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Thread: 5000 Gallon Limit

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    5000 Gallon Limit

    My wife and I purchased a home on a small lake last summer with the intention of installing a pool. In order to obtain the building permit we needed a variance to city code but were told it would not be a big problem. Now that we have applied we've found out there are several issues, issues we would rather not deal with. Our city has a loophole that says pools less than 5000 gallons do not require permits and therefore need to meet a much lower set of setback and other standards. Though the smaller pool isn't exactly what we were thinking we think we can be happy with it.

    Now on to the question; what is the best above ground pool but still meets the 5000 gallon requirement? I've looked a lot at familypoolfun and found some good options but was wondering what else is out there. I think we will build or install a small elevated deck in addition to the pool for entry/exit. The pool will be primarily used by our two young daughters. I'm completely open on cost.

    Thanks for your help.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Houston, Texas

    Re: 5000 Gallon Limit

    A 10x20 oval is about the largest pool you can get that will stay under the 5000 gallon limit. That is a pretty small pool. Before you buy anything take a sack of flour and mark off the dimensions of the pool you are considering on the ground. Have the whole family stand and lay in the outline at the same time and see if it is a size you can live with.

    I would also check and make sure the city does not mean a temporary pool by setting the 5000 gallon limit. The standard hard walled above ground pool may not meet the definition of a temporary pool, such as an intex.

    As far as brands go most hard walled pools are fairly equal in quality. You will want to purchase the pump and filter separately if possible. Pool package deals are notorious for selling over-sized pumps and undersized filters. You want a small pump (preferably a 1hp or less 2 speed pump) and a larger filter. Larger pumps are not more efficient and the slower the water speed the more effectively the filter will collect fine particles. The size of filter will depend on the type, sand, cartridge, or DE.

    A deck is an excellent idea. You don't say how young your daughters are, but a deck big enough for a few lounge chairs will give you a better vantage point to watch them swim if you are not in the water with them.

    Good luck with your pool purchase! If you want to learn how to take care of your pool we can help with that as well.
    TFP Moderator
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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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  3. Back To Top    #3
    cramar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Sault Ontario

    Re: 5000 Gallon Limit

    I agree with Zea.

    My 20' pool is about 9400 gallons and it's as small as I would go, personally. So I suspect your looking at a 12' round pool or so, that's a small pool.

    How much of an inconvenience are these by-laws really?
    I got a permit for my deck and pool, it wasn't that big of a deal, if you go to your municipal building dept they'll give you all the info so you can study, their web site probably has some info.
    A bit of extra effort may be worth the larger pool.

    One main thing Zea said, mark the pool on your yard, I used spray paint to locate 2-3 different sized pools and then tried to visualize them. I can tell you that anything 18' or smaller is getting small for 3-4 people.

    PS, if your really open on cost I'd recommend getting as much pool as space and money can afford.
    20' X 54" Sharkline Matrix Resin AGP, 9400 Gallons, Sta-Rite 1 HP Dynamo Pump, 150 lb Pentair Sand Filter, Gorilla Pad,
    Foam Cove, Taylor K-2006 kit, BBB method, 8'X20' Fafco Sunsaver Hard Plumb, DIY Fountain, Margarittaville Fiji

    My Build: one-man-one-pool-and-one-deck-agp-pics-t37172.html
    My Build 'To-Do' List for other DIY'ers: my-pool-build-list-t40249.html?hilit=list

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SouthWest Alabama

    Re: 5000 Gallon Limit

    I just want to re-inforce what's said above. Unless the requirements are a major hassle it's worth it to get a larger pool. I wouldn't want much less than 10,000 gallons.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    linen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Twin Cities, MN

    Re: 5000 Gallon Limit

    Welcome to tfp, hcivic91

    I am with the others above...5000 gallons is pretty small and will be outgrown quickly (your daughters will not be young/small for long). There is a lot of cost (or time if you diy) for installing any pool size. As the pool size goes up the additional costs do not go up as fast.

    If you are not sure you want to stay that small, I would start with an intex metal frame pool and see how it works for you, then upgrade either to a more permanent pool still below 5000 gallons, or (and more likely) to a larger more permanent pool. The intex would keep costs down until you decide your long term plans.

    If you do decide to stay that small and want to install a more permanent pool, I like zea's idea of going rectangular so that at least one dimension has some length (although installing a rectangular will be more work/cost than a round pool).
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: 5000 Gallon Limit

    Thanks for such great feedback!

    The laws really are a problem and are pushing the price of the project past my/our level of comfortability. From a $50-60k project to +$70k. We have the money but there just seem to be a lot of better things to do with it, like save it. Just applying for the variance was ~$2k. A couple of the issues are setback from the lake, fence and most importantly impervious soil. In fact, the impervious soil might be impossible to overcome. The others come with the territory and we knew that going in and were part of our estimates.

    My current thinking is that a 12*20 or perhaps a 15' round might work and sneak under the 5000 limit. If I do this on a reasonable budget I wont mind if it only lasts a few years and we outgrow it. We have the room inside so I might mark the dimensions out in the house with tape and test it that way.

    Forums are truly one of the best features of the internet and your opinions are already helping shape what we might do.
    Thanks again,

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    4knights's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    NE Kansas

    Re: 5000 Gallon Limit

    I understand your thought of saving the money but you need to remember that 70k today will be 200k in ten years.
    We should have put our pool in ten years ago, but didn't. We're happy with our new pool but that's 10 years that the family could have been enjoying the pool instead of this summer being the first time. Get the pool you want now and don't regret buying something you may regret.
    Ron- Kansas. IG fiberglass, Riviera 30 Freeform 13600 gallons,
    EasyTouch 4 w/IC20 SWCG, Pentair Whisperflo 1hp, 2 speed 220 pump, Hayward ProGrid 4820 DE filter using Eco Klean instead of DE, 2 Savi Melody 12v 5 color LEDs, Raypack 266k btu millivolt heater, Arctic Armour Mesh custom safety cover (Total self Install) TF-100 test kit w/Magic stir.

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