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Thread: Pool Planning Albuquerque NM

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Albuquerque New Mexico
    Posts
    6

    Pool Planning Albuquerque NM

    Hi everyone, this is such a great forum, I have been lurking around for the past few months, I love that the people on this forum are so friendly and helpfull.

    I am super excited because our pool builder will most likely be starting our new pool build the first week of June, yeahhh!!! We are moving into a new home so I am praying that the closing all goes according to plan.

    I have been working on the pool design myself and would love any feedback, along with any recommendations on the equipment our pool builder is using.

    The pool I dreamed of having is far different from the one we are getting due to me facing reality and finding out how much everything costs. I originally wanted a free form pool, but because one of our musts was an automatic cover and deciding I liked how the auto covers looked on the rectangle pool better we ended up with a rectangle shaped pool. I also wanted an attached hot tub, but when you are trying to stay under $40,000 it just wasn't possible. One of the things I did get was a 6' x 16' baja shelf, I had to talk the husband into that one, he feels it will be a waste of space, but I'm not a big swimmer so this is where I plan to spend my time while the kids are swimming. I hope the novelty doesn't wear off like some people have posted about.

    That is about it for now, and opinions, suggestions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    -16X38 Rectangle Gunite Pool 3’ to 6’ depth with a 6’ x 16’ baja shelf 10” deep
    -2” PVC schedule 40, noncorrosive pool circulation plumbing also to skimmer to filter
    -Fill Line
    -Cover Pools Safe T III Automatic Pool Cover
    -Rainbow Automatic Chlorine/Bromine Feeder
    -WhisperFlo high performance pump
    -Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Filter
    -1200 ft Preferred Deck System decking (My design has way more decking than this, but that will have to be added in the future, when we save up more money to finish the landscaping)
    -300 Watt 110 Volt Pool light

    Terra

    [attachment=1:1a0kx0zj]house003.jpg[/attachment:1a0kx0zj]
    [attachment=0:1a0kx0zj]House04.jpg[/attachment:1a0kx0zj]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    29,000 Gallons, IG gunite/plaster, Pentair 1.5 HP pump, Pentair cartridge filter 150 flow rate/520 sq feet

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Pool Planning Albuquerque NM

    Welcome to TFP!

    I love your renderings.

    Do you have any additional specs on the pump or filter? The WhisperFlo is a wonderful pump, but it is important to know what size you are getting. The best thing would be to get a two speed.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    38

    Re: Pool Planning Albuquerque NM

    Hi Terra!
    Welcome....we live in ABQ as well and just finished up our pool (started in November!) We have almost the same pool, exactly. Ours is 18x40 with a 6' sunshelf....the shelf is the best thing ever...and your husband will use it just as much. The cover is awesome and so needed in this windy state!

    We went with a variable pump and I think you might want to consider that. Had another forum member come to look at ours and definitely decided on the VS pump...lots of things going for it besides it being so quiet at low speed....and our PNM bill last month looked awesome with running the pump for 16 hours a day. A 2 speed would be good too, but we were able to get the variable for about the same price and decided on it. We also don't have other water features so just use a mechanical timer, but I see the new VS pump out has it's own timer on it now---we were a few months ahead of it! I would have changed our automatic cleaner out though to one that runs on a lower speed---as it is now we just put it in once a week and run it on the higher speed---with a cover you do not need it running all the time as our PB suggested.

    Let me know if you have any questions as you go through the pool build. I have to admit it is stressful...and I have a husband in the construction business who could catch things beforehand....at that being said our PB still did not get our pool depth right even though we questioned them before gunite. It is still usable, but disappointing when you plan for one thing and get another. They also ruined our deck concrete with poor acid washing before sealing....frustrating. Some other frustrating moments but I think that is the nature of construction---you do have to watch constantly and not be afraid to speak up. They put in the wrong diving board and we just got the right one yesterday. Have EVERYTHING spelled out in the contract.
    Anyway, we still have water in our backyard and loving every minute of it!

    Congrats on your build!!

    One other thing I am so glad we put in is the LED light...what a difference for night time aesthetics!

    And...totally agree with this TFP site....so helpful and a great learning tool! (Thanks guys and gals!) I have learned so much about balancing my water, pumps, and the nuances of owning a pool. Knowledge is powerful!
    Cheers!
    ~Julie



    30K gunite pool, Pentair VS 3050 pump, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 520 Cartridge filter, Jandy AquaPure SWG, automatic cover, Intellibrite Pentair LED light, no heater.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    173

    Re: Pool Planning Albuquerque NM

    16 feet is pretty narrow.

    If at all possible, I would suggest bumping the width of your pool out to 18'. A couple of feet might not seem like a lot on paper, but it makes a world of difference once you have 3 or more people floppin' around in the water. Especially with a 6' sun shelf, you'll want that extra room. I realize budget considerations trump all upgrades, but some things are easily added at a later date----while others....not so much.
    Completed: June 2011
    18' X 38' IG Vinyl, 3' - 8' depth ~ 24K gallons
    2 skimmers, 2 wall suctions, 3 returns, 1.5" piping

    Hayward Equipment: 1HP Tri-star 2-speed, Aqua-Plus SWG,
    Star-Clear Plus 175 sqft cartridge filter, Colorlogic 4.0 LED

    The Pool Cleaner 4X(suction)
    2011 Jacuzzi J-280 Hot tub

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Albuquerque New Mexico
    Posts
    6

    Re: Pool Planning Albuquerque NM

    Hi Jason thanks for the compliment, I love the Pool Studio program, I just wish it wasn't so darn expensive, I have about one week left on my subscription and then I have to cancel it I need to call the pool builder and get all of the details with the equipment and then I will post them on the forum.

    Hi SwPices, it is so nice to see someone from Albuquerque on the forum. We moved to Albuquerque from Montana last July, I love it here! I was worried before we got here because everyone was telling me how bad the crime was and it was just brown and dirty everywhere, I was happily surprised when we got here and don't think I ever want to leave. I am so glad to hear that you like your sun shelf, I think my husband will appreciate it after the pool is built, but it is good to hear that others enjoy it. That is terrible about the problems with your pool build, I would have been so mad if they got the depth wrong. What pool company did you go through? We ended up going with Hernandez Pools, they seem to know what they are doing, I hope it stays that way. I would love to have gotten the LED light upgrade, but unfortunately the automatic cover put us over budget so other things had to go. I am definately going to talk to the builder about the variable speed pump though, I have read many people say that is the way to go.

    Hi MX702, thanks for the recommendation on the width of the pool, after I read that I went outside and measured the width of the pool at the house we are renting, I though it was 16' across but it is actually 17' wide, I am definately going to see about adding the 2' I think it would make a noticable difference.

    Terra
    29,000 Gallons, IG gunite/plaster, Pentair 1.5 HP pump, Pentair cartridge filter 150 flow rate/520 sq feet

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    38

    Re: Pool Planning Albuquerque NM

    Terra,
    Welcome to Albuquerque...I was originally from Montana (my younger years)...a wonderful state! We are transplants to NM as well and LOVE it! (came from the NW)

    I agree that having the extra width on the pool will be better....18' is awesome for our big guys. My sister has a 20' and everyone loves it, but we wanted to save a little as well and I think this fits better in our yard.

    We had Hernandez build our pool too...so just be aware that you need to watch everything and be knowledgeable! We had a number of references and friends who used them as well and all seemed to be good. We thought we did lots of research and got enough bids---well, my feeling now is that perhaps here in NM, pool builders are use to doing things like they have for the past 20-25 years and don't keep up with the new equipment and building techniques. (our friend's pool are quite a few years old) But that is just our opinion. Hernandez is very good at addressing your problems after all this has happened, so I am happy with that...just disappointed that we had to watch things so very carefully and then still end up with some pretty big issues. Our sunshelf was to be 10" at waterline too, but we ended up with 8"---a pretty big difference although we can live with it. (when we called them on it, we didn't know for sure how much "seam" allowance, if you will was needed from steel to gunite to plastering). Our deep end is off a little too, but it is obviously not such a discrepancy. Watch them with the cover and tile line (at the end the where cover comes out of)....make sure you have bullnose on both the top tile and bottom tile where the cover goes over or else you will have a cover torn up in a matter of a few years....my husband designed a stainless steel cover to go over where they didn't measure right for the cover box depth plus where they didn't put bullnose tile. (they used old pieces from the other cuts.) After we got the cover warranty and installation instructions it says exactly what measurements you need....they were off by an inch and 1/2...big difference when your cover goes back and forth many times. Just wanted to pass on some of the things we had to watch for.

    If you would like to see our pool you are so welcome to do so...we had another family on this forum come look too. Just personal message me and we will get together.

    In the end, we are happy to have our pool minus the adjustments that we had to work on. You will be happy too---I only wished I would have had some other's knowledge of what to look for. I also would have liked to have known how the company works with one brother doing one thing, one brother doing another, one doing yet another. Communication is often tough.
    Cheers!
    ~Julie



    30K gunite pool, Pentair VS 3050 pump, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 520 Cartridge filter, Jandy AquaPure SWG, automatic cover, Intellibrite Pentair LED light, no heater.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Albuquerque New Mexico
    Posts
    6

    Re: Pool Planning Albuquerque NM

    Julie, thank you so much for the information, we are total newbies when it comes to pools, I have been reading what I can but I would have never caught the things you talked about. I am definately planning on being around during the build and checking on things, now I will be even more informed. I would love to set up a time and see your pool, that is so generous of you to offer. I will send you a pm and we can set it up.

    Did you guys get the auto cleaning machine, they are quoting me $900, but I am thinking I would rather spend that money on a 2 speed pump, and ad the cleaning machine later, I figure with the cover it shouldn't get to dirty, and me and the husband don't mind vacuming it, it is kind of relaxing.

    Also I can't convince my husband to spend any more money, would you suggest keeping the dimensions we have, or shortening the pool and making it 18' wide?

    Thanks again for the valuable information, I really really appreciate it!

    Terra
    29,000 Gallons, IG gunite/plaster, Pentair 1.5 HP pump, Pentair cartridge filter 150 flow rate/520 sq feet

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    38

    Re: Pool Planning Albuquerque NM

    We did go with the robotic cleaner but I wish we wouldn't have gotten it and I would have liked to know how Hernandez likes to run their systems...Nestor trains you to run the robo cleaner in the pool all the time, but they usually use the Whisperflo 1.5 hp pumps and only run an 8 hour cycle...with the variable speed pump you are on a lower rpm, longer cycle, so their choice of cleaner doesn't do as well on low speed....also, I agree, with a cover, it is not really necessary and you could save money with just using the vacuum they give you. I wish we would have had that knowledge beforehand too. But since we have it now, we throw it in once a week to get the leaves and such that do get in the pool while you have it open. I don't like to have the cleaner in there all the time---one for the looks of it and two so you don't have swim around it or take it out when you want to swim.

    A few others on here have mentioned that they use the "Pool Cleaner" with their variable speed pump and it works well on lower speeds.

    We negotiated for the variable speed pump as my husband looked for it online and then negotiated with a price that was just a little over their whisperflo. A 2 speed pump would work well for you as well so you could run on lower speed and save electricity. With PNM trying to raise rates it would be in many of the pool builder's best interest to start thinking about different pumps. With our setup , without other water features, a 2 speed would have been good too. With the variable speed pump we have it set to 1200 rpms for a 14 hour cycle now and then turn it up when we put the cleaner in.

    Study pool school here too and get the recommended test kit---there was no instruction on chemicals and balancing whatsoever...and they didn't even put in enough salt after the 30 day period. If this wonderful website wasn't here, I'm not too sure where I would have been "schooled". It has been invaluable.
    Cheers!
    ~Julie



    30K gunite pool, Pentair VS 3050 pump, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 520 Cartridge filter, Jandy AquaPure SWG, automatic cover, Intellibrite Pentair LED light, no heater.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Albuquerque
    Posts
    72

    Re: Pool Planning Albuquerque NM

    Hi Terra-
    I'm also in ABQ and planning on starting our pool build in early June. Julie (SWpisces) allowed my wife and I to come over to check out their new pool (it's amazing!). It's been really great to be able to see the new pool and new equipment and ask her and her husband questions (Thanks again Julie!!). We changed a few things from our contract after speaking with her. We didn't go with Hernandez, but they were open to changes after a little bit of negotiating (variable speed pump, extra skimmer, returns on "baja step", etc.) you just have to know what you want and be firm. Julie is absolutely correct about the PB's not wanting to change their methods and eqiupment, although from reading this forum I don't think it's just our neck of the woods. When we spoke to our PB about the variable speed pump, his reply was that they were only used on commercial pools.

    After speaking to Julie we pulled the generic Polaris cleaner from our bid and we'll purchase a pool cleaner down the road (most likely "the pool cleaner"), but still asked our builder to install a dedicated line for the future cleaner. Hernandez should be able to pull the cleaner from the quote and install the line for less than $200 (all it is is some plumbing runs), which should save you $700. Although you'll add a few hundred dollars ($300-500) for the variable speed pump upgrade. If you can widen your pool, just see what they have to say about costs, it can't hurt to get a quote on it.

    I also agree that a pool cover is a must in our area as this past weeks' weather demonstrated. Other options: you can speak to Julie about this, but they decided against the auto fill line - if you have a nearby hose bib, you might be able to remove this from the quote to reduce some costs.

    Anyway, keep doing what your doing, read this forum, ask the questions that pop into your head, lots of research, etc.

    Jason

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    38

    Re: Pool Planning Albuquerque NM

    Awesome additional info Jason!...there is so much to cover when going into the building process! I'm excited for your build! Keep us posted as it progresses. I'm so glad there are more ABQ pool builders/soon-to-be owners on this forum! The internet is a powerful thing!

    Yes...we deleted the autofill as our hose bib is so close and we have a hose always there and felt it was not a problem to pull the hose over to fill every once in awhile.
    Also...I would put in the dedicated auto cleaner plumbing in even though you many not get a pool cleaner right away...it's there then when and if you do get a cleaner. You just keep the valve closed when you are not using it. (You can use your skimmer lines as well but it is nice just to hook it up to the dedicated line.)

    Terra...feel free to PM me if you want to check anything out...I know I am a researcher and definitely a visual learner, so it's nice to look at things already done.
    Cheers!
    ~Julie



    30K gunite pool, Pentair VS 3050 pump, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 520 Cartridge filter, Jandy AquaPure SWG, automatic cover, Intellibrite Pentair LED light, no heater.

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Pool Planning Albuquerque NM

    We're in ABQ and thinking about a pool—just starting the process. No idea regarding size, but while we have a decent lot size (0.5 acre) much is unusable (we're in the foothills), so the working size spitballing things is ~15x30 ish. We are certainly getting an auto cover (2 little kids, plus all the other reasons).

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