50 Year Old Pool Reno

kimkats

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Jul 10, 2012
41,320
Tallahassee, FL
Lets dial this in for you! If the wind blows toward that skimmer then you are set!

-Are you saying there are only two returns and they are at one end of the pool?

-Slide and diving board-what does the house insurance say about them? Why do you ask about "saving" the slide? What is going on with it?

-Box by the hole-can you get the cover up on it? Where is the cover for the hole?

I will call @Jimrahbe for your equipment questions. He knows this stuff a lot better than I do.

I LOVE how the kitchen is right there! No need for anything else for sure!

Kim:kim:
 

Jimrahbe

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Jul 7, 2014
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Bedford, TX
DD,

Here are my random (as always) thoughts about your questions...

Returns and skimmer -- where should the second skimmer go? Ok with our two returns at the shallow end? While two are better, many pools only have one skimmer. I would rather have more returns than an additional skimmer, if I had to choose between the two. At least four returns, so that you could make the pool water swirl like a toilet bowl, but of course at a very slow speed..

Bottom drain? Is there any real difference between our existing circular drain and these channel drains? You should install a drain cover that prevents you from getting trapped by the suction. This means a raised round one or a channel drain, either will work just fine.

Anyone know what that box is?
If you are talking the box with the valve, I suspect that the valve controls a fill line for the pool.

Can we save the slide or should we get a new one? Do you really need a slide for old people? I believe that you can have them recoated, but have no idea on the cost.

Does anyone actually use a fire pit? Special call out to others up north like us who will only use the pool seasonally I personally would not, but that really depends on the kind of parties you would normally have..

Automation -- I'm still confused here. We have a ~40 year old Rayvak Gemini that is natural gas heating the pool -- I was reading a different forum, can I still keep this b/c it works? Ditch it b/c I need a new one for automation? Seems like Rayvak is still the leader here some 50 years later. . . . The automation system does not care either way, but 40 years out of a heater is a lot. To me, if you are upgrading all the other equipment, it makes zero sense to use the old heater. Why are you reading a different forum... :)

Why are people not happy w/ their sand filters? We know how to use ours and the backflush works well -- so I don't see a reason to review this. I agree

Back to the spa -- has anyone done a partially sunk spa? We are trying to future proof this one -- so making an elderly person climb up into a spa doesn't make sense. Most of you separate totally it seems. You need to be able to access the pumps, heater and controls, so this presents a problem.. Rather than half bury one, I suggest that you just have the deck on one side be higher..

Robots -- do the work well on sloped pools? The ads all have the robots climbing pretty walls in very clear rectangles -- but our pool is all curves. The robot does not care, it will work just fine..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

PoolGate

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TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,799
Damascus, MD
One thing I will add is inspect that diving board. Diving boards are usually fiberglass wrapped wood and the wood can rot out. The result is when someone uses the board, it snaps. If in doubt, remove or replace.
 
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kimkats

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Jul 10, 2012
41,320
Tallahassee, FL
I forgot to say I LOVE my sand filter! It is SO easy to take care of and use! It does all of the work. All I have to do is true the valve!

Kim:kim:
 

Dutiful Daughter

Gold Supporter
May 12, 2019
39
Oregon
Kim --

Slide and Diving board are fine. Chubb has covered the house for decades and the diving board was installed when the pool was -- and no issues. When the concrete comes in -- the slide has been concreted into the concrete deck. Can the slide be removed intact? Otherwise, if we can remove it without damaging it -- should we keep it? Its a fiberglass slide and solid. Or should we get a new slide? There will be a slide -- question is whether this slide continues on after the remodel.

Box by the skimmer -- the last shot it is open and there is some kind of turning knob. I can't remember whether its for the pool.

If you look at the photo taken from behind the diving board -- both returns are literally at the opposite end of the pool -- two in the shallow end.

Our pool quotes all indicate there should be a second skimmer. thoughts?

Decking -- at the moment we are discussing putting in electrical at various points around the deck for heat lamps so we can then extend the use of the deck -- I am hoping to hear from folks on whether they use a fire pit -- b/c I'm thinking having outlets and heat lamps that we can arrange around a free floating table and chairs will be more useful in Oregon in the fall or early spring.

And yes -- summer we literally fling open the glass doors and its open access between the kitchen and wherever food is being served. And the tile makes it easy to clean up.
 

bmoreswim

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On the skimmer, it's asking a lot of one skimmer to keep the pool properly skimmed for that amount of surface area and what looks like a moderate or higher level of potential tree debris. With a full reno planned, I would certainly increase returns to 3 or 4 (from 2) for circulation and skimmers to 2 (from 1). On the winds, certainly a lot of wind is going to be coming towards the house. But I know from how stuff blows around our house, when wind comes directly at the back of the house, it returns away from the house at ground level, which would be across the pool surface. And with your pool so close/under your house, that may be the case. But regardless, there are many lines of thinking, but my setup for that pool would be keep the existing skimmer, we'll call it bottom left looking out from the pool and I'd add the second one top left (still on the side wall). Then I'd put three returns along the right side, basically moving water right to left. I'd also include a deep water return coming out 6' deep below the diving board towards the house, for warm water circulation (benefit of this deep return is debatable but if heating a pool, it does provide some benefit and no downside). Ideally all skimmers (for sure) and all returns are individually plumbed back to the pad.

Definitely SWG.

Drains - If you are going to replace the lines anyway, absolutely go with the linear channel drains that allow you to add pebble to the covers. The are much more contemporary/modern looking and will match the house style better. Also, there is zero chance your robot will get stuck on them. Any round drain causes potential for robots to get stuck (not those with 3 brushes, but definitely those with 2 - the robots often get off by themselves after 30+ seconds, but not always).

Filter - If you have been happy with sand, and know it, keep sand. Only downsides are maybe more water use due to backwashing (not a huge amount/issue) and they are much slower to clear a green pool during the last and slowest "cloudy" phase. But if you pool stays clear, which it should, the that's a non-issue.

Heater - Full renovation...replace. Get a new Raypak to do with your Pentair or whatever automation you go with.

Pump - VS of course, anything else will be illegal soon, if not already in OR (and everywhere).

Fire pit - We have a real wood mobile fire pit that we use a handful of times in the summer, but also in the spring/fall. I love burning wood so it's a simple must for me personally. But I expect in OR, you'd want a gas fire pit if you do one. Another option for outdoor heat is to go European (like they have at all their outdoor eating areas) and install a gas heater into the ceiling of the covered overhang. Then you'd get a heated outdoor space with no space taken up and it would still be poolside.

Slide - Definitely replace. It just dates the whole area. Get a TurboTwister or similar.

Corrected CA to OR. And added slide comments.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
41,320
Tallahassee, FL
Slide-if you can find someone who will use care they should be able to cut around each post THEN when they bust up the rest of the concrete they could dig up the legs with the concrete attached and replace it inside the new concrete. If it is in good shape then keep it!!!
 

Dutiful Daughter

Gold Supporter
May 12, 2019
39
Oregon
DD,

Here are my random (as always) thoughts about your questions...

Returns and skimmer -- where should the second skimmer go? Ok with our two returns at the shallow end? While two are better, many pools only have one skimmer. I would rather have more returns than an additional skimmer, if I had to choose between the two. At least four returns, so that you could make the pool water swirl like a toilet bowl, but of course at a very slow speed..

OK -- so it sounds like we should look for returns -- we already have quotes for skimmers. Honestly, one of you made a comment that pools are either wallets or sweat, and we have a generous budget on this -- don't want to deal with this for a few decades again.


Bottom drain? Is there any real difference between our existing circular drain and these channel drains? You should install a drain cover that prevents you from getting trapped by the suction. This means a raised round one or a channel drain, either will work just fine.

Thanks -- we will be bringing the pool up to code -- these anti vortex lids are required.


Anyone know what that box is? If you are talking the box with the valve, I suspect that the valve controls a fill line for the pool.

Thanks.

Can we save the slide or should we get a new one? Do you really need a slide for old people? I believe that you can have them recoated, but have no idea on the cost.

Grandchildren -- my 8 year old nephew lives about 5 minutes away -- when the pool is open it will be for old people and the elementary school basketball team, I suspect.

Does anyone actually use a fire pit? Special call out to others up north like us who will only use the pool seasonally I personally would not, but that really depends on the kind of parties you would normally have..

My thoughts also -- I'm having the landscape architect redraw to exclude a fire pit. I do like the idea of heat lamps around the table -- we really use the deck for family meals.

Automation -- I'm still confused here. We have a ~40 year old Rayvak Gemini that is natural gas heating the pool -- I was reading a different forum, can I still keep this b/c it works? Ditch it b/c I need a new one for automation? Seems like Rayvak is still the leader here some 50 years later. . . . The automation system does not care either way, but 40 years out of a heater is a lot. To me, if you are upgrading all the other equipment, it makes zero sense to use the old heater. Why are you reading a different forum... :)

OK -- so I was just looking -- Rayvak still is around and seems to make people happy. So basically if I get a large Rayvak heater (they seem to be $2000-$3000 range?) and replace the hayward pump and swimquip sand filter with Pentair (and a SWG likely) -- this should be the best approach to automation ? And people are automation advocates? I still worry about computer-driven glitches -- but I'll revisit on the forum later -- I'm too far away at this point. BTW -- does this forum have a buy/sell place? If I go this direction I will have 2 miimally used Hayward super II pumps.


Why are people not happy w/ their sand filters? We know how to use ours and the backflush works well -- so I don't see a reason to review this. I agree

Back to the spa -- has anyone done a partially sunk spa? We are trying to future proof this one -- so making an elderly person climb up into a spa doesn't make sense. Most of you separate totally it seems. You need to be able to access the pumps, heater and controls, so this presents a problem.. Rather than half bury one, I suggest that you just have the deck on one side be higher..

OK - I'll come back on this after the plans are redrawn. My landscape expert has also worked with a lot of spa projects and is going to do some studies for us -- spa is probably 2021 assuming we continue to do a stand alone and not put it next to the pool.

Robots -- do the work well on sloped pools? The ads all have the robots climbing pretty walls in very clear rectangles -- but our pool is all curves. The robot does not care, it will work just fine..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Dutiful Daughter

Gold Supporter
May 12, 2019
39
Oregon
Poolgate -- that board is definitely being replaced. Allen -- thanks for this on the electrical -- so to be clear, any electrical lines and outlets we run would need to be beyond the 5 foot radius? Does that include low voltage?
 

PoolGate

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Jun 7, 2017
3,799
Damascus, MD
They have low voltage transformers made specifically for pool use. There are specific electrical requirements for pools especially for grounding (insulated ground) and bonding grids. Make sure your electrician is aware of specific pool code and requirements.
 

ajw22

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TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,519
Northern NJ
Allen -- thanks for this on the electrical -- so to be clear, any electrical lines and outlets we run would need to be beyond the 5 foot radius? Does that include low voltage?
Yes, for all non-pool equipment. Different for lights specifically designed for the pool. But low voltage landscaping lights need to be 5' from the water. There are some recent changes to the code about this but no approved lights on the market yet to make it practical.

See this thread Landscape Lighting that meets code
 

Dutiful Daughter

Gold Supporter
May 12, 2019
39
Oregon
Hi --

See below from Hunter, which is the parent company to my landscape lighting system -- according to them -- my landscape lighting system meets all of the coding provisions and may be installed less than 5 ft from a pool. Note - this isn't actually in our specific plans -- there are 2 lights that are just shy of 5 ft in our construction plans and everything else is beyond that radius -- but I read your other thread and am copying in the below directly from Hunter. I hope it helps.



"The NEC is housed inside section 70 of the NFPA code. This specific situation is covered in sections 680.22, B.6, on page 549 of NFPA 70, 2017 edition. Here’s the text:

“(6) Low Voltage Luminaires - Listed low-voltage luminaires not requiring grounding, not exceeding the low-voltage contact limit, and supplied by listed transformers or power supplies that comply with 680.23(A)(2) shall be permitted to be located less than 1.5 m (5 ft) from the inside walls of the pool.”

This means our low voltage fixtures may be installed less than 5 feet of the pool or spa if the transformer is listed by a third party to UL 379 and voltages are below 15 VAC. The PX, LX and Luxor ZD/C all comply with 680.23(A)(2).

The transformer must be installed greater than 10’ from a pool or spa, but can be between 5’ and 10’ if connected to a GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter). Note that GFIs are required on all outlets less than 20’ from the sides of the pool anyway, per 680.22 (4).

Here is a summary chart:

Distance from Pool/SpaLV FixtureTransformer
<5’Any 15VAC fixture connected to a UL/ETL transformerN/A
5’< x <10’Any 15VAC fixture connected to an unapproved UL/ETL transformerAll 15V transformers connected to a GFI*
≥20’ All 15V transformers no matter the receptacle
* Note that GFIs are required on all outlets less than 20’ from the sides of the pool anyway, per 680.22 (4).

The electrical code (NFPA 70) has many overlapping sections and addresses other considerations like wire type, construction details, etc. Also, most areas have local codes to follow as well. For this reason, we always suggest that local inspectors be consulted to be sure the installation will pass before construction.
 

ajw22

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TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,519
Northern NJ
The article linked to in post #73 raises two issues.

The first is that both the luminaries and the transformer must be listed (approved) for use within the 5' pool boundary. To highlight from what Hunter provided:

“(6) Low Voltage Luminaires - Listed low-voltage luminaires not requiring grounding, not exceeding the low-voltage contact limit, and supplied by listed transformers or power supplies that comply with 680.23(A)(2) shall be permitted to be located less than 1.5 m (5 ft) from the inside walls of the pool.”

The issue the article raises is that while there are listed transformers available there were no listed luminaries at the time of the writing of the article. In what you posted above from Hunter they claim their transformers are listed but do NOT specifically say their luminaries are listed. They seem to imply that the code allows connection of any 15VAC fixture connected to a UL/ETL transformer. Yet that is not what the code they quote says.

The other issue the article raises is while it may now be within code, is it smart to do it. The article describes situations where it can put people in danger.

Personally, I would continue to keep all non-pool electrical outside of the 5' pool boundary.
 

Dutiful Daughter

Gold Supporter
May 12, 2019
39
Oregon
hi -- you are so far above my pay grade. I don't understand listing -- but the below was the rest of the link from the company. I just don't understand it. This is separate from whether I personally would choose to do this -- in our remodel we are not unless we leave 2 of the lights a scoshe on the inside of 5 (the measure about 4.6 ft on the plans).


"See below for documentation for our transformers and fixtures.

UL - 379 Standard for Power Units for Fountain, Swimming Pool, and Spa Luminaires | Standards Catalog ( transformer only)

UL - 1838 Standard for Low Voltage Landscape Lighting Systems | Standards Catalog (transformer and fixtures)"
 

Dutiful Daughter

Gold Supporter
May 12, 2019
39
Oregon
On the skimmer, it's asking a lot of one skimmer to keep the pool properly skimmed for that amount of surface area and what looks like a moderate or higher level of potential tree debris. With a full reno planned, I would certainly increase returns to 3 or 4 (from 2) for circulation and skimmers to 2 (from 1). On the winds, certainly a lot of wind is going to be coming towards the house. But I know from how stuff blows around our house, when wind comes directly at the back of the house, it returns away from the house at ground level, which would be across the pool surface. And with your pool so close/under your house, that may be the case. But regardless, there are many lines of thinking, but my setup for that pool would be keep the existing skimmer, we'll call it bottom left looking out from the pool and I'd add the second one top left (still on the side wall). Then I'd put three returns along the right side, basically moving water right to left. I'd also include a deep water return coming out 6' deep below the diving board towards the house, for warm water circulation (benefit of this deep return is debatable but if heating a pool, it does provide some benefit and no downside). Ideally all skimmers (for sure) and all returns are individually plumbed back to the pad.

Definitely SWG.

Drains - If you are going to replace the lines anyway, absolutely go with the linear channel drains that allow you to add pebble to the covers. The are much more contemporary/modern looking and will match the house style better. Also, there is zero chance your robot will get stuck on them. Any round drain causes potential for robots to get stuck (not those with 3 brushes, but definitely those with 2 - the robots often get off by themselves after 30+ seconds, but not always).

Filter - If you have been happy with sand, and know it, keep sand. Only downsides are maybe more water use due to backwashing (not a huge amount/issue) and they are much slower to clear a green pool during the last and slowest "cloudy" phase. But if you pool stays clear, which it should, the that's a non-issue.

Heater - Full renovation...replace. Get a new Raypak to do with your Pentair or whatever automation you go with.

Pump - VS of course, anything else will be illegal soon, if not already in OR (and everywhere).

Fire pit - We have a real wood mobile fire pit that we use a handful of times in the summer, but also in the spring/fall. I love burning wood so it's a simple must for me personally. But I expect in OR, you'd want a gas fire pit if you do one. Another option for outdoor heat is to go European (like they have at all their outdoor eating areas) and install a gas heater into the ceiling of the covered overhang. Then you'd get a heated outdoor space with no space taken up and it would still be poolside.

Slide - Definitely replace. It just dates the whole area. Get a TurboTwister or similar.

Corrected CA to OR. And added slide comments.
Bmoreswim -- I'm attaching a hand drawing -- is this what you meant? You'd suggest no longer using the ones in the shallow end? Or adding 3 more on the side and a deep water -- that would then give me 6 returns? Any fire pit would be natural gas -- I'm going to see what the new renderings look like -- either way, we will probably extend the gas somewhere -- future proofing.

I'm totally bummed -- that Adrenaline slide looked good but its been discontinued -- however, I have a long time before I worry ultimately about slide details.
 

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bmoreswim

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Rethinking my return and skimmer suggestion some. Although you are ripping up your deck and replacing pipe, keeping the existing two returns does save trouble. The attached would add a skimmer and create a whirlpool type effect with eyeball returns directing water in a circular motion. An additional mid level return could be added (deep would be more work since it's a reno) or make the side return deeper.

On the slide, yes, I remember seeing folks compare/contrast those two.

2019-05-24 12.00.07.jpg
 
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Dutiful Daughter

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May 12, 2019
39
Oregon
hi all TFP Experts and Moderators:

Just a big thank you! One of you has a signature that says "come with questions, stay for the education, leave with knowledge" and its really true.

I'm in a much better position today than 2 weeks ago.

The landscape architect is reworking the renderings, my punch list is growing -- and we will probably have a meeting with the pool builders in july to hammer out details for Spring 2020. I'll be back -- but you've gotten me so far. Its clear that the spa issue is going to come back around for sure.

Thanks for the wonderful redrawing for me to go back with on the skimmers and returns -- and yes, we are retaining the pool shape. Not a lot we can do really -- the pool and the house were designed together so to move the pool would be not only incredibly expensive, but would probably also require removing some of the old trees that we have -- and that's a non starter.
 
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