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Thread: New here, want to learn how to do a semi inground pool

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    New here, want to learn how to do a semi inground pool

    Greetings all !!!

    New to the site, found you through the all mighty interwebz.

    I recently moved to Colorado from Michigan and have come to the realization that Coloradans don't fancy the pool as much as Michiganders do even though Colorado gets more "pool time" during the year than Michigan does. I am a DIY kind of guy and therefore it has been tough trying to learn about how I can accomplish what it is I have in my head because every pool place I have called in Colorado does not do above ground pools, they all only do full in ground $100K+ pools. I can't even find a place that will sell me an above ground pool so it's looking like I'm just going to have to buy it online.

    Having said that I'll try to explain to you my vision and paint you a picture.

    My house faces south. I have an area of 30' from the back of my house to the start of a 3' easement before the back fence. My house is ~40' wide. It is 62' from the east side of my house to the west fence (22' from house to fence line). I am considering an oval pool, 52" or 54" (don't care) and either a 15' or 18' x 30' or 33' positioned about 5' from the west fence line extending about 15' behind the house. My house is a 2 story house and blocks the sun directly behind the house all day long. This is why I do not want to put the pool directly center behind my house and want to move it to the west as much as I can so that 1/2 of the pool will be in the sun all day long and the other 1/2 will gradually get more and more sun as the day gets later. I'm considering salt filtration as well and a deck on the east side of the pool. The filtration system will be on the North East side of the pool hidden underneath the deck. My backyard is on a slope so more of the pool will be in ground closer to the house than towards the north fence which will allow me to conveniently hide the pools filtration system underneath the deck. I have not done any vertical calculations on the slope/height of the pool or how much I will need to excavate as this is just an initial idea I'm looking for more feedback on from you pool guru's who know this inside and out vs my family who is just like "when can I go swimming already?". If this seams to be more of a solid idea then I will get more accurate vertical dimensions. I have attached a picture of my initial idea.

    pool idea1.jpg

    So my initial questions for you pool guru's :P

    1) I'm the kind of guy who is always saying "Go big or go home", so do you think the 18x33 like the picture shows is too much for my tiny backyard? When you shop for an oval pool and it says 18' x 33' is that the outer dimensions or do I need to fix my image and make the pool bigger ?

    2) Recommendation on brand ? A semi-inground pool I estimate (because I have not done any vertical measuring yet) I will only need to go to 24"-36" into the ground on the south side of the pool. The idea is to build a deck flush to my back door and not have to step down and then the deck be at pool railing level.

    3) I have not decided how to tie the deck in with the pool railing yet. I have seen pictures where the deck stops just short of (or just under) the railing but seams like that would be a trip/stub foot hazard and possibly be inviting for people to stand on the railing and damaging it, and I have seen pictures of the deck going over the top of the railing as to protect the pool railing. What are your experiences? Pro's & Con's ?

    4) Salt water system, love it? hate it? I know already that I will be the only one taking care of this pool. I've read that the salt water system is more costly at first but less maintenance. My only concern is that salt water taste like the ocean. Is it the same experience? can you smell the salt or chlorine that it produces ?

    5) When I excavate, can I make the east side of the pool deeper ? Are there liners that allow for that or no ?

    6) I've also toyed around with the idea of positioning the pool at a 45 degree angle instead of completely horizontal like in the picture. This would give me more sun light and deck space, thoughts?
    pool idea2.jpg

    I appreciate any and all feedback.

    Thanks !!!

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: New here, want to learn how to do a semi inground pool

    More deck and more sun is always better. (That's my opinion)
    Add a few feet to the footprint of the pool for retaining wall, uprights, and so on.
    12500 AGP 2HP Sand filter
    Five years on BBB & loving it!

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    Re: New here, want to learn how to do a semi inground pool

    The more I think about it, I'm liking the angled position. I'm considering the 18'x33'x54" Saltwater 8000 Oval Pool from poolfactory.com Does anyone have this pool or can comment on it?

    These are the additional options I am thinking of getting:

    • 18'x33'x54" Oval Uni-Bead Catalina Liner - 25 Gauge
      $175.00
    • Hayward S230T 23" Sand Filter System 1.5-HP 2-Speed Matrix Pump
      $569.00
    • Hayward Aqua Trol RJ Salt Chlorine Generator System
      $465.00
    • 18'x33' Oval Space Age Silver/Blue Solar Cover
      $149.00


    Mind you, I have never owned a pool before so I really don't know what I'm getting myself into other than I am willing to commit what ever time it takes as I'm mainly doing this for 15+ years of enjoyment for my family as my kids are 8 & 1. Any advice/tips is appreciated. I want to make sure I'm gettign quality stuff that I wont regret buying 2-5yrs down the road.

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    CJadamec's Avatar
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    Re: New here, want to learn how to do a semi inground pool

    I considered the same pool before deciding to have a local PB install my pool and ended up buying an aluminum framed pool from them. The pool you are looking at would have been the one I got had I done it myself.

    I think the beaded liner is worth the price.

    The filter and pump will work just fine. Definitely get the 2-speed to save on electric bills. You would be fine with a 1hp pump you don't need 1.5hp.

    SWG is a great option, get a cell that is rated for double the gallons of the pool bigger is better in that regard. The cell will last longer and you won't have to run for as long the bigger cell you get. Your pool is around 15k gal so I would get a cell rated for 30-40k gallons.

    Save yourself some money on the solar cover and get the basic one and they can be found cheaper from other retailers. The "premium" solar covers aren't worth their added cost. They have a life span of 3-5 years no matter which one you get.

    From what I remember they are priced competitively for the pools but the equipment and accessories you can find better deals if you shop around.

    I was brand new to owning a pool last year. The best thing I did when I was researching my build was find this site. If you listen to the advice on this site and follow the recommendations here for water chemistry you will be shocked at how easy and cheap it is to maintain a pool.

    Get the TFT test kit it's worth every penny.
    Chuck-
    15x30 AG, Pentair Superflo VS, 19" sand filter, TF-100 test kit
    Aqua Comfort ACT750 heat pump / 6x20 ground mount solar panel / DIY automation

    Photos of 2016 Build, Inside Your Breaker Panel, Free Copy of 2017 NEC code
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  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: New here, want to learn how to do a semi inground pool

    Thank you for your comments CJadamec !!!

    What other pool websites do most people buy from that are known for their good prices?

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    CJadamec's Avatar
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    Re: New here, want to learn how to do a semi inground pool

    Shameless plug for inyopools they are a TFP supporter and will give you a onetime discount if you donate to the forums (which I think is worth every penny for the info and helpful people you will find here). They also have tons of useful information and great product descriptions. Another place I normally go is amazon great for reviews and variety. I have also bought from poolsupplies.com they were the cheapest outlet for my pump when I bought it. Another great place is wireandcableyourway.com they were by far the cheapest place I found to by the wire I needed to run power to my pool and the bare copper wire for my bonding loop. I'm not recommending any one place over another nor am I affiliated with any of them. I tend to do lots of research and settle on a specific product I'm looking for then google it till I find it for the best price I can get.
    Chuck-
    15x30 AG, Pentair Superflo VS, 19" sand filter, TF-100 test kit
    Aqua Comfort ACT750 heat pump / 6x20 ground mount solar panel / DIY automation

    Photos of 2016 Build, Inside Your Breaker Panel, Free Copy of 2017 NEC code
    TFP is AD Free and is funded solely by member support click here to help

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    Re: New here, want to learn how to do a semi inground pool

    Looking at the specs in you signature... Would those (pump & filter) be adequate for the 18x33 pool I've got my eye on? How do you like the sand filter vs a cartridge system? How do you like your Aqua Comfort heat pump? Do you have a build post or pictures of your pool / filter set up ? I've always associate a pool as to having those flexible plastic hoses with metal clamps on them but I'm now seeing a lot of people have gotten rid of that and used PVC and buried them so they can put their pool filtration system several feet away from the pool. What is the main/most common reasoning for doing this? To hide it? Is there a maximum distance for this?

    I recently moved to Colorado and we do have a frost line here. Therefore, winterizing the PVC pipes in the ground, how do you do it? My sprinkler system has a hook up that I just hook my air compressor to to blow each zone out, but PVC has a much wider diameter than my sprinkler lines.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New here, want to learn how to do a semi inground pool

    I really like the angled pool. That looks like the best use of the sun and deck space.

    I think the next thing you should do is take a picture or 5 of the yard and house. Use bright rope or spray paint to show the pool and deck as you are thinking of them being sized and positioned. They say a picture is worth 1000 words and it very true here!

    This will be a fun one to watch and help on!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    CJadamec's Avatar
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    Re: New here, want to learn how to do a semi inground pool

    My filter/pump combo would work good for your pool. As I've learned a VS pump for my setup is a lil bit of over kill, but I like to tinker. My experience in industrial settings made me want a VS pump. I am very happy with it tho.
    Sand is very easy to maintain and works great. Cartridges and DE will have to be pulled and cleaned at least once a season. There are lots of ups and downs to each filter and they will all keep your pool clean. There are a ton of posts on the forums about each type of filter.
    If I had natural gas available I would have gone with a gas heater. My two options were propane or heat pump. Heat pump is hands down cheaper than propane to run. Aqua comfort is a retail only distribution so you wont find them online. The heat pumps from all the big name brands are pretty much all good choices. I would suggest a 100kBTU heat pump for you pool. It works great and I kept my pool set around 86 all season and didn't notice the change in the electric bill (credit is due to the VS pump for that too). If you add any type of heater a solar cover is a must have or you are just wasting your money on the energy lost to evaporation at night.
    PVC hard plumbing is great so is flexible PVC (not the cheap plastic flex hoses). For an above ground you can set up your plumbing so that its all removable for the winter months. Thats how I have mine. My pump and all the flexible PVC is stored in my basement for the winter out of the weather.

    I added a link in my sig to an imgur album of pics from my build. Like Kim said start snapping pics of what it was like before and all the steps in between. Its a great record to have and makes answering questions here a lot easier sometimes.
    Chuck-
    15x30 AG, Pentair Superflo VS, 19" sand filter, TF-100 test kit
    Aqua Comfort ACT750 heat pump / 6x20 ground mount solar panel / DIY automation

    Photos of 2016 Build, Inside Your Breaker Panel, Free Copy of 2017 NEC code
    TFP is AD Free and is funded solely by member support click here to help

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: New here, want to learn how to do a semi inground pool

    Nice backyard transformation !! Thanks for the pics !!

    Do you find the inside the pool steps to be a hindrance while swimming ?

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    CJadamec's Avatar
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    Re: New here, want to learn how to do a semi inground pool

    Thanks there were a lot of hard hours in to that project. The only part I didn't do was the installation of the pool itself. I took the day off that day and watch 3 people make it look easy.

    I prefer the steps over a ladder. Its plenty out of the way for our uses and it makes it very easy for the kids to get in and out. They also give my youngest, 3 now, a good place to sit and play and climb in the water.

    From a design standpoint I would have made the deck even with or underneath the top rail of the pool if it wasn't for that lil hill on the back side of the deck. I needed the height to make the deck as big as I wanted to be.
    Chuck-
    15x30 AG, Pentair Superflo VS, 19" sand filter, TF-100 test kit
    Aqua Comfort ACT750 heat pump / 6x20 ground mount solar panel / DIY automation

    Photos of 2016 Build, Inside Your Breaker Panel, Free Copy of 2017 NEC code
    TFP is AD Free and is funded solely by member support click here to help

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    Re: New here, want to learn how to do a semi inground pool

    That was going to be my next question is how do you like the height of the deck above the railing. While it looks nice and clean I can see it being troublesome as it adds additional height getting out of the pool.

    I have seen some pools with steps in-place of a section of the above ground pool. From the pictures I've seen on google it looks like the stem of the letter Q as the steps seam to start at the base of the pool and extends outwards as the steps go up. Are there only certain pool manufactures that you can do this to? Does it void warranty's ? I haven't been able to find the steps themselves, only ladders.

    be2a59ae7880e004506630b7a81567ce.jpg

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    CJadamec's Avatar
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    Re: New here, want to learn how to do a semi inground pool

    I've never seen anything like that before it actually looks like a spa insert for the pool. Its pretty cool looking but it also looks very expensive. I would imagine that wouldn't be a universal fit for any old pool because you are removing the cap rail which is what holds the wall together on aboveground pools.

    I really like the added deck height over the pool. Having the stairs to get in and out make it really easy. Its also very fun to jump off of. I have a j-bead liner so I don't need to take the top rail off the pool to do a liner change. Which having the deck over hang like that could be a problem if I need to pull the top rail. Once the pool is built tho there aren't really any reasons to pull the top rail off unless you have an overlapping liner to change.
    Chuck-
    15x30 AG, Pentair Superflo VS, 19" sand filter, TF-100 test kit
    Aqua Comfort ACT750 heat pump / 6x20 ground mount solar panel / DIY automation

    Photos of 2016 Build, Inside Your Breaker Panel, Free Copy of 2017 NEC code
    TFP is AD Free and is funded solely by member support click here to help

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