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Thread: Bout to get feet wet (The Setup)

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    Bout to get feet wet (The Setup)

    Hello Members of TFP,

    My name is Dennis and my wife and I are getting ready for our first purchase of an above ground pool. I am very nervous because its a big expense and I just want to make sure we are making all the right decisions and investing right. I did plenty of pool shopping today with different places and have narrowed it down to one particular place and a few different pool styles. I wanted to run by you what we are looking at and get everyones thoughts.

    We are looking at a 24ft round. The set up we can get is steel construction with a resin top ledge. The place is throwing in all the extras like Solar Cover, Winter Cover, Vacuum, A-frame durable Resin Ladder, Hayward Cartridge Filter and pump, Start off Chemicals, Pool Alarm, test kits, leaf skimmer, ect...

    They are telling us an extra $500 and we can get an all resin constructed pool. They say lasts longer and more durable. It looks great but we dont believe it will be worth the extra $500. Especially because the only real benefit I can see is it looks better, but since our plan is to have a deck/patio built around the pool then no one will even see the $500 upgrade. And im pretty confident the steel construction will last just as long.

    The filter seems like its a great one compared to others I have looked at. It looks easy to maintain, has 2 speeds so we can save on energy, and looks very well constructed. It comes completely plumed with shut off valves on the intake and return.

    How does everything sound so far? I'm taking my wife tomorrow so she can see the size and we can look everything over before we make the final decision. Im also looking into their closeout sales. The salesguy said he did have a list I could look over but all were 30ft round. I may see if any come within my price range. We also want to price an oval pool like a 15X30. We would prefer oval but I think he told me they did cost alittle more.

    Im researching the BBB method and think thats the route I am going to go. My dad says NOOOO dont pour bleach in your pool. It was nice explaining to him Chlorine is Chlorine. Whether from Chlorox or liquid stuff from the pool company, or tablets. Its all the same. He started to see my point. I will have to show him since I can tell he is still doubtful.

    Well am I on the right track, any flaws, ideas, ect??? Monday I am calling the codes officer to show him where I want the pool to make sure I wont run into any zoning/code issues especially since we decided we wanted a deck/patio around some of the pool. And then to call and have our electrician on standby so he can run the electical to the pools location.
    16ft wide x 32 ft long 4.5 deep shallow end with slant straight to deep end of 6.5ft, there is no flat shallow end, Est 20,000 gal. Pump, Hayward Pro Series 300lb Sand Filter, Laars Lite 2 Gas Heater, The BBB Method, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Bout to get feet wet (The Setup)

    Hi, Dennis,

    Welcome to the forum. You are wise to do your homework and seek opinions prior to your purchase.. Here's a few common issues we consistently see on the forum.

    1. Take a credit for the chemicals and the testkit. Probably the leaf skimmer as well. You need none of them, some may actually not be right for your pool, and the testkit they give you will likely be not good enough to help you understand your pool water. Unless the leaf net looks really heavy duty, don't let thjem give youa cheap one....you'll really appreciate a good one as I have learned the hard way.

    2. After 8 years, I am used to the quizical looks for using bleach in the pool......that's nothing....wait'll they see you dump in 5 lbs of baking soda!!

    3. Very wise to check zoning and electrical as well. I suggest you run a larger electrical feed to the pool than you think you will need. You will be surprised at the convenince a couple of outlets or some lighting might give you.

    4. A 2-speed pump is very nice indeed. An extra large filter is as nice if not nicer. It really cuts down on maintenance and has the ability to clear your pool quickly if you ever develop water problems.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Bout to get feet wet (The Setup)

    Hi. We went through this whole process last summer, and I know how time consuming and nerve racking it is. Where are you located? That can make a difference in what you want. Your pool is going to be out in the weather, so weather counts.
    In general, resin is more expensive than metal, and oval is more expensive than similar volume round in most cases. We went with Doughboy, which is the main brand that dealers carry in our area. Our pool installer, who had experience in all the materials and sizes and shapes of Doughboy pools, said that here, in Texas and Oklahoma where he works, he saw more cracking and sunfading in the resin caps than in metal. Now, you could go the other way and say, "Well, steel rusts and resin does not, and metal gets plenty hot in the sun" and that is completely true. But we went to the dealer in July on a blazing hot 105 degree day, and experienced just how hot resin can get. And it was smoking hot. I was surprised. I also have a neighbor that has a little metal AGP that has been there for 20 years. Rust has not been an issue for him in our area. Other people in other areas will have different experiences. Ask around.
    After looking at many, many, many brands and types of pools, I started out thinking we were going to get an 18'x36' foot oval with resin caps, 52 inch walls, 10 inch rails- one of the higher end models. After talking to our installer and friends who had above ground pools for several years, and experiencing sticker shock, we went with a 28 foot round, the lowest end model (Sand Dollar), once that they had had in storage since the previous year. It had only 48 inch walls. I wanted a four feet deep shallow area. The upgrade from 48 inch to 54 inch walls was $800. The cost to have our excavator dig the extra 6 inches -$100. No-brainer to me.
    Also, the Sand Dollar has six inch rails. Each step up in rail width was a significant amount of money. I was worried that 6" (the Sand Dollar) would be too narrow, since the dealer was pushing 8", 10", 12". Nope- it's just fine. And when we get the deck built, we will hardly notice. In fact, I am very short and a small person, so the narrow rails and lower walls, plus having the bottom sunk down into the ground a little means I can reach over the rails to clean and deal with the pool. I would not be able to do that with higher walls and wider rails- I would have to carry a step stool with me every time I tried to do anything to the pool from the outside. I had not even thought about that until I started dealing with it.
    Basically, by downgrading our expectations a little, we downgraded out cost about $2000- not a minor amount.
    If you do go up to 30 feet, keep in mind that is a monster pool. Everything associated with the pool gets larger and more expensive and harder to ship when you get bigger. Things get considerably more expensive above 24 feet. If you want a big pool, and are willing to deal with that, then that is OK, as long as you know in advance. I did not realize at first, and it was a bit of a surprise. But I wanted the big pool, so we are dealing with it. We just to have to be more selective on what we buy.
    Also, chemical packages from the pool store: I wish I knew then what I know now. That was an expensive mistake. Ask them to give you the cash instead, and spend in on bleach- it will save you a fortune in the long run.
    Test kit: Unless it is one of the ones that is recommended on this site, it will just be inaccurate strips or something that tells you to spend more money at the pool store. If you can bargain for the cash and put it towards a TF-100, do it.
    2-speed pump: I let the dealer talk me out of that. Bad idea. Definitely get the two speed.
    28 ft round Doughboy Sand Dollar II AGP, Aug 2008: 4 ft shallow, 6ft deep end: 24K gal approx Hayward Power-Flo Matrix
    1&1/2-HP 2-SPD Pump, Hayward 27-Inch Sand Filter with a little DE -(2) 4ftx20ft Solar Bear AGP Panels w/ Goldline auto-controller, 50ppm Borates And some day, maybe this year, a DECK!!!

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    Re: Bout to get feet wet (The Setup)

    Some good info there. We live in Clay,NY. Its just outside Syracuse. (Upstate Central NY Area) We have some tough winters. Im alittle worried about the snow fall we get. But the pool comes with a bumper to bumper warrenty and I dont think they would sell me a pool being a CNY dealer that wouldnt stand up to the snow. because the next year they would have a line of people at the door in the spring when everyones pools were ruined due to the snow. I will take the advice and try to get a store credit for the test kits and chemicals. Hopefully they dont give me a hard time. Theyve been really nice and great so far. They also have a policy where you pay $100 down, and they dont take another penny till after the installation and you do a final check to make sure your happy. Which seems like a good idea. i think we are going to go railess. Its $600 extra for them. And seems to us if we just go without them this season. next season we hopefully can do the deck and would need to take the rails off anyways.
    16ft wide x 32 ft long 4.5 deep shallow end with slant straight to deep end of 6.5ft, there is no flat shallow end, Est 20,000 gal. Pump, Hayward Pro Series 300lb Sand Filter, Laars Lite 2 Gas Heater, The BBB Method, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Bout to get feet wet (The Setup)

    Just thought of another thing I'm worried about. The operating costs. What do most pay for chemicals using the BBB method per month or season? In NY our will usually be Memorial Day to Labor Day. so 3-4 months for our season. Did you notice a high electrical bill. Im just worried with the economy in the state it is that all these extra costs might make me go broke and homeless.I want to make sure that not only can we afford the pool, but also afford to maintain it and enjoy it without worry bout the next scary elec. bill or the next trip to the store to buy Bleach or other chems. any ball park figure will help ease my mind.
    16ft wide x 32 ft long 4.5 deep shallow end with slant straight to deep end of 6.5ft, there is no flat shallow end, Est 20,000 gal. Pump, Hayward Pro Series 300lb Sand Filter, Laars Lite 2 Gas Heater, The BBB Method, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Bout to get feet wet (The Setup)

    Quote Originally Posted by smileddog
    Just thought of another thing I'm worried about. The operating costs. What do most pay for chemicals using the BBB method per month or season? In NY our will usually be Memorial Day to Labor Day. so 3-4 months for our season. Did you notice a high electrical bill. Im just worried with the economy in the state it is that all these extra costs might make me go broke and homeless.I want to make sure that not only can we afford the pool, but also afford to maintain it and enjoy it without worry bout the next scary elec. bill or the next trip to the store to buy Bleach or other chems. any ball park figure will help ease my mind.
    smileddog...I have posted this in several other posts...I spent less then $100 on chemicals last year...probably less then $50. I really didn't keep track. I cannot tell you about the electric bill we are on a budget plan and pay a flat fee. One thing I wanted to tell you about the ladder. Most codes call for a latter with a gate on it...that closes on its own and latches. My first ladder and steps was an a frame that had a ladder that lifted up above the steps and locked up...This was not up to code and had to be taken back. Poolstore just replaced it for me for free with the proper steps and latching locking gate. Make sure you know what your building code says about fences and steps and ladders. But from what I can tell your pool deal and my deal last summer sound a lot alike. I got a great deal...It cost me about $3500 altogether including pool all the equipment, installation sand and electrical work. all for a 24 foot round pool.
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Bout to get feet wet (The Setup)

    Hi, I have a similar setup to what you propose and use it about the same timeframe. I spent between $50-$60 for the entire season on chems. I run my pump on low 24/7, it has very little impact to the elec bill, perhaps $10-15 a month?

    Aside from the pool, our biggest initial expense was paying for the heater, the gas line, and the elec. Then the deck. Once I found TFP, I saved a ton of money by abandoning the Pool Stealers "recommended" chemicals.

    You'll be very happy with BBB and a Trouble Free Pool!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Bout to get feet wet (The Setup)

    Wow all thank you so much. You have put my mind at ease. I was hoping to hear exactly what you stated about elec. bill and cost of chemicals. I have asked some co-workers who have pools and they stated they saw a $60 jump on their first water bill after filling the pool, and they spend about $80-$100 per summer on the chems, and paid right around what I paid for the pool. I just needed to hear it from complete strangers I guess. This site is so helpful. When I get to work Monday im spreading the word about it. Well now that I feel better about the purchase we are off to the pool place so my wife can see the size and styles. Thanks All.
    16ft wide x 32 ft long 4.5 deep shallow end with slant straight to deep end of 6.5ft, there is no flat shallow end, Est 20,000 gal. Pump, Hayward Pro Series 300lb Sand Filter, Laars Lite 2 Gas Heater, The BBB Method, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Bout to get feet wet (The Setup)

    Well I am really close to getting the pool. The price is right. the equipment is right. Im just waiting to hear back about how much my car is going to cost to replace. If its not that much the pool is a go. Im going to order my test kit this weekend. But I was also wondering how much Bleach, Baking Soda, and Acid i need to buy to have a good start. Its a 24 ft round 54 inches high. So i can stock up this weekend on that as well.
    16ft wide x 32 ft long 4.5 deep shallow end with slant straight to deep end of 6.5ft, there is no flat shallow end, Est 20,000 gal. Pump, Hayward Pro Series 300lb Sand Filter, Laars Lite 2 Gas Heater, The BBB Method, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Bout to get feet wet (The Setup)

    Quote Originally Posted by smileddog
    Well I am really close to getting the pool. The price is right. the equipment is right. Im just waiting to hear back about how much my car is going to cost to replace. If its not that much the pool is a go. Im going to order my test kit this weekend. But I was also wondering how much Bleach, Baking Soda, and Acid i need to buy to have a good start. Its a 24 ft round 54 inches high. So i can stock up this weekend on that as well.
    You are better off waiting....before stocking up on supplies.

    For example, everything depends on your water results - you can test your fill water source, to get an idea of what you will be dealing with. For example if your fill water is very high in PH/TA you'll need Muratic Acid, and you won't need Baking Soda or Borax, etc., or the opposite could be true.

    You will need bleach and stabilizer, but don't you want to wait till you have the pool before you spend money on chems? Most places won't accept chemical returns.

    Bleach is a given, but you shouldn't have a trouble locating that and you don't want it sitting around as it degrades fairly rapidly.

    BTW, you may not need anything besides Bleach and stabilizer. I haven't added anything 'cept bleach in over 2 years, and I just finally had to add stabilizer yesterday.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Bout to get feet wet (The Setup)

    ok so it sounds like I was jumping the gun. I guess i'm just really excited. So I will hold off on anything right now except the TF-100 test kit. From the sounds of it I can just test my water out of the tap since thats what I will be filling the pool with and that will give me a start. My numbers wont be skewed if I use it right from the tap now and not take it directly from the pool after it is filled would it? Seems to me it wouldnt be much of a difference. I wouldnt think the liner, and sunshine, would make a difference on my starting point. Now the paperwork they handed me for the Pool Permit is almost the same amount they gave me to sign when I bought the house. So many restrictions and codes, and they made it even more complicated because we said eventually we are adding a deck. So far the town seems friendly and helpul and looking out for our best interests to save us money down the road. but geez they really make you jump through 15 different hoops just to get a pool.
    16ft wide x 32 ft long 4.5 deep shallow end with slant straight to deep end of 6.5ft, there is no flat shallow end, Est 20,000 gal. Pump, Hayward Pro Series 300lb Sand Filter, Laars Lite 2 Gas Heater, The BBB Method, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Bout to get feet wet (The Setup)

    Hey,

    Testing your fill water prior to it going in to your pool is one of the smartest, beneficial things you can do.

    The numbers will stay almost exactly the same (chlorine might drop somewhat if you are using city water) and it will give you a great plan on what to do to your water right off the bat.

    You can test your tap water anytime and then be armed with the knowledge of what to do before you even fill your pool. Post your test results up here and everyone will coach you as to what adjustments, if any, you need to make.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Bout to get feet wet (The Setup)

    Update: I took the plunge and signed the paperwork to have the pool installed. Tomorrow my wife will run up to the town office and file for the permit. I pre filled it all out so she should be all set. They said they are installing into the week of June1st-June7th, either of those weeks. The codes officer mentioned that we need to have hawk eyes on the installation guys to make sure they leave at least 48 inches from the ground to the top of the pool. Its a NYS law. if they dont then they will require us to put up a fence around the above ground pool. I looked into both options and the cheapest was the fencing that attaches to the pool for an extra $600. either option is out of the budget. Where the pool is going the ground is pretty level. one spot has a slight hump but i am willing to have them take the bobcat and slice the hump off so its level withthe rest of the area so the codes office cant come back and say in that one spot its slightly higher and now you need a fence. Anyone have issues with the 48inch rule. The pool is a 52 inch high. so that give them 4 inches of play. how much of it has to be below ground or will they make the sand flush with the rest of the yard and put the pool on top of it so i have a 4 full inches on top of the 48 inches NYS wants? im just worried we will get the pool and not be able to use it this year because we cant afford the fence. I will be watching the install guys with my measuring tape like a hawk. lol
    16ft wide x 32 ft long 4.5 deep shallow end with slant straight to deep end of 6.5ft, there is no flat shallow end, Est 20,000 gal. Pump, Hayward Pro Series 300lb Sand Filter, Laars Lite 2 Gas Heater, The BBB Method, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Bout to get feet wet (The Setup)

    Im really stressed today. We filed the paper work for the permit. They fear we are to close to the maximium to how many feet away from the back and side edge of our property. i tried measuring off our survey and it is pretty close. So they are going to take a good look at the survey and tell us in a general area where we can put the pool without any issues. There is woods behind me and on the side (its a corner lot), so its not like neighbors are right there. but i see how down the road if the neighbors tore down the trees and built then we could be in trouble and im trying to avoid that. They are coming to install the pool Mon & Tue of next week. Geez I cant believe in 7 days the pool will be there. The permit fees and electical inspection fees are all adding up. Hopefully we dont hit anymore bumps in the road. I ordered the TF 100 test kit last night, as well as a leaf rake because the one the pool store will give us is one of the flat looking ones, and since they gave us a deal on the pool (an extra $500 with an upgraded model) i dont dare ask them for store credit for the stuff.
    16ft wide x 32 ft long 4.5 deep shallow end with slant straight to deep end of 6.5ft, there is no flat shallow end, Est 20,000 gal. Pump, Hayward Pro Series 300lb Sand Filter, Laars Lite 2 Gas Heater, The BBB Method, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Bout to get feet wet (The Setup)

    Ahhh yes, the good ol' setback lines. That's one of the items that keeps us from putting a wraparound deck on our pool. Well, that and the fact that our codes dept wants 16"x16"x16" footers for a deck!

    We have the same codes for wall height too. If the lot's fairly level, then the installer should just go down deep enough to remove the sod, so you should be ok with your wall height. Wouldn't hurt to keep an eye on them though.

    One thing that did hack me off when we had our pool installed was that I couldn't do the electrical myself - I had to get a licensed electrician to do it. $700 to pull a run of 12/2 to a junction box, and then direct bury about twelve feet to the pool. Oh..and add a GFI to the breaker box. $700!!!

    Congrats on your new pool! You'll be swimming before you know it!
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

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    Re: Bout to get feet wet (The Setup)

    Thanks,

    Im alot less stressed today. We met with the codes officer and he looked at my updated drawing on our survey and I showed him the plans where i wanted the pool and future deck. We ended up moving it one foot to the left and one foot closer to the house to accomidate for a 3 ft deck all the way around the pool rather then the 2 ft i originally went with. I guess it works. I will probably be happier for that down the road and the codes guy felt it would be safer. So thats a go. The liscened electrician is a friend of the family and he will be gentle with my budget. Im going to do the digging myself and give him a hand running everything too. So really its the wire and the GFI and stuff i will have to purchase and pay him. Things are alot better now. I cant wait to get my test kit. should arrive friday and i will run a test on the tap water that we will be filling the pool with to give me a starting point on what i will need to add. Hopefully in no time we will be swimming.
    16ft wide x 32 ft long 4.5 deep shallow end with slant straight to deep end of 6.5ft, there is no flat shallow end, Est 20,000 gal. Pump, Hayward Pro Series 300lb Sand Filter, Laars Lite 2 Gas Heater, The BBB Method, TF-100 Test Kit.

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