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Thread: Yet another pre-build thread :D

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    Yet another pre-build thread :D

    Greetings everyone ! Apologies for the wall of text in advance.

    I am in the design phase of the whole pool building process and thought I would run some things by you all for opinions and or advice based on your experiences.

    I live about twenty miles north of Galveston, TX. The Summers are stupid hot, the humidity is usually off the chart, and the mosquitoes carry off small pets from time to time. Fall and Winter months are mild with average air temps hovering in the low sixties during the Winter. ( We occasionally get a week or two of colder weather, but that's about it. )

    Having had enough of not being able to go outside at all due to the heat, humidity and the mosquito mob that demands a blood donation anytime you dare to venture out, the pool project idea came to life after being in a friends pool recently.

    The pool is going to be a basic rectangular design of 15 x 30. ( ~15k gal ) This is the maximum size pool I can put into the back yard while keeping enough decking space around the entire thing to allow easy access to all sides of the pool for maintenance / cleaning. ( minimum 4' - 6' of decking around entire perimeter )

    The pool will be 4.5' deep on one end transitioning to 5' on the other. While a bit short, it will primarily be used as an exercise / lap pool. As we have no children ( nor plans to ) only two adults will be using the pool on a regular basis.

    Decking will encompass the majority of the back yard. Typical concrete / spray-deck setup. A standalone hot tub will be installed as the home does not have gas lines available to it to heat an in-ground version. Costs to have gas company install said gas lines into the neighborhood are in the ludicrous range, so that option is right out. This means I will be doing water chemistry for both a pool and a hot-tub independently.

    The entire pool and decking area will be fully covered with a screen enclosure. ( ~1500 sq feet ) These are typically found around the Florida area but will be mandatory in my case for a few reasons noted below.

    1) Trees surrounding the property would make keeping leaves / debris out of the pool a daily nightmare.
    2) If the heat or humidity isn't enough, the mosquitoes cheer anytime anyone walks into the back yard.
    3) I live with a large parrot. The enclosure will be a safety barrier to allow him supervised outside time without worry of predators ( hawks ) or loss of a fully flighted bird.

    This link will give you an idea of the type of enclosure I'm looking at.

    Extra reinforcement will get added around the edges of the decking to allow the structure to bolt down to it. Big plus to my pool builder who has worked with the enclosure company before and knows exactly what needs to be done.

    In theory, the enclosure should help keep the pool a bit cleaner as there will effectively be zero debris / critters or insects coming in from outside of it. ( Other than Pollen Armageddon during the Spring anyway )

    The equipment loadout looks something like this:
    ( I don't have specific models available atm as my proposal sheet isn't in front of me )

    Hayward Variable Speed pump
    Hayward Cartridge Filter
    Hayward Aquarite SWG
    Hayward Colorlogic LED lights ( 1-2 unsure how many I would need on a pool this size )
    AquaCal T135 HeatPump
    UV setup to help with water sterilization


    Most of that is pretty typical with maybe the exception of the UV and HeatPump.

    I would like to extend the swimming season as much as I possibly can, thus the reasons for the HeatPump. The average air temps and humidity down here should make it a pretty decent choice since I don't have a gas option. It should work pretty well for all but the coldest days we have. ( Which aren't all that many tbh ) A pool cover will be mandatory to retain the heat in the cooler months.

    One concern is the fact the pool will never get direct sunlight shining on it due to the enclosure. As a result, the pool may run cooler than normal. Great news in the dead of summer when pool temps can easily exceed 90f+. Not so much when the weather starts to finally cool down in late Fall. ( Would a darker plaster do anything to heat the pool from sunlight behind an enclosure ? )

    The idea is to keep the water temps in the 75ish range in the Fall / Winter time frames. It will be what it will be in the Summer.

    The pool coping will be travertine. The plaster is Pebble-Tech I think. Decking is concrete / spray-deck I believe. No waterfalls, slides, Vatican sized marble fountains, etc. A simple pool where I can get away from the world and exercise or swim about in peace is pretty much the goal here.

    I know SaltWater systems fall into one of two camps. Those who love them, and those who hate them. As an ex-Navy type, I can fully attest to what high salinity ( read that seawater ) does to anything and everything that comes into contact with it.

    However, I know that a SW pool is a fraction of the salinity of seawater. I also know that choosing the right type of materials and equipment is a big factor in how the pool will perform in the long run. My very irrelevant opinion on the subject says that most pool failures are likely due to two things:

    1) Improper material or equipment selection. ( SW + Soft Stone or equipment not designed for it = bad idea )
    2) Failure to maintain your water chemistry. ( Out of whack levels are very rough on everything )

    Having recently been in a SW pool, I think we're leaning toward that setup vs the old school chlorine tablet systems of old.

    Now that you know the basics, I would LOVE to hear any opinions about any part of this setup. Especially interested in those who have experience with the heatpumps and / or enclosure systems as neither of them are very common in this area.
    Fantasy is merely reality divided by zero. . . .

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    Re: Yet another pre-build thread :D

    You've done your homework and it looks like you know what you want. Here's my thoughts in no apparent order -

    1. Go deeper with the pool...at 5.5' i'd be scraping my knuckles trying to do laps. Maybe a 4.5' to 6' transition? Do you have room for a sport pool setup (4-5.5-4)?

    2. SWG's all the way!! You obviously know that proper materials selection and compatibility is key.

    3. I don't think the UV system is going to do much for you. Bather load (2 people) is way too low to be of a concern and your screen enclosure will let some UV light in. I think it's just going to be wasteful toy.

    4. Heat pump is a great option. Let me ask you this - do you have rooftop exposures that would allow you to install some solar heating panels? Also, there's a company here in Tucson that specializes in pairing solarPV electrical systems with heat pumps to make pool heating costs very low as opposed to using traditional solar heating collectors. It's an expensive option, but anytime you can cut the electric bills down is a good thing in my book...maybe there's someone in your area that does something similar?

    5. ecoFinish aquaBright - check out this new surface material that's got lots of interest here on the forum - ecoFINISH aquaBRIGHT longterm review . It's basically an inert thermoplastic material that sits on top of traditional plaster. So far the reviews are good and, if the chemistry pans out the way it seems to, it's a lot easier to balance the pool water and keep it that way with minimal chemical additions...

    Good luck. Look forward to seeing how your build progresses.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Yet another pre-build thread :D

    Interesting points.

    I gave some thought about a lap pool depth based on our height. I considered going deeper a bit, but in addition to laps she wants to be able to touch bottom with her head above water for some areas of the pool. I'll have to do some more measurements on arm lengths to see if we'll scrape the bottom or not.

    I wondered about the UV system, but the PB thought is you won't need as much chlorine generated with an active UV system in place. What I DO know is the bulbs on a UV system are rarely cheap and require replacement periodically to maintain their effectiveness. Will have to look further into that.

    While we do have decent rooftop exposure for a solar setup, I wonder if the roof structure could handle the extra weight that will come along with installing them. ( Home was built in 1979 ) I'll have to look into how many solar cells it would require to run the HeatPump when the energy is available. Probably need to look into how well the panels handle hurricane force winds since my location makes that a possibility from time to time.

    Likely a down the road consideration due to where we are budget wise on the project as it sits today. ( that enclosure is half the cost of the pool )

    I'll run the AquaBrite option by the builder to see if they have any experience installing it.


    Been reading the site most of the morning. Already have notes on a few things I had not considered initially. ( Things like placement and number of skimmers. Placement and number of lights. Etc )
    Fantasy is merely reality divided by zero. . . .

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    Re: Yet another pre-build thread :D

    You can see some of my thoughts/writings on UV here - Can I leave pucks in my in-line chlorinator when it's off?

    Honestly, it's a waste and the claim made by PB's that "it reduces chlorine usage" is just a bogus sales literature bullet point. In some cases (like yours) where the pool will remain clean most of the time and have very low bather load, UV can actually increase FC demand, not lower it. UV finds it's most efficient use in high bather load applications (like spas and hot tubs) where it can work as a supplimental oxidation source. In a normal, residential swimming pool, you'd can turn the UV system off and would see practically no difference in either water quality or chemistry.

    Your PB will likely no nothing about ecoBright as it is a fairly new product in this part of the country. Your PB would have to sub out the work to one of their licensed installers (I don't how many of those are actually in your area) which means your PB will not make much money off the pool surfacing portion of the job. SO don't be surprised if he comes back trashing the idea. I would suggest you investigate it independently on your own and talk to the OP in that link I posted to about it as well as to one of our TFP pool building experts, bdavis466, as he is in the process of becoming a licensed applicator for that product and he visited their facility in Pennsylvania.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Arrow Re: Yet another pre-build thread :D

    Welcome to TFP!! And Howdy Neighbor! (sort of - We're in Cypress) Wow! You have done a lot of homework!

    Exercise and lap swimming... Those were/are big on my list for wanting a pool - along with ending the summer hibernation indoors. I'm not sure what exercises you have in mind, so I'll share my 1 year pool ownership experience. We have a 7' deep end but 6.5' probably would have been ok for my water aerobics. 5' would not have worked for me since I do a lot of bicycle treading water type exercises (I'm 5'7"). I love the 4' shallow end for all the other non water treading exercises. The other feature I love is my sun shelf (6" depth) for doing floor type exercises - yoga stuff, etc. We also love the shelf for sitting in chairs (6" doesn't get my bottom wet). I can sit out here (like I am now) with feet in the water and recline while still in my shorts. (no time right now for getting in and out of the whole swim suit thing). And for lap swimming which I do occasionally, you might want to eek out a few more feet in the pool length if yard and the enclosure allow. I wish I had gone with only 3' of decking at the ends. That gives plenty of room for walking. You sound pretty sure about what you want, so I hesitated to mention the pool length/depth and sun shelf. Those things work well for me.

    For the reasons you gave, I think you'll love having the enclosure! That's way too cool having this space for the parrot, too. The mosquitoes are a giant pain. I still don't have a good battle plan on that front.

    And I'm envious of your plans to keep the water warm enough for all year use. That would be my heaven! I have a medium color pebble plaster. I've wondered in October and April if a darker plaster would help with the water temp. One thing for sure, you'll love getting to be outside in the summer!
    Congrats on all your exciting plans - good work!
    Suz
    Suz~Cypress area~ 2015 pool build. 23K gallons. IG swcg system. 35'x18'; 573sf; 104' perim; depth 4'-7'. Bubblers, sheer descents, 7' spa. Jandy: color LEDs; 2HP 2sp pump; 1HP 2sp pump; spa pump; 580 cartridge; 400K BTU; Dolphin M500; PS8; Inline chlorinator not used; Aqua Pure 1400. Blue Granite Sheen. Travertine deck. Lightstreams Peacock Blue TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

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    Re: Yet another pre-build thread :D

    You already have most of it thought about so I will throw out my wants:

    -Pictures of the area the pool will be going in.

    -pictures of the bird and tell us his story

    -list of equipment when you have it in front of you (include models please)

    Thanks for letting us help you build your pool and spend your money!

    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: Yet another pre-build thread :D

    @SuzfromTexas

    Chuckle. This is still all in the planning phase atm I can't even begin to calculate how much time I've spent measuring and trying to visualize where everything will sit. Even went all OCD on it and jumped into my favorite CAD program to try and see how much space different options would give me.

    We are limited on pool width due to proximity of the house and easements on the back side of the lot. When considering length, I have to take into consideration how the enclosure ties into the house and the building code requirements that tell me how close I can build to the neighbors property line and / or easements as well. I could probably squeeze out a few more feet in length, but we wanted a bit of extra space on one side for chairs, table, or whatever.

    I will attach a simple file that will show the dimensions and measurements I've been playing around with. One of my concerns is where the equipment pad will be located and if it will be big enough to accommodate all of the gear or not. We have a 4' x 7' space to the right of the AC unit that will also be under the screened in enclosure that I would like to try to use if at all possible.

    The hashed areas around the decking indicate the reinforcement areas where the enclosure will go. The beams will eat up 1' of space so 4' edge of pool to deck edge will only give me 3' of usable space after the enclosure is up.

    The hot-tub is where it is in order to use the house to block out the West sun in the evenings. Don't want to sit in tub and stare into the sun until it goes down

    If looking at the drawing, trees are all along the North and East edges of the property so you can see why the enclosure is a must. Probably looking at double door entrance on the West side of enclosure and single door on the East. Need double size if you need to bring anything in equipment wise that may not fit through a normal sized door.

    The -plan- is to keep the pool open year round. ( Reality may dictate otherwise lol ) Our weather should allow the heat-pump to operate on all but our coldest days which, as you know, last about a week or two at best. I think the addition of a simple cover to trap the heat in during the Fall / Winter will keep the elec bills down enough to allow year round use.

    Being able to just go outside in the Summer would be a nice change of pace



    @KimKats

    Here's a CAD mockup of what the basic design is going to look like. Going to have to do quite a bit of limb trimming before this happens though as the tree limbs overhang nearly half of the back yard.

    My buddy is an eleven year old Umbrella Cockatoo named Tic-Tac. Having a large parrot as a companion is challenging Right now he's in molting / mating season so it's absolute chaos. He has a pretty decent sized cage inside ( 4' x 4' x 7' ) but needs sunlight for optimal health. Figured a giant sized enclosure with a few perches should give him a much larger space to play / fly around in as long as we're outside with him.

    Once I get home tonight, I'll upload specific equipment types and model numbers.
    Last edited by nehumanuscrede; 09-13-2016 at 11:31 AM. Reason: Updated the drawing
    Fantasy is merely reality divided by zero. . . .

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    Re: Yet another pre-build thread :D

    I would not locate the equipment pad anywhere near the pool (i.e., near the A/C unit). The noise, even at low levels with modern equipment, will be annoying and the array of PVC coming up out of the ground will be an eye-soar. Put the equipment pad off in the corner of the backyard away from the pool and hide it with some well placed landscaping.

    Just my 2 cents...
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Yet another pre-build thread :D

    Ok. The noise may not be too terrible ( we can barely hear the AC unit when it's running ) but you're probably spot on about the plumbing. The only other space I can think of would sit outside of the enclosure on the East side of the pool. ( In mosquito territory lol )

    Will have to run the thought by the PB to see how they planned on dealing with the plumbing.
    Fantasy is merely reality divided by zero. . . .

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    Re: Yet another pre-build thread :D

    Once that enclosure goes in, even with screens, sounds will begin to get reflected around differently. I don't see why it couldn't be way off in the NE corner (adjusting for any easements) since it is rare to have to go to the equipment pad when you have fully, computer/iPhone/Android enabled pool automation....right....you are getting automation????

    Your heat pump is essentially an A/C running in reverse. So if you put it with the other A/C unit, then you could potentially have two, humming compressors running out of phase and at slightly different frequencies....talk about annoyance....and the bird might hate you for it too

    The only upside of putting the heat pump near the A/C would be to capture waste heat from the A/C compressor and use it to help heat your pool...see this - Heat Recovery Pool Heater | Compare To Solar Pool Heater | HotSpot Energy LLC
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Yet another pre-build thread :D

    Neat name for a white bird! CUTE fella for sure! That IS a large cage for him. He is REALLY going to love the pool area!

    I like your set up but agree with the equipment........see what your PB has to say. There are sound buffers but they will take up even more space

    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: Yet another pre-build thread :D

    Okay, long day but now have the proposal in front of me. It doesn't give as much information as I thought it did, but this is what it does say:

    Pump: Hayward Tristar Variable Speed
    ( Model number not disclosed )

    Filter: Hayward C2002 Cartridge
    ( have to get clarification as I cannot find this model # in current product line up )

    Sanit: Goldline Salt Generator with T15 cell and Paramount UV
    ( have to get clarification on which AquaRite unit this is* )

    HeatPump: AquaCal Tropical T135

    Lights: Hayward Colorlogic LED x 1
    ( will increase this to at least x2 )

    Cleaner: Polaris 280 w/ booster pump or Hayward Shark Vac w/ caddy
    Looks like the plaster is Wet Edge.

    The Pebble-Tech Sheen is apparently an upgrade.
    ( a $3k upgrade at that, do you all believe the upgrade cost is worth it vs the Wet Edge ? )

    Looks like two skimmers.

    No mention of any automation system that I can find. Will have to inquire about this. ( haha they're gonna love the next email I send them ) *If I'm not mistaken, if I went with something like the AquaPlus system, the SWG is bundled in with it.


    @JoyfulNoise & KimKats

    To be honest, the plumbing would probably be more straightforward if I move the equipment pad to the East side of the enclosure as it would have a straight shot into the pool and out to the drain systems. Will query the PB about this more.
    Fantasy is merely reality divided by zero. . . .

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    Re: Yet another pre-build thread :D

    since you are limited with space, i would push the pool over some to the right to maximize the pool side deck space on the left. 4.5' on the right side isnt enough to do much besides walk around the pool, but is more than enough room for a walkway (you could trim down to 3' or less depending on how important walkway access is to you on that side). That would get you to over 10' on the left side which is the minimum for a table and chairs and would be enough room for chaise loungers (6-7 feet with 3 feet of clearance). Same comment on the back side of the pool, assuming there are no easements in that 4'. There have been some great designs Ive come across on this site where they build a wall with landscape, water features, etc. on the far side of a rectangular pool.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another pre-build thread :D

    Quote Originally Posted by grumpiebk View Post
    since you are limited with space, i would push the pool over some to the right to maximize the pool side deck space on the left. 4.5' on the right side isnt enough to do much besides walk around the pool, but is more than enough room for a walkway (you could trim down to 3' or less depending on how important walkway access is to you on that side). That would get you to over 10' on the left side which is the minimum for a table and chairs and would be enough room for chaise loungers (6-7 feet with 3 feet of clearance). Same comment on the back side of the pool, assuming there are no easements in that 4'. There have been some great designs Ive come across on this site where they build a wall with landscape, water features, etc. on the far side of a rectangular pool.
    I like this idea!

    Sounds like you have a lot to talk with you PB about LOL Let us know what they say!

    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: Yet another pre-build thread :D

    The PB will probably respond to my email I sent them last night sometime today, so I'll let you know what they say about all the equipment. Some of them get rather frustrated when I ask for this information thinking I'm shopping online for whatever deals are to be had out there, but that actually isn't the case.

    What I'm concerned about is utilizing the current generation of hardware / product. I don't want to see anything get installed that is leftover product from two years ago because the PB can get a great deal buying previous generation equipment. Makes warranty and parts a bigger pita than it should be imo. If I'm spending crazy $$$ for this project, I would like to see the most up to date versions of the equipment at the very least.

    @grumpiebk

    My drawing isn't completely finished out there but remember there will be an enclosure that will mount to the edges of the decking which will eat up at least 1' of space on all sides. The only reason I'm trying to leave that space there is for access all the way around the pool for cleaning / maintenance purposes. I could take it all the way to the edge, but it would become impossible to reach certain things on that side of the pool once the enclosure goes up. ( Skimmer baskets, wall brushing, or what have you )

    I probably should update the drawing to reflect the enclosure.
    Fantasy is merely reality divided by zero. . . .

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    Re: Yet another pre-build thread :D

    Honestly, if any PB is throwing attitude at this point, then that's a huge red-flag in my opinion. Pool builds are not perfect, things will go wrong/changes will be made mid-build/etc. If a PB is throwing attitude now, it'll only get worse.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Yet another pre-build thread :D

    I couldn't agree more!!
    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Honestly, if any PB is throwing attitude at this point, then that's a huge red-flag in my opinion. Pool builds are not perfect, things will go wrong/changes will be made mid-build/etc. If a PB is throwing attitude now, it'll only get worse.
    15x30 rectangle vinyl IG, Sta-Rite Cristal-Flo II 19" sand filter, Sta-Rite Super Max .75 HP 2 speed, 1 skimmer, 3 returns, 2 bench jets, 2" plumbing, TF-100 kit, Latham Gold Pebble liner. Dolphin Active 10 robot.

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    Re: Yet another pre-build thread :D

    I've had no issues with my current PB. Once he's back in from the job sites he's on today, he'll shoot me the updates.

    Here is an updated version of the drawing to show the enclosure concept. I did get lazy in building it, but it should give
    you an idea of the size and placement of it. I forgot to enable the layer for it before I exported the drawing out, but the
    North side of the pool / deck cannot extend any further than it is due to Easement restrictions.

    Pool_Measurements_II.jpg
    Fantasy is merely reality divided by zero. . . .

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    Re: Yet another pre-build thread :D

    Would you consider moving that A/C compressor? There will be building code considerations with having a 240V electrical appliance that close to the pool. It will also be a noise and heat nuisance. I realize that it adds to cost to do that, but it's not something I would want around my pool.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Yet another pre-build thread :D

    In fact, within 4ft of the pool, I think the A/C compressor will definitely be a code violation.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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