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Thread: It's All Greek To Me

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    It's All Greek To Me

    I'm as green as green can be when it comes to pools - hopefully, with the help of those on these forums, my future pool won't be green as well! The boss (my wife) and I have finally decided that it's time for an in-ground. Actually, the kids (11, 10 and 5.5 months) have been driving us nuts. So we caved. I've had 3 pool guys come to provide estimates (one gunite; two vinyl). Needless to say, my head is spinning. We have what I would consider a decent budget ($30-$50). We live in the Lehigh Valley (Central Eastern PA). So there seems to be a fair number of pool builders (was told there is a difference between builders and installers) and installers in the area.

    We've heard all the sales pitches and going through all the info and brochures, I...well..feel like this:

    With all the info...and sales pitches, I'm not sure who to believe. The gunite PB believes that Pentair is top of the line. One of the vinyl guys believes in Hayward. The other vinyl guy says all others are junk and Waterway is the only way. Then one of the vinyl guys tells me that salt water chlorination is smoke and mirrors, and Sustain is the only way to go. I knew going into the process was going to be time intensive and much research had to be done. I didn't realize how almost car sales-like the process might be.

    I guess I'm venting a bit. My apologies! In terms of what we are getting quotes on is an 18'x36' free form with a slide. So around 650sf. I don't know which way to go, and I realize you can't really compare gunite to vinyl - so it's not apples to apples; but I would think I could at least compare equipment, etc.

    Thanks for allowing me to dump....when I have the energy, I'll share the complete breakdown between builders/installers. Look forward to learning more through all the expertise on this forum.
    29' x 30' in-ground gunite, 20k gallons, superblue quartz finish
    IntelliChlor Salt Chlorinator
    IntelliPro VS+SVRS Variable Speed Pump (3hp)
    Pentair System 3 Cartridge filter (S8M500)
    2 skimmers, 3 wall returns, 3 floor returns, 2 drains
    StaRite Max E-Therm 400k BTU gas heater
    2 Deck jets
    SR Smith Turbo Twister slide

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: It's All Greek To Me

    Welcome to TFP

    We look forward to following your build.

    When you post the breakdown, folks around here will be more than willing to give their .02
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: It's All Greek To Me

    Hi, welcome to TFP! Let's see if I can help you sort things out. First make a little chart with a column for each builder. On the rows, write the questions you had and record the builder's response in his respective column. Anytime someone recommends a system as a replacement for chlorine, do some research. In my opinion, the only effective replacement for chlorine in a residential pool is baquacil. I have never used baquacil, nor do I intend to, but from my research it can be effective for sanitizing the pool. The sustain system is calcium hypochlorite, a form of chlorine with calcium. It is a system of delivering chlorine that will cost more money than just adding liquid chlorine, salt, and calcium separately, which if you read the MDS sheets, is all it is.

    The only real issue with a SWG (saltwater chlorine generator) is you need to make sure the building materials are compatible with a salt system. Some pool owners have had problems with softer stones, such as limestone, eroding quickly. Others have reported damage to low grade stainless steel and inadequately protected metal components and furniture. Many have installed and used SWGs without problems. Again, you need to do the research.

    As for equipment, Pentair and Hayward are the two big names out there, and they are easy to find parts for if needed. Waterway is not what I would call a top of the line product, but it will do the job for a while. Sometimes the builder will be able to get an extended warranty if you get all the equipment from one brand.

    Keeping a record of what was said and who said it will help you make good decisions and avoid confusion. Post back anytime you have questions, we'll be happy to help!
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Re: It's All Greek To Me

    Thanks for the warm welcome. Great idea on breaking down the questions and recording the answers. I'll start a spread sheet. If I can, I'll post it

    Thanks again
    29' x 30' in-ground gunite, 20k gallons, superblue quartz finish
    IntelliChlor Salt Chlorinator
    IntelliPro VS+SVRS Variable Speed Pump (3hp)
    Pentair System 3 Cartridge filter (S8M500)
    2 skimmers, 3 wall returns, 3 floor returns, 2 drains
    StaRite Max E-Therm 400k BTU gas heater
    2 Deck jets
    SR Smith Turbo Twister slide

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: It's All Greek To Me

    Finally got the first estimate:

    21'x39' 3.5' to 8.5' free form gunite with diamond brite finish extra wide stairs and bench in deep end
    Pentair Intellipro VS + SVRS pump
    Sta rite cartridge filter
    Pentair Intellichlor salt chlorinator
    Sacrificial zinc anode
    All permits, engineering drawings, electrical, excavation costs
    Water
    2" PVC 40 with 90 degree sweeps
    Gunite shell is coated with aquron
    Stainless steel light niches with LED color changing lights (2)
    wall and tile scrubbing robotic cleaner
    Flow meter
    Free heat circulation package
    3 drains
    2 skimmers
    3 returns
    Equibond bonding grid around pool
    All steps and benches will be rebar reinforced
    Poured concrete pad for equipment
    Borates
    1 month free chemical analysis and balancing
    3 yr warranty on labor and materials for equipment
    10 yr warranty on quartz finish

    Total: $45000

    Options: sr smith turbo typhoon slide installed - $2850
    400sf concrete with cantilever edge - $2950
    Heater : 400k BTU pentair installed - $2500

    This is all without any type of negotiation.

    Okay folks....let me know your thoughts

    Thanks
    29' x 30' in-ground gunite, 20k gallons, superblue quartz finish
    IntelliChlor Salt Chlorinator
    IntelliPro VS+SVRS Variable Speed Pump (3hp)
    Pentair System 3 Cartridge filter (S8M500)
    2 skimmers, 3 wall returns, 3 floor returns, 2 drains
    StaRite Max E-Therm 400k BTU gas heater
    2 Deck jets
    SR Smith Turbo Twister slide

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