2. Pump - Pentair Whisperflow 2 HP
    3. Flagstone coping
    4. stamped concrete deck
    5. 2 led lights
    6. Chlorine pool...so pentair chlorinator
    7. Pentair Mastertemp heater
    8.


    I have some questions -
    1. Is a "return" the same as a valve?
    2. Is wet edge cheaper than pebbletec?
    3. Is dark plaster not recommended for the houston area?
    4. What is a blower silencer?
    5. Should i get an inpool cleaner and a robot?

    Thanks all!

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Far West Houston Pool Build

    Well...

    If you have a Robot, which I recommend, you do not need an in-pool cleaner. I would however have then plumb for a suction cleaner port.

    I would not think a 2 HP pump would be what they would pick for a pool with a spa and water features. I would think a Variable Speed pump would be more appropriate, but I'll let the pump experts chime in..

    A "return" is where the water that has gone through the filter gets returned to your pool. Generally there are 4 or 5 "returns".

    You will need valves to switch between the pool operation and the spa operation. If you are spending $80K on a pool I would expect some type of automation. EasyTouch if going with Pentair

    A Chlorinator is nothing but a tube to hold Chlorine tablets. If you read many of the posts here you will find they are not our first choice and the cause of most pool chemistry issues.

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Far West Houston Pool Build

    I got 1.

    Return=where the water "returns" to the pool from the filter. Most of them are like an "eyeball". They can be adjusted for the best flow as needed by your pool.

    valve=it will be inline on the pipe. They control the water flow by you turning the handle to on, off, or any where in between.

    I will look for the build I know has a swim system. I cannot remember what brand he has but he loves it!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    ellsian's Avatar
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    Re: Far West Houston Pool Build

    Interesting design, very modern. Maybe add a bit more decking around the spa since you have to walk around the wall?

    Another swim in place system you could look at is the Badu Jet: Badu Jet - Water Propulsions Systems for Your Home Pool by Speck Pumps

    Might be cheaper. I've never swam in one though so I cannot speak to its effectiveness. Good luck on your build!
    Swim ready :) My Pool Build Thread. IG shotcrete 34x16 Grecian shape. 22k gallons. 3'6 - 8'6 deep. 12x5 Baja ledge w/ 2 Bubblers, 14' raised beam sheer descent waterfall in stacked rock. Custom stone diving board. Hayward sand filter, VS pump, Aquarite T-15 SWCG. A&A In floor system w/ Gamma 4 venturi heads, Blue surf Pebble sheen, Colorlogic LED. Future Travertine Sandcastle Owner.

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    Re: Far West Houston Pool Build

    Platypus is getting one for his pool but I don't remember which one.
    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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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Far West Houston Pool Build

    I have PMs to OZ and Plat asking them to pop in on this thread.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Far West Houston Pool Build

    I can chime in on #5. I chose to have an in-floor cleaning system as part of my pool design. I am completely happy with it. If low-maintenance is on your wish list, this is something you should strongly consider. "Cleaning" my pool bottom is as simple as emptying my skimmer baskets now.
    23' x 37' IG 18.5k gallon SWG w/ raised spa, Build Thread -->Here
    Wet Edge® Pearl Matrix®, Hayward® SwimClear™ 525 ft², Hayward® Goldline Controls® PS-8
    4x Hayward® TriStar™ pumps, Paramount PCC2000® ICS, TF-100 w/Speedstir

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    platipus's Avatar
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    Re: Far West Houston Pool Build

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    I have PMs to OZ and Plat asking them to pop in on this thread.

    Kim
    Famous PM'd me a few weeks ago and we connected about this already. I'll relay what I said at the time though to help spur the discussion.

    We're doing a RiverFlow system. We also have literally zero experience with them. We chose RiverFlow based on reviews, videos and feedback we saw here on TFP. Also shakenbake installed one and liked it.

    Under construction in texas - water in it finally!!


    The two things that really pushed us towards RiverFlow over other systems were:

    RiverFlow vs Badu and others: Badu and several others use a venturi to magnify the flow. It's not a huge deal really and I have heard from several people that are very happy with that kind of setup, but we just wanted a clear waterflow without the bubbles.

    RiverFlow vs Endless Pools: I saw several conversations and reviews on the interwebs about Endless not be 100% guaranteed suitable for saltwater. If we weren't doing salt we might have gone with Endless because they do seem to be more popular.


    Now a few notes in general. If your builder has not installed one before (or even if they have because I doubt they have installed many), make sure you ask them to do an engineering review with RiverFlow. There are some very specific requirements that they list on their website that should be followed. I would also call RiverFlow direct and ask to speak to someone there yourself. Make sure you understand what the parts will look like in the pool and the requirements for where they have to be placed.

    Lastly, and I will elaborate more on this in my build thread once we get it sorted out, make sure since you are doing a geometric pool that when they shoot gunite that your supply and especially your return pipe/jet (since this is what you will be swimming into) are SQUARED off to the wall you are putting it on. Something happened to ours and it is currently coming out of the wall at a slight angle to one side of the pool. It was not apparent until after the protective plastic and duct tape was removed several days after gunite was shot. I would recommend checking it immediately upon gunite completion to ensure it did not shift. Our builder wasn't sure how it got shifted but ours did and will now need to be "straightened". He understands the issue this will cause and said he'll fix it without question. I assume he is going to have to chip around the 12" pipe and see if it will align and then repair/fill the gap to keep it in place. It's kind of disappointing this happened because it is such a major element of our pool (both in design and cost) but there is no choice except to make it right, so I will just take solace in that in the end it will be.


    plat.
    Modern Geometric-ish Social Pool (4'-5'-4') ~13' x 47'. Sun shelf. Perimeter overflow spa. RiverFlow Swimjet. Dog ramp. "Bubble Lounge"©
    Link to my patio build, completed 2013
    Link to my pool build, Aug '15 - Sep '16

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Far West Houston Pool Build

    plat, THANKS to PMing him and adding it to this tread! So kind of you.

    Kim (bummed about yours not be square but happy the PB it standing behind his work)
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Far West Houston Pool Build

    The Swim Jets I use are not a marketed 'swim jet' product.
    It is a venturi style setup so it does have bubbles.
    It is 3 large jets. They are the big brothers of spa jets in style.
    Each is plumbed with 2-1/2" to it's own 3hp pump with independent suction side intakes on the side of the pool.
    The 2 of the jets are positioned a little over shoulder width apart and 8" below the water surface.
    The third is centered and 12' below water surface.
    All three have their venturi air intakes plumbed together into a 1-1/5" pipe that comes out of a nearby garden bed in a shepherds hook (to stop stuff falling into it.

    My pool build thread has a video of it running.
    Cost about $6000 if I remember correctly; 3 x 3hp whisperflo pumps (not benefit to VS here), 3 x venturi jets, 6 x wall drains, pipework.
    40k gal freeform, IG pebblesheen, 9'x'6' raised spa, 2-1/2 hp Whisperflo, 520 sq/ft cartridge, Legend w/ booster, Intellibrite 5g in pool @ spa, Rainbow 320 Chlorinator(retired),
    Mastertemp 400k BTU, 3x3 hp Whisperflo Swimjets, 2x2 hp Whisperflow for 15ton moss rock waterfall, Intelitouch Controller, 850 sq/ft Travertine deck, Gas/Wood firepit,
    Autofill, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Far West Houston Pool Build

    Thanks oz for popping in with this info!

    Kim (do the kids still try to boogle board on the flow?)
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Far West Houston Pool Build

    Quote Originally Posted by FamousUnknown View Post

    I've attached one of the designs we were given. I'm really not sure about the elevated wall. I had initially wanted a more streamlined approach. This design is for the 58K pool. (With riverflow, it would be 78k)
    i'd ditch the wall and the descents if it was me. you can always have the spa over-spill as a descent feature.

    i'd also add (as has been mentioned) more decking around the spa, perhaps access from both sides.

    Having said that, as has been mentioned, you may want to consider keeping the spa on the house side of the pool. the run from spa to house in the winter months is no fun at all.

    here's what we are considering, dont even have any quotes yet tho..


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    Re: Far West Houston Pool Build

    I think the raised spa is a substantial cost and a great visual addition. Hiding it behind a wall may not be the best bang for your buck. What if the design had the spa coming halfway into the pool ? The half inside the pool can have a great three side overflow for visual and also avoid extra decking.
    Geometric pool with all Pentair equipment. Raised spa - 18" with Artic Lagoon 1" glass tiles. 3HP VS Pump, 2 skimmers, 6 returns, IC40 Salt system, Easy Touch 8 with LED color light in pool and spa. 1200 sqft of Marble White Pavers decking in Versailles pattern. Tiling and coping almost completed, Indigo Blue Prism Matrix plaster. Pool Build Thread: Houston (Katy) Pool Build - Started April 2016

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    Re: Far West Houston Pool Build

    i just remembered that I have a friend (in california) that retro fitted his smallish pool with one of these bad boys, I've never seen it myself but he loves it.

    if you design your spa right (make it big!) you could have this thing in there for the winter, in the pool for the summer. I believe they are portable if you have the deck mounted option:
    Pool Jets, Swim Jets Alternative | Compare the Fastlane to Badu Jets

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Far West Houston Pool Build

    After trying an Endless Pool Fastlane, we've decided to go with that system. We've also decided to go with a lagoon style design since it'll probably go better with our yard. We are waiting for one more design and bid right now.

    I'm not sure I want to add more decking to our pool, because we also have a large garden and a dog run.

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