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Thread: In retrospect... Share your wisdom.

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    platipus's Avatar
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    In retrospect... Share your wisdom.

    For everyone that has gone through the design/build process, share your wisdom. I am in the pre-design stage (first post in the Construction forum).

    What would you have done different?
    What upgrade do you regret not adding?
    What addition was a waste of time/effort/money?
    Where should that extra valve have gone?

    Help by qualifying your thoughts with your specific situation if applicable (northern/southern weather, family needs, restricted space, etc...)

    I am trying to refine my list of needs vs wants and hope the collective wisdom here can guide that and also educate me to the things I don't even know that I don't know yet.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: In retrospect... Share your wisdom.

    I was against the sun shelf, but we all like it a lot.
    We have 3 benches, another 1 or 2 would be good.
    We did 3-1/2󬊄 play pool, 3-1/2 is too shallow, would go 4x5x4.
    Didn't add a solar controller until later, should have done that when I installed the panels.

    Glad that we:
    Found TFP!
    Did saltwater
    Added solar panels and controller
    Did the variable speed pump
    Did the play pool, LOTS of people can hang out, can play volleyball, whatever and nobody is treading water.
    We did black bottom
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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: In retrospect... Share your wisdom.

    I'm going to weigh on this later, but you may be sorry you asked this question.
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    platipus's Avatar
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    Re: In retrospect... Share your wisdom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick_B View Post
    I'm going to weigh on this later, but you may be sorry you asked this question.
    Awwww c'mon. I thought knowing was half the battle?


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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: In retrospect... Share your wisdom.

    he's gonna bring the THUNDER!!!!
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: In retrospect... Share your wisdom.

    We would have gone with LED lighting.
    We would have Seperated the plaster/finish part of the job and given it to a Pro that did WetEdge products.
    We would have selected a more durable Flagstone.
    I would have put in Two Flo-Viz meters instead of one. The second, being on my heater outlet.

    I am glad of the following:
    We chose a robot over a pressure cleaner.
    We chose an over sized sand filter.
    We chose a VS Pump.
    We chose not to buy a safety cover.
    We put in a heater.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: In retrospect... Share your wisdom.

    Forgot the light. We have a 500w regular old pool light and almost never use it because it brings the bugs! We prefer to light the area and not light the pool for night swimming. So, I would not pay extra for LED lights. But, I would still get a light, just to have it.
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    Re: In retrospect... Share your wisdom.

    Our first pool was rather simple, and the only upgrades were pebble finish and SWG. When we built our most recent pool, we went with these 2 options again.

    This time around, we also went with the Paramount PCC2000 In-Floor Cleaning System. This is probably my favorite option. It's really awesome for the spa and all steps to constantly be clean with no manual intervention. (Automated control is also a nice option to have, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it's a must-have item.)
    23' x 37' IG 18.5k gallon SWG w/ raised spa, Build Thread -->Here
    Wet Edge Pearl Matrix, Hayward SwimClear 525 ft, Hayward Goldline Controls PS-8
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    platipus's Avatar
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    Re: In retrospect... Share your wisdom.

    @Patrick_B
    Everything except one item you posted matches things I have taken into consideration and added to my "list", so I guess that helps validate some of my thoughts. Tell me more about these "Flo-Viz" meters of which you speak though. That sounds like the exact kind of thing I was hoping to shake loose in this discussion. What are they and why do I now have them on my list to make sure my builder quotes two of them?

    @pooldv
    You know you're in Texas when having a lit pool is a problem! If we could convince everyone to eat June-bug paste, all of us could get rich, solve world hunger and be able to take an Ag exemption on our property. While I do not have a pool yet, we are the only house on the street without one, so I've had ample opportunity to see what happens.

    @JayBauman
    In-floor cleaner is definitely on my "want but don't need" list. The three main brands I always see discussed all seem to rate about the same. Any particular reason you went with Paramount?


    Thanks
    plat.

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    Re: In retrospect... Share your wisdom.

    FloViz is a brand of flow meters that have gotten very good reviews. They are a little difficult to find. A couple of places carry them, including TFTestKits.net.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: In retrospect... Share your wisdom.

    Quote Originally Posted by platipus View Post
    @JayBauman
    In-floor cleaner is definitely on my "want but don't need" list. The three main brands I always see discussed all seem to rate about the same. Any particular reason you went with Paramount?
    Paramount is who my PB is tied up with. In fact, he only installs the PCC2000 version. In my research, I was not able to find any real differences between the various Paramount systems....and I only found minimal differences between the various manufacturers' systems. Paramount does offer lifetime warranty on the cleaning heads, which is a plus. I don't recall if the other manufacturers offer similar guarantee.

    With my previous pool, we had a Polaris pressure-side cleaner. It cleaned up everything perfectly, even though I had to rebuild it every year. The bad part was my wife wouldn't take it out of the pool when she and the kids were swimming, and she hated swimming with it in the pool. I went looking for something easier to deal with and found the various IFC systems.

    I can sum up my review in a single phrase: It works as it was designed for!
    23' x 37' IG 18.5k gallon SWG w/ raised spa, Build Thread -->Here
    Wet Edge Pearl Matrix, Hayward SwimClear 525 ft, Hayward Goldline Controls PS-8
    4x Hayward TriStar pumps, Paramount PCC2000 ICS, TF-100 w/Speedstir

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    Re: In retrospect... Share your wisdom.

    @JasonLion
    OK, those are pretty cool and I completely understand why you would want them. In fact, I will probably now be buying one separately to add into the filtration return on my koi pond. Are there specs anywhere for minimum/maximum measurable flow rates? Maybe it's just on the meter face? Do they seem to be accurate at lower flow rates? The pond is 3000 gal turning over what I am "guessing" is a few times per hour, so having that confirmed would be extremely helpful there as well.

    Thanks!
    plat.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: In retrospect... Share your wisdom.

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    FloViz is a brand of flow meters that have gotten very good reviews. They are a little difficult to find. A couple of places carry them, including TFTestKits.net.
    Hey, that is everyone's favorite website! That Jandy valve retrofit flow meter is COOL!!!
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: In retrospect... Share your wisdom.

    They are +-2.1% of full scale from 20 to 110 GPM.

    You can read more here.

    I don't generally recommend getting a flow meter. While entertaining, they don't really help with anything you normally need to do. But if you want a flow meter, FlowViz seems to be the best choice.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: In retrospect... Share your wisdom.

    The Floviz is a bell and whistle I suppose, but I use mine all the time to see if I lose flow vs rpm of the pump speeds. I use this for judging backwash need as much as I use filter pressure. I also use it as a reference point to find the sweet spot for heating the pool. It's an extra, but one final thing I like is having it as a check valve in front of my pump suction. I suggest adding this whether you get a flow viz or not. Make it a Jandy check and you can drop the flow viz part in later if you wish.

    Another suggestion is getting a side mount MP Valve if you get a sand filter. Standard on my size (36") but I highly recommend this.
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    Re: In retrospect... Share your wisdom.

    Regrets:

    I didn't use an established pool company to build my pool. On a recommendation, I hired a PB who basically was a guy in a pick-up truck and when he hauled $ss, I was left with an unfinished pool and a lawsuit against the PB. I've got a very nice judgment against him, but I'll likely never collect a dime of it.

    Likes:

    Large spa
    SWG
    Automation
    Polaris 280 (it's worked very well with just a minor tune up over 4+ years)

    I'm selling my house in a couple of weeks. Sadly, my new patio home has no room for a pool. I will miss it.
    9,200 gal. Gunite Luna Quartz French Grey pool with spill over spa, two fountains on tanning ledge (rarely used)
    Pentair Whisperflo 2HP, Pentair CCP Cartridge 420 Sq. Ft., Polaris 280 with booster pump
    Pentair EasyTouch 4, RayPak LoNox 266k Natural Gas heater, Aqua Rite SWCG T Cell 9, Borates, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: In retrospect... Share your wisdom.

    The pressure cleaner is the main thing i would change. I didn't read up much on this before signing but by the time the PB paid for the booster pump and the cleaner it's self and the extra electrical use on us, we could have had a nice cleaner that didn't need a booster pump or a few hundred bucks more a nice robot cleaner. Maybe found a cheaper decking we would have liked. I mean Travertine tiles are beautiful, cool on the feet in the sun but at being almost 20% the cost of the pool.

    On the good side: LED lights are expensive but well worth it to me. Guess depends on how much swimming is going to be done at night.
    Upgraded plaster and the color i insisted on, PB never used it before and the wife wanted a darker color. Both liked the color after it was put in.
    Pushed the PB to get a box with the Easy Touch in it. He wasn't much into automation but i kept after him that i wanted it. Behold when he ordered it there was some kind of combo that made it only 200 bucks more for the Easy Touch 8, YES! Now i just have to get the comm board and the remote and in good time it will be automated.
    12K gal, custom flipped kidney bean with spillover spa. All Pentair equipment, Whisperflo 1 1/2 HP, 400K BTU heater, Intellichlor IC 40 SWG, CCP-320 Cartridge filters, Kreepy Krauly pool cleaner with bootster pump, QuartzScapes in Aruba Sky blue, LED lights and travertine tiles for decking and stones on rear edge for landscaping. TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir

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    Re: In retrospect... Share your wisdom.

    Anything to help keep maintenance activity lessened? Cartridge spinner/cleaners? Do those things work?

    Would you have changed the way your filter pad is laid out?

    How about just general other stuff? Extra electrical outlets somewhere? Another hose bib?

    How about water flow control. An extra valve somewhere?


    I'll give a hint here as to why I started this discussion. After my patio build, I learned a LOT about contractors and the design/build process. I am trying to avoid the same mistakes. My goal on the pool is 0 change orders. I almost certainly won't hit that, but that is my goal.


    Thanks!
    plat.
    Last edited by platipus; 03-04-2015 at 10:42 AM. Reason: clarification

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    Re: In retrospect... Share your wisdom.

    Make your equipment pad big ... leave exposed pipe between every joint and valve so that you can make repairs in the future. Builders seem to try to pack everything very tightly together, so a simple $5 PVC repair becomes a $$$$$ repair when you have to replace a bunch of valves too.

    Speaking of valves, only use pool valves like the Jandy Neverlube (or equivalent) ... no cheap PVC ball valves.

    A freshwater hose bib near the pad would help in cleaning things out.
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    Re: In retrospect... Share your wisdom.

    X 2 What Blizzle said, all of it.

    My pad is cramped, and yes I woul have laid it out differently. I wonder, do the people ever putting this in come back for a repair?? They must love wasting pipe and building new manifolds if they do. Most of them are nightmares.

    Get a dedicated Jandy or equivalent valve on every suction and discharge line. Don't skimp here.

    Good luck on change orders, but this discussion is a great idea to minimize them.

    It's personal choice, but Sand and DE are less maintenance for me. Where I live, no way would I go cart filter. The thought of spraying them off is not a good one. Not even twice a year, but there is now way I could hope for it being that little.
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