NE OH - DIY Pool Build

NEOpoolguy81

Bronze Supporter
May 13, 2019
3
Ohio
Hello everyone,

New to the forum as of yesterday on the advice of a friend when I told him I am planning on self-installing a 20' x 40' vinyl liner pool this summer. He said the information and help he has gotten from everyone on the site has been priceless in helping manage his own fiberglass in-ground that he had installed 2 years ago and there is no doubt I'm out of my comfort zone when talking pools and equipment. I am in construction for an occupation so I understand the basic concepts of what the build will require but I'm in the dark as to whether what I'm buying is adequate for the size pool and whether is it of good quality that will last me through several seasons with appropriate care.

I am planning on utilizing a kit I have sourced out from a Royal Swimming Pools and this is the package they have recommended based on my price range and want list and the time frame for starting to dig is late July. My main questions / concerns would be for the large dollar items (pump, filter, heater) and also if there is anything significant that is missing from the list with the exception of a solar cover and reel that I plan on adding as well but I assume that is fairly straightforward. I am not planning on installing any main drains either. I am also planning on staying away from an SWG system despite the popularity as I am concerned about the wear and corrosion it will put on the pool heater as well as the materials and equipment I place around the pool. Could be way off here but that is my thought process.

Here is the breakdown of what I have currently that is supposedly all inclusive:

  • 20'x40 rectangle pool with 42" steel panel walls
  • 2' radius corners with center end entry location (white vinyl stairs)
  • Cantilever coping to allow for bullnose paver installation around the perimeter
  • SR Smith Economy ladder with hip tread 19" 3-step SKU #: VLLS-103E
  • Hayward Max-Flo Pool Pump 1 1/2" x 2" Unions SKU #: Maxflo-XL
  • Hayward ProSeries 24" Top Mount Sand Filter with 1 1/2" top mount valve SKU #: hay_ps_tm
  • Dual Skimmer Systems - Wide Mouth SKU #: 2sk-wm
  • Hayward CL200 Automatic Inline Chlorinator SKU #: CL200
  • Hayward Tiger Shark Robotic Pool Cleaner SKU #: RC9950CUB
  • Hayward Universal H-Series Nat Gas 300K BTU Heater SKU #: hayward_universal_h_series
  • Inter-fab LaMesa 6' Diving Board SKU #: LaMesa-6
  • Hayward Universal 12V ColorLogic LED Light w/ Niche (1 located in deep end)
Thanks for any advice you may have, it is greatly appreciated!
 

ckwinters

Well-known member
May 29, 2018
52
Carlisle, PA
Think hard on the 42 inch walls because your water depth ends up around 34" after 2" base and water height to middle of the skimmer. We did go with 42" and are happy with the decision but I can see where 48 inch might be preferred. As far as equipment someone more knowledgeable than I needs to answer that! Have fun building, it is very rewarding!
 

Pool_Medic

Well-known member
Apr 1, 2018
614
Bangor Maine
Just some thoughts.

Is that pump variable speed? If not get one, huge money savings.
Are you plumbing both skimmers into one return to pad? It might be helpful to have a valve handy to shut one off if needed. Use Jandy never lube valves over ball valves, you will thank us later, ball valves get stiff over time.
Insure one if not both skimmers are on the prevailing side of the wind
Toss the chlorinator out, it’s time to go SWCG. Brand is up in the air.
Diving rocks are far safer than diving boards.
I would put a water feature in somewhere, waterfall, planter waterfall or something. It’s one thing people regret after a build is complete.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
38,332
Tallahassee, FL
I like your thought processes so far! How deep will this pool end up being? I see a diving board--------oh so fun!!!

If you don't go SWG you will need to use liquid chlorine for every day chlorine. The pucks/tablets are okay for weekend trips and such. They are not for long term use as they add stuff you don't want too much of. Some add CYA (stabilizer) and some add CH (calcium hardness). Your pool needs a little of both but too much is NOT a good thing.

Kim:kim:
 

toofast

Well-known member
May 9, 2013
993
North East Ohio
Remember, if you don't want Salt Water or a Salt Water Generator, the other option is a Chlorine Injection Pump, aka Stenner Pump....nearly as automatic as a SWG.
 

NEOpoolguy81

Bronze Supporter
May 13, 2019
3
Ohio
Thanks for all the replies and advice it is greatly appreciated! The reason for the 42" wall panels is that I have 3 children all under the age of 7 as well as a bunch of nieces and nephews around the same age and the 48" wall panel seems like it might be a bit too deep for little ones to enjoy but I definitely understand the benefit for when everyone gets a little bit older.

I like the idea of the variable speed pump and it seems as though the upfront cost to upgrade is worth it if it's running constantly for 4 to 5 months a year and there are long term cost savings.

I will definitely go with the Jandy valves as well so thanks for insight on that.

Is the consensus that SWG is the best way to go these days instead of liquid chlorine? Is my track of thinking on the salt water reducing the life of the heater incorrect?

In regards to the skimmers, I had planned to locate then on the south side of the pool that runs the 40' direction and the returns on the north side. Pool Medic can you explain what you mean when you asked "Are you plumbing both skimmers into one return to pad? "
I'm not familiar with the terminology and want to make sure I am plumbing it correctly or the most efficient manner to circulate water.

In regards to depth I am going with the 8' option which is that shallowest option to still provide a diving board.

Thanks again
 

kevinp768

Member
Sep 30, 2018
11
Wichita KS
In regards to the skimmers that Pool Medic talked about, run separate plumbing returns to the equipment pad from each skimmer so if there is an issue with one, you can turn it off at a valve and still have another usable skimmer, ideally with a Jandy 3 way valve. If they are both tied together then you're basically up the proverbial creek if there is an issue with the skimmer plumbing.
 

Pool_Medic

Well-known member
Apr 1, 2018
614
Bangor Maine
The salt water will have no ill effect on any equipment. While it’s not a set it and forget it technology, it’s by far the easiest way to chlorinate a pool. Once you learn your pool and it’s intracasies, it’s pretty darn easy, you will even get to the point where you will recognize the different levels of clarity and test your water to figure out what is needed.

Highly recommend that you buy a titration test kit, the one that’s sold by this site is pretty darn inexpensive and it is in fact the one thing you will buy that will allow you to take full ownership of your pool.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
38,332
Tallahassee, FL
To break the skimmer pipes down even further......each skimmer will have it's own pipe that goes back to the pad with it's own valve so they can be controlled separately if needed or wanted.
 

SBall

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2017
206
Nashville, TN
The information that I have read suggests that improper pH levels will destroy equipment like a heater, but salt and/or chlorine levels not so much. I have a SWG and a natural gas heater and really just not worried about it.

My wife and I are short, and I like the 42" walls (3' water depth). I also keep our pool filled to the very top of the mouth of the skimmer, so we get a couple extra inches.
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
4,855
Central MD
SWG for sure. Salt content's effect on equipment is inconsequential. If you want to mess up your heater, run your pH really low (that's a joke). ;)

One light will be too dim on all except maybe white. Regardless you need two for that size pool. My pool is smaller and I have two. Some days and on some colors three would be perfect.

Yes to 2-speed pump. VS is not needed but no harm except long payback. Unless your utility gives a rebate on VS and not 2-speed.

I'd skip the Tiger Shark and go with a Dolphin model. We see tons of folks get them here with good TFP user reviews. Here's a nice short 83 page thread about them. Doheny's Discovery, S200, Active20, Triton owners club

Heater seems a bit smaller than what is usually installed for that size pool. But it just takes longer to heat, it's not less efficient. I'd search for Raypac heaters here. They are highly rated here by folks who know their stuff. Heaters don't need to be the same brand to be controlled by automation.

Speaking of automation, are you getting any? You don't really need it but it's nice regardless. I have it on a simple pool and enjoy it.
 

NEOpoolguy81

Bronze Supporter
May 13, 2019
3
Ohio
And I thought I was close to figuring what I needed out:ROFLMAO: Makes perfect sense on the dedicated lines for the skimmers. I was going to add the jets to the stairs as well to get circulation there in order to push any debris that might build from entering and exiting, are these a worthwhile add?

Thanks for the insight on the SWGs, it is going to be hard to not go that direction now with the salt not a concern on longevity of equipment. I do not plan to build in automation to the package but I havent also spent much time pricing out the upgrade so it may be something worth considering I'm sure.
 

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