Hello TFP! This forum has been an amazing resource as we have worked to get an abandoned pool back up and running in a new house this spring.
Next up we are wanting to do a bit of a remodel on the pool. Major components need to be replaced very soon, and even if we don't get to the entire remodel this year, we have to a) start costing it out and more importantly, b) make sure that anything we have to do *now* will be compatible down the road, and there are so many components I am struggling to get my head around them all!
In the end, we want a lower maintenance pool that allows us to be gone for 2-3 days regularly and 1-2 weeks occasionally.
We are currently planning on adding a DIY spa adjacent to the pool, tied in to the pool filtration system and overflowing into the pool*. The spa would be set about two feet into the ground and have an upper edge about bench height (18").
We would like to also put in a SWCG, new filter (I am thinking cartridge, but my only reason is to eliminate backwash), a new pump, a new liner, a more robust skimmer solution, and a heater**.
The current filter and pump need to be replaced - they are both in rough enough shape that it wouldn't be cost effective to repair them, not to mention I believe they are incorrectly sized.
Please feel free to shout any feedback you have about that plan - I would appreciate it! I also have a few more specific questions:
1) Adding the spa makes the already complicated feeling filter/pump question even more complicated! Can anyone help point me in the direction I need to be on on those? The filter may not have any special requirements, but the pump...I'm lost! What do I need to be able to run the spa jets adequately? My goal is to have a low power/speed pump that runs 24/7, and then I think I want to be able to turn it up for spa time?
2) *I'm not sure that this is wise - I want to be able to use the hottub year round. With a low power/speed pump, though, I don't think I would mind running the system while the temp was below freezing to save the lines - is that all I would need to do?
3) **One of the things that makes doing this so attractive is that I feel I can get way more bang for my buck by doing everything together. Can I get a heater that works for both the spa and the pool? Then a pool heater would just cost [Heater Cost minus Spa Cost] more than I'm already spending!
4) This isn't really a cheap project, but we are trying to make the dollars stretch further by DIYing it - are there any other features or things we should look at that aren't cost prohibitive while we are doing all the above? I'm sure there are awesome things that people love out there that I don't know about or I'm missing!
5) Are there any unusual/different liners out there (that don't just involve fish graphics )? Are there any other design notes that are usually considered 'out there' that you love? I'd love to hear them!
6) Would you speak out against doing any of the above? I'd love to hear that also!
Here is my current pool layout (pipes aren't accurate here):