First Time New Build: Feedback on Equipment & Materials Please

TuxATX

Member
Jun 1, 2021
9
Austin, Texas
Hello All, short time lurker first time poster. Building a new pool just outside Austin in Dripping Springs. We picked a builder after talking to a little over half dozen and are starting the permit process so wanted to see if anyone has any strong opinions about what they have laid out below in our build. Need to press them for some specifics on some of the equipment since for instance we changed from chlorinator to SWG and thinking we need the IC40 for our size pool but welcome thoughts here as I'm a newb. Also Attaching preliminary design of our pool and spa when we first looked at a smaller pool/spa (started at 13'x28' with 6'x6' spa) then upped it to 15'x30' and 7'x7'.

Market data for anyone: We received quotes ranging from $99.7k to $130k for basically the same pool. I'm sure there were differences in equipment / pool finishes as 'standard' but didn't get too in the weeds with everyone just a few. The winner was a mid size family owned shop that does everything in house except the gunnite/plaster and seems better suited to hit timelines. They were not the low quote (Anthony & Sylvan was) but they were in line with our 2nd runner up and within a few $k of 2 other quotes. There were 2 on the very high end that I think just didn't want new business as they were the most expensive and also said they couldn't even start the dig until November/December.

Pool Dimensions: 15’x30’ geometric, depth 3.5’ to 5.5’ inclusive of Tanning ledge dimensions 15’x6’ with 9” depth

Spa: 7’x7’ (need to clarify depth assuming standard)

Excavation: All excavation (including rock) included in contract. Floor up to 12” overdig, 9” gunite, up to 9” gravel substrate

Steel: #4 (1/2”) steel rebar, grade 40, 40,000 PSI. 8” on center, 8” alternating 90 degree & 45 degree stirrups

#4 steel rebar tied in perimeter beams of Cantilever

Additional #4 steel rebar tied in areas of high stress

#4 steel rebar stirrups continue through beam at skimmer

Plumbing: 1. 2-1/2” schedule 40 pvc suction lines, 2” where they penetrate

2. dual split drains done according to NSPI and NSF code

3. 1 to 1-1/2” spa venturis

4. 6 Water way jets fed by 2” schedule 40 pvc or 2 “ flexible PVC

Mechanical:

Filter
: 60 sqft Pentair D.E. Filter w/ multiport valve (had a discussion here and they contend DE does a better job cleaning than cartridge but they will do whatever we want but price includes the better filter)

Pumps: Pentair Intelliflow Variable Speed Filter Pool & Spa Pump

Heater: NAT Gas Pentair Master Temp 400k BTU

Pool Cleaner: Letro Legend with booster pump (will be nixing and using Robot)

Automation: Easy Touch 4 Function with screen logic interface kit

Sanitizer: SWG (specs TBD as having them switch from Pentair inline Chlorinator). If they suggest IC20 do we push for IC40, saw someone mention a need to oversizing on this on the forum

Auto Fill line with overflow grate

1 Quan surface Skimmer (is one skimmer enough?)

6 Quan Directional Flow

2 Quan dual split main drains

Electrical & Lighting: 1 Intellibrite LED Spa Light

2 Intellibrite LED Pool lights

Grounding #8 solid copper wire grounding loop

Separate breaker panel for pool/spa equipment

Water Features: 2 bubblers in tanning ledge

Warranties: 3 years equip / 2 years plumbing, decks, tile & coping / 7 years interior finish
 

Attachments

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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,773
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Wecome fellow Texan. You will be very pleased with the guidance you will receive from all the members on the forum. There are many new construction in Austin area so try to follow those for additional info and guidance.

My first review I would strongly recommend 2 skimmers and have each independently run back to the equipment pad.
Your SWCG needs to be rated 2x your pool volume so once that is set then determine if the IC40 meets your needs.
Overall Pentair equipment is good and you will be happy with the VS Pump and 400k BTU heater. DE filter is great but requires a little more maintenance for backwash, adding DE, etc. It does filter better, IMO. However a cartridge filter will do great as well. Appears that PB not willing to give you any credit to go from DE to cartridge.
The Easytouch Automation is good, need to rationalize if you want to upgrade to the 8 vs. the 4. It allows you to control more items. Also, you need to ask if it includes ScreenLogic. That is the software that allows you to monitor the EasyTouch from your PC or phone.

I am sure others will chime in. Keep us posted.
 

TuxATX

Member
Jun 1, 2021
9
Austin, Texas
Thanks for the quick reply. It does come with the screenlogic kit. I am curious what all counts as a "function" for the 4 functions on the ET4. I assume 1 gets used for both bubblers, 1 for pool lights, and 1 for spa lights (would need them on seperate aux to turn them on/off independently but am curious if both pool lights are on the same relay/aux can I still change their colors independently or do both pool lights always have to be red..blue..etc?).

Does the VS pump use one of the "4 functions" and what about the heater? Tried looking at the manual/brochure on the Pentair website and its not crystal clear...diagram also indicates that ET4 only seems to have 3 aux so guessing 1 of the 4 functions is assumed to be used by the pump and/or heater? Feel like the only way to seperate the lights is to upgrade to the ET8 or maybe switch to the intellicenter
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,773
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I cannot comment on how to change the color lights as I just have the older traditional lights. You are correct that the spa light and the pool light need to be independent to control them separately. 1 auxiliary is reserved for the pump.

Asking @Jimrahbe to review and inform you the differences of ET4 vs ET8 and control of the 2 pool lights.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
23,568
Bedford, TX
Tux,

A real Easytouch comes with a built-in load center for all your circuit breakers.. Because the quote includes a separate breaker box, I have to assume he is trying to sell you an EasyTouch "Lite".. This would be an awful choice... A lite EasyTouch has very limited functions, no load center, and any pool builder that sells one should be ashamed of himself... You owe it to yourself to get the actual P/N of the unit he wants to install...

Since you will be getting a SWCG, it only makes sense that you get a package deal that Pentair sells.. It comes with a real EasyTouch, internal power center for the SWCG, an IC40, plus two valve actuators..

The number four in the EasyTouch-4 tells you the number of high voltage relays the system comes with... It has nothing to do with "functions"...

You will need one relay to control the IC40... This is called the pump/filter relay.. That leaves you with 3 Aux Relays.
You will need one Aux relay for each light you want to independently control. Depending on the light you may also need one transformer per light that you want to independently control. If all controlled by one relay they will all turn on and off at the same time and be the same color.
You will need one Aux relay for the Spa blower.
You should have a light over your equipment pad, that will take a relay.
Anything external that you want to control that requires 120 or 240 VAC, will require an Aux relay
It is always better to have too many relays than not enough.

Your IntelliFlo pump does not need a relay.
Your heater does not need a relay.
Your valves do not need a relay.

I have three pools with EasyTouch automation systems and ScreenLogic.. I just love them... That said, if I were to build a new pool today, I would go with the Pentair IntelliCenter. Here are a few reasons why...

The EasyTouch (ET) has a max of 12 Schedules/Programs (The ET-lite has 4 max).. The IntelliCenter (IC) has a max of 100..
The ET has a small non-color alphanumeric display... The IC has a larger color touch-screen like your phone.
The ET has to be upgraded by the pool builder.. The IC is updated over the internet, just like a PC..
etc, etc...

The EasyTouch, with ScreenLogic, will work, the IntelliCenter is just better for almost the same amount of $$$$ and it includes a ScreenLogic-Like system so you can use your phone or PC..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

TuxATX

Member
Jun 1, 2021
9
Austin, Texas
Thanks for the detailed response! I'll need more AUX for sure it seems so it would come down to ET8 or intellicenter. I was trying to research the actual price difference between ET4 + screen logic vs Intellicenter (or ET8) but seems to be hard to find online comps and the prices vary pretty widely for intellicenter due to out of stock issues. I know the pricing PB pays is likely different than retail but was thinking about just asking the local Leslies etc. to price both options out to see how much my PB should charge me for the upgrade as it sounds like on TFP the actual difference should be a few hundred $ potentially.

I'll ask him for the specific part number on the ET4 he has listed in the build, especially noting the separate breaker comment.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
23,568
Bedford, TX
Tux,

I'd rather it just dribble down my leg rather than to go into a Leslie's just to use their bathroom... :mrgreen:

Here is a good site for pricing.. Pentair Controls

EasyTouch-8 Pool and Spa with IC40 and two valve actuators P/N 520545 $2,600
ScreenLogic P/N 522104 $550..
Total $3,150 All in stock..

IntelliCenter i10PSIC40Kit Pool and Spa with IC40 and two IntelliValve actuators $3,500.. In stock..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Tcadwall0

Gold Supporter
May 19, 2021
137
Charlotte, NC
Pool Size
12900
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
Agree with all the comments on the EasyTouch - but if it is an EasyTouch 4 - you could add relays - and there is a hack posted here for converting it to an EasyTouch 8. So if 4 fill up initially, you want to expand it later - it is possible.

One thing I was kinda surprised no-one mentioned asked. Where and why would they have any flexible pvc? Think I would ask them to stay away from it. There is a way to heat / bend sch 40 if a custom curve is needed.
 
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