I just joined the site today, but I've been reading almost non-stop for the last three weeks. At first, the information in the Pool School seemed overwhelming, but it's all starting to come together as I continue reading. Many thanks to everyone that contributed to getting all that information together!
I'm not a pool owner (yet). I'm in the final phases of architectural design for a custom home, and before I have the final blueprints done, I want to get the pool design mapped out to make sure I don't have to retrofit anything into my just-built home. Met with a couple PBs recently, and felt totally unprepared to answer the "what do you want" questions. Hence, my obsession with this site over the last few weeks. Here's what I know I want so far, and I'm hoping that some of you can help me fill in the gaps:
--As easy to maintain as possible -- I'm OK with spending more $ to have more convenience
--Safety is a priority -- definitely going with an automatic pool cover as I have 2 very young children
--Rectangular IG, probably 25,000 gallons, gunite with a PebbleTec or similar finish
--SWG, though not dead-set on this
--Spillover spa incorporated into the main body of the rectangle, so the cover will close over it
--I'd like the spa jets to be numerous and powerful, so I'm thinking I'll need a second pump + a blower?
--Tanning deck with a few bubblers for the kids to play with
--Maybe a couple deck jets, but no other water features
--Probably 5ft max depth
--Heater, mainly for the spa, but I live in a southern climate, so I'll probably keep it open year-round and may heat it up occasionally in the winter months
--Chiller, as we see extended periods of 100+ degree heat in the summertime
--After what I've read here, I was happy that my preferred PB steered me away from an in-floor cleaning system towards a pressure side cleaner, as well as telling me that an Ozone unit would be a waste of money
--He did, however, suggest a Nature2 Fusion, which after what I've read here, I'll nix
1. This may be a little confusing. Is there a way to plumb the spa and pool separately, but still maintain the ability to run it in spillover mode? I'm thinking that in the summertime when I'm not heating it often, I'd like to have it all run off the pool circulation in spillover mode so I can manage one body of water. In the winter when I'm not using the pool as often, I'd like to be able to keep the spa temp up without losing the heat to the pool, yet continue to filter the pool normally. Alternatively, can you automate a system to "switch" back and forth to filter the pool and spa independently during different hours? As in, the pool runs 6 hours in the morning, and then the entire system changes over to a closed spa circuit for its cycle?
2. The automatic cover will probably be on the pool almost any time that the pool isn't being used, for safety reasons. Is this going to make it tough to maintain water balance and get rid of CC? Are there any SWG automated systems that can run in two modes that coordinate automatically with the cover, an open mode with higher chlorine output and closed with lower output? I don't foresee having high bather loads in back-to-back days often.
3. The PB told me that they like to install a backup chlorinator on pools in this area because during the hot, sunny summer months, the SWG has trouble keeping up with demand. If I doubled the size of the SWG, as many suggest here, and use the cover most of the time when the pool is not in use, will "not keeping up" be an issue? Seems like I could augment with bleach if needed, as this would be most cost-effective, but if there's an easier option that wouldn't require the manual dosing, I'd love to hear about it. I'm planning on doing the full method outlined in the guide, including adding the borates to get the pH stability.
4. Anything that I'm missing that's a must-have?
Thank you in advance for your thoughts!