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Thread: New member, new question.

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    New member, new question.

    Hello -
    New to the forum. Just want to first say a big Thank You to everyone who contributes to the volumes of information on this site - I've been pouring over the site for the past 2 weeks and have absorbed some great information and advice. I've never owned a pool before and am cautiously optimistic that the maintenance won't be to overwhelming (and the enjoyment will far exceed the chores). That being said, my wife and I are very excited to begin!

    We have been getting quotes on a in ground, 16x32 gunnite sport pool (somewhere on the order of 3.5' - 6' - 4') with a "sun bench" ( 6' x 6' or 6' x 8' raised deck 9" below the water). Side note: we live in Albuquerque (hot summers, cool/cold winters, high UV index). We've decided on a PB and the basics of the system are sand filter, SWG, WhisperFlo 1.5 HP pump, Rheem 166,000BTU heater, white plaster finish, 2-surface skimmer, 2 main drain, auto cover, fill line, and polaris 340. The PB mostly uses Pentair products. I'm also planning on using the BBB methods described here, specifically utilizing Boric Acid.

    I was hoping to get some information on two of the extras that our PB has on the spreadsheet that we are interested in but can't find a lot of information about. The first is deck jet sprinklers. Are there any problems or negatives associated? We're planning on stamped concrete decking, so I don't think getting some salt water on the concrete will be that big of an issue - do these break often? We think we'll like the "ambiance" of them and the kids will enjoy the extra splashing.

    Second question is with the plaster finish - an extra in the quote is a Sunstone (Sunstone Quartz or Sunstone Pearl) color plaster. The PB says that the white plaster will last 10-15 years and addition of the Sunstone product adds 5-8+ years to the life of the plaster. Does anyone out there have any experience with Sunstone products? I asked him about Pebble Tec, and he says that Pebble Tec "has no additional strength to it and is more costly than Sunstone". Going on the CLI website shows that it's aggregate and that the Pearl option is more of a "smooth pebble pool finish".

    Any thoughts or feedback on this quote would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks for your help,
    Jason

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    Re: New member, new question.

    The sprinklers should be connected to the irrigation system, not the pool.

    Pebbletec/fina/sheen applicators often deal directly with the homeowner, cutting the PB out. Great product though.

    Sunstone is also a great line of products and the results I have seen have been excellent.

    The biggest difference maker between the two is the level of service each applicator provides. For example, each product may occasionally get a stone or two that has iron in it and it may form a rust mark or two. How each handles it may be the difference maker.

    In my area, I trust my plasterer to do the right thing so I have no qualms about banging with the PT people. Sometimes people want what they want and if I do do any other work for them, I will not risk losing that relationship.

    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: New member, new question.

    Thanks for the reply Scott-
    The Deck Jet Sprinklers are the water jets that shoot into your pool. The PB is terming them "sprinklers", I think because he was telling us that they are basically sprinkler heads (I believe they will be Pentair products).

    I think we might go with the Sunstone products. but since I hadn't read much about them on this board, I thought I would ask.

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    Re: New member, new question.

    Just bumping -
    Any members with opinions on deck jets? The PB has quoted all Pentair products thus far, so I'm assuming they will be Pentair Deck Jets.

    What are your recommendations on SunStone Quartz or SunStone Pearl finishes? We've been quoted a $2600 upgrade from standard white plaster with claims that SunStone will last 5-8 years longer than standard white. I'm trying to decide between this option and the deck jets as they are similarly priced options (6 deck jets, plumbing and drain lines for $2200 plus an auto shut-off actuator that is tied to the auto cover for $1200), but I would have to go with the SunStone if it will dramatically increase the life of the plaster finish versus some "splashy-splashy" extras. On the other hand, I'm planning on being fastidious with BBB style pool management, so a plain white plaster might go farther than his quoted 10-15 years.

    We're going to check out one of the PB's newly completed pools this afternoon and I'm planning on asking how many pools he's applied SunStone to and see some of the results. On this subject, are there any recommendations on what to ask the new pool owners regarding the PB? Questions I'm planning on asking are:

    Was the project completed on time / budget?
    Since problems/ issues come up during the build, how was the PB during these times?
    How often was the PB on site?
    How difficult/easy was it to get a hold of the PB during the build? Was he available, did he return calls?
    Any surprises during the project?
    Any advice?

    Thanks,
    Jason

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    Re: New member, new question.

    White plaster is a stretch at 10-15, even with a watchful eye.

    The Sunstone products will likely double that life and be more resistant to stains and stain removal processes. This is primarily due to the lack of cement exposure to the pool water and that the pebbles are very hard, unlike marble, the primary aggregate in plaster.

    Deck jets are sometimes called Spitters in my area. Different areas have different slang terms. They are connected to the pool plumbing. Assume nothing. Make sure everything is spelled out. Pentair makes Deck Jet and Deck Jet II features.

    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: New member, new question.

    Quote Originally Posted by ABQ_Pool
    Hello -
    Rheem 166,000BTU heater,
    Get a bigger heater. 400,000 BTU Rheem is a good one. I still dont undersatand why pool builders spec out such a small heater.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: New member, new question.

    bk, yes you know full well why. Disheartening, isn't it?

    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: New member, new question.

    I just realized I put the wrong heater size, the quote is for a Rheem 266,000 BTU heater, but it still sounds like this is not big enough for my surface area and volume.

    I'll be getting full specs on everything by Monday, and everything I've read about Pentair on this site is pretty favorable and I'm assuming that will translate to the deck jets (spitters), too.

    Jason

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    Re: New member, new question.

    Quote Originally Posted by ABQ_Pool
    the quote is for a Rheem 266,000 BTU heater,
    Still get the 400,000
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    guamguy's Avatar
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    Re: New member, new question.

    Is it a heat pump or a gas heater?
    12,800 gallon IG plaster kidney-shaped pool, waterslide, 800 gallon spa.
    1HP 2 speed Sta-Rite pool pump, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite spa jet pump. 2 skimmers, 1 main drain
    Purex-Triton TR-60 325 lb.sand filter. 2" Plumbing, Intex SWCG, TF-100 test kit.
    Link to pics of my pool! http://www.troublefreepool.com/my-oasis-t26558.html

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    Re: New member, new question.

    Quote Originally Posted by guamguy
    Is it a heat pump or a gas heater?
    Gas almost assuredly. No such thing as a 266,000 BTU heat pump I dont think.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: New member, new question.

    It's a Rheem 266k BTU gas heater. I spoke to the PB tonight - he's saying that city ordinance say that he cannot over size the heater and that the 266k BTU heater is the max size he can install for our pool size.

    He does run 2" plumbing, and will have 2 drains and 2 skimmers and 4 returns plus a dedicated line for the polaris 340. He routinely places a return on the second step into the pool and has installed the SunStone product in ~25 pools (he states that 80% of his pool builds are SunStone now), so I'm fairly comfortable with his knowledge of working with the material.

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    Re: New member, new question.

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    Quote Originally Posted by guamguy
    Is it a heat pump or a gas heater?
    Gas almost assuredly. No such thing as a 266,000 BTU heat pump I dont think.
    Oops, didn't see the updated part with the 266kBTU.
    12,800 gallon IG plaster kidney-shaped pool, waterslide, 800 gallon spa.
    1HP 2 speed Sta-Rite pool pump, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite spa jet pump. 2 skimmers, 1 main drain
    Purex-Triton TR-60 325 lb.sand filter. 2" Plumbing, Intex SWCG, TF-100 test kit.
    Link to pics of my pool! http://www.troublefreepool.com/my-oasis-t26558.html

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    Re: New member, new question.

    ABQ, That is a load of horse feathers. The town can't dictate what size heater, only that the code for how it's connected is adhered to. Think about that. That would be like me saying you may not buy 16 lb bowling ball, only 15s are allowed here. Are you buying what you want or what he wants? Call him on it. Tell him you want to see the ordinance that dictate what size heater goes with what size pool.

    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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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New member, new question.

    I believe the pool builder.

    The Albuquerque Energy Conservation Code:
    "403.9.4.1 Energy source. After January 1, 2009, the primary source of energy for heating swimming pools shall come from solar collectors."

    That rule doesn't spell out an exact maximum size for a gas heater, but it does make it quite clear that there are limitations on how much gas heat you can have.
    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: New member, new question.

    The way he explained it was that it related to a "green building policy" where they were trying to push through that you had to use solar for heating purposes on your pool. I've found some information at http://www.cabq.gov/albuquerquegreen...ding/AECC2.pdf, but nothing about specific heater sizes...

    403.8 Service water heating.
    403.8.1 Scope. The purpose of this section is to provide criteria for design and equipment
    selection that will produce energy savings when applied to service water heating.
    Water supplies to ice-making machines and refrigerators shall be taken from a
    cold-water line of the water distribution system.
    403.8.2 Swimming pools. Swimming pools shall be provided with energy-conserving
    measures in accordance with Sections 403.8.2.1 through 403.8.2.4 of this code.
    403.8.2.1 Energy source. The primary source of energy for heating swimming
    pools shall come from solar collectors.

    403.8.2.2 On-off switch. All pool heaters shall be equipped with an ON-OFF
    switch mounted for easy access to allow shutting off the operation of
    the heater without adjusting the thermostat setting and to allow
    restarting without relighting the pilot light.
    403.8.2.3 Pool covers. Pools heated to more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit shall be
    equipped with a pool cover that has a minimum insulation value of R-
    12.
    Exception: Pools deriving more than 50 percent of the energy for
    heating from solar collectors are exempt from this requirement.
    403.8.2.4 Time clocks. Time clocks shall be installed so that the pump can be
    set to run in the off-peak electric demand period and can be set for the
    minimum time necessary to maintain the water in a clear and sanitary
    condition in keeping with applicable health standards.

    I'll see if I can dig up anything else.

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    Re: New member, new question.

    Hello~~

    We have two Jandy deck jets--one on either side of our Sheer Descent arc waterfall. When it is just us adults using the pool, we enjoy the soothing sounds of the waterfall. But when company comes with their kids, the kids love the deck jets. They can arc rather high, make quite a bit of noise, and are very "splashy" and fun. The deck jets do give the pool a water-park atmosphere.

    At first a bit of construction debris must have gotten stuck in one of the jets; it was not a perfect stream as the other. I think our PB ended up putting a new one in. We've had no problem since, and we have all sorts of pine cones, leaves, seeds, and plant junk littering the deck.

    Make sure that it is easy and comfortable to get to your valves at your pool pad to turn the water features on and off easily. We have a bed of some very pretty but not easy to walk on landscaping stones on the valve side of our pool pad. I always forget my flip flops when I go to open or close those valves!

    I remember thinking I might ask questions of the owners of the pools I was taken to see, but no, they either were not home for my little tours or they stayed inside their houses...I never knew who they were to contact them. I didn't think to ask the PB for contactable references; I did see his portfolio of pools and was taken to see three of them to help to decide on pool surface colors and coping and paver styles and colors.

    Good luck with your build~~

    Lana
    23,600 gallon, refurbished 1960's inground concrete, Jandy sand filter w Jandy 2 hp variable speed pump, Pool Pilot Digital SWCG+Chemtrol 2100+CO2 tank; PebbleTec White Pearl with 10% Cobalt Blue Dark Beadcrete by Olympic Pool Plastering, Georgia. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit; Aqua Check Salt test; LaMotte borates test, and Jack's Magic Sequest test kit; SparklyPoolitis level: extremely high.

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    Re: New member, new question.

    Thanks for the info, Lana. We'll make sure we keep that in mind when we're planning what is around the pool equipment.
    Our PB is encouraging us to us an auto on/off actuator that would be controlled through the key pad of the auto cover. He described it as you turn the key to open the cover and when the cover is completely open, the deck jets turn on. If you don't want the deck jets on, you turn the key a bit more and they turn off. He said that one of his pool owners didn't have this feature and they mistakenly left the deck jets in the on position, but had turned the pool pump off and when the pump cycled back on, the deck jets sprayed water on the closed cover, causing some damage.
    Jason

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    Re: New member, new question.

    Quote Originally Posted by ABQ_Pool
    The way he explained it was that it related to a "green building policy" where they were trying to push through that you had to use solar for heating purposes on your pool. I've found some information at http://www.cabq.gov/albuquerquegreen...ding/AECC2.pdf, but nothing about specific heater sizes...

    .
    I guess it is what it is. But, it's really stupid on the city, or somebodys part. I suppose no one realizes there that a 266k heater will use as much gas as a 400k will because you run it longer
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: New member, new question.

    Anyone know the insulating R value of a solar cover or an auto cover? That doc requires R-12 covers for all heated pools except those that derive 50% or more of their heat from solar. What if someone doesn't have a suitable roof face or roof material? Or if they use an attached spa? Or a portable tub, they use induction heat, banned in 2009, as I read it. Pipe insulation for above ground plumbing at the pad? Does that mean wrapping the filter like a hot water heater? Near as I can find on-line, the ACCA Manual J is for HVAC calculations, not pool heating or cooling.

    Personally, if they tried to enforce such a code with so many ambiguities, the first court challenge would likely nullify it. If they didn't, I would just move out of town. What's next? 16 lb bowling balls? If they want to restrain economic growth, kill jobs, fine, as a business owner, I would leave. I could go on but this thread isn't the place for it.

    Scott

    Added Online by ACCA Manual J ref.
    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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