Near Final Design on New Build - Feedback Please

Beepahtell

New member
Aug 16, 2020
2
Frisco, TX
Hi Everyone! I've been lurking here for a while and think we're about to finally pull the trigger to build. Neither one of us have had a pool before so we've been doing as much research as possible to make sure we're in a good spot.

Both my wife and I have spoken to about 6 builders in Dallas - Forth Worth TX and narrowed it down between two. We have don't really have a big back yard but will be utilizing what we can to have some green space as well. We would love feedback from anyone who wants to share on the equipment / features. One of the things I am also up in the air is choosing to have the Polaris 3900 with booster pump or removing that off the contract and buying the Dolphin Nautilus CC by itself.

Pool:
- 31' x 17'
- 3.5' to 6'
- Gallons: 17,206
- Perimeter: 97'
- Features:
-- Raised North wall for 3 shear waterfalls
-- 8' tan ledge with umbrella insert
-- 2 long benches on north and south sides (South side to have umbrella insert)
-- Finger ledges all around
-- Floor Level spa due to privacy concern around fences
-- Removable safety fences is TBD for now until I can get ahold of an installer to see how this would work to separate the pool area from back wall to patio. Allowing dog to go into grass area on the left of the patio.


Structure:
- Steel: 1/2" steel rebar on 10" centers with 5" alternates in stress points in walls and floor. Beam to have 5 bars 1/2"
- Gunite:
--Beam is 18" x 10"
--Wall / floor : 8" Min thickness
--Coves: min of 10 - 12" thickness
--Chemical injection

Finish:
- Pebble still deciding color
- Tiling: Glass

Equipment:
- Filter: Jandy 60 Square foot DE Filter
- Circulation Pump: Jandy 2.7 HP Variable Speed
- Chlorine In-line Dispenser: Rainbow 320 or PowerClean Ultra In-line Chlorinator
- Automation: Jandy PDA PS6 Controller for Pool / Spa + IAqualink 20A for Phone & Tablet
- Heater: 400,000BTU Jandy JXi400 NG
- Cleaner: Polaris 3900 with Booster Pump (Spec not given)
- Booster Pump: 1.5HP FloPro Booster Pump (for Water Features)
- Lighting: Spectrum 360 LED Lighting ( 1 Spa / 2 Pool)
- Water Leveler: Quik Water Leveler

Plumbing:
- Returns: 5
- Skimmers: 2
- Main Drains: 2
- 2" Suction piping
- 1 1/2" Return piping
- Backwash line to p-trap with sight glass and vent valve
- Positive Lock Jandy Never-Lube valves
 

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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
672
Katy TX
Hi fellow Texan. welcome to TFP.
Please read ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry and Recommended Levels and Test Kits Compared and get PoolMath. This will prepare you to understand your pool and to post data when you have questions.

With regard to your pool design, it is quite nice. I am sure you will enjoy it for many years. A couple of points

You indicate 2" suction but your equipment pad shows 1 1/2" suction.
I would have valves on each of the 3 main suction lines - 1 for each skimmer and the main drain. It is best to have independent control of each.
You show 2 suctions for the spa - not sure why as you normally just have a drain in the spa for suction. Need this clarified.

Your return lines are to your 3 water feature and your main pool return line (which ties to all 5 returns into the pool). There is a 4th return which is not identified. Is this going to your spa for spillover into the pool when in Pool Mode?
It would be best to have valves on each of the 3 sheer waterfall for independent control.
You indicate a separate spa return which is normal to your jets when you are in Spa Mode.
You could consider a separate circulation path for your 3 waterfalls but it would require a separate suction line, a dedicated pump and the returns would be the same with a valve for each. It is mentioned a booster pump for the water feature but the pump is not shown on the equipment pad. Just an idea if you wish to consider that - obviously that is more $$$$ but allows you to run the waterfall without the pool pump on. In reviewing your equipment pad picture - it may be generic thus not showing all the pumps and lines.

You indicate a booster pump for your cleaner but it is not shown either on your equipment pad. The suction is normally tied into your skimmer or main drain suction line (which actually may be shown as you have 2 lines for suction in addition to the 2 skimmer suction lines. However the cleaner needs its own dedicated output line. However this all may be mute as I would question why you want a pressure operated cleaner. The newer technology is robot which are electrically powered. There are many threads in the forum on robot usage.

It is apparent that you are not going to use a Salt Water Generator (SWG) which is why you have the Chlorinator. Most would say throw that out and reconsider a SWG for your sanitation process. There are many threads on forum on that as well.

The DE filter and 400k BTU heater are good. Many people on the forum use Hayward or Pentair equipment vs Jandy for pumps, filters and heaters. Have you researched the other manufacturers? Is the PB pushing the Jandy equipment?
Ensure you have a multi-port valve prior to your filter as this will make backwash, rinse, draining and filtering activities easy to use.
Definitely have your drain line connected to your sewer line

I am sure others will chime in. Keep us informed.
 
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Beepahtell

New member
Aug 16, 2020
2
Frisco, TX
Wow thank you so much for giving the feedback and having those questions. I ended up sending emails and having a few quick calls to each builder to learn more in detail.

1. Suction Piping: Confirmed 2" sizing
2. Pad Layout Picture: Found out to be generic and did not show details they will be submitting new pads.
3. Valving and Multivalve: I have requested from both builders to give me details of whats there now and what it would take to add these in. Hopefully will have something this week,
4. Returns: Pending confirmations from both pb's on locations.
5. Booster pump for water features and bubbler: Layout pad was generic but will show the equipment once put together. Did confirm that this will allow for features to be turned on without the pool pump to be on.
6. Cleaner: I ended up doing more research and will be going with robot cleaner so I have requested to remove the polaris 3900 with booster pump
7. Chrolinated or SWG: I have requested pricing to switch over. Both seem to have their share of maintenance and similar costs. Both my wife and i are happy with both types of pools so will really dig into SWG some more. I know we have limestone at the lip so this would have to change I believe. We also travel fairly often so maybe the salt water may allow for it to be forgiving. Of course continuous testing will still be done.

How does travertine decking do with salt water pools? Would this be something I need sealed every year or 2?

8. Equipment Brands: I have only had a chance to play with the Jandy equipment from both of current builders and none of the other builders had Pentair automations setup to be hands on. The Jandy system itself seemed functional and easy to use so it was a plus. I did read that the pentair system goes through the internet server to function so I'm concerned only because our internet is spotty and can be down every so often that I may have issues adjusting or turning on / off. I do not plan to do any DIY addons so I wonder what is a major feature that sways one way to the other?

In regards to the pumps and filters I am unfamiliar other than the efficiency of the pentair intelliflo vsp being really well mentioned.

Side note: I have also looked into removable safety fencing from Katch a Kid to surround the pool on 2 sides. so hopefully getting some more details on that.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
672
Katy TX
Update us when you have a drawing of the actual plumbing system the PB plans to set up and people can review and give any advice if changes are needed.

I have the older generation Jandy where it is a PDA (Pool Digital Assistant). It controls pump, spa/pool valves, heater, lights, waterfall and cleaner (I have pressure operated Polaris). It has it own wireless connection - does not use my home wifi - from the handheld PDA to the controller by the equipment pad. It does not have an app for use on phone, etc. I find it more than enough to control the pool. Would I like to control it from my phone? Possibly, but I can't say I would have used it a lot - like being away from home and wanting to turn on or off something. So if you think the Jandy system they are proposing meets your needs then proceed with that. The most important part is to ensure you have your valves with controllers so you can easily switch from pool to spa mode or control your water features. In addition you want on off capability to operate your heater, lights & pump (also set the speed of your pump).

Most will say that your automation system works best with same mfg. So if you have Jandy throughout then you should be OK.

I do not have a SWG but seriously considering it for next summer. Most people on the forum state the salt has little affect on the coping and water tiles. I have flagstone and I am not too concerned about the salt although I did have my flagstone sealed about 2 years ago. I am sure others will chime in. I think in the long run you may enjoy the SWG and best to get it plumbed in correctly with the new equipment. Plus you save the cost of the inline chlorinator. I have a chlorinator but have it turned off and just use liquid chlorine.

If you want to see other automation systems, you may want to go to a pool store (can't believe I wrote that) and see if they have a demonstration set up. I seem to remember the Texsun Pool store has a Hayward setup. You may want to call around and see if any of them have a demonstration in their store.
 
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Thegatorvault

Active member
Jun 10, 2018
42
Tampa FL
Yes I have all Jandy equipment and have been happy with the performance, automation, and interface. I have the iAquaLink app on my phone and can control everything from either my phone or the remote that came with the system. I use my phone most of the time.

After almost a year and a half, I had to replace one light because the color seemed to be shifted a bit. It was under warranty so no worries there.

The system has been working pretty flawlessly, but I have recently had a ‘no flow’ problem that resulted in my first SLAM. It took me a while to figure out the problem and I thought it was fixed last week when my builder replaced the SWG flow/temp/salt sensor. I posted about this today actually in a separate thread in the SWG forum.

Sad to report the ‘no flow’ came back this afternoon and I am back troubleshooting it. Despite this issue, I have been very happy with my system and would 100% buy Jandy if I were to do it all over again.

I would also recommend, whatever mfgs you decide on, make sure your builder is comfortable with the selections and the system interface. Initially I did some research on who had the ‘best’ equipment but it was a fleeting exercise, since consensus seemed to be non-exist and the major manufacturers all seemed to have at least one product that was better than the rest.

Since my wife and I had heard the horror stories, we ended up getting quotes on the pool from 3 builders that all had good ratings; both word of mouth and online reviews. I went and saw a couple pools they built. Luckily two of the builders had quoted Jandy and one of those builders really knew his stuff; I grew to really trust his expertise so I decided on Jandy. I think the other builder quoted a Hayward system, so I had him give me a quote with Jandy equipment, just so I had an apples to apples quote.

I ended up going with the builder that helped me and have a great relationship with him to this day. He wasn’t the cheapest but I trusted him. My neighbor didn’t take my advice and is paying the price a bit.....he got quotes from a bunch of different builders and went with the lowest bid. He saved money on the install but his builder undersized the equipment and cut little corners here and there. You get what you pay for.
 
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