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Thread: Anthony & Sylvan Experiences???? Good.....Bad...Whatever....

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    Anthony & Sylvan Experiences???? Good.....Bad...Whatever....

    Hi. I am new to the board. I am going to have a new IGP w/spa installed. I might be going with A&S, and I would like to know if anyone used them if so how was your experience? The guy is coming back tuesday with plans. I will post them Tuesday to get your responses/ideas. He mentioned an ozone generator to use up to 85% chlorine. I have read here that they really arent that good. I am trying to steer away from salt as it will corrode concrete over time and I want to avoid trouble with the coping, etc where the concrete will be thin. Is the Spa a good idea? I am sure I will have more questions, AND YES I do search for previous posts before posting. Over time I have become ALL to familiar with the "LOOK HERE" type answers to questions. Thanks guys/ Gals.

    Steve
    28K River Sand Plaster Finish - 2.5 HP Stealth Pump - Jandy 60 Sq Ft DE Filter - LAARS LT400 Natural Heater - Polaris 280 - Jandy PDA PS6 Computer Center

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Anthony & Sylvan Experiences???? Good.....Bad...Whatever....

    you may want to post in this forum as more builder type members view it:
    swimming-pool-and-spa-build-and-repair-f3.html
    don't get ozone. I would highly recommend an swg for a new pool. salt won't corrode concrete, and most "the salt destroyed my deck, chairs, pets and kids" stories either aren't true or have nothing to do with the pool. spray things off occasionally and you should be fine. there are a few posts about this but I can't seem to find them right now...
    spa is personal preference.

    edit: here are a couple threads. "salt corrosion" is a good term to search for. also, there is a google search in the bottom left of every page that usually works better than the forum search if you don't already know about it.
    downsides-of-swgs-fact-or-fiction-t16019.html
    pool-school/salt_water_chlorine_generators
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    Johnl's Avatar
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    Re: Anthony & Sylvan Experiences???? Good.....Bad...Whatever....

    We had an Anthony & Sylvan pool installed in 2005. It was sometimes a little bumpy along the way, but the final product is great.

    Things to watch out for:
    - Our project manager was a young guy doing it part-time. We had some issues with scheduling and had to make a few increasingly angry calls to keep the process moving. That delayed our pool completion by about two weeks.
    - They don't fill in the gap between the coping and deck, but they'll send you a postcard offering to do it for a $1,000 a year later. I was angry that it wasn't included in the price, given what we paid and that they didn't tell me it needed to be done as a pool newbie. I bought the caulk and did it myself for about $100 and a few hours of labor.
    - They will try to sell you things you may not need, like the ozone generator. They got me for a Nature2 system. I'm converting to a Salt Water generator next year.

    Things that went well:
    - The sales guy was great reviewing the different designs and talking about what would be a good fit or potentially not for our family.
    - The final product is very nice and well built.

    Good luck in your pool build. Let us know how it works out.
    23K Gunite IG Pool
    Waterway Crystal Water SVL56 Pump/1.5HP AO Smith Motor
    Hayward Star-Clear Plus Cartridge Filter C17502
    Aquarite 40k SWG
    Polaris 360

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    chris4150's Avatar
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    Re: Anthony & Sylvan Experiences???? Good.....Bad...Whatever....

    Frosty,

    Where do you live? The reason I ask is that I can possibly shed some light on Anthony and Sylvan as far as the Houston area is concerned. I had an I/G plaster pool completed in Jan. 2009. My pool designer was very good and prompt with my questions, concerns, etc. He at times went beyond what I would have expected and was very happy with our communications. After a few hurdles with utility relocation, my build went fairly well. The problems arose within the first two months after the pool was completed, mainly with my pool plaster. The first issue was discovered by the "Pool School" guy who noticed blue swirls in the plaster. This was corrected by draining my pool, tearing out the plaster, and re-plastering the pool. Two months later, I noticed light brown to gray stains forming at various locations at the bottom of my pool. After visits by the warranty department and the plaster company, it was determined that my stains were "hydration" and that they would decide on a solution for them at the end of the summer. I then joined this excellent forum and gained the knowledge neccessary to care for my pool, almost none of which was provided via the pool school guy or the pool company. After 2-3 more months of watching the stains increase, the pool company drained my pool for a second time and performed an acid wash. This got rid of the stains and I was happy again, but not for long. As of two weeks ago I noticed the stains are returning in the same places. I have contacted the warranty department and they are aware of the issue. Im curious what they are to do this time to correct the problem. I would imagine a third pool drain and a second plaster job. What sucks is that I expressed my interest in having the plaster removed previously and a pebble tech product installed at a reduced price given the problems I was having. Unfortunately, I was quoted $5,300 So needless to say, I still have plaster.

    Currently Im waiting on having my Color Logic Led Light replaced due to the stainless steel ring tarnishing due to the plaster company laying the light face down at the bottom of the pool during the acid rinse. The light was dropped off 4 weeks ago and has been sitting on my pool deck waiting for the electricians to replace it . I was told they would be at my house last week tuesday or wednesday but they never showed. Also, if you are given an Ozonator, you will be provided with an inline chlorine feeder to aid in the sanitation of your pool. The only problem was that my flow valve for the feeder produced build up and prevented me from adjusting the amount of chlorine being added to the pool. The warranty dept. is mailing me the part which is easily replaced.

    I have a spa as well which has a spill over feature that goes into the pool. Only draw back is my PH is always on the high side until I knock it down with muratic acid. Also, with my current equipment set up, my FC was never maintained above 2 PPM. if I hadnt joined this forum and learned the ins and outs of FC, I would not have known to add liquid chlorine to keep my FC at suitable levels. I myself have read all the posts about Ozonators etc and Im still on the fence about thier reliability. I will admit that I have not had any problems with my pool as far as algea blooms etc. So, Im confident that the equipment set up is decent, but not completely adequate for proper FC for the Houston heat and rain.

    I have posted in previous posts, pics of my pool during the good times and the "stain" times but I dont know how to link them to this post. Hopefully one of the moderators can help with this endevour so that you can see what I have previously mentioned. I hope this helps. If you have any further inquires feel free to PM me, I can offer plenty advice as to the equipment A&S was installing and what they are going to now.

    Keep in mind, my situation may be an oddity as far as the problems experienced, however, I know of two other pools that were built by A&S who used the same plaster company and are having the same plaster issues, then again, Ive only owned my pool for 8 months.

    Hope this helps.
    13,500 gallon free form Pebble Tec pool- 2 skimmers
    Pentair Intelli-Flow filter pump, Pentair Intelli-Super Flo booster pump, waterfall pump, Del Ozone Eclipse 1 generator, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge filtration, Nature 2 XG Clear Vision, In-line Chlorinator, Polaris 280, Raypack heater, and Color Logic LED lights.

    Proud user of BBB, pool school, pool calculator, TF-100, and the advice of the friendly people here!

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    Re: Anthony & Sylvan Experiences???? Good.....Bad...Whatever....

    My nextdoor neighbor used A&S and I wasn't impressed. I thought the attention to detail was fair at best. It took over two months to build this small pool with no spa. I used a local builder and was very happy. I would definitely get a spa because you use the pool year round. Be careful with a SWG. Here in Texas, many problems are arising with the softer stone coping. I have two friends that had to have the coping replaced in less than two years.
    20,000 gallon gunite with colored plaster,
    Hayward 60 DE filter, 2.5HP Hayward pump, Hayward Phantom cleaner, Rainbow 320 Chlorinator, Nature 2

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    chris4150's Avatar
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    Re: Anthony & Sylvan Experiences???? Good.....Bad...Whatever....

    I agree TexasDude,

    I failed to mention my knowledge and experience with SWG and flagstone here in Houston. My sisters pool has a SWG and all her decking and coping are flagstone and the SWG did cause problems for it. I agree with a previous post that suggested that hosing off the decking and furniture would possibly decrease the effects of the SWG, but over time I believe, at least here in the Houston area, that SWG over time will cause problems for the flagstone.
    13,500 gallon free form Pebble Tec pool- 2 skimmers
    Pentair Intelli-Flow filter pump, Pentair Intelli-Super Flo booster pump, waterfall pump, Del Ozone Eclipse 1 generator, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge filtration, Nature 2 XG Clear Vision, In-line Chlorinator, Polaris 280, Raypack heater, and Color Logic LED lights.

    Proud user of BBB, pool school, pool calculator, TF-100, and the advice of the friendly people here!

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    donaldm823's Avatar
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    Re: Anthony & Sylvan Experiences???? Good.....Bad...Whatever....

    A&S bulit my pool in 2006 and have been very happy with the quality of build, the products installed as "standard" and have had no quality issues with the pool-this being my 4th season. I did have a minor leak in the main drain during the 1st year, but this was caused by the plaster people cross-threading a fastener and cracking the drain housing. A&S fixed it quickly with a diver

    My pool came with a Nature 2 cartridge system, but I removed it year 2 after an algae break-out when I shifted to BBB pool chem, plus the cartridges are expensive and and the cartridge housing sprung a leak. I have not regretted removing the Nature 2.

    On year 2 I installed a Autopilot digital withn a SC-60 cell. Have been very happy with the results and have had no algae problems since installing it. I have not seen any concrete degradation from the salt, so I think it might be a "wives tale" that salt pools damage concrete. I do not shock during the season accept when opening the pool and just prior to closing. The autopilot, runs at 60%, power 2 as an average (pump run 12hr/day) and it maintains the FC at 3-4ppm.

    The A&S salemen was excellent-great drawings and concept for my yard. I trust him completely and found him to be very honest. The actual build took 6 weeks starting in mid-March. The Project Manager was not good in thinking ahead several weeks to ensure the next phase started on time-so I ended up dogging him and being a second Proj Mngr for the job. The hardest part was coordinating outside contracts like the pool fence and landscaper/retaining wall. Although these were in the contract and paid by A&S, they did not do much coordination so I ended up making the calls myself.

    I too found out that the coping to concrete deck expansion joint needs to be caulked when I received the A&S "joint enhancement" post card this year (3 years later) at a cost of $800. Their method of installing joint caulk does not meet industry best practises, so I found a pool joint firm in NJ and used them. You must wait for the concrete to settle thru a winter, so I doubt if A&S will install as part of the contract. When you do get the joint caulked (most estimates are $8/linear ft), make sure they remove the foam in the joint, grind and seal the concrete crevice and use a 2 part caulk.

    Overall, I was very happy with A&S and would use them again
    Don SW Florida
    10,000 gal in ground concrete pool
    Pentair Cartridge filter, Pentair SWG, Pentair Intelliflow VS pump (11018)
    FAFCO solar panels w/Pentair SolarTouch controller
    using BBB for pool chemistry/Lamotte ColorQ tester for daily testing

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    chris4150's Avatar
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    Re: Anthony & Sylvan Experiences???? Good.....Bad...Whatever....

    Don,

    Prior to the installation of the auto pilot, what was installed in conjuction with the Nature 2? ie ozone, chlorine, SWG?
    13,500 gallon free form Pebble Tec pool- 2 skimmers
    Pentair Intelli-Flow filter pump, Pentair Intelli-Super Flo booster pump, waterfall pump, Del Ozone Eclipse 1 generator, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge filtration, Nature 2 XG Clear Vision, In-line Chlorinator, Polaris 280, Raypack heater, and Color Logic LED lights.

    Proud user of BBB, pool school, pool calculator, TF-100, and the advice of the friendly people here!

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    Re: Anthony & Sylvan Experiences???? Good.....Bad...Whatever....

    I built my pool with A&S out of PA in 2004. I am very happy with my pool now, but the experience was a definite case of 'needs improvement'.

    Good:
    Basic pool build, coping, plaster finish, electrical, pump and filter all good quality (Pentair & Waterway, respectively). Plumbing all 2" except returns after 3-way split to 1 1/2".
    Gave you one person to talk to during build (but he disappears the day of delivery and had very little effectiveness on rest of organization before that).

    Bad: Feb contract took until June 4 to complete, and required much screaming, cajoling, etc. to move project along.
    On-pad plumbing badly done. No unions. Awkward user position. Too close to edge of grade so filter fell over after first big rain. Tried to blame me for picking location (pre-grade) but I won that fight. Nature2 was disaster, cartridge exploded while I was travelling, little copper/silver balls went out return, back in main drain, lodged in filter and stained heck out of pool. Huge fight to get an Acid Start second year to remove 90% of stains. Some are still there.
    They really only give you a pool. They do only minimal grading post-build; everything else is 'landscaping'.

    Complaint handling is disaster. Only one guy/extension to deal with, and he was always on voice-mail and never called you back.

    I cannot recommend A&s based on my experience--AND FORGET NATURE2!!!!!
    Current: 28,000G 18'x36' I/G AnthonySylvan Plaster; Waterway 60 sq.ft. DE Filter; 1.0hp x 1.65 SF Two-Speed (B2982) WhisperFlo; 2004-Present
    Previous: 40,000G 20'x40' I/G Koven unlined WWII salvage 5/8" marine steel; Lomart Stainless Sand Filter; 3/4hp Hayward SuperPump; 1946-2003 (managed by me from about 1964)
    Ancient Taylor K-2000, upgraded with Taylor CH, TA, and FAS-DPD, and TFT CYA tests.

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    GregH's Avatar
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    Re: Anthony & Sylvan Experiences???? Good.....Bad...Whatever....

    We had 3 contractors do a bid for our pool, and A&S was the first. When we did an internet and BBB search of the company we found several complaints – probably not out of line for a large, national company. What was concerning was the salesman/designer and owner’s reaction when we asked about them – upset, defensive, and mad. That gave us a bad feeling, and we went with one of the other companies – thinking our local A&S wasn’t going to be someone we could work with when problems came up on the job. When I called to let the salesman know our decision, he got downright mad bordering on scary.

    Our experience with the contactor we went with (Starwood Pools) has been nothing but positive. They even repaired a broken pipe for free when my son dug a hole through it doing some landscaping 6 months after the pool start!

    As for SWG and Flagstone – we went with tile around the waterline, and Arizona Flagstone as coping around the pool. We get sand/dust from the flagstone in our pool whenever it rains. I can’t blame that on the salt water…I think it’s normal for flagstone. With natural stone as coping, you don’t have the raised lip at the edge of the pool to keep rain run-off from going into the pool. It isn’t so bad that I would change a thing – we love how the pool looks with the flagstone around the edge.
    20,0000 gal gunite IG pool, built May 2016. Jandy VS ePump, Jandy 60sfDE filter, AquaLink controller, PureLink salt water chlorinator, with Pentair Rainbow in-line chlorine feeder. Use a Taylor Total Poolcare DPD test kit. Heated by the Texas sun.

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    Re: Anthony & Sylvan Experiences???? Good.....Bad...Whatever....

    Thanks for all the help. He came today with plans.We opted for NO spa. Pool is roughly 15x31 he said approx 16,000 gallons. We then went out and looked at 3 of there pools and spoke to one of the owners, whom I took aside and he spoke very frankly about the pool and that he was happy with them. All three of the pools (1 was at the salesmans house as he lived close by) Here is the list of what he offered:

    Excavating
    Pool w/ tanning ledge and exit bench on deep end
    Pebble Tec Finish w/Shimmering Sea Sea Shell blend
    800 S/F of concrete decking
    Concrete MultiCoat Finish
    Hayward Colorlogic 4.0 Led (1)
    Polaris 360 Vac Sweep
    Jandy CV Cartridge Filter
    DelOzone Eclipse 4 Ozonator Plumbed after In Line Chlorinator
    Jandy PlusHP Pump
    Jandy Aqualink Remote Control
    2 Deck Jets
    3 skimmers
    4 returns
    2 floor drains on the deep end
    plumbing
    electrical

    The final price was roughly $54,000.00.... He then gave us a "discount" that knocked it down to roughly $43,000.00. Can I bargain with the guy or are A&S kind of "The price is the price." Kind of company? Your thoughts??
    28K River Sand Plaster Finish - 2.5 HP Stealth Pump - Jandy 60 Sq Ft DE Filter - LAARS LT400 Natural Heater - Polaris 280 - Jandy PDA PS6 Computer Center

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    GregH's Avatar
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    Re: Anthony & Sylvan Experiences???? Good.....Bad...Whatever....

    Get at least one more estimate, and tell him you are doing so. Too much money involved to not get a couple of more. Tell them all up front you are getting multiple bids -- no matter what they tell you, they expect that. A&S was our first, and we liked the design and almost signed with them. But we liked the 3rd design even better, and they beat A&S's price.

    As for your bid -- I would consider salt water generation, and 800 sq ft doesn't sound like enough decking (depending on the design). I suggest you take some paint or string to try and visualize it. It's really expensive to add to the decking latter.

    I would also do a little research on filters. I don't have any experience with a cartridge filter -- we chose DE because of it reportedly provides the clearest water. There's a good article on filters in the Pool School.
    20,0000 gal gunite IG pool, built May 2016. Jandy VS ePump, Jandy 60sfDE filter, AquaLink controller, PureLink salt water chlorinator, with Pentair Rainbow in-line chlorine feeder. Use a Taylor Total Poolcare DPD test kit. Heated by the Texas sun.

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    donaldm823's Avatar
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    Re: Anthony & Sylvan Experiences???? Good.....Bad...Whatever....

    Quote Originally Posted by chris4150
    Don,

    Prior to the installation of the auto pilot, what was installed in conjuction with the Nature 2? ie ozone, chlorine, SWG?
    Chris-my A&S pool came with a NAture 2 and DE filter with 2hp pump and natural gas heater, no chlorinator. Nothing else. A&S said to add Tri pills via skimmer. I instead used a floating TRI pill dispenser. When I had a algae breakout, the recovery required many backwashes and shocks. Near the end of the series, the Nature 2 vessel sprung a leak where the 2inch PVC glues in.

    I elected to remove the vessel and have never looked back, instead shifting to BBB and using Chlorox via the skimmer
    Don SW Florida
    10,000 gal in ground concrete pool
    Pentair Cartridge filter, Pentair SWG, Pentair Intelliflow VS pump (11018)
    FAFCO solar panels w/Pentair SolarTouch controller
    using BBB for pool chemistry/Lamotte ColorQ tester for daily testing

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    chris4150's Avatar
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    Re: Anthony & Sylvan Experiences???? Good.....Bad...Whatever....

    Frosty,

    Based on our situation, we got 5 bids and A&S was chosen because of the equipment being offered at the time. Other than that most of the bids came within similar amounts give or take equipment differences. With that being said, I agree with the rationale that more than one bid would be prudent. As far as compairing my A&S pool with your quote, the pebble tech, 800 sq. ft of deacking, the additonal skimmers, floor jets, and deck jest are within range of what thier costs usually run. But without the additon of the spa the price variance is a bit off. But, as previously stated, get a quote from other builders based on the same offerings. The only issue I recently discovered is that A&S changed from Pentair pumps to Jandy. I would suggest doing your research on pump brands to get a better idea of how they rank. I hope this helps.

    Don,

    How hard was it to add your SWG. I have Ozone and was curious about the switch.
    13,500 gallon free form Pebble Tec pool- 2 skimmers
    Pentair Intelli-Flow filter pump, Pentair Intelli-Super Flo booster pump, waterfall pump, Del Ozone Eclipse 1 generator, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge filtration, Nature 2 XG Clear Vision, In-line Chlorinator, Polaris 280, Raypack heater, and Color Logic LED lights.

    Proud user of BBB, pool school, pool calculator, TF-100, and the advice of the friendly people here!

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    donaldm823's Avatar
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    Re: Anthony & Sylvan Experiences???? Good.....Bad...Whatever....

    Quote Originally Posted by chris4150
    Frosty,

    Don,

    How hard was it to add your SWG. I have Ozone and was curious about the switch.
    Chris:
    I bought the Autopilot via internet and installed it myself. The SWG comes with a 2" diam U shape manifiold that contains the cell, flow/salt/temp detector, as well as a bypass line that controls the amount of flow thru the cell and bypasses the remainder.

    The install of the PVC was easy. I measured the amount of PVC discharge pipe to remove, then cut, installed a union at each end (so I can remove the manifold for the winter and install a 2 inch PVC jumper in place of the manifold). You can buy the unions and PVC glue at Home Depot. If your piping is smaller or larger than 2 inch, then you will need to install size reducers which will need more space.

    As for the SWG electronic box-it is built for the outside, so I hung it on my power post in close vicinty with my pump timer. I powered the SWG with 220v leads to the same terminals in the timer box as the pump. So the old timer controls power to both the pump and the SWG. I elected to not use the autopilot feature that can control the pump start/stop times instead of an external timer. (easier wiring since I store the electronic package inside each winter)

    Whole job, probably took 3 hrs. Most of the time (2 hrs) was measuring and fitup.
    Don SW Florida
    10,000 gal in ground concrete pool
    Pentair Cartridge filter, Pentair SWG, Pentair Intelliflow VS pump (11018)
    FAFCO solar panels w/Pentair SolarTouch controller
    using BBB for pool chemistry/Lamotte ColorQ tester for daily testing

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    Re: Anthony & Sylvan Experiences???? Good.....Bad...Whatever....

    I just recieved a quote from A&S for a gunite 15x31 400sq ft pool with no additional options except for 3ft of paved concrete all around the pool.

    Their package comes with 2" PVC plumbing, a 1hp Jandy pump, DE Filter and their ozonator system. includes electrical sub panel installation, 2 wide skimmers, 3 wall and 2 floor returns, 12" brick coping, water tile.

    Apparently now, I guess because its Sept, the salesmen said he is running a sale on the gunite pools, and they are also including a free gas heater, or $2000 toward a heat pump

    Basically after all the sales babble, I was quoted $39,050

    From his quote sheet it looks like this:

    -Pool and equipment $32,900
    -3ft deck (600sq ft concrete) $4,650
    -Gas Line installation $1,500

    Total $39050


    I personally think this is a bit high.....what do you folks think?

    How much lower would you consider to be a fair deal where both sides are happy?
    ----------------------------

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