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Thread: this may sound funny, but...

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    this may sound funny, but...

    this may sound funny with 8 inches of snow on the ground and subfreezing weather, but we are hoping to break ground in 4-6 weeks on a IG pool in Pittsburgh PA.

    we are in the planning stages of a DIY pool kit, currently thinking royal pools, as they have been well reviewed on this site. right now we are set on a 16x32 foot vinyl lined pool with roman steps at one end and cozy cove swim out. we want the pool bottom to gradually slope from 3.5 to 7.5 feet. wife hates the severe drop off in a lot of pools, however i told her this was usually a requirement of pools that have a diving board. (right?). we are not planning on a diving board. obviously i have a lot of questions related to choices and people's experiences. i would appreciate any and all input on the below listed questions/concerns. thanks in advance.

    1. planning on putting filter/pump etc in detached garage, approximately 60feet from attachment to pool, do i need a larger pump? larger diameter lines?
    2. i have 40amp service in garage, is that enough? i generally don't use much electricity in there, mostly storage (no wood shop, etc)
    3. i have hard water from a private well, would it be better to have water trucked in?
    4. planning on composite walls based on the foot print the take, up i believe, they only require a 2-3 foot dig, vs a 3-4 foot for steel, plus the water from SWG can eat away at steel walls, although once its buried, i can imagine it would be much of an issue, i could be wrong, wife will let me know, she always does.
    5. we would like a gradual slope from 3.5feet to 7.5 feet, i haven't seen many pool description like this on this site, anyone do this?
    6. trying to decide between a propane heater and solar panels. i would plan to put solar panels on detached garage roof facing southwest., will they consistently keep the pool warm? and would i need a larger pump for that?

    i think thats enough for now

    thanks again for any input!
    DIY 16x32vinyl lined IG, est. 22500 gallons, roman steps, cozy cove swim out. Pentair Suntouch automation, Pentair intelliflo VS, Hayward Aqua Rite SWG t-15, Hayward C4030 filter, 5 Aquasol 4 x 12 solar panels mounted on SW facing roof.

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: this may sound funny, but...

    Welcome to TFP!.

    I will put in my $0.02 on a few of these...

    1. planning on putting filter/pump etc in detached garage, approximately 60feet from attachment to pool, do i need a larger pump? larger diameter lines?
    I would suggest a minimum pipe diameter of 2". The pump size will depend in part on the Static Head and Dynamic Head. Static head is the net elevation change of the water. Water moving from a higher elevation to a lower elevation has head gain while water moving from a lower elevation to a higher elevation has head loss. Dynamic Head refers to the loss of pressure due to the flow of water through pipe and fittings and is a factor of the pipe diameter, length, and type of pipe material.

    Given your specific pool build, your pool builder is probably in the best position to estimate the pump size based on the hydraulic factors described above as well as any other water features (fountains, waterfalls, etc.) your pool may have. Once you have specs on your plumbing setup and the recommended pump size, you can post those specs on the forum for further vetting. I will tell you that most people are steered towards pumps that are too large as opposed to too small. Ordinarily, I would suggest a 2-speed pump but, since you are considering using solar and mounting the panels on the roof of a garage, a variable speed (VS) pump may be worth looking into. Although its more expensive, it will give you more speed options when using the solar so you run at the lowest speed possible that will keep the panels primed and the vacuum release valve closed. This will save $ on electricity. If you plan on using solar a lot, I would give the VS pump some consideration and do some cost-benefit analysis vs. a lower-cost single speed unit factoring in your electric rates.

    2. i have 40amp service in garage, is that enough? i generally don't use much electricity in there, mostly storage (no wood shop, etc)
    3. i have hard water from a private well, would it be better to have water trucked in?
    Since you have well water, I would at least look into the cost of trucked in water. Otherwise, you will have an ongoing battle with metal staining if you use the well water. This will require regular use of sequestrants (to prevent staining of pool surfaces) and perhaps an occasional Ascorbic Acid treatment if the metals precipitate out of the water and form stains on the pool surface. When looking at the cost of trucked in water, I would factor in the cost of using sequestrants that will be needed with well water on an ongoing basis before making a decision.
    4. planning on composite walls based on the foot print the take, up i believe, they only require a 2-3 foot dig, vs a 3-4 foot for steel, plus the water from SWG can eat away at steel walls, although once its buried, i can imagine it would be much of an issue, i could be wrong, wife will let me know, she always does.
    5. we would like a gradual slope from 3.5feet to 7.5 feet, i haven't seen many pool description like this on this site, anyone do this?
    6. trying to decide between a propane heater and solar panels. i would plan to put solar panels on detached garage roof facing southwest., will they consistently keep the pool warm? and would i need a larger pump for that?
    As for the pump size, it depends on where you put the solar panels. Placing them on the ground should not have much impact on the pump. However, placing them on a roof of a garage (as you plan on doing) will require the pump to overcome the initial static head of the panel's height during the priming phase of the panels. After the panels are primed, the static head going up to the roof is offset by the static head dropping from the roof.

    In order to ensure proper priming of the solar panels and the closing of the vacuum release valve at the top of the panel, the pump's head loss at 40 GPM should be twice the height of the panels. For example, if the peak height of a panel is 25 feet, then the pump should handle a minimum of 50 feet of head @ 40 GPM. Most full speed pumps will handle this fa
    irly easily.

    However, most 2-speed pumps at low speed will not have sufficient power to prime panels
    even after the panels are primed by running on high speed for a few minutes and then switched to low speed. There may not be enough pressure at the top of the panels to ensure that the vacuum release valve stays closed, even if the water reaches the top of the panel. If the valve does not close, then the static head loss will remain, total head loss will be high, and flow rates will be very low. It may be possible to run solar on low speed of a 2-speed pump if the detached garage that you plan to install the panels is about the same height (or less) of a single story house. Any structure taller than that will more than likely require running a 2-speed pump at high speed whenever you are using the solar panels, which would cancel out the main advantage of a 2-speed pump over a single-speed.
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    Re: this may sound funny, but...

    Joe we have built both steel and composite. Two foot overdig on either will work. If you are going with salt I would recommend the composite over steel. Steel will rust after it is in the ground and salt will eat at it. The continuous slope to me isn't the best, what reason do you want that deep with no diving board. Most generally if a homeowner wants a pool to relax in we usually recommend shoulder deep for the deepest. If you have kids I would recommend the 8-8.5' depth they will dive and deeper is better.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
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    Re: this may sound funny, but...

    Hope we're thawed out enough for ya to start digging joedoe! Take lots of pics and post them up! Oh... and dress warm!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

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    Re: this may sound funny, but...

    bodarville-thanks for the reply, especially RE: the solar panel and static and dynamic head. i started to read a little about this, but what you said seemed to sum it up. as for the pool builder(me) i am not sure of my recommendation yet. as far as the water, i think you are right, i would be better off without my well water which is like half calcium, good for bones but not so good for pH balance.

    thanks again!
    DIY 16x32vinyl lined IG, est. 22500 gallons, roman steps, cozy cove swim out. Pentair Suntouch automation, Pentair intelliflo VS, Hayward Aqua Rite SWG t-15, Hayward C4030 filter, 5 Aquasol 4 x 12 solar panels mounted on SW facing roof.

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    Re: this may sound funny, but...

    swimcmp- thanks for the reply. i think the composite is the way to go for me as i will probably be putting up the wall myself, i understand they are lighter and thanks for confirming that a SWG pool could be problematic for steel walls. both my wife and myself don't see a need for a diving board and she hates the dramatic slope that is required for the board. her sister has a pool with a 3-6foot gradual slope and we really like it, a neighbor has a 16x32 with diving board and it seems like he has 12 feet of shallow and then a severe drop off, to the point where you can't even stand on the slope because it is too slippery. we just want more room for people to mill around with drinks...

    could we do a 3.5 to 8 foot depth in 32foot length? it seem like it might be too steep
    DIY 16x32vinyl lined IG, est. 22500 gallons, roman steps, cozy cove swim out. Pentair Suntouch automation, Pentair intelliflo VS, Hayward Aqua Rite SWG t-15, Hayward C4030 filter, 5 Aquasol 4 x 12 solar panels mounted on SW facing roof.

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    Re: this may sound funny, but...

    casey-you are definitely right, i have been on the forums (lurking as the saying goes) and i really enjoy the pictures, especially the building process. one of my favorites is the indiana hill billy dig, they were laugh out loud funny, wife looked at me like i was crazy, thanks 8cornflakes(spelling?) so yes i will try and sequester my wife for digital documentation, don't be alarmed if there is an alcoholic beverage or 2...i no longer have hair to pull out
    DIY 16x32vinyl lined IG, est. 22500 gallons, roman steps, cozy cove swim out. Pentair Suntouch automation, Pentair intelliflo VS, Hayward Aqua Rite SWG t-15, Hayward C4030 filter, 5 Aquasol 4 x 12 solar panels mounted on SW facing roof.

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    Re: this may sound funny, but...

    Joe a pool to mill around in with the adult beverage is probably best to stay with 5' of water depth in the deepest portion. I have homeowners who want 6' to do that in and after they get it wish they would of stayed at 5'. Hard to drink an adult beverage when the oral cavity is under water.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
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    Re: this may sound funny, but...

    I have an 18x36 with 8 feet deep end. I have no trouble milling around with a drink. We have the noodles for folks who want to sip and float and plenty of shallow for folks who want to just hang out. We have kids (9 and 7) and lots of friends over, and trust me when I say the deepend is the most used area. No diving board, but they love throwing rings to the bottom and racing diving down to see who gets the most. They literally can play that game for 3 hours straight!

    As for fill water. We have hard water but no metals like iron. We used our well to fill and it went perfect. I have a large line coming out of the house that is used for irrigation. I tapped into that with flexpvc and filled my pool up in about 3 days. The 3 days was not continuous, I would stop and start regularly.
    DIY 18x36 IG Vinyl Rectangle with 2 foot radius; Steel Walls. 8' steps w/t 2 step jets; 2 MD, 1 Skimmer, 2 returns; Hayward Pro Series 24 Inch 300# Sand Pool ; Hayward color logic 4.0 LED light; 2" PVC pipe 4 Jandy Valves, Hayward PL-P-4, SWCG

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    Re: this may sound funny, but...

    ssgumby- thanks for the input. what is the transition like in your pool? gradual or is there a drop off? yeah i know what you mean with the ring game, our kids play that at other peoples pools, oh and the love those foam water guns.
    unfortunately, we do have some iron in our water and i think will go ahead and get at least 3/4 of the water trucked in.
    did you do your own electrical or did you sub it out? i see you in maryland, do you have heater?
    DIY 16x32vinyl lined IG, est. 22500 gallons, roman steps, cozy cove swim out. Pentair Suntouch automation, Pentair intelliflo VS, Hayward Aqua Rite SWG t-15, Hayward C4030 filter, 5 Aquasol 4 x 12 solar panels mounted on SW facing roof.

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    Re: this may sound funny, but...

    Our transition is "standard", it doesnt feel too steep to me. I am 6'3", I can stand on the ramp part way down with no problem. Also, I put on mask and snorkel and get in to vacuum, I walk down the ramp vacuuming and have no issues sliding. I'll post the dig specs when I get a chance.

    I have a friend who is an electrician. He did it for me, total cost was a couple cold beers, some good food and conversation. The company he works for specializes in pools, lots of high end stuff so he knew it all very well.

    Please don't hesitate to ask me any questions. I learned a lot along the way. Some things seem obvious now but at the time it was like "what the heck".

    Also, if you are doing your own vermiculite bottom, I can probably get you a good deal on the vermiculite. I own a company, not in the pool business, but we have some relationships and vermiculite is one of them. Feel free to PM me and we can talk about other areas I could possibly save you money.

    For the record, I bought my kit from poolproducts.com (im not affiliated with them). They were good, I was able to tweak the kit how I wanted it. I excluded the vermiculite, the liner, the plumbing. Essentially I got the walls and the big stuff.

    I do not have a heater, but I will be adding one. We filled our pool out of cold well water, the water was probably 55-60, within 3 or 4 days it was upper 70's and then got to a peak of 90's and was good the rest of the summer until late September. Really have not much of a need for a heater, but I am putting in a heatpump just so I can warm it a little quicker in the year.
    DIY 18x36 IG Vinyl Rectangle with 2 foot radius; Steel Walls. 8' steps w/t 2 step jets; 2 MD, 1 Skimmer, 2 returns; Hayward Pro Series 24 Inch 300# Sand Pool ; Hayward color logic 4.0 LED light; 2" PVC pipe 4 Jandy Valves, Hayward PL-P-4, SWCG

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    Re: this may sound funny, but...

    yeah that would be great if you are able to post the dig specs. I have a buddy who is a nuclear engineer and wired his pool, so I will probably get hooked up there.

    yes I plan to do the vermiculite bottom myself, I bought a cheap electric mixer when I did the stone veneer on my garage. it actually worked perfect for me because by the time I got through the mortar batch I mixed, it was starting to dry out. i understand it is drier mix then mortar or concrete. i got quoted about $900 for the supplies the other day for premixed.

    thanks for the PM offer, i'm sure i will take you up on that in the next few weeks. i would like to break ground in midmarch-end of march depending on the weather, our weather here in western PA has been awful, i plow our driveway almost every other day it seems!
    DIY 16x32vinyl lined IG, est. 22500 gallons, roman steps, cozy cove swim out. Pentair Suntouch automation, Pentair intelliflo VS, Hayward Aqua Rite SWG t-15, Hayward C4030 filter, 5 Aquasol 4 x 12 solar panels mounted on SW facing roof.

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    Re: this may sound funny, but...

    How many bags of the premix are you using?

    I had my nephew do the vermiculite. He does concrete. He started out and it was rough, but after an hour he was flying. We had a large gas powered mixer and had I think 5 guys. 2 in troweling, 1 mixing and 2 delivering.
    DIY 18x36 IG Vinyl Rectangle with 2 foot radius; Steel Walls. 8' steps w/t 2 step jets; 2 MD, 1 Skimmer, 2 returns; Hayward Pro Series 24 Inch 300# Sand Pool ; Hayward color logic 4.0 LED light; 2" PVC pipe 4 Jandy Valves, Hayward PL-P-4, SWCG

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    Re: this may sound funny, but...

    DIY 18x36 IG Vinyl Rectangle with 2 foot radius; Steel Walls. 8' steps w/t 2 step jets; 2 MD, 1 Skimmer, 2 returns; Hayward Pro Series 24 Inch 300# Sand Pool ; Hayward color logic 4.0 LED light; 2" PVC pipe 4 Jandy Valves, Hayward PL-P-4, SWCG

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    Re: this may sound funny, but...

    per royalpools 16x32 needs 50 bags premix. for total $995. I am leaning towards premix because I am going to be doing most of it myself over a 4 day w/e.

    - - - Updated - - -

    thanks for dig specs. I think that is exactly what we are thinking, just for a 32 foot pool.
    DIY 16x32vinyl lined IG, est. 22500 gallons, roman steps, cozy cove swim out. Pentair Suntouch automation, Pentair intelliflo VS, Hayward Aqua Rite SWG t-15, Hayward C4030 filter, 5 Aquasol 4 x 12 solar panels mounted on SW facing roof.

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    Re: this may sound funny, but...

    ok I was originally contemplating solar panels on roof. however I think I am going to wait until end of season or next season. I just need to build in a valve to accommodate a connection to the panels, right, nothing else i'm missing?
    DIY 16x32vinyl lined IG, est. 22500 gallons, roman steps, cozy cove swim out. Pentair Suntouch automation, Pentair intelliflo VS, Hayward Aqua Rite SWG t-15, Hayward C4030 filter, 5 Aquasol 4 x 12 solar panels mounted on SW facing roof.

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    Re: this may sound funny, but...

    don't be alarmed if there is an alcoholic beverage or 2...i no longer have hair to pull out
    heh heh, this is going to be another fun build to follow
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  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: this may sound funny, but...

    yes definitely fun, but hopefully short
    DIY 16x32vinyl lined IG, est. 22500 gallons, roman steps, cozy cove swim out. Pentair Suntouch automation, Pentair intelliflo VS, Hayward Aqua Rite SWG t-15, Hayward C4030 filter, 5 Aquasol 4 x 12 solar panels mounted on SW facing roof.

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    Re: this may sound funny, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by joedoe View Post
    per royalpools 16x32 needs 50 bags premix. for total $995. I am leaning towards premix because I am going to be doing most of it myself over a 4 day w/e.

    - - - Updated - - -

    thanks for dig specs. I think that is exactly what we are thinking, just for a 32 foot pool.
    I just reread this, and let me throw a caution flag here.

    Doing it yourself, as in no other help? That will be a very, very, very daunting job. As I mentioned we had 5 guys, some who had trialing experience, and it took the good part of a Saturday for them to complete and there was NO slacking. I think it would be impossible for 1 guy to mix, then transport, dump, get in and trowel it.
    DIY 18x36 IG Vinyl Rectangle with 2 foot radius; Steel Walls. 8' steps w/t 2 step jets; 2 MD, 1 Skimmer, 2 returns; Hayward Pro Series 24 Inch 300# Sand Pool ; Hayward color logic 4.0 LED light; 2" PVC pipe 4 Jandy Valves, Hayward PL-P-4, SWCG

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    Re: this may sound funny, but...

    I will probably have one or 2 guys helping for a couple days. like I said I have a small electric mixer 4 cubic feet, or about 1/2 a cubic yard. plan is to have it in the pool floor with us, mix, dump and move. buddy has a backhoe with telescoping shovel which we can use to lower and take it out of pool. probably the last part of the shallow end i will need to have someone dumping over the wall for me and probably someone mixing as well.
    would this be too small? if it is i'm sure I can rent a bigger mixer and lower that. i know with mortar if i mix too much i can't use it all before it starts to dry out too much, ie. stone veneer walls. i did 270sq feet of stone veneer, including all the joints on my garage in about 4-5 days completely by myself.
    before we jump to conclusions, I DO have friends, its just that they helped me all summer doing the framing, lifting trusses(that sucks by hand) and the roof. i thought i would give them a break.

    either way ill do what i need to get that part done
    DIY 16x32vinyl lined IG, est. 22500 gallons, roman steps, cozy cove swim out. Pentair Suntouch automation, Pentair intelliflo VS, Hayward Aqua Rite SWG t-15, Hayward C4030 filter, 5 Aquasol 4 x 12 solar panels mounted on SW facing roof.

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