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Thread: Tomball Texas Pool Builder Select Help + Equipment Selection Help

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    Tomball Texas Pool Builder Select Help + Equipment Selection Help

    This forum is amazing and I have learned so much fromeveryone on this forum. My wife and I have made up our mind that we areinstalling a pool and we are in the process of talking to pool builders andhaving designs made up. (will not have any designs from anyone until nextweek).

    Tomball Texas


    I wanted to start this thread so I can get opinions andthoughts on what the pool builders have discussed with me so far. (obviouslythe design and pricing might sway my thoughts one way or the other).

    1)Stellar Custom Pools – This guy is a friend ofmy wifes which has me alittle nervous. I am worried that if we start getting “picky”and adamant while the build is going on that the relationship will go southvery quick. However, it sounds like heis willing to give us a really good deal on a pool so we will see how thatgoes.
    A)He pushes Pentair products
    B)for the poolbottom he would do Stonescapes over pebble tech or wet edge because he believesstonescapes is a very good product for a much better price.
    C)He recommends spray deck to keep costs down butsaid he could do whatever I would like
    D)He pushed a sand filter over a cartridge filter

    2)Supreme Pools – This pool company wasrecommended by two people in our community and the company has a good facebookpage. The sales person was nice, but he seemed less in tuned with thetechnology and didn’t take any pictures. He just took a picture of my houseplat and said he would draw something up.
    A)He pushes Jandy equipment
    B)He had no real opinion on stonescapes vs wetedge vs pebble tech and just said he would do whatever we want


    3)AquaScapes – I was very impressed with thisdesigner/salesperson as he seemed very in tuned with all pool technology andhad very passionate opinions about various products. I would say on the firstvisit I was most impressed with this designer. He took lots of pictures and hadsome good ideas.
    A)He pushes Jandy Equipment
    B)He recommends Wet edge over other products
    C)He would do a cartridge filter
    D)He said he could do spraydeck, but told me thatspray deck will eventually ware off from patio furniture being moved around “chipping”off the spray deck material. He said just imagine your interior wall of yourhouse and how you have texture on your wall. He said that is spray deck andthat spray deck could chip off. He said that spray deck is good because itsslip resistant and a good product for the price. Said cement can crack which isanother downside. He said he would recommended pavers for my decking but saidhe would design it based on spray deck and we could change it anytime we want
    E)He recommended OZONE/UV filter and said hereally helps to keep algae down, you use less chlorine, and your eyes and skinare less irritated due to less chlorine used.

    4)The Pool Man – This salesman was good. I likedhim but I didn’t like how much he pushed “in floor” cleaners. He acted like alltheir pools come with in floor cleaners automatically and I told him this is somethingthat we would have to talk about (because it’s a $3,000 charge)
    A)He pushes Pentair equipment
    B)Recommends pebbletech and had a 15 minute speechabout it
    C)Pushed in floor cleaners very hard
    D)Recommended pavers
    E)Cartridge Filter
    F)He recommended OZONE/UV filter and said hereally helps to keep algae down, you use less chlorine, and your eyes and skinare less irritated due to less chlorine used


    Ihave a meeting tomorrow with Atlantis Pools and then I might meet with PiercePools next week. I was excited to meet with Pierce Pools but they had no availabilityfor 10 days which has me nervous that they are over busy.

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    bmoreswim's Avatar
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    Tomball Texas Pool Builder Select Help + Equipment Selection Help

    Just a few suggestions. Take their recommendations then decide for yourself what equipment you want with assistance here. Then tell them and see how they react. If they are hesitant or won't, move on. Brand is not critical except that all equipment except heater is the same. Go Raypak for heater. It seems the Pentair automation gets strong reviews. Automation would be the main reason to choose one over the other. Get a robot not any other type of cleaning system. Get color LED's. No Ozone and leave it at that. Plenty from the sun. Filter types are Ford/Chevy thing. There are differences in types but they are all fine.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking | Merlin SmartMesh winter safety cover
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Tomball Texas Pool Builder Select Help + Equipment Selection Help

    Ok Luckyc, lets first welcome you to TFP. Great first post and whomever you choose we'll enjoy watching this build with you all the way!

    My only suggestions at this point is ditch ANY suggestion of UV/Ozone. You live in a UV rich area- you've got that big bright sun overhead providing more UV than any device could possibly provide. Ozone is worthless in an outdoor pool too. They push these devices (and the infloor cleaners) because they get a healthy profit on them.
    Since you have to use chlorine anyway (and not less by any stretch of the salesman's imagination) why put it in? The only place UV/ozone *may* have a use is on indoor pools/spas that don't get natural sunlight.

    Infloor cleaners are problem children often needing repair or go out of service. They are useful in the far west like AZ where there is a lot of dust in the pools. That's about the only place I see them used often.

    I don't see any mention of sanitizer on any of these builders. Either go with liquid chlorine in a stenner type pump or Salt Water Chlorine Generators (SWG). Stay away from pucks entirely unless you want to deal with the build up of CYA or Calcium (by products in the chlorine puck) which requires pools to be drained and refilled to lower their levels.

    Please keep us updated as you hear back from these *contestants*

    Yippee
    Maddie :) 12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Skippy's Pool Cooler --> Skippy's New Fountain Our Build --> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard

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    SuzfromTexas's Avatar
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    Re: Tomball Texas Pool Builder Select Help + Equipment Selection Help

    Howdy Neighbor! I'm near 249 and Louetta. You're already getting great advice from the experts around here. My pool was finished in July 2015, and TFP helped make it a success. From reading others' builds on TFP during that time, I can make some suggestions for builders if you like. You have quite a list already and may not want to confuse the issue. Just shoot me a Private Message if you want more names.

    You can see in my signature what equipment and features I have for my pool. Love, love, love the swg system. For the first 30 days with water, you must wait to add salt or start up the salt cell, so you get a taste of the work needed lugging the bleach out everyday. It helps you to truly appreciate having a swg. As Yippee said, if a salt system is out for you, using the stenner pump for the bleach will save you time, too. I also love my robot. The members here convinced me to go with the robot, and I'm so glad they did. From what I've read, some people living in desert or constant dirt and dust-blowing areas - Arizona - like the infloor cleaners. I just don't think you need it here. I have no idea how well they handle leaves, pine needles, etc. The robot does great with everything! Let this site guide you about the size for the swg system, pumps, and filters whichever way you go. Better to go over the recommended size for filters and salt cells rather than 'just covers' your pool size.

    The Pool Man built a great pool for a TFP member around the time I was building. The guy was very happy with the pool and working with the company. Just don't let them push you into those things you don't need. If The Pool Man won't work with you and do what YOU want, move on. Sorry, but I don't know anything about the first three builders you mentioned or Pierce Pools (not necessarily bad). You can also ask for PB recommendations from the forum Nextdoor.com: https://nextdoor.com/city/houston--tx/ If you aren't already registered, go to the link and it will show you how to find your neighborhood. It's another terrific site for everything you might want to know from others living near you - shopping, repairmen, restaurants, pool builders, classifieds, how to fix things, crime in the area, etc and is also free. Just ask if anyone knows anything about those builders or can recommend one. They are always very honest! Let me know what you think of Atlantis Pools after your meeting tomorrow.

    You're about to jump on a great ride!!!! (pool building! Lol!!)

    Suz
    Suz~Cypress/Houston area~ My 2015 Pool Build. 24K gallons. IG swcg system. 35'x18'; 573sf; 104' perim; depth 4'-7'. Bubblers, sheer descents, 7' spa. Jandy; color LEDs; 2HP 2sp pump; 1HP 2sp pump; spa pump; 580 cartridge; 400K BTU; Dolphin M500; PS8; Inline chlorinator not used; Aqua Pure 1400. Blue Granite Sheen. Travertine deck. TF-100, SpeedStir

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Tomball Texas Pool Builder Select Help + Equipment Selection Help

    Lucky,

    Welcome to TFP... A Great resource for all Tomball pool builders...

    One of the first things you need to decide is how you plan to chlorinate your pool. This will sometimes have an effect on what equipment your get and how the pool is built..

    There are four ways to chlorinate your pool...

    1. Using chlorinated 3" pucks... We do not recommend them at all..
    2. Manually add Liquid Chlorine or plain Bleach on a regular basis. Usually daily or ever other day.
    3. Use a Stenner pump to automatically add Liquid Chlorine or bleach.
    4. Use a Saltwater Chlorine Generator (SWCG) to convert the salt in your pool into chlorine.

    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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    Re: Tomball Texas Pool Builder Select Help + Equipment Selection Help

    Wow, I already got so many replies, this forum is awesome!!

    couple responses
    1) I know salt water is the "new thing" but for some reason I like chlorine pools better. I have swam in both type of pools and every time I swim in a salt water pool the water gets in my nose and the salt just irritates me. Maybe it's something I would get use to?
    i also have a lab who loves the water so with a salt water pool I would worry about her drinking salt water vs drinking chlorine water (this may be dumb)

    2) in floor cleaner I feel will be a waste of money so I definitely will not be doing that. I am going to do a robot either Polaris or dolphin.

    questions
    1) is cartridge any better than sand filters? Sand seems nice since you only have to mess with it once every 6 months vs having to clean cartridges every month. However, at my old house we had a pool (did not build the pool) and we had a cartridge so I'm use to that.

    2) going to do chlorine pool. Why would a 3" puck tabs inline when I can feed it with 6 or 8 tabs at a time be a bad thing (I had this at my old house). None of the builders mentioned liquid chlorine as a option they all mentioned in line tabs and this is what I am use to. This system is easy, why would it be a. As thing to do that just like my old pool?

    3) at my old house, for the spa/hot tub, we had a separate booster pump to get the jumps really flowing good and act like a hot tub. One of the pool builders told me I didn't need a booster pump to get the good force coming out of the jets that the variable speed pump would take care of that. How is this the case? Why would I need a booster pump at my old house and not on a new pool bump? I love getting on the hot tub with the jets going good, so I want to make sure the SPA is perfect

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Tomball Texas Pool Builder Select Help + Equipment Selection Help

    Lucky,

    With your old pool did you add shock on a weekly basis? Did your pool smell like chlorine? Did it ever turn green? What other chemicals did you add... like Phos free, or ?????

    It is your pool, so if makes sense for you to do whatever you want. But, the reason that 99% of the people are here on this forum is because of using 3" pucks..

    We are not trying to force you to do anything, we just want you to see both sides of the story.

    I agree with you not wanting to waste your money on an in-floor system.

    I have a cartridge system, and if you get a large filter, you only have to clean them about twice a year. All and all, Sand, DE, or Cartridge they are all about the same.

    Not that it matters, if you don't like saltwater pools, but a saltwater pools is really a chlorine pool that uses the salt in the water to make chlorine.

    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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    Re: Tomball Texas Pool Builder Select Help + Equipment Selection Help

    Thanks for the feedback. So why would liquid chlorine be better than tabs? trying to educate myself here so I can make the best decision. Weird that none of the builders mentioned liquid as a option.

    i am by no means a pool expert. I think I added shock every 10 days or so at my old pool

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    Re: Tomball Texas Pool Builder Select Help + Equipment Selection Help

    Liquid chlorine or salt won't raise your CYA like pucks will. CYA helps protect the chlorine from sunlight. People who follow the TFP method of pool care don't have to shock their pools because they are chemically balanced with no chlorine smell.

    Also just as an FYI, a chlorine pool will contain some salt. I have a salt pool and can barely taste the salt. Listen to the experts here (I'm not one!) and they will help you out.
    Marla
    No longer living vicariously through other people's pool builds. Pool build is complete on my IG SWCG pool, approx 10,000 gallons. All Jandy equipment - VS 1.5 hp pump, 580 cartridge filter, AquaPure 1400 salt cell, AquaLink PDA system. Dolphin m500. PebbleSheen Blue Surf with shells and beads added. TF-100 w/ SpeedStir. A Houston Pool Build Inside the Loop

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    Re: Tomball Texas Pool Builder Select Help + Equipment Selection Help

    What about the spa and the comment about not needing a separate e pump to make the jumps black a good? He said variable speed covers that?

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Tomball Texas Pool Builder Select Help + Equipment Selection Help

    A VS speed pump can make everything move fast or slow depending on where you set the speed. Low speed for everyday filtering and skimming, high speed for spa time. In between for whatever you want if you want or your pool needs. It is up to you.

    Pucks/tablets-I so wish I could use them 24/7. You are correct they are easy-put a puck or 3 in the tower and move on BUT I now know they add stuff other than just chlorine to the pool. Most of them add CYA (Cyanuric acid) which is needed in a pool to help protect the FC (free chlorine) from the sun. CYA acts as a sun screen for the FC. BUT (bet you knew that was coming ) you can have too much CYA. here is a chart to show you the relationship between FC and CYA:

    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart

    As you can see the more CYA you have the more FC you need. After a while the CYA will get so high that it will be almost impossible get enough FC in the pool and that is when the green monster (algae) starts showing up.

    The "shock" you used to use in your other pool also adds CYA. See in order to turn chlorine into a powder they had to add something it bind it into tablet form. They picked CYA (and in some cases calcium but not many) since it is needed.

    I will tell you that not many PB or even pool $tores do not recognize the relationship between FC and CYA. The pool industry is slowly coming around but it takes time and it costs them money since this is a major money maker for them.

    Now if you want to use pucks and the weekly shock like you did in your last pool you are more than welcome to. I just wanted to let you know what we teach here at TFP-owners taking charge of their pools with a good test kit of their own and knowing what needs to be done to keep the water looking like a jewel.

    I think you will find this interesting:

    Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

    Notice that most of this stuff can be bought at Walmart! It does not have to have a fancy pool name to work. A good example is baking soda.

    Here is a little reading for you to help you learn the back bone of our teaching:

    Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

    All of our ideas and teaching is science based and tested. I can link to the science papers if you wish.

    I am SO glad you are here and letting us help build your pool. I hope you find TFP as easy as I do!

    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: Tomball Texas Pool Builder Select Help + Equipment Selection Help

    Lucky,
    I worked for a pool building company near your area called Back Yard Pools many moons ago and they built many great pools in the champions area, 1960 and all over NW Houston. I would give them a call and check them out. I have not lived in your area for 20 years but last I checked, they were still around. I learned a lot working for them and now designed and built my first pool several years ago.
    16,000 free form plaster with spa
    1hp pump for spa with blower
    1hp 2 speed pentair for pool and waterfall
    Polaris 280 with pump
    Sandfilter and 400k BTU gas heater

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Tomball Texas Pool Builder Select Help + Equipment Selection Help

    Lucky, you mentioned that you thought salt water chlorine generator pools were "a new thing".....but they're actually almost 30 years old I believe. They got started in Australia and moved over here.

    One reason pool builders (who often also have pool stores) to pooh-pooh them is that they don't make routine serial sales of chemicals if the owner is using a SWG. And pool stores LIKE to sell you chemicals.

    We've just found ways to avoid the high priced things by buying the individual ingredients we actually need and ignore the other mystery potions they sell. Our wallets are fatter and our pools are cleaner.

    Yippee
    Maddie :) 12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Skippy's Pool Cooler --> Skippy's New Fountain Our Build --> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard

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