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Thread: New Pool Design Tips

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    New Pool Design Tips

    Hey Guys…newbie here. We're starting to throw around the idea of putting in a pool in the next year or so, depending on how some investments play out. But for the time being, I can't help but daydream. So I started drawing up some ideas for a pool design. And here it is… For right now, I'm concentrating on basic layout. I'm open to all kinds of advice, criticism.

    But first, let me explain what we're wanting.

    We have two toddlers and plenty of friends with kids about the same age. We are mostly wanting a play pool, or sports pool, that allows fun for folks of all ages.

    One thing we have noticed from visiting other pools is that the adults tend to congregate around any tanning ledge while watching the kids. So we want a bigger than normal tanning ledge to accommodate this. You'll notice on my plan that it's a 12x12 circle, with basically a bench all the way around it too that allows you to sit deep in the water and put your elbows back on the tanning ledge in a relaxing position while watching the kids, volleyball games, etc…it's something I thought up that would be really functional, but I really don't know if it would be or if it would even really be utilized.

    The second thing I want is almost two separate sections. The section to the left of the tanning ledge is for sports - volleyball, basketball, water polo, anything that really involves competition. Is this area about the right size for such games, especially volleyball (the green line represents the volleyball net)?

    The other section is to the right of the tanning ledge and allows for the kids to swim or adults to float around with margarita in hand without having to worry about being smacked in the head with a volleyball.

    By having the tanning ledge in the middle, it allows the adults to watch every inch of the pool while providing separation between the sections.

    I have a spa drawn in for now. But I don't really know if I need one. I am located in Texas and I doubt we would really get in it in the winter. So I don't know if it would be worth the extra cost….especially to heat it up. Would I be making a mistake by not putting a spa in?

    Other notes about the plan…the grid is 10x10 with each little square representing a square foot. The brown circles represent big rocks. I calculated the plan to be around 800 sq ft with an average depth of 4 ft, giving me approximately 22.4k gallons - sound about right?

    Thanks for your time and thoughts.
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    30ft. ag round 17000 gallons baqua pure filtration 2 speed 2.5hp 26in sand filter

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    Join Date
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    Re: New Pool Design Tips

    Looks like the perfect plan to me. I'm with you on the spa. Instead maybe you could do a water feature for the kids to goof around on.
    11,872 Gallon IG Shotcrete play pool
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    Hayward SwimClear c4025, Navigator & Tristar 1.75hp pump
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    Woodberg's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Design Tips

    I really like that design. We are in Houston and put a pool/spa in last year. I have a couple of things you might want to consider"

    1. Definitely keep the spa. We are also in Houston so we never have to shut the pool down each year. However, in the late fall, winter and early spring the pool water is too cold to swim in. That's where the spa helps. We use it a lot during the cold water months which allow us to continue to enjoy the pool. I haven't noticed the cost being that high each month. My guess is we may spend an additional $50/month of gas to heat the hot tub. Also during the summer its a great place to sit to get away from the volleyball action.

    2. If you have the room for it, I don't think you can make the Baja ledge too big. For what you're talking about using it for, I wouldn't go any smaller.

    3. We were really concerned with the energy efficiency of the pool and ended up buying an Intelliflo VS pump and an Easy Touch controller. It is great. The pump is very quiet when its running and I but we don't spend more than $25/month on additional electricity. We have a wireless controller that can controll all aspects of the pool and spa and lighting. Related to lighting, we went with LED lighting. Not only is it really energy efficient, everyone loves the different light shows it can do.

    4. Last but not least, the best decision we made on our pool was to put in an in-floor cleaning system. We don't have to mess with a polaris swimming around the pool and it keeps the pool really clean. I am frankly amazed at how well it works. We live in a neighborhood with a lot of trees and we have 2 oak trees which are close to the pool. It easily handles all of the leaves and it also keeps the spa clean. I was a little skeptical before we got it, but after 2 years of seeing it work, I would never build another pool without it. We have a Paramount PCC 2000 system.
    20,000 gallon gunite pool, attached spa, Pebblesheen finish, Paramount PCC-2000 infloor cleaning system, Paramount ClearO3 ozone system, Intelliflo VS main pump, Whisperflo 1HP cleaner pump, StaRite cartridge filter, StaRite heater

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    Guest

    Re: New Pool Design Tips

    Nice plan That is a big pool!

    Here's a couple thoughts (you asked ):

    1. Make sure that you have the excavator leave as much soil as possible where the Baja Shelf (tanning ledge) will be. That way you will not have to pay for all of the concrete to build it up That may sound like common sense (remember that?), but a lot of guys don't think about that, and you end up paying!

    2. That is a HUGE spa! It will take you forever to heat up; are you okay with that? As a rule of thumb, you can assume one degree of temperature rise per minute in a 7' diameter spa, with a 400K heater. If a 7' diameter spa holds approx. 800 gallons, a 10' diameter spa holds about 1,700 gallons. If everything is equal, and you start with 70 degree water, the 7' spa will heat to 100 degrees in about a half an hour, whereas the 10' spa will take a good hour! Something to think about!

    3. If you end up over 800 square feet, I would put in two skimmers (that is code here, but I don't know about by you).

    4. Back to the Baja Shelf (oops!); I would consider putting an "umbrella sleeve" in the middle of the circle so that you could sit in the water, but out of the sun on a really hot day. Get a sleeve that has a threaded cap that you can put in when the umbrella is not in so there is not a big hole there! If you do install this, when you purchase the umbrella, get one with a metal pole (the wood ones will rot!) and with the adjustment feature so that you can adjust to block the sun.

    5. Get a variable speed circulation pump (and use large diameter plumbing and loop the entire pool return system) and a dedicated jet pump. Some (many?) will say that a variable speed pump is fine to do both duties, but I continue to disagree! A dedicated jet pump allows a straight shot from the spa to the jets, and is easily turned on and off when needed. It does not go through the heater and filter like the circ pump would if you used just one pump. If you decide to get any additional water features, get a dedicated pump specifically for them also, so that you can run everything in any configuration, whenever you want (pool mode, spa mode, water feature only, etc.).

    Go for it And, if you get some spare time, please explain what an "investment" is!

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    Re: New Pool Design Tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodberg
    My guess is we may spend an additional $50/month of gas to heat the hot tub.
    We're on a 300 gallon propane tank. Any idea how many gallons it takes for an average trip to the spa/hot tub?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodberg
    3. We were really concerned with the energy efficiency of the pool and ended up buying an Intelliflo VS pump and an Easy Touch controller.
    Energy efficiency is a top priority for me and I was planning on a VS pump and LED lighting. I see your pool is 20,000 gallons - close to the size of what I have planned. Do you have any pics of your pool that I could see?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodberg
    We live in a neighborhood with a lot of trees and we have 2 oak trees which are close to the pool. It easily handles all of the leaves and it also keeps the spa clean. I was a little skeptical before we got it, but after 2 years of seeing it work, I would never build another pool without it.
    Good to know. I live on 2.5 acres, some of which is wooded. I want to put it near our mature Cedar Elms for shade purposes, but am concerned about the clean-up.

    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    That is a HUGE spa! It will take you forever to heat up; are you okay with that? As a rule of thumb, you can assume one degree of temperature rise per minute in a 7' diameter spa, with a 400K heater.
    So I take it that 7' is the average size? I really wasn't sure how big a spa was supposed to be. Really, I can't imagine more than 6-8 adults being in the spa at once. Being that the spa isn't a huge priority, the smaller the better.

    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    And, if you get some spare time, please explain what an "investment" is!
    Ha! Yeah, stock options are probably more of a gamble in a rigged casino rather than an investment. Just trying to be on the rigged side.
    30ft. ag round 17000 gallons baqua pure filtration 2 speed 2.5hp 26in sand filter

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    Guest

    Re: New Pool Design Tips

    7' is probably the most common sized spa, and an 8' is occasionally seen, but 10' is usually reserved for commercial properties (however, if you are in Texas, where everything is BIG, all bets are off ). I can fit 6 in my 7 footer comfortably, and we seldom have more than 4. Just depends on what you think you will be accommodating and how often!

    I'm going to wish you success on staying on the "rigged" side as well

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    Join Date
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    Ottawa, ON, Canada
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    Re: New Pool Design Tips

    Nice.. I don't know much about pool design (not enough $$$ and not enough backyard space) but the pool seems to shallow and there seems to be a bottleneck between shelf and spa. The shelf also seems like a waste of space.

    note: I'm from where we only have a 4 month pool season if we're lucky and I've got kid so pool use may be way different than yours..
    19.5k gallons in ground, P4 panel with turbocell SWG, 1hp Hayward superpump II, sand filter, Heater low nox 250k btu heater, solar cover on rocky roller

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    Woodberg's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Design Tips

    I only have a few pictures from my iPhone which aren't the greatest, but you get the idea. The deck with the 2 lounge chairs is also a waterfeature. In a couple of the pictures it is running. We did use a separate pump for it so that we can run it while the hot tub is running. We have 3 pumps; 1 for pool circulation and spa, 1 that is dedicated to the in-floor cleaning system, 1 for the water feature. In the construction picture you can see the baja ledge and how much dirt they left. That is the point simicrintz to trying to make. To give you a point of reference, I think our spa is 8 ft. It is plenty big enough for 8 adults to fit. The coldest our water got this winter was about 49 degrees. It would take about 40 minutes to heat up. Remember, once the water gets to the right temperature, the heater turns off and only comes back on every now and then to keep the temperature at the target. We're just connected to the city for natural gas so I'm not sure how that translates to propane.









    20,000 gallon gunite pool, attached spa, Pebblesheen finish, Paramount PCC-2000 infloor cleaning system, Paramount ClearO3 ozone system, Intelliflo VS main pump, Whisperflo 1HP cleaner pump, StaRite cartridge filter, StaRite heater

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