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Thread: Pool Contractors - Who's saying the truth?

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    el_steak's Avatar
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    Pool Contractors - Who's saying the truth?

    I'm shopping for a new inground pool. I'm looking at a 12' x 24' kidney pool (with vinyl liner).

    I've met with 2 pool contractors with good reputations in my area. Eventhough they both claim to have the best product and installation techniques, on some elements they are completely contradicting each other. Who's saying the truth ?

    1- The vinyl liner.

    Contractor "A" includes a 40 mil (wall) / 30 mil (bottom) vinyl liner. He says it's the best you can have.

    Contractor "B" includes a 30 mil only vinyl liner. He says to stay away like the plague from the 40mil/30mil liner as the seam between the 40mil and 30 mil section is likely to fail and tear the liner appart.

    2- Liner "Coping"

    Contractor "A" uses a fairly large aluminum coping to hook up the vinyl liner. Says it is superior/stronger than the PVC coping.

    Contractor "B" uses PVC coping and says it is superior/stronger than the aluminum coping.

    3- "Aqua Genie"

    Contractor "A" uses the Aqua-Genie instead of the traditional skimmer + bottom drain and round returns. Claims it is superior.

    Contractor "B" uses traditional skimmer + round returns and doesn't want anything to do with the Aqua-Genie.

    4- Lighting

    Contractor "A" includes 2 spots in the pool (Aqua-Lamp).

    Contractor "B" says to steer clear from those as the housing is likely to crack during the winter (I'm in Canada) and cause water infiltration under the liner / damage to the pool.

    5- Pool Pump

    On this one, both contractors agree and they include a 1 1/2hp pump. This seems overkill to me as the pool only contains 7500 gallons and could be easily handled by a simple 1/2hp pump. Furthermore, the pump will be hooked to 1 1/2" pipes only which are limited anyways in the volume of water they can deliver (still plenty for such a small pool). Won't this create useless high pressures in the pipes? Is this really a case of "bigger is better"

    Thanks!
    14X24 ig vinyl pool 3ft-4 1/2ft deep - 7000 gal
    Aqua Genie skimmer and return - no main drain, 1 hp hayward pump, 27" Hayward filter with Zeobrite,
    Aqua Logic P4 controller + SWG, 2 lights
    192 square feet of solar panels controlled by P4, 5KW electric heater (just in case...)

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    Kinguni's Avatar
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    I like contractor "B".

    I can't comment on the liner, but 30 mil seems fine to me.

    Coping, PVC works just fine.

    Aqua-Genie - intriguing concept, but they'll probably try to sell you on the stuff designed for it. It's intended to work by itself without any other returns or a main drain.

    Lighting - nice to have but most people around here do without it after the first liner replacement. The most common complaint is that all it does is attract bugs to the pool.

    Pump - I have a 3/4hp pump on my 18x36 inground and that's adequate. Anything more than that is just wasted electricity. I'd go with 3/4hp on that pool personally.

    HTH! 8)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    I don't think 1-4 make a big difference, either approach should work. On 5, you want a smaller pump, 1/2 HP or 3/4 HP at the most.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    el_steak's Avatar
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    Contractor B is cheaper (20000$ CAN vs 23000$ CAN) so I'll probably go with him if all things are equal.

    I'm Glad I found this forum, I got a lot of great information by searching through it.

    Thanks
    14X24 ig vinyl pool 3ft-4 1/2ft deep - 7000 gal
    Aqua Genie skimmer and return - no main drain, 1 hp hayward pump, 27" Hayward filter with Zeobrite,
    Aqua Logic P4 controller + SWG, 2 lights
    192 square feet of solar panels controlled by P4, 5KW electric heater (just in case...)

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    Welcome. I noticed that you didn't mention anything about the filter. What is being considered? It is important to properly match the filter with the pump selected. I would suggest a 2 speed pump. A 3/4 or 1 hp 2 speed pump will save you operating costs in the long run. If possible, choose a 220/240 volt one. Low speed for routine filtering, high speed for vacuuming and chemical additions.

    Best wishes
    5450 gallon 18' Intex Easy Set, Dynamo 3/4 hp 2 speed pump, 200# sand filter, Intex swcg, k-2006 test kit

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    el_steak's Avatar
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    The pump / filter that was "included" in the builder proposal is 1 1/2HP with a 25 inch sand filter.

    I will ask him to downsize the pump to 3/4HP, but I don't know which size the filter should be.

    The pool will be plumbed with 1 1/2" pipes, it contains about 7500 gals, has 1 skimmer, 1 bottom drain and 2 returns. The pump/filter will be within 10 feet of the pool.

    I'll also add 4 solar panels (4x12 each) which will be located around feet 30 feet from the pool and 10 feet up on the roof.
    14X24 ig vinyl pool 3ft-4 1/2ft deep - 7000 gal
    Aqua Genie skimmer and return - no main drain, 1 hp hayward pump, 27" Hayward filter with Zeobrite,
    Aqua Logic P4 controller + SWG, 2 lights
    192 square feet of solar panels controlled by P4, 5KW electric heater (just in case...)

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    You may want the 1hp pump with the solar panels that high. Make sure the PB will guarantee the 3/4hp performance with the solar on.

    Joe
    Joe

    21k IG vinyl, 300 lb. sand filter, 1hp pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, 3/4hp booster pump, 240sq ft Fafco solar, Liquidator

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    We have the aqua lamps rainbow (2), and can't imagine the pool without them.
    Even if your not a big swimmer at night, it is very soothing to set by at night.
    I have read lots of threads where people wish they went for the lights after it
    was to late.. Just my 2 cents good luck with your build.
    16x32 inground vinyl 8' deep end
    1hp Northstar Pump, 20" Sand Filter
    6ft Double Lounge, 2 Aqua Lamps w/remote
    216sqft Sungrabber Panels (9- 2'x12') a little undersized

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    el_steak's Avatar
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    Actually, Builder "A" (Mermaid Pools in my area) offers The Rainbow Light as an upgrade in his package. Have you had any issues/concerns with them for the winter period?

    Are they PVC or Stainless Steel?
    14X24 ig vinyl pool 3ft-4 1/2ft deep - 7000 gal
    Aqua Genie skimmer and return - no main drain, 1 hp hayward pump, 27" Hayward filter with Zeobrite,
    Aqua Logic P4 controller + SWG, 2 lights
    192 square feet of solar panels controlled by P4, 5KW electric heater (just in case...)

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Ooo Ooo... I vote for Mermaid Pools... they must be the best, to have a queen like me!!

    (Totally joking!! I know nothing about the builder at all!!)

    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!

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    The 25" filter will be great. I'm assuming that it will hold 300 lbs or so of sand. Please consider what type of sand that they will be using. It is not uncommon to use size 1/2 sand. This is pretty coarse and most are not happy with it and end up going to a cartridge filter. This is how I received my free filter. I cleaned it out and refilled with a 50/50 mix of 12x20 and 20x40 sand. Filters very nicely. It sounds like you are progressing nicely with the decision making process.
    5450 gallon 18' Intex Easy Set, Dynamo 3/4 hp 2 speed pump, 200# sand filter, Intex swcg, k-2006 test kit

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Its are first summer with the rainbows. All three builders we had to are house use them.
    They say they never have any problems. I can't imagine they would all use them if they always
    had problems. There are pretty simple instructions for winterizing. Also inquire about a remote
    its a very handy option, to change through the 6 different settings.
    16x32 inground vinyl 8' deep end
    1hp Northstar Pump, 20" Sand Filter
    6ft Double Lounge, 2 Aqua Lamps w/remote
    216sqft Sungrabber Panels (9- 2'x12') a little undersized

  13. Back To Top    #13
    el_steak's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comments/help everybody.

    I finally made the deal with Contractor "A" today (Mermaid). I would have preferred to go with "B", but unfortunately it turns out they don't carry the pool shape we wanted in the size we wanted. (Our backyard is pretty small so we don't have too many options).

    I had a pretty hard time negociating the price with them. They didn't want to lower it at all. All I could get is an upgrade on the width of the concrete sidewalk.

    I also had a hard time getting them to lower the power of the pump. I wanted to go from a 1 1/2hp to a 3/4hp but they initially refused, stating the bigger is better argument. Finally convinced them it made no sense to hook up a pump that big to a 7000 gallons pool using 1 1/2" pipes. Still, I got the feeling they think I'm a bit crazy to ask for that. I didn't state my "internet" information sources as this would have probably launched them on the "can't trust any information found on the internet" rant...
    14X24 ig vinyl pool 3ft-4 1/2ft deep - 7000 gal
    Aqua Genie skimmer and return - no main drain, 1 hp hayward pump, 27" Hayward filter with Zeobrite,
    Aqua Logic P4 controller + SWG, 2 lights
    192 square feet of solar panels controlled by P4, 5KW electric heater (just in case...)

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    My pool has a 3/4 HP main filter pump and I'm pushing water to my roof's solar panels just fine, for what it's worth. The roof is about 11-13 feet above the pool equipment and the plumbing is 2" PVC to and from the panels (seven 4' x 12' panels).

    The only time the panels "starve" of water is when the filter needs cleaning and the flow is reduced. I don't know if a larger pump would help, but it's certainly a valid enough reason for me to keep the filter clean.
    blubluenoiseise

    My pool: 14,750 gallons in-ground plaster
    FAFCO Solar panels (seven 4' x 12') with a Goldline automatic controller
    1/2 HP WhisperFlo filter pump, Kreepy Krauly cleaner, Cartridge Filter
    Aquarite SWG, Satisfied user of the TF-100 Test Kit

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