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Thread: how to choose AGP?? (split from 'Hello in TN')

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    how to choose AGP?? (split from 'Hello in TN')

    Thanks for the welcomes! We went out today on our first "official" local search. The kids were ready to buy the first one they touched, but thankfully, we didn't (although some of the prices had us thinking otherwise! 36' Artesian w/pump, filter, etc. package for $5300 installed! I was shocked!! They are APSP certified and all that jazz. Are we stupid to have passed that up?) There were a few that seemed incredibly overpriced and some that just tried to sell us on the "package", which we know to avoid! It is exciting but very overwhelming.

    Since there are not too many AG pool questions on here, what are the personal recommendations for buying an AG pool? We are going to buy the biggest round we can find that we can afford, but steel walls or aluminum? Resin or steel top rails? Is the stainless steel accessory panel truly necessary? If I need to start a new thread somewhere, just let me know!

    Thanks again everyone!
    -Rachel

    No pool yet...doing massive research!

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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Howdy neighbor!

    We bought our AG from Watson's. We went with steel walls and resin top rails. The steel top rails just seemed too thin, and looked like they could bend easily. We also went with a cartridge filter, instead of sand - just personal preference on our part, but I don't have to backwash like you do with a sand filter. With the pool balanced properly, I have to clean my filter once or twice during a pool season. The biggest complaint I had with the install was the size of the pump sold to me. They sold me a 2HP pump, which was way oversized for my pool. I've now got a 1hp pump, and am thinking about going to a 2-speed to help save on electricity costs.

    I don't know what you mean by a stainless steel accessory panel - do you mean the panel where the skimmer and returns are located?? Regardless, I would go with stainless where I could. It's more resistant to corrosion than just regular steel.

    When you do decide on the pool you want, be ready to haul some dirt and possibly some excess sand! You'll need mason's sand for the bottom of the pool, and the pool builder will have to get the site of your future pool good and level, and also dig up the sod where the pool will go. We ended up with a good deal of dirt, sod, and excess sand, and our pool builder didn't remove it.

    Good luck, and as you come up with questions, don't hesitate to ask. Lots of experience on this board, and lots of friendly folk.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    Look for a good DEALER with a solid customer service background, check the Better Business Bureau for complaints. A pool with a good warranty is also something to check. Most of them are coated with protectant materials, but you want an initial setup (pool, liner, skimmer) that are of good quality and solid construction. Check for a thicker gauge/mil liner - 15 is the cheapie. A nice LARGE filter is more important than a large hp pump. We have sand which we really only need to backwash a couple times a year by using filter saver/skimmer socks.

    The pool is only as good as the base it is put on. Make sure your pool prep is as near perfect as possible. With good preparation and base, even a cheapo pool can last for many, many years of family enjoyment.
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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    How about brands? We really like the Artesian brand, and I know many consider it the best. Are there any others I may have overlooked? (We saw Jerry Weismuller, Doughboy, Mighty Sun) Is Artesian the only company making a 36'?

    Thanks again everyone for your help!
    -Rachel

    No pool yet...doing massive research!

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    Doughboy has been recommended on the PoolForum as an excellent choice. It is probably what we will get.

    Have you considered an oval? takes up less yard, uses less water, and therefore chemicals, and still gives you the ability to swim laps (albeit short laps!)

    8000 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, 12" sand filter (don't have the specs on the pump), TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, CYA-Chlorine Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    The three most important things to consider when buying a pool are the dealer, the dealer, and most important, the dealer.

    Are you talking about a 36' long oval? I've never seen anything bigger than a 33' round pool, and that size would seem like it would be a bear to vacuum and brush. You would be 18' from the center of a 36' pool when you were vacuuming from outside, so you'd have to get in the pool to vacuum.
    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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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    You can get a 20'x40' oval pool in several brands many which include the deep end option, look around. If looking at ovals, look into a buttress free pool, the ones with braces are passe`, suck up extra space and unsightly. BTW, our 33' oval is great for laps and they are not short laps either - averaging ten strokes end to end depending on how tall you are - can wear you out after a few reps.

    The Artesian pools are a very good pool and offer the 54" wall, but there are also many other good brands out there.
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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    Thank you all for your input! We really like the round pools, so will probably stick to those. NWMNMom, I'm 5'1" so the 33' will probably be plenty for me too! We were looking at the 36' Artesian (they are the only brand I've found with a 36' round), but found a 33' pool today we really liked. Has anyone ever heard of Vogue or Zodiac pools? I found their website, but most of it is in French and, well, I'm from TN. It appeard to be a good quality pool with just what we are looking for, but I just don't know about buying something we have never heard of before. Any input would be fantastic!! Thanks all!
    -Rachel

    No pool yet...doing massive research!

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    Our pool is a Vogue Atrium. Seems like a good quality with resin. It is only in it's second year. No issues with quality thus far. You can see a fair bit of it under Waterbug's pool in the show off your pool section.
    It has English instructions too! I think it's quite hilarious that we bought a Canadian pool here in Richmond, because I am from Canada! Same thing happened with my stereo.....
    18 ft.52" Round Atrium AG -7600 gallons, Sand Filter, Vinyl liner, Royal Entrance Steps, 80 lbs.solarsalt

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    Both Vogue and Zodiac are well known pools. Find one in your price range, get your equipment and start building!
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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    We Like Our Vogue Pool

    This is our first season with a Vogue Impact, which is 100% resin. It's a 27 ft round and is quite large. However, we have a large backyard and I'm glad I convinced my wife to get the 27 ft instead of the 24 ft - the pool doesn't look too large in our yard. We are very happy with the quality of the pool and it looks like it will last forever.

    Two main concerns about getting larger sized pools:
    a) the water volume goes up dramatically as your diameter gets bigger. A 30 ft round is over 21k gallons, 33 ft is 25.5k gallons, and a 36 ft round (did you say 36 ft round?) is 30.5k gallons, all assuming 48 inches of water. This means more water to maintain and heat.

    b) solar covers. If you are planning on using a solar cover, removing them and re-covering with them becomes a larger chore as the size of the round pool increases. Buying a reel becomes more and more difficult as sizes goe over 24 ft - many makes aren't even made for lareger than 24 ft pools, not to mention the cost of the bigger reels, if you can find one. You would seriously want to consider making your own reel system, and/or possibly cutting the cover into halves or quarters with a 30-ft or larger pool.

    Happy shopping!
    Scott

    27'x52" AG Vogue Impact, Waterway Cyclone 200 cartridge filter, Waterway pump w/2 HP 2-sp motor, 8mil solar cover, Raypak 206 nat gas heater, Pool Rover Jr.

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    Thanks again all! Waterbug, that is a good looking pool! I would like to build ours ourselves, but we are out of level quite a bit. You sure make it look easy in those pics!

    I found the Vogue site in English, so I feel better about it.

    Thanks ssabin for your input too. We too have a large yard, over an acre in the back, so we are looking at a huge pool. My husband likes that it will be less mowing for him too! I think we decided on the 33 ft Vogue Eterna AGP. I had not thought about the solar cover being a pain but did think about the amount of water in there and maintenance on that. The cover thing will take some thinking, so thanks for pointing that out.

    We are still in the decide and conquer stage of the process, so now my husband wants to get quotes on just doing an inground pool. With the deck size we want to get (in composite material), we are thinking we could get an inground with nice, poured deck around it for about the same price. The deck we want is going to be about 1350 square feet, including around the pool, but not including the pool. At $17 sq ft installed, we are looking at about $30K for a deck alone, plus the pool--YIKES!

    Thanks everyone! Keep any opinions or advice coming. Lord knows we need it!
    -Rachel

    No pool yet...doing massive research!

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    We aren't getting as elaborate with our deck, mostly because the pool is not right next to our house (darned septic drain field got in the way). Oh well, we get lots of free solar heat with it near the back of the lot. We plan on a modest deck with room for some patio furniture and a few sunbathing chairs, but that's about it.

    I too am going to do a composite deck (I would so much hate to maintain a real wood deck around the pool). But we've decided to just enjoy the pool for the rest of the summer, and maybe I'll get the posts installed before the ground freezes. I just finsihed up the electrical and gas installation a week or so ago (160 feet of gas line, 210 feet of electrical conduit). I'll finish the deck off early next year. A poured deck would be nice with an inground, but to have the same size pool we have now (in area) would cost us a fortune.

    I also like the fact that an AG pool can be removed completely when/if it is no longer used. So we're happy with our decision, but it looks like you have a good reason to go with an inground.

    Best of luck in coming up with the "perfect" plan!
    Scott

    27'x52" AG Vogue Impact, Waterway Cyclone 200 cartridge filter, Waterway pump w/2 HP 2-sp motor, 8mil solar cover, Raypak 206 nat gas heater, Pool Rover Jr.

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    Hey Scott, thanks for your input! We, too, have a septic field issue, so that's why we are getting such a large deck. We would like to connect the deck to the house, and we are on a slight slope, so where we have to put the pool (b/c of the septic), we are far away from the back door. I think an inground wuold be nice, but I think I won this argument on the above ground. We have come to the conclusion that we will have to do it in stages. First is the pool though!!

    On the composite, we looked at the Trex and the choice deck by Lowes. The salesmen told us that the choice deck could be used under water, while the Trex has a warranty issue with it being so close to water (like a pool). If something happens to the decking by the pool, the warranty may not cover it. Have you heard this? We were told it's because the Trex decking is cooled when it comes off production while the choice deck is allowed to cool at room temperature, bonding the plastic coating to the wood better.

    Good luck on your deck build! I would love to see pictures if you have them!
    -Rachel

    No pool yet...doing massive research!

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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Hey Rachel,

    FWIW, we built our back deck and our pool entry deck out of Choicedek. Good stuff, but expensive, as you know. Also, it gets hot in the sun, so be prepared to put down some outdoor carpet or something similar, or you'll be doing the "Ouch!Ouch! Ouch! Hot Hot Hot deck!" dance too.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Our pool - 30 foot round Vogue Impact which looks tiny on 5 acres, but HUGE when you're in it, most call it a lake - it's steel walled (but extremely corrosion protected) 100% resin posts bottom channels, top rails, a cynch to build, beautiful to look at.
    We've had it just over 4 years, nothing has changed about it, still as nice and maintenance free as on day 1.
    The 54" walls and slope beyond them makes it a bit more difficult to vacuum, you'll enjoy that much better if you build a deck around at least half of it, from there you can likely reach every spot.
    Since I don't have a deck, I stand on the pool toy boxes where I can, and bring a step stool to the remainder.
    Because of my raised Septic Bed, I decide to place the pool beside it and the top level with the top of the septic bed, future deck plans include building a deck between top of septic bed and top of pool, this will make it seem like an inground since you will transition from lawn (septic bed) to deck smoothly, then deck to pool. Oh, and the pool is 100 feet from the house!
    Composite - although beautiful and perfect for around a pool (we also looked at Trex) is hotter than **** and you will regret it.

    Solar cover issues with my pool are none - have a custom made 30' reel that cost 2/3 of a store bought for a 24 foot pool, all things you can work out after.

    Can't go wrong with Vogue - a Quebec company - Quebec was the innovator in AG pools, one of their primary industries after pulp and paper and the snowmobile of course (bombardier)!




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    Re: how to choose AGP?? (split from 'Hello in TN')

    Nice solar reel setup! Can you provide more details on how it works and how to get the solar cover on/off of the pool?
    Thanks in advance,
    Philip

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: how to choose AGP?? (split from 'Hello in TN')

    We have a Johnny Weismuller....Going on 8 years and it's still in great shape, painted-Aluminum top rails, I think, which are showing some corrosion signs in a few spots, probably as a result of my water-balance maintenance or lack thereof prior to 2007.

    I can barely reach the center if vacuming from the outside, even with the extended pole. Our deck only goes 1/4 around. My friend has the exact same pool (we got them at the same time) but she has a 27'. Even harder. One thing to consider which makes vacuming easier, is a bottom or center drain. We both have it. With the round pools, you get the kiddies to make a whirlpool. All the crud goes to the center and you have the center drain on "full" and most of the stuff gets sucked down, or is concentrated by the drain. So less vacuming. We have a 2hp 2spd pump with cartridge. I run my filter on low 24/7 cause I'm lazy and it's about $12-15 extra a month on my elec bill to run the pool. I only vacume or put the center drain on on "full" with the pump on High, so mostly I use the low setting.

    I know several people who have the Vogue brand, basically fine, a few issues with accessories like fence brackets, etc. or replacing a liner but that could happen with any pool really and was probably improper water balance/maintenance that caused the liner to fail.

    I think the warranty/dealer/customer service/installer side of pools is almost more important than the particular brand of pool....

    I know a few people with the large rounds- the cut their solar covers in 1/2 or sections to make the on-off process a little easier (with no reel, that is)....

    Regular wood gets blazin hot too on those '90 degree days... JMHO. I like the idea of area rugs on the deck anyway, more comfortable when lounging out there for hours....my SIL has one and I plan to get one for this year.

    Good luck!
    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: how to choose AGP?? (split from 'Hello in TN')

    I know somebody makes a composite deck that's water cooled. Somebody had it in a thread here, you might want to do a search. That route, although probably expensive, gives you a nice cool place to stand, the ease of a composite, and built in solar heat with no unsightly panels.

    Good luck,
    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    Re: how to choose AGP?? (split from 'Hello in TN')

    Quote Originally Posted by cha2ga
    Nice solar reel setup! Can you provide more details on how it works and how to get the solar cover on/off of the pool?
    Thanks in advance,
    Philip
    I believe Matt is no longer participating in the forum, however, I built my reel using Matt's plans some years back. It's a very simple setup with the posts inset into the ground/concrete about 2.5-3' from the back end of the pool and the reel set about 1.5-2' above rail height. The cover straps are attached to the reel and a crank with bearings installed at one end. You can modify to suit your needs, but it works very well for us. We have a strap attached to the front of the cover to pull it out and one person can reel the cover up alone. No struggling either way and nothing attached to the pool itself. We built this entire system for around $30 maybe? If you have access to a welder or someone who can weld for you, it takes a couple of hours to build/install.
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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