Hello from Northern VA


Apr 16, 2020
Northern VA

I registered for the TFP because I purchased a house with a long neglected pool and I'm beginning the process of remodeling the pool and upgrading / replacing the equipment. I knew going into this that the pool would be a serious investment and I bid on the house accordingly. I've been reading on this site and others for a few months and my biggest question is what is the ideal equipment set up? Since I'm planning on replacing everything I'm working with a blank slate. My pool is a 25k in ground free form gunite and plaster pool with an attached spa. I'm having the plaster, tile, and coping removed and replaced but I'm still researching what equipment I'd like to put in. I've had five pool remodeling companies come out and take a look out and they've all recommend different equipment for different reasons so I'm doing my own research before making a decision. All the equipment for the existing pool is over 30 years old and the pool was never winterized and has been out of service for at least 15 years. I do plan to have all the lines pressure tested first.

I've been researching for the past few months and I think I've settled on a variable speed pump, large cartridge filter, propane gas heater and SWG. What do you recommend for my Northern VA climate and my size of pool.



Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
TFP Guide
Mar 25, 2018
Chandler Arizona
Hi Nova, welcome to TFP. :wave:

Equipment is like buying a car, they all get you to the same place, but some are easier to use and own.
You can’t go wrong with either Pentair or Hayward. Figure out what you want for the end result, and folks will give you some guidance.
I’ll ping our resident Pentair guru to give you some more specific questions. :cheers:


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

I am a highly biased Pentair kind of guy... I suggest using the same brand of equipment for any automation, VS pump, and SWCG. Others items do not matter.

If I were building a new pool, I would go with the new IntelliCenter automation system, an IntelliFlo VS pump, and an IntelliChlor IC60 salt cell..

Some things to keep in mind..

You need a cell that is at least 2 x the volume of your pool.. So an IC60.. Because of your location, you could get away with an IC40, but will have to run longer and harder.

Simple is always better.. The standard IntelliFlo VS (011028) is perfect. Many go with the more complex VSF, but in real life 99% of users do not need to use the Variable Flow part of this pump.

I like large cartridge filters.. In your case, I assume you will be closing your pool for the winter.. If so, you should only need to open and clean the cartridges once a year at closing.

The IntelliFlo is 3 HP pump.. I know it sounds too big, but trust me, it is not.. The whole point of having a VS pump is so that you run slow and save on the electrical bill.. The larger the pump the slower you can run and still move a lot of water.


Jim R.


Well-known member
Dec 23, 2012
Manassas Park, VA
I am in Manassas Park, VA and if it was me I would use a Pentair VS pump or a Pentair 2 speed pump. I am not sure but they may both require 208 / 220 v. So you will want to make sure you have sufficient electrical at your pad. I would also use a Raypack 400k BTU heater.

In regards to filter selection do you have a lot of trees around or near your pool that would result in a lot of debris falling into the pool? If so I would recommend a DE filter to get out as much of the smaller particles as possible. If not then I recommend a cartridge filter for the easier maintenance.

My pool is coming up on needing a re-plaster in the coming years, would you mind sharing some of the quotes or prices you received to do the re-plaster work on your pool?


Apr 16, 2020
Northern VA
Thanks so much for your replies and the warm welcome! I was working outside all weekend and didn't log in to reply. I appreciate the responses. During the pressure test it was discovered that the return line to the pool wall is busted but the return line to the floor, the drain line and all the hot tub lines (suction, return and air) are all solid. Attached are a few pictures of the pool and equipment. Should be a fun project.



Apr 16, 2020
Northern VA
Yeah, I've had many chuckles about the remains of the heater. I'm still not sure what prompted someone to take the majority of the heater but leave the guts stacked on two buckets...

The dog is an English Shepard. We rescued him as an adult via the NESR and he's an awesome dog!