I've been lurking around for a few months, learning a lot of good information from the forums. My wife and I have decided we are ready to install an inground pool. I was at my friend's dad's house a few weeks ago and talked to him about his pool. He did the owner build thing a few years ago (he owns/runs an excavation company, so he did his own dirtwork) and between his advice and everything I've read on here, I'm convinced it's the way to go.
We purchased a license for pool studio to get the layout and landscaping details ironed out. I've decided to do the electrical and plumbing work myself. I have a background in residential construction and remodel, so I'm pretty well equipped and knowledgeable about this sort of work. My buddy's dad will do the excavation and I'm going to contact a local gunite company that does a lot of work in this area. Hopefully they can get me in touch with a good steel shop to do the rebar. There's a local plaster company that is highly recommended, so I think I've got the subs sorted out.
We are planning on an 18 x 40 rectangular pool, 3.5 - 8.0' deep with Coverstart autocover. For equipment I'm looking at:
Pentair Intelliflo VS
Pentair CCP cartidge filter (haven't decided on 420 vs 520 yet)
Intellibrite lights (x2)
Pentair MagicFalls sheer descents, 12" (x3)
Globrite lights under the sheer descents (x3)
For the cleaner, I can't decide if a robot is best or go with the Polaris 280 with Pentair Boostrite pump. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I'm going to have 2 main drains and 2 skimmers. I would appreciate brand/model recommendations on both. For the main drains, I'm assuming most gunite pools have field-fabricated sumps with a 2" pipe stubbed into the bottom? Both sumps would tee to a 3" suction back to the pad. Both skimmers will be home run with 2" to the pad.
We are also considering a Paradise Slides 25' fiberglass waterslide. I've done a bit of research on the slides, but there's just not a lot of info out there. I did talk to both Dolphin and Paradise and I think I'll be going with Paradise. I need some help designing the water delivery system for the slide. Paradise states design flow rate of 200gpm (which seems really high!) and Dolphin states 125 - 150 for the same size slide. Either way, the Intelliflo VS MIGHT be able to supply close to the recommended flow rate. I think it could do 150 gpm with 3" suction and return piping going to the slide. I'm envisioning a 3" return that bypasses the filter for supply to the waterslide. I'm thinking the flow mode for the slide would have the drains and both skimmers fully open on the suction side, all pool returns shut off and the 3" return to the slide fully open. The sheer descents will be plumbed from a 2" line that could still be open in this mode. Do you think this would work or do I need to have a dedicated waterslide pump? If so, what brand/model would be appropriate? Also, where would this waterslide pump get it's suction? Could it tie to the suction manifold at the pad or does it need its own set of drain(s)?
Also, I have a general questions regarding the return plumbing. I'm planning on four returns, plus one more for the Polaris (if we go that route). Where the returns stub through the wall, is that just a 1 1/2" pipe with a 1 1/2" MPT adapter on it? Obviously all of the returns and drain lines will be stubbed long and capped for the gunite, but what should it look like after gunite? Do the plaster guys cut them flush with the plaster or is that to be done prior to plaster? Dumb question, but I can't seem to find that info on the web anywhere.
If you have any additional suggestions for different equipment, I'm definitely open to it. I've tried to stick with mostly Pentair as they are reasonably priced and have a pretty good reputation. Thanks in advance for any advice. I'm sure there will be many more questions to come!