New build pool light issue- PB accidentally only installed 3 Micorbrites instead of quoted 4 - what to do?

Hey all - quick questions and we would appreciate opinions about number and placement of Pentair Microbrite LED lights.

I recognized yesterday that our PB only put niches in our new 15.5 x 40' Imagine Illusion FG pool for (3) lights, equally spaced, facing away from our house. Our quote included (4) lights, and I pointed this out to the PB. I've since seen the recommendation from Pentair of (1) 500 lumen Microbrite per 120 sq ft of pool surface (doing the math our pool should have 5?!?). The PB has admitted the mistake, and is offering to to their best to make it right, but what is done is done so there are limited options.

The first and easiest option is to just omit the 4th light and apply a credit. If (3) Microbrite lights is satisfactory in a 15.5 x 40 pool, this is probably what we favor. BUT we don't have any real world experience with these lights, and this is our first pool. Any thoughts from the group on this?

The attached sketch shows the lights as positioned (yellow circles). PB has offered to add the additional light either in the center of the deep end (purple circle in sketch) or opposite the light that is most near the deep end (green circle in the sketch).

Neither option is great. IMHO the PB suggestion (green circle) would be odd because it would be the only light on that side of the pool and it would be facing the house. The other option (purple circle) would be facing the main portion of our patio and the shallow end, but not directly at the house.

How annoying is it if the Microbrite lights are facing you? If it is like having a flashlight in your face, if so I want no part of that. If it is a mild inconvenience, maybe we consider adding the 4th light.

Thanks for any feedback!

M&B

PS - just edited to include the sketch this time!
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Help! New pool issues

I am having a heck of a time with my pool construction and I have a question regarding costs.

background: in March 2021 I signed a contract for a new pool and hot tub to be built in Tampa, Florida. We are getting travertine decking and the pool is 12,600 gallons, free form. When we signed the contract I picked out a glass 1’x1’ sheet waterline tile but didn’t love it. The pool company said I could pick out my own, so in April after I found one I liked I brought it in, they said it would work, and credited the remaining amount due for the price of the tile ($485 for 90sqft). The tile I picked was not glass, it was a slate material and hexagon shaped 1’x1’ sheet. Well, I subsequently found a glass tile I like even more (pool is now dug but nothing has happened besides that, which is another issue entirely). So, I let the company know I picked a different tile, but I am still buying it myself so I didn’t expect anything other than a “that’s nice” in response. Now I am being told that because it’s a glass tile (like the one I originally picked in March but not like the one I brought in in April) I will be charged more for the installation. Is this normal?
For reference, the pool isn’t particularly huge and has a sun shelf and a hot tub as well as a little bench in the deep end. It’s 6’ deep and I will have a salt water system and de filter. The total cost is $70k, which just seems outrageously high for what I am getting, and now they want even more money because I picked a different tile. Am I crazy? Is this industry standard?

Trouble shooting Sta Rite Maxi Therm Heater

I have a sta rite max e therm pool Hester. The issue is the Hester fires and tests up but periodically I notice the pool isn’t warm so I go to the heater and it’s not firing snd is reading water temp / service heater light is on but none of the buttons will do anything so I have to reset it from the Breaker. It than fires right back up and cycles from service heater to heating. The operation panel was replaced by my pool company last fall snd just last week in an attempt to fix this issue replaced a thermistor ( not sure which one ) I’ve clesned but off basic connections with wire brush. The only error code I only got was twice abs it’s A56 . This happens about 3-5 times a week sporadically. Tech says units in great shape and I am not original owner so not sure how old the unit is. My thirst thought was thermal regulator or water flow switch but I don’t want to just toss money at a partial educated guess.

Any thoughts

Which manufacturer/brand/model SWG requires the lowest pool salinity to operate properly?

Howdy,
I've been running my original Pentair Intellichlor IC40 SWG on my 30K gallon lap pool since 2017 and have been pleased enough with its chlorinating performance (although if I had a do-over I would get the IC60 for more chlorine production capacity). On the unit it says "Ideal Salt 3600 PPM". I swim laps every day, and I sometimes wish there could be a little less salt in the pool (lower salinity). I love the convenience the SWG provides, but I have had thoughts of switching back to "fresh water" pool with liquid chlorinating.

Are there any high quality state-of-the-art SWGs currently on the market that would function optimally at a lower salinity level (e.g. less than 3000 PPM or less than 2000 PPM)? Actually if you wiki "salt water chlorination", the first sentence appears to imply that there are units that run at 1000 PPM? I wonder if the type of coating on the parallel plates inside the SWG impacts the required salinity?

Is there any adjustment that I could do to pool chemistry to enable me to run my current IC40 at a lower pool salinity? Would adding borates do anything in that regard? Just wondering.....thanks for any suggestions.

In-ground pool drain for months, Summer, No Equipment Running

Haven't had to deal with and endless summer, extended drain before:

Client plans to demolish pool equipment room, build out their house with an extra rooms and is requesting to drain the in-ground, concrete with plaster, saltwater pool / spa.

Build could take many, many months. In Hawaii and not worried about severely heavy storms, but... heat heat heat.

Not sure yet exactly if we have a choice in the draining or not per their plans - but we all agree draining it for months would be way too risky in this heat, yes?

I've seen a crack happen in plaster in less than 18 hours when it was drained, so I should be hoping to leave it full of water, cover, treat / SLAM, add water as needed weekly for evap, brush / stir ? Any other summer / no equipment tips?

If forced to drain it, the only choice is to cover the plaster from debris stains ... and just hope for the best?

Thanks for thoughts / helpful links for reading!

New SoCal IG shotcrete pool build - Shotcrete done picking stone for coping and tile - faux rock started

We built our home just prior to the last real estate market collapse and while we had plans for a pool it never happened. Fast forward to today and like others we have found ourselves at home staring at our undone yard much more often. As such we started doing landscaping trees etc this year and have reached the decision to have a pool built. We tried for months to get several quotes for a pool but they are all crazy busy and only two actually showed up :(

We chose our pb and signed the contract 08-09-21 and where quoted a 3 month build time. We are doing a 15x35 freeform with raised 8' spa, baja ledge, cave/grotto and slide. Equipment is currently specced as :
2 - pentair intelliflo vsf pumps
Pentair clean and clear plus 420 filter
Intellichlor ic40
Mastertemp 400
Intellitouch control system
5 intellibrite led lights (1 spa, 3 pool, 1 grotto)
Auto fill

We are planning on a pebble finish with quartscapes reflections series in Barbados blue, grey flagstone coping and are still working thru tile and bond beam finishes.
PB started excavation the monday following contract and that took them about a week. They are currently working on steel. In reading it appears in maybe should be asking them about adding a second skimmer as there is only one. This is in the deep end on the end of the pool that , with the exception of santa ana's, should be where the wind pushes everything.

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Running out of options to restore plaster color

So, long story short, I had my new pool plastered in May. After months of stressing over the color, I opted for a DiamondBrite Quartz Manzanita. The color turned out perfect. (see first picture). Jump ahead to August. Pool service guy screwed up and poured too much muriatic acid in water. Left a black stain on the front shelf right under the water jet. Got supervisor out and he was able to "fix" the problem, however, I gradually began to notice that lovely blue was turning into a blah grey. (see middle picture). Deep end of pool was now more of a greenish color and water was very cloudy. (Best way to judge color difference is compare the blue tile over the rear shelf - it matches blue on shelf in first picture but stands out in the middle picture). I needed to leave home shortly after supervisor arrived but could notice a little difference had occurred. Once I came home water was much clearer but the plaster is still overly grey. Unfortunately, these pictures make the pool look great, in real life the grey is much more prevalent. Supervisor probably knows what he's doing, says higher pH (along with some other factor) is key to trying to reduce the effect escaping calcium is having on the plaster. Plaster guy says acid was responsible for drawing out the blue pigment. Anyway, I'm done with trying to convince myself to be satisfied with this "new" color. I have tried some sanding and even using a pumice stone to see if sanding the plaster can reveal the original color. All it does is just get darker, but at least it's a dark blue. Replastering will cost me more than the original coat, around $5000. I think the pool service company needs to cover this so I let the supervisor know I wanted him to come by again and I'll see what his reaction is. Is there anything mechanical that might work to reveal the original plaster color? I'm leaning towards using some "diamond sanding blocks", like hand-held sanding sponges, or purchasing a pool plaster polishing/sanding pad and going at it with an angle grinder.

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Intellicenter telling Intelliflo VSF to shut down in Heating Mode

I pretty much have a similar problem but with a twist. My Intellicenter is connected to an Intelliflow VSF pump. When in auto I can tell the pool pump to come on and it can run all day, but as soon as I tell the MasterTemp 400 heater to come on, within 90 seconds the pump shuts itself off; the pump screen is switched from "Display Inactive" to 0 RPM where I can turn on the pump say Speed 3 in manual mode.

I can prove that it's not the heater tripping the pump but it is the other way around. I can put Intellicenter in Service mode, manually turn the pump on in Speed 3 running at 2400 RPM, and turn on heater and both will stay on for good. In manual mode, the heater does not trip at all and nor does the pump.

When it trips in Auto mode I do get a message saying MasterTemp Communication Lost with no pump alarms whatsoever, the only way to reset is to switch to Service and immediately back to Auto. Can Intellicenter detect some kind of low flow or high temperature sensing and shut the pump off in heating mode? The MasterTemp400 heater does not have any RS-485 smart hooked up to Intellicenter, it only has power and a 2-conductor wire terminated at the Fireman switch to come on and off based on external temperature sensor connected to Intellicenter so I don't see how the heater can tell the pump to shut down.

One weird thing is last week I backwashed the filter and put new DE in, the problem above went away, pump and heater came on in Auto like it should... but after I put in some No Phosphate stuff (advised by Leslie's Pool, which turned out to be a mistake), the problem came back.

The whole pool automation system is merely a year old so if there are defects they should be covered by Pentair. The only trouble is my Pool Builder is not very responsive so I may have to wrestle it through Pentair warranty myself. Any thoughts???

Please help review construction plan and equipment, advise please!

We have our draft construction plan in hand. Would like as much feedback as possible especially on equipment. I can have them update with anything I want, for example we had planned to use the intellichlor SWG. What do I need if we switch brands?

Or am I being silly and their suggested equipment is just fine? Hayward is trusted and plentiful. I don't have brand loyalty to pentair but heard it is good.

Things for sure we are updating:
*Pool walkway to Travertine
*Depth to be 4'-5'-3.5'. Not sure which side to do 4 ft though, by shelf?
*Robot cleaner, not suction
*channel drain (latest concept has them but not in this plan it seems)
*map irrigation for planters

Especially want feedback in equipment and lines.

Thanks in advance! This is an important step!

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New Pool Quartz Plaster Troubles

Hello everyone!

Stumbled upon this site too late in my first pool ownership experience. Very useful info and glad I found this valuable community! Looking for some help and hope to contribute over time.

TLDR:
New Quartz Plaster mottled/calcium carbonate all over. Acid bath did just OK. PB added ScaleTech and said to wait and brush. Pics at bottom, YouTube video underwater showing issue. Please heeelp!!!
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Long story with pertinent details:

We have run into a major concern upon the completion of our plaster job and startup. Coupled with a hot DFW pool market and our builder scrambling to keep up with their sales team, the communication and resolution has been very slow and less than promising.

Major “mottling” or calcium carbonate buildup I suspect - but I’m still learning. Couldn’t figure out how to post a video, so uploaded this video to my YouTube as it shows the issue much better than photos.
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- New Pool and spa ~ 29,000 gallons
- Chlorine
- DE filter
- Wet Edge LunaQuartz Madagascar
- “Reputable” pool builder of 25+ years in north Texas
- plastered and filled in same day
8/4/2021
- Plaster complete
- Begin filling via 2 hoses
8/6/2021
- Pool full midday
- City water “green” that week (great 🙄)
- PB on-site, started pumps, added acid?
- PB stated no brushing, they would start 8/9
8/7/2021
- I brushed pool, no PB
8/8/2021
- I brushed pool, no PB
8/9/2021
- PB on-site late afternoon, “adjusted chemicals”, brushed, no chlorine
8/10/2021
- PB on-site late afternoon, “adjusted chemicals”, brushed, no chlorine
8/11/2021
- PB on-site late afternoon, “adjusted chemicals”, brushed, no chlorine
8/12/2021
- PB on-site late afternoon, “adjusted chemicals”, brushed, no chlorine
8/13/2021
- PB on-site morning, “adjusted chemicals”, brushed, added chlorine shock, added chlorine tablets or automatic chlorinator, chlorine shock was visibly tossed into pool and settled at bottom
- I brushed pool and stirred up settled chlorine as soon as noticed it.
- Afternoon I checked PH, 8.2+, chlorine untraceable
- Pool water considerably clearer
- Water sample taken to Leslie Pools
- FC = 0.1
- TC = 0.1
- PH = 8.3
- TA = 108
- CH= 142
- CYA = 5
- Phosphates = 52
- TDS = 300

From there the pool chemicals seemed to get within recommended ranges for Chlorine and pH- but I didn’t have a full test kit and PB wasn’t emailing the Calcium Hardness etc. so I was in the dark and was taking them as the experts.

Brought the discoloration to their attention, we gave it time (several weeks), brushed and brushed and brushed. Finally escalated it and sent video of underwater. They involved WetEdge (plaster mfg), the plaster sub and their GM. Proposed an acid bath. Plaster Co came out with a small pole mounted acid applicator and tested some spots and dissolved some of the white discoloration. The 3 parties agreed on an acid bath, to which I demanded written confirmation of the liability with regard to plaster integrity and warranty (and I got it from PB).

Acid Bath by PB
- added high level of acid to seek 7.0pH and I don’t know what else
- suspended two sump pumps across pool to stir the water and prevent running through pump/heater
- brushed daily, added more acid
- after ~ 7 days, added bicarb and kicked pumps on, removed sump pumps
- after a few days of brushing and backwashing and plugging filter full of some type of “plaster dust”, it cleared up a little so you could see through the water
- pointed out the major trouble areas were still apparently untouched, much of it got better though
- they added ScaleTech Plus and said to wait two weeks, to my knowledge they’ve not added any chlorine at this point
- brushing at this point has resulted in TONS of dust stirring up into the water and making it where you can’t see the end of the brush
- finally got them to come out today and vacuum and do a filter clean to get the pool somewhat usable for a pool party this weekend
- pool is now much clearer and filter is running 24/7 for last day, will keep it this way and keep brushing and backwashing/adding DE
- PB added acid and shock this afternoon, tech said PH was really high and there was no chlorine
- happened to get my big Taylor kit today and took numbers tonight, tested ~ 3-4hrs after PB added chems
FC - 11
CC - 0.2
pH - 8+
TA - 110
CH - 470
SatIndex - 1.0
CYA - 65
78F

So ladies and Gents- this was a long post, but I’m all ears as to solutions/concerns/strategies for pressuring PB differently.

Disclaimer- I’m a total poolcare Noob. I’m wading in to DIY pool care but at this point trying to let the PB try their hand at making things right, lest I give them a reason to point blame at me for the plaster issue. Their contract included a few months of service, when that (and this plaster ordeal) ends- I will not continue service with them.


At completion of plaster
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Plaster company ran hoses and began fill, they left one hose near the top. My wife came out and saw this and called the PM, shut off the one hose and went to ACE and got a longer one and put both in deep end and resumed the fill
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Pool when full, notable discoloration on tanning ledge
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Visible discoloration on bottom, water green. Apparently our city water had an issue with the water the same freakin’ day we chose to fill (no I don’t have the water chemistry at time if fill)
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Aerial shot showing discoloration a week or so later after the pool chemistry was balanced and startup completed
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Starting up first time

My pool is brand new. It is about 16K gallons including the spa. I also have an AOP sanitation system which means I can run pretty low FC. I’m excited to take care of it myself and not intimidated by testing. I already have a drop style test kit. I downloaded PoolMath and think it is pretty great BUT why are the recommended levels of TA and CH so different from every other recommendation I see out there? Here is my latest log if you have advice.

==========================================
Backyard Pool
------------------------------------------
Build Type: Plaster
Volume: 16030 gallons
------------------------------------------
Latest Test Result Summary:
FC: 0.8 (11 hours ago)
CC: 0.0 (11 hours ago)
pH: 7.5 (11 hours ago)
TA: 110 (20 hours ago)
CH: 220 (20 hours ago)
CYA: 45 (20 hours ago)
TEMPERATURE: 70° (11 hours ago)
CSI: -0.22 (11 hours ago)
==========================================

New salt pool - Pool guy wrong? Or me?

Hello all, I have been taking care of my chlorine pool for years with help of TFP and have kept water perfectly balanced with the advice and no issues. I just moved, inheriting a salt pool. It uses the same Clean and clear cartridge filters I had before, same Pentair Intelliflow VSF pump I had. It has an Intellichlor salt cell that calls for 3600 ppm salt as ideal. Has a heat pump heater.

I have yet to take full possession of house (do that tomorrow) but met with owner and did a chem test with my Taylor K2006 chem set.
FC was 0
PH was 8+
CYA was 0
Salt was about 3700
I didn't get down TA or CH

Pool was clear, but I know that doesn't mean anything in the big scheme of things. The owner texted pool guy to ask about it, he said I should use a test strip..... Asked a couple more questions, and response was-No offense, but maybe keep my service until he figures out the chems or it could damage the $6k heat pump.....
The salt cell showed good salt, and output of 80%. I do not know pump or cell run time yet. Pump runs at night. I meet with him tomorrow, just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything on a salt pool, which from what I read tests the same way as chlorine pools.

My theory is theory is with the pump running at night, generates it's chlorine at night. That has been seeming to kill and keep water somewhat clear. Because there is 0 conditioner in water, chlorine burns right off in the AZ sun. So by the time I am testing it in afternoon shows no chlorine. Does this sound about right? Owner doesn't really use pool, so probably not noticing any water issues. I am going to ask him to explain to me his strategy and see if he is dumping in extra chlorine, or what. Or, am I missing something here with my DPD-FAS chlorine test and CYA test?

Thanks all!
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Seal Thermal Bluestone Coping on SW pool?

My bluestone coverlids were finally installed. My PB suggested sealing the thermal bluestone coping and coverlids with a penetrating sealer because I have a saltwater pool. I asked the local supplier store of bluestone coping and they recommended Stainproof 40SK (Dry Treat brand). The PB said okay, yes. The sub who installed the coping/cover lids said he never used that product and uses something else (trying to find out what).
A) Should I have them seal the bluestone coping?
B) Should they use Stainproof 40SK or somwthing else?
C) I also have an irregular bluestone patio that I installed 6 years ago and never sealed, adjacent to the pool. I'm not sure if I should seal that too? It is obviously not thermal, so will it penetrate differently? It isn't supposed to alter color...

Thanks in advance for your advice.

Weird Taylor K-1766 salt test results

So I'll be converting to salt soon and ordered the Taylor K-1766 salt test. This morning I tested the water twice. First time was 15 drops (3000ppm) and second time was 16 drops (3200).
This is not yet a salt pool. I've never added salt. Is it really possible to have that much salt in it just from chlorine? The pool was re-plastered 2 years ago, so this is only 2 years worth of liquid chlorine.
The water temp is only about 58 degrees. Should I try again after letting the water come up to room temp or does that even matter?
What say you?
Thanks!

Water exchange complete, now need to get rid of algae

Hey guys,

I just completed a 70% water exchange on my 33000g I/G pool. Nearing the end, I could finally see the floor drain for the first time in months. After it completed, I brought my pool levels up to near perfect. Then I vacuumed the pool floor because of the algea build up. Now the pool is really murky and cloudy. It settled a bit yesterday enough for me to vacuum the floor again for the second time. What now do I need to do to get my pool clear and algae free? Help please!

Pics are while vacuuming and after.

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Dosing Pump for Vacation Use: How Much Daily Chlorine?

I bought this little pump to add liquid chlorine to my hot tub during times when I will be away from our house on vacation.


We just bought a used fifth-wheel and will be taking trips of anywhere between one week and six weeks. So I wanted a simple solution to keep the water clear while we are gone without having to bother a friend to stop by and add chlorine. We have storage steps in front of the spa. I will locate the pump and chlorine jug inside the storage steps. The pump will run on a timer. I tested the pump/timer set-up yesterday and it moved 2.7 ounces of fluid via slow drip in one hour of run time.

I am trying to determine a good level of chlorine to add daily while we are away to keep the chlorine levels adequate to maintain clear water. Obviously, I want to err on the side of too much vs. too little.

We use the hot tub daily -- just me in the morning for 15-20 minutes then usually my wife and I in the evening for 15-20 minutes. I add about 2 ounces after my morning soak and about 3 ounces after the evening soak. This has worked great for years.

I am just not sure how much lower the chlorine demand goes when a tub is not in use. I was thinking I could run the pump for 30 minutes per day when we are away, which would put in about 1.35 ounces of chlorine per day. Does that sound about right or should I bump it up a bit just to be safe?

will a new water temp sensor fix this aquapure SWG scenario?

Hi all-
I have a ~1yr old Jandy AquaPure PLC700 salt cell kit with flow sensor. The AquaLink RS panel, flow sensor, and PDA read as follows:
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I don't have any error codes. This must have happened recently b/c the pool chemistry tests fine except for low chlorine which led me to check the panel. After 2 days of observation the "Reversing" light never changes and the production is stuck at 0%. If I tap the "C" button I get a reading of 3.5 (which I think is 3500) vs 3200 on my own salinity tester. If I tap "D" the temp reads 81-84 which is correct. The PDA usually shows a pool temp but now it's "--" so I think I need to replace this sensor which is clamped down.
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1. Can anyone please confirm if I'm on the right track or advise a better diagnostic or course of action?

2. Does this seem like the correct sensor or is there a better recommendation?

3. How long do these water temp sensors generally last?

Thanks for the assist!

Pool Heating

I have been looking into different heating solutions for my pool. Some option such as gas seem quite expensive both in equipment and monthly cost.

Since I live in California and the winters are relatively mild I have been considering using the following strategy.

- use a pool cover to keep generated heat in pool
- use (or similar - I like the small compact size compared to a big electric heater) Raypak E3T Digital Pool Electric Heater | 18kW 61,419 BTU | Titanium Heat Element
- I have solar power so running the electric heater is 'cheap' since I have enough solar power generated to cover the increase.


Any feedback if this will have the desired effect... I want a usable pool from Feb - Oct. The low end of the outdoor temp is about 60 during the coldest months (Feb/Oct.)

New Pool, North Atlanta, GA

Hello everyone, long-time lurker, first-time poster here. Great, great forum with tonnes of info that I've been combing through in preparation for our pool build in North Atlanta, GA. I'll share a little bit about our family and intended pool use as that will help with decision making as we continue. We are a 3.5 unit family with a 9 year old boy. 9 and a half if you ask him, and a little girl on the way this September. Two very high energy German Shorthaired Pointers who will no doubt be in the pool, and a southeasterly-facing back garden. This will be a mostly leisure pool but I wanted a longish section that could act as a swim lane should I get the urge. It will be a short swimlane but if I just count laps then I should end up with a nice, high number ;-). We do have a buffer that we can't build in that covers the last 20ft of our back garden, and we already have an outside fireplace and retaining wall/slope that will be the perimeter for the other side of the pool. I've attached a photo of the plan so you can see the current setup and better understand why the decking doesn't surround the spa. The spa butts right up against the no-build perimeter.

The pool will be about 36.5' long and 19' at it's widest point. Shallow end water depth is 3.5' and deep end is 7'. No sun deck but we will have a few bench seats including one under the spa overflow. Some other equipment notes:
-The sun travels from around the top leftish corner to the bottom rightish corner of the attached plan with the pool being in the sun probably from 9:30am until about 4pm before some tree shadows crawl across the pool from the bottom of the page up
-(edit) we we’re thinking about a UV system but I just couldn’t find much info about how to maintain it, and with all of the great info on this site I decidEd to switch to a salt system. Pass me that coolaid please
-Pool surface will be pebblesheen although we're still working through colours (edit: we like ocean blue)
-Coping will likely be Pennsylvania blue stone and decking will be a brown/tan stone to match other decking we have. That's not mentioned on the attached plan but the builder is working on the quote. We'll likely expand the decking area to the left and right of the pool too
-2 skimmers, 3 returns, and currently 2 lights in the pool and 1 in the spa although I'm reading in this forum we may need to add one more light to the pool for a 523sqft pool
-Pentair equipment but I don't have model numbers yet
-Easy touch a d screen logic automation although I read we should upgrade to the Intellicenter system and possibly even buy the version specifically for the SWCG so we can be ready if we need to be
-I removed the pool vac and will spend the savings on a robot cleaner
-We're also adding a sauna cabin to the gravel section you see on the left. The pool then becomes the plunge pool for those who dare in the winter!
-399BTU gas heater
-The ground the pool will be dug into is probably 4-5 feet about our home, hence the steps leading down to our home at the top of the pool
-We removed probably 12-13 pines and other trees to make space for the pool. There are still trees around so we're expecting pine needles and leaf fall
-We signed the agreement back in Feb and dig day is going to be in the next week or two - we have sun for the next few days

So, what do you think? What else can I tell you? Thanks all, Daniel.

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Planning phase, have some questions about AGP install process

I'm planning to install a Saltwater 8000 (or LX) from Pool Factory in the Spring. I have resigned myself to doing it myself because I can't find anyone to do it for me. Well, I got a quote from a Doughboy dealer but they wanted 13K total for the most basic Doughboy non-saltwater pool installed, excluding excavation. For that price I can buy an extra liner or two, or heck, an extra pool or two, in case I screw it up badly.

First -- is there a particular kind of contractor that is the best choice for excavation? My lot is pretty level, I could just use a tiller and a shovel to do a surface install, but I'd like to sink the pool 24 inches into the ground. Maybe a foundation excavator? I assume I should have a 23 foot hole for a 21 foot pool.

Second -- when leveling the pool, is it most critical that the paver stones the legs will be on are level, versus the rest of the ground? It seems like making sure the pavers are level and the rails have support under them is 99% of what's important, and the rest of the ground inside the pool is less important (not unimportant, mind you, but not quite as critical). Have I got this right?

Third -- how much of a deep spot in the middle is reasonable with a 21 foot pool? Can I get 60 inches (total) out of it? More? I assume I need an overlap expandable liner if I want to dish out the middle more than a couple inches. I'd like enough so that as a six foot tall adult I don't feel like I'm in a kiddie pool.

Fourth -- let's just say for a second that I f*ck up the leveling, I know I can't backfill dirt, but can a screw up like that be fixed by filling with some kind of crushed rock and then tamping it down? I'm going to try hard not to screw this up, but I like to know what I'm up against.

Fifth -- in the grand scheme of things, how hard of an install is this? If I get someone else to do most of the leveling with a machine, and I have a few extra hands to help put things together, is this reasonably a DIY job? I have done some home renovation, but never anything like a pool.

Sixth -- is it reasonable to run pipes underground and put all the equipment next to my air conditioner on the side of my garage? Probably be 20 feet of pipe. Sure would make it quieter, and easier to plumb the gas and electric since the meters for both are on the same wall 40 feet away.

Seventh -- would it be a good idea to try and put a main drain in? This seems hard to do in the first place, and especially difficult if I want to dish out the middle of the pool. Will it be fine if I don't have such a thing? Should I put in a return line on the other side of the pool? Is that even advisable with a saltwater pool with only one stainless panel?

Thanks for your help! I really want to make sure I have a good plan going into this so I don't spend too much time trying to work around my misconceptions. And I want to make my equipment purchase soon so I don't get caught up in the summer rush next year. I'm not kidding about buying an extra liner, too, just because it's not paranoia if they really are out to get you....

Dave

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