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Thread: New pool advice...

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    New pool advice...

    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...
    32K gal, gunite, French Gray DB, IntelliFlo VF, IntelliFlo, WhisperFlo, Quad DE 100 filter, IntelliTouch, IC-60 SWG, IntelliChem, Dolphin M5

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: New pool advice...

    Steer clear of the mineral system. The minerals are normally copper, zinc and silver. You don't want to add metal to the pool. Not to mention that the chemicals that remove the iron from the water will also remove the metals. There is no need for a mineral system. It's an unnecessary expense.

    The ozone system is of questionable value. It does control a few things that chlorine isn't highly effective against, but these aren't a big problem in residential pools. Go with the SWCG and possibly add the ozonator if you feel it's worth it.

    A mesh cover doesn't require a cover pump, but it allows some sunlight to enter the pool, which can cause algae to start if you delay opening in the spring. If you are talking about a safety cover, which is far and away the best way to go there are solid covers with mesh panels to drain the water without a pump. There is some personal preference as to which way to go.

    There is no good fix for iron in the water. Chemicals are added to temporarily hold the iron, but over time these chemicals break down and have to be replaced. This will be an ongoing expense. Trucking the water may be a better option.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New pool advice...

    Ditto the vote for SWG. It's really all you need, all that other stuff is just gimmicks.

    BTW, Sunlight will do the samething as the Ozonator - for free.

    Definitely get a multi or 2 speed pump.

    Good luck! Post pics!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: New pool advice...

    If you are looking to integrate with your HAI your best bet would be to get a Pentair Intellitouch, Jandy Aqualink, or a Goldline Aqua Logic controller with their respective HA interfaces. I have written interfaces for all three. The Intellitouch or Jandy will give you more flexibility in integration and are much more robust interfaces, at this time, allowing control from your HAI of puimp, heater, lighting, thermostat, valves, etc, assuming you have a good RS232 programmer. The Goldline's interface is very limited at this time but would work for rudimentary control. The biggest drawback is the lack of any query ability to get for example, the current temperature. How do I know if I want to adjust the temp if the HAI doesn't know what it is? You can also get the Goldline with or without the SWG. I currently have the Goldline working with an AMX system and have been attempting to work with the Goldline engineers to produce a better HA interface. Because the Goldline has a lower cost and you can get a SWG with it for less than either the Pentair or the Jandy it is worth looking into. The HA interface is just not up to the standards that it needs to be yet.
    Gary
    18 x 38 28800 gals gunite inground;Purex Triton High Rate Sand Filter;1 HP 2 Speed Hayward Tristar Pump; Raypak Heater
    Aquabot Bravo; Goldline Aqua Logic Controller/SWG

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    Re: New pool advice...

    glrfti,

    Thanks for the HA details. Did I understand you correctly to say that only teh GoldLine does not have query capabilities? The Intellitough and Aqualink DO have query capabilities?

    I am not familiar with the Pentair or Jandy systems... does the unit at the equipment pad has the RS-232 interface on it or the control panel that mount inside? You have tied the RS232 on these systems to the HAI Omni RS-232 and successfully gotten them talking and displaying status on HAI and allowing control from the HAI side?

    I assume that the Pentair or Jandy systems still control all of teh pool operations (i.e. you don't use the Omni for any timer operations), but the Omni side can change temps, lights, water featuers, etc.... i.e. basically, control anything the Pool system can already control directly...

    Are there no off-the-shelf implementations for this interface? Is the only option home grown? Does Pentair and Jandy publish their interface specs?
    32K gal, gunite, French Gray DB, IntelliFlo VF, IntelliFlo, WhisperFlo, Quad DE 100 filter, IntelliTouch, IC-60 SWG, IntelliChem, Dolphin M5

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    Re: New pool advice...

    Did I understand you correctly to say that only teh GoldLine does not have query capabilities? The Intellitough and Aqualink DO have query capabilities?
    Yes
    does the unit at the equipment pad has the RS-232 interface on it or the control panel that mount inside? You have tied the RS232 on these systems to the HAI Omni RS-232 and successfully gotten them talking and displaying status on HAI and allowing control from the HAI side?
    I have not done it through the HAI but it is possible. I have done it through AMX. The Pool controller should be looked at as if it is an independent controller and the home automation controller should be considered as if it were just another keypad of the Pool Control system.
    I assume that the Pentair or Jandy systems still control all of teh pool operations (i.e. you don't use the Omni for any timer operations), but the Omni side can change temps, lights, water featuers, etc.... i.e. basically, control anything the Pool system can already control directly..
    As I stated look at the Pool Controller as an independent stand alone system that controls your pool.
    Are there no off-the-shelf implementations for this interface? Is the only option home grown?
    There are none that I am aware of, but this is my business so I'd write my own anyway.
    Does Pentair and Jandy publish their interface specs?
    see the following http://www.jandy-downloads.com/pdfs/...ace_Manual.pdf and http://www.pentairpool.com/pdfs/i-LinkUG.pdf
    Gary
    18 x 38 28800 gals gunite inground;Purex Triton High Rate Sand Filter;1 HP 2 Speed Hayward Tristar Pump; Raypak Heater
    Aquabot Bravo; Goldline Aqua Logic Controller/SWG

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    Re: New pool advice...

    Gary
    18 x 38 28800 gals gunite inground;Purex Triton High Rate Sand Filter;1 HP 2 Speed Hayward Tristar Pump; Raypak Heater
    Aquabot Bravo; Goldline Aqua Logic Controller/SWG

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    Re: New pool advice...

    glrfti,

    Thanks again for the info... The PentAir looks like the best system out there... both on the pool equip side and on the automation side. Do you agree? I am trying to decipher the PentAir products... and it looks like their PC software and PDA software are IP based... but I can't figure out where their control system interfaces to an IP network... only the 4 wire bus that the keypad and iLink come off of... if the PC Sw and PDA stuff is IP based, is it a different comm messgaing than the RS232 interface?

    I see you use an Ozone generator... the PB I am talking to knows nothing about them... so has no real-world experience to pass on to me... do you see it make a difference in your pool?
    32K gal, gunite, French Gray DB, IntelliFlo VF, IntelliFlo, WhisperFlo, Quad DE 100 filter, IntelliTouch, IC-60 SWG, IntelliChem, Dolphin M5

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    Henry Porter's Avatar
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    Re: New pool advice...

    Hi jtech!
    I saw that you mentioned high groundwater and that you asking for opinions about heatpumps and covers to your pool, so I asume that you live in a climate where you need to heat the pool every now and then 8)
    Don't forget to drain the bottom if the ground water is high otherwise will you end up with a very high electical bill on the heat pump. There is nothing that leads away heat as ground water on a pool system except the evaporatin from the surface.
    Isolate the bottom the way I have done is probably only worhtwhile once you start the pool in the beginning of the season. When a non isolated pool have warmed up the soil underneath the pool, extra isolation probably won't make much difference. BUT it's most important that you drain the bottom. Otherwise the soil never gonna be warm.
    That is probaby something your builder already have thought of, but since you didn't mentioning it in your first post I thought I should chime in.

    Regards Mats
    Inground concrete pool 14600 gallons,Pentair Whisperflo 3/4HP WFE-3, Hayward swimclear 420sq ft
    Zodiac LM3-24 SWG, Dolphin Diagnostic poolrobot, Heatpump Gullberg&Jansson 13,8KW, TF testkit.

    Seen a shooting star tonight And I thought of you You were trying to break into another world A world I never knew
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    Re: New pool advice...

    The PentAir looks like the best system out there... both on the pool equip side and on the automation side. Do you agree?
    If I had to choose today and money was no object I'd pick the Pentair but if Goldline can get it together it will be a worthy competitor.
    I see you use an Ozone generator... the PB I am talking to knows nothing about them... so has no real-world experience to pass on to me... do you see it make a difference in your pool?
    Don't waste your money.
    Gary
    18 x 38 28800 gals gunite inground;Purex Triton High Rate Sand Filter;1 HP 2 Speed Hayward Tristar Pump; Raypak Heater
    Aquabot Bravo; Goldline Aqua Logic Controller/SWG

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    Re: New pool advice...

    Thanks for the info, Henry.

    I am hoping that the pool will not be sitting in ground water... I know from experience of my sump which sits at about the same level as the bottom of the pool will, that it has only has standing water in it once over about 8 years. And never risen enough to need pumping. I have to really work out the final elevations to know for sure. It sounds like if I have the option to raise the pool a foot or so to make sure it is never in the water that I should. I did not think about the heat transfer if sitting in water.

    I am sure at best, it would cause cold feet...
    32K gal, gunite, French Gray DB, IntelliFlo VF, IntelliFlo, WhisperFlo, Quad DE 100 filter, IntelliTouch, IC-60 SWG, IntelliChem, Dolphin M5

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    Re: New pool advice...

    Welcome to TFP!!

    Regarding a couple of your questions:

    #3 - If a builder told me I had to have my drains plumbed through one of the skimmers I'd tell him to "GO POUND SAND! " You're already getting the vac arrest - what possible benefit is there to tying the drains to the skimmer? On the other hand, the valve in the skimmer that controls the suction from the drain doesn't work very well and if the skimmer line breaks or gets clogged, you not only loose the use of the skimmer until it can be repaired, you also loose the drains Also, IF the valve in the skimmer did (by some miracle) work correctly and the flapper valve to kill skimming action was shut - you'd still have the risk of entrapment on the drains (I gotta wonder what they were drinking and smoking when they made the code )

    #4 - You'll need another vac arrest for the waterfall pump but not one for the Polaris booster pump as it's fed off the main system which already has the vac arrest

    #9 - The old mesh safety covers usually resulted in a swamp of a pool upon opening, so solid covers with the mesh inserts to drain and filter the water on the cover were the best way to go if you wanted to open to a ~ clean pool, however a couple years ago they figured out that tightening the mesh weave would keep sunlight out of the pool, thereby inhibiting algae growth The 'sunblock weave' covers open ~ as clean as the solid covers and weigh a LOT less and are easier to clean in the spring! (*ANY safety cover that is allowed to sag into the pool water with debris on it will end up with algae or brown pool water when the pool is opened!*)

    #1 & 2 - I grew up in northern NJ along the Palisades and we didn't have sandy soil nor high water table issues - we had to deal with bedrock when building pools I'll assume that your builder is familiar with the soil/ water conditions in your area and that 12" on center will be fine, ask him for a few references of pools he's built using the 12" in your area and then go look at the pools and see if there are any issues with the pool body 8)

    Please listen to the previous posters on what they addressed - it's good info

    Good luck with the build, please post pics and feel free to ask any other questions that come up!
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: New pool advice...

    Ted,

    Thanks for the help.

    #4: So the Polaris feed comes off the return side of the pump? i.e. same as the rest of the pool returns? Does the Polaris socket in the pool act as a regular return when the cleaner is not connected or does it get shut off with a valve at the pad?

    #9: Are you talking about one like the "Rigged Mesh" cover from Meyco? Is that the best out there?

    #1/#2: My father also grew up just uphill from Palisades Park... was up there last year and it's all very different now!

    Are 2 returns enough for a 30,000 gal pool? Or should there be more? Just for water circulation and heating purposes even...

    Are there any diagrams on here that show some standard plumbing hook-ups at the pad? i.e. order of equipment, clean ways to hook up valves, etc. Sample pad layouts...
    32K gal, gunite, French Gray DB, IntelliFlo VF, IntelliFlo, WhisperFlo, Quad DE 100 filter, IntelliTouch, IC-60 SWG, IntelliChem, Dolphin M5

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    Re: New pool advice...

    Quote Originally Posted by jtech1
    Ted,

    Thanks for the help.

    De nada

    #4: So the Polaris feed comes off the return side of the pump? i.e. same as the rest of the pool returns? Does the Polaris socket in the pool act as a regular return when the cleaner is not connected or does it get shut off with a valve at the pad?

    Some water will pass through the socket if there's no valve to kill it, but it won't be as strong as a regular return.

    #9: Are you talking about one like the "Rigged Mesh" cover from Meyco? Is that the best out there?

    Not sure We use New Century covers If Meyco says it'll do the same thing, I'd trust them - the safety covers we installed when I worked in Va were Mayco and I always found them to be quality covers - but that was 15 years ago

    #1/#2: My father also grew up just uphill from Palisades Park... was up there last year and it's all very different now!

    Are 2 returns enough for a 30,000 gal pool? Or should there be more? Just for water circulation and heating purposes even...

    I would at least have 4 returns on that sized pool, 2 on 1 line and 2 on the other, I'd also throw another return and line for the stairs. Mas985 and JasonLion are the 2 folks here that I would ask plumbing questions of first, they can better tell you pipe size requirements and pump and filter sizing 8) As a general rule, I like to see at least 1 return for every suction port

    Are there any diagrams on here that show some standard plumbing hook-ups at the pad? i.e. order of equipment, clean ways to hook up valves, etc. Sample pad layouts...

    Probably but I can't think of anything to link When you settle on what you'll be getting, I can draw you a picture and take a pic of it and then, post it here -- I'm really not good with computers
    I really hope this comes out the way I tried to type it We're gonna be here to help
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: New pool advice...

    I've had a SWG for a year now and love it...makes weekly maintenance a lot easier. Just keep in mind you'll need to check your PH ~1x per week as it will creep up (and not be good for your new equipment). If you don't mind spending a few more bucks, some of the SWGs come with a way to monitor and regulate PH. If I recall correctly they dose CO2 or Muriatic Acid. May be worth the extra few hundred (not to mention the other benefits these systems bring).

    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?
    When you say electric I assume robotic? Robotic probably uses the least electricity, since it takes 120 and converts down to low voltage. The Polaris pumps require 120 or 240 voltage on the other hand. I've had both, and personally, I prefer the Polaris because you can put them on a timer. This means I can run it an hour or two every couple days versus manually having to get the robot out, drop in pool, run for 3+ hours, take out, cleaner filter(s), etc... 'Bots tend to be heavier too, fwiw. All in all the Polaris cleans better than my Aquabot did, but the Aquabot was like 6 years old. Deciding on a cleaner is pretty important because it will save you a lot of time in the long run.


    Kevin
    16x32 Concrete IG, 20+ years old and going strong
    Equipment: DE Filter, Jandy Gas Heater, Solar Panels, 1hp Hayward Pump with 3/4 HP AO Smith 2 Speed Replacement Motor, Aquarite SWG
    Automation: Pentair Suntouch controller w/solar valve
    Cleaners: Polaris 280 (replaced an Aquabot)

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: New pool advice...

    Thanks!

    Anyone know what manufacturers have these monitoring systems that will automatically add CO2 or muriatic acid? Or I would even prefer monitor only, and give me an alert on a panel inside or via e-mail/SMS when it needs to be added. Not sure if I would trust an automatic dose of acid to my pool...
    32K gal, gunite, French Gray DB, IntelliFlo VF, IntelliFlo, WhisperFlo, Quad DE 100 filter, IntelliTouch, IC-60 SWG, IntelliChem, Dolphin M5

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: New pool advice...

    What other vendors besides Goldline have a system that will auto monitor and adjust salt generator and dose CO2 as needed?

    Also, I am looking at all 3 companies for their control systems and interfaces... Pentair Intellitouch, Jandy Aqualink, and Goldline Aqua Logic. glrfti and others have been very helpful in describing some of the details... it is hard to find much hardcore technical info on their web sites...

    I know the Intellitouch uses a 485 bus and am now familiar with it's dedicated controls as well as PC and PDA interfaces... can anyone tell me if the Jandy and Goldline systems also use a 485 bus, and what, if any, PC and PDA remote access capabilities they have? Am I also correct to assume that there is no venrdor interoperability? i.e. to get the most benefit you need to have parts (pump, SWG, lights, heat pump, etc.) from the same vendor as the control system? i.e. a different vendor's heat pump while more efficient, will not talk to a Goldline control sys?
    32K gal, gunite, French Gray DB, IntelliFlo VF, IntelliFlo, WhisperFlo, Quad DE 100 filter, IntelliTouch, IC-60 SWG, IntelliChem, Dolphin M5

  18. Back To Top    #18
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    Re: New pool advice...

    Jtech - I'm also in Atlantic County, NJ

    Sounds like you're looking at the builder who did my pool ===> S-Mor. I had a fairly good experience, that's not yet over. Plumbing/plumbers were by far the worse part.....

    Let me know if you would like to discuss...
    24000gal IG Plaster, Jandy 2Hp, Jandy CL460 Cartridge, Polaris 280 w/booster

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: New pool advice...

    Montare67, definitely would like to discuss... I PM'ed you last week after seeing your posts... not sure if you got it.
    32K gal, gunite, French Gray DB, IntelliFlo VF, IntelliFlo, WhisperFlo, Quad DE 100 filter, IntelliTouch, IC-60 SWG, IntelliChem, Dolphin M5

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: New pool advice...

    Quote Originally Posted by jtech1
    What other vendors besides Goldline have a system that will auto monitor and adjust salt generator and dose CO2 as needed?

    Also, I am looking at all 3 companies for their control systems and interfaces... Pentair Intellitouch, Jandy Aqualink, and Goldline Aqua Logic. glrfti and others have been very helpful in describing some of the details... it is hard to find much hardcore technical info on their web sites...

    I know the Intellitouch uses a 485 bus and am now familiar with it's dedicated controls as well as PC and PDA interfaces... can anyone tell me if the Jandy and Goldline systems also use a 485 bus, and what, if any, PC and PDA remote access capabilities they have? Am I also correct to assume that there is no venrdor interoperability? i.e. to get the most benefit you need to have parts (pump, SWG, lights, heat pump, etc.) from the same vendor as the control system? i.e. a different vendor's heat pump while more efficient, will not talk to a Goldline control sys?
    Here's an option; the Smart PH by Pentair (http://www.pentairpool.com/products/pro ... php?id=200). Its a stand-alone PH monitor and controller for either CO2 or Muriatic Acid. It doesn't integrate with an overall controller/system so may not be what you want. You mentioned Goldline, assuming you found the Sense and Dispense, Aqua Rite Pro, and the Pro Logic (?). Looks like they all can control the PH.
    16x32 Concrete IG, 20+ years old and going strong
    Equipment: DE Filter, Jandy Gas Heater, Solar Panels, 1hp Hayward Pump with 3/4 HP AO Smith 2 Speed Replacement Motor, Aquarite SWG
    Automation: Pentair Suntouch controller w/solar valve
    Cleaners: Polaris 280 (replaced an Aquabot)

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