First pool Tampa area

TampaKathy

Gold Supporter
Oct 2, 2020
98
Tampa, FL
Hello all! Been reading a lot on this site...still a lot more to learn...below is what is proposed with the PB that I'm leaning towards.
54' long; 8'-11' wide (will be 15' wide at sunshelf)
3.5' - 6' deep (may change to 4' - 6')
about 20k gallons by my calc (need to confirm)
(2) Pentair 3HP VS pumps - one for pool; one for water features (2 bowls, 1 sheer decent)
EasyTouch 8 with Screen Logic (I'm going to ask why not the Intellicenter)
Pentair Salt generator (need to ask PB which one)
3 Pentair LED Color pool lights (need to ask which voltage)
Quad DE filter (probably switch to cartridge)
Sunshelf with umbrella sleeve
travertine deck
WetEdge Signature matrix level 1
3 returns
2 skimmers
pool cage
Going to ask if auto leveler is an option

We're going to get a separate hot tub at some point. PB to run conduit to where hot tub will be.

Any thoughts or suggestions? I only have 26' between the house and a retaining wall so I'm a bit limited on how wide I can make this.1601749417816.png

1601749417816.png
 
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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
771
Katy TX
Welcome to TFP.
Wow - great design for doing laps. Should be lots of fun.
Appears you plan to address all of the key concerns on the pool equipment.
You may want to ensure your skimmers are plumbed independently for better control. This would also be true for your water features that you can control which are on at any given time.
With such a long pool is 3 returns sufficient? You may want to ask where they are placed and get additional feedback if that is accurate for your shape of pool.
Most suction lines are 2" and return lines can be either 1 1/2" or 2". May want to confirm with the PB. My waterfall has 2" suction and return to give you an example.
The Wet Edge product is great. I have Primera Stone by Wet Edge.
Read up on ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry and buy a good test kit Test Kits Compared
Good Luck and keep us posted.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,409
Bedford, TX
Kathy,

I like your equipment list and your possible changes...

If this were my pool I would want 6 returns. The basic purpose of pool returns is to cause your pool water to swirl like a giant toilet bowl, but much slower of course.. In my mind 3 returns are just not going to cut it.. Two skimmers is a must.

I'd also make sure that you get an overflow port..

The minimum size SWCG for a 20K pool is the IC40 cell. The cell needs to be rated for at least 2 x the volume of the pool.

If you do not get an auto leveler, at least get a PVC line that you can run water into the pool instead of using a hose.. You can automate that line using your EasyTouch with a simple sprinkler valve.

I used to be a big fan of DE filters, but since using a large cartridge filter at my house for the past 6 years, I am sold on cartridge.. No DE, no MPV valve.. dirt-simple plumbing.. I see you are in Florida, the "land of the dinky filters".. Don't let your pool builder talking you into anything small... I'd go with a CCP 420 or 520..

Good luck with your pool project..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,126
Central California
I like my PoolMiser, which is both auto-filler and overflow in one. It connects to the pool with an equalizer tube, which I think affords several advantages over overflow holes and filler pipes in the edge tile. Pentair makes a similar device.


Be sure all the lights point away from the house.

I looove the separate spa plan, except I now have nothing to go on and on about why you want to have a separate spa!

Nice looking pool. And welcome to TFP, glad you found us.
 
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TampaKathy

Gold Supporter
Oct 2, 2020
98
Tampa, FL
Welcome to TFP.
Wow - great design for doing laps. Should be lots of fun.
Appears you plan to address all of the key concerns on the pool equipment.
You may want to ensure your skimmers are plumbed independently for better control. This would also be true for your water features that you can control which are on at any given time.
With such a long pool is 3 returns sufficient? You may want to ask where they are placed and get additional feedback if that is accurate for your shape of pool.
Most suction lines are 2" and return lines can be either 1 1/2" or 2". May want to confirm with the PB. My waterfall has 2" suction and return to give you an example.
The Wet Edge product is great. I have Primera Stone by Wet Edge.
Read up on ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry and buy a good test kit Test Kits Compared
Good Luck and keep us posted.
I was wondering if 3 returns was too few, I'll ask for more. The PB did say that I'll be able to control water features independently. For the skimmers...should I ask for independent home runs (saw that on a post in TFP...not sure if I'm using the terminology correctly, lol). Thanks for commenting!
 
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TampaKathy

Gold Supporter
Oct 2, 2020
98
Tampa, FL
Kathy,

I like your equipment list and your possible changes...

If this were my pool I would want 6 returns. The basic purpose of pool returns is to cause your pool water to swirl like a giant toilet bowl, but much slower of course.. In my mind 3 returns are just not going to cut it.. Two skimmers is a must.

I'd also make sure that you get an overflow port..

The minimum size SWCG for a 20K pool is the IC40 cell. The cell needs to be rated for at least 2 x the volume of the pool.

If you do not get an auto leveler, at least get a PVC line that you can run water into the pool instead of using a hose.. You can automate that line using your EasyTouch with a simple sprinkler valve.

I used to be a big fan of DE filters, but since using a large cartridge filter at my house for the past 6 years, I am sold on cartridge.. No DE, no MPV valve.. dirt-simple plumbing.. I see you are in Florida, the "land of the dinky filters".. Don't let your pool builder talking you into anything small... I'd go with a CCP 420 or 520..

Good luck with your pool project..

Thanks,

Jim R.
There will be an overflow port. I'll see what he says about an auto leveler and price...otherwise the PVC and sprinkler valve could work! 2 of the quotes assumed cartridge and 1 assumed DE but after looking into the DE, it sounds like more work and I don't like that it's a carcinogen...I will make sure not to get a dinky filter, haha. Thank you!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,409
Bedford, TX
For the skimmers...should I ask for independent home runs (saw that on a post in TFP...not sure if I'm using the terminology correctly, lol). Thanks for commenting!
Kathy,

Yes... Each skimmer needs to be individually run back to your equipment pad and controlled by an independent Jandy valve. This allows you to control the suction of each skimmer, and shut it off if every necessary.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

TampaKathy

Gold Supporter
Oct 2, 2020
98
Tampa, FL
I like my PoolMiser, which is both auto-filler and overflow in one. It connects to the pool with an equalizer tube, which I think affords several advantages over overflow holes and filler pipes in the edge tile. Pentair makes a similar device.


Be sure all the lights point away from the house.

I looove the separate spa plan, except I now have nothing to go on and on about why you want to have a separate spa!

Nice looking pool. And welcome to TFP, glad you found us.
I will look into the combined auto filler/overflow. Yes, I believe the PB has the lights pointing away from the house but I will make sure. I also told him not to put them on the walls where I'll be lap swimming. We like the look of an attached spa but that's about the only positive! Thanks!
 
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TampaKathy

Gold Supporter
Oct 2, 2020
98
Tampa, FL
Got answers to most of my questions.
It's 21,500 gallons
Skimmers will be plumbed independently
Returns are 2", suction are 2.5" or 3"
Lights are 12V
Intellicenter would be $400 more (he asked if I knew the difference...other than Easy Touch is a lot older, no, lol)
Quote included a 2 inch deck drain without a removeable top...upgrade to 3" with removeable top is $640! That seems like a lot but I do need 60 feet....since I will have a pool cage, there shouldn't be a lot of debris so will 2 inch be enough?
He said that by code a pool plumber can't connect to household plumbing so I'll need another plumber for auto-fill...wasn't clear if I needed to arrange that or if he would.
I forgot to ask about the number of returns so I'll ask when I respond to his email and he didn't answer which SWG so need to follow up on that too.
 

TampaKathy

Gold Supporter
Oct 2, 2020
98
Tampa, FL
Kathy,

Make sure your PB understands that the IntelliCenter does not need ScreenLogic.. It should be about the same price as an EasyTouch with ScreenLogic, but still worth the extra $400 if that is his price.

Thanks,

Jim R.
I thought I had seen that mentioned somewhere on TFP...so I will question it but yeah, probably not going to put up a big fight about it, lol.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,126
Central California
He said that by code a pool plumber can't connect to household plumbing so I'll need another plumber for auto-fill...wasn't clear if I needed to arrange that or if he would.
I have been assuming that the reason a lot of Florida pools don't have auto-fill is because it rains so much. Your PB's "excuse" might be the other half of the story. Who do we know with pools in Florida to weigh in about the need for auto-fill? I'm in CA, so my need for one is justified. I can't imagine wanting to go out and run a hose all the time, or even turn a valve manually. I'd forget both: to turn it on AND turn it off!! So I'm projecting. Floridians, do you have, or would you want to have auto-fill? @kimkats? @duraleigh? @pooldv? @frustratedpoolmom? @setsailsoon?
 
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TampaKathy

Gold Supporter
Oct 2, 2020
98
Tampa, FL
I have been assuming that the reason a lot of Florida pools don't have auto-fill is because it rains so much. Your PB's "excuse" might be the other half of the story. Who do we know with pools in Florida to weigh in about the need for auto-fill? I'm in CA, so my need for one is justified. I can't imagine wanting to go out and run a hose all the time, or even turn a valve manually. I'd forget both: to turn it on AND turn it off!! So I'm projecting. Floridians, do you have, or would you want to have auto-fill? @kimkats? @duraleigh? @pooldv? @frustratedpoolmom? @setsailsoon?
I sent the same question to another PB that I'm considering so I'll see what response I get from him. Yeah, maybe this isn't something that I need, I'm not sure, just trying to automate as much as I can if the price is reasonable.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,126
Central California
just trying to automate as much as I can if the price is reasonable.
Ha, just look at my signature and you'll see I'm onboard with that!! Even if my auto-fill was needed half the time, or less, I'd still want it.

The other component of the system is the overflow control, which would be even more useful if it rained a lot. I think you said your PB was going to install at least that, so that's good. Draining a pool all the time would be even more of a hassle than filling it. The PoolMiser's overflow system is nice in that you can easily adjust the point at which the pool will drain. If you have a fixed hole or grate in the side of your pool, or in the skimmer, then you get what you get.

There was one poster here (might have been Florida?) that wanted auto-leveling so that he could later adjust the height of the water over his Baja shelf. Took me a while to wrap my head around that, but it finally clicked in. With auto-fill and overflow both adjustable, he would be able to control how much water he was sitting in while using his shelf. Not by a lot, of course, maybe an 1" or so either way, but better than nothing. So he had a use for auto-level beyond the obvious one: the water over his shelf would always be the same depth. Otherwise, sometimes he'd be sitting in 6" of water, other times 7", other times 8". Different every day...
 
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poolnoobgrandma

Gold Supporter
Sep 15, 2018
479
Seminole, FL
Ha, just look at my signature and you'll see I'm onboard with that!! Even if my auto-fill was needed half the time, or less, I'd still want it.

The other component of the system is the overflow control, which would be even more useful if it rained a lot. I think you said your PB was going to install at least that, so that's good. Draining a pool all the time would be even more of a hassle than filling it. The PoolMiser's overflow system is nice in that you can easily adjust the point at which the pool will drain. If you have a fixed hole or grate in the side of your pool, or in the skimmer, then you get what you get.

There was one poster here (might have been Florida?) that wanted auto-leveling so that he could later adjust the height of the water over his Baja shelf. Took me a while to wrap my head around that, but it finally clicked in. With auto-fill and overflow both adjustable, he would be able to control how much water he was sitting in while using his shelf. Not by a lot, of course, maybe an 1" or so either way, but better than nothing. So he had a use for auto-level beyond the obvious one: the water over his shelf would always be the same depth. Otherwise, sometimes he'd be sitting in 6" of water, other times 7", other times 8". Different every day...
I wish we had gotten an overflow drain/auto drain. Auto fill is less important in Tampa Bay, IMO. If you get a bunch of dry, sunny days, it's pretty easy to throw the hose in the pool for a half an hour. As opposed to having to dodge lightning in a multiday monsoon as your pool overflows and water starts creeping towards your back door.
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,126
Central California
Auto-leveler, along with other automation, can affect your travel. If you are away from home a lot, your auto-leveler will work to keep the water level from evaporating below the skimmer, which will then starve your pump, or overflowing your pool. If you're home all the time, and remember to keep an eye on the water level every day, then throwing a hose in the pool every once in a while might be OK. With my automation, I could leave my pool unattended for up to two weeks at a stretch, and come back to crystal clear water, with FC and pH in range and the water level right where I left it.
 
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poolnoobgrandma

Gold Supporter
Sep 15, 2018
479
Seminole, FL
Auto-leveler, along with other automation, can affect your travel. If you are away from home a lot, your auto-leveler will work to keep the water level from evaporating below the skimmer, which will then starve your pump, or overflowing your pool. If you're home all the time, and remember to keep an eye on the water level every day, then throwing a hose in the pool every once in a while might be OK. With my automation, I could leave my pool unattended for up to two weeks at a stretch, and come back to crystal clear water, with FC and pH in range and the water level right where I left it.
In our area, we have to fill so little, and we get so much rain, that I'm not sure an auto leveler is worth the risk that you could have a leak without knowing it. Definitely wish we had the auto drain.
 
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TampaKathy

Gold Supporter
Oct 2, 2020
98
Tampa, FL
In our area, we have to fill so little, and we get so much rain, that I'm not sure an auto leveler is worth the risk that you could have a leak without knowing it. Definitely wish we had the auto drain.
I'm not worried about the leak possibility b/c I am on a well and I can hear the well inside when it turns on so I would notice it running when no water is being used elsewhere.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,126
Central California
I've given much thought to this leak detection caveat when using auto-leveling. It's why, I think, some PBs don't like to install them. And I have a few notes...

Because the filler and overflow are in the same well, and covered from sight (and somewhat from sound), it's possible that if the valve gets stuck on, the water will just flow right out the overflow and continue to, undetected, indefinitely, until discovered. This could amount to a massive amount of water loss (and associated cost). And that did happen to me once, so it's a real concern. I must have caught it pretty quick, because the event didn't show up on my water bill, but it definitely could have been much worse.

I've negated this issue in several ways.

- I believe my valve's failure was caused by a build up of calcium in the mechanism. Since switching to soft water for fill, I believe that will significantly reduce this risk. In fact, it occurred right after I altered the plumbing to the filler, so I probably broke loose some crud in the pipe that got caught in the valve. So that one was on me. That's not to say the valve couldn't fail for any number of other reasons. The valve is basically a toilet tank valve, and those do fail. It likely worked without failure for 5 year prior to that. It's been working fine for three years since.

- I plan to pro-actively replace the valve (about $25) every five years or so. Further reducing this risk. It's a simple DIY process (10 minutes).

- I check my skimmer basket regularly, usually once a day, and check my filler valve at the same time (they're right next to each other). So a failed valve is not going to run for weeks or even for more than a few days. Checking on your pool and pad for failures is pretty much a daily necessity anyway. Any less and you are at risk for any number of expensive consequences. So the existence of an auto-leveler system doesn't necessitate additional observation, it's just part of the normal observation.

- Because my overflow level is adjustable, I've adjusted that level to be significantly higher than the fill level (those two levels can be adjusted independently). Which means should the valve fail, causing the water level in the well to increase enough to spill into the overflow outlet, the level of the pool will also increase the same amount. Which will be very obvious with even a casual look at the pool, even from inside the house (or via my "pool cam" while away). Unless I completely ignore my pool for days or weeks, a catastrophic water loss is just not going to happen. In reality, I look at my pool every day, usually several times a day, so the most I would lose would be 24 hours worth, if the failure occurred the minute after I last looked. That very low-probability risk is completely acceptable to me for the convenience the system affords me.

And because I know from experience, too many times to admit to, that filling from a hose or manual fill valve could get forgotten about until a day or two later, I would waste (HAVE wasted) far more water doing that then from some unlikely valve failure. So for me, the risk of an auto-leveler is far less than the risk of my own faulty brain. And it is that same faulty brain that would be far more likely to let the pool evaporate below the skimmer causing a main pump failure, which would be considerably more expensive than a high water bill.

To be thoroughly fair here, the notion that one would notice the pool too full (indicating an auto-filler failure) could not be applied to the use of an auto-leveler I cited above: keeping an exact height of water over a baja ledge, because to do that you need to adjust the fill level and overflow level the same. So if you were using auto-leveling for that purpose, you'd never see the valve failure just by looking at the pool, you'd have to regularly check the valve itself.

So that's what I have to say about that! 🤪
 

poolnoobgrandma

Gold Supporter
Sep 15, 2018
479
Seminole, FL
I had a regional differences thread going somewhere, and I think this is one of them. If I had it to do over again, I would definitely get an auto drain. Autofill is really not something I think I need here in sunny and rainy Florida, and the extra headaches outweigh the potential advantages. " Tampa, Florida gets 51 inches of rain, on average, per year. "

And, from mid August: "It's already rained more in Tampa in the last 8 months than it normally does in a year."

Maybe next year will be dry, and I'll eat my words, but I have drained more than 4 feet of water from my pool this year.
Another thing we don't have to deal with is CYA and calcium never going down. :)
 
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