Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 43

Thread: Understanding my swimming pool system before construction

  1. Back To Top    #1
    manoweb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Hayward CA
    Posts
    58

    Understanding my swimming pool system before construction

    Hello. As I announced in my introduction to the forum, I am thinking to build a swimming pool in my property. It is going to be part of a complete remodel of my backyard; I will also build an outdoors kitchen and, later, a detached garage.

    I am trying to read up as much as possible because my experience in remodeling and work in general is:
    - speed of execution
    - quality of execution
    - costs
    You can only take two or less. And I put quality as the most important characteristic. I want something that will last decades, it does not matter if it's going to cost more or take few years to be built. Surely I would not mind having the pool by the end of 2018 but not if I have to compromise on quality and cleanliness of execution!
    Also, while I prize the best materials and "over - engineering" through the project, I do not mind saving by doing some of the work myself especially in the "research" phase, that means fully understanding what is going on and checking that thing are done well the first time.

    I have a extremely good relationship with a contractor that so far has acted both as GC and doing a good part of the work; he does not have specific competence in building pools but he surely can do the prep work, excavation, trenching etc. I love to go down to the city hall, so far (unrelated to the pool) the guys in planning and building have been fantastic with a lot of good advice.

    --- === === === ---

    Now, after the lengthy introduction, I will start asking a bunch or random questions. It's part of my mental process to start deciding what to do and how to articulate the work. You will see they are pretty "random" but I am trying to start connecting the dots before I decide to start with this project.

    1) the water we receive from the city comes from Hetch Hetchy. It is generally considered a good quality water, except for baking (one of my hobbies), as it has a very low calcium content, my measurements show 3 to 5 F (French degrees) that should be 30 to 50 ppm. Does this have any implication in swimming pool chemistry?

    2) I have been studying the plumbing of a swimming pool as it's one of the most important steps for my planning - I need to trench to deliver utilities to the outdoors kitchen and the garage, and to provide proper drainage to the backyard, and I want the pool to fit nicely into this. So far I've read things and the opposite of things:
    a) is there a good, definitive guide to swimming pool plumbing best practices?
    b) should skimmers and drains be connected to the same pipes?
    c) should the return lines be on top or on the bottom?

    3) I do not want fences and gates around the pool. It will just not happen. Can an automated cover system be used in place of gates and fences? My kids are trained to survive when thrown in a body of water but apparently local governments mandate to protect the well-being of trespassers.

    4) Is a half inch copper water line enough for the needs of a pool? I need to run one on that side of the house and I would like to do the job only once.

    Thank you!
    -=[ Planning an inground swimming pool. ]=-

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    40,877

    Re: Understanding my swimming pool system before construction

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    1. The low CH in your fill water is generally a good thing. CH constantly rises due to evaporation and refilling (unless you get a LOT of rain). You may need to raise the CH up some initially, but then it should not climb very fast. My water is low CH for my area and it is 130ppm. With the high evaporation I get and little rain, it climbs 100+ppm each year.

    2a) Probably, but we are a bunch of pool owners, not builders
    b) Better to have the skimmers and drains plumbed separately to the equipment pad and then use valves to control them. Provides less suction side head loss and gives you greater control of the flow paths
    c) It is normal for the returns to be 1-2 feet below the water surface. Sometimes a "deep" return is added in the deep end to aid in circulation, but it is not really needed, especially if you have a floor drain pulling a little water.

    3) You need to talk to your municipality. You will not likely be able to build a pool without some sort of barrier.

    4) What is that line for? If it is just to be used to top-off the water that could be fine. And then just use multiple hoses for major fills.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    DFW, TX
    Posts
    24,974

    Re: Understanding my swimming pool system before construction

    1. No, CH can easily be raised as needed.

    2a I don't know, but we can help
    2b no, plumb skimmers and drain back your the pump separately with a 3way valve so you can blend them or choose either as needed. Mine is plumbed that way, pics in build thread, link in sig.
    2c no idea
    3 yep, you need to ask them. Door alarms, locks and auto covers are some examples options
    4 I ran 1/2" pex to the pool, it feeds the autofill, two spigots for watering and cleaning filters and a micro irrigation system for keeping the plants watered and the moisture level good in the soil.
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

  4. Back To Top    #4
    manoweb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Hayward CA
    Posts
    58

    Re: Understanding my swimming pool system before construction

    OK so on Monday I will go down at the city hall and if the automatic cover is acceptable.

    About the returns: there was a site, that I cannot find again now, that mentioned return lines on the floor (I believe to optimize heated pools). Speaking of heating, I plan to heat the pool with solar. How do people determine how many panels are needed, in function of the size/location/desired temperature? Million dollar question?
    -=[ Planning an inground swimming pool. ]=-

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    40,877

    Re: Understanding my swimming pool system before construction

    Solar you want 50-100% the area of your pool surface. How much depends on their exposure to the sun and your pools exposure to the sun. The more area, the more heat. I think I have about 100% in Tucson which likely seems crazy, but my water can hit 80 in February
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    DFW, TX
    Posts
    24,974

    Re: Understanding my swimming pool system before construction

    We have 240sf of solar and 700sf of pool. And lots of trees. Pool gets full sun for less than 2 hours per day. It up helps a lot with keeping the water warm and comfortable but didn't extend the season much. A solar cover and a small heat pump, 50k btu, have added a month on each end of the pool season.
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

  7. Back To Top    #7
    manoweb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Hayward CA
    Posts
    58

    Re: Understanding my swimming pool system before construction

    I am doing research on the solar panels.

    jblizzle, I see on your signature you have 500 ft^2 of Heliocoil panels. According to some basic Internet research, the price for the panels alone is around 20$/ft^2. Do I understand this correctly? I am all for higher upfront costs and low (or zero) running costs. But this part seems quite expensive I also think these panels can be "extended" pretty easily, just by connecting one or more units to an existing array? If the water becomes too hot, do you run the panels overnight to disperse some heat? I guess it might happen in the summer months.

    Always about solar panels, anybody runs photo-voltaic panels to offset the electric energy used by the pumps? I do not have a PV system because of the high price and our frugal electricity usage, but maybe it makes sense for the swimming pool pumps? From most people's signatures, I see 1HP pumps are very common. That is around 750W, easily doable I think... how many hours per day is a typical pump running?

    Thanks!
    -=[ Planning an inground swimming pool. ]=-

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    40,877

    Re: Understanding my swimming pool system before construction

    That price seems high. New and installed might be a little over $10/sqft including plumbing and controller. I bought used and installed myself for about $1500.
    I do not use a cover so lose a lot of heat at night. I have never need to run the solar at night.


    Get a variable speed pump so you can run on lower speeds, even a 2 speed could save 50% of your power costs. And you really only need to run for a few hours a day. Solar heating drives you to longer run times.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    DFW, TX
    Posts
    24,974

    Re: Understanding my swimming pool system before construction

    We run our solar panels at night in August to cool the pool, works great. We bought our solar stuff at Solar Direct. They've got lots of good info on their website. +1 on the VS pump. Our 3hp VS Pentair Intelliflo runs at 1100 rpm for skimming, filtering, making chlorine twitch the SWG and solar standby. It uses 150 watts at 1100 rpm. Then we run at 1950 to 2100 rpm when solar is on, 550 watts at 1950 rpm, 620 watts at 2000 and 700 watts at 2200.
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Woodland, Ca
    Posts
    235

    Re: Understanding my swimming pool system before construction

    Our two story solar install came to about $11 ft^2 for Heliocol panels. Could it have been done cheaper? Sure, but not by me because I'm a wimp when it comes to heights.

    We put up a couple of extra PV panels to offset pool equipment electrical usage.
    Build Video 2016 -- Solar Pad 20.5K gunite (37'x15') rectangle (3.5'-7') deep-- MicroFusion Laguna finish -- Jandy VS pump, cartridge and iAqualink RS -- Polaris 360 Black -- 2 Laminar jets -- 2 nichless 30w color led -- 550sq/ft Heliocol solar -- Soft water auto fill -- Stenner 17gpd

  11. Back To Top    #11
    manoweb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Hayward CA
    Posts
    58

    Re: Understanding my swimming pool system before construction

    jblizzle good to know. 1500$ for 500ft^2 of heliocol? good

    pooldv: they have a lot of options on that site, I'll read. Thanks for the pump numbers, much appreciated.

    CaptainCannonball, I used to install antennas on roofs or towers so heights are not an issue

    Also: you already had a solar panel installation and you added a couple more panels, right? I do not have anything and I was wondering if it is thinkable to just have PV solar panels and run the pump directly from them during the day. Probably not a good idea, but I do not know.

    Now - I am thinking where to put the pump/filter setup. As a newbie I have to say I am surprised by the lack of standardization and integration of pump/filter/chlorination/valves/controllers. I often put function before form, I do not mind cables, pipes etc, but most (all?) setups I've seen are really messy and take a lot of space I thought one could buy some sort of "cabinet" that includes everything tidy but apparently that's not the case. Well OK, that's how it is.

    Now, what is the recommended maximum distance between the pump/filter and the pool? The best place for me would be on the other side of the house, about 70-80ft away; I would have the solar panels on top of that roof however so maybe it's acceptable? If I can finalize the position of the pump I think I could really start getting into the planning of the pool itself...

    Thank you!
    -=[ Planning an inground swimming pool. ]=-

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    DFW, TX
    Posts
    24,974

    Re: Understanding my swimming pool system before construction

    Yes, it is fine to run the pump 80 feet from the pool and then up to the roof for solar. Solar PV to run the pump isn't all that beneficial and would need a battery system to buffer pump run times.. My pump running 24x7 at 1100 rpm costs less than 20 bucks a month at 10.25c/kWh. It would be better to install a PV system that is grid tied so you can sell it back to the utility. Or install solar panels to heat the water.
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Woodland, Ca
    Posts
    235

    Re: Understanding my swimming pool system before construction

    You should strongly consider running your pool equipment with grid power simply for the reliability aspect. You can easily put a few panels up to offset any electricity used and take advantage of PG&E's net metering agreement. I would recommend a micro inverter setup that would allow you to add panels later easily if you desire. It isn't pretty yet, but here is my setup. I plan on some sort of fencing around the bottom at a later date. https://www.troublefreepool.com/thre...ets-solar-nerd

    A small setup like this costs about $1000 after tax incentive and produces about $200 of electricity a year even at our lowest tier of $0.20kwh. We typically see higher tiers, so at $0.30 and $0.40 a kWh the savings come quickly. It would be a lot more difficult to justify at those Texas sized rates
    Build Video 2016 -- Solar Pad 20.5K gunite (37'x15') rectangle (3.5'-7') deep-- MicroFusion Laguna finish -- Jandy VS pump, cartridge and iAqualink RS -- Polaris 360 Black -- 2 Laminar jets -- 2 nichless 30w color led -- 550sq/ft Heliocol solar -- Soft water auto fill -- Stenner 17gpd

  14. Back To Top    #14
    manoweb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Hayward CA
    Posts
    58

    Re: Understanding my swimming pool system before construction

    pooldv yes thermal solar panels are something I am already committed to. I may put up some PV panels while working on the roof then.

    CaptainCannonball, the solar panels as "shed" for the pump is genius

    I went to the City and the graciously told me that if a pool cover is rated as safety device, they will be happy with it - no fence needed. I believe a cover has other advantages like less evaporation and it keep the pool warmer. It might be just marketing talk but I think it's reasonable to think there is some truth in such claims.

    I also asked what the city wants for the pool drain. At this point I was a little surprised because she said I need to ask the "pool guy". I asked two more times if the city wants the drain to go into the sewer or in the storm drain, what are the regulations about it, and she said the city will be happy with what the pool guy recommends. Is this not odd? The "pool guy" will do the cheapest possible option, that I am sure it's going to be the storm drain.
    -=[ Planning an inground swimming pool. ]=-

  15. Back To Top    #15
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    DFW, TX
    Posts
    24,974

    Re: Understanding my swimming pool system before construction

    They may not care. I think most cities don't have any rules about where a pool drains to. Only a few require that it drain to swerve or storm drain and the rest let you drain wherever you want.

    Yes, a cover will slow evaporation of water, slow heat loss and slow pH rise.
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    2,769

    Re: Understanding my swimming pool system before construction

    Generally in California you can't drain your pool into the street. The regional water quality control board (not the City) generally prohibits it. You generally can't connect your drain the the sewer system. Some cities require connection to the sewer system with an air gap. You can drain into your own yard.

    If you get a cover as a safety device it must be in place and operating before you fill the pool with water. In California that means before the pool is plastered so at the pre plaster inspection.

    Hayward has a pool guy because they don't do that many inspections and pools in California are different and more complex than elsewhere in the good old USA. So they only send one guy to the classes.

    You need pool plans and those plans must have a structural engineers stamp on them. While you can do plans you will find it best to have them done for you. There are several services that do California pool plans.

    The City may require a pre excavation inspection and then pre gunite inspection, pre deck inspection, pre plaster inspection and final inspection. That is normal, your mileage may vary.

    You have PG&E (the only utility in the USA with a criminal record) so solar PV makes sense.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

  17. Back To Top    #17
    manoweb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Hayward CA
    Posts
    58

    Re: Understanding my swimming pool system before construction

    Thanks. Wow gwegan, you seem to be very knowledgeable about California regulations

    Are you saying the "pool guy" is actually a person from the city? I assumed it was my contractor...

    Also, if I cannot drain on the street, and I cannot drain in the sewer... if I drain in my yard it will go in the street, or worse in the neighborhood as I live on the hills!

    And - I should have known that California mandated complications... now I'm curious, what are some of the differences if you can make an example?

    I will soon have to start contacting places for services and plans, but now I'm not there yet - I just want to learn as much as possible about the main building blocks of a pool, and more specifically have a prety good idea what kind of trenching I am going to need for the pool. I need to trench for other parts of the backyard project, hence my specific question about pool drain.
    -=[ Planning an inground swimming pool. ]=-

  18. Back To Top    #18
    manoweb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Hayward CA
    Posts
    58

    Re: Understanding my swimming pool system before construction

    With all the good information I got so far - thanks!!! - I finally put down a conceptual sketch. I realized that the utilities I need for the outdoors kitchen and detached garage (that is not built yet) are pretty much independent from the pool system. I am not a professional, I did this drawing with a tool that is normally used for mechanical parts and I am not sure if it's easy to understand. The solar panels and the placement of utilities and pool plumbing are approximate, the rest is on scale. Do you see anything obviously wrong? Any advice is welcome!

    pool-utilities.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -
    edit: it seems the image was loaded at a very low resolution?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    -=[ Planning an inground swimming pool. ]=-

  19. Back To Top    #19
    manoweb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Hayward CA
    Posts
    58

    Re: Understanding my swimming pool system before construction

    It seems the system wants to resize the image I loaded at the proper resolution (but only 31kB).
    -=[ Planning an inground swimming pool. ]=-

  20. Back To Top    #20
    manoweb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Hayward CA
    Posts
    58

    Re: Understanding my swimming pool system before construction

    I forgot - I'll add it to the sketch in the future - north is almost exactly on the upper right corner of the drawing. Hance the roof with the solar panel is facing south west.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •