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Thread: My new pool build

  1. #1
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    My new pool build

    Hi all,

    In my effort to become more knowledgeable about pool construction, I've been reading all the posts here since this site started and many of the posts on the old board. My original intention was to do owner/builder. As a mechanical engineer who runs projects for a living, it would be well within my abilities, however, after reading and thinking about my situation, I've decided to hire a PB. Since I work a regular job, I would not be able to be on the 'job site' for most of the work which I think would be inviting problems. I really hate paying someone to do something I can do myself.

    Over the last two years I have received quotes from 7-8 PB's, four of these were in the last month. I gave each of them the plan I had originally intended to use to pull permits. Since I am not a landscape architect, I asked each for suggestions. Only one made a meaningful suggestion. Maybe my original design was good. I will post it here soon.

    After things are dialed in a bit more, I will post my costs for the pool if you want.

    Since I live in California and have PG&E as my energy company and I'm cheap by nature, I am very concerned about energy efficiency. Please comment on the following:

    Pool Area 764 sq ft (MAY GET SMALLER)
    Perimter 112 ft
    Volume ~25000 gals
    Depth 3.5'-8'
    4' waterfall
    Tanning Ledge
    27' 12" raised bond beam with flagstone cap and face

    Intelliflo 4X160
    Polaris 280 with booster (WORRIED ABOUT INEFFICIENCY OF THIS)
    Main Drains
    Two Skimmers
    (2) 3" suction lines (ARE THESE TOO BIG?)
    (4) 2.5" returns (ARE THESE TOO BIG?)
    Easy Touch 8
    Intellichlor IC40
    Cartridge Filter (HOW BIG SHOULD I GET?)
    25000 Gals, Intellichlor IC40 SWG , Intelliflo 4X160, Pentair Cartridge Filter, Easy Touch 8, Polaris 280

    My adventure: my-new-pool-build-t4534.html

  2. #2
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    One of the big variables is the waterfall. There is a fairly wide range of flow rates that might need depending on how you want it to look and how it is built. Just how big it is can affect some of the other decisions.

    You might want to look at The Pool Cleaner. It will work straight off the regular pump, without a booster pump.

    With pipe bigger is always better, but it costs more. Unless the waterfall is going to on the high side of the possible flow rate range you could probably make the pipes 1/2" smaller and be fine.

    I would get a large filter, something designed for over 100 GPM. By over sizing the filter you get better flow and you don't need to clean it as frequently.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    TFP Admin. Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  3. #3
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    Jason,

    Thanks for the quick reply and feedback. Last night I spent quite a long time reading posts about The Pool Cleaner, many of which were yours.

    Due to being able to eliminate the booster, I am intrigued by this cleaner but have some reservations about the reliability. How long has this cleaner been around? How long has the manufacturer been around? I am confident I can repair whatever breaks given parts are available but I don't want to be repairing it frequently.

    I only chose the 280 because it seems to have an excellent track record and I think parts will be available for years to come. Furthermore, it sounds like the 280 may work a bit better. On the other hand, I don't have, nor will I ever have, any large trees near the pool.

    Kevin
    25000 Gals, Intellichlor IC40 SWG , Intelliflo 4X160, Pentair Cartridge Filter, Easy Touch 8, Polaris 280

    My adventure: my-new-pool-build-t4534.html

  4. #4
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    As promised, here are some pictures. Please feel free to make comment or suggestions.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Attached Files Attached Files
    25000 Gals, Intellichlor IC40 SWG , Intelliflo 4X160, Pentair Cartridge Filter, Easy Touch 8, Polaris 280

    My adventure: my-new-pool-build-t4534.html

  5. #5
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    You probably already read this thread: http://www.troublefreepool.com/viewtopi ... highlight=

    I'm a big fan of robotic cleaners. I'm an engineer (cheap) as well. I run my circulation pump on low speed (power) and as minimal time as possible. The robot does an excellent job supplementing my sand filter while reducing the overall energy consumption.
    16 x 32 IG Vinyl
    Sand Filter

  6. #6
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    Hi all,

    I'm probably going to sign my contract tomorrow. It makes me a bit nervous since it's such a large purchase. I think it's the permanence of the decision more than the cost that makes me nervous.

    I think I am going to go with the equipment in my opening post. I was hoping someone would chime in about the questions I had about the pipe sizes and filter. We aren't meeting with the PB until tomorrow evening if someone want to say something. This is about as close to begging I get.

    The builder is going to use a Sta Rite Mod 3 filter. Unfortunately he only said it is good for pools up to 1000 sqft. Aren't they rated in GPM? What size would be appropriate for the pool I'm building?

    Thanks in advance,

    Kevin
    25000 Gals, Intellichlor IC40 SWG , Intelliflo 4X160, Pentair Cartridge Filter, Easy Touch 8, Polaris 280

    My adventure: my-new-pool-build-t4534.html

  7. #7
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    Kevin-

    a fellow ME here..we are supposed to have ours dug on Monday, so i know what you are going through..

    our pool was quoted at 757 sq. ft and 115' perimeter, also 3.5 to 8'. our pb is one of the only ones we have come across that is using larger plumbing as standard...we are getting 2.5" suctions into 2" returns. all of our equipment will be hayward..filter is 7220 DE, which I think will flow up to 144gpm. our pump is going to be a 2hp Northstar (2 speed version)..may still be a bit on the large size, could probably get away with a 1.5hp.

    I like the plumbing your guy is using, bigger is never a bad thing, although our guy was a bit leary...wanting to make sure he had enough system resistance so that the pump will not cavitate, which is understandable also..without going through all the calcs (im lazy), I know where he's coming from.

    good luck with your decision-its a big one!

  8. #8
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    You can find information about the StaRite System 3 Modular Filter here. I would get the largest one they make if you can. Larger filters have less resistance to flow and don't need to be cleaned as frequently. The smaller ones will probably work in your situation, but this is one situation where bigger is better.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    TFP Admin. Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  9. #9
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    So my PB comes by this evening for me to sign the contract and we already have a problem. I told him from the very first meeting that I want the Intelliflo 4X160 pump. As I reading all the details of my build I see that the contract says Pentair Intellipro 4X160. I really wanted the Inteliflo but he said there might be an additional charge for that one and that the two pumps are the same anyway.

    What do all of you think?

    I'm going to research it now.

    Thanks for everyones input.

    Kevin
    25000 Gals, Intellichlor IC40 SWG , Intelliflo 4X160, Pentair Cartridge Filter, Easy Touch 8, Polaris 280

    My adventure: my-new-pool-build-t4534.html

  10. #10
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    The two pumps are very similar, the electronics and motor are identical. The pump is different, but very similar in most ways. The IntelliFlo is just slightly better thought of, using a WhisperFlo based pump. The IntelliPro uses a Max-E-Glass based pump
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    TFP Admin. Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  11. #11
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    Jason,

    Thanks for this and all the feedback.

    If you were buying a pump today would you have a preference for either one?


    Mark....As the local hydraulics guro, do you have anything to add?


    Thanks,

    Kevin
    25000 Gals, Intellichlor IC40 SWG , Intelliflo 4X160, Pentair Cartridge Filter, Easy Touch 8, Polaris 280

    My adventure: my-new-pool-build-t4534.html

  12. #12
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    Hi All

    A lot has happened since my last post here. I did force the PB to include an Intelliflo 4X160 since the head curve looked a bit better than the Intellipro. Thanks to Jason for the help. I also scored an Intellichlor IC40 on Ebay for $675.

    My neighbor and I both signed a contract with the same PB on 4/22 and told him that we wanted to be simming on 7/4. The owner of the PB company almost refused my job. This makes me happy since that must mean I'm getting a good deal. Since I am contracting my own concrete, he could not guarantee 7/4 but didn't think it was a problem if I can get the concrete guy to perform. We'll see.....

    The permits were issued about 5/5 or 5/6 but the crews were delayed on other difficult digs so my dig did not start until today. I played hooky from work so I could watch the process and take pictures. I'm also recording a time lapse of the whoel process. I will post them as soon as I can. Due to some additional excavation I need done on a retaining wall, the PB says it should take about two to three days to complete.

    It's amazing watching these guys work. They really know how to make a bobcat sing. I asked one of the workers where they were taking the dirt and he gave some vague answer. Being the geek that I am, I had to know, so I followed one of the trucks. They drove for almost twenty minutes. This long round trip really slowed down the process considering they intially were using only two trucks.

    My hard drive crashed right when I was getting ready to make the drawings for the non pool related stuff like electrical for the outside outlets, standalone spa, patio cover, outdoor fan, retaining wall and gas BBQ island. Now it's time to finish up these drawings and coordinate these other steps.
    25000 Gals, Intellichlor IC40 SWG , Intelliflo 4X160, Pentair Cartridge Filter, Easy Touch 8, Polaris 280

    My adventure: my-new-pool-build-t4534.html

  13. #13
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    cobra46,

    Congratulations on your new dig!

    Out of curiosity, what program did you use to create your 3D layouts? Was it Google's SketchUp?

    Titanium
    24,000 gallon inground freeform pool/spa circa 1983 (113 ft perimeter, 625 sq ft) with 350 gallon attached spill-over spa
    2007 2 HP, three-phase Hayward TriStar pump which is powered by an Ikeric VS-200 variable speed drive system
    1983 Laars XE Pool/Spa Heater Type ES 400,000 BTU, 1998 Hayward Super Star-Clear C-4000 cartridge filter (400 sq ft, 4 separate cartridges)
    1998 Polaris 380 pressure-side cleaner w/ 3/4 HP booster pump
    One skimmer :( and one PoolSkim :), One Supervision Galaxy LED pool lamp, Second story solar panels
    Hayward/GoldLine AquaLogic PS4 (replaced 1983 vintage dual circuit Intermatic timer)

  14. #14
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    It's Solidworks which is primarily a mechanical engineering program but since I use it all day at work I figured I could make it work on a yard. I had initially bought one of these $70 landscape programs and couldn't figure out how to use it which surprised me since I have 15 years experience on three CAD packages.

    Although the results are not super pretty it has the ability to give me the area, perimeter, volume and even weight of the pool. It can also give me the area for concrete - even on complex shapes.
    25000 Gals, Intellichlor IC40 SWG , Intelliflo 4X160, Pentair Cartridge Filter, Easy Touch 8, Polaris 280

    My adventure: my-new-pool-build-t4534.html

  15. #15
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    With the pool build, second job (Ice Hockey ref), hard drive crash and normal family responsibilites, I finally have time to figure out how to post the pics. I know I love looking at other peoples pics so I hope you enjoy mine.

    I hope this link works to get you to all the pics. I will post many of them here directly.

    http://s287.photobucket.com/albums/ll143/xcobra46x/



    Pre Construction


    25000 Gals, Intellichlor IC40 SWG , Intelliflo 4X160, Pentair Cartridge Filter, Easy Touch 8, Polaris 280

    My adventure: my-new-pool-build-t4534.html

  16. #16
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    Excavation Day 1


    First scoop on side yard


    Side yard finished...Now they can start the pool itself.


    Start the pool already!!!!


    What kid doesn't love a construction site?


    Installing bond beam forms with cool laser detector.


    Laser Emitter sends exactly level laser beam 360 degrees


    We go out to dinner and when we come home the crew is gone and this jewel is laying in our back yard. It's a hydraulic jack hammer used to remove rock. We were very nervous about rock because we live in Rocklin which has lots of rocks. The PB charges $400/HR if they hit rock. Fortunately, it was only being stored in our back yard for the night.


    Big rock across the street.


    End of 1st day
    25000 Gals, Intellichlor IC40 SWG , Intelliflo 4X160, Pentair Cartridge Filter, Easy Touch 8, Polaris 280

    My adventure: my-new-pool-build-t4534.html

  17. #17
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    During Day 2 of the excavation I was on pins and needles all day long. I was worried that I was going to get a call from PB telling me they hit rock. Fortunately and unfortunately (more about this later) our house and pool is built on fill which reduces the chances of hitting rock. We were lucky .

    So I come home from work and eagerly walk out back to see how things are going. I look around and sure enough...a problem . The tanning shelf appears to be made way too small. I designed it to hold two lounge chairs. Recall that I designed this pool myself using CAD software. I gave the sales guy an electronic copy of the CAD file expecting that he would use it to submit to the city for permitting. I also gave him a large format scaled printed drawing but he decides to redraw my plan with pencil and changes the size of the ledge. Unfortunately, I didn't catch this problem when the project manager and I met to go over the build. We did verify all the dimensioned features on the pencil drawing but the ledge was not dimensioned. I can't believe a PB of this size does not use CAD or Poolstudio.

    Is the only solution to make up the difference with gunite? The big question is who is going to pay for this fix. I vote the pool builder since I gave them a finished drawing and they decided to change it. I also painted the pool in the back yard and the project manager asked me to leave the layout paint and rebar that marked the center of the arcs.

    Enjoy the pics.





    Small tanning ledge.
    25000 Gals, Intellichlor IC40 SWG , Intelliflo 4X160, Pentair Cartridge Filter, Easy Touch 8, Polaris 280

    My adventure: my-new-pool-build-t4534.html

  18. #18
    Mod Squad Butterfly's Avatar
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    Nice pix! They knocked out that side yard in a hurry, huh?

    When I saw the big rock across the street, I though of Orca! That thing is huge!

    Hope there are no rocks that you have to pay for....

    We'll stay tuned!
    TFP Moderator -TF100 Test Kit - TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel- PoolMath- Pool School -
    You're done SLAMing when: 1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.
    ~Do at least one thing every day that makes you happy.~

  19. #19
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    It took about six hours to excavate the side yard.

    We ahd some pretty high winds in the days after the excavation which made me nervous the fence would blow down. I think the wind is gone now for the summer.
    25000 Gals, Intellichlor IC40 SWG , Intelliflo 4X160, Pentair Cartridge Filter, Easy Touch 8, Polaris 280

    My adventure: my-new-pool-build-t4534.html

  20. #20
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    Plumbing and Electrical

    Based on the knowledge I've gained from this site, I had the PB change the way they normally do the plumbing. Of course they charged me extra to do it but I think it will pay for itself in the long run. Each skimmer and the main drains go back to the equipment pad on separate 3" lines. Each pair of returns is on a separate 2.5" line. I only have four returns but I think I'll be ok.

    I came home from work and of course immediatly went out back to see how things are going again. Surprise surprise...another mistake. Good thing this site has taught me about how a pool should be built. It turns out the plumbers used 2.5" on the returns but only to where they tee. After that they stepped down to 2". Hey...I paid for 2.5". Ironically, one minute after I discover this, my pool salesman calls about a patio cover I want to buy. Rightly so, he tells me to call the PM. I call the PM and get no answer so I tell plumbers about the mistake and show him my copy of the plans. I don't know why they didn't have a copy there. They fixed it immediately.

    To me, the quality of a company is not so much that they don't make mistakes but more in how they fix them. I think these guys are lucky that I'm armed with the knowledge to spot their mistake early enough that they are still easy to fix.





    Manifold system. Looks pretty good to me!


    Pressure test. 42 psi and holding.


    Shallow end skimmer. What are the two extra lines connect to the skimmer? Extra suction? Alternate suction.


    Yeah baby...nice gentle bends...keep that water flowing


    Main drains. What is that extra little pipe for. Pressure release valve so the pool doesn't pop out when empty?


    Future home of the Easy Touch 8. Conduit for three colored lights and power.


    Tap for autofill and main power.


    Inside of light fixture.
    25000 Gals, Intellichlor IC40 SWG , Intelliflo 4X160, Pentair Cartridge Filter, Easy Touch 8, Polaris 280

    My adventure: my-new-pool-build-t4534.html

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