IG Rectangular Build in Maryland

Rickster03

Member
Oct 13, 2017
12
Baltimore, MD
We are starting our pool journey this summer after having vetted 4 different builders. Having discovered TFP 2 years ago definitely gave me the education to ask PBs the right questions. In the end, we came back to the PB that was our first interview. After a re-design, we were able to make some concessions that put the budget within our reach. Having a pool in the courtyard that is visible from just about every room, we want to get this right without spending our kids' college fund! Instead of adding a diving board with about 30 loads of fill dirt, we opted to build a deck that overlooks the backyard with storage below and flanking patios for entertaining. We could opt to build a removable diving platform later. Posting some of the particulars here for comments and reactions. No signed contract yet, but it could be very soon.

16' x 34' Gunite Rectangle, 17,500 gallons
12' x 5' Tanning ledge, 8' swim out ledges in deep end
12" to 3.5' to 5' to 8' depth profile
12" Bond Beam w/6"x6" Rebar
White plaster (Marcite) finish
2" PVC Sch40 piping w/Jandy Lifetime Valves
2 Remote controlled Color changing LEDs
Jandy ePump VSP w/4-hour turnover, Stealth Wet End
Jandy CV 460 Filter
Jandy Heat Pump
Aqualink PDA Automation
iAquaLink control (also 12v Landscape Lighting and 4 Deck Jets)
Nature 2 Fusion Soft SWG
Polaris 9550xi Remote Robot
AVSC Main Drain
2 skimmers, 3 independent Hi-flow returns
5 Year shell warranty, 3 year warranty on Zodiac Parts
Ivory Travertine Coping and stairs
Brushed Concrete Decking, Zuri Pecan Composite Decking w/under deck drain
Cultured Dry Stack Stone to match the house
All railings are cable rails w/aluminum posts and Ipé railings to match the house
Autocover w/track under coping
Surface alarm

We have outlets on all three edges of the pool already and one near the equipment pad. We'll be adding two more for extras at the pad. New pictures to come as we get things staked out and ready for digging.
 

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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
10,880
Evans, Georgia
Well yeah....that's gonna be a great pool!!! Welcome to TFP, Rickster, and we're excited to follow along with your build along with you!
My only suggestion is to lose that Nature2 Fusion SWG and go with a SWG that does not include metals of any sort. Nature2 adds copper/silver to the pool and they can build up and cause staining to your pool surface and green hair/nails on blonds. Plus the expense of replacement cartridges is unnecessary

Please keep us updated on progress (with pics, please!)

Maddie :flower:
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
40,375
Tallahassee, FL
SO in to watch this one! I have some things to point out about your list. I will get to them when I have a couple of extra mins to do a good job!

I do want to say I LOVE your design!!!

Kim:kim:
 

santacruzpool

Gold Supporter
Feb 24, 2015
640
Santa Cruz, CA
I have a similar pool to your plans - I would also skip the Nature2 and stick with the standard SWG. In addition, I would look at skipping the iAqualink PDA - I have never missed it and can control everything with my phone, a tablet or my desktop whenever I need to. I think the PDA is redundant in todays tech world.

What brand of automatic pool cover is the pool builder proposing? If you get the Zodiac version (Cover Pools) you can have the SWG automatically turn lower when the cover is closed vs open which helps control your chlorine.
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,497
Damascus, MD
I'll say the FusionSoft is fine just do not use the mineral cartridge. Keep the blockout plate on it. Actually go take it when you get it and make sure the builder doesn't try to put one in. Also the PDA is nice to have. See what you will get as a credit for skipping it. It is a $600 extra so if they are only going to give you $100, keep it. Just make sure your iAqualink has the IQ20-RS package so that the web is the primary interface for programming. This usually comes as labeled as Aqualink RS. If your box says Aqualinlk PDA it is the wrong one. That is the cheaper one where you have to program with the PDA which is horrible. I would get it in writing exactly what equipment you are getting so there are no surprises. Not sure what robot that is but I suggest the 9650IQ.

Also suggest you get one of those returns as "deep heat" returns which usually consist of 3 large outlets on the floor of your pool. You want all returns independent.
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
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Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
5,231
Central MD
I'm excited for you and your Maryland pool to be built! I like a lot about your quote. Are you getting a stone lid for the autocover? Are you going with brown, tan or grey? Blue or green might be too high contrast. We have Coverstar and have been pleased with the installers, Coverstar East Coast out of Mt. Airy.

Take a glance in my pool build (link in my signature) to be sure you don't want smaller deep end standing benches in the deep end. We love them for being able to... stand in the end... obviously.

Good choice on the channel drain. Also look at Pour-a-lid skimmer covers if you haven't already. They are a "must" upgrade over plastic.

You can also get tinted plaster basically for free if they add some Diamond Bright quartz to your mix. It will likely be mottled, so you have to not mind that. But you get color for nothing. Which is almost as good as money for nothing. You can also read about it in our build thread if that sparks any interest. Let me know if it does because you'd be welcome to come see it in person. Our pool is up and running, just be careful because the dogs may splash and shake all over you.

What brand of automatic pool cover is the pool builder proposing? If you get the Zodiac version (Cover Pools) you can have the SWG automatically turn lower when the cover is closed vs open which helps control your chlorine.
That could be a slick feature depending on how it's implemented. I certainly have to fiddle with my pump run time and/or cell % when keeping my cover closed. Though in the end, I may like to just make the changes manually. That was not an option that I know of on Coverstar (may be now?)

I'll say the FusionSoft is fine just do not use the mineral cartridge. Keep the blockout plate on it. Actually go take it when you get it and make sure the builder doesn't try to put one in. Also the PDA is nice to have. See what you will get as a credit for skipping it. It is a $600 extra so if they are only going to give you $100, keep it. Just make sure your iAqualink has the IQ20-RS package so that the web is the primary interface for programming. This usually comes as labeled as Aqualink RS. If your box says Aqualinlk PDA it is the wrong one. That is the cheaper one where you have to program with the PDA which is horrible. I would get it in writing exactly what equipment you are getting so there are no surprises. Not sure what robot that is but I suggest the 9650IQ.

Also suggest you get one of those returns as "deep heat" returns which usually consist of 3 large outlets on the floor of your pool. You want all returns independent.
Great stuff there. I'd follow all of that advice. The 9650IQ that you have is next level up from the 9550 in their 2019 catalog at the bottom of that link. But I'm note sure what the xi adds. Maybe racing stripes.
 

Rickster03

Member
Oct 13, 2017
12
Baltimore, MD
We are going with a Cover Pools system, although I am not sure if it is the Zodiac. PB clarified that the Robot is the 9550 Sport model, and apparently, the system we have will only work with the PDA remote? We have 3 blondes here, so we definitely would worry about green hair. I'll inquire about the mineral system and see if we can just bypass it. Right now we only have wall returns. Are floor returns a must for spring and fall to keep temps comfortable?
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
5,231
Central MD
Our water gets superheated on the top 6-12” with the autocover on in the sun. After a few minutes of swimming it’s mixed. I don’t see the great benefit other than initially when you jump in.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
40,375
Tallahassee, FL
The others got the things covered I wanted to talk about! Thanks everyone :hug: LOL Now I get to do the fun stuff!! That pic looking out over the current pool is so cute!

Kim:kim:
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,497
Damascus, MD
We are going with a Cover Pools system, although I am not sure if it is the Zodiac. PB clarified that the Robot is the 9550 Sport model, and apparently, the system we have will only work with the PDA remote? We have 3 blondes here, so we definitely would worry about green hair. I'll inquire about the mineral system and see if we can just bypass it. Right now we only have wall returns. Are floor returns a must for spring and fall to keep temps comfortable?
Hmm.. I would insist on the Aqualink-RS. Programming with the PDA is really tough. And if you ever have to call Jandy tech support, they can't do anything for you remotely with the PDA system. With the RS system they can totally fix anything for you. Also you don't need to ask your builder about the mineral cartridge. The unit comes with a blank-out plate and you simply don't install the cartridge into this section. The rest of the unit is a high quality saltwater generator. (See my sig-line, I have this exact unit). Just make sure it is the 1400 unit and not the 700! Floor returns are a simple matter for them to add and it does make a difference for heating up the water quicker. Of course nothing is a "must"!
 

santacruzpool

Gold Supporter
Feb 24, 2015
640
Santa Cruz, CA
Cover-Pools is the Zodiac brand cover, so it will have the option to allow you to adjust your SWG settings via iAquaLink so that your SWG % is lower when covered and higher when open. They have another setting to adjust the filter run time as well, but I have yet to get it working properly despite many calls to the Jandy Zodiac help line or the Cover-Pools tech support lines. I am happy with just the adjustments to the SWG as it allows me to keep my free chlorine levels very stable whether the pool is covered or not.

You will need the extra Cover-Pools PCB when they do the install to enable these extra features. Our installers initially didn't put the PCB in our AquaLink-RS Power Center, but once I told them it was a requirement the pool builder had it put in. It is just an extra little control board called the "Cover-Pools®/AquaLink® RS Interface".

I have 2 "deep heat returns" in my pool and it seems to help circulate the hot water that stratifies beneath the closed cover.

edit: Here is a link to the PC-Board Setup PDF

In addition, I thought of one other feature that is really nice to have with this configuration. You can turn off items that shouldn't run when the cover is closed (deck jets, lights, waterfalls or any other devices that shouldn't be on when the pool is covered)
 

Cgrez33

Active member
Apr 20, 2019
36
College Park, Maryland
If you don't mind me asking, who is your builder? I too am located in MD and I feel like I may need a Vinyl replacement soon but I don't see many reviews of PB's nearby.

Feel free to PM!
 

Rickster03

Member
Oct 13, 2017
12
Baltimore, MD
Dig started Friday, then rain all weekend. We buried a sump in the deep end and have been pumping water out all day. Only some mild cave in so far, which I am digging out as I can get to it. We have double-checked our measurements and see no issues thus far. Steel and plumbing start Wednesday.
7AD9C3CD-5AAF-4815-9B72-FE181C748A7D.jpeg
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
40,375
Tallahassee, FL
Of course it rained right after you dug :roll: LOL Glad to hear there has only been one minor cave in. Good job checking the size!

Kim:kim:
 

Rickster03

Member
Oct 13, 2017
12
Baltimore, MD
Equipment has been delivered! Plumbing has also been stubbed in and steel passed inspection. Since then, rain. Some of the side caved in, which is causing some bowing in the steel. I took a pic with a string line. You bet I am going to have them correct that before any concrete is shot. Using the tarps I could get my hands on, I draped the edges and that has significantly helped keep the sides more stable.

It looks like the main drain is not quite centered. I think I would like to have them cut the steel and move it to the dead center. I know I'll see that for the rest of my life and wish I had mentioned it.

They also began framing the forms for the back walls. Looks like we may be shooting Gunite this weekend or next week. Anything else I should be looking for?
 

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bmoreswim

Mod Squad
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Jul 16, 2012
5,231
Central MD
Measure to see if diagonals based on top backer boards are of equal length. They should be very close. I’d want the gunite to be within in inch of being perfect. Preferably perfect. So there are no cover alignment issues. They can cover a tiny out of square when placing the rails.

Is the drain from the pit a 4” line?is it long enough to properly daylight after final grading?