Finalizing PB Quoting and Equipment List, Austin, TX

joshlarsen

Active member
Apr 27, 2021
36
Leander, TX
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Hey TFP, I have been lurking around here(a lot) for little over a month learning and taking in all the great knowledge from all you great people while we have been shopping around for pool builders. I have never been involved with a pool build, pool equipment, or pool upkeep in the past but am very into DIY. Plumbing, electrical, auto work is all second nature. Hey, I even installed a 9.2kWh Solar system on my own roof last year and knew nothing about solar systems before that so not real intimidated by the pool. Anyways we are really close to pulling the trigger and signing a contract with a builder that has very high recommendations by past customers in our area, just waiting for a couple other quotes to come in before we sign the contract. I wanted to get some of TFP’s knowledgeable eyes on the list of equipment to see if we should swap anything with something different as well as ask a few questions. Ok enough babbling and on to the good stuff.

Included is a pool, spa, tanning ledge, fire pit, outdoor kitchen and of course some decking
Total pool/spa size: 21x30ft
Total combined gallons: 14,842
Gunite
  • 1/2in Grade 60 Steel Rebar on 10in centers in both directions
  • Rated to 4000PSI
  • 12in Bond Beam
  • 8-10in Walls/Floor
Pool: 3.5 to 6 feet deep & 14292gallons
  • Faux Infinity Edge on 2 sides
  • Pebble Sheen
  • 5 Directional Returns, Looped for even pressure
  • 2 Independently plumbed skimmers
  • Drains listed as standard but not called out as type or quantity
Spa: 6x8 feet & 550Gallons
  • 2 1/2in PVC pipe
  • 6 Spa Jets
  • 1.5in Dedicated air line
Tanning Ledge: Depth of 6inches, I don’t have exact dimension but guessing about 6x16ft
  • 2 Bubblers(listed below, +1 at steps)
  • 1 Umbrella mount

Equipment:
  • Decking – Concrete with Koolcote, 4 drains
  • Pentair EasyTouch8
    • Screenlogic Wi-Fi
  • Pentair Intelliflo 3HP VS
  • Pentair 400k BTU Heater
  • Pentair Cartridge Filter 520sq
  • Pentair SWG (Don’t know model but will ask PB, I know it needs to be atleast 2x size, so hopefully at minimum the newer IChlor30 or IC40)
  • Inline Chlorinator (I assume water here(Central TX) gets cold enough in the winter the SWG wont run but I know I should run liquid bleach instead of pucks but the PB said they typically add a chlorinator to all pools and the cost was very minimal)
  • Pool Lights – 2 Globrite LED
  • Spa Lights – 1 Globrite LED
  • Bubblers – 3 ColorVision Bubblers
  • Autofill with backflow preventer connected to hose bib/spigot

Questions:
  1. Tanning ledge - 6in depth good or should we go deeper?
  2. Controls – should I have them upgrade to an IntelliCenter for ~$500
  3. Filter – Should I stick with the Cartridge or is it worth the extra hassle to go to DE? PB said no upcharge for DE. I’m hoping for a sparkling clean pool as we all are, no trees to directly drop leaves but do get some dust and pollen
  4. Spa - Is 6 jets enough for a 6x8ft spa?
  5. LED lights adequate? I know some have said get Microbrites instead of Globrites is that still true?
  6. Step/Dropoff perimeter tile line – Its set to like 2in back from the edge but should I have them move it closer to the edge of the steps/dropoff?
  7. Water temp - Our pool is on the south side of the house and will have full sun exposure all day. Knowing some pools get to warm and become unenjoyable to be in later in the summer. With a light-colored pebble tech and being in central TX will we have much for issues with the water getting too hot? If so, will the bubblers running at night cool the water off much or is there something else we should do?
  8. I have been told by neighbors that they wish they had gotten a water softener before building a pool to remove some of the hardness from the water but our water hardness Ca/Mg is like 181ppm according to the cities reports. Our water source is surface water off a lake so I don’t think there is any iron or other metals. We might put a water softener in to reduce calcium buildup on our faucets and shower glass but will we have trouble with calcium being too low in the pool if we use the softened water? My outside spigots would get softened also if I do the house. I know a residential softener wouldn’t be able to soften all of the pools water for initial fill without many regens anyways and I could bypass softener for initial fill if needed.
I plan to purchase a TF-100 test kit.

A cleaner is not listed but I plan to get a robot vacuum. Haven’t spent much time looking at them yet but likely either Maytronics knowing about the TFP discount from Marina Pool or maybe the Polaris ALPHA IQ+ or VRX IQ+.

Sorry that post got way longer than I intended, just lots of questions before committing to signing the dotted line.

Thanks for any input y'all have.

Note: I blocked out the bottom right corner of 3D renderings because it had my designers personal name.
 

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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,549
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Tanning ledge - 6in depth good or should we go deeper?
This is personal preference. You can search the forum - anywhere from 6 to 18 inches is what has been used. Personally I would stay at 9 inches but some like it deeper to put a lounge chair in it (as you show in the graphic). If you have very young children then 6-9inches is a perfect "pool" for them.
Filter – Should I stick with the Cartridge or is it worth the extra hassle to go to DE? PB said no upcharge for DE. I’m hoping for a sparkling clean pool as we all are, no trees to directly drop leaves but do get some dust and pollen
The cartridge filter is great, I would not go for DE since you have this very large cartridge filter.

I have been told by neighbors that they wish they had gotten a water softener before building a pool to remove some of the hardness from the water but our water hardness Ca/Mg is like 181ppm according to the cities reports. Our water source is surface water off a lake so I don’t think there is any iron or other metals. We might put a water softener in to reduce calcium buildup on our faucets and shower glass but will we have trouble with calcium being too low in the pool if we use the softened water? My outside spigots would get softened also if I do the house. I know a residential softener wouldn’t be able to soften all of the pools water for initial fill without many regens anyways and I could bypass softener for initial fill if needed.
I have a water softener and have had to add calcium to pool at times but I rather be in control then always having hard water added because only way to rid the pool of calcium is to drain it. My softener is connected to all the external bibs but I have seen where it can be 2 separate circuits - softened water for the house and the other circuit is standard tap water for the external bibs. I do have a tap on the line leading to the water softener that I do use occasionally to fill the pool if my CH is getting low (rather than buy CH increaser).
So I think you can manage with a water softener.
 

TexasRain

Well-known member
May 19, 2020
353
San Antonio, TX
Pool Size
13868
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
With your 2 faux infinity edges and the dropoff, find out where the PB plans on putting the skimmers. :)
I have a 14" depth shelf and love it...really depends on what you plan to use the shelf for.
 

joshlarsen

Active member
Apr 27, 2021
36
Leander, TX
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Thanks for your inputs @HermanTX and @TexasRain.

I was leaning toward staying with the cartridge filter for its simplicity so will continue with that.
For the shelf I was thinking about increasing it to 8 or 9" depth. We have a 15 month old but before we know it he will be bigger and for quite some time well have to be in the water with him anyways.

As far as the controls I'm thinking it totally makes since to go to the IntelliCenter over the easy touch. The PB wanted like $500 more for the IntelliCenter but with that you remove the screenlogic which was like $650 I think. Depending on if the kit they buy comes with the wifi antenna worst case you have to add that which should be cheaper than the screenlogic and I can get ethernet to the pad so that should work as well assuming standard ethernet will work.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,549
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I'm thinking it totally makes since to go to the IntelliCenter over the easy touch. The PB wanted like $500 more for the IntelliCenter but with that you remove the screenlogic which was like $650 I think. Depending on if the kit they buy comes with the wifi antenna worst case you have to add that which should be cheaper than the screenlogic and I can get ethernet to the pad so that should work as well assuming standard ethernet will work.
From my readings on the forum everyone loves the IntelliCenter however there are many different models, ie. some come with the SWCG, some have its own breakers, etc. I think the expert on the forum is @Jimrahbe who can guide what is the best set up for your needs.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
22,829
Bedford, TX
Josh,

I would stay with the CCP-520 as your filter... I have two rent house pools with DE filters and I almost can't wait for them to go bad so I'm "forced" into replacing them with large cartridge filters. :mrgreen:

The EasyTouch with ScreenLogic would work just fine for your pool, but it would be like buying an older model iPhone.. It will work fine, but everyone wants the latest and greatest. I have the EasyTouch and it works great, but even I would go with the new IntelliCenter if I were building a new pool today.

Since you have a pool and spa and you want a SWCG, then your only real options is the number of relays that come with the unit.. They come with either 5, 8 or 10 relays.. I would recommend the 8 relay version unless you have some special needs I don't know about.

Each light that you want to be able to individually operate will need a relay and transformer.. So to be able to individually control all 6 of your lights/lighted bubblers will take 6 relays. I doubt that is how would actually want your lights to work, but it is something to decide with your pool builder before buying the automation..

Here is a link to the two units I would recommend... The 8 relay and the 10 relay packages..



Both of the above units come with the IC40 and two valve actuators.. You can also get the same packages with the larger IC60 salt cell.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

gingrbredman

Gold Supporter
Jun 10, 2020
387
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Really like the design and all the details! Looks like this will be a great addition to your backyard! Just a few thoughts...

  • Inline Chlorinator (I assume water here(Central TX) gets cold enough in the winter the SWG wont run but I know I should run liquid bleach instead of pucks but the PB said they typically add a chlorinator to all pools and the cost was very minimal)
  • Pool Lights – 2 Globrite LED
  • Spa Lights – 1 Globrite LED
While the small cost of the in line chlorinator wont be the deciding factor, what would be would be is the rise of your CYA in the pool with the long use of pucks. You are correct, there will probably be periods in your winter where the SWCG will not be producing chlorine, so you would need to supplement. Using pucks for a short time should be fine, but they do add more CYA to the water than you probably want. Just something to keep an eye on and test for if you use it.

Globrites use a special nice for installation, and are not as reliable, or even as interchangeable in the future as a Microbrite. I would say if you are going with Pentair lights, Microbrites are the best option. Their newest light, reported better reliability, and use a standard 1.5 receiver which almost all other lights on the market use, except of course the Globrites.


Controls – should I have them upgrade to an IntelliCenter for ~$500
I am not the first to say "YES" to this question, and won't be the last. For such a small amount in the grand scheme of things, that would be a "no-brainer" to me.

A cleaner is not listed but I plan to get a robot vacuum.
Excellent choice! You will love it. And since you are going with the most modern equipment you can, like the Intellicenter and Microbrites, a robot will for sure compliment your modern pool.

Can't wait to see all the updates on this one.
 

joshlarsen

Active member
Apr 27, 2021
36
Leander, TX
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Thank you all. This has been very helpful

OK so well stay with the cartridge filter
Upgrade to IntelliCenter with 8 relays (4 for lights, and maybe 1 for firepit, maybe 1 for Landscaping lights, and a couple extras for future fun)
Change to Microbrites. Thinking change the pool from 2 globrites to 3 microbrites since it looks like micros are 500Lumins and glowbrites are 700Lumins. Or should I go to 4 Microbrites in the pool? The actual pool size I think it about 15x30 so about 450sq feet.

This is just like building a house. Its guaranteed you're going to blow your budget especially when the wife last minute throws a built in kitchen in the mix of this project. But we atleast plan on staying here for a long time so as long as we get good use out of it its all worth it.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,549
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Change to Microbrites. Thinking change the pool from 2 globrites to 3 microbrites since it looks like micros are 500Lumins and glowbrites are 700Lumins. Or should I go to 4 Microbrites in the pool? The actual pool size I think it about 15x30 so about 450sq feet.
I saw in another thread that Pentair recommends your total light lumens to be 4 times the sqft of your pool. So if your sqft is 450, then they recommend 450x4 = 1,800 lumens. If you are doing the color Microbrites, they have 500 lumens each, which would imply that you want 1,800/500 = 3.6 microbrites, which you would round up to 4. This is just a suggestion and would need to see how that would fit to your pool design.
 

joshlarsen

Active member
Apr 27, 2021
36
Leander, TX
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I saw in another thread that Pentair recommends your total light lumens to be 4 times the sqft of your pool. So if your sqft is 450, then they recommend 450x4 = 1,800 lumens. If you are doing the color Microbrites, they have 500 lumens each, which would imply that you want 1,800/500 = 3.6 microbrites, which you would round up to 4. This is just a suggestion and would need to see how that would fit to your pool design.
Ok, well go to 4 microbrites. That should work being the pool section is just a big rectangle.
 

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gingrbredman

Gold Supporter
Jun 10, 2020
387
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
My pool is 14 x 30 and we have three microbrites in it. While the calculation @HermanTX gave is correct, I would actually go with three, just based on the layout of your pool.

Here is mine with the three lights spaced out evenly....

1621081108566.png

Since you would want the lights on the wall closest to the house (Not shining towards the house), fitting four microbrites on that wall, they would probably be spaced pretty tight together. If you look where the PB proposed the lights (red circles), then you added a third (red dot), you would have three on that wall.

Lights.gif

I might even move them a little bit on that wall, to space them evenly. My lights are about 7.5 feet apart along the full 30' wall and I think I have the right amount of light. That wall you would put the lights on will be less that 30' (If the total length is 30', then minus the spot where the shelf is), which is why I was thinking three would be right for the wall.

@TexasRain added a fourth microbrite to her pool, on the shelf, but it looks like you already have a bubbler there with lights, so that probably wouldn't work. See this thread where her pool, and mine show the microbrites on.


Its a lot easier to add lights now than in the future, so if you want four, the only thing I would consider is adding another transformer to the build (More budget breaking!) so you can control them independently, or maybe in groups of two. If four are too bright on all together, you could turn two of them off for example.
 
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joshlarsen

Active member
Apr 27, 2021
36
Leander, TX
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
My pool is 14 x 30 and we have three microbrites in it. While the calculation @HermanTX gave is correct, I would actually go with three, just based on the layout of your pool.

Here is mine with the three lights spaced out evenly....

View attachment 333153

Since you would want the lights on the wall closest to the house (Not shining towards the house), fitting four microbrites on that wall, they would probably be spaced pretty tight together. If you look where the PB proposed the lights (red circles), then you added a third (red dot), you would have three on that wall.

View attachment 333154

I might even move them a little bit on that wall, to space them evenly. My lights are about 7.5 feet apart along the full 30' wall and I think I have the right amount of light. That wall you would put the lights on will be less that 30' (If the total length is 30', then minus the spot where the shelf is), which is why I was thinking three would be right for the wall.

@TexasRain added a fourth microbrite to her pool, on the shelf, but it looks like you already have a bubbler there with lights, so that probably wouldn't work. See this thread where her pool, and mine show the microbrites on.


Its a lot easier to add lights now than in the future, so if you want four, the only thing I would consider is adding another transformer to the build (More budget breaking!) so you can control them independently, or maybe in groups of two. If four are too bright on all together, you could turn two of them off for example.
Your right the 3 microbrites look pretty good in your pool and mine will be about the same size. The bubblers they have quoted are Pentair ColorVision bubblers so are lit as well giving a little more light. Light is good but not trying to make the whole neighborhood a disco party ;)

Only downside is the bubblers look to use the globrite bulbs but not much I can do about that.

I hope the globrite and microbrite colors match pretty well.
 

gingrbredman

Gold Supporter
Jun 10, 2020
387
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Light is good but not trying to make the whole neighborhood a disco party ;)
Good call. Like I said, @HermanTX has the right calculation for lights, but he also said it depends on the design. With this design, three microbrites are just about right on that wall.

I hope the globrite and microbrite colors match pretty well.

From my reading around here, the Globrites and the Microbrites do have a slight color temperature difference in the red and green.

Take a look at this chart that was posted somewhere here...
1621095351029.png

From some of the posts on this forum, a few people have the same kind of light setup as you, and could hardly tell the difference. There have been a few that posted they could see the difference, but in your setup, I think it is going to look just fine.

The only alternative to having the "exact" colors would be to stick with the globrites in the pool, which would be a bigger problem in the long run that a slight temperature difference in a few colors that likely no one will ever notice.
 
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joshlarsen

Active member
Apr 27, 2021
36
Leander, TX
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
@gingrbredman, as long as they are somewhat close in color I have no issue. They will be on different surfaces and features so I can't imagine anyone would tell the difference.

We haven't chosen pebble color yet but thinking a light blue so will take a bit less brightness than a dark color as well.
 
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