New Build: Fiberglass, Inground Pool in Augusta, GA (Lots of Pics)

Jul 16, 2020
15
Augusta, GA
We recently moved to our new property for the sole purpose of getting a pool. We chose a relatively flat, corner, 1/3 acre lot in a subdivision. We would've loved to get out of a subdivision, but our choices were limited.

Pool Specs:
Inground, Fiberglass
Leisure Pools USA, Riviera 34' (14.5 x 34)
11,300 Gallons
Overflow System
3 Deck Jets, 2 LED Lights, 1 Skimmer
Travertine Coping, Broom-finish Concrete Decking (~900 sq ft, maybe)
Hayward MaxFlo VS 500 1.65hp Pump
Hayward C4030 Cartridge Filter (425 sqft)
Hayward TurboCell 940 T-15 inline chlorinator
Hayward OmniPL Automation
Aquavac 650
Cost: 55k
Full Image Album Below

Additional, we purchased a Hot Springs Hot Spot Rhythm Spa, roughly ~330 gallon, 7 person, chlorinated (Cost = 8k)

Ask me anything if you're curious about the build!

First, I worked with 3 builders originally on getting quotes in the summer of 2020. Nobody needed our business, as the COVID boom was fully in effect. 2 of the builders wouldn't even come do a site survey for a couple months. The 3rd builder worked with me a bit, but finally said the initial site survey would require me to sign a contract and give 25% down payment. I was not willing to do that.

So I drove to my preferred builder, one of the 2 that wouldn't do a visit for 2+ months, and talked my way into bringing them out earlier than expected (easy flat, corner lot, cash). We met with them a few times, made our selections, had them out on our property, and finally put the $1000 down and we were put on the waiting list.

In the meantime, we also debated back and forth on getting a pool heating

5 months later, on January 18th, our build began. They said to expect a 2-4 week build time, but rain delayed us multiple times throughout the project. We're nearing 6 weeks, and we're still waiting on the electrician and initial pool water balance. Luckily, the delivery of hot tub worked well with this schedule. Our hot tub will be located on the cured concrete decking on Tuesday, just in time for the electrician to hook up the pool and hot tub.

Landscapers came in after concrete was poured and did a fantastic job. New irrigation, grading, drainage, new sod (3k sqft), windmill palm trees (2) and rock beds (4 tons)....all in 2 days and under $7k.

So I'm still waiting on the electrician, water balance, and "handing over the keys", so-to-speak. I'll update after that, with the final pics (maybe in the spring with green grass!).

Some notes:

- I was really underwhelmed with the communication from my PB. They literally gave me almost nothing as far as a parts list goes. They kept saying "don't worry, we'll take care of you", but I'm not the type of customer that wants that kind of reassurance. However, because they appeared to not be cutting any corners in other areas of the project and because my contract never required them to provide me a parts list, I trusted them. I'm content with the fact they oversized my chlorinator, filter, and pump and I have the latest Hayward has to offer in automation.

- As previous TFP posters have noticed, there's a discrepancy between what Leisure Pools says my pool volume is, depending on what source you're looking at. A few internet sites and my PB say 16k gallons, but my water meter showed about 11k gallons (plus or minus a bit once you account for the rain we had while filling). I reached out directly to Leisure Pools USA and they emailed me back with "11,363" gallons. Pretty big difference from 16k. I'll use the 11k figure for my PoolMath, see how it goes and adjust from there.

- I was/am very nervous about the concrete decking and read for HOURS on rebar, fiber mesh, and wire reinforcement. My concrete team assured me we didn't need any of that stuff, and I'm still uncertain. However, I've seen pictures of the pools they built 7-10 years ago, and everything still looks great. Maybe its my climate? Maybe our soil type? I have no idea, but even our driveways in this city are rarely built with rebar or wire reinforcements.

- I also am still uneasy about the lack of an expansion/isolation joint between our travertine coping and concrete decking. Again, our PB assured us that wasn't necessary because "concrete in our area won't shift enough to mess with the travertine". The coping guy said he hasn't had any coping crack in the last 2-3 years since they changed their method of adhesion to the concrete collar/bond beam (not sure which name is correct).

- My wife and I went back and forth on the placement of our hot tub. I wanted it in the area by our house and back patio, but she fell in love with the view of the pool outside the triple-window from inside the home. So the view stayed, and the hot tub placement was changed to in front of the covered patio, as opposed to beside it. That area was made level instead of the typical .25" per ft drop-off for drainage.

- We had to either put a pool fence up, or make our shadowbox fence "board on board" to meet Georgia pool codes; we went with "board on board". Our 3 kids (7-9) have been swimming their whole lives and have multiple years of swim lessons under their belts, so we opted against the most intrusive and less-aesthetic "pool fence". I hope we never regret that decision.

- All of our drainage runs outside of our fence. Our landscaper tied the deck drain, 2 of our downspouts, and our pool overflow into one large pop-up emitter on the edge of our property.

Again, an album of all the images can be seen here:
Thanks for reading/looking/sharing!
 

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Last edited:
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kellyfair

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 29, 2016
4,767
Tampa, FL
Pool Size
7000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
I just re-read your comments about your deck pour. I am not knowledgeable enough to speak about that, but hopefully some of our folks who are up on construction will comment!
 

Apsuhead

Bronze Supporter
Apr 27, 2020
305
Clarksville TN
Pool Size
19250
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-9)
Pool looks great in your backyard. Make sure you get a TF-100 test kit from TFTestkits.net to start balancing your water now. I got the smart stir as well, definitely recommend getting that too. You will need to add some liquid chlorine and cya to keep your pool sanitized until your equipment is up and running. Get a Pentair Warrior SE from Marina to make your life easier by keeping the pool clean Pentair Warrior SE Robotic Pool Cleaner by Maytronics Dolphin - $699
Get the electrician to add an extra outlet or 2 in any areas that you may need them, such as a lounge chair area where kids can charge phones or plug in speakers. Add a light above your equipment pad. I like how it’s kind of hidden by the corner of your house. Pool looks great! I just had our new fiberglass pool installed this winter too
 
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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
17,437
Evans, Georgia
Hey there neighbor! Welcome to TFP :wave:

I second the recommendation for the TF-100 test kit. And the Speed Stir device makes testing even easier.

I think your pool builder might have also put my pool in. The crew did so many things *right* before I even know enough about pools to ask for! And if you're in the market for fireworks...well... the owner does that too!

Maddie :flower:
 
Jul 16, 2020
15
Augusta, GA
Pool looks great in your backyard. Make sure you get a TF-100 test kit from TFTestkits.net to start balancing your water now.

I picked up my TF-100 and speedstir before I even picked my pool shell color!

I'm not too worried about the water yet, as they'll be in next week to balance it once the electrician does his thing. I trust these guys to get the initial chemicals put in and I'll take over at that point.

I'm going to be moving to a Dolphin if my Aquavac has as many issues as are reported online. But hey, the Aquavac is "free" (read: already paid for), so I'll give it a season or 2.

I think your pool builder might have also put my pool in. The crew did so many things *right* before I even know enough about pools to ask for! And if you're in the market for fireworks...well... the owner does that too!

Maddie :flower:

We're definitely neighbors. I'm in Evans, as well!

Your PB was our first choice, but they wanted more money up front than I was willing to put down (just to get on the waiting list). From talking directly with the owner, they do a lot of great things and do them right.

Luckily for us, the "big 3" in our area are all great PBs, from what I can tell.
 
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Jul 16, 2020
15
Augusta, GA
I have an ~11k gallon inground, fiberglass pool with a Hayward 940 SWG, which I believe is the professionally-installed version of the T-15 Cell). It produces 1.45 lbs of chlorine a day and is rated for a 40,000 gallon pool (4x my pool)

My PB has it programmed for 50% 24 hours a day. That seems like it would be overkill.

I have the ability to schedule it via OmniPL (OmniLogic).

Where should I start? Turn it off and measure FC loss each day? Let it run at 50, 40, and 30% and see how FC drifts?

PoolMath App shows for my target FC, I should only run it 3 hours, but I think it's only measuring how long to run it to get to my target FC, not sustain it.

Any advice on efficiently determining the baseline for my SWG? Any rules-of-thumb in regard to winter settings vs summer settings (e.g. winter = half of summer %)?
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
2,389
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Pool Size
18735
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45
Turn it off and measure FC loss each day?
That's what I would do, assuming I was at or above my FC target. Turn off SWG, test FC and test again at the same time the next day. Once you know your daily loss for this time of year, set your SWG to produce that amount of daily FC. At this time of year, my daily FC loss is less than 1 ppm. During swim season, it ranges between 2-4 ppm.
 
Jul 16, 2020
15
Augusta, GA
That's what I would do, assuming I was at or above my FC target. Turn off SWG, test FC and test again at the same time the next day. Once you know your daily loss for this time of year, set your SWG to produce that amount of daily FC. At this time of year, my daily FC loss is less than 1 ppm. During swim season, it ranges between 2-4 ppm.

Great info, thanks!

I'll let it run until it gets somewhere around 9-10 ppm (80 CYA) and then cut it off when we get 2-3 days of sunny weather. Then I'll redo it in Summer to get an idea of the change.

I'm assuming there's no chemical difference between 40% for 12 hours or 20% for 24 hours on the SWG, but is there any functional difference that would optimize the lifespan of the cell?
 

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Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
2,389
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Pool Size
18735
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45
I'll let it run until it gets somewhere around 9-10 ppm (80 CYA) and then cut it off when we get 2-3 days of sunny weather. Then I'll redo it in Summer to get an idea of the change.
FC loss will increase through spring. Test frequently and bump up SWG to match demand. Document results and use them as a baseline for next year.
I'm assuming there's no chemical difference between 40% for 12 hours or 20% for 24 hours on the SWG, but is there any functional difference that would optimize the lifespan of the cell?
According to the experts here, it has no bearing on the life of the cell.
 
Jul 16, 2020
15
Augusta, GA
Just venting here....

Did my first battery of tests last night on my water. PB was responsible for "initial balancing of chemicals" and despite my gut telling me otherwise, I didn't protest.

FC: 12 (4x oversized SWG running at 50% 24 hours a day will do that, I have it turned off)
CC: 0
PH: 8.2
TA: 150
CYA: 28
Salt: 5500
CH: 100 (PB told me CH wasn't important at all, but I'm raising to 350 per TFP & FG Pool Manufacturer's recommendations)

So I adjusted PH/TA last night with some MA. I'll work TA down to 80 over the next few weeks, as I'm sure PH will keep floating back up.

I adjusted CYA to 80 with a big sock-load of stabilizer.

I didn't have 25 lbs of calcium, so I'll add that today (or half today/half tomorrow) once I go to the store.

I shut the SWG off and will measure FC loss over the next 3-5 days to get a baseline of what FC I need to generate in these cooler days pre-GA-summer.

Thank goodness for TFP!
 
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NCMike

Gold Supporter
Jan 31, 2020
176
Raleigh, NC
You can't estimate your CYA in-between the lines on the tube. The scale is not linear, its logarithmic. So your CYA is 30. Also, If you look at view tube for CYA you see the lines get closer together the higher the CYA. Its easy to overshoot once you get higher in the scale due to it being logarithmic. Be careful not to add to much. Id probably add half to 3/4 what pool math suggested for CYA then test again. Maybe shoot for 60 instead. Its early in the season so you have time to work your way up to 80 over the next few weeks before the Sun and heat really get going.
 
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JW1

Well-known member
Sep 4, 2019
196
SW Ohio
As a fellow fiberglass pool owner myself, I had my PB tell me to never raise the CH of the pool water. He said don’t add anything with calcium as well. He said the low CH is not important to a FB pool and typically, depending on your fill water, it could naturally increase over time. Just some FYI to share as a newer pool owner heading into season two. BTW, your pool looks great!
 
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