[DFW - Frisco, TX] New pool construction: advice needed

tripod1119

Member
Oct 16, 2017
11
Frisco
Hi all

After considering too much for too long, we finally are building a pool. :)
We already engaged with multiple pool builders and signed the contract last month.
We just got the city permit and are waiting for HOA approval.

Before our selections meeting, I would like to hear some advice from experts.

Below is the design we are building.
No special water feature but simple rectangular shaped pool + spa.
pool.JPG

Pool + Spa surface square ft: 468 sq ft (pool only = 412 sq ft)
Pool size: 34'6" x 12'5" with 14,918 gallons
Deck: Travertine Paver Deck in 723 sq ft
Equipment and options:
- Jandy 60 sq ft DE filter with Sight Glass on Backwash line to P-trap
- Jandy 2.7HP variable speed circulation pump
- Jandy PDA PS4 (pool/Spa)
- Jandy JXi400 Natural heater
- Polaris 3900 Complete with booster pump
- 3 multicolor LED lights
- 8 Spa jets
- 2 skimmers, 5 returns, 2 safety main drains
- Minimum 2" suction and 1.5" return lines
- IAQUALINK IQ20A unit
- PowerClean Ultra In-line Chlorinator

I tried to remove the in-line chlorinator and add SWG.
My designer was actually very against this SWG option, but I kept pushing and the designer gave an option of Jandy PLC1400 model (pool size up to 40,000 gallons) for $1,738.
Is the price reasonable?
My designer still wants to have a deeper discussion in person at the selections meeting about the SWG, and I don't know exactly what my designer would say about SWG but wants to know true pros and cons from experienced users.

Any other recommendations and advice would be greatly appreciated!!!!

Thank you so much!!!!!
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,851
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Welcome and good luck on your build.

You will find that many builders are against salt in our area. There are many theories about that, including better builder incentives for UV/Ozone/Mineral systems, using flagstone and other materials that do not hold up as well, to just plain ignorance.

I have a little over a year under my belt with salt, and would absolutely do it again. I have no corrosion issues, the water feels great, and best of all it is so convenient. My adding chlorine is as easy as whipping out my phone and adjusting the % on the SWCG.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,781
Bedford, TX
1119,

I live in the DFW area and own three saltwater pools.. I have seen zero problems related to the saltwater.. Zero!! I would just as soon fill my pools in, as not have them be saltwater pools.

Have your "designer" prove it.. Can they show you the damage, or is this one of those.. "My daughter's boyfriend's uncle had a friend and the salt just ate right through his gunite pool.". OK, show me...

I live in this Century and all my pools have robots that look like this... and do not require your pool pump to work..

Even if I could get in my magic DeLorean and go back to 1970, I still would not buy a suction, or pressure side, cleaner.. :mrgreen:

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

tripod1119

Member
Oct 16, 2017
11
Frisco
Welcome and good luck on your build.

You will find that many builders are against salt in our area. There are many theories about that, including better builder incentives for UV/Ozone/Mineral systems, using flagstone and other materials that do not hold up as well, to just plain ignorance.

I have a little over a year under my belt with salt, and would absolutely do it again. I have no corrosion issues, the water feels great, and best of all it is so convenient. My adding chlorine is as easy as whipping out my phone and adjusting the % on the SWCG.
Thank you JJ_Tex for your comment..
This is my first pool and I am very new to all pool knowledge at this moment, and thus this TFP has been really helpful for me to learn...that's how I learned the convenience and advantage of SWG.
My pool builder recommended Ozone system but was not very pushy either.. Their recommendation was simply in-line Chlorinator, and that made me wonder "why" because I thought they could profit more by selling SWG over in-line chlorinator... or maybe I am wrong..
 

tripod1119

Member
Oct 16, 2017
11
Frisco
1119,

I live in the DFW area and own three saltwater pools.. I have seen zero problems related to the saltwater.. Zero!! I would just as soon fill my pools in, as not have them be saltwater pools.

Have your "designer" prove it.. Can they show you the damage, or is this one of those.. "My daughter's boyfriend's uncle had a friend and the salt just ate right through his gunite pool.". OK, show me...

I live in this Century and all my pools have robots that look like this... and do not require your pool pump to work..

Even if I could get in my magic DeLorean and go back to 1970, I still would not buy a suction, or pressure side, cleaner.. :mrgreen:

Thanks,

Jim R.
Good point, Jimrahbe, and I may have to challenge my designer at the selections meeting.
This is my pool that I pay for, and I will definitely get SWG but just get worried if my PB requests me to sign a waiver on some of their work warranty due to SWG... (I saw one posting that said this)

By the way, are you recommending a robot cleaner rather than my option of "Polaris 3900 Complete with booster pump"?
(sorry that I am very new to all pool equipment and this is my first pool, so I am not familiar with all equipment but it looks like Polaris 3900 is a cleaning system in my options)
Should I remove this Polaris 3900 and buy a robot cleaner?

Thanks again!!!
 

spd500

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2020
564
Houston, TX
My builder didn't want us to go with SWCG either. I was planning on adding it myself until we decided to add the automation system, but when we ordered the automation I just told him that I wanted the one with the SWCG built in and he was less resistant. If you install it yourself you can save a fair amount of money for minimal effort, but i didn't want to take any chances with trying to add it into my automation and void the warranty.

I also had them remove the pressure side cleaning system from mine and will use a robot. Less energy and better cleaning sound like a good idea to me, and one less pump on the equipment pad. I did have them leave the piping in place that would have gone to the pad and use that as a suction port for when I need to use the manual vacuum
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,851
Prosper, TX (DFW)
By the way, are you recommending a robot cleaner rather than my option of "Polaris 3900 Complete with booster pump"?
(sorry that I am very new to all pool equipment and this is my first pool, so I am not familiar with all equipment but it looks like Polaris 3900 is a cleaning system in my options)
Should I remove this Polaris 3900 and buy a robot cleaner?
You are correct, and I would at least see the price difference for a Robot either through the builder or buying on your own ($600+).

The advantages of the robot cleaner are:
- Robots are much newer technology (the pools I grew up with had polaris cleaners, and my kids tell me I'm really old)
- There is no need for a booster pump
- There is no need to even have to run your pool pump at all, you just plug it into an outlet and drop it into the pool
- They are easier to remove from the pool. During the swim season, I store mine out of the pool and drop it in for a cleaning about once a week.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,781
Bedford, TX
Should I remove this Polaris 3900 and buy a robot cleaner?
1119,

I'm just trying to provide you with options... It is your pool and you should get what you want.. Just because I like something does not make me right..

I have three pools and they all have robots.. I have been using them for about 15 years or so and love them..

If I were to build a new pool today, I would not install any cleaner that used the pool pump, or booster pump, to clean the pool. I would also not buy the robot from the pool company. At my house I use the Dolphin S200, which at the time cost me $700 bucks.. If I had bought the cleaner from my pool builder, it would have been $1,400..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

tripod1119

Member
Oct 16, 2017
11
Frisco
My builder didn't want us to go with SWCG either. I was planning on adding it myself until we decided to add the automation system, but when we ordered the automation I just told him that I wanted the one with the SWCG built in and he was less resistant. If you install it yourself you can save a fair amount of money for minimal effort, but i didn't want to take any chances with trying to add it into my automation and void the warranty.

I also had them remove the pressure side cleaning system from mine and will use a robot. Less energy and better cleaning sound like a good idea to me, and one less pump on the equipment pad. I did have them leave the piping in place that would have gone to the pad and use that as a suction port for when I need to use the manual vacuum
Hi, spd500,
I thought about adding SWG later but also concerned about the warranty void too as you indicated..so I will keep pushing although my designer tries to persuade.. I just wonder why many PBs are against SWG..

Thanks for sharing your experience.
 

tripod1119

Member
Oct 16, 2017
11
Frisco
You are correct, and I would at least see the price difference for a Robot either through the builder or buying on your own ($600+).

The advantages of the robot cleaner are:
- Robots are much newer technology (the pools I grew up with had polaris cleaners, and my kids tell me I'm really old)
- There is no need for a booster pump
- There is no need to even have to run your pool pump at all, you just plug it into an outlet and drop it into the pool
- They are easier to remove from the pool. During the swim season, I store mine out of the pool and drop it in for a cleaning about once a week.
Everyone seems to prefer a robot you the Polaris cleaning system, so I should go this route. Do you have any idea of price difference between Polaris cleaner and a robot cleaner?
I already received a quote for my pool that includes the Polaris system and would like to know how much reduction I should expect when I remove the Polaris cleaner..

Thanks again for educating me on all the advantages about the robot cleaner!!!
 

tripod1119

Member
Oct 16, 2017
11
Frisco
1119,

I'm just trying to provide you with options... It is your pool and you should get what you want.. Just because I like something does not make me right..

I have three pools and they all have robots.. I have been using them for about 15 years or so and love them..

If I were to build a new pool today, I would not install any cleaner that used the pool pump, or booster pump, to clean the pool. I would also not buy the robot from the pool company. At my house I use the Dolphin S200, which at the time cost me $700 bucks.. If I had bought the cleaner from my pool builder, it would have been $1,400..

Thanks,

Jim R.
Hi, Jimrahbe

Yes, it appears that I definitely need to remove the Polaris system and get a robot.
Do you have any idea of how much cost drop I should expect from my quote when I remove the Polaris system? As I told JJ_Tex above, I already received a quote with the Polaris system and would like to know what to expect when I request them to remove the Polaris cleaner.

Thanks again for all the great tips!!!
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,851
Prosper, TX (DFW)
By the way, except the SWG and Polaris cleaning system, is everything else looking ok?

Thanks!!!
Builder pricing can be interesting, but deleting the Polaris and booster pump and adding a robot should be a wash if not a bit cheaper.

I don’t know Jandy equipment so I can’t help there.

On your design,will the grass strips be real or synthetic grass?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,781
Bedford, TX
1119,

Pool builders are pretty good at adding things to the price, but not so good when removing them.. The only way to know is to ask.

I would re-look at your filter... Here is my story..

I have two rent house pools with DE filters.. When I had my pool built, I really wanted a DE filter, as it is what I was used to using.. But, where I live, you have to plumb the DE filter into the house sewer, which was impossible with my pool, so I had to "settle" for a large cartridge filter.. Move forward 6 years and I now love my easy to use cartridge filter and can't wait for the DE filters at my rent house to die so I can replace them.. No DE to mess with, no backwashing, no multiport valve to leak, break, or become impossible to turn. And the plumbing is much simpler. I like simple. I open and clean my filter twice a year. Once before the pool season and once after the pool season.

The bigger the filter the less you will have to clean it. I could go a whole year between cleanings, but my OCD won't let me.. :mrgreen:

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

tgrinchy

Silver Supporter
Aug 13, 2019
25
Houston
I’d recommend getting the RS system instead of PDA. That way you can program your entire system on your phone local or away. The iaqualink with pda is severely gimped and you’ll only be able to turn a few items on/off with your phone. That may be ok for you but best to understand the limitations of pda with aqualink vs RS with aqualink
 
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tripod1119

Member
Oct 16, 2017
11
Frisco
Builder pricing can be interesting, but deleting the Polaris and booster pump and adding a robot should be a wash if not a bit cheaper.

I don’t know Jandy equipment so I can’t help there.

On your design,will the grass strips be real or synthetic grass?
I am having synthetic grass.
Thanks for your comments again!!!
 

tripod1119

Member
Oct 16, 2017
11
Frisco
1119,

Pool builders are pretty good at adding things to the price, but not so good when removing them.. The only way to know is to ask.

I would re-look at your filter... Here is my story..

I have two rent house pools with DE filters.. When I had my pool built, I really wanted a DE filter, as it is what I was used to using.. But, where I live, you have to plumb the DE filter into the house sewer, which was impossible with my pool, so I had to "settle" for a large cartridge filter.. Move forward 6 years and I now love my easy to use cartridge filter and can't wait for the DE filters at my rent house to die so I can replace them.. No DE to mess with, no backwashing, no multiport valve to leak, break, or become impossible to turn. And the plumbing is much simpler. I like simple. I open and clean my filter twice a year. Once before the pool season and once after the pool season.

The bigger the filter the less you will have to clean it. I could go a whole year between cleanings, but my OCD won't let me.. :mrgreen:

Thanks,

Jim R.
Yup, I also feel that PB would not drop much from my initial quote when removing the Polaris system.... I will ask and see how total comes out.. hopefully, a robot is a cheaper option..

Regarding the filter, after reading many posts here, I am actually 50:50. I see positive reviews on both and have pros and cons.. so I did not care much. I will research and read more posts on filter before selection meeting.

Thank you so much again!!!
 

tripod1119

Member
Oct 16, 2017
11
Frisco
I’d recommend getting the RS system instead of PDA. That way you can program your entire system on your phone local or away. The iaqualink with pda is severely gimped and you’ll only be able to turn a few items on/off with your phone. That may be ok for you but best to understand the limitations of pda with aqualink vs RS with aqualink
Thank you tgrinchy for letting me know about RS system... In fact, I have zero knowledge about this RS vs PDA system... I will ask my PB for the RS system and understand the differences. It looks like aqualink is needed for and goes with both RS and PDA, right??
 

tgrinchy

Silver Supporter
Aug 13, 2019
25
Houston
Thank you tgrinchy for letting me know about RS system... In fact, I have zero knowledge about this RS vs PDA system... I will ask my PB for the RS system and understand the differences. It looks like aqualink is needed for and goes with both RS and PDA, right??
It’s confusing at first but basically with PDA system you can program the entire system like schedules with just the pda receiver that’s slow and clunky within range of the pda transmitter while your mobile device can only turn on/off devices (local or remote)

With RS it’s opposite - your mobile device can program the entire system which has a richer UI (can use pc as well) while the pda only turns devices on or off. I have my pda in a drawer and never use it.

For example, I have a SWG (aqualink) and can do things on my phone like check status, change % output, modify schedules, change pump speeds etc from my phone, home or remote.

With pda system I’d only be able to do that on the pda at home. Both systems come with a pda and physically are identical hardware which makes it even more confusing; Jandy does not do a good job explaining the differences and neither did my builder.

In fact my system WAS a pda 8 system upgraded to RS8 after all this came to light at startup. They shouldn’t even sell the pda system with aqualink IMO.
 
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tripod1119

Member
Oct 16, 2017
11
Frisco
It’s confusing at first but basically with PDA system you can program the entire system like schedules with just the pda receiver that’s slow and clunky within range of the pda transmitter while your mobile device can only turn on/off devices (local or remote)

With RS it’s opposite - your mobile device can program the entire system which has a richer UI (can use pc as well) while the pda only turns devices on or off. I have my pda in a drawer and never use it.

For example, I have a SWG (aqualink) and can do things on my phone like check status, change % output, modify schedules, change pump speeds etc from my phone, home or remote.

With pda system I’d only be able to do that on the pda at home. Both systems come with a pda and physically are identical hardware which makes it even more confusing; Jandy does not do a good job explaining the differences and neither did my builder.

In fact my system WAS a pda 8 system upgraded to RS8 after all this came to light at startup. They shouldn’t even sell the pda system with aqualink IMO.
Hi, tgrinchy

I talked to my PB about RS system upgrade, and this upgrade costs additional $820. Does it sound reasonable?
And, PB said I would need to change the settings probably twice a year with PDA (maybe seasonally?) once I make one setting and if I am not traveling a lot, I may not find it very useful.
What he said also sounds right and makes sense to me. However, this is my first pool, which means I have zero experience with pool use and maintenance. What do you think? Do you frequently use your phone to control??

Thanks again.