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Thread: New build in western PA

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    BMK's Avatar
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    New build in western PA

    Just a few little details to finalize but the paperwork should all be signed sealed and delivered in a few days. I've lurked on these boards for a while now gaining all kinds of knowledge from all of you. However, I certainly welcome any advice along the way. Though I'm not a first time pool owner, this will be my first time building from scratch.

    Some background.... My wife and I purchased our house in the east suburbs of Pittsburgh about 5 years ago. It's a very unique property in that we're literally 5-10 minutes from everything, but the property itself (abot 2.5 acres total) is nice and private. 2 kids, a 13 year old and a 6 year old. We entertain a lot and we're that home that friends, family, kid's friends and teamates, school fundraising mtgs, etc. always seem to end up. We'd have it no other way.
    We bought the house knowing that sooner rather than later we were going to 'blow up" the back yard, even though there was an existing (very) small in ground pool.

    At any rate, this is what we're doing. I don't have the exact model #'s of the equipment right now, but will update as soon as I get them.

    Freeform pool, approx 880 sq.ft. depth: 3.5' to 8'
    48" steel walls
    28 mil liner
    Solid concrete floor, 1/4' foam on walls, 1/2' foam on steps and shallow floor
    'Fractured face' concrete coping
    100% stone backfill, french drains pool parimeter + 30'
    2 HP VS Pentair pump
    520 cartridge filter
    SWC generator
    Liner covered concrete steps
    3 skimmers, 4 returns
    5.75 Heat Siphon heat pump
    100 amp sub panel tied into house
    3 LED low voltage pool lights
    Stanless steel hand rail and ladder
    150 sq. ft. stamped concrete 'flagstone' tanning ledge w/ recessed umbrella rec. and 2 color changing bubblers
    Faux rockwork, poured and formed on site w/ integrated 15' (l) water slide, waterfall and jumping rock.
    Hydraulics for approx 150 gal per min slide and 230 gal per min waterfall
    8' round custom concrete spa, stand alone pumps, heater, lights, etc.
    Approx. 1619 sq.ft decorative concrete
    Dolphin robot cleaner
    Solid or mesh winter safety cover

    A couple notes: The perspective is a little off in the rendering. The pool is actually a bit bigger in relation to the rocks than it shows here. . Also, the spa is moving from the top of the rocks, to stand alone closer to the house.

    pool render3.jpgoverview.jpg

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New build in western PA

    DROOL!!! OH my! That is so pretty!

    How far from the house is it going to be? I would love to see a shot or 5 of the place it will be going.

    Get us the models asap so we can check them out.

    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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    Re: New build in western PA

    Awesome design!! What is your slide made of??

    Is the jump rock going to be up high on that mountain of rock??


    Spring 2017 new build in PA ! //// Pool on a big hill //// IG SWG 800 sqft +100 sqft sun shelf + 50 sqft spa. //// All Jandy Pro series equipment (help me choose which models !) //// SGM River Rok or Diamond Brite (help me choose!) //// Stamped Concrete, Pavers, or Stone (help me choose ! )
    My Spring 2017 new build in PA ! //// Pool on a big hill //// IG SWG 700 sqft +100 sqft sun shelf + 50 sqft spa. //// All Jandy Pro series equipment (help me choose which models !) //// SGM River Rok or Diamond Brite (help me choose!) //// Stamped Concrete deck

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: New build in western PA

    BMK,

    Welcome to TFP.. A Great resource for all new pool builds...

    I did not see it listed, but wanted to know if you are getting an automation system???

    You list a SWCG and VS pump which normally work better when used with automation.

    Also you list a 2 HP VS pump. I suspect that you are getting the 3 HP Intelliflo...

    I am surprised that the waterfall does not have its own pump.???

    Thanks for posting,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    BMK's Avatar
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    Re: New build in western PA

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    DROOL!!! OH my! That is so pretty!

    How far from the house is it going to be? I would love to see a shot or 5 of the place it will be going.

    Get us the models asap so we can check them out.

    Kim

    Hi Kim,
    The yard is currently blanketed with snow at the moment, so it's a little hard to get the lay of the land, but pictures are forthcoming! The edge of the pool will about sit 35' from the house and 20' from a large back patio that is under awning from mid April through end of October. Adjacent to the patio is an enclosed pool house with a full kitchen and bathroom. It's nice because the pool house has its own set of everything....dishes, utensils, cooking supplies, etc. We rarely have to come through the house for anything when entertaining out back.
    Should have all model #'s today or tomorrow. I'll post immediately to get any feedback anyone could offer.

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    Re: New build in western PA

    Quote Originally Posted by A165fun View Post
    Awesome design!! What is your slide made of??

    Is the jump rock going to be up high on that mountain of rock??
    We decided to have them pour and form the slide into the rock formation. It looks a little more natural and they can easily match the color with the rocks. A plastic slide could easily have been used and would have worked fine, but aesthetically, we were kind of going for a more natural look, and the plastic slides are limited in color selection.Since they were pouring and forming the rocks anyway, it wasn't a significant added expense. The jump rock will be on the rock formation, but not all the way at the top. It will be just a little higher than the end of the slide on the other side, by the rock steps.

    Looking forward to following your build!

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    Re: New build in western PA

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimrahbe View Post
    BMK,

    Welcome to TFP.. A Great resource for all new pool builds...

    I did not see it listed, but wanted to know if you are getting an automation system???

    You list a SWCG and VS pump which normally work better when used with automation.

    Also you list a 2 HP VS pump. I suspect that you are getting the 3 HP Intelliflo...

    I am surprised that the waterfall does not have its own pump.???

    Thanks for posting,

    Jim R.
    Hi Jim,
    PB is putting together quotes for 2 or 3 automation systems as we speak, with varying levels interaction and price. My previous pools had zero automation so this is new territory for me. I'm not a total novice at pool maint. by any stretch, but I don't want to be a slave to it either. I'd appreciate any recommendations prior to me pulling the trigger.
    Upon checking, the main pump is a Pentair 3 hp VS. Thanks for catching the typo.

    The waterfall and slide do indeed have their own separate pump(s), and the ability to function completely independent of each other. That was what I meant on my original post as "hydraulics for slide and waterfall". Since I didn't have the particulars yet, I just lumped it together like that.

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: New build in western PA

    BMK,

    Well, since you have the Intelliflo pump, you pretty much want to us a Pentair Automation system.

    I would suggest that you get an EasyTouch 8 for Pool and Spa. This assumes that the Spa will use the same pump/filter that the pool uses. In other words the Spa will not have a stand alone system.

    The EasyTouch 4 just does not have enough relays.

    Here is a list on things that automation can do for you:

    1. Automation will help you with pool maintenance, but it will not replace the need for you to test your water, understand what you are looking at, and then making sure your water is balanced. (Suggest the TF100 test kit.)

    2. The main downside to automation is cost. That said, the best time to install automation is when the pool is being built, because all the connections to the system can be made without having to figure out how you are to get power across 50' of new deck. Also, the additional cost, when compared to the cost of the pool, will be miniscule.

    3. Automation systems work best when the same brand is used because then the pieces can "talk" to together.

    Here is a list of what I think the advantages are:

    1. Appearance. Instead of having a bunch of different boxes hanging on your wall you have one, professional looking enclosure.

    2. Circuit Breaker Panel. The bottom half of the enclosure is a circuit-breaker panel where the breakers for your pool equipment (Pumps, Heater, etc.) are located. This panel is also an excellent place to add surge protector, which is an absolute must if you have the Intelliflo pump. Even if you do not get the automation, make sure your PB includes a surge protector for the pump.

    3. SWG Control. Without automation, your SWG will have to have a timer, synced to the pump timer so that it does not run when the pump is off. This function, including the SWCG power supply, is built into the EasyTouch.

    4. Spa mode and SWG output. Normally all the water flows through the SWG, so when in the Spa mode, the EasyTouch reduces the amount of chlorine the SWG produces, so that the Spa users are not subjected to high levels of chlorine.

    5. Pool Lighting. The EasyTouch allows you to control your pool lighting from your PC and/or from a schedule. This is another reason to add the EasyTouch now. Once your pool light is wired to switches inside your house, it might be very difficult to get the wiring to any automation system.

    6. Control of Spill-over and bubblers. Right now I'm sure you are thinking I want that spillover running 24-hours a day because it is so beautiful.. Well, after a few weeks of having your pH go through the roof, you'll appreciate the ability to only turn it on, when you want it on. The same with the bubblers. With the Easytouch, you can program them to run on a schedule for a few minutes a day to keep the everything properly chlorinated or when you want to "show off" to your guests..

    7. Relay Control. The EasyTouch 8 has eight (really seven) relays that can be used to control other things, such as landscape lights, blowers, additional pumps, etc.

    8. Built in Valve controls. The EasyTouch has the ability to control 4 valves. Two work for switching between the Pool and Spa modes, while two others can be programmed to do whatever you might want, like bubbler control. I would note that a lot of bubblers are controlled by manual valves that cannot be automated. You need to be sure to tell your PB that you want Jandy style valves for your bubbler control.

    9. Heater Control. The EasyTouch can control your heater.. So, you can be inside and tell your PC what temperature you want the Spa to be and it will tell you when it is ready.

    10. ScreenLogic. ScreenLogic allows you to program the EasyTouch with various schedules. It lets you see most all of the inputs and output to the EasyTouch and lets you decide what you want on/off and in the case of your SWG, lets you adjust the % of output on the fly.

    Thanks,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    BMK's Avatar
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    Re: New build in western PA

    Jim,
    Wow, thank you so much for your response. Very informative. If I'm not mistaken, the Easy Touch system is one of the systems the PB is quoting. One quick question......how does the scenario change, if at all, considering my pool and spa will be independent of each other. Separate pump, filter, heater, etc. In the winter, the pool will be closed and winterized, but the spa stays active. (We have a stand alone spa now and consider relaxing in the hot tub with an adult beverage during a snowfall one of life's little pleasures. Its a northern thing.)

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: New build in western PA

    BMK,

    You don't make it easy...

    The good news is that the EasyTouch also comes in Single body system. "Pool or Spa" version

    The bad news is that you would need two of them. Two of everything...

    I am a little surprised that in your situation you are not just going to use your old Spa or to buy a new one. Most "store bought" stand alone Spas are much more comfortable, have more features, less problems, and are cheaper to operate. Have you actually been in a pool side Spa? Other than the visual appearance, there are not any advantages. Plus, they add $15 to $20K to the price of the pool. In your case, with separate equipment, it must be much higher than that.

    Edit... I suspect that the Pentair IntelliTouch System could also handle two separate bodies of water, but I'm not to familiar with that system.

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    Re: New build in western PA

    All you have to do is plumb the spa and pool together. One system, one automation, two modes (pool and spa). The spa can be heated and run independently of the pool in winter. I doesn't need to spill over into the pool for this to work. My attached spa added about $9500 to the price. I can't see yours running too much more than that (maybe $1 - 2K) since it is physically separate from the pool and a little more labor/excavation.
    17' x 30' rectangle pool, two 7' x 7' baja decks, 6' x 8' raised spa. Hayward 2HP VSP for features, filter and returns. 2HP single speed for 9 spa jets. 1HP blower for spa bubbles. In-Floor cleaning, Cartridge filter, AquaConnect automation, 400K BTU NG heater. Plaster is Stonescapes mini-pebble in Aqua Blue + abalone shell TF-100 Text from Neighbor -- They're digging your pool!

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    Re: New build in western PA


    I am going to enjoy watching this one. Your grotto is what I have in my head for my dream pool...
    25,000 gallon
    Vinyl
    rectangle shape
    300 lb Sand filter
    Pentair Superflo Pump Variable Speed Pump

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    Re: New build in western PA

    I would have to agree with Jim that you would be better off with a separate standalone spa than having one plumbed into a separate filter, pump, heater, etc. Something that you can build into the landscape to make it look nice, and give you all the extra features and efficiency you get with a store bought hot tub.

    http://www.botdec.com/wp-content/upl...dc-hot-tub.jpg
    Inground vinyl 23'x40' Aspen shape, ~27K gallons, Sta-Rite Intellipro 2 VST Pump, Sta-Rite System:3 Mod DE Filter (60 sq ft), Hybrid In-Floor System (Paramount Valve with Caretaker Heads), AquaComfort Heat Pump, 3x Savi Melody Sol 28W LED Lights, Pentair IC60 SWCG, EasyTouch Automation with ScreenLogic, TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: New build in western PA

    Having no basis for my opinion other than aesthetically - I would prefer the spa being a pool-side spa with the spill over. Some benefits would be that you could customize it however you would like, including having it spill over down the rocks/waterfall to your pool as well as specific lighting and/or bubblers that you may not be able to coordinate with your pool lighting as well.
    All that being said, as the above people mentioned, those are fairly minor conveniences/advantages compared to the cost difference. I do not have a spa at all so my opinion is fairly irrelevant.

    I just like the looks of the other and it appears that you have really spent a lot of time designing this or helping design this. At the end of the day it is what you would be satisfied with. If you chose to go with stand-alone spa to save 10k, I don't think I could fault you.
    25,000 gallon
    Vinyl
    rectangle shape
    300 lb Sand filter
    Pentair Superflo Pump Variable Speed Pump

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    Re: New build in western PA

    Quote Originally Posted by lsuxtremist View Post
    Having no basis for my opinion other than aesthetically - I would prefer the spa being a pool-side spa with the spill over. Some benefits would be that you could customize it however you would like, including having it spill over down the rocks/waterfall to your pool as well as specific lighting and/or bubblers that you may not be able to coordinate with your pool lighting as well.
    All that being said, as the above people mentioned, those are fairly minor conveniences/advantages compared to the cost difference. I do not have a spa at all so my opinion is fairly irrelevant.

    I just like the looks of the other and it appears that you have really spent a lot of time designing this or helping design this. At the end of the day it is what you would be satisfied with. If you chose to go with stand-alone spa to save 10k, I don't think I could fault you.
    You have to also think of the climate that the pool/spa is located in. In the Northeast, we have a fairly short pool season and then need to winterize the pool. To leave the spa open with a complete filter/heater setup would not be very cost efficient, and if it's a shared system where the same filter/heater services the pool and spa, you would need to leave it open and run constantly during freezing temps to prevent freeze damage. You see very few, if any, spas poolside with the spillovers here in the Northeast due to the climate. Most are standalone units with their own built in filters and heaters that run off of a 220V source.
    Inground vinyl 23'x40' Aspen shape, ~27K gallons, Sta-Rite Intellipro 2 VST Pump, Sta-Rite System:3 Mod DE Filter (60 sq ft), Hybrid In-Floor System (Paramount Valve with Caretaker Heads), AquaComfort Heat Pump, 3x Savi Melody Sol 28W LED Lights, Pentair IC60 SWCG, EasyTouch Automation with ScreenLogic, TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: New build in western PA

    Nice design. I can't wait to see this one finished. If you don't mind me asking what's the estimate look like? I live in the eastern part of PA and for only having about 3 months of good swimming weather we sure get robbed on prices

    Judd
    24' Round AGP / 15,000 Gal / Hayward Powerflow 1HP 2SPD / Hayward S244T Sand Filter / Pool Rover Jr. / TF100 / ...

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    Re: New build in western PA

    Quote Originally Posted by jtrovato21 View Post
    You have to also think of the climate that the pool/spa is located in. In the Northeast, we have a fairly short pool season and then need to winterize the pool. To leave the spa open with a complete filter/heater setup would not be very cost efficient, and if it's a shared system where the same filter/heater services the pool and spa, you would need to leave it open and run constantly during freezing temps to prevent freeze damage. You see very few, if any, spas poolside with the spillovers here in the Northeast due to the climate. Most are standalone units with their own built in filters and heaters that run off of a 220V source.
    Valid point. That definitely makes sense to have the systems separated. I see that the OP's rendering shows it similar to a stand-alone already (no spill over). I guess at this point the homeowner has to decide if it is worth it to spend the extra money to match the finish/lighting etc. from the pool and the additional pump/heater for the spa or save that money there so you can use it elsewhere in the build.
    25,000 gallon
    Vinyl
    rectangle shape
    300 lb Sand filter
    Pentair Superflo Pump Variable Speed Pump

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    Re: New build in western PA

    Hi everyone,
    Update:
    A few developments occurred on our end that would delay breaking ground on the build about a month. Since this build is somewhat unique in that it will be replacing an existing IG pool, we decide to push back the start date to Sept 1, so that we don't lose the whole summer swim season. Though we are deposited with the PB, we'll use our existing pool until then. My kids (especially my 6 year old daughter) use the pool almost daily in the summer and is a big part of their summer activity / social life. As excited as we are for the new pool, under the circumstances, it didn't make a lot of sense to us to have the yard all torn up and be without any pool for the summer, with the new pool completion in the fall, if that. If we didn't already have a pool, we wouldn't have the option, but we voted on using the old pool this season, blowing up the backyard and construction of the new pool over fall and winter, and having the new pool ready to go day one of next season. I'm sure you folks in Florida and Arizona are scratching your heads, but believe me, these are the kind of things us northerners have to consider!

    That said, the later date could prove dangerous as it gives me more time to get even better educated from all of you, explore more wish-list items, and generally drive my PB crazy.

    Here are two new developments though: We will definitely be going with a stand alone hot tub, for most of the reasons that some of you have listed in this thread. The advantages in our case far outweigh the minor aesthetic consideration. Even the PB admitted that was the wiser move in this case and probably the difference between really using it all year or just looking at it. He said he'll give some thought into tying it aesthetically.

    Also, I've just about decided to go with the Pentair Intellitouch system. Between the VS pump, SWG system, waterfall, waterslide, heater, bubblers and lights, PB strongly recommended it, and said in a year or so, we'll consider it the best part of the whole project. He also offered that if we buy the equipment, they'll be no charge for labor installing / programming the system. My preliminary research shows the install can potentially be quite labor intensive. Can anyone weigh in on his recommendation? As I stated before, I'm not new to pool ownership, but I've been 'old school', and know very little about automation.

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: New build in western PA

    BMK,

    Make sure your IntelliTouch comes with ScreenLogic 2. It will allow you to adjust a program or control your pool from your PC, Tablet, or phone..

    Makes using your automation system about 10 times easier..

    You can thank me later...

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    Re: New build in western PA

    Is your current pool a liner pool? Do you have any ground water issues right now?

    I ask because I'm in Pittsburgh as well with a liner pool and we've had it float a few times. If you've had this it's worth installing a sump pump in the yard by the pool to catch groundwater.

    A stand-alone spa is a good choice. Ours is next to our pool and right outside our back door. I use it year round, and with a heavy duty cover we've never had an issue keeping it warm.
    In-ground 15x30 concrete pool with vinyl liner
    Triton II sand filter, Hayward Pump, Raypak 266 heater
    Rehab thread: Pool rehab, need advice

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