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Thread: Pool Expertise needed!

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    Pool Expertise needed!

    Hi All,

    We have been interviewing pool contractors for 2 months and I can't seem to sort through all the bids/conflicting information.

    We are looking to build a pretty standard saltwater 32x16 with 7x spa, 2 waterfall features, 50 linear feet of stacked stone, 800ft acid washed deck, hybrid pump, 400,000 btu heater, filter (sq ft varies greatly between bids).

    We have several large protected oak trees in our yard so the best cleaning system is hotly debated between contractor ranging from auto pool covers, inexpensive vacuums, in floor cleaners.

    Bids range from 56k (this guy does a million pools a year and some people love him, some people hate him) to 88k (this guy drove a BMW and was fantastic on all levels) with high 60's being where most are landing.

    To my questions.

    What do you think the best system is for handling acorns & oak leaves?

    The contractor we are leaning toward made a huge show of noting that they use #4 in pool bond beam and a minimum of 4 return lines. Important or just sales tatic?

    These guys are at $61k for the basics of what we want. They options they recommend are below....would love any thoughts on the cost/value of each/all.
    Quickclean in-floor cleaning system ($5500 extra). They say this is the best way to address the trees. Better than cover as I will have to clean the cover before opening.
    Pebble Finish (approx. $2400 additional)
    Total Control system (approx. $2900 extra) read some older negative reviews here.....but recent replies seem to be better.

    If I add all, we are over $70k. Oy. I can do it financially but it takes up any allotment for unforeseen issues.

    Lastly, this contractor has been in business for 20 years but have very little info about them online (3 yelps reviews, nothing on Angie's list) but I like them. The others have lots of good reviews on line and some have personal friends that have used them but those guys haven't followed up on any of our conversations or revised bids without asking multiple times or even returned calls without me having to call multiple times.....what is more valuable - good reviews or guys that show up on time and follow up as expected?

    Wow! I have a lot on my mind....its all so confusing A plastic kiddie pool from target would be so much easier.

    Thanks in advance for any and all input.

    Brenna

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Expertise needed!

    I don't recommend in-floor cleaning unless you constantly have dust blown into the pool. In floor systems are less energy efficient and tend to require maintenance. Lots of leaves argues for extra skimmers and pump run time spread out across the 24 hour period in numerous relatively short periods. Auto covers don't really help with leaves/acorns because you still have to remove the leaves/acorns from the cover before opening the cover.

    "#4 in pool bond beam and a minimum of 4 return lines" both nice, but not especially important.

    I really don't recommend a Total Control system. They cost more and often don't work. A standard SWG is just as easy to use, costs less, and is more reliable.

    Get recommendations from anyone you are seriously considering and check them out. Sales people not following up is tricky, certainly a bad sign, but it may just be the sales person and not predict what the build person will be like to deal with.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Expertise needed!

    What do you think the best system is for handling acorns & oak leaves?
    Without doubt, a manual leaf rake. (net)

    Automation just cannot accomplish every task and acorns and Large leaves are best done with a big ole' sturdy net.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Pool Expertise needed!

    I realize you said the trees are "protected" but can you thin them by maybe 25%? This will help cut down on the acorns and leaves.

    You don't have your location listed, but in hurricane prone areas, this is a really wise thing to do to prevent tree damage from wind.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Pool Expertise needed!

    Thanks Jason! Might have saved 10 grand there.

    They did offer and autopilot nano salt chlorination system.........is that a swg? Sorry for my ignorance.

    And we plan to trim tree as much as possible. Currently cover 3/4 of pool area. Hope to get them back to 1/4 or more. We are in so cal so no hurricanes. Just earthquakes.

    Thanks all!

  6. Back To Top    #6
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Expertise needed!

    Yes, the AutoPilot Nano is one of the better SWGs.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Pool Expertise needed!

    You really should give us a general location. Locals can chime in with their experience.

    My yard is treeless but the neighbors have towering pines and a couple post oaks. I'm able to get by with an electric robotic cleaner weekly.

    My sister has water oaks and live oaks surrounding her pool. It's a constant battle with a pressure powered pool cleaner.
    Pool is DONE!
    Pentair Intelliflo VS3050
    Pentair Easy Touch 8 + actuators + swg
    Pentair IntelliPH
    Pentair 400btu HD heater
    3- Jandy WaterColor LED's
    Hayward C5030 525sqft cartridge filter
    Waterway spa blower

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    Re: Pool Expertise needed!

    Sorry. Southern California....La Verne to be exact. I believe I have heritage oaks.

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Expertise needed!

    Brenna,

    Here is a helpful section from Pool School. It will help us to help you if the info is available in your posts:

    Profile
    Please put the city and state in which you live in your profile. Your climate is important to the advice you receive.

    Signature
    Please put the following information in your signature.

    The size of your pool in gallons
    If your pool is an AG (above ground) or IG (in ground)
    If it's IG, tell us if it's vinyl, plaster/pebble, or fiberglass
    The type of filter you have (sand, DE, cartridge) and, if you know, the size, model number or flow rate of the filter.
    If you know, please tell us the size pump in HP. Also mention if is it a two speed or variable speed pump.
    Date of pool build/install, particularly important if less then a year old.
    Other significant accessories or options, such as a spa , SWG, or cleaner


    Please keep your signature to 5 lines or shorter. Everything above can be stated quit compactly. For example:
    19K gal, IG vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Pool Expertise needed!

    I would recommend the auto cover . Granted you will have to clean it but dry leaves are easier than wet leaves.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
    Certified in Hydraulics

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    laceygirl's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Expertise needed!

    The Poolskim is an awesome option also... Its cheap and removes large debris from the surface using the return jet.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ycKbUXIgjk
    I have eucalyptus leaves everywhere and this works....
    Intex Rectangle 18 x 9 x 52', 4544 gallon (18000 litres), 0.75 hp pool pump, 100 sqft Zodiac Titan Cartridge Filter - 40mm, Stenner Peristaltic Pump chlorine injection system, Intex Over The Wall Skimmer, Intex Fittings with 40mm plumbing Lil Patch Of Heaven. Build/Construction http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...lice-of-heaven

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