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Thread: Taking the plunge in Birmingham...

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    Bham Dave's Avatar
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    Taking the plunge in Birmingham...

    After much soul searching (and wallet searching…), my wife and I have decided to take the plunge, so to speak.
    We are planning an in-ground pool here in Birmingham, Alabama.

    What I’m planning on is an approximately 18 x 36 IG gunite pool, ~22,000 gallons with spillover-spa and natural stone coping with SWG. I'm looking at using stamped concrete decking around the pool.

    We’re planning on a maximum depth of 7 feet (no diving board) as well as a beach entry and tanning ledge.

    Here are a few pics of the yard, both before and after a major tree removal in preparation for the pool. I've also attached an initial pool design by a local PB which we really like. We're still looking at different PBs though before we decide.

    Any and all ideas and/or feedback are welcome. I’m completely new to this process but have been suitably impressed by the beautiful pools and backyards on this site and I hope ours comes out well too.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Bham Dave

    22,000 gallon IG pool, spill-over spa, SWG, etc. (and mesh pool fence with self-closing gate for our 2-year-old!)

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    DaveNJ's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the plunge in Birmingham...

    Welcome to TFP. Pool School is worth reading, a wealth of knowledge there (top of page). Purchase a good test kit, I am partial to the one in my signature TF100. List the specific's about the pool equip., plumbing, etc.,. There are alot of great people here to help you out.
    IG 18x36 oval vinyl, Spill over spa, Northstar 2hp-2spd, 2.5" piping, S310T 500lb Sand filter, 400k gas heater, AutoPilot SWCG
    http://www.tftestkits.net/

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the plunge in Birmingham...

    Hi, Dave,

    Welcome to the forum. That's a beautiful back yard for a pool. Hope you post up some pics along the way

    We’re planning on a maximum depth of 7 feet (no diving board) as well as a beach entry and tanning ledge.
    I built a pretty large pool and, after some contemplation, decided not to go with the diving end, either. The more we thought about it, we decided to make the pool as usable as possible so we only went 5'7" deep. It worked out well for us in that most folks can stand in the entire length except for the last 10 feet. If your 6'0" or more, you can stand in the whole thing. Food for thought.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Taking the plunge in Birmingham...

    Hi, always nice to meet new folks. What a pretty pool design and it looks like you have a beautiful lot, too.
    Buggs

    14,000 gallon, in ground, plaster, free form, play pool.
    Sta-Rite Max-E-Glass with a 1.5 hp Emerson motor
    WaterCo Micron High Rate sand filter S750 490 lb, 4883 sq ft - using ZeoBest
    In floor Polaris cleaning system
    Blue Diamond robot for those after storm days when I can't wait overnight for the in floor to clean it.

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    Bham Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the plunge in Birmingham...

    Well, we're finally ready to break ground. As you can see, they've outlined the pool in orange paint on the backyard dirt and will start framing it on Monday (they tell me), and digging on Tuesday. We're pretty psyched. The plan is basically what I've already posted with a few minor tweaks.

    Here are the specifications according what I've received from the PB:

    2 Hayward skimmers
    1 Jandy cartridge filter
    4 custom main drains
    1 Hayward Hydro-Relief valve
    8 Return fittings
    1 Overflow fitting
    3 Hayward lights SP592 HSL 250 W
    1 Jandy Aqualink PDA
    1 Jandy 400K heater
    SW Chlorine Generator

    They mentioned another pump as well as they are putting in 3 deck jets and a bubbler in the baja shelf entry area. This baja shelf entry is in the lower righthand side of the photo. They are also doing the deck in stamped concrete.

    I will post more pics as they get started.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Bham Dave

    22,000 gallon IG pool, spill-over spa, SWG, etc. (and mesh pool fence with self-closing gate for our 2-year-old!)

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the plunge in Birmingham...

    Looks great, can't wait to see the finished product...
    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: Taking the plunge in Birmingham...

    Bham Dave,

    Congratulations on starting on your new pool build.

    2 Hayward skimmers
    1 Jandy cartridge filter
    4 custom main drains
    1 Hayward Hydro-Relief valve
    8 Return fittings
    1 Overflow fitting
    3 Hayward lights SP592 HSL 250 W
    1 Jandy Aqualink PDA
    1 Jandy 400K heater
    SW Chlorine Generator

    They mentioned another pump as well as they are putting in 3 deck jets and a bubbler in the baja shelf entry area.
    8 return fittings sounds like a lot?

    I like the idea of 3 lights - I'm assuming two for the pool and one for the spa? Much better to have too many than not enough. If you have too many you can either turn that one off, or use lower wattage lights. On the other hand, if you don't have enough lights, there are no simple, cheap fixes.

    I don't see a size for the Jandy cartridge filter?

    I don't see any pump horsepowers either. Many builders will specify too large of horsepower on the pool pumps. Have you considered two-speed pumps or variable speed pumps for energy savings? We can't buy single speed pool motors in California any more.
    24,000 gallon inground freeform pool/spa circa 1983 (113 ft perimeter, 625 sq ft) with 350 gallon attached spill-over spa
    2007 2 HP, three-phase Hayward TriStar pump which is powered by an Ikeric VS-200 variable speed drive system
    1983 Laars XE Pool/Spa Heater Type ES 400,000 BTU, 1998 Hayward Super Star-Clear C-4000 cartridge filter (400 sq ft, 4 separate cartridges)
    1998 Polaris 380 pressure-side cleaner w/ 3/4 HP booster pump
    One skimmer :( and one PoolSkim :), One Supervision Galaxy LED pool lamp, Second story solar panels
    Hayward/GoldLine AquaLogic PS4 (replaced 1983 vintage dual circuit Intermatic timer)

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    Bham Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the plunge in Birmingham...

    Yes, two pool lights and one spa light.

    The pump is 1 HP, single speed, according to my PB. I asked him if that was big enough and he assured me it was. Hope he's right! The cartridge filter is a Jandy CL 580.
    Bham Dave

    22,000 gallon IG pool, spill-over spa, SWG, etc. (and mesh pool fence with self-closing gate for our 2-year-old!)

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    Re: Taking the plunge in Birmingham...

    Dave,

    I like the design. Can't wait to see it completed.

    You really should look into a variable speed pump. They save considerable amount of power. I have an IntelliFlo and for normal everyday circulation it operates at about 1/2 HP and my pool is always crystal clear.

    Good Luck,

    Kevin
    11000 Gals, Intelliflo, Sta-Rite Cartridge, Polaris 360

    Pool I built in my old house: my-new-pool-build-t4534.html

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    Bham Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the plunge in Birmingham...

    The digging has started and was essentially completed in 2 days. They are moving a lot of dirt around behind the pool area to support the surrounding deck. You can see the baja shelf well in the first pic and the deep end (7 ft) in the other pic.

    The big task it appears right now is jackhammering up the old aggregate patio to make room for the new decking. It looks good so far.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Bham Dave

    22,000 gallon IG pool, spill-over spa, SWG, etc. (and mesh pool fence with self-closing gate for our 2-year-old!)

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    Bham Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the plunge in Birmingham...

    Here are the tiles we will be using for the coping and tiles at the water line. I think they will be a nice combination.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Bham Dave

    22,000 gallon IG pool, spill-over spa, SWG, etc. (and mesh pool fence with self-closing gate for our 2-year-old!)

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    Bham Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the plunge in Birmingham...

    Yet more progress. They have formed the spa and will be doing the rebar and gunite next week, hopefully
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Bham Dave

    22,000 gallon IG pool, spill-over spa, SWG, etc. (and mesh pool fence with self-closing gate for our 2-year-old!)

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    Bham Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the plunge in Birmingham...

    Well, still no gunite but according to the PB they should shoot it tomorrow. As you can see, we've had tons of rain lately (10x the rainfall compared to September last year) and there's already a foot of muddy water in the deep end. I imagine they'll pump that out in order to start the gunite. I read on the Diamond Brite website that the shell needs to cure for 28 days prior to DB installation. Is that right? I'll post pics once the shell is in.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Bham Dave

    22,000 gallon IG pool, spill-over spa, SWG, etc. (and mesh pool fence with self-closing gate for our 2-year-old!)

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    Bham Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the plunge in Birmingham...

    Well, the gunite went in today.... a few days later due to rain. Unfortunately, they were not able to complete all the gunite today due to mechanical problems (the feeding mechanism on the back of the truck broke, then later the truck broke down). It's about 80% done, I would estimate. On the plus side, it looks great so far. I'll post pics tomorrow.

    Any problems you all foresee with having gunite done in two sessions? I hope there won't be a difference in the material and I trust the PB will make sure of this.
    Bham Dave

    22,000 gallon IG pool, spill-over spa, SWG, etc. (and mesh pool fence with self-closing gate for our 2-year-old!)

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    Bham Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the plunge in Birmingham...

    Okay, the gunite is done. Finally, the pool is taking shape. There is also a gunite retaining wall behind the spa-side of the pool as the yard slopes away from the house.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Bham Dave

    22,000 gallon IG pool, spill-over spa, SWG, etc. (and mesh pool fence with self-closing gate for our 2-year-old!)

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    Bham Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the plunge in Birmingham...

    Another update.... They've installed the stacked stone around the spa as well as the tile at the water line. The coping will be flagstone, similar to the samples lying on top of the spa.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Bham Dave

    22,000 gallon IG pool, spill-over spa, SWG, etc. (and mesh pool fence with self-closing gate for our 2-year-old!)

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    Re: Taking the plunge in Birmingham...

    Now is a good time to discuss sealers for your natural coping with the people who provide and install the product. Also inquire as to an appropriate product for your stamped concrete. The use of a sealer is a must if you have an SWG.
    20K inground gunite w/ Aqua Logic automation and chlorination Sta-Rite 400 K natural gas heater and cartridge filter 2 HP pump 1.5 HP spa bubbler for spillover spa 1 HP dedicated Letro Legend cleaner
    H2O: two parts Heart and one part Obsession. ~Author Unknown

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the plunge in Birmingham...

    Bham Dave~ I love your stone and tile!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Bham Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the plunge in Birmingham...

    The coping is now finished and I think it turned out great. They have also installed the deck jets and the equipment on the equipment pad (I'll post pics of the equipment later). What type of stone sealant have people used for flagstone? We're looking forward to getting the deck completed so our yard looks a bit more normal again.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Bham Dave

    22,000 gallon IG pool, spill-over spa, SWG, etc. (and mesh pool fence with self-closing gate for our 2-year-old!)

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    Bham Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the plunge in Birmingham...

    We have water! The pool is complete. The next steps include landscaping and additional fencing but we're very happy with how it turned out. Of course, now it's too cold here to swim but next spring will be here soon.

    [attachment=0:y41e07o2]IMG_5776.jpg[/attachment:y41e07o2]

    [attachment=1:y41e07o2]IMG_5774.jpg[/attachment:y41e07o2]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Bham Dave

    22,000 gallon IG pool, spill-over spa, SWG, etc. (and mesh pool fence with self-closing gate for our 2-year-old!)

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