Considering a play pool (Austin, Tx)


Silver Supporter
Jun 14, 2020
Round Rock, Tx
Looking at a play pool with a spa and two sheers. Freeform pool approx 17x30, 418 sq ft Attached is drawing. They recommend a 3-5-4. I see you recommend a shallow end not lower that 4ft. What would you suggest? 4-6-4. Or is this a bad idea in general. Have teenagers looking to play volleyball and basketball. Below is the equipment suggested. The PB does not like vari-speed, says 2 speed is enough, but will do vari-speed if I request. What should I ask for in vari-speed? I was planning on a chlorine and using the liquid chlorine. I will take out the in-line chlorinator. Also, pool is quoted with plaster. I am torn on finish. We don't want a light blue color water, so was considering quartz or pebble. However, the cost of those is really pushing the budget. Is money better spent getting the best equip and skimping on finish or do a happy medium? They say quartz will be $3.6-3.8K for medium blue and pebble will add $5.5k+ depending on level of pebble. Entry level pebble worries me for roughness. Also, want to make sure I am sizing up on filter. Any suggestions greatly appreciated!

- 2 hp Hayward Tristar pump
- 5025 Hayward Cartridge filter
- Hayward E-4 automated control with wireless remote
- Rainbow 320 in-line chlorinator
- Hayward Chrome ring light(s)
- 1 ½ hp blower

Thanks in advance
New Pool Construction
Austin, Tx


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Gold Supporter
Aug 6, 2019
Los Angeles, CA
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I personally would insist on a variable speed pump. From reading around this forum I'm surprised that any builders are still recommending otherwise. I'd be happy to elaborate on the reasons if need be. It's one of those things you can't really appreciate until you actually have the pool. I use a Pentair Intelliflo VSF. It's a pretty popular model but I can't say how it compares to others.

I have the entry-level pebble tec and absolutely no discomfort or abrasion problems whatsoever, but some people on here have had worse experiences.

I can't offer an useful opinion on 3-5-4 versus 4-6-4 for a play pool, but I will say that my 3.5' shallow end seems like it would be fine for things like volleyball. I'm 6' tall and I can comfortably submerse in it when lazing around having conversations.


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
Evans, Georgia
You want VS because come next near that's the law, and he sounds like he's pawning old stock off on you.

A shallow pool, esp in Austin, will be a hot swampy pool. Have you discussed a pool cooler?lt

Using pucks to chlorinate is a big no-no..... go for a Salt Water Chlorine Generated (SWG) pool. Texas builders balk at times, but they're wrong.

Maddie 🌻


Silver Supporter
Mar 4, 2016
McKinney, TX
Love it! Your pool is similar to ours in shape and layout!
Here is my 2 cents:
1. Totally agree with Yippee on the chiller--really wish we had one!
2. We have a raised wall with sheer descents. We literally never run the sheers. Our raised wall looks pretty, and I hate to admit this, but if I could get a do over I would skip the wall and sheers and put that money towards something more important (chiller, plaster upgrade). Plus the wall makes the pool less easy to walk around for playing, getting stray volleyballs, basketballs, and even for brushing the sides. But I was dead set on it and the sheer descents :) Really, the bubbler on tanning ledge and the spa fountain is all the water feature we really need. Oh, and one of our sheers is now not working properly, just something else to deal with.
3. For volleyball, you don't want 6 foot in the middle. Our is 4-5-4 foot and it is hard to move/play when you are up near the net because of the depth (and we are a tall family, I'm 5'8 and husband 6'2, 18 and 21 year old sons 6'...


Gold Supporter
Jun 19, 2020
We are also in the process and have decided to go without a chiller initially Due to our costs, but we were told we can add it after the fact.
We are going with pebbletec and are also going with a varibal speed pump as the others have suggested.

Love the design, good luck!
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