Fiberglass Pool Build - Equipment Help

Millerm914

Member
Jul 28, 2019
8
Cincinnati, OH
We are in the planning stages of our first pool. We have done a lot of research on the forums but now need some final thoughts on equipment, design and overall thoughts on anything we may not be thinking of.

We are going with the Latham (Viking) Fiji. A freeform fiberglass pool ranging from 3'6" to 6' with a tanning ledge, 15'x34'. We are considering the "night sky" shell color but have not seen any real photos of the shell with or without colors. I am also not sure whether we will get the crystite (G3) that has more sparkle or classic (G2) "no sparkle". Any one have any experience or recommendations as to whether the G3 colors are worth an upgrade?
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Our rough design has patio space on the south (bottom in the drawing) and about an 18" terrace on the north (top side of the drawing). The pool is going between our existing patio and pavilion and the existing shed on the north side of our property. The equipment pad will be right against the house to the right of the smaller shed (garbage can storage). So the plumbing runs will be very short. We plan to put 6' privacy fence around the pad to hide it all.

Would love any thoughts on the design and layout.

Our builder does all Pentair equipment and my thoughts are as follows. I believe our pool is about 12,000 gallons as a reference and we are in southwest OH so our season is late April to Mid/Late September:
Pump: Intelliflo VS - not sure what size
Filter: Thinking cartridge (CCP) or DE (Quad DE) also not sure on sizing. I know we want to oversize it but not sure what oversized is for our pool. I don't really want to deal with backwashing since we would be backwashing nearly right onto our pool deck. Assuming we size our filter right we will likely only clean the filter once at the end of each season.
SWG: IC20 or IC40 not sure if the IC20 is big enough
Automation: leaning towards the Intellicenter with the IC40 load center. I have read that if you get the right Intellicenter package it has the SWG load center and the IC40. I am not sure you can get the package with an IC20 if that is what we need for our pool size.
NG Heater: Master temp - size?
Lights: builder says the package comes with 2 lights but not sure which ones specifically. Are the intellibright 5G the "best" Pentair LEDs?
Features: we are planning on two waterfalls in the concave curves on the north side (top) of the pool. The one will be over the submerged seat. Is that a good idea? We kind of think it might feel good to sit under but will it be annoying? Is it best to put the waterfalls on their own pump? That way we can turn them on or off through the automation regardless of the main pump speed.
Returns: I believe 3 but not exactly sure on those details yet.
Skimmer: 1 skimmer
Drain:
1 main drain

Extras:
Extra outlet near the equipment pad for robot or other needs.
Light over the equipment pad
spigot near equipment pad
Anything else you wish you had or found to be helpful?
 

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jayden

Member
Jan 24, 2021
9
MA
Pool Size
12000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
My Fiji is being installed next week so I can take some pics of the color if you'd like. We opted for sapphire blue (g2). We have 3 lights being installed, two deck jets, a salt chlorinator, in floor cleaning system and a slide. I can provide more details on the equipment later I don't have them on hand right now.
 
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jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,535
Morris Cnty NJ
IC40 fornthat size. Be aware 6' is pool shell water will be just over 5.5ft. I wouldn't install the waterfall over a bench. What type of feature a sheer decent or trickling rocks? No need for 2nd pump unless you have large waterfalls. You just set up a program or spa mode to run the falls. Make sure you have enough suction pipe size amd independent rums for each waterfall back to the pad with a valve for fine tuning
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
16,023
Evans, Georgia
-I reckon a 320 sq ft cartridge could be adequate for your short season.
-I would go with the IC40, which allows you to run it on low % or short periods and make plenty of FC.
-I think the sparkles in deep blue are quite nice. Mine is by a different manufacturer but we like the deep blue color a lot.
-I would personally avoid infloor cleaning systems as that's a lot of cuts in a fiberglass shell and we already know a robot which is cheaper works better.
-Too many foo foo water features get put in (cha-ching$) then not used all that often in the end. Noisy sometimes, and they can contribute to pH rise which requires management. Don't go toooo crazy with these IMO.

Maddie :flower:
 

gingrbredman

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
261
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
We have the Ocean Blue from Latham and did upgrade to the G3 over the G2 and are very happy we did. Different color than what you are looking at, but the sparkle in the G3 is striking in the sun. We saw pools with both and the G3 won my wife over, so of course that is what we chose. We did like the G2 and probably would have been very happy with it if she hadn't seen the G3 in person. When the sun hits the water, my wife always smiles so the small "upgrade charge" was worth it to us.

Lights: builder says the package comes with 2 lights but not sure which ones specifically. Are the intellibright 5G the "best" Pentair LEDs?
The Pentair Microbrites would be considered their "best" LED, multicolor light. We went with three in our 30' long pool and think that is the right amount. Two might leave you with some dark spots in a 34' pool.

The other thing I would suggest is determine where you want the skimmer to be before the builder places the order. Latham shells have several places where the skimmer can go with indentations already formed in the shell. They cut out the location for the skimmer at the factory, so knowing where it should go before hand will make sure it is in the correct location for your yard.

I also agree with going with the IC40. We have a "smaller" pool, but the extra capacity will be welcomed for longevity in the sell. Just be careful to dial in the settings because you could easily ramp up the chlorine quickly. I overshot mine quite a bit when it first fired up and had to dial the output quite a bit. I have more work in the spring to dial it in, but think for the small price difference, the IC40 is the way to go.

We like the Intellicenter, Pentair filter and heater combo. We have a few actuators that work great with the Intellicenter and with waterfalls, you may find these handy as well.
 

Millerm914

Member
Jul 28, 2019
8
Cincinnati, OH
We should hopefully going under contract this week then the roughly 10 week lead time waiting will be tough, thanks COVID

We are mostly set on the G2 as the builder said it was $1500 upgrade and said it’s not that noticeable and didn’t feel it was worth it. So without seeing it in person I guess we will never know what we are missing which might be a good thing.

Leaning towards the cartridge filter. So the 320 is helpful to make sure that is what is in our contract.

we are going with the intellicenter and IC40.

3 intellibright lights any thoughts on placement?

we are also struggling with what finish/materials for the pool deck. We really want stamped concrete with a natural pattern but the PB and subs recommend against it because it is so slippery. So we were leaning towards stained concrete in like a dark gray but I don’t feel that will give the right look might just look like a driveway or something plain. The next thought is to go with concrete coping and then like a modern paver. Any thoughts or pros or cons of patio material options.
 
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Millerm914

Member
Jul 28, 2019
8
Cincinnati, OH
IC40 fornthat size. Be aware 6' is pool shell water will be just over 5.5ft. I wouldn't install the waterfall over a bench. What type of feature a sheer decent or trickling rocks? No need for 2nd pump unless you have large waterfalls. You just set up a program or spa mode to run the falls. Make sure you have enough suction pipe size amd independent rums for each waterfall back to the pad with a valve for fine tuning
The waterfalls will be lighted sheer decent. We went back and forth on the water fall over the bench but we have young kids so thought they might love it to play in. Also do you think 2 is too many. My wife has to have symmetry 😜so not sure where to place just one if we went that route.
 

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Millerm914

Member
Jul 28, 2019
8
Cincinnati, OH
My Fiji is being installed next week so I can take some pics of the color if you'd like. We opted for sapphire blue (g2). We have 3 lights being installed, two deck jets, a salt chlorinator, in floor cleaning system and a slide. I can provide more details on the equipment later I don't have them on hand right now.
Would love to hear about your equipment and pics of the shell when you get the chance. Also what patio materials are you going with? I was checking out some of your threads but didn’t see a final decision but could have missed it.
 

csconner

Bronze Supporter
May 8, 2020
97
Nashville, Tn
Pool Size
9500
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
My one I put is - ensure the PB properly backfills/supports the tanning ledge. mine dipped a bit after install/before concrete. While it’s in spec, it’s clear the top of shell is lower on the tanning ledge, visible via water level.

My opinion - Pentair is excellent. Automation works great, ScreenLogic allows excellent monitoring and control from iPhone/iPad/computer.
 

Millerm914

Member
Jul 28, 2019
8
Cincinnati, OH
My one I put is - ensure the PB properly backfills/supports the tanning ledge. mine dipped a bit after install/before concrete. While it’s in spec, it’s clear the top of shell is lower on the tanning ledge, visible via water level.

My opinion - Pentair is excellent. Automation works great, ScreenLogic allows excellent monitoring and control from iPhone/iPad/computer.
Any advice as to the proper way to backfill and support the tanning ledge?
 

csconner

Bronze Supporter
May 8, 2020
97
Nashville, Tn
Pool Size
9500
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
PB needs to use a material that can flow under the tanning ledge. I believe they have a special concrete mix for that purpose, not sure of the name. My PB just used the gravel backfill and wasn’t able to get sufficient amount of material to properly support the ledge.
 

jayden

Member
Jan 24, 2021
9
MA
Pool Size
12000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Thanks @csconner I'll keep that in mind. They just placed mine today and will be doing the fill starting tomorrow. I'll double check that they support that ledge properly.

@Millerm914 I'll post a pic or two of the shell here and then I'll start a build thread. We're going with stamped concrete, the pattern will be large format slate - lighter grey with charcoal accents. That's a couple of months out though, unfortunately my patio guy is backed up.

My question to you guys is if you would do 3 LED lights or 2? The installer said 3 might be too much for this pool and I have no way to gauge. We ordered 3 but can get credited for 1 if we want. I want a decent amount of lighting at night but doesn't need to be lit up like an airport runway. Thoughts?
 

Casey

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
11,920
SW PA
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
My question to you guys is if you would do 3 LED lights or 2? The installer said 3 might be too much for this pool and I have no way to gauge. We ordered 3 but can get credited for 1 if we want. I want a decent amount of lighting at night but doesn't need to be lit up like an airport runway. Thoughts?
I'm having a fiberglass pool installed this summer in August and my pool builder is putting in 3 lights along the long wall facing away from the house. I have a big tanning shelf too. It's called Illusion by Imagine Pools. Its 15.5ft×40ft. I'd guess I have about 35ft of swimming space length wise.
 

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csconner

Bronze Supporter
May 8, 2020
97
Nashville, Tn
Pool Size
9500
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
Two Pentair LED lights, one on the tanning ledge (closest to camera) one in the deep end, if I use a brighter color it’s BRIGHT.
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jayden

Member
Jan 24, 2021
9
MA
Pool Size
12000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Hard to tell from still photos but the G2 was quite sparkly in the sun. I'm sure the G3 is gleaming but I'm glad we went with the G2 for the lighter Saphire color. Maybe if you go darker you will want G3.
 

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