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Thread: Concrete Block Puppy Pool - in progress - many questions

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    bob2112's Avatar
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    Concrete Block Puppy Pool - in progress - many questions

    Hi folks! Just joined your forum today, although I have be busy reading here for some time, as I have LOTS to learn. I'm kinda here for a different reason than most probably are, but this looked to be the place where I can find answers and "how tos" to my up coming project. Allow me to explain - I'll try to keep it short!

    We have a couple rottweilers, and our girl (avatar is puppy pic) loves to swim. We usually take her down to one of the dog beaches here in in Saint Pete, but our vet has recommended we quit doing this. She has lymphoma and her immune system is now weakened, so any bacteria in the water could impact her very badly.

    So, a swimming pool seemed like the perfect solution. I found a nice 17'x9' dog proof pool for around $2,000 and was going to get that until I started to work on the permits necessary aspect. To keep this brief(ish), we can't put a pool in our backyard for various reasons. BUT, we can put in a pond/pool 24" in depth or less. Go figure...

    Legally, it can only be 24" deep before a permit is required. I may end up fudging on that a bit, but she won't really need much deeper than that for swimming. Planning on 16' by 7' wide (inside). Roughly 1800 gallons plus or minus. Going to be about a third in the ground and 2/3rds above.

    Now, this has evolved from an above ground pool to a koi pond type construction to a cement block build. Basically, what I am doing is making a home made 2 foot+ deep dog pool, yet I want pool quality water.

    Sorry if this drags on, but I want to include information to help with answers to my questions.

    Another pertinent piece of information is that I would like to go with a saltwater (SWG) pool.

    I tend to dive right in on my projects and MacGyver problems out along the way, but I admit that I am in a bit over my head here and appreciate any and all guidance and suggestions that may be offered.

    Day One: puppy was not impressed!


    Day Two: digging by hand in Florida heat = not so much fun


    Day Three: cement in center turned out to be from an old clothes line poll


    Day Four: footings in and ready for the concrete guys


    I have been reading all I can find on homemade concrete block pools and what I took away was to pour the footings and bottom of the pool in one pour and then build the block walls on this. This is what I have done, so if there are any mistakes here, it's kinda too late to turn back.
    If you have made it this far, I have a few more pictures and then several questions.

    Took off a day yesterday (Sunday) but I'll still call the next one
    Day Five: 1/2" rebar - probably shoulda used more. But, it will only be 2 feet of water so I hope it will be okay.


    same day - the pour begins


    pour completed




    I am still searching for the right pump/filter setup, which isn't as easy as I had figured it would be. Problem being most systems are either built for much higher flow (GPM) than I need, or with motors big enough to run a 20,000 gal pool. I'll find just the right setup given time, and look forward to any input offered. Is it okay to post links here to what I am looking at?

    Questions follow. PLEASE feel free to comment and make suggestions!

    I found a Hayward sand filter / pump that has a 1/2 HP pump which I am considering. My thought here is that I don't really need a pump with much higher horse power due to the small (1800 gal) pool size. Smaller HP equals lower power bills - right? Being that this is for the dogs, I am also thinking that a sand filter is preferable to a cartridge type filter because of the hair.

    The Salt Water Chlorine Generators that I have been researching can be a bit pricy, but from what I read that (SWG) seems the best way to go. I did find a unit for around the $250 mark, but I've always been a believer in "You get what you pay for". Is there a "best" buy for such a small pool set-up? Am I incorrect in wanting to go SWG for this application for some reason (cost aside) that I haven't figured out?

    Please remember this is a concrete block construction for the next few questions.

    I'm reading up all I can on the finishing product and am still up in the air on Marcite vs Diamond Brite. Is there a major difference in a "salt water" pool? I believe Marcite is less expensive, so will that be good enough and last many years?

    Are there any special considerations I need to be aware of for the first layer of block on the finished slab in regard to building the strongest foundation possible? Don't say more vertical rebar... it is what it is.
    ***Slab is 6" deep, footings a few inches more. ALL block will be filled.

    Anyone have any hints, suggestions or YouTube videos on installing the skimmer in a concrete block wall? While on the skimmer subject, is the skimmer enough to return water to the pump/filter by itself or would it be prudent to add an additional return line lower in the pool?

    While on plumbing issues, I'm planning on a line from the pump into the pool on each side, thinking that two incoming water inlets will be enough. Any reason to add more?



    Sorry this is sooo long, and I can't thank you enough for any ideas and suggestions from those of you that have the pool knowledge that I lack. I am learning, and while I'm bound to make some mistakes, I do appreciate your help lessening my errors.


    No doubt, I will be back with more questions along the way.


    Thank you!
    Bob

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    Re: Concrete Block Puppy Pool - in progress - many questions

    Nice job. Your doggie is going to love you. Sorry to hear she is sick.
    I don't have any answers but I wanted to wish you luck!

    Sandy
    24,000 20x42 double roman end in ground pool being built. Start date june13, 2012.
    Finished July 4th, 2012, sports pool, vinyl,SWG, DE filter, fountains. Heat pump,
    First Pool Ever!

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    Re: Concrete Block Puppy Pool - in progress - many questions

    I'll take a couple of your questions....I would suggest you manually chlorinate the pool at first.....it may be everything you need and gives you a bit more flexibility than an SWG. You can allow enough plumbing length to install an SWG later if you decide.

    Definitely a sand filter for dogs....no question.

    I would install a skimmer and a dedicated suction line. That line will return water to the pump or can be used as a convenient vacuum hook up and you will need to vacuum with dogs.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Concrete Block Puppy Pool - in progress - many questions

    I like your style i too have considered a doggie pool i cant wait to see how yours turns out!!!
    Nathan
    15x30 gunite 18k gallons Hayward star clear plus 120sqft cart

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    Re: Concrete Block Puppy Pool - in progress - many questions

    Thank you for the replies do far.

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    ....I would suggest you manually chlorinate the pool at first.....it may be everything you need and gives you a bit more flexibility than an SWG. You can allow enough plumbing length to install an SWG later if you decide.
    Could you please explain this a bit more to this total pool newbie? From what I have read, it seems that the SWG style pool will have water much better suited to the dog's skin. Are the maintenance requirements for a SWG system far beyond manually chlorinating?

    Whatever method I go with, I am going to have to learn from the ground up, so I guess I am asking if there are downsides to a "salt water" pool that I haven't considered or stumbled upon yet. I am not purposely being dense, I simply do not understand... how does manually chlorinating give me more flexibility?

    Thank you for your time!

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    Re: Concrete Block Puppy Pool - in progress - many questions

    The main difference between bleach and a SWG is how chlorine is created in your pool. Both bleach, a hypochlorite solution with water and salt, and the hypochlorite solution a SWG makes using water and salt are the same... A hypochlorite solution. I am sure there a minor difference but in the end, in the pool, they are essentially equal.

    So, even if you do add a SWg, liquid chlorine or bleach will still be needed to initially balance the pool and to over come any chlorine shortages when using the SWG in maintenance situations.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Concrete Block Puppy Pool - in progress - many questions

    I have no idea but think you are a great dog parent. I will link to a cool building thread I'd read a while back about a guy building a doggie pool for his dog. There might be some helpful info within! trying-to-build-small-homemade-pool-need-guidance-please-t28003.html
    35,000 gallon gunite pool, semi-T-shaped, 29x15 shallow end and 16x22 deep end, built in the mid-1970s and renovated 2013-2014 // Polaris 9300 Sport robotic cleaner // Taylor K-2006 ... Learning as we go and so grateful to everyone here for their help! Our reno thread

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    Re: Concrete Block Puppy Pool - in progress - many questions

    As a dog lover myself (I have 3) I think it is awesome that you are doing this for your girl. Good luck and happy paddling!
    17,500 gal. ABG Doughboy Pool
    1/2 HP Pump/150 sq.ft. Cartridge Filter
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    Re: Concrete Block Puppy Pool - in progress - many questions

    I have taken a couple days off from the build to allow the footings & bottom pour to cure. Block construction begins tomorrow. *yippie?* This break has given me some extra time to research products (pumps, filters, SWGs etc.) that I will be buying soon, as well as looking for ideas for future steps in the construction and finishing of the pool.

    One product that has really piqued my interest is a concrete coating process using something called PermaFlex. It seems to basically be a rubberized coating for waterproofing concrete before applying an epoxy paint.

    Here is a link to the Sani-Tred site where the PermaFlex is explained.
    http://www.sanitred.com/permaqualities.htm

    Seems, to me, like a pretty good sealing option, as it's "rubberized" so it shouldn't crack due to any ground settling. The site then mentions a second product to be applied over the PermaFlex to "patch and profile any joints, seams, cracks, holes and rough areas".

    You can read about the entire process here - if you care to:
    http://www.sanitred.com/SwimmingPool.htm

    I'm wondering if this second step is necessary on a new build or if I should/can just move to the epoxy paint over the PermaFlex coating. Granted, I'm sure more coats of anything will make the pool more waterproof. But, anyone reading the entire process see that step two is necessary?

    Comments and suggestions from those that have used this product, or seen / heard of it's use would be appreciated.

    Still trying to come to a decision on the Salt Water Generator thing, but I'm leaning towards installing one. The Boss Lady is really pushing for it, even though she hasn't spent much time researching them. "The puppies would like it" kinda thing. ("The Puppies" ain't paying for all this!)

    I am also considering adding 2-3 inches more concrete to the bottom once the blocks are in, to "seal" the bottom row of block in - as in, no leaking from underneath the bottom row of block. I'm going to get the cement truck & pump guy back out to fill all the block and concrete the shelf, so they would be here anyway. Any thoughts on adding to the bottom? Is it just a waste of time/money, or would it provide a better bottom to block seal as I'm thinking?

    Thanks again, and I'll update as the block work progresses.

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    Re: Concrete Block Puppy Pool - in progress - many questions

    Quote Originally Posted by bob2112
    Thank you for the replies do far.

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    ....I would suggest you manually chlorinate the pool at first.....it may be everything you need and gives you a bit more flexibility than an SWG. You can allow enough plumbing length to install an SWG later if you decide.
    Could you please explain this a bit more to this total pool newbie? From what I have read, it seems that the SWG style pool will have water much better suited to the dog's skin. Are the maintenance requirements for a SWG system far beyond manually chlorinating?

    Whatever method I go with, I am going to have to learn from the ground up, so I guess I am asking if there are downsides to a "salt water" pool that I haven't considered or stumbled upon yet. I am not purposely being dense, I simply do not understand... how does manually chlorinating give me more flexibility?

    Thank you for your time!
    An intermediate approach could be just using a higher salt level in the pool. Many people on here use ~2000 ppm for the "feel".

    Putting a swg in during install is probably the most efficient. However the volume of your pool (small) is not conducive to the commonly available swgs out there (they are designed for much bigger pools), so I agree with duraleigh, manually chlorinating and adding salt for the feel might be your best bet.
    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.

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    Re: Concrete Block Puppy Pool - in progress - many questions

    Very interesting coating if it truly works as described it is a heck of a product
    Nathan
    15x30 gunite 18k gallons Hayward star clear plus 120sqft cart

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    Re: Concrete Block Puppy Pool - in progress - many questions

    *I don't build block wall pools for a living*

    You seem to be under the impression, as i am, that you could have used a little more vertical rebar.

    I don't know that it is necessary.

    Instead of adding to the bottom on the inside, you could pour a little wall around the outside of the first run of blocks. Of course you would have a cold joint between the concrete layers, and would likely need rebar for that part as well.

    Have the block guys seen your progress so far, i would have to trust their opinion. It shouldn't take very long to drill some holes in your pad for extra vertical rebar if needed.
    18'x43' Sport Pool
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    Re: Concrete Block Puppy Pool - in progress - many questions

    You can always add salt to a pool without actually using a salt water chlorine generator as your disinfecting process.
    It just means you will dump x amount of pool salt into your water to improve the "feel" of the water but then continue to use liquid chlorine in measured doses <based on water testing> to keep the pool clean.
    As to buying a small SWG-do smaller AGPs use them? I wonder if they might be the way to go if you want an actual SWG?
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
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    Re: Concrete Block Puppy Pool - in progress - many questions

    Quote Originally Posted by bob2112
    I have taken a couple days off from the build to allow the footings & bottom pour to cure. Block construction begins tomorrow. *yippie?* This break has given me some extra time to research products (pumps, filters, SWGs etc.) that I will be buying soon, as well as looking for ideas for future steps in the construction and finishing of the pool.

    One product that has really piqued my interest is a concrete coating process using something called PermaFlex. It seems to basically be a rubberized coating for waterproofing concrete before applying an epoxy paint.

    Here is a link to the Sani-Tred site where the PermaFlex is explained.
    http://www.sanitred.com/permaqualities.htm

    Seems, to me, like a pretty good sealing option, as it's "rubberized" so it shouldn't crack due to any ground settling. The site then mentions a second product to be applied over the PermaFlex to "patch and profile any joints, seams, cracks, holes and rough areas".

    You can read about the entire process here - if you care to:
    http://www.sanitred.com/SwimmingPool.htm

    I'm wondering if this second step is necessary on a new build or if I should/can just move to the epoxy paint over the PermaFlex coating. Granted, I'm sure more coats of anything will make the pool more waterproof. But, anyone reading the entire process see that step two is necessary?

    Comments and suggestions from those that have used this product, or seen / heard of it's use would be appreciated.

    Still trying to come to a decision on the Salt Water Generator thing, but I'm leaning towards installing one. The Boss Lady is really pushing for it, even though she hasn't spent much time researching them. "The puppies would like it" kinda thing. ("The Puppies" ain't paying for all this!)

    I am also considering adding 2-3 inches more concrete to the bottom once the blocks are in, to "seal" the bottom row of block in - as in, no leaking from underneath the bottom row of block. I'm going to get the cement truck & pump guy back out to fill all the block and concrete the shelf, so they would be here anyway. Any thoughts on adding to the bottom? Is it just a waste of time/money, or would it provide a better bottom to block seal as I'm thinking?

    Thanks again, and I'll update as the block work progresses.
    Step two as i read it would be nessasary at the bottom where the block meets the slab. Also step two would be used on the mortar areas between butt joints and courses( the "pointed" areas) for a seamless "pool grade plaster" finish. But could be skipped if not concerned with the perfect astetics .
    Nathan
    15x30 gunite 18k gallons Hayward star clear plus 120sqft cart

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    Re: Concrete Block Puppy Pool - in progress - many questions

    I'm not very familiar with SWG's, but I think an Intex one would work for you since your pool is so small.
    John
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    Re: Concrete Block Puppy Pool - in progress - many questions

    Doing all three product steps with your 16' x 7' x 2' block pool their cost calculator puts you at about $550.00 for material. If you do end up using this product i am very curious as to your experience with it
    Nathan
    15x30 gunite 18k gallons Hayward star clear plus 120sqft cart

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    Re: Concrete Block Puppy Pool - in progress - many questions

    Sorry, back again...

    I have ordered my pump, filter and skimmer (the store didn't have then in stock at that location - should be here Saturday) and I'm working on laying out all my plumbing lines. I had figured that having a line into the pump other than from the skimmer would be a good idea in case for some reason water wasn't getting to the pump from the skimmer. The boss man concurred in a post above.

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    I would install a skimmer and a dedicated suction line. That line will return water to the pump or can be used as a convenient vacuum hook up and you will need to vacuum with dogs.
    Well, I'm no engineer, so how this works has me a little puzzled.
    These may be dumb questions, but this is my first time building a pool, so I hope I'm allowed [s:aaddgq4i]a couple[/s:aaddgq4i] several.

    If I have a pipe from the skimmer and a pipe from the "dedicated suction line" heading to the pump, which I figure would join together at a T before reaching the pump, is there enough suction going to the skimmer to have it operate properly? Only 1/2 HP pump due to the small size of the pool.

    Doesn't a vacuum hose just go in the skimmer? If I wanted to vacuum from the dedicated suction line, wouldn't I need some kinda port to attach the hose to, and would that setup involve having to install some shutoff valves and a bunch of extra fittings?

    Is there any "rule" as to where the dedicated suction line is installed in relation to the location of the skimmer. I want to mount them both on the same end wall (by the pump & filter) if that's okay.

    Can I just use a return eye fitting on this or should I find some fitting with a grate (no kids in pool) - read: is there a specific fitting inside the pool for a dedicated suction line.

    Lastly, do I even really need one (dedicated suction line) - or, am I making this a bigger deal than it needs to be?

    Hopefully, that's it for today's questions, time to get out there and get to work!

    < /font = confused >

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnN
    I'm not very familiar with SWG's, but I think an Intex one would work for you since your pool is so small.
    I looked at that brand, as they seem to be suited for smaller pools. But, the reviews sent me running! Seems that MANY of their units tend to not last very long and too many owners were having problems. I don't like to deal with cheap products that may end up causing me more headaches than they are worth. Thank you for the suggestion tho! I would gladly pay the 7-8 hundred dollars for a quality SWG if I knew I could make it work on such a small pool.

    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyGuy
    Doing all three product steps with your 16' x 7' x 2' block pool their cost calculator puts you at about $550.00 for material. If you do end up using this product i am very curious as to your experience with it
    Yeah, I saw the price, that's kinda why I'm wondering if the 2nd process is really necessary for a new build. I want to order today, so that it should be here next week. Just going to go out and think about whether I want/need to do the 2nd step while I'm working. Seems to me that just the 1st step rubberized coating with either an epoxy paint or marcite top coat would do just fine.

    On that waterproofing subject... I am also thinking about applying some "waterproofing" to the outside of the block. I would need something I could find locally as I'll need it sooner.

    I can't believe that I actually side tracked my painting the house project to build this pool!



    Oh, one more quick question... I know!

    If I'm not going to go with a SWG system, do I want to get one of those in-line Automatic Chemical Feeder units?

    warned ya'll I was new to this!

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    Re: Concrete Block Puppy Pool - in progress - many questions

    I would suggest 1 of 3 things 1 swg 2 stenner pump 3 liquidator if your looking for chlorine automation
    Stay away from chlorinators that use pucks
    Also you can get masonry Drylock paint at almost any hardware store its a waterproofing paint
    Nathan
    15x30 gunite 18k gallons Hayward star clear plus 120sqft cart

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    Re: Concrete Block Puppy Pool - in progress - many questions

    which I figure would join together at a T before reaching the pump, is there enough suction going to the skimmer to have it operate properly?
    Instead of that T, use a Jandy 3-way valve which allows you to choose one or the other source or somewhere in between.

    The dedicated suction line is optional but I find mine handy. You can also vacuum from the skimmer port if you like. In my pool, I like the extra source of water to the pump and I like the convenience. A regular eyeball fitting will accept your vacuum hose line nicely. I have a grate on my dedicated line but in your case, I would just leave it open.

    If you decide on one, you can put it anywhere you like.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Concrete Block Puppy Pool - in progress - many questions

    this is just like a koi pond build sani tread lots of problems ,you can research it here http://www.koiphen.com/forums/forumdisp ... Filtration

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