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Thread: Potential new pool owner - tons of questions

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    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    millington, NJ

    Potential new pool owner - tons of questions

    A little about me (us). We are a family of 4 with 2 young kids (4 & 2 soon to be 5 & 3). Got a grand idea to start looking into pools. We don't have a ton of money to budget and really want something (relatively) maintenance free. So we are leaning toward fiberglass. We have been talking to a few builders and one really has us intrigued. Am I allowed to say the pool manufacturer?

    Here is the package he proposes:
    13x33 free form pool (16,000)
    Permit preparation
    Sealed set of pool plans
    Poll layout and design
    Standard pool excavation
    Dirt removal
    Crushed stone foundation
    Building inspections
    Built in fiberglass steps (a given...)
    Pentair superflo high performance 1.5 HP pump
    Pentair Cartridge or sand filter (my town may not allow sand)
    Equipment pad
    Backfilling and grading of pool and adjacent disturbed areas
    crushed stone backfill
    temp construction fence
    LED multi color underwater lighting (pentair globrite)
    Electrical service to pool equipment (up to 50')
    Complete pool plumbing including: 2 individually piped returns, pentair skimmer, 2 bottom wall drains, 2" ridged and flex piping and all necessary fittings, 2 valves
    complete premium maintenance kit including: vacuum head and hose, vacuum pole, skim vac, test strips, leaf net, pool brush, thermometer
    Cantilever brushed finished concrete sidewalk (3' wide around perimeter of pool)
    Under shell pool foundation dewatering drain line
    Clean up and off site removal of pool material packaging debris
    Complete start up chemical package
    on site pool start up and orientation with technician

    Price for this $31,800

    Then some upgrades
    125 btu heat pump (pentair ultratemp high performance heat pump) $4200
    Salt generator system (pentair intellichlor) $1300
    Variable speed pump (pentair intelliflo) $600
    automatic cleaner (Pentair prowler 820) $900 - will probably omit
    Stamped concrete with extra patio $TBD

    We met with him and asked a ton of questions. Layout in backyard is nice, but will likely go to town for variance to get closer to property line. I would consider vinyl, but live next to wildlife and open space and scared the resident groundhog will kill it. This price is in line with others, maybe a little better with the extras (LED lights included).

    What are some of your expert thoughts? Those that have put pools in hoping to use them, but with a fear of not using, what was the outcome? We are so on the fence of what we want to do. One hour we are really excited and ready to forward, the next we come up with some drawback.


  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Tucson, AZ

    Re: Potential new pool owner - tons of questions

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    There is no such thing as maintenance free. The chemical maintenance is virturally identical whether plaster, vinyl or fiberglass.
    Some notes as I go down the list:
    - Get a 2-speed pump (oops just saw the upgrade to VS)
    - Get a large filter (for 16k gallons, 225sqft cartridge or 23" sand, given short season, a little smaller would be fine)
    - Throw the test strips away before even opening them. Invest in one of the Recommended Test Kits

    My kids would live in the pool if allowed too (now 6 and 8) ... both were swimming unassisted by 4.
    You climate is a lot cooler, so hopefully the heat pump would allow for longer season, a cover would greatly help with the heat retention.

    We are not here to talk you into a pool, but if you decide to get one, we are certainly here to help with maintenance
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Anderson, SC

    Re: Potential new pool owner - tons of questions

    I'm new to the site but I can help some with your fears of having a pool and not using it. My girls are 8 and 5, I wouldn't trade having a pool for anything. We bought a house with one and I was skeptical but it is very worth it. I'm sure you've had the "what should we do with the kids this weekend" conversation a million times...especially during the summer. Having a pool eliminates that. I do yard work, vacuum the pool, etc on Saturday mornings and by lunch time we are outside and pretty much stay there until Sunday evening. Its great.
    IG vinyl liner, 26,000 gallon, Heyward sand filter with 1.5 HP pump

  4. Back To Top    #4
    happyheathen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Sacramento CA

    Re: Potential new pool owner - tons of questions

    How long have you been in the home? The neighborhood?

    Are there any nearby public pools? How well attended, compared to the number of local school students?

    Ideally: any comparable homes with pools? In ground? Above ground? How many kids are there on a hot Saturday afternoon?

    If you are too new to the area to kknow private pool locations, maybe go to Zillow or such, plug in your Zip Code and view the Satellite images and look for blue spots.
    And look real closly for green ones - those are pools that didn't work out, for whatever reason.

    Oh yes: another vote for "Low Maintenance" and "Pool" do not belong in the same sentence.

    Look into pool cleaners.

    As pure robotics get cheaper, the difference between pressure/suction/robot will get blurry, but: It might not be a bad idea, while the pipes are being laid, to have a pressure line installed and capped at the pad. Leave space and available voltage for a booster. Have space for an added switch or timer, or whatever controller you use.
    If you end up wanting a pressure cleaner, plopping down a booster and splicing it into existing pipe is MUCH easier than the alternative. Pipe is cheap, and a box big enough for another controller is not that much more than one with no additional space.

    Just my $0.02.
    1980's 15,000 Gal IG Plaster; 1 1/2 hp Hayward Northstar; Hayward Swimclear C3025 Cartridge Filter (325 sq ft, nom.); Pentair Legend; Polaris PB4-60; Equipment 40' from pool. p.s.: it's an aye-aye.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Mod Squad
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    DFW, TX

    Re: Potential new pool owner - tons of questions

    The Superflo 1-1/2 hp pump is available in a variable speed model.

    The best things you can do to reduce maintenance are
    Get a VS pump, you can run it more and it is cheap
    Get saltwater chlorine generation
    Robots are more popular these days than pressure side cleaners
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Sacramento, CA

    Re: Potential new pool owner - tons of questions

    It makes no sense to have a booster pump for a cleaner in any high cost electricity state. Also in high cost states you should almost certainly get a VS pump. The price of electricity is not going down.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Heliocol solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Folsom Prison, CA

    Re: Potential new pool owner - tons of questions

    As others have mentioned, there is no such thing as a maintenance free pool. That being said, it is a lot easier than you would think. Read up on the pool school link at the top of the page and see if it is something you want to take on yourself. If not, you will probably be spending $75-$150 a month for a pool guy depending on level of service. One thing you didn't mention in the package is covers and safety. A freeform pool is harder to cover, and you might want to consider a safety fence around the perimeter of the pool since you have young children. You can find automatic covers on a built in frame that would satisfy both of those issues. If it was me and I was building a new pool, that is exactly what I would do: go rectangular and get an automatic cover that is safe for kids.
    Jeff || 19,000g IGP || SwimClear 3025 Cartridge Filter || Hayward TriStar 1.39 THP pump || K-2006 Test Kit || 80% Surface Coverage Heliocol || Hayward Controller || Hayward Phoenix 4X4 || "Solar Rings" || PoolSkim

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