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Thread: Building new pool - Please comment on equipment

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    Building new pool - Please comment on equipment

    I'm putting in a new pool this spring. I've selected a builder (interviewed 5) and below is a list of the equipment he will be using. I've done some searches and everything looks good, but I wanted to get some "real" comments. Does everything look like good equipment. Is there something here you'd recommend against? What would you replace it with? Thanks for any help.

    First the pool specs:
    Sq Ft: 600
    Length: 20x40
    Shape: Custom (almost a kidney)
    Depth: 3’, 4’, 6’
    Plaster: Grey
    Love Seat: 6’ Deep End
    Sunshelf: 8’
    Tile: Frost line, steps
    Pipe: 2” PVC
    Deck: 500’ Exposed Aggregate
    Skimmers: 2
    Returns: 2

    Now the equipment:
    Pump: Pentair WhisperFlo 1 ½ HP
    Filter: Pentair FNS Plus 48 D.E. Filter
    Control System: Goldline P4
    Chlorine: SWCG Goldline TurboCell
    Valves: Jandy Neverlube
    Light: (2) Colorlogic LED
    Cleaner: Pentair Legend II
    Winter Cover: Loop-Loc

    John
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Welcome to TFP!

    Congratulations on picking a pool builder!

    If that is the full rated version of the pump, it is too big; unless there is a spa or waterfall you forgot to mention. I would suggest a full rated 1 HP two speed pump. You could run it on low most of the time to filter the water and save a great deal on electricity. High speed will still be available if it turns out you need it for the cleaner.

    There are some advantages to switching to a larger filter. The one you list is sufficient, but having an oversized filter means the filter doesn't need to be backwashed as frequently, which saves on your effort in the long run.
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    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Other than the pump and filter size, as mentioned above, it looks excellent. The goldline panels are fantastic in my opinion, and the loop loc covers are great as well. Congratulations!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    If that is the full rated version of the pump, it is too big; unless there is a spa or waterfall you forgot to mention. I would suggest a full rated 1 HP two speed pump. You could run it on low most of the time to filter the water and save a great deal on electricity. High speed will still be available if it turns out you need it for the cleaner.
    Thanks for the input everyone.

    I did have a waterfall feature in the original design, but decided to remove it (just didn't seem to to make sense cost wise). The builder left the pump at 1 1/2 HP. I'll ask him about why. Feels kinda weird asking about a lower rated pump, but makes sense electricity wise.

    Beside a spa or water feature, is there any other reason to stick with this size pump? One option we're talking about is a heater (heat pump probably). I'm thinking we'll wait a season and see how we do without it, but would I need a bigger pump for that?

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeD
    Other than the pump and filter size, as mentioned above, it looks excellent. The goldline panels are fantastic in my opinion, and the loop loc covers are great as well. Congratulations!
    Thanks for validating some of the equipment! This builder seems to be very knowlegable (company owner, not a sales man), so I've trusted what he's recommended to date. It was a refreshing change from the "big" companies sales people.

    John

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    j,

    It's a little difficult at first to get a good grasp on the "bigger is not always better" concept with pool pumps.

    I'm on board with Jason and Lee.......if that's a full-rated 1.5hp pump, it's a little too big for your pool (and the filter to an extent).

    filtration systems simply operate better when the pump is not overdriving the filter. A 1HP (full-rated) pump is about ideal for your size pool and the two-speed option is a really good idea.

    Addition of a heater has virtually no affect on the pump size.

    The rest of your selections look good.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    A heat pump would not require a larger pump, nor would a gas heater. Solar panels sometimes require a larger pump, depending on how high up they are, as do water features (fountain, waterfall, etc), and spas.

    It is very common for builders to specify large pumps. New pool owners like to see obvious water movement. Unfortunately, a large pump can cost significantly more in electrical costs over time and actually makes filtering just slightly worse. Normally the builder is long gone when you discover what the electrical bill to run the pump comes out to.

    Almost any simple pool (no spa, waterfall, etc) will be fine with a 3/4 HP full rated single speed pump, particularly in the WhisperFlo line (which moves more water for any given pump size than many of their competitors). Better then that is a two speed pump, which can be run on low speed most of the time and still has high speed available just in case you do need to move a lot of water around once in a while. Better still are variable speed pumps, for example the Pentair IntelliFlo series. The more energy efficient pumps (dual speed or variable speed) cost more up front, but they make up for it in electrical savings in the long run, particularly if you live in one of the areas with high electrical rates.

    One other thing to watch out for is up-rated vs. full-rated. In the WhisperFlo line, a 1 HP full-rated pump is exactly the same pump as a 1 1/2 HP up-rated pump. So when you say 1 1/2 HP you need to find out if that is full-rated, or up-rated, before you really know what you are getting. Other brands have similar naming schemes, sometimes with additional categories (such as max-rated).
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    My suggestion would be to go to a ps8 instead of a p4 or ps4. (And I would definitely pick the ps4 over the 'brain dead' p4!) When you are building a pool you never think you will have a need for all the relays and actuators but you find that you do! I put in a ps8 and now wish I had gone with the ps16!!!!!!!! You never know if you might add a heater, solar, a booster pump for a pool cleaner (they work better than the non booster pump models), or add additional lighting or want the pool remote to control low voltage landscape lights, ceiling fans, music, etc.
    I would also have a dedicated cleaner line installed. This will give you the option of using a booster pump cleaner such as a Legend 1 or one of the Polaris cleaners(better in my opinion) and would not take away one of your returns if you stick the the non booster model. It is also fairly easy to replumb a dedicated line to suction if you decide to go with a suction side cleaner (which I would not do with a DE filter).

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    j4ydubs,

    I would recommend against exposed aggregate. I really like the appearance but find it quite abbrasive to my feet. Have you tried walking around on some with bare feet?

    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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    >Pipe: 2” PVC
    >Skimmers: 2
    >Returns: 2

    Check the placement of your skimmers in the design to ensure they're down-wind of your typical wind direction.

    Keep head pressure low and save electricity!
    -get the builder to plumb the skimmers on isolated 2" pipes all the way back to the pump. Have him write up that he will use 45deg bends rather than 90.
    -double the returns to 4 on at least two separate return lines back to the filter. You'll want to place directional outlets at the returns to keep good circulation in the pool so the skimmers will be effective. These nozzles will restrict the flow and can be compensated by adding the additional returns.
    16 x 32 IG Vinyl
    Sand Filter

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    Waterbear does bring up an interesting point about the p4 panel. The p4 is a very stripped down version of the goldline panels. I am guessing that the builder is using a p4 here because you have a salt chlorinator and the price difference between a mechanical timeclock + salt chlorinator panel is not much less than a p4 panel and the chlorinator cell. Upgrading to a Ps4 or Ps8 would give you more functions and be a little more full featured, but it may not be worth the money to you. If you would be happy with a mechanical timeclock on your pool, which seems likely since you have no spa or water features, then the p4 is still a great choice. If you want to do more with the panel, such as control landscape lighting, or add more pumps, the p4 isn't going to cut it and you would want a ps4 or ps8.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cobra46
    j4ydubs,
    I would recommend against exposed aggregate. I really like the appearance but find it quite abbrasive to my feet. Have you tried walking around on some with bare feet?
    My neighbor has exposed aggregate. I've only been over there a couple of time in bare feet, but it didn't seem overly abrasive. He hasn't complained about it either (and I've talk with him a lot about his pool). I'll have to talk a closer look though.

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    My suggestion would be to go to a ps8 instead of a p4 or ps4. (And I would definitely pick the ps4 over the 'brain dead' p4!) When you are building a pool you never think you will have a need for all the relays and actuators but you find that you do! I put in a ps8 and now wish I had gone with the ps16!!!!!!!! You never know if you might add a heater, solar, a booster pump for a pool cleaner (they work better than the non booster pump models), or add additional lighting or want the pool remote to control low voltage landscape lights, ceiling fans, music, etc.
    What would the ps4 give me over the p4?

    I'm not planning to add a spa. The builder says I have 1 open relay, even if I add a heater. I also wasn't planning on getting a remote (though being a techie I do "want" one). I'm hoping to have as much as possible automated, so I can't justify a remote. I do plan on adding low voltage lighting, but was planning to use a timer, like all my other lighting around the house. I can't think of anything else I'd add that I'd want the pool control to control? I will think it over though.

    John

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    John,

    Whether or not exposed aggregate is rough is all up to the masons. The type of aggregate used and just how much is "exposed" determines it's acceptability to walk on barefoot.

    I am certainly in the minority on this but I'm not a really big fan of too many "gadgets" on a pool. Over the years, the gadgets will be the things that will be most problematic. Personally, I am around my pool so frequently that the need for automation is very minimal. It's a personal choice but consider the long term consequences....some very good and some not so good.

    It should be disclosed that I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to electronics so minimizing them in my pool keeps my comfort level where it needs to be. Down deep, I am surely jealous of all the remotes and automations that are available.....I'm just not sure I could keep up. ( I still think blackberries are something you eat!! )
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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    Get the remote. Yes, everything will be automated but if you have a pool ligiht are you going to turn it on every night or as needed. If you get a color changing light are you going to go to the equipment pad to change color programs? If you have a heater.... you get the idea. A remote is well worth it. Like I said IF you are putting in automation.

    One open relay is not that much, what if you decide to go with a 2 speed pump. What if you add solar and a heat pump (not an uncommon choice), What if you decide to go to a booster pump cleaner (or if you have a dedicate4d pressure line what if you want a valve actuator to control your cleqaner on time?) The unit might meed your needs right now but once the pool is built you might find you wish you had room for expansion. Just be aware of that.

    I have 2 remotes and use them constantly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    Get the remote. Yes, everything will be automated but if you have a pool ligiht are you going to turn it on every night or as needed. If you get a color changing light are you going to go to the equipment pad to change color programs? If you have a heater.... you get the idea. A remote is well worth it. Like I said IF you are putting in automation.
    I'll have to look at the remote cost again. Right now, the only thing I can think of that I'd control is the pool lights. I don't see myself changing the light program that often, so I'm still not sure it's worth it. Thanks for the input though.

    I talked with the builder about the pump size. He said that with the bigger pump, I won't have to run it for as long (It'll turn over the water quicker), so the electricity cost shouldn't be that different than with a smaller pump. Thoughts?

    John

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    While it is true that you run a larger pump for a shorter time, it still uses more total electricity. The larger pump moves the water more quickly, creating more friction (dynamic head) in the plumbing which wastes energy. For example, a two speed pump moves half as many GPM on low speed as on high speed so you need to run it twice as long. However it uses 1/3 as much electricity per hour on low speed, so even running twice as long it still only uses 2/3rds the total electricity.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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