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Thread: Brainstorming help please! Need to build a pool... indoors... in a theatre.

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    Brainstorming help please! Need to build a pool... indoors... in a theatre.

    Long time forum lurker here who enjoys crystal clear water in my pool thanks to everyone's help. I searched the forum for this question and am quite confident it's never been asked before.

    My daughter is a high school senior who actively participates in the school drama program. Unfortunately, I'm one of the dads who can't say 'no' when asked to help with set design, construction, etc. This year's season was recently announced, and the fall play is one called 'Metamorphoses' by Mary Zimmerman. (see wikipedia for plot points). Water is an important symbol throughout the play's vignettes, and productions usually construct a pool of some sort as a set element. Yes... you read that right. They build pools when they stage this play.

    So after getting over the shock the school director's desire to build a pool INSIDE the school auditorium my head started to reel with the details. I did a little online research and found a relatively detailed account of how one troupe constructed their pool.

    Our director wants to build a variable depth pool on the floor area in front of the stage, apparently similar to the pool linked above. For the sake of brainstorming, I assumed a 20' x 30' rectangular pool at an average depth of 18". That yields 900 cubic feet which converts (I believe) to over 6700 gallons!

    I can handle building a wood-frame structure capable of containing the mass of the water. My bigger concerns are these:
    - While I know a lot about keeping my backyard pool safe and sanitary, I don't know what I don't know about doing the same for an indoor, temporary pool. beyond not needing CYA indoors, do I shoot for similar levels on pH, FC, TA, etc? I'm assuming gallons of plain ol' bleach will get us through the week of tech rehearsals and performances.
    - I would appreciate suggestions on heating and filtering the pool. The link above mentions plumbing and heating the pool they built for their production, but doesn't provide much detail on equipment. All I know about heating pools comes from the gas-fired behemoth sitting in my back yard. Are there electric options which may be used indoors where venting may be impractical or impossible?
    - Pond liner seemed to me to be a great option for containing the water. It's expensive, tho... Are there more economical options out there? Any suggestions for a material that's particularly easy to work with?

    Oh, and as if that wasn't enough, I need to ensure NO damage occurs to the school's auditorium, which was completely renovated at great expense four years ago...

    I'm still not sure I've gotten over the shock of what's being asked here... So please... What ideas do you folks have to help me pull this off?
    Greg R.

    12,000 gallon fiberglass in-ground, Aqua-Rite SWG, 1 HP single speed Hayward Super Pump, Hayward 200# top valve sand filter, 150K BTU Natural Gas heater, automatic cover, Blue Diamond robot, and lots of noodles.

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    Re: Brainstorming help please! Need to build a pool... indoors... in a theatre.

    Can't really help you with the direct questions asked. But food for thought, how will you handle evaporation / HVAC? Don't want the place to start smelling moldy!
    16,000 gallons in-ground, raised spa with spill-way, PebbleTec finish. Cartridge Filter M/N CV460, Main Pump; Jandy VSSHP270AUT variable speed ePump, Polaris PB4-60 cleaner pump, Jandy PLC1400 SWG

    I still prefer our boat over the pool

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    Re: Brainstorming help please! Need to build a pool... indoors... in a theatre.

    Oh, geez. That's a good question! I know the place has a pretty robust HVAC system that went in with the renovation. But I have no idea how it will deal with something like a pool heated to 90+ degrees F (assuming we can get it heated to that level).
    Greg R.

    12,000 gallon fiberglass in-ground, Aqua-Rite SWG, 1 HP single speed Hayward Super Pump, Hayward 200# top valve sand filter, 150K BTU Natural Gas heater, automatic cover, Blue Diamond robot, and lots of noodles.

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    Re: Brainstorming help please! Need to build a pool... indoors... in a theatre.

    That just sounds like a bad idea, but let us know how it goes.
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    MARCO...polo's Avatar
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    Re: Brainstorming help please! Need to build a pool... indoors... in a theatre.

    IMHO: Regardless of the logistics of the project: High School students and an indoor temporary pond will not end well. Just saying...
    13,000 gal.Peanut shaped IG Plaster (med. gray) w/ 7' raised spa. ALL Pentair: Intelliflow 3hp VS, Cartridge filter, 400,000 btu heater, 2.0hp spa motor, Easy Touch control panel & is4 spa side switch, Intellichlor 40C SWG, Paramount PV3 In Floor cleaning system, spa spillway and two sheer descents. Solar: 10 FAFCO panels 1.5hp booster. Testt kits: K-2006 & K1766 (Chloride/Salt) Fill date August 15, 2114.

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    Re: Brainstorming help please! Need to build a pool... indoors... in a theatre.

    Let me pop some corn and watch this...
    16X32 AB, Pentair SD filter, 3/4hp Pentair Optiflo, CircuPool RJ30+ swg, TF 100

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    Re: Brainstorming help please! Need to build a pool... indoors... in a theatre.

    Trust me... nobody here can voice a reservation about this that hasn't already been voiced. I'm really only seeking advice on how to keep the water safe. That's the point of this forum, yes?
    Greg R.

    12,000 gallon fiberglass in-ground, Aqua-Rite SWG, 1 HP single speed Hayward Super Pump, Hayward 200# top valve sand filter, 150K BTU Natural Gas heater, automatic cover, Blue Diamond robot, and lots of noodles.

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    Re: Brainstorming help please! Need to build a pool... indoors... in a theatre.

    I'll avoid comment on the idea in general, but wanted to point out that you do need CYA in an indoor pool. It buffers the chlorine and without it the chlorinated water can be harsh. 10-20 CYA is what is generally advised I believe.
    32K gallon Plaster - 1hp Hayward 2 speed Super Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF100XL
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    Re: Brainstorming help please! Need to build a pool... indoors... in a theatre.

    CYA IS needed in an indoor pool... I had no idea. Precisely the kind of input I was hoping to get. Thank you.
    Greg R.

    12,000 gallon fiberglass in-ground, Aqua-Rite SWG, 1 HP single speed Hayward Super Pump, Hayward 200# top valve sand filter, 150K BTU Natural Gas heater, automatic cover, Blue Diamond robot, and lots of noodles.

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    Re: Brainstorming help please! Need to build a pool... indoors... in a theatre.

    Not to pile on here, but that sounds like an immense amount of work for a high school play. Out of curiosity how many performances will it run? And think about the potential mixing of electricity, water, and children! Also consider how catastrophic a large leak/failure would be and who is going to be responsible for the ramifications. 6,700gls=over 50K lbs!
    30K? gal (20x40, 3ft shallow to 8-9ft hopper), Vinyl IG, single speed 1HP pump, Hayward Micro Clear DE-3600 filter, Hayward Aqua Rite SWG T15 Cell, Rheem/Raypack M206A heater

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    Re: Brainstorming help please! Need to build a pool... indoors... in a theatre.

    I know you say you're comfortable with building the frame, and this isn't what you're asking about, but have you seen this thread?



    Hanging a rectangular Intex Ultra Frame Pool directly from the pool deck

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    Re: Brainstorming help please! Need to build a pool... indoors... in a theatre.

    I think the show is scheduled to run several times over the course of a weekend. Yes, I agree it's overboard. We have a pattern of building pretty extravagant sets for these shows. The choice of play is pretty much set in stone due to licensing/copyright issues that I won't go into here. So the discussion for us is how far we are willing to go with this set. My intent is to go into our design sessions with a list of things we need to do to ensure the safety of 1) the kids, and 2) the facility. If doing all those things become cost prohibitive then we will know all we need to to make changes to the physical design.
    Greg R.

    12,000 gallon fiberglass in-ground, Aqua-Rite SWG, 1 HP single speed Hayward Super Pump, Hayward 200# top valve sand filter, 150K BTU Natural Gas heater, automatic cover, Blue Diamond robot, and lots of noodles.

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    Re: Brainstorming help please! Need to build a pool... indoors... in a theatre.

    What's the total lifetime you expect for the pool? What kind of swimming and how often? Wearing costumes, clothing, or swimming suits? That will affect a few things, I think.

    Things to address:

    - Leak detection - you will definitely want to have water sensors around the pool, with loud alarms. Water will ruin an auditorium floor quickly.
    - Humidity - ALWAYS cover the pool when it's not actively in use, you will keep the humidity down a lot (having an indoor pool, I am experienced with this). Run an exhauster fan for an hour or two after the pool has been recovered, and you should be able to pull the humidity down to the 50% range (depending on the humidity of your make up air).
    - CYA - for the limited lifetime and limited swimming, I would just use dichlor if you're really worried - otherwise just use 0 CYA. We went from CYA ~ 0 on a new fill to barely measurable (10 or 20) by using the leftover bucket of dichlor we were left with. Yes, unbuffered chlorine can be harsh, but if you're keeping it in the 3 to 4 range, and only limited swimming is taking place, from experience we haven't had an issue.
    - Liner - I can't see anything that is feasible that isn't expensive like a pond liner. (Leaks are not a thing to trifle with).
    - Rules - zero tolerance. First person to horseplay, push, etc. gets escorted out and not allowed back. Let everybody know this is the case.
    - Security - LOCK LOCK LOCK the room when it is unsupervised. No ifs, ands, or buts. Even better if you have some sort of alarm system.
    - Levels - here I have to defer to the experts - but left to my own I would focus on FC and pH - err slightly on the high side for FC, and test and adjust both before and after EVERY swim / show in addition to daily.

    You'll notice that most of this is less about the water and more about the facility and its management.

    Pumps, filters, heaters - here I am guessing. Would love for others to chime in:

    - build a simple rig on a skid of some sort, so that you can anchor everything down
    - you can probably get away with light duty equipment
    - you want to be absolutely certain the pump is on ground fault protection (much easier to do if it's 110/120 VAC not 220/240)
    - I would guess a cartridge filter would be much easier than a sand filter
    - You're really on your own when it comes to heating. As you said, pool heaters are beastly. We're lucky - we have a little torpedo shaped heat exchanger that uses our boiler for hot water - I don't think the school will let you tie into their boiler though

    Take all of this with a grain of salt, I'm just going on my best instincts... our pool is very self contained, and what you're describing is an entertaining challenge. In my other life I dealt with 10,000 GPM pumps and 1,000 HP motors... the beauty there is no teenagers involved - good luck!
    Approx. 22,000 gallon 15 x 30 tile lined indoor pool, Taylor K-2006, heat exchanger from main boiler, 3/4 hp Hayward Super Pump, SandMaster sand filter.

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    Re: Brainstorming help please! Need to build a pool... indoors... in a theatre.

    From others experience the frame looks "easy" enough. Heating seems to be the difficult part, what are your thoughts there? I semi-seriously suggest every costume conceals a wet-suit.
    30K? gal (20x40, 3ft shallow to 8-9ft hopper), Vinyl IG, single speed 1HP pump, Hayward Micro Clear DE-3600 filter, Hayward Aqua Rite SWG T15 Cell, Rheem/Raypack M206A heater

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    Re: Brainstorming help please! Need to build a pool... indoors... in a theatre.

    I had not seen that thread. It is a fascinating idea. I'm pushing for a much smaller volume of water. The director threw out 2 feet as the max depth (hence my estimation of 18" for an average originally). I'm advocating for 12". They won't be doing laps, after all. It's a set piece.

    And I do appreciate the details above on leak detection, humidity, etc. I'm really concerned about keeping the water warm. room temperature in the theater is maybe 72 degrees. Good luck staying in character after getting out of the pool, kid.
    Last edited by rodrigo; 08-29-2016 at 02:23 PM. Reason: replying to another reply!
    Greg R.

    12,000 gallon fiberglass in-ground, Aqua-Rite SWG, 1 HP single speed Hayward Super Pump, Hayward 200# top valve sand filter, 150K BTU Natural Gas heater, automatic cover, Blue Diamond robot, and lots of noodles.

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    Re: Brainstorming help please! Need to build a pool... indoors... in a theatre.

    OK the engineer in me wants to see this happen...

    What about using something like this: https://www.wayfair.ca/2.5-Gallon-Mi...5-EAQ1031.html

    This is a plug-in portable electric water heater. Take a bypass line off of the outflow of your filter pump, and drive the water through this heater. It won't be quick:

    - 1440 watts = about 5200 kj / h
    - specific heat capacity of water is 4200 j / kg degree C (4.2 kj / kg degree C)
    - 6700 gallons = 25000 litres = 25000 kg

    So, to raise 25,000 kg of water by 1 degree C we need 25,000 x 4.2 = 105,000 kJ
    We can put 105,000 jK into the water in 105,000 / 5200 = 20 hours

    Basically, you can heat 1 degree C in 20 hours with that little heater. If you scaled to a bigger heater you can reduce the time.

    Once the water is up to temperature, a small heater like this will probably manage - but not sure about getting it up to temperature in the first place.

    Thoughts? Comments? Issues with my math? Sorry for the metric, it's easier to work in.
    Approx. 22,000 gallon 15 x 30 tile lined indoor pool, Taylor K-2006, heat exchanger from main boiler, 3/4 hp Hayward Super Pump, SandMaster sand filter.

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    Re: Brainstorming help please! Need to build a pool... indoors... in a theatre.

    Quote Originally Posted by oh_me_oh_my View Post
    OK the engineer in me wants to see this happen...

    What about using something like this: https://www.wayfair.ca/2.5-Gallon-Mi...5-EAQ1031.html

    This is a plug-in portable electric water heater. Take a bypass line off of the outflow of your filter pump, and drive the water through this heater. It won't be quick:

    - 1440 watts = about 5200 kj / h
    - specific heat capacity of water is 4200 j / kg degree C (4.2 kj / kg degree C)
    - 6700 gallons = 25000 litres = 25000 kg

    So, to raise 25,000 kg of water by 1 degree C we need 25,000 x 4.2 = 105,000 kJ
    We can put 105,000 jK into the water in 105,000 / 5200 = 20 hours

    Basically, you can heat 1 degree C in 20 hours with that little heater. If you scaled to a bigger heater you can reduce the time.

    Once the water is up to temperature, a small heater like this will probably manage - but not sure about getting it up to temperature in the first place.

    Thoughts? Comments? Issues with my math? Sorry for the metric, it's easier to work in.
    You're assuming no heat loss and 100% transfer.
    30K? gal (20x40, 3ft shallow to 8-9ft hopper), Vinyl IG, single speed 1HP pump, Hayward Micro Clear DE-3600 filter, Hayward Aqua Rite SWG T15 Cell, Rheem/Raypack M206A heater

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    Re: Brainstorming help please! Need to build a pool... indoors... in a theatre.

    Quote Originally Posted by ckk81 View Post
    You're assuming no heat loss and 100% transfer.
    Yep... have to start somewhere - more an estimate of feasibility. (Spherical Cow for reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spherical_cow)
    Approx. 22,000 gallon 15 x 30 tile lined indoor pool, Taylor K-2006, heat exchanger from main boiler, 3/4 hp Hayward Super Pump, SandMaster sand filter.

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    Re: Brainstorming help please! Need to build a pool... indoors... in a theatre.

    Well, I for one, think it looks to be an awesome project... I only thought of the bonding of the water, being sure no lights are set directly above the pool... if its designed similar to the link you shared, you may be at half the gallons do to the slope from shallow to maximum depth. You definitely need the heater... And it looks more like a pond than a pool.. and you might check out parts and pieces for a pond.. indoor ponds are not horribly uncommon in commercial areas such as malls...
    Cement Pond <--- build - 15K gal, 16 x 34 Rectangle, All Pentair - 520 Filter, 2 Intelliflo 2VST pumps (3hp) - 1 filter/1 water features, EasyTouch 8, Screen Logic, IC60 SWG,
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    Re: Brainstorming help please! Need to build a pool... indoors... in a theatre.

    I appreciate these ideas and input. I knew heating would be a significant challenge. I was wondering if multiple small heaters plumbed in series would get the job done, but at the rate calculated above it would take several of them to be close to practical.

    Electrical bonding. I hadn't thought of that! This is why I posted here.
    Greg R.

    12,000 gallon fiberglass in-ground, Aqua-Rite SWG, 1 HP single speed Hayward Super Pump, Hayward 200# top valve sand filter, 150K BTU Natural Gas heater, automatic cover, Blue Diamond robot, and lots of noodles.

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