My wife and I are close to signing a contract for a new pool. I have learned a lot in the last few weeks or research, including going through hundreds of posts on this forum which have been very helpful. I have a list of questions I am hoping those of your more experienced than I can shed some light on for me.
Pool: Gunite, 800 sq ft, 3.5 to 5.5 ft in depth, irregular shape, approx 30,000 gal.
1) Vendor told me that 6'deep and under uses rebar at 12" centers both directions, >6' deep uses 6" centers. With seasonal high water table within a foot of the pool bottom and very sandy soil, should I go with 6" oc to be safe?
2) Normal is 6.5" thick average (3.25 on each side of rebar... is that enough with sandy soil and ground water close?
3) I was told they plumb both drains together, then go through one skimmer to pump. Other skimmer direct to pump. Seems to me that it would be more flexible to have each skimmer plumbed separately back to pad and both drains plumbed together back to pad... but vendor said by code the drains have to go through skimmer. I read the code requirements... and to me, it does not say that. In fact, if you have two drains with proper lids yo do not need vac arrest at pump? Should skimmers be plumbed separately back to pad to better adjust flows?
4) Putting in a separate pump for waterfall/slide with 2 intakes in pool. Does this need it's own vac arrest at pump? Also separate pump for Polaris and intake... again, another separate vac arrest?
5) I want to use a 2 or multispeed pump for the main filters. What would be appropriate based on the pool size above?
6) I want to go with Ozone, minerals and either chlorine tabs or salt gen. Is Del Ozone the best? Any issues with salt gen and ozone unit?
7) I have an HAI home automation system and want to make sure the pool is tied in to it. Is the filter control just a simple AC on/off? How about heat pump? Obviously only runs when filter is on, but do any have interface capabilities similar to a house thermostat? How about LED lights? Any way to automate the color settings other than flipping the AC switch?
8) What is best heat pump for price vs efficiency vs reliability?
9) Vendor says mesh cover is best... lighter, cheaper, etc. Is there an advantage to the solid cover?
10) Polaris 280 vs Polaris 2900 vs Electric cleaner... what is best for cleaning ability and cost to run? If the electric is cheaper to run, does the cost savings along with the savings on not having to install another pump and pool outlet make up for the cost of the unit?
11) If I have a waterfall/slide running off separate pump, and Polaris running off separate pump, do they all use the same drain and skimmer intakes or do they need separate intakes in the pool? Any good source of standard plumbing set-up diagrams?
12) My well water has some iron in it... if I remember correctly it was around 5 ppm and 1ppm is the standard limit in drinking water. Vendor says I can fill my pool with this and they will treat it so the filter removes all the iron and I will not have any staining... is that true? I was planning on having water trucked in, but at a high cost!
I greatly appreciate any advice you could all give in these areas...