Looking at building a pool / need some feedback

boomer2015

Member
Sep 25, 2020
18
Oklahoma City
Hey all, my wife and I have decided to put in a pool and are in the process of getting bids and designs. I figured I'd throw the designs out there and get some feedback from the community before we sign any contract. We are also heavily considering enlarging the pool to either a 18x36 or 18x38 and when i say we, I mean ME. :cool: Pool details are below

  • Shotcrete and plaster swimming pool measuring 18’x34’ Free Form
  • Depth Profile 3 1/2' - 7' ft. (waterline depth)
  • 7x7 Spa with spillover
  • 28'x18" raised wall with 1 sheer descent (would like to add 2 more to this wall)
  • 2 Bubblers in tanning ledge
  • 1 umbrella sleeve
  • 2HP Jandy Pump (asked for model numbers)
  • 1HP Jandy Spa Pump (asked for model numbers)
  • iAqua Link 4 Function
  • 3 LED pool lights
  • 1 LED spa light
  • Waterway chlorinator
  • Jandy Cartridge Filter
  • 288 sq ft of decking is included / looking at adding to reach 950 sq ft total
  • 100% quartz plaster
  • 8000 psi concrete for 10”-12” bond beam and entire pool structure
  • Schedule 40 PVC plumbing and fittings for operation of pool
  • #3 steel reinforcement on 9” centers for all concrete structure







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Last edited:

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,325
Northern NJ
Welcome to TFP.

With a pool pump, spa pump, bubblers, sheer descent, and 4 lights you want an Aqualink system with 6 or 8 relays, not 4. You can't expand the number of relays in the Aqualink without replacing the entire expensive main board. And if you enable the SPA SPILLOVER function, that we recommend, it uses a relay position (AUX 3). Plan out how your various devices will be controlled by the Aqualink and how many high voltage relays and low voltage actuators you will need.

What model # LED lights?

Will the lights be 12V or 120V in the pool? Do you want to turn on and off the pool and spa lights individually or as a group?

What size cartridge filter?

Have you considered a Salt Water Chlorine Generator instead of a chlorinator?
 

boomer2015

Member
Sep 25, 2020
18
Oklahoma City
Thanks, ajw!

This is why i joined this forum. I'll request the larger Aqualink system as I wasn't aware of that issue. I've asked for the model numbers on the lights as well so that should help answer that question. I think i'd rather have the ability to operate the lights individually but I'm not sold that it's necessary.

I'll check on the cartridge filter.

I'm still doing research on this / there's alot to read and understand being new to pools.
 

boomer2015

Member
Sep 25, 2020
18
Oklahoma City
Does anyone have any thoughts on adding more than (1) sheer descent to a 28' long raised beam wall? Will having just 1 look odd? Will I need another pump if bump it up to 3?

It looks like we're going to spring for the 18x38 free form size after much research and even more discussion. We have 2 kids and another on the way and enjoy entertaining so I think this is probably the best choice.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,325
Northern NJ
Whose sheer descent? Jandy? Pentair?

You Planning on the sheer descent being on the pool pump?

You ever planning on getting a heater? Gas heater or Heat Pump?
 

boomer2015

Member
Sep 25, 2020
18
Oklahoma City
Still waiting on those details. Builders are so busy around here it's been a looooong process to get this far. I would imagine it's a Jandy sheer descent as that's the most common in our area.

I have no idea. I'm still learning on how everything is hooked up. Is it common to have water features on a separate pump? Is it preffered?

It's possible but at first I don't quite see the need. Obviously the spa will be heated

I did go ahead and map out 100' ft perimeter pool with a hose to see what it looks like. I think it looks pretty big but I'm open to opinions. Our yard is plenty large enough although we're trying to stay conscious of budget.


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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,143
Central California
Hey boomer, welcome to TFP. Glad you found us.

I like the renderings. I was studying the lighting in the night shot.

I would ask the PB to run an independent wire from each light back to the pad. You can decide to wire them together or separately at any point, but you can't wire it like that later (not easily, if at all). Wire is cheap, in the grand scheme. You'll regret having any light pointed at your primary sitting area when you're relaxing out there at night. Either locate the lights so they all shine away from the house, or put them on separate switches, so you can light up the pool for the kids, but turn off that one light pointing at the lounge area when you're just sitting out there. I would also want to light the spa and pool separately: sometimes just the pool, sometimes just the spa, sometimes both. Enhance all that with garden lights, that can also be controlled by the automation, and you'll be able to create some amazing, and varied, lighting effects.

Be mindful of where you might want to run lights, gas, electrical outlets, hose bibs, etc along side or in back of the pool. I'd want all of those. Have the PB trench and run PVC pipe and conduit for all those things before the deck goes down. It'll never be easier to do again. You can bury the pipes now and connect things up later.

Consider an auto-fill and overflow system. Some builder don't include those, and don't like those. Again, you can always make up your mind later to not use them, but you can't add them later. I love mine and never have to think about the water level. If you don't want to be dragging a hose out everyday to top off your pool, or pumping it out during a heavy rain, while standing in the rain, you'll want those features.

I had my main drains removed. You don't need drains. They are used primarily because pools have always had drains. Old school. But they don't help circulation all that much, can be a hazard and an eyesore. Your builder probably won't like that idea either, but it's something to think about. If you or he don't buy that idea, you can have a drain that is flush with the finish, and camouflaged with the finish, so they are barely noticeable.

This is the fun part, planning the pool, so have fun with it!
 

boomer2015

Member
Sep 25, 2020
18
Oklahoma City
Hey boomer, welcome to TFP. Glad you found us.

I like the renderings. I was studying the lighting in the night shot.

I would ask the PB to run an independent wire from each light back to the pad. You can decide to wire them together or separately at any point, but you can't wire it like that later (not easily, if at all). Wire is cheap, in the grand scheme. You'll regret having any light pointed at your primary sitting area when you're relaxing out there at night. Either locate the lights so they all shine away from the house, or put them on separate switches, so you can light up the pool for the kids, but turn off that one light pointing at the lounge area when you're just sitting out there. I would also want to light the spa and pool separately: sometimes just the pool, sometimes just the spa, sometimes both. Enhance all that with garden lights, that can also be controlled by the automation, and you'll be able to create some amazing, and varied, lighting effects.

Be mindful of where you might want to run lights, gas, electrical outlets, hose bibs, etc along side or in back of the pool. I'd want all of those. Have the PB trench and run PVC pipe and conduit for all those things before the deck goes down. It'll never be easier to do again. You can bury the pipes now and connect things up later.

Consider an auto-fill and overflow system. Some builder don't include those, and don't like those. Again, you can always make up your mind later to not use them, but you can't add them later. I love mine and never have to think about the water level. If you don't want to be dragging a hose out everyday to top off your pool, or pumping it out during a heavy rain, while standing in the rain, you'll want those features.

I had my main drains removed. You don't need drains. They are used primarily because pools have always had drains. Old school. But they don't help circulation all that much, can be a hazard and an eyesore. Your builder probably won't like that idea either, but it's something to think about. If you or he don't buy that idea, you can have a drain that is flush with the finish, and camouflaged with the finish, so they are barely noticeable.

This is the fun part, planning the pool, so have fun with it!

Thanks! I'll look into the auto fill and overflow systems as I'm not familiar.

We've discussed future plans with the PB so he is aware of items we will want trenched before the deck. Mainly pvc for landscape lighting that I'll handle myself as well as electrical for the pergola since we will probably add that in the spring if it puts us over budget now. I have a gas line on the patio for a grill although I haven't hooked one up (I prefer a smoker as opposed to a grill) but I thought a gas grill for burgers and such would be nice and MUCH faster. There's certainly a lot to think about other than just the pool.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,325
Northern NJ
Still waiting on those details. Builders are so busy around here it's been a looooong process to get this far. I would imagine it's a Jandy sheer descent as that's the most common in our area.
Jandy has four different types of sheer descents...


I have no idea. I'm still learning on how everything is hooked up. Is it common to have water features on a separate pump? Is it preffered?
See the installation manual at https://www.jandy.com/-/media/zodiac/global/downloads/h/h0347100.pdf pages 11-12 for the water flow requirements. You will see in figure 10 that the arc the sheer has depends on the water flow supplied by the pump. And Jandy recommends a separate water feature pump when multiple water falls are installed.

This then leads into the heater question because your main pool pump has a maximum water flow and pressure it can supply. Lots of that is used up by pushing water through your filter and heater and out your returns. A Heat Pump, due to its smaller coil, takes more pressure to move water through it than a gas heater. The water flow that is then left over can be available to push out water features. But if you don't have enough pump capacity then you may just get a dribble out the water features.

This can all be calculated but we need all the pool design details for pump mode, size of lines, length of lines, models of filter and heater, number of returns and skimmers, and water features. The easy answer is put in another pump to ensure the water features have a good flow.

It's possible but at first I don't quite see the need. Obviously the spa will be heated
Don't assume anything is obvious or standard with pools. Your equipment list above did not list a heater. If you have a heater for the spa it will be in the water flow for the pool also. The type and model of the heater can affect our discussions about pumps, plumbing, and automation.

I did go ahead and map out 100' ft perimeter pool with a hose to see what it looks like. I think it looks pretty big but I'm open to opinions. Our yard is plenty large enough although we're trying to stay conscious of budget.
The size of the pool depends on how you intend to use it. I like swimming laps. It takes me about 10 strokes to get across my 50' pool. A pool that I can swim in 4 strokes would be annoying to me.

What depth profile do you want for the pool?
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,143
Central California
Thanks! I'll look into the auto fill and overflow systems as I'm not familiar.

We've discussed future plans with the PB so he is aware of items we will want trenched before the deck. Mainly pvc for landscape lighting that I'll handle myself as well as electrical for the pergola since we will probably add that in the spring if it puts us over budget now. I have a gas line on the patio for a grill although I haven't hooked one up (I prefer a smoker as opposed to a grill) but I thought a gas grill for burgers and such would be nice and MUCH faster. There's certainly a lot to think about other than just the pool.
Good to hear you're thinking ahead. I'll only add, plan for things you haven't planned for! Need two circuits out back? Run PVC to allow four. Need a drip irrigation line? Run two. Etc. Empty PVC is cheap to lay into the ditch. Chances are you'll need more of it later. I would run a couple of Cat 6 ethernet cables out back. You can run all sorts of things through that (ethernet, video, intercom, etc). How about speaker wire? Run a door bell wire out there.

So far I've added: cam, remote door bell, speakers, 6 drip lines (different valves), hose bib, and 8 electrical circuits: pool light, garden light circuits (3), fountain, bug zapper, bistro lights and a permitter hot wire (raccoons!). And still wish I had two more hose bibs. A few extra empty PVC lines, of various sizes, can accommodate all sorts of things you might want to add later...

I like my PoolMiser, and there are a few competing brands out there that do the same thing.

 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,926
Morris Cnty NJ
You need a VS pump if you plan to run bubblers and waterfalls off one pump. You need several aux spots open to run automated valves to control them. On long walls it's better to have more sheers but smaller like 3 18" units. A full size VS will just be able to handle those amd 2 bubblers if plumbed right
I saw the list above, 8000psi is a misprint btw
 

boomer2015

Member
Sep 25, 2020
18
Oklahoma City
Thanks for all the replies and help so far.

I've asked for a detailed equipment list including the heater while we finalize the design. Pool and spa lights will be 12v.

After marking it all out in our yard I think 1 longer sheer descent will look and work the best. Hopefully we'll be under contract soon to get this process started.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,143
Central California
Thanks! I'll look into the auto fill and overflow systems as I'm not familiar.
Give this post I just wrote a read. Your PB might push back, might not, about auto-level (fill and overflow together). Just remember, you can always choose later not to use it, just turn it off. But you can't add one later if your PB talks you out of one now. I wouldn't own a pool without an auto-level system.

#3
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
47,020
Tallahassee, FL
The only thing I don't see is the depths of the pool.

See that wall? You might have to have some kind of bench or "fingerledge" in that part of the pool. This will help a swimmer if they get tired or such while in the deep end. See if that has been addressed by your PB.

Kim:kim:
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,143
Central California
Speaking of depths. In the rendering it looks as if the steps and the ledge have a big drop off, like 3 or 4 or 5 feet. That's not going to make for a graceful exit or entry. And not at all easy on us geezers. Is that just the drawing?
 

boomer2015

Member
Sep 25, 2020
18
Oklahoma City
The only thing I don't see is the depths of the pool.

See that wall? You might have to have some kind of bench or "fingerledge" in that part of the pool. This will help a swimmer if they get tired or such while in the deep end. See if that has been addressed by your PB.

Kim:kim:
We've talked about adding a bench along most of the wall for that main reason.
 

boomer2015

Member
Sep 25, 2020
18
Oklahoma City
Speaking of depths. In the rendering it looks as if the steps and the ledge have a big drop off, like 3 or 4 or 5 feet. That's not going to make for a graceful exit or entry. And not at all easy on us geezers. Is that just the drawing?
Take a look at the last rendering with the pergola. It includes steps off of the tanning ledge which I would believe would be the main entry and exit. The bench/steps in the deep end I didn't really see as and entry point but open to thoughts.

I also thought about a "step out" on the right side of the spa as well.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,143
Central California
OK, I see them now. Maybe a bit small? Give some thought to how many steps (which determines the height from step to step). If this is your forever home, you'll need an easy way out someday too (as will your grammy and gramps). I would think you'll get some traffic between pool and spa, folks and kids going back and forth a lot. Steps over there might be nice. You have a lot going on behind the pool: pergola and sitting areas, you do kinda need a path in and out from both sides of the pool.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,143
Central California
Is that a big stone feature overhanging the pool? A jumping rock maybe? My kids looooove the jumping rock. 👍 Just keep in mind: any stone work that penetrates the water (this goes for stone on wall and spa, too), can turn into a cleaning problem. Read here about effervescence. It leaches out of, and collects on, stone that is subjected to water and evaporation and is not fun to clean. That's why there is edge tile: a nice smooth, easy-to-clean material. Stone descending into water is a very nice look, just be aware of what you're getting into if your pool has a lot of that.
 

boomer2015

Member
Sep 25, 2020
18
Oklahoma City
You need a VS pump if you plan to run bubblers and waterfalls off one pump. You need several aux spots open to run automated valves to control them. On long walls it's better to have more sheers but smaller like 3 18" units. A full size VS will just be able to handle those and 2 bubblers if plumbed right
I saw the list above, 8000psi is a misprint btw
We will have a VS pump and also plan to change the iAquaLink to 8 relays to have room for the future.

I'll take a look at adding more than 1 sheer descent on the back wall.

Thanks for the notice on the misprint on the concrete (y)