Help review (nearly) final pool plan before ordering

Tbwonder

Gold Supporter
Feb 14, 2020
52
New York
Hi everyone,

Been reading here for a couple years, and finally about to pull the trigger. I'm going to post my pool plan below based on everything I've read. Please comment if you see anything or suggest anything...I'm all ears!

1st, I am almost there with Pool Warehouse, but stumbled into Royal Swimming pools because they had a slightly better liner and equipment selection. Any opinions on either would be welcome. Do they both do well supporting a DIY/Self-installed pool project?

18x36 standard 8' deep end. 27,000 gallons
I am stuck between steel and both of their polymer kits. Steel a good old standard. Polymer...seems easier to install with some specific things that need more gentle care.

NO BOTTOM DRAINS. I don't want to deal with cutting the liner and have another possible problem point in a DIY install. Seems many are doing away with them anyway.
3 skimmers with 3 opposing returns (good or is 2 good?)
2 additional returns mounted beneath the skimmers, pointed to the floor of the pool with a flat jet eye ball fitting to stir the bottom. (sort of mimicking the "aqua genie" action)
1 suction line for manual vacuuming.
Should this ALL be 2" plumbing, or some of it 1 1/2 (like the downward returns)

8' GRAY polymer step. pool warehouse uses Hydra Pools/Sweetwater step. Any experience with this step?
DO GRAY FIXTURES FADE?

Pump: Pentair Intelliflo VS 3HP 011028

Filter: Pentair Fiberglass D.E. Filter FNS Plus | 60 Square Feet | 180009
OR
Pentair Quad DE High Flow Filter | 60 Sq Ft | 120 GPM | 188592
Please suggest which is better. I believed that DE was better (I don't mind dealing with the DE) but is this filter just as good?)

SWG: Pentair Intellichlo IC60
OR
AutoPilot Total Control 75003 with either the #3 or #4 manifold
please suggest which is better, and what effectively does the Autopilot control box give me that I need vs. The Pentair cell (other than what looks like a really easy manifold to install)

Heater: Raypak Nat Gas 399k either regular or with the nickel heat exchanger. Is the Nickel necessary/worth it ($300 more).

Liner: GLI Midnight Quartz or Black Galaxy. Anyone install darker liner like this? Thinking the Black galaxy may be TOO dark....and the Midnight Quarts is a little more gray/blue. Opinions?

Thanks to everyone for this entire forum. It has really taught me a lot. Appreciate anyone who takes the time to look over my plan here. It's hard to step back and see it objectively after a while.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
16,046
Northern NJ
Get the IC60. Don't get an Autopilot SWG.

Get the Quad DE filter. It has 4 removable cartridges for cleaning. Easier then the DE filter grids.

Folks say the cupro-nickel heaters can last longer. All depends if you take good care of it in all the other places.

I will let @kimkats advise on liner color.
 
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Tbwonder

Gold Supporter
Feb 14, 2020
52
New York
Get the IC60. Don't get an Autopilot SWG.

Get the Quad DE filter. It has 4 removable cartridges for cleaning. Easier then the DE filter grids.

Folks say the cupro-nickel heaters can last longer. All depends if you take good care of it in all the other places.

I will let @kimkats advise on liner color.
THANKS for this input. Looking at the manuals...both filters use the same volume of DE. Is the cartridge setup just easier to clean? Otherwise basically they operate and filter similarly?

thanks again!