New 20x41x30 L Vinyl Pool Going In Near Pittsburgh

csementuh

Member
May 29, 2020
10
Pittsburgh, PA
Hello! Just wanted to introduce myself and my new pool project. My name is Cory and I'm near Pittsburgh, PA. I am new to pools, but I've decided to take the leap to learn all I can and put in the sweat equity when possible and sub out the construction of my new pool. I have several business contacts who will help me with the trickier parts, layout, digging, wall install, plumbing, electrical, etc. Wish me luck! lol

I just bought the kit from Pool Warehouse, they sell Hydra pools.
  • Pool Size: True-L (20' x 41' x 30' L Shaped Pool Kit (up-to 8' deep)) This is a 20x41 main section with a 16x10 L shallow section
  • Pool Walls: 42" steel
  • Pool Direction: Turn Left or Curve Left, From Shallow End
  • Pool Liner: 20 Mil - Greystone River Blue (20-ML-Greystone)
  • Pool Bottom: Bottom Dig - 42" Wall Standard Diving Pool 3'4" Shallow End With 8' Deep End (42-in-wall-diving)
  • Corner Radius: Corners - 2' Corner Radius (2-Foot-Corner-Radius)
  • Pool Coping: Flex Flat Profile Coping
  • Pool Wall Braces:- TURNBUCKLE Brace With 30 Deck Supports (Pools Over 20'x40' And L Shaped) (FOB-BRACE-30-FOB-Deck-Supports)
  • Pool Step: Steel Liner Over Step - Tanning Ledge And Step Combo 16' (6'x6' steps and a 10'x6' ledge)
  • Pool Bench: 8' Wide Steel Bench, Swimout, Sits Outside Pool Perimeter (Liner over steel)
  • Pool Pump: Hayward Tristar Vs950 Variable Speed Pump (1* H07626-SP32950VSP)
  • Pool Filter: 30" Hayward Top Mount Sand Filter, 10 Sand Bags, 2" (1*H01933, 10* H04016P) (May run Zeolite sand and DE in it)
  • Pool Skimmer: Hayward Wide Mouth Skimmers, 7 returns
  • Salt Water System: Hayward OmniLogic Cat5 Smart Phone Controlled 40k Salt System (1* H09009, 1* H09018, 1* H0AQTCELL), Hayward anode
  • Pool Light: Hayward 12 VOLT Color LED WITH 50' CORD TRANSFORMER AND NICHE (1* H00704CL, 1* H00382, 1* H01432H)
  • Heater: Hayward Universal H-Series 300k btu digital natural gas (1* H05131) (Figured gas will heat faster for on-demand stuff, won't run all season)
  • Diving Board: 6' White Duro-Beam With La Mesa Base (1* H00657, 1* H00393)
  • Slides: SR Smith Typhoon
  • Pool Ladder: Deluxe Stainless Steel Deep End Ladder With Escushions (1* H00692PG)
  • Handrail & Ladder Anchors: 1 Bronze Ladder Anchor (1* H01945BC)
  • Pool Wall Padding: Steel Padding - 2 Rolls of 42" Padding For Walls, 4 Cans Adhesive & Seam Tape (2* H02707, 4* H01045, 1* H00302) ($195.00)
  • Maintenance Kit: Safety Rope With Deluxe Maintenance Kit Added ($95.00)
I'll likely add a couple deck jets to the shallow end, but that's pretty much the bulk of things. I picked the upgraded and hopefully more efficient models for the equipment, to give me a little convenience and automation. Anyone have anything good or bad to say about that Hayward bundle?

I picked 2x widemouth skimmers and 7 returns. Actually 6 returns. 1x of the returns will be a VacLock suction line for a cleaner. 2x of the returns will be over the tanning ledge/step area, so that is 2x returns for each skimmer to hopefully keep it clean. I've elected to not use main drains. You think this sounds like an adequate setup for this size pool? With the ledge in place and the swimout the pool is around 32,000 gallons.

I'm waiting on the kit for the next few weeks, but I'll post some pictures once we start the process.

If anyone has any input I'd be all ears! I have tried to research as much as possible, but hopefully I haven't made any big mistakes yet. Thanks for any input!
 
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bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
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Whale of a first post! Welcome!!

You did choose the largest Hayward SWG. Your pool is large for a 40K SWG, but being up north, that helps. Less UV than lower latitudes. I like your selections. I might have gone with cartridge and a Raypak heater, but neither are dealbreakers. No worries. You don't, however, want a suction cleaner. Putting in the line is fine. Get a robot, kind of like a cell phone instead of a landline.

Did I notice just one color LED? That will be short on light for that size pool and especially for an L. I'd get a second. My pool is smaller, with two and it's just right.

Throw up a few before pics for us! Looking forward to seeing your project progress.
 

csementuh

Member
May 29, 2020
10
Pittsburgh, PA
Hello and thanks for checking out my project! I appreciate your input!

The Pool Warehouse place seems to be a big Hayward dealer. The pool is Hydra Pools brand. Hayward is running a $500 mail in rebate and extra 5 year warranty deal now, so if the stuff is decent I'll likely keep it. Please let me ask some questions based on your info:

1. You think I'm best to stick with the 40K salt cell? They told me the next one down was only good for about 25K gallons, and this pool should be right about 31K-ish even with the big step/ledge combo. I want whatever will work best here. I was going to do the Aqua Plus system, but this Omni seems much more modern and I like tech. The ability to control stuff like lights and valves, pump, heater, etc from your phone seems great! Plus it looks like it gives you some chlorine numbers and temp, etc which will be helpful. I do hope the app and equipment is supported for many years to come. That stuff always makes me nervous that it will be phased out.

2. Are you saying my plan to run a return as a suction line with the snap over cover is OK or a best practice? I will likely have to vac it by hand this year, but I can definitely see buying a robotic cleaner next season. Especially since I'm sure some junk will settle in the deep with no main drains. Any better way to do this?

3. I'm open to suggestions on the filter.. I chose the sand for a few reasons. It seems easy, dependable and cheap. The PWarehouse guys seemed to think the filtration was good, even better with fancier sand and such. I want ease of maintenance and performance here. The cartridge filters aren't too much more, but they seem like they may be a pain to wash out, replace, etc? Also correct me if I'm wrong but do you lose the ability to backwash and dump water, vac junk, etc when using a cartridge filter? I know the sand has the valve with that option.

Pool Warehouse offers there cartridge filters as an upgrade, I'm not sure how to size these. I do know my pump is a bit over-sized, but being a VS I think that's OK? I can just run it slower and get adequate flow and better electricity usage.

Hayward C17502 Star-Clear Plus Cartridge Filter, 120 GPM, 2"
Hayward C3030 SwimClear Cartridge Filter, 122 GPM, 2"
Hayward C5030 SwimClear Cartridge Filter, 150 GPM, 2"
Hayward C7030 SwimClear Cartridge Filter, 150 GPM, 2"

4. Ahh man the light! Those LED lights are soo crazy expensive lol. I can add a second 12V ColorLogic LED for $725. I was hoping the single light in the deep end would be good, with minimal shadows in the shallow end. The L section is 16' wide and 10' deep, and the step/bench combo takes up 16'x6' of that. So basically there's only 2' of radius and a 2' cove before you hit the steps. Just how dark and bad will it be? If I do get a second light where should it go? I'm guessing in the shallow end across from the L section and step/ledge combo. That way the lights would intersect perpendicular and hopefully light it all up.

Any other thoughts and input are certainly appreciated! This is an expensive and long journey so I surely want to do it right the first time. Thank you!
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
6,151
Central MD
Hello and thanks for checking out my project! I appreciate your input!

The Pool Warehouse place seems to be a big Hayward dealer. The pool is Hydra Pools brand. Hayward is running a $500 mail in rebate and extra 5 year warranty deal now, so if the stuff is decent I'll likely keep it. Please let me ask some questions based on your info:

1. You think I'm best to stick with the 40K salt cell? They told me the next one down was only good for about 25K gallons, and this pool should be right about 31K-ish even with the big step/ledge combo. I want whatever will work best here. I was going to do the Aqua Plus system, but this Omni seems much more modern and I like tech. The ability to control stuff like lights and valves, pump, heater, etc from your phone seems great! Plus it looks like it gives you some chlorine numbers and temp, etc which will be helpful. I do hope the app and equipment is supported for many years to come. That stuff always makes me nervous that it will be phased out. Definitely 40K. 2x your pool size is what we suggest but there is no bigger Hayward. You’ll be ok. 2x isn’t as critical up north. Go with Omni. I agree with your logic.

2. Are you saying my plan to run a return as a suction line with the snap over cover is OK or a best practice? I will likely have to vac it by hand this year, but I can definitely see buying a robotic cleaner next season. Especially since I'm sure some junk will settle in the deep with no main drains. Any better way to do this? It’s fine. Best practice would be only a robot in my mind, but if you are going manual this year, you can use that line or your skimmer with a plate you drop in to attach the line. Good approach.

3. I'm open to suggestions on the filter.. I chose the sand for a few reasons. It seems easy, dependable and cheap. The PWarehouse guys seemed to think the filtration was good, even better with fancier sand and such. I want ease of maintenance and performance here. The cartridge filters aren't too much more, but they seem like they may be a pain to wash out, replace, etc? Also correct me if I'm wrong but do you lose the ability to backwash and dump water, vac junk, etc when using a cartridge filter? I know the sand has the valve with that option. Yes, you don’t backwash cartridges. You can always plumb in spigot or valve to dump water. Vacumming manually to a cartridge does seem like it would mean opening more often, though only for this year as discussed above. My cartridges are 7 years old and in fine shape. I only clean at the end of the season because my pressure never rises 25% above my clean pressure (the best rule of thumb to use). If you let your pool go green (it can happen by accident or other reasons) a sand filter is going to take a long time to clean it up. Don’t let it go green, but just sayin’. If you went cartridge, you’d want the 5030 or even 7030, not the 3030. I’m not trying to talk you out of a sand filter in reality. I just have a Ford and like it. There are pluses and minuses to each.

Pool Warehouse offers there cartridge filters as an upgrade, I'm not sure how to size these. I do know my pump is a bit over-sized, but being a VS I think that's OK? Yes, correct thinking on VSP. They can’t be too big. I can just run it slower and get adequate flow and better electricity usage.

Hayward C17502 Star-Clear Plus Cartridge Filter, 120 GPM, 2" No
Hayward C3030 SwimClear Cartridge Filter, 122 GPM, 2". No
Hayward C5030 SwimClear Cartridge Filter, 150 GPM, 2". Good choice
Hayward C7030 SwimClear Cartridge Filter, 150 GPM, 2". Best choice - ensures only cleaning at the end of the year.

4. Ahh man the light! Those LED lights are soo crazy expensive lol. I can add a second 12V ColorLogic LED for $725. I was hoping the single light in the deep end would be good, with minimal shadows in the shallow end. The L section is 16' wide and 10' deep, and the step/bench combo takes up 16'x6' of that. So basically there's only 2' of radius and a 2' cove before you hit the steps. Just how dark and bad will it be? If I do get a second light where should it go? I'm guessing in the shallow end across from the L section and step/ledge combo. That way the lights would intersect perpendicular and hopefully light it all up. Really need to see the site layout for lighting decisions, including pool deck and house. Main rectangle will be more or less ok, but not bright, but you’ll have a big dark shadow in the L.

Any other thoughts and input are certainly appreciated! This is an expensive and long journey so I surely want to do it right the first time. Thank you!
 

csementuh

Member
May 29, 2020
10
Pittsburgh, PA
Thanks for the further advice!

I think I have decided to upgrade filters after some more research. The cartridge seems easier to use, clean and plumb. So long as the cartridges last a couple seasons or so. I understand the difference in filter area in the 5030 and 7030 filters. It's a $200 difference between them, which isn't much, so should you always go bigger? I think in this pool I'm big on pump and filter. I don't know enough to make the call. I wouldn't mind saving money by sizing them down, but I don't know the correct specs to make that call. Pool Warehouse only has the biggest VS pump option, so I'd have to take a $150 pump credit and then buy the smaller 1.85HP unit somewhere else. I think I can save $120 here, so not much. I'd be OK with that if it would work just as well and save a few bucks, but I'd also be OK in spending the money. I'm a buy-once, cry-once kind of guy; so long as it's worth it.

Am I going to get screwed on getting the Hayward $500 mail in rebate since I'm buying the stuff online and it isn't being installed by a pool pro? I guess they want an invoice for the stuff.

The 2nd LED light seems worthwhile to make the pool brighter and more colorful. They will be 12v with a transformer controlled by the Omni box. Can the lights be wired in series to cut on the wiring run, or does each LED need home run wired back to the transformer? I'm on 4 acres of property in a medium residential area, but I'm off the beaten path, no street lights or very close neighbors. My back yard is about 200' x 600' with a woodline all around, so it's definitely quite dark in the back. I have just a single back door light and a flood light above it for now. I'm planning to build a covered deck after the pool and I'll plan to include some more lighting in that design.

My only other thing to consider is my skimmer and return layout. I had read that 2x returns per skimmer was good. So that's 4x returns. Also I figured I'd need return(s) over the step/ledge so it didn't stay too dirty. So that's 6x returns and 2x skimmers. Seem overboard? I've heard you can't have enough returns! Is it best to homerun all of the returns and valve them all off into a manifold type setup? If so can I at least combine the step/ledge returns into one run?

With the 6x returns, a slide connection, and maybe a couple deck jets, that is at least 8x pipes for outgoing water which will all need valves/unions and take up a good amount of space on the equipment pad! For the 2x skimmers and the 1x suction line I'll have at least 3x pipes for water coming into the equipment pad. I'm sure it's certainly do-able, just looking for best practice here. I'm an IT Engineer / Network type guy so I like to make sure all of my bases are covered now when it's practical and easy to plumb. There's no wifi for pool plumbing! :cool:

To throw another wrench, PWarehouse sells the Aqua Genie type combo skimmer/returns also, but those don't seem the best for an L shaped pool. I picked the wide mouth Haywards as an 'upgrade'.
 
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ckwinters

Well-known member
May 29, 2018
63
Carlisle, PA
We have two of the same lights in our 16,42x26 and it is bright. The good part is if one goes out you still have one light working. We also did pool warehouse and fully DIY so kept it simple with no automation. I like our sand filter but haven't had to deep clean it yet so that may change our mind when the time comes! It looks like you are going all in, it will be fun times and lots of mud for awhile but once it comes together it is worth it. I do IT in the Harrisburg area and sometimes out Pittsburgh way so we had no pool skills going into this project.
 

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bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
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Thanks for the further advice!

I think I have decided to upgrade filters after some more research. The cartridge seems easier to use, clean and plumb. So long as the cartridges last a couple seasons or so. I understand the difference in filter area in the 5030 and 7030 filters. It's a $200 difference between them, which isn't much, so should you always go bigger? I think in this pool I'm big on pump and filter. I don't know enough to make the call. I wouldn't mind saving money by sizing them down, but I don't know the correct specs to make that call. Pool Warehouse only has the biggest VS pump option, so I'd have to take a $150 pump credit and then buy the smaller 1.85HP unit somewhere else. I think I can save $120 here, so not much. I'd be OK with that if it would work just as well and save a few bucks, but I'd also be OK in spending the money. I'm a buy-once, cry-once kind of guy; so long as it's worth it. If the money is key, the smaller VS pump will work. I have it on our 27K pool. Plenty powerful so long as you don’t have water features or a spa. And the 5030 is plenty big. If you have a go big or go home moment, then the 3HP VSP and 7030. Oops, just read/remembered you have a slide and deck jets. Get the 3HP. With the valves, you’ll be able to get them set properly. And likely automate the valve settings so they balance correctly with each chosen mix of features going.

Am I going to get screwed on getting the Hayward $500 mail in rebate since I'm buying the stuff online and it isn't being installed by a pool pro? I guess they want an invoice for the stuff. Maybe, I’m not sure on that. Interestingly though, I paid my pool guy to instal the pump, it was replacing a 2HP two-speed, in order to retain the warranty. Turns out his dufus assistant had no clue and wired it all wrong. So I researched here and elsewhere and re-wired it myself into the automation panel. And in the end, I didn’t pay the invoice (we agreed) but I kept it as proof of “professional” installation. He did come out and inspect my wiring which was correct.

The 2nd LED light seems worthwhile to make the pool brighter and more colorful. They will be 12v with a transformer controlled by the Omni box. Can the lights be wired in series to cut on the wiring run, or does each LED need home run wired back to the transformer? I'm on 4 acres of property in a medium residential area, but I'm off the beaten path, no street lights or very close neighbors. My back yard is about 200' x 600' with a woodline all around, so it's definitely quite dark in the back. I have just a single back door light and a flood light above it for now. I'm planning to build a covered deck after the pool and I'll plan to include some more lighting in that design. I believe they both get wired back separately to a junction box then go to the panel from there. At least that’s how mine are. I can’t control them separately and I have not need or desire to. Yes, you’ll definitely want some other light back there. I put three post lights up at the perimeter of the pool deck. I may run some cafe lights up inside of the pavilion this year.

My only other thing to consider is my skimmer and return layout. I had read that 2x returns per skimmer was good. So that's 4x returns. Also I figured I'd need return(s) over the step/ledge so it didn't stay too dirty. So that's 6x returns and 2x skimmers. Seem overboard? I've heard you can't have enough returns! Is it best to homerun all of the returns and valve them all off into a manifold type setup? If so can I at least combine the step/ledge returns into one run? That sounds like a good setup to me. Definitely not overkill. Good. Yes, homerun them into a manifold. Mine are not homerun, though he did properly downsize the pipe as it went along so it retained pressure and it worked out fine. But if they weren’t even, I would have been stuck. And of course homer in the skimmers too.

With the 6x returns, a slide connection, and maybe a couple deck jets, that is at least 8x pipes for outgoing water which will all need valves/unions and take up a good amount of space on the equipment pad! For the 2x skimmers and the 1x suction line I'll have at least 3x pipes for water coming into the equipment pad. I'm sure it's certainly do-able, just looking for best practice here. I'm an IT Engineer / Network type guy so I like to make sure all of my bases are covered now when it's practical and easy to plumb. There's no wifi for pool plumbing! :cool: You’ll want a good size pad. 2’ x 6’ without a heater, 2’ x 8’ with a heater. I don’t have too much to say about the pad layout except to run the pipes up outside of the concrete then over it. My pad was plumbed poorly and I redid it. Here’s the fixed version. It’s backwards because there is no pad per se but with concrete all around it. Though the filter and pump are on those blocks which go down a few layers. Mine is super simple though. Two skimmers coming in and the main drain. Outgoing is one line to all three returns and a branch for what used to be the pressure side cleaner (ack, I can hardly say those words - robot, robot, robot - OK, I feel better).


To throw another wrench, PWarehouse sells the Aqua Genie type combo skimmer/returns also, but those don't seem the best for an L shaped pool. I picked the wide mouth Haywards as an 'upgrade'. Good choice.
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
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We have two of the same lights in our 16,42x26 and it is bright. The good part is if one goes out you still have one light working. We also did pool warehouse and fully DIY so kept it simple with no automation. I like our sand filter but haven't had to deep clean it yet so that may change our mind when the time comes! It looks like you are going all in, it will be fun times and lots of mud for awhile but once it comes together it is worth it. I do IT in the Harrisburg area and sometimes out Pittsburgh way so we had no pool skills going into this project.
Beautiful pool CK. Thanks for the light input. Any filter works pretty well so you’ll be fine. Just some pros and cons.
 

BMK

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Mar 29, 2016
430
SW PA
Welcome...from another 'yinzer' (Monroeville).
One thing i noticed in your posts is the combination of a tree-lined property and no main drains. Pay close attention to the area where the pool is going. Does it get a lot of leaves in the fall...seeds, pollen, etc in the spring? Normal tree debris after a storm? Those 'whirlybird' seed things? If not, you're fine. If so, you may want to consider the main drains. My property is very wooded on the upwind side, and early spring and again in the fall the skimmers get so full of gunk, daily, that they dont allow water to pass through. They become vessels and hold the water even after lifting the basket on to the deck. Main drains probably saved my pump from running dry many times. June, July, August and September are no problem. ( I usually close mid Oct.)
As I said, it may not be an issue for you at all. For most builds, main drains arent absolutely necessary. For those in wooded settings, however, its worth a quick thought if or how fallout from the trees, etc, will affect the pool area, and decide accordingly.
Good luck with your build!
 
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csementuh

Member
May 29, 2020
10
Pittsburgh, PA
We have two of the same lights in our 16,42x26 and it is bright. The good part is if one goes out you still have one light working. We also did pool warehouse and fully DIY so kept it simple with no automation. I like our sand filter but haven't had to deep clean it yet so that may change our mind when the time comes! It looks like you are going all in, it will be fun times and lots of mud for awhile but once it comes together it is worth it. I do IT in the Harrisburg area and sometimes out Pittsburgh way so we had no pool skills going into this project.
Nice looking L pool! Thanks for the advice. I decided to do a 2nd light, figured you can't really add it later so better splurge on it now! Glad to hear you did PWarehouse and had a positive experience. So far, so good, I just hope the kit is quality as it seems and everything goes without a hitch. Cool to see another PA guy here. I'm 15 miles E of PGH. Have been to Harrisburg and Philly and such many time to see friends, but not much reason to head that way these days since everyone moved.

Thanks as always and good info! Appreciate you sharing your pad setup. Still a little torn on filter, but I'll decide here ASAP. The 7030 is bigger physically, so smaller may be nicer. I do kind of wonder what going with the 5030 will be like though, as in will it need cleaned once ever 2-3 months instead of 4-5 or something like that lol. Robot vac sounds great, but I'm a little confused by them. Is it true that they're a fully standalone unit that has their own filtering, suction, plumbing, electric, etc? Seems neat, but I'm reading about plugging them in or having a cart for them and stuff and it almost seems cumbersome. For a pool party maybe you'd put it away and hide it, but do you just leave the bot-vac in the pool for normal daily swimming? Is it a pain to hook up and take down? OK to leave outside 24/7 in the weather, etc? Guess I need to research them much more first.

Welcome...from another 'yinzer' (Monroeville).
One thing i noticed in your posts is the combination of a tree-lined property and no main drains. Pay close attention to the area where the pool is going. Does it get a lot of leaves in the fall...seeds, pollen, etc in the spring? Normal tree debris after a storm? Those 'whirlybird' seed things? If not, you're fine. If so, you may want to consider the main drains. My property is very wooded on the upwind side, and early spring and again in the fall the skimmers get so full of gunk, daily, that they dont allow water to pass through. They become vessels and hold the water even after lifting the basket on to the deck. Main drains probably saved my pump from running dry many times. June, July, August and September are no problem. ( I usually close mid Oct.)
As I said, it may not be an issue for you at all. For most builds, main drains arent absolutely necessary. For those in wooded settings, however, its worth a quick thought if or how fallout from the trees, etc, will affect the pool area, and decide accordingly.
Good luck with your build!
Very cool to see someone so close! I'm about 5 miles from Monroeville right off RT130 in the Level Green/Trafford area of Penn Township. So likely not far from you at all. I saw your posts, beautiful pool and waterfall setup you have!

Good input! Yes I do have trees on both sides of the property, about 60-80 feet away, with no trees in the middle of the yard close to the pool. We don't get pounded with leaves tooooo bad behind the house, but there are definitely some including the maple whirlygig things. I was hoping to avoid the install hassle and potential leaks of main drains, but you do make a very good point! I am going to fence all around the pool and tie it back to a covered porch deck of the house so I was hoping that would help shelter everything from leaves and debris blowing through. Something I'm going to have to think about for sure, thanks!
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
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Central MD
Thanks as always and good info! Appreciate you sharing your pad setup. Still a little torn on filter, but I'll decide here ASAP. The 7030 is bigger physically, so smaller may be nicer. I do kind of wonder what going with the 5030 will be like though, as in will it need cleaned once ever 2-3 months instead of 4-5 or something like that lol. Robot vac sounds great, but I'm a little confused by them. Is it true that they're a fully standalone unit that has their own filtering, suction, plumbing, electric, etc? Seems neat, but I'm reading about plugging them in or having a cart for them and stuff and it almost seems cumbersome. For a pool party maybe you'd put it away and hide it, but do you just leave the bot-vac in the pool for normal daily swimming? Is it a pain to hook up and take down? OK to leave outside 24/7 in the weather, etc? Guess I need to research them much more first.
Honestly, the 5030 should allow you to clean at close only. Though using hairnets through pollen season (or all year) would almost ensure it. Mine is a 3030 on a 27K, though very clean environment.

Robots are self-contained. Plug them in and drop Mr. Roboto in the pool. The robot itself can stay in the water if you like. Many do just that. The control box however, is not rainproof and should be protected. There are folks who have created shelter boxes for them near the pool. I don't like anything in my pool that doesn't need to be there so I remove it. That's personal preference. But I also have dogs that swim (and would be bothered by a floating cord) and an autocover that is closed a lot for April/May/September/October. I keep the robot in a small shed steps away from the pool on it's side to keep the roller flaps from getting squished.

 

BMK

Bronze Supporter
Mar 29, 2016
430
SW PA
Small world...we're neighbors. I live right off Saunders Station. My kid goes to PT. Our paths have probably crossed at some point at Dom's, Lucci's., or Olives and Peppers

Again, pay attention to the area where the pool will go. Usually, we don't pay much attention to the leaves, seeds, little twigs, etc innocently laying on the ground.. In the fall, raking up leaves. etc is no big deal. It all adds to the ambiance of a backyard. In a pool, however, that same innocent tree fallout becomes your enemy.. For me the hassle wasn't putting main drains in, the hassle would be if I hadn't put them in.

As I said previously, you very well may be fine. Just keep a watchful eye out, and picture water there as opposed to grass.

BTW, since you're literally minutes away, if you want to take a look at anything, such as a robot in use, etc. let me know.
 
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csementuh

Member
May 29, 2020
10
Pittsburgh, PA
Honestly, the 5030 should allow you to clean at close only. Though using hairnets through pollen season (or all year) would almost ensure it. Mine is a 3030 on a 27K, though very clean environment.

Robots are self-contained. Plug them in and drop Mr. Roboto in the pool. The robot itself can stay in the water if you like. Many do just that. The control box however, is not rainproof and should be protected. There are folks who have created shelter boxes for them near the pool. I don't like anything in my pool that doesn't need to be there so I remove it. That's personal preference. But I also have dogs that swim (and would be bothered by a floating cord) and an autocover that is closed a lot for April/May/September/October. I keep the robot in a small shed steps away from the pool on it's side to keep the roller flaps from getting squished.

Thanks for the pic! Looks like a nice setup, I just really need to research this more to see what will work best. I guess I'll install the suction line as well just in case. Still 50/50 on filter choice haha, will decide soon. For the $200 difference, "bigger is better" I suppose.

Small world...we're neighbors. I live right off Saunders Station. My kid goes to PT. Our paths have probably crossed at some point at Dom's, Lucci's., or Olives and Peppers

Again, pay attention to the area where the pool will go. What's pay no attention to the leaves, seeds, little twigs, etc innocently laying on the ground.. In the fall, raking up leaves. etc is no big deal. It all adds to the ambiance of a backyard. In a pool, however, that same innocent tree fallout becomes your enemy.. For me the hassle wasn't putting main drains in, the hassle would be if I hadn't put them in.

As I said previously, you very well may be fine. Just keep a watchful eye out, and picture water there as opposed to grass.

BTW, since you're literally minutes away, if you want to take a look at anything, such as a robot in use, etc. let me know.
Yes, we're definitely very close! I've lived in PT for 34 years, and a few years back I bought four acres and built a house up on the hill behind the gas station across from Doms. You're likely a mile or so away lol. I'll definitely have to take you up on the offer to check out your awesome setup. I can likely learn something and get some ideas! Thanks!
 
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csementuh

Member
May 29, 2020
10
Pittsburgh, PA
Hey guys!

I finalized all of the pool options and I'm just waiting for it to ship! I went with the C5030 cartridge filter, a 1.5" Hayward networked ColorLogic light for my step/ledge area, removed the un-needed vac suction line, and added back in main drains. Still on the fence about the install of the drains, but I have them for when the time comes!

I did some research to skimmer and return placement... Seems you want the water to cycle in a circular fashion and get it directed towards the skimmers. Skimmers should be downwind. I think what I decided on here for return placement and eyeball positioning should do a decent job. With the L shape it was kinda touch to get a full circle pattern, but this is what I decided on. Wall panels are pre-punched except for the ones over the step/ledge. Any thoughts? Good, bad or ugly?

Cory Pool 3.jpg
Next I'll likely fixate on plumbing and start buying components while I'm waiting on my kit. I'd like to get some modern and tried and true best practices here, as I see so much variety out there. Some of my thoughts and questions are:

1. I know you want to balance the returns, so should you build a "manifold" with a bunch of tees at the pad, or loop the return piping, or? I'll have each return setup with a ball valve at the pad to adjust flow if needed.
2. Returns are a 1.5" connection on the back, should I pipe 2" to there and reduce right at the back or run 1.5" from the pad?
3. Should the 2x skimmers and main drain line go to a manifold at the pad, or I've seen people just combine them with a 3 ways value. Is the 3 way preferred or just run them to tees and use a ball valve on both as needed?
4. Should I use long sweep 90s everywhere? I sure do see lots of pictures with normal 90s or worse.
5. How deep should I bury my PVC in the trenches? It's PA, it gets cold and freezes, and most of these pipes will be buried under concrete and landscaping.
6. Should we put 2B gravel around the pipes in the ground? Or just pack them with dirt? Don't want a potential abrasion point later on a pressurized line.
7. Should I arrange a bypass valve setup before my heater to help protect it? I've heard mixed things here as protecting the heater, but also negatives that you may trap some bad water in the heater while bypassed.
8. I had a contractor guy recommend putting a french drain all around the pool perimeter sitting on the bottom concrete collar/footer to prevent the liner from ever floating or having drainage issues down the road?
9. I have a slide and deck jets. I know both of those can likely use smaller supply lines. I'd like to automate those with a Hayward valve actuator, which are compatible with their 2 and 3 way values. Can I save the extra cost and use a 3 way value to control both water features? Obviously I'd need both off, both on, 1 on/off on each side, which I think I can do. The 3 way I believe should also allow me to control flow to either one while both are running. I could even put ball valves on each feed line if needed to adjust and fine tune. Will this work? Or should I just break down and put in 2x valves and 2x value activators? I'm guessing I'll also need to ramp up the pump while running both water features, but the automation should take care of that!
10. Anything else I can think of?

Thanks all!
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
6,151
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Hey guys!

I finalized all of the pool options and I'm just waiting for it to ship! I went with the C5030 cartridge filter, a 1.5" Hayward networked ColorLogic light for my step/ledge area, removed the un-needed vac suction line, and added back in main drains. Still on the fence about the install of the drains, but I have them for when the time comes!

I did some research to skimmer and return placement... Seems you want the water to cycle in a circular fashion and get it directed towards the skimmers. Skimmers should be downwind. I think what I decided on here for return placement and eyeball positioning should do a decent job. With the L shape it was kinda touch to get a full circle pattern, but this is what I decided on. Wall panels are pre-punched except for the ones over the step/ledge. Any thoughts? Good, bad or ugly? I think that's a pretty good setup for the returns and skimmers given the factors.

View attachment 144640
Next I'll likely fixate on plumbing and start buying components while I'm waiting on my kit. I'd like to get some modern and tried and true best practices here, as I see so much variety out there. Some of my thoughts and questions are:

1. I know you want to balance the returns, so should you build a "manifold" with a bunch of tees at the pad, or loop the return piping, or? I'll have each return setup with a ball valve at the pad to adjust flow if needed. Best is a manifold and separate lines going to each return.
2. Returns are a 1.5" connection on the back, should I pipe 2" to there and reduce right at the back or run 1.5" from the pad? 1.5" from the pad.
3. Should the 2x skimmers and main drain line go to a manifold at the pad, or I've seen people just combine them with a 3 ways value. Is the 3 way preferred or just run them to tees and use a ball valve on both as needed? Manfold at the pad with separate NeverLube type valves for each. Do not use the cheap ball valves. They will break with time.
4. Should I use long sweep 90s everywhere? I sure do see lots of pictures with normal 90s or worse. It's not a big difference either way.
5. How deep should I bury my PVC in the trenches? It's PA, it gets cold and freezes, and most of these pipes will be buried under concrete and landscaping. Frost line for your area is probably 30"?
6. Should we put 2B gravel around the pipes in the ground? Or just pack them with dirt? Don't want a potential abrasion point later on a pressurized line. Sand then dirt. Compacted as you go.
7. Should I arrange a bypass valve setup before my heater to help protect it? I've heard mixed things here as protecting the heater, but also negatives that you may trap some bad water in the heater while bypassed. Yes, install a heater bypass.
8. I had a contractor guy recommend putting a french drain all around the pool perimeter sitting on the bottom concrete collar/footer to prevent the liner from ever floating or having drainage issues down the road? See this thread. French Drain for New Build Especially jimmythegreek's post.
9. I have a slide and deck jets. I know both of those can likely use smaller supply lines. I'd like to automate those with a Hayward valve actuator, which are compatible with their 2 and 3 way values. Can I save the extra cost and use a 3 way value to control both water features? Obviously I'd need both off, both on, 1 on/off on each side, which I think I can do. The 3 way I believe should also allow me to control flow to either one while both are running. I could even put ball valves on each feed line if needed to adjust and fine tune. Will this work? Or should I just break down and put in 2x valves and 2x value activators? I'm guessing I'll also need to ramp up the pump while running both water features, but the automation should take care of that! I don't know the detailed answer but know that you shouldn't use cheap ball valves. They become hard to turn, then the handles subsequently break.
10. Anything else I can think of?

Thanks all!
 

csementuh

Member
May 29, 2020
10
Pittsburgh, PA
Thanks BMore!

Just waiting on my pool kit... Estimated to arrive around July 10th-16th. Sooner the better! I'm a bit nervous as to timing to get this thing in the ground this year! PA isn't exactly nice weather real late in the year..

I'm having some second thoughts on heater size.. Was reading some stuff that was saying that you can't "oversize" a pool heater, and that kind of makes me wish I went 400K BTU instead of the 300K BTU I bought. Is it worth it to upgrade if possible? I may not be able to this late in the game, and I certainly don't want to be screwed here.

I have been talking to my plumber and electrician for info here.

Plumbing: 1-1/4" gas line to heater off of the 1" house main gas trunk line. The upsize should help with volume for the heater as per the gas company and my plumber. Let's hope lol. I think the heater side input is 3/4" anyway.

Electrical: Can I run only a 50 amp circuit to my Omnilogic box or should we really do 100? 100 amps seems crazy excessive for the equipment I have, since there's not a heat pump or anything. Here's the equipment and power requirements (breaker size):

OmniLogic: 5A 120V
VS 950 Pump: 15A 230V (Will likely be ran slowly most of the time)
300K BTU LNG Heater: 15A 230V (5.5 amp max draw per manual)
12 LED Lights x2 (Basically only powering a 120V to 12V transformer, I can't see this using too much power)
GFCI Convenience Plug (This would be an optional 15A or 20A add on plug that is installed next to OmniLogic and I don't see a huge reason to have it)

In reality I don't see this equipment drawing any more than say 15-20 amps max at a time. Does a 50 amp circuit to the box sound like a best practice? Thoughts/advice?

I have been reading some stuff on pool pad layout, so I'm trying to figure out how to layout this equipment sight unseen. It's been difficult to say the least lol. Not sure how to best position the parts so that everything flows and fits into the least amount of space. Add in the fact that certain equipment has pipe minimum lengths, the check valve after heater/before salt cell, heater bypass, etc and you have a small maze of piping to run and try to optimize! Maybe it will make more sense once the equipment is here and I can visualize it better. Then it will be crunch time to pour a pad, lay it out and get my plumber to install it all.

Is a poured concrete equipment pad the absolute best? Or can I make my life easy and just put down some gravel/sand with big concrete pavers on top to set the equipment on and then put river rock around it all? We do get cold here and could have frost heave, but that could impact the whole pad if it's concrete just the same. Thoughts?
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
6,151
Central MD
I’d say best practice is a concrete pad properly poured over 6” gravel in an area with generally good drainage. Meaning wouldn’t put it in a swale or swampy area. As you mention, concrete can heave too. Be careful about optimizing the pool pad. Optimization and pool pads isn’t my favorite word pairing. I prefer, spacious, easily accessible and functional. I don’t have any off hand that I think are good from other builds, but perhaps others have quick access to a well designed pad with heater for your setup.

I don’t have much in the way of helpful thoughts on your other questions.
 

csementuh

Member
May 29, 2020
10
Pittsburgh, PA
Thanks for the advice! On the side of the house I have an area about 5' wide before I hit a bump out for a fireplace and the landscaping is 4' deep off the house. So I can do 5' wide and as deep as needed, though I'd rather it not stick out into the yard crazy far or anything. So I was hoping 5x4 or 5x5ish would be reasonable, or I can even maybe widen it a bit to 6' or so and it will just stick behind the house a bit. There will be a deck behind it anyway, so the size doesn't have to be crazy tight or anything. I'm just trying to make decent use of space and not pour a 10x10 pad or anything crazy lol.

I could use some good pictures of a pump, large cartridge filter, heater and salt system with a bunch of returns to look at.
 
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