Excited to sign a contract for a new pool in Austin, Texas! Feedback?

AustinPete

Member
May 10, 2020
7
Austin
Thanks all for the information and support so far- I’ve been lurking as we look at building our little slice of paradise in South Austin, Texas (Circle C).

We have been working on the design of our pool and are at the point that we are ready to start construction. Before we sign the contract we’d love some feedback on the design and materials.

Pool: 3.6ft-5.6ft-3.6ft sport pool, 14 ft x 30 ft water, 15,000 gallons, with a tanning shelf, 2 skimmers, 2 color change LED lights, 3 LED beach bubblers, a 3ftx3ft corner bench and a 12ft bench.

Spa: 3.6ft deep, 7ftx8ft water, 1,000 gallons, with 1 color change LED light. It is outside the pool perimeter and is elevated 18 inches.

They will be overlaying appx 195 sqft of patio with stamped concrete, and installing 452 square feet of new stamped concrete. Additionally, there will be a lueder paver and black basalt gravel path from the patio to the side gate 3ft wide, 28ft long.

Thanks to this forum, we insisted on salt water- two builders tried to talk us out of it (or outright ignored the request!) I am a little lost on the rest of the specs and equipment- would love any and all commentary!

Pool & Spa Filter Pump: JANDY 2.0 HP VARIABLE SPEED E-PUMP

Pool & Spa Filter: JANDY 580 SQ FT CARTRIDGE FILTER

Water Feature Pumps: 1.0 HP JANDY E-PUMP

Pool & Spa Control System: AQUALINK WIFI AUTOMATION CONTROLLED BY SMART PHONE APP

Pool & Spa Sanitation: INLINE CHLORINATOR, UV/ OZONATOR, SALT SYSTEM

Pool & Spa Gas Heater: 260,000 BTU NATURAL GAS

Pool Cleaner: POLARIS 360 WITH ACTUATOR VALVE (NO ADDITIONAL PUMP NEEDED) WATER FILL-LINE AND OVERFLOW

Big thanks in advance!
 

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rumcglot

Silver Supporter
Feb 13, 2019
95
Texas
I'm just down the road from you. You'll love the salt system. I converted my pool this season, and it has really made the pool more enjoyable since it is always dosed and clean. My coping and waterfall material aren't the best for a salt pool. Since you get to choose for your build, I'm sure your results will be even better.

Pool & Spa Filter Pump: JANDY 2.0 HP VARIABLE SPEED E-PUMP
Jandy equipment doesn't generally seem well regarded in this forum, but I'm not sure why. Just my impression. Most everyone here has Pentair. I have Hayward myself. In any case, 2HP seems larger than necessary, but there probably isn't much to be saved with going smaller.

Pool & Spa Sanitation: INLINE CHLORINATOR, UV/ OZONATOR, SALT SYSTEM
Most everyone here is going to say that the UV/Ozonator system doesn't do anything. There's an article in the Pool School about it. I wouldn't let them install it if it were me. The inline chlorinator is redundant to the salt system, and unnecessary if you plan on following the TFP method of using liquid chlorine when you are using the salt system. I took mine out when I installed my salt system.
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,727
Prosper, TX (DFW)
I had the same thoughts on black gravel.

You may also want to look at that heater. Most newer ones are 400k BTU and yours is only 260k BTU. I'm not sure if it makes a huge difference, but I know my 400k will heat up the spa very quickly and makes impromptu spa usage in the winter pretty easy (20-30 min heat-up) and only a few $ to do so. If it was slower with a smaller heater, we may not use it as much.
 

LovePortofino

Gold Supporter
Aug 10, 2020
5
Austin, TX
We are building a new pool in central Austin, too! I’ve read now a few times on this site that SWG is the way to go but our PB talked us out of it due to the chemical imbalance the many falling leaves will cause. Can someone help me understand why PBS are so against SWGs? And if the loads of oaks with leaves around our pool will truly wreak havoc on a SWG system? Happy to start my own thread if it’s more appropriate.
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,727
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Leaves wreaking havoc on a SWG system is a new one. I'm not sure what leaves would do to a SWG system, and my live oak certainly drops plenty of leaves in the pool with no issue.

I havent figured out why many PBs here are against SWGs. I can tell you that equipment manufacturers have sales incentives to pool builders (ask a PB the last time they paid for a vacation :) ). They also go to industry conventions in Vegas, New Orleans, etc also put on by equipment manufacturers touting their latest equipment like UV/Ozone. Who knows what type of "facts" are shared at those things.
 
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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
774
Katy TX
Thanks all for the feedback! I reflected it to our builder and I will update.
1) I would second the comment on upgrade to 400k BTU heater. You want it to heat the spa fast.
2) I see you have pavers with the black gravel for your walkway - that to the equipment pad?. It is much easier to walk on pavers than just gravel.
3) The layout shows 2 skimmers - I would have them plumbed independently back to the equipment pad with a valve for each. It will give you better control. Your bottom drain should also be plumbed back to the equipment pad with its dedicated line and a valve.
4) It is hard to determine on your graphics if your spa will spillover into the pool or not. If so, just ensure it is set up correctly, especially if you have a wide spillover and trying to get a waterfall effect. You need to pump a lot of water to create that.
Keep us informed.
 
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AustinPete

Member
May 10, 2020
7
Austin
1) I would second the comment on upgrade to 400k BTU heater. You want it to heat the spa fast.
2) I see you have pavers with the black gravel for your walkway - that to the equipment pad?. It is much easier to walk on pavers than just gravel.
3) The layout shows 2 skimmers - I would have them plumbed independently back to the equipment pad with a valve for each. It will give you better control. Your bottom drain should also be plumbed back to the equipment pad with its dedicated line and a valve.
4) It is hard to determine on your graphics if your spa will spillover into the pool or not. If so, just ensure it is set up correctly, especially if you have a wide spillover and trying to get a waterfall effect. You need to pump a lot of water to create that.
Keep us informed.
Thanks!

1. Our builder says that our pipes will not accommodate a 400k btu heater. I will press her again on this.
2. The pavers are surrounded by black gravel and they are to the equipment pad and continuing on to the front of the house.
3. Never thought of this! I will reflect to the builder.
4. The spa does have a waterfall/spillover to the pool. I will also ask the builder about these concerns.

:)
 

AustinPete

Member
May 10, 2020
7
Austin
We are building a new pool in central Austin, too! I’ve read now a few times on this site that SWG is the way to go but our PB talked us out of it due to the chemical imbalance the many falling leaves will cause. Can someone help me understand why PBS are so against SWGs? And if the loads of oaks with leaves around our pool will truly wreak havoc on a SWG system? Happy to start my own thread if it’s more appropriate.
This site is very pro-SWG and I am a believer too. My inlaws had a pool and I thought the swimming experience was better once they upgraded to salt water.

I had heard that many builders do not like to build SWG but will do so if you require it. We had 3 builders come out to our backyard and 2/3 tried to talk us out of SWG. For the 1 we are almost certainly going to sign with, I just said "SWG or the highway" and she happily recommended we build different coping (to counter corrosion) and worked SWG into the bid.
 

spd500

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2020
547
Houston, TX
Thanks!

1. Our builder says that our pipes will not accommodate a 400k btu heater. I will press her again on this.
2. The pavers are surrounded by black gravel and they are to the equipment pad and continuing on to the front of the house.
3. Never thought of this! I will reflect to the builder.
4. The spa does have a waterfall/spillover to the pool. I will also ask the builder about these concerns.

:)
We are having our gas meter upgraded to a larger meter for the 400K heater, in Houston it is a $300 upgrade with the gas company. This may he what they are referring to, if so call thengas company and check into it.
 

mlggator

Bronze Supporter
Jul 18, 2020
93
Carlsbad, CA
This site is very pro-SWG and I am a believer too. My inlaws had a pool and I thought the swimming experience was better once they upgraded to salt water.

I had heard that many builders do not like to build SWG but will do so if you require it. We had 3 builders come out to our backyard and 2/3 tried to talk us out of SWG. For the 1 we are almost certainly going to sign with, I just said "SWG or the highway" and she happily recommended we build different coping (to counter corrosion) and worked SWG into the bid.
I'm curious why so many builders are against SWG. Here in California, they are standard. Everyone has them, and builders pretty much just bid them at the get go.
 
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jark87

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2011
249
Flower Mound, TX
We are building a new pool in central Austin, too! I’ve read now a few times on this site that SWG is the way to go but our PB talked us out of it due to the chemical imbalance the many falling leaves will cause. Can someone help me understand why PBS are so against SWGs? And if the loads of oaks with leaves around our pool will truly wreak havoc on a SWG system? Happy to start my own thread if it’s more appropriate.
I’ve had SWCG for 13 years and my pool is surrounded by trees. If the leaves cause a chemical imbalance, it doesn’t show up in any of the tests available in my Taylor kits. My pool builder wasn’t pro-SWCG, but he didn’t really push hard against it. His primary concern was corrosion from salt water and he advised that I’d need to hose down the coping after heavy usage days, which of course, I’ve never done. Everything is still in great shape 13 years later!
 

tjk65

Member
Jun 14, 2020
19
Round Rock, Tx
I know this site loves SWG. What I have seen though is that the cell has to be replaced every 5 years or so, and that seems like a $500-600 cost. Are there other savings that make this is up? Or is it just the ease of care, that is worth the cost.
 
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rumcglot

Silver Supporter
Feb 13, 2019
95
Texas
Most people that have claimed to have done the math have said that it is about a wash. Of course, it depends on local chlorine prices.

I think the phrase "ease of care" sort of minimizes what its like to walk out every day, sometimes after having neglected it for a week, and have crystal clear water. I honestly didn't know my water could be as pretty as it has been all summer.
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
435
Central Texas
How much FC can you replenish per day, for 5 years, given $600 of 10% liquid chlorine:

At $4 for a gallon for 10% chlorine, $600 buys you 150 gallons.
Converted to ounces (128:1), that's 19,200 ounces.
Spread across 5 years (1825 days), that's only 10.5 ounces a day.
10.5 ounces of 10% equates to about a 0.56ppm rise in FC for a 14,000 gal pool.


How much would you spend to replenish 2 FC per day, using 10% liquid chlorine, for 5 years:

2 FC equates to 36oz in a 14,000 gal pool
36oz per day, for 5 years (1825 days) is 65,700 ounces
Converted to gallons (128:1), that's 513 gallons
at $4 per gallon, it's a total of $2,052 over the 5 year period.


How long would $600 worth of 10% last with a 2 FC per day requirement:

$600 buys 19,200 ounces at $4 per gallon
19,200 ounces divided by 36oz (amount needed to replenish 2 FC for a 14,000 gal pool) is 533 days
533 days is 1.46 years


Obviously, how big your pool is, and how much FC loss you have due to the sun, swimmer load, organics, etc ... all play a part here. As well as how much liquid chlorine costs if your area ... I just used 14,000 gallons, $4, and 2 FC as the example.
 
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jark87

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2011
249
Flower Mound, TX
Personally, I wouldn’t worry about the math. It’s all about convenience for me. My only repetitive maintenance chore is adding a little muratic acid once a week to keep the pH in check and my water is crystal clear. I have my SWCG run time dialed in, so I know what to expect every time I test the water and it’s usually spot on. I’m on my 3rd cell in 13 years, having replaced it last year, so I’m averaging 6 years per cell, which I think is right around the norm. I’ve never had any kind of build-up in my cell, so I’ve never had to clean it with acid - only a good rinse with water.