Finalizing New Build in NC, need equipment advice

Mdwelch8

Member
May 16, 2020
10
Greenville, NC
Good morning all!

We signed and placed deposit on our new fiberglass pool yesterday so we're extremely excited. It's going to be a Leisure Pool 40' Eclipse in graphite grey. While the pool is on order, I'm still working to finalize the specifics of the equipment. So far, this is what the the current equipment but, to be expected, I have questions as there is a lot of mixing and matching going on:

Elcipse 40' in graphite grey
Pentair Sand Dollar Filter
Pentair Intelliflo VS pump
Hayward Aquarite 900 SWG
SR Smith Treo lights (4 total)

Construction-related:
2" schedule 40 piping
gravel backfill,
Plumbing for heat pump (with bypass) and slide

Still debating:
140k HP or 250k gas heater (PB prefers hayward)
SR Smith slide (typhoon or turbo twister)
Changing the filter to cartridge

Questions I have:
1) It seems that the Hayward/Pentair mixing and matching will make it hard for me to add automation later (if I go that route). Additionally, with the way the bundle warranties work it seems I'd be better off matching brands at the minimum with the filter, SWG, and pump (and possibly the heater) to get a longer warranty. I prefer the Intelliflo pump and the PB seems to prefer the Hayward SWG. I can switch it around still so I'm considering the Intellichlor so that the big three are all consistent in brands. Thoughts?
2) Heaters: electricity is cheap where we're at so we're thinking a heat pump. That said, I have cheap natural gas already for the home heater, stove, fireplace etc, so it shouldn't be an issue to have it ran if we need to go gas. Just need to decide as the wife doesn't like cold water (kiddie pool was at 76 and she thought it was cold).
3) Speaking of automation, his price seemed high for easytouch w/ screenlogic ($3300) so I'm debating on adding after the fact but I'm not sure I even need it. BUT, I also know there is an Intellitouch that includes the SWG so I will ask to price that out when we meet again. My question is, if we go with all Pentair, should I just bite the bullet now on the automation and get the package that includes the power portion? Will adding the intellitouch later be redundant if I get the Intellichlor and power center now?
4) I had the builder upgrade to 2" piping (he normally uses 1.5 for residential) but we didn't talk elbows. Is it standard to use swing elbows during installation or should I get this in amended contract when we finalize the equipment?
5) Filter: It's current sand but I know that needs backwashing so I'm concerned on the impact that the water loss will have on the ability to balance the chemistry. Should I just bump it to a cartridge filter to eliminate backwashing/water loss?

thanks all! I'm still learning and am earlier enough in the process to make these changes so feel free to point me in the right direction!

D
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,464
Northern NJ
Welcome to TFP.

Pool builder preferences are where he makes the most money with and is familiar with. You have to live with the decisions, not the PB. The PB makes more if you have to call him for service and support. Don't think the PB is giving you independent advice.

1) It seems that the Hayward/Pentair mixing and matching will make it hard for me to add automation later (if I go that route). Additionally, with the way the bundle warranties work it seems I'd be better off matching brands at the minimum with the filter, SWG, and pump (and possibly the heater) to get a longer warranty. I prefer the Intelliflo pump and the PB seems to prefer the Hayward SWG. I can switch it around still so I'm considering the Intellichlor so that the big three are all consistent in brands. Thoughts?
Get the IntelliChlor.

But if you want automation then get it now. A full automation system includes a Load Center that contains all your circuit breakers and electrical wiring. You need to net out any automation cost with the electical work that it replaces. Pool and automation and the electrical wiring are interconnected.

Look at the Pentair Easy Touch or IntelliCenter. - Pentair Automation Systems - Further Reading

2) Heaters: electricity is cheap where we're at so we're thinking a heat pump. That said, I have cheap natural gas already for the home heater, stove, fireplace etc, so it shouldn't be an issue to have it ran if we need to go gas. Just need to decide as the wife doesn't like cold water (kiddie pool was at 76 and she thought it was cold).
You can use the pool heating calculators here to look at the differences - Calculators - Further Reading

3) Speaking of automation, his price seemed high for easytouch w/ screenlogic ($3300) so I'm debating on adding after the fact but I'm not sure I even need it. BUT, I also know there is an Intellitouch that includes the SWG so I will ask to price that out when we meet again. My question is, if we go with all Pentair, should I just bite the bullet now on the automation and get the package that includes the power portion? Will adding the intellitouch later be redundant if I get the Intellichlor and power center now?
Look at the IntelliCenter bundle. The IntelliTouch is a 20 year old system that is getting to the end of its life. The IntelliCenter includes online connectivity and does not need ScreenLogic.

4) I had the builder upgrade to 2" piping (he normally uses 1.5 for residential) but we didn't talk elbows. Is it standard to use swing elbows during installation or should I get this in amended contract when we finalize the equipment?
Doesn't make a big difference but he should use sweeps wherever possible.

5) Filter: It's current sand but I know that needs backwashing so I'm concerned on the impact that the water loss will have on the ability to balance the chemistry. Should I just bump it to a cartridge filter to eliminate backwashing/water loss?
Get a large cartridge filter and you should only have to clean it once or twice a season.
 

mgmoore7

Bronze Supporter
May 9, 2015
549
Land O Lakes, FL
ajw replies are good!
I would stick with one brand. I have Pentair and have been very happy. Be sure that you upsize your Salt Water Chlorine Generator. For example, if the pool is 20k gallons, get as SWG rated for 40k. You won't have to run the pool nearly as much. Pass on the sand filter and get a cartridge. I did what ajw suggested and have a 12k gallon pool with a 4 cartridge filter. I don't clean it more than twice a year and could probably get away with less (keep in mind, my pool is inside a screen enclosure).

If automation is important then yes, do it now but you will likely be shocked at the prices. They make their money on the upgrades.
 

Mdwelch8

Member
May 16, 2020
10
Greenville, NC
Awesome thank you both for the replies. I was leaning towards the pentair based on what I've read so I'm glad to know I should go with my gut. As a followup to the automation question, I also read/saw that with the intelliflo that I can schedule it on the pump itself..how does the swg know to power on w/o automation? Does the swg kick on due to a flow sensor triggered by the pump or will it require a special timer or controller?

Thanks!
D
 
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