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Thread: About to sign the contract. Does everything look ok?

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    About to sign the contract. Does everything look ok?

    This forum has been so helpful to me as we have researched our pool. I have learned so much! We are about to sign the contract and I think we've got most things ironed out but I sure would appreciate another set of eyes looking this over. Some of what I included here may be just standard pool lingo but I can't differentiate what is super important and what isn't, so I just put it all in. Let me know if you seeing any glaring omissions!

    Width 19'
    Length 34'
    Depth 3 1/2-7 feet
    Perimeter 109 LF
    Pool Area 615 sq ft
    Approx gallons: 20756
    Pool Shape: Rectangle with spa

    Coping: travertine
    Color: TBD

    Tile: We will fit the interior 6" water line of the pool and/or spa with the following frost-proof tile: Main tile choice, std
    Interior finish: Wet Edge Pearl or Satin
    Steps: We will build 3 concrete steps into the pool
    Extended bench: 28 linear feet

    Raised bond beam:
    16 ft of 12" bond beam
    15 ft of 18" bond beam
    8 ft of 24" bond beam - columns

    Sunshelf: 14 ft wide at the pool beam approx. 98 sq ft to a depth of 8"
    Swim Out/Deep end: We will install a built-in swim out 4 ft long per plan

    Pool Equipment Features:
    Filter system: 430 sq ft cartridge pool filter
    All plumbing for pool included with filtration equipment within 50 ft of pool
    Pool pump: 2.7 HP Variable speed
    Air blower: 1.5 HP Polaris QT blower
    Electronic controls: PS-8 wireless with aqua connect
    Sanitation equipment: Hayward salt system
    Heater: Natural Gas 400,000 btu
    Pool Cleaner: PV-3 infloor
    Lighting equipment: 2 LED
    Return lines: 6
    Water fill line: auto

    Bubblers: 3 std
    Other water features: 3 natural scuppers with booster pump
    2 concrete water 30" bowls with fire

    Spa: 50 sq ft of water surface
    All plumbing for pool filtration equipment within 10 ft of spa
    Jets: 8 (is this enough for a spa of this size? It's about 7'x7')
    Lights: 1 LED
    Raised spa facing: raised 18"
    Pool side type: tile
    Outside type: ledgerstone

    Mechanical specifications:
    Skimmers: 2 Hayward
    Pool returns: 4 1.5" Schedule 40 PVC
    Pool main drains: 2 anti-entrapment, VGB compliant
    Spa main drains: 2 anti-entrapment, VGB compliant

    Deck, electric, and gas
    Deck: 1330 sq ft
    Deck material: stamped concrete with Shark Grip
    3 sleeves inc. (not sure what this is)
    Area drains: 6
    Linear drains: linear ft each drain 75 with overflow
    Other: One 4 ft H x 18" W gas fire pit with manual light

    Electrical work: We will install electrical conduit and wiring from your existing electrical panel to your pool equipment. This includes permits, inspections and hook-ups for lights, booster pump, filter pump, air blower, heater, electronic control, and 2 remote J boxes.

    Natural Gas Plumbing:
    We will install up to 45 ft of gas line from your existing gas meter to pool heater.

    21k gal IG, SWG, WetEdge Satin Matrix Antigua in pool, Primera Stone Tahoe Coast in spa, 430 sq ft cartridge filter, 2.7 HP variable speed pump, infloor cleaner

    Our build:
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...c-Houston-pool

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    Re: About to sign the contract. Does everything look ok?

    2 quick thoughts -

    1. I'd be worried about using Travertine as a coping material with a salt water pool because soft stone like Travertine can spall and crack from salt water infiltration. One way to get around this is by using a sealant on the travertine but I have heard both good and bad stories regarding travertine sealants (yellowing with age, requires annual re-sealing, etc). Just something to research and think about and, if possible, you could try to ask the PB for a meeting with their stone mason to talk about this issue.

    2. "Sleeves" are PVC tubes (usually 2" to 3" diameter) that run under the concrete to act as conduits for electrical lines and irrigation tubing. They are typically located under walkways so that services can be run and/or easily changed in the future.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: About to sign the contract. Does everything look ok?

    My thoughts:
    - in floor cleaning systems get very mixed reviews. They require high flow rates and thus more power $ to keep the pool clean.
    - Is there also a separate wall return loop? Definitely get one in case there is a problem with the floor system.
    - Properly designed spa plumbing does not require a blower.
    - Are the floor drains plumbed separately to the equipment from the skimmers (also separate?)? Then controlled by valves at the equipment.

    The sleeves could be pipes to hold up umbrellas.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: About to sign the contract. Does everything look ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post

    The sleeves could be pipes to hold up umbrellas.

    True, that is possible too.

    Others may have a different opinion, but my PB installed an umbrella sleeve in my pool on the swim out. I actually hate it as it is nothing but a "scuz hole" - a place for algae to hide. I have to keep the screw cap on it so people don't stub a toe but that means not opening it up and cleaning it out as much as I should.

    Don't put umbrella sleeves in pools!! (In my opinion)

    Also, your contract states "up to 45' of gas line". Is that sufficient to run all of your fire features?

    My PB had to run over 150' of gas line to get to my equipment and the standard contract only covered about 40'. So I had to make up the difference to the plumber which cost me some extra $$$ because I needed a T fitting added. You might want to check the site plan to see how much ACTUAL gas line will be needed and what the $/ft install fee is (plus any tee's, check valves and flash limiters).

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    Re: About to sign the contract. Does everything look ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    My thoughts:
    - Is there also a separate wall return loop? Definitely get one in case there is a problem with the floor system.
    An in-floor cleaning loop is no different than a wall return loop other than it being in the floor and being connected to a distribution valve. Thats like saying 'get a second return loop in case the first one fails'. Doesnt make sense.
    28000 gallon IG pool, 3.5ft - 8ft deep, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Interior, Pentair Intellichlor SWG, Pentair Quad DE 100 filter, Pentair Intelliflo VS-SVRS, Whisperflo 3hp (water features), A&A Max in floor cleaning, Pentair Easytouch 8 Automation, Screenlogic II, Pentair Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, Pentair Intellichem with acid injection via stennar pump, 9'x7' spa with Infiniti edge

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    Re: About to sign the contract. Does everything look ok?

    What size pipes to/from the spa?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: About to sign the contract. Does everything look ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamcha02 View Post
    An in-floor cleaning loop is no different than a wall return loop other than it being in the floor and being connected to a distribution valve. Thats like saying 'get a second return loop in case the first one fails'. Doesnt make sense.
    It absolutely makes sense. I am talking about a completely separate pipe run from the equipment pad to the walls (like a "normal" pool has) You have a 3-way valve that manually selects between the in-floor system and the normal wall returns. That way if your in-floor ever breaks and needs repairs (seems to happen often with the gears and/or electronics in some of them) you can turn the valve and continue circulating and filtering your pool.

    I would NEVER install a pool with an in-floor system without a completely separate return loop to the walls ... my previous pool had the exact setup I am describing.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: About to sign the contract. Does everything look ok?

    Thanks all!

    @Sunny, good point about the coping. Wouldn't be a problem to chose something else and since we're going with a lighter colored decking, a contrasting coping color would look better anyway. Interesting about the umbrella sleeve in the pool. We may have to consider moving it to the deck :-/ Will ask about the gas line too. There was a part in the contract about charges for additional feet ($15/ft!), so it would be good to know if 45 ft is realistic.

    @jblizzle, I did ask the PB about the infloor system plumbing and he said it would be plumbed separately. I will have to ask him about a separate wall return loop. I think you are right about the sleeves - we did ask for umbrella stands. What does the spa blower do and how should the spa be designed to not require one?

    @dumbcluck - doesn't say what size pipes to and from the spa. To the pool is 1.5". Is it normally different from pool lines?
    21k gal IG, SWG, WetEdge Satin Matrix Antigua in pool, Primera Stone Tahoe Coast in spa, 430 sq ft cartridge filter, 2.7 HP variable speed pump, infloor cleaner

    Our build:
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...c-Houston-pool

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    Re: About to sign the contract. Does everything look ok?

    More thoughts -

    You have A LOT (1900 sq ft) of concrete decking. Stamped concrete is fine but you might want to get a more detailed view of how they plan to add expansion joints to the concrete (the deep cut lines that typically break up a slab of concrete into smaller units). Your picture shows just the slab as one unit and that's not realistic. I would assume they plan on pouring the slab and making the joints but you might want to get an idea of what that looks like.

    I have a light flagstone coping around the pool. It looks nice and is fairly durable but, like Travertine, it can suffer from water damage if not properly cleaned and maintained. Ask your PB about other coping options.

    As for properly designed plumbing, if the air pipe used to supply the spa is big enough in diameter and if the plumbing run to the spa is close enough to the equipment pad, then a blower is unnecessary. However, you do have bubblers somewhere in the pool, correct? With all those air features it may not be possible to build without a blower. Hard to say without seeing the plumbing details. Blowers add expense to the equipment pad that could be done away with if the plumbing is designed correctly.

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    Re: About to sign the contract. Does everything look ok?

    We have three sleeves - one on each side of the pool in the flower beds for umbrellas or volleyball net and one in the decking near the tanning ledge. Never had a problem with stubbed toes on that one as it is flush to the decking. We have the blower for the spa, we can turn it on for additional bubbles or leave it off. (I like it on for the full force, churning, rockin' massage!). Good luck with your pool - it is beautiful.
    Finally Done! - 21x34 IG, SWCG, depth - 3.6 - 4.6 - 6.6, Pentair IntelliFlow 3050 vs+svrs, 60 sq ft Pentair DE Filter, 400k BTU Heater, Polaris 280 w/.75 hp booster pump, Pentair EasyTouch wireless, 38 sq ft raised spa, wet edge Barbados quartz finish - ODK w/36 in Napoleon grill

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    Re: About to sign the contract. Does everything look ok?

    Sunny, so I think I understand why we need a blower now. Our yard is 100 ft wide; the pool and spa will be on one side and the equipment pad is on the opposite side. So with the distance and additional features like the bubblers, it sounds like we will need a blower.

    Our PB showed us a sample stone called Tiramisu which looks a lot like limestone (which we have on the front of the house) and is light in color like travertine. I need to ask if that's an option for coping.

    About to shoot off an email to the PB now...
    21k gal IG, SWG, WetEdge Satin Matrix Antigua in pool, Primera Stone Tahoe Coast in spa, 430 sq ft cartridge filter, 2.7 HP variable speed pump, infloor cleaner

    Our build:
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...c-Houston-pool

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    About to sign the contract. Does everything look ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by aprillh View Post
    Sunny, so I think I understand why we need a blower now. Our yard is 100 ft wide; the pool and spa will be on one side and the equipment pad is on the opposite side. So with the distance and additional features like the bubblers, it sounds like we will need a blower.

    Our PB showed us a sample stone called Tiramisu which looks a lot like limestone (which we have on the front of the house) and is light in color like travertine. I need to ask if that's an option for coping.

    About to shoot off an email to the PB now...
    Limestone (it doesn't matter what fancy name they give it) is also a soft stone that is prone to salt water damage. So it's probably no better than the travertine. It would have to be sealed just like the travertine.

    [EDIT]

    One additional thought about stone materials - insist on "natural" mined stone only! Some masons will work with cheaper "manufactured" stone, ie, stone that is created in a factory to look like the real stuff, and it is generally inferior to natural products. I would hope that your PB would insist on that as well given the complexity of your build, but you just never know sometimes with the subcontractors that are used.

    [END EDIT]

    I think your options are-

    Go with either of those stone coping materials and just realize they require regular washing to keep them clean....OR

    Go with a poured concrete coping that has additives and coloration to get your desired look. Concrete can be mixed with additives to help protect it against salt damage.

    I'm not pushing either option, I think it's highly dependent on what your needs are.

    As for the blower and plumbing, there are other experts on this forum but I have to agree with them that if the pipes are properly sized and the pump has enough power, a blower is unnecessary. If your equipment pad is really that far away, then you might consider a different site layout to cut down on the long PVC runs.

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    Re: About to sign the contract. Does everything look ok?

    [QUOTE=SunnyOptimism;717721]More thoughts -

    • I have a light flagstone coping around the pool. It looks nice and is fairly durable but, like Travertine, it can suffer from water damage if not properly cleaned and maintained. Ask your PB about other coping options.


    Are you referring to coping issues w either T-Tine & F-Stone when using saltwater, or both saltwater and Chlorine based pools? I know that the NaCl in saltwater pools is extremely tough on all stones, mainly any lime based stones. However, we planned on using travertine almost exclusively on our chlorine pool for coping, scuppers, pillars, spa, etc...just different colors and patterns to provide transition breaks and variety.

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    Re: About to sign the contract. Does everything look ok?

    [QUOTE=tstex;717901]
    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyOptimism View Post
    More thoughts -

    I have a light flagstone coping around the pool. It looks nice and is fairly durable but, like Travertine, it can suffer from water damage if not properly cleaned and maintained. Ask your PB about other coping options.


    Are you referring to coping issues w either T-Tine & F-Stone when using saltwater, or both saltwater and Chlorine based pools? I know that the NaCl in saltwater pools is extremely tough on all stones, mainly any lime based stones. However, we planned on using travertine almost exclusively on our chlorine pool for coping, scuppers, pillars, spa, etc...just different colors and patterns to provide transition breaks and variety.
    All chlorine, whether salt generated or not, eventually breaks down into salt via oxidation reactions with organics. That is why all pools eventually build up a steady salt concentration.

    Natural stone will react with chlorine no matter the source. Salt water pools add the additional stress of having the salt water infiltrate the stone pores, evaporate water and leave behind crystalline salt which tends to grow and strain the surrounding stone matrix.

    So all pool & stone materials can suffer from either chemical damage alone or a combination of chemical and physical damage.

    For example, after a heavy bather load with lots of splash out, I often take the garden hose and wash down my concrete decking and F-stone coping to rinse away the pool water.

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    Re: About to sign the contract. Does everything look ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by Readyforapool View Post
    We have three sleeves - one on each side of the pool in the flower beds for umbrellas or volleyball net and one in the decking near the tanning ledge. Never had a problem with stubbed toes on that one as it is flush to the decking. We have the blower for the spa, we can turn it on for additional bubbles or leave it off. (I like it on for the full force, churning, rockin' massage!). Good luck with your pool - it is beautiful.
    My opinion/comment there was more about it being an algae hole. Mine is flush to the PebbleTek surface as well, but I still keep the cap on it for safety's sake.

    As for using the spa without the blower on, I have read some posts where that is not possible because once you install the blower, it restricts the air pipe so much that the pump can't suck in enough air on its own with the blower attached. I can see a blower adding more aeration to the water jet but then it brings up the question of zwhy have the expensive variable speed pump when you could just use a cheaper two speed pump & blower?

    It would be nice to see a more detailed plumbing layout as knowing what kinds if pipe diameters and run lengths can clarify a lot of issues.

  16. Back To Top    #16
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    Re: About to sign the contract. Does everything look ok?

    Looks like a great list! Good choice going 2 LED in the pool and 1 in the spa.

    I think 8 jets would be a good choice. My neighbor has a 7' diameter circular spa with 8 jets.

    And yes, I would assume the "sleeves" are umbrella / volleyball net sleeves. They are cheap, and most certainly easiest to install beforehand (as opposed to wanting more after the project is finished). I went with 1 on the 'wet deck', and 6 more around the pool (2 for volleyball and 4 for umbrellas). Just depends how many you want! Below are the ones I went with, so don't let your PB tell you they are expensive to add if you decide on more than 3.

    http://www.poolsuppliesca.com/aqua-s...eve-tan-us108/
    IG gunite 32 x 18 on a bachelor budget! Click Here To See

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    Re: About to sign the contract. Does everything look ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    It absolutely makes sense. I am talking about a completely separate pipe run from the equipment pad to the walls (like a "normal" pool has) You have a 3-way valve that manually selects between the in-floor system and the normal wall returns. That way if your in-floor ever breaks and needs repairs (seems to happen often with the gears and/or electronics in some of them) you can turn the valve and continue circulating and filtering your pool.

    I would NEVER install a pool with an in-floor system without a completely separate return loop to the walls ... my previous pool had the exact setup I am describing.
    I see what you are saying, but it's not worth the cost for the redundancy. The in floor returns are plumbed similar to normal returns with the addition of the switching valve. If this fails, it's often a once in 10 year occurrence and will simply return water to one of the zones consistently without switching. The repair is easy and it would not prevent water from being returned to the pool. There are no electronics in in floor systems.

    My only point is that paying the material and labor costs for a separate return loop would not be worth the price given that in floor is far superior from a circulation and heating perspective

    Just my 2 cents
    28000 gallon IG pool, 3.5ft - 8ft deep, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Interior, Pentair Intellichlor SWG, Pentair Quad DE 100 filter, Pentair Intelliflo VS-SVRS, Whisperflo 3hp (water features), A&A Max in floor cleaning, Pentair Easytouch 8 Automation, Screenlogic II, Pentair Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, Pentair Intellichem with acid injection via stennar pump, 9'x7' spa with Infiniti edge

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: About to sign the contract. Does everything look ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyOptimism View Post
    Limestone (it doesn't matter what fancy name they give it) is also a soft stone that is prone to salt water damage. So it's probably no better than the travertine. It would have to be sealed just like the travertine.

    [EDIT]

    One additional thought about stone materials - insist on "natural" mined stone only! Some masons will work with cheaper "manufactured" stone, ie, stone that is created in a factory to look like the real stuff, and it is generally inferior to natural products. I would hope that your PB would insist on that as well given the complexity of your build, but you just never know sometimes with the subcontractors that are used.

    [END EDIT]

    I think your options are-

    Go with either of those stone coping materials and just realize they require regular washing to keep them clean....OR

    Go with a poured concrete coping that has additives and coloration to get your desired look. Concrete can be mixed with additives to help protect it against salt damage.

    I'm not pushing either option, I think it's highly dependent on what your needs are.

    As for the blower and plumbing, there are other experts on this forum but I have to agree with them that if the pipes are properly sized and the pump has enough power, a blower is unnecessary. If your equipment pad is really that far away, then you might consider a different site layout to cut down on the long PVC runs.
    The Tiramisu stone he showed us isn't limestone but it is a light colored, more saltwater resistant stone. That's why he recommended that to more closely match the actual limestone on our house. He said anything we use will have to be sealed to protect it unless we use quartzite which is salt resistant but not the color we want.

    Heard back from our PB today. He confirmed that the 45' of gas line should be enough. He also said that the infloor system is plumbed separately. I'm not going to pretend I understand the details of a separate wall return loop, but when I asked him about it, this was his reply "Yes we have two skimmers and they are plumbed separately from the main drains. The infloor has it's own separate pump for the filter system You will have the normal returns lines and the circulating pump for the pool."

    Sound ok?
    21k gal IG, SWG, WetEdge Satin Matrix Antigua in pool, Primera Stone Tahoe Coast in spa, 430 sq ft cartridge filter, 2.7 HP variable speed pump, infloor cleaner

    Our build:
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...c-Houston-pool

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    Re: About to sign the contract. Does everything look ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by aprillh View Post
    The Tiramisu stone he showed us isn't limestone but it is a light colored, more saltwater resistant stone. That's why he recommended that to more closely match the actual limestone on our house. He said anything we use will have to be sealed to protect it unless we use quartzite which is salt resistant but not the color we want.

    Heard back from our PB today. He confirmed that the 45' of gas line should be enough. He also said that the infloor system is plumbed separately. I'm not going to pretend I understand the details of a separate wall return loop, but when I asked him about it, this was his reply "Yes we have two skimmers and they are plumbed separately from the main drains. The infloor has it's own separate pump for the filter system You will have the normal returns lines and the circulating pump for the pool."
    Sound ok?
    Not to beat a dead horse, but ask about the details of the sealant that they use and whether or not that sealant is applied before or after the stone is set in place. I would then look up the sealant on Google to see if there are any issues with it.

    This is somewhat important because there are two schools of thought on stone coping - use sealant religiously every year to protect stone and deal with the eventual yellowing/discoloration that can occur OR don't seal the stone and just be super-anal about cleaning and washing it down regularly.

    I used thick Flagstone (3" thick) as my coping material and it is above the tile and water line. So it only sees splash out from my bather load. Also, as I said, I wash down the FS after each use. Therefore, I'm solidly in the "No Sealant" camp. My FS looks as good as the day it was installed. I have seen train wrecks from people using sealants on stone and so I'm not a fan.

    Your choice...I'm sure other TFP'ers in the sealant camp will chime in shortly....

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