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Thread: Considering a fiberglass inground pool.... input?!

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    Considering a fiberglass inground pool.... input?!

    Just throwing this out there, to the experts (you guys) for some input/info.
    I'll apologize right off for the long winded post, but I'm just getting into the "pool" thing and doing tons of research right now.

    Considering a pool. INGROUND for sure. 95% sure I'm set on fiberglass.

    We are in our early 30s, kid is 7 and lots of neighbor kids in the same age range.

    I want to build an area that will remind us of our recent trip to Kauai, HI and a great safe area for the kids to play for years.

    Budget - $30-$35k (maybe tad more) that will be available after the sale of a sports car.

    In southern Ohio, so hot summers and cold winters.

    HUGE flat yard with absolutely NO shade. Yard is 125' wide. No utilities/septic or anything out back to worry about.

    Excuse the dead yard from this year's drought! Figured I'd run the pool the long way. Narrow end close to the house.

    I'm heavily leaning towards fiberglass. Seems the best all-around option. I'm looking at Viking, San Juan, and Trilogy at the moment. It seems the more you research the more confused you get! Reading all the blogs/forums/etc everyone just attacks each other. At first I was leaning towards Viking, but are their pools really thin and quality control lacking now-a-days? Any real world comments on these three manufacturers?

    I really like San Juan's Desert Springs model. ~30' x ~14', ~6800 gallons,

    http://www.mypoolspace.net/photoresi...rge&offset=450
    Could I just use the spa area as a "kiddie pool" type area without heat/spa jets?

    Pumps/filters? I know everyone says to use a variable speed. I'd like to keep my electric bill in the affordable range and not double it.

    I know I want to do the SWCG system. Seems fairly simple and lots of rave reviews? Downsides? Salt water around your decking/concrete and other stuff being corrosive? But I presume all pool water with chemicals isn't great for around the pool. I want pool/chemical maint. to be as easy and non-time consuming as possible.

    Probably not going to do a heater. It seems that propane/gas heaters will suck gas down like a hog ($$$) and the heat pumps don't do a lot for you when it's not WARM outside already. If I was doing a heater, I'd want it to extend my pool season by allowing me to swim in Sept/Oct or May and NOT cost a fortune.

    Automation, I currently have a Control4 (http://www.control4.com) home automation system. I'd love to be able to control some of my pool equipment from it if possible. Lights, swg, and pumps would be cool as well as knowing water temperature. Any recommendations on system here?

    Covers. Loop-loc. Do I need a TRUE winter cover or can I use the loop-loc safety mesh cover. Would the snow/ice melting cause a problem? I know you probably don't want the pool to overflow or be to high in the winter time?

    Decking. I'm thinking stamped concrete although cool-deck from MORTEX sounds interesting. I'd guess it's super expensive though and maybe not for install in frost/winter areas?

    Mosiacs. Want a turtle and a seal. Probably with the cool shading that makes them look like they are swimming mid-water. Seems

    Lights. Just want some standard lighting to light up the pool. Nothing fancy. No colors. Just something reliable and cheap. It'd be nice if I could control them or dim them with the pool controller/automation system though.

    Electrical. Is all the electric normally covered in a pool bid? My father is an electrician and could save some money on that side of things maybe.

    Going to be building a retaining wall, fire pit, get a vinyl pergola, and some fake large palm trees too. These will all be DIY. This is not included in my initial price budget above.

    Thanks again!

    RobW
    rwillis@yahoo.com
    Ohio
    Hydraulically mundane 20x40 rectangular polymer (~30K gal.), IntelliFlo VS+SVRS pump, IntelliChlor IC40 SWCG, Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter, LED light, 2xDeck Jets, SR Smith Turbo Twister slide

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    Heckpools's Avatar
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    Re: Considering a fiberglass inground pool.... input?!

    Hey Rob
    First off stamped concrete would be my pick... when done right it looks beautiful.

    Im a fan of hayward pool products. Everything you want can be done by hayward.. If i were you id go with a 2 speed 1hp hayward superpump. The 2 speed will actually save you money on electric if you run it on low speed.
    If your looking for easy maintainance then id pair that superpump up with a hayward s210t sand filter. Sand filters are the easiest to maintain, but on the bottom of the list for best filtration. Don't get me wrong, they do a great job, but if say you went on vacation and the pool turned green, it would take a lot longer to get the pool back to clear with a sand filter then if you had a cartridge or DE filter. I hate de filters though.... HIGH maintenance... I like my filters like i like my women

    A single cartridge filter, for 6800 gallons would also be great, and its only one cartridge, so every 3-5 weeks you just pop it out and hose it off. At the end of the season, you soak it in some filter cleaner and its ready for next season. If you take care of the cartridge, it will last many seasons. Not a bad idea to buy 2 cartridges, use the one for when you first open the pool and are getting it clean, and then once you have it all cleaned up you replace it with the 2nd one. The "Hayward star clear c1200" is the one id pick if it were my pool.

    LIGHTS- again, hayward makes the most basic, standard pool light. But Id spend a few extra bucks and go with a color changing light...its looks killer at night and the last time i checked hawaii wasn't similar to a blah plain dull yellow colored light

    Pool cover- id go with a solid, with a mesh drain in the middle. The pool will open nicer in the spring with a solid instead of a mesh. Both solid and mesh are very safe when it comes to your kid though.

    SWCG- Aquarite, also by hayward. Its all i install and my customers have been very happy.

    Electric- most pool builders will let you get your own electric company involved, and take off the cost from their bid if they included electric.

    SPA- also makes a good kiddy pool

    Have the pool builder leave room for a heater at the filter pad incase you change your mind down the road.

    I cant comment of the fiberglass pool manufactures, but i will say i really do like the look of fiberglass pools these days. One thing i hate is the companies installing the pool leave the top lip of the pool showing, instead of having the concrete or brick lay on top of the pool lip. The pool just looks 100000% more professional and "clean" without the top lip showing. Besides if the concrete is poured onto the pool, you have zero worries about the pool "popping" out of the ground.

    Good luck and make sure you take lots of pics and share here.
    Check out Haywards page They have tons of pictures and info on their products.
    http://www.haywardnet.com

    Matt
    [center:3gj9kdnn]Matt Heck
    "HECK OF A POOL SERVICE LLC"
    Serving Ocean co. NJ
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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Considering a fiberglass inground pool.... input?!

    Vikings are as good as they get. Whoever told you otherwise is full of baloney. San Juan's are good too. I don't have any experience with Trilogy's.

    Equally important to the shell is the installer. Viking is almost as fussy as Pebble-Tec is about how the product installed. San Juan is not as fussy, at least not in my region.

    Orient the pool so the length runs from East to West for maximum exposure to the sun.

    Natural gas here costs a lot less than propane.

    An attached spa without heat? Yuk. Picture September 25, 2011. 65 degrees outside and you want to go in the spa. Water is 76. Wish it was 96? Yep. The automation can be configured to spa heat only. Might cost you, literally, $5/hour. Jump to October 25th, still $5/hour.

    A variable speed is nice to have. What do you pay per kw/h? It may not be cost effective vs a two speed.

    Pentair's Intellitouch can be controlled via a PC using Screen-Logic s/w and has an I-Phone/Pad app. I am hopeful for and Android app soon. Any automation might be a budget buster though.

    Remember to budget for a fence, decking, landscaping, etc...

    A Loop Loc is a winter cover. The snow and ice will not bother it one bit. If the pool overflows, the decking will direct the water away. The extension collar on the skimmer will normally let excess water in the pool drain slowly several inches.

    Stamped does fine in our climate zone.

    Keep the lighting in the lower wattages. A 500W will look nuclear.

    Different builders charge differently. Don't say anything about it until the end. This helps ensure proper credit is applied if your father does the electrical and is licensed for it. Say something too soon and something will get padded up.

    Watch the pay schedule.

    Review it with an attorney. Read carefully. If it wasn't written, it wasn't said. If it was written wrong and you signed it, it was written right in court.

    Matt, you are my friend but Hayward is not what I consider tops in filters, pumps, lighting, or heaters. Yes, they frequently cost less than Jandy or Pentair. They are maximizing profits by reduced manufacturing and parts costs and charging nearly the same price. This shortens their product life expectancy. The lower initial cost vs longevity of the other two brands changes the total cost of ownership after about 4 years in favor of the slightly more expensive up front costs of the other two brands. I'll take the durability and the impact that has on my reputation every time.



    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Considering a fiberglass inground pool.... input?!

    We have a Leisure Fiberglass pool (Elegance Style) and could not be happier. Have you looked at them?

    http://www.leisurepoolsusa.com/Pricing_ ... _Pools.htm

    Here is the link to our install, where you can see the final look.

    fiberglass-pool-install-t13849.html
    15,000 Gallon IG 15x30 fiberglass
    CoverStar auto safety cover
    SWG Aqua PL-PLUS
    Cartridge Filter
    240,000 LXI Heater

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    Re: Considering a fiberglass inground pool.... input?!

    Hey, Rob,

    Welcome to the forum. I am a fan of fiberglass pools. That said, I think they have a drawback that you should consider.

    From years of posts on this and other forums, they seem more prone to staining than other types of surfaces....IF you do not maintain good quality control of your water. Emphasize the IF, please.

    If you manage your pool carefully (YOu sound like a hands-on guy who will be doing this) you will NEVER have an issue and will get years of enjoyment from your pool. If you expect the fiberglass to be absolutely troublefree for years, you will need to be judicious with your pool water chemistry.

    Other than that, I can only think of advantages for using fiberglass and think it makes a great pool.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Considering a fiberglass inground pool.... input?!

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    Matt, you are my friend but Hayward is not what I consider tops in filters, pumps, lighting, or heaters. Yes, they frequently cost less than Jandy or Pentair. They are maximizing profits by reduced manufacturing and parts costs and charging nearly the same price. This shortens their product life expectancy. The lower initial cost vs longevity of the other two brands changes the total cost of ownership after about 4 years in favor of the slightly more expensive up front costs of the other two brands. I'll take the durability and the impact that has on my reputation every time.

    Scott
    I SAID IM A FAN OF HAYWARD....COME ON SCOTT!! JANDY?? REALLY??
    oh, and never did i mention i was a fan of hayward heaters... but ive never ever been disapointed with the hayward parts i listed... Pentair, not bad.... but he mentioned he wants to keep his costs low... and to me, hayward would be the way to go. ( if he buys the products ive listed)
    Heaters.... id go with a rheem/raypack and nothing else.
    Your my friend too scott, but your a liitle off your jelly beans sometimes... HAHAHHAHAHAHHA
    P.s did you see my new trailer i bought?? shes a cutie 5x8 haulmark
    [center:3gj9kdnn]Matt Heck
    "HECK OF A POOL SERVICE LLC"
    Serving Ocean co. NJ
    COMPANY INFO BELOW
    http://maps.google.com/maps/place?hl=en ... 2995187987[/center:3gj9kdnn]

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    Heckpools's Avatar
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    Re: Considering a fiberglass inground pool.... input?!

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Hey, Rob,

    Welcome to the forum. I am a fan of fiberglass pools. That said, I think they have a drawback that you should consider.

    From years of posts on this and other forums, they seem more prone to staining than other types of surfaces....IF you do not maintain good quality control of your water. Emphasize the IF, please.

    If you manage your pool carefully (YOu sound like a hands-on guy who will be doing this) you will NEVER have an issue and will get years of enjoyment from your pool. If you expect the fiberglass to be absolutely troublefree for years, you will need to be judicious with your pool water chemistry.

    Other than that, I can only think of advantages for using fiberglass and think it makes a great pool.
    Ya know, this is so true. I wonder why?? But like you said, as long as you maintain it properly you shouldnt ever have a problem. Rob, Just treat the pool as you did your sports car
    [center:3gj9kdnn]Matt Heck
    "HECK OF A POOL SERVICE LLC"
    Serving Ocean co. NJ
    COMPANY INFO BELOW
    http://maps.google.com/maps/place?hl=en ... 2995187987[/center:3gj9kdnn]

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    Re: Considering a fiberglass inground pool.... input?!

    Another Leisure Fiberglass here. We have the 38' Moroccan, and had a really great installation crew. Just got it this year, but so far so good.

    I would orient the pool parallel to the house, not perpendicular. We got a stamped 18" coping, but regular brushed decking. We find the stamped to be a little slippery even after sealing with some non skid stuff, and are happy that we did not stamp the whole deck.

    Our 2 regrets are that we did not get waterline tile or a water feature of some sort. We considered both but were over budget at the time.

    If you are thinking about a slide, get it plumbed now, you'll save some money and hassle down the road.

    Good luck! You will not regret this project at all.
    Jim

    Southern Frederick County, MD - Leisure Moroccan 38 Fiberglass Pool - 19,800 gallons
    Pentair 1.5 hp 2 speed pump - Cartridge filter - Dolphin robot - TF-100 Test Kit - SWCG

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    Re: Considering a fiberglass inground pool.... input?!

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    Vikings are as good as they get. Whoever told you otherwise is full of baloney. San Juan's are good too. I don't have any experience with Trilogy's.

    A variable speed is nice to have. What do you pay per kw/h? It may not be cost effective vs a two speed.
    That blog from Marcus Sheridan that is one place that is HIGHLY anti-Viking.

    Electric is roughly ~9 cents/kwh
    Hydraulically mundane 20x40 rectangular polymer (~30K gal.), IntelliFlo VS+SVRS pump, IntelliChlor IC40 SWCG, Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter, LED light, 2xDeck Jets, SR Smith Turbo Twister slide

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    Re: Considering a fiberglass inground pool.... input?!

    we looked at fiberglass, but they were just to narrow for me... 16' was the widest we could get... we have 18x36 and that is still pretty narrow..... but a 20x40 cost to much... we went with a liner pool... very happy with it..
    good luck.
    live in eastern washington state
    18x36, Vinyl inground 24k
    Hayward 1 hp filter pump
    1 skimmer/2 returns
    24" sand filter, polaris 280 with booster pump.

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    Re: Considering a fiberglass inground pool.... input?!

    Quote Originally Posted by R_Willis
    That blog from Marcus Sheridan that is one place that is HIGHLY anti-Viking.
    To some extent, that is correct. I believe he and Viking had issues at some point and that he used to be a dealer for them. I am not entirely sure that it is a sour grapes thing, however.

    They do provide a lot of good, useful information on their blog.
    Jim

    Southern Frederick County, MD - Leisure Moroccan 38 Fiberglass Pool - 19,800 gallons
    Pentair 1.5 hp 2 speed pump - Cartridge filter - Dolphin robot - TF-100 Test Kit - SWCG

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    Re: Considering a fiberglass inground pool.... input?!

    We have had 4 years of great experiences with our Viking 12x24 patio pool but this year has been a headache and I have learned much about what to do or not to do. If you contact Viking pools as I did they will tell you to use a DE filter not sand and I concur. We have had two pools our first a Foxx 18x40 vinyl lined pool with a DE filter that was a very nice product that lived up to its name. The DE filter was not an issue with me as I took off the top and cleaned the grids twice a season. I should have installed a DE in our fiberglass pool at our new home. We have a Pentair sand filter that was installed with Zeobrite instead of sand and after contacting Pentair this summer they stated that the warranty would be voided if Zeobrite was used in their filters. I contacted 3 pool companies in the area, around Columbus (Pentair dealers) and none have ever heard of this and all use Zeobrite on installs. Be careful about Pentair as the Viking people told me they like to change the rules in the middle of the game as far as warranties go. We had great luck with all Hayward equipment in our old pool, 13 years with all original pool equipment.
    As far as a heater I think you need to consider how long your swimming season will be. if you are a May to mid September swimmer a heater is a waste of money a good solar blanket is enough. If you do install a heater have a bypass valve installed so if heater corrosion becomes a problem you can remove the heater for repair or replacement. Also if you have a water chemistry problem such as low alkalinity or low PH you can bypass the heater so it doesn't corrode the heat exchanger.
    Another major factor to consider is how susceptible to staining a fiberglass poll is. Fiberglass has a negative charge and is very susceptible to metals in your water staining the sides and steps. We also live in Ohio and our water (city) is known to contain many minerals such as iron. We have had staining issues that have been a major problem this year possibly starting with metal corrosion from a corrosive heat exchanger in the heater. We have had constant staining issues this year that may or may not have been caused by a heater corrosion problem.
    Our pool is white with tile around the border and concrete coping that wraps around to the pool and looks great when all is well but if doing it again I would go with a patterned pool that hides stains and imperfections better then white. Actually if starting over I would probably install a vinyl lined pool. Our Foxx pool liner was 13 years old when we sold our house and was still good with no leaks or fading issues. If need be a new vinyl liner was installed and all was new with our fiberglass if the staining becomes permanent what are your options beside painting.
    During installation watch carefully the plumbing installation and be thinking of how will I disassemble this to clean my sand, DE or cartridge filter or remove the pump. Make sure removable connections are conveniently placed so you can easily remove pumps and filters for repair and maintenance. On our vinyl pool I took the filter and pump off and stored them every winter and stored them inside because they slipped off with easy quick connects.
    I am not a huge fan of stamped concrete as it really needs to be resealed every year to maintain its look and the surface doesn't feel great to walk on in your bare feet. Dirt accumulates in the seams and needs to be power washed before sealing. I would consider stained concrete as an alternative. On both our pools a definite pattern showed where the winter cover was placed and a darker staining would hide this.
    If you decide on fiberglass don't have a Nature 2 ionizer installed as it puts more minerals in your pool and as far as I have been led to believe minerals and metals are an enemy of fiberglass pools.
    I hope this information will some help with your decision.

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    Re: Considering a fiberglass inground pool.... input?!

    Whether a filter is DE, sand or cartridge, I do not believe it has any effect on a fibreglass pool.

    I do believe there are advantages and disadvantages of all three types but you can maintain crystal clear water with any of the three types if you manage your water properly.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Considering a fiberglass inground pool.... input?!

    Quote Originally Posted by swolfe49
    Just keep in mind everyone is trying to sell you something in the pool business and its websites.
    I think TFP can proudly state that this statement does not apply here.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: Considering a fiberglass inground pool.... input?!

    Each kind of filter has it's advantages and disadvantages and each kind has it's fans. There isn't any one kind of filter that is best, it depends on what advantages/disadvantages you happen to care about. There isn't anything about fiberglass pools that affects the choice between sand/DE/cartridge. They have pros and cons, none of which are affected by the pool surface.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Considering a fiberglass inground pool.... input?!

    My suggestion is to contact whichever fiberglass pool company you decide to use and ask them what type of filter to use and whether you should have a Nature 2 system installed. Also contact your filter manufacturer (if sand) and inquire as to the warranty of their product if Zeobrite is used. These people should know what works best with their products not us. As I stated before I was very surprised that Pentair would state that they wouldn't honor a warranty based on using Zeobrite as were 3 other installers.

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    Re: Considering a fiberglass inground pool.... input?!

    When a manufacturer says use sand, that's all they can support. Depending on the issue, pentair would warranty said filter. Just depends on the issue as some can be caused by using incorrect filter media.

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    Re: Considering a fiberglass inground pool.... input?!

    As far as I know, there is no exclusion for Zeo in a Pentair sand filter. I am an authorized dealer.
    We discourage all mineralization devices, be they N2, Frog, electronic, etc... on this forum.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Considering a fiberglass inground pool.... input?!

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    As far as I know, there is no exclusion for Zeo in a Pentair sand filter. I am an authorized dealer.
    We discourage all mineralization devices, be they N2, Frog, electronic, etc... on this forum.

    Scott
    As I stated before call the manufacturer (Pentair) not your local authorized dealer and ask them straight up does this void my warranty. The answer I got was it does void the warranty. After talking to Pentair I contacted three authorized dealers and none knew this and all used Zeobrite.

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    Re: Considering a fiberglass inground pool.... input?!

    The Pentair warranty does say "Exceptions that could result in denial of a warranty claim: 3. Damage caused by failure to install products as specified in the owners manual." Then the user manual says to use sand (some models say to use either sand or a mixture of sand and pea gravel). So legally they are within their rights to deny coverage for the use of zeolite.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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