New Build - Austin, Texas - IntelliCenter Questions

Sparks22

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
110
Austin, Texas
We are still in the design phase with 3 PBs to get quotes, but started this whole process with our own sketch of what we wanted, so the designs are substantially similar. We would like to get some feedback to see if there are improvements possible with our design.

High Level Summary

45’ x 28’ Free Form Pool, 906 sqft
7’ Circle Spa - Raised 30", 2 seats with 5 jets (3 for the back, 2 for the legs)
4’ to 8’ Depth Profile – 4’ for half of the pool, then grading down to 8’ for the deep end
9” Shelf
Dolphin 15.5’ Water Slide
3 Water Sheers
3 LED Bubblers on the Shelf
3 Benches
Natural Gas Fire Pit
Approximately 1,085 sqft of new decking covered with tumbled travertine, plus approximately 300 sqft of existing patio to match

Our backyard backs up to a creek which has a couple of bike trails behind us that get moderate use, so the wall at the back of the pool (12" high over the primary deck) is trying to strike a balance between adding some privacy while we are using the pool, while not completely blocking the view out of the back of the yard. The idea of sinking the deck around the fire pit was in the same vein of trying to not block too much of the view out of the back of the backyard. The steps down to the fire pit do chew up a little bit of usable deck space, but hopefully the built in benches around the fire pit will help to make up for some of that.

We have a 5 year old that swims like a fish and an 8 month old. My wife used to be on the swim team in high school, so that was one of the motivations for trying to make the pool longer so that laps could be reasonable.

You can ignore that the hand rails for the stairs up to the slide are unreasonably short, they will be raised to a safe level. That is still a work in progress with the designer to get those heights squared away.

Equipment
PEN R171096 - Pentair Chlorinator 320 in line
PEN 011056 - Pentair Inelliflo 2 VSF Variable Speed x 4
PEN 160332 - Pentair Cartridge 520sqf Clean and Clear Plus
AIR 6316220F - Air Supply Silencer Blower
PEN 460736 - Heater Penair Mastertemp 400k BU Low Nox Natural
PEN 601013 - Intellibrite 5g color LED lights x 4
PEN 360323 - Kreepy Krauly 930 Robotic Cleaner
PEN 602056 - Pentair Colorvision Bubbler with Globrite LED Lights x 3
PEN 602133 - Pentair Microbrite Color LED Light Combo kit x 3
PEN 521105 - Intellichlor IC60 Salt Chlorine Generator Cell
PEN 521908 - Pentair Intellicenter i10PS
PEN 521377 - Pentair IntelliPH

We are planning on going the SWCG route, though only 1 of the PBs didn't give me any grief about it. One of them is heavily trying to sell me a UV + Ozone system, and the other is trying to sell me a UV system plus in-line chlorinator. The other two haven't explicitly told me that they won't do a SWCG, but it is going to be a condition of finalizing any contact with them. We will also plan on going the robot route for the cleaner.

Questions
  1. We are leaning towards using glass tile for the raised wall at the back of the pool and for the spa surround that is over the water, primarily due to concern with calcium build up and any potential adverse impacts that the salt level might have on some sort of split faced travertine over time (especially under the water sheers and spa runoff). From an aesthetic standpoint, I am just wondering if that is going to be too much glass tile and end up looking tacky. If you think that it might look tacky, any other recommendations that we could consider? Am I being too cautious about using a stacked stone type of facing for that area?
  2. We raised the spa 30" relative to the primary deck to allow for a nice jump off spot into the deep end of the pool (off of the spa coping, which will be 15"-16" wide). The two large steps leading up to the spa are 6" each, so that for getting into the spa, the edge of the spa will only be 18" relative to the ground at that point. Jumping from the coping will be approximately 35" down to the water (30" from the top of the spa coping + 2" of deck + 3" of waterline tile before the water). I am wondering if 7' deep should be sufficient for this type of jump, or if it should be deeper for safety. I'm not envisioning that this jump will be used for real diving into the pool, but more for cannon balls other similar non-diving jumping into the pool. Any thoughts on the depth? My main concern if I go deeper is that I want to keep at least half of the pool at 4' deep. I could potentially go as deep as 9 feet before I start hitting up against the code requirements of only 1 foot of depth decrease per 3 feet of horizontal run before I start cutting into the shallow area, but not sure if it is necessary or worth the extra money to go that deep.
  3. Are there any concerns with how we tackled the elevation changes up to the spa or down to the fire pit?
  4. We are still thinking about what we want to do with the wall that wraps around the spa from and aesthetic stand point. Not sure if we will just do regular stone, or some sort of split faced travertine to match the deck, or maybe some stone mixed in with deco tiles that match the waterline tile? My dad suggested putting a fire feature there (like a torch or something like that) but my wife had some safety concerns. I also considered maybe putting a water sheer there, but not sure if it could reliably clear the spa coping and make it into the spa. Any interesting ideas?
 

Attachments

Last edited:

acue180

Active member
Aug 1, 2019
26
austin texas
I'm a newbie so can't currently offer too much feedback. But WOW that's a beautiful pool. I am starting one (much simpler) right now in South Austin through BYOP. It'll be fun watching progress on both of our pools!
 

jdogbyo

Well-known member
Apr 16, 2020
62
Austin, Texas
Love the design! I would think 7’ would be plenty deep for doing cannon balls and what not. I do them off our friends’ pool about 24” off the water and there’s is only 5.5’ depth. Our’s will only be 5.5’ as well once it is complete
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,303
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Very fun looking pool. The only thing I dont like is the flat coping surface at the top of the stairs by the slide. That may look inviting to kids and non-sober adults to stand on and do dumb stuff. One way could be a long fall into the spa, the other way is an even longer fall into the yard. Either way it would not be pretty.
 

Sparks22

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
110
Austin, Texas
Thanks all!

Very fun looking pool. The only thing I dont like is the flat coping surface at the top of the stairs by the slide. That may look inviting to kids and non-sober adults to stand on and do dumb stuff. One way could be a long fall into the spa, the other way is an even longer fall into the yard. Either way it would not be pretty.
Do you think just modify the flat part to be a curve instead, so overall it will look kind of like an arch?
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,303
Prosper, TX (DFW)
I would think either curving it or raising it would do the trick. I'm just a bit leery of a knee/waist high flat surface that far above the ground being too inviting to someone.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
18,257
Bedford, TX
22.

I like the step down around the fire pit... But, to be honest, I hate the slide, stairs, and spa area.. I really can't put it in words, but it does not seem to fit. It looks like it is out of scale or something. It just does not look like it belongs there.

I am not sure how to fix it, but it look awkward to me.

I am not a fan of glass tile, and especially with waterfalls... If not careful, scale will build up on all the grout lines.. The more grout lines, the more places for scale to form.. I suggest that you get your pool builder to take you out and show you someone that has had glass tile and waterfalls for a year or more.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Sparks22

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
110
Austin, Texas
22.

I like the step down around the fire pit... But, to be honest, I hate the slide, stairs, and spa area.. I really can't put it in words, but it does not seem to fit. It looks like it is out of scale or something. It just does not look like it belongs there.

I am not sure how to fix it, but it look awkward to me.

I am not a fan of glass tile, and especially with waterfalls... If not careful, scale will build up on all the grout lines.. The more grout lines, the more places for scale to form.. I suggest that you get your pool builder to take you out and show you someone that has had glass tile and waterfalls for a year or more.

Thanks,

Jim R.
Thanks Jim. The spa/slide was trying to get a mix of fun for the kids while keeping a built in aesthetic. We didn't want to go with a traditional grotto natural rock look, so that is what we ended up with.

I would like to hear more about your thoughts on what material would be good under the waterfalls. The main reason we went with glass tiles was because we thought that was better maintenance than a split faced stone type of material. Do you have any recommendations?
 

jimbethesda

Gold Supporter
Jul 2, 2018
392
Austin, TX
Hello from Austin! Looks good to me. If you go with the Pentair PB, make sure you spec IntelliCenter for automation. It’s Pentair’s latest. For some reason, many PB still use the old tech. My favorite party tricks are turning on my water feature and changing the spa temp from my Apple Watch!
 

Sparks22

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
110
Austin, Texas
Hello from Austin! Looks good to me. If you go with the Pentair PB, make sure you spec IntelliCenter for automation. It’s Pentair’s latest. For some reason, many PB still use the old tech. My favorite party tricks are turning on my water feature and changing the spa temp from my Apple Watch!
Thanks for the advice!
 

Sparks22

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
110
Austin, Texas
We are getting close to signing a contract and would like some equipment/contract review. I am wondering if I went overboard on the lights, and wondering if the PB went overboard on the pumps.

Features/Specifications:
28k gallons
45'x28', 906 sqft
7' diameter circle spa with 14 jets - there will be 2 seats in the spa with 5 jets each (3 back + 2 calves), plus 4 other single jets for the other seats
3 x 36" water sheers
3 globrite bubblers
15.5' Dolphin waterslide

Equipment - I have an outstanding request for the official model numbers
Pentair Intellicenter i10PS
Pentair IC60 SWCG
Pentair Cartridge Filter 520sq
Pentair 400k BTU Heater
4 x Pentair Intelliflo 3HP VS
2 hp pump for waterslide (not much info on this one, inquiring further)
4 x IntelliBrite 5G Color LED for main pool
1 x IntelliBrite 5G Color LED for spa
3 x MicroBrite Color LED for tanning ledge
Inline Chlorinator (for backup)
1HP Silencer Blower (for spa)
Pentair Kreepy Krauly Prowler 930 robot cleaner
Autofill/Overflow
2 Venturi Skimmers, independently plumbed back to equipment pad
5 pool returns, looped together for even pressure
Unions for all equipment at the pad
No ball valves, Jandy neverlube valves
2 1/2" Schedule 40 PVC

Equipment Questions
1. Is 4 IntelliBrites overkill for a pool this size? I considered doing 8 MicroBrites instead, but the Pentair rep said that the throw distance of the MicroBrites is only about 12'-15' so might not make it across to the other side of the pool well.
2. Is that too many of the Intelliflo pumps? It was generally described that 1 would be for the pool, 1 for water features (bubblers/sheers), and 2 for the spa to be able to put out enough force for that many jets. They said they were erring on the side of caution for the spa to make sure there will be enough force.
3. Wondering if I should add an extra MicroBrite for the spa to illuminate the bench area (assuming the spa IntelliBrite will be in the footwell). Or maybe do 2 MicroBrites in the spa instead of the IntelliBrite?

Construction Materials
Pool Shell - 1/2 Grade 60 steel rebar on 10" centers
Pool Bond Beam - 1/2" Grade 60 steel rebar x4
Concrete - Dry Mix Gunite rated to a minimum 4000 PSI
Thickness - 12" Bond Beam, 8"-10" walls/floor
Reinforcement - 3/8" rebar 16" on center, 4" crushed base, up to 1/2" of mastic

The construction material are kind of greek to me. Anything that looks worrisome?

Thanks for any feedback!
 

Attachments

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
18,257
Bedford, TX
22,

The standard Pentair automation system can only control 2 IntelliFlo pumps.. So, I would make sure if you go with 4 IntelliFlo pumps that your IntelliCenter has the ability to control the extra 2.

They make water feature pumps, so not sure if the extra IntelliFlo pumps makes sense.. Let's see what @JamesW has to say..

But, I do agree that it is better to have too much, then not enough water pressure.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
19,741
4 Intelliflo pumps seems like too much.

1 for the pool and features and one for the spa jets should be sufficient.

How much flow does the slide take?

Most likely a 2 hp pump is going to be a high head pump, which is not a good choice for a water feature.

If it doesn't take a lot, you can run it off the main pump.

If it takes a lot, you can probably use a water feature pump or an Intelliflo.

Have you thought about doing dual equipment instead of shared equipment?

Having a separate set of equipment for the pool and Spa gives you more flexibility to operate how you want.
 

Sparks22

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
110
Austin, Texas
22,

The standard Pentair automation system can only control 2 IntelliFlo pumps.. So, I would make sure if you go with 4 IntelliFlo pumps that your IntelliCenter has the ability to control the extra 2.

They make water feature pumps, so not sure if the extra IntelliFlo pumps makes sense.. Let's see what @JamesW has to say..

But, I do agree that it is better to have too much, then not enough water pressure.

Thanks,

Jim R.
Thanks Jim. The PB said that they asked the Pentair rep about how many pumps the Intellicenter could handle and it was some silly high number. I forget what the actual number was, but it was above 10 pumps.
 

Sparks22

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
110
Austin, Texas
4 Intelliflo pumps seems like too much.

1 for the pool and features and one for the spa jets should be sufficient.

How much flow does the slide take?

Most likely a 2 hp pump is going to be a high head pump, which is not a good choice for a water feature.

If it doesn't take a lot, you can run it off the main pump.

If it takes a lot, you can probably use a water feature pump or an Intelliflo.

Have you thought about doing dual equipment instead of shared equipment?

Having a separate set of equipment for the pool and Spa gives you more flexibility to operate how you want.
Thanks James!

The slide takes 60 gpm.

I think going the dual route was what the PB intends to do. A separate pump for the pool versus the spa (which he has 2 separate pumps for).

I'll follow up with the PB about the pump for the slide.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
19,741
There's no reason to do a separate pump for the slide.

If you use a separate pump, it should be a water feature pump, which works well for low head loss applications.
 

Sparks22

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
110
Austin, Texas
There's no reason to do a separate pump for the slide.

If you use a separate pump, it should be a water feature pump, which works well for low head loss applications.
You are correct. The PB said that the separate pump for the slide was a typo, it will be powered from one of the Intelliflo pumps.