New Build in Middle Georgia

zac280

Silver Supporter
May 29, 2018
44
Central Georgia
Thanks to everyone on this forum, I've been lurking for a few months and gleaning some ideas. I signed the PB contract in early October and they broke ground today. Some specs:

16x32' gunnite, 3.5 ft shallow, 7 ft deep end
2x4' water feature/jump platform, natural stone
8x10' tanning ledge (umbrella sheath, 2 bubblers)
Wet edge signature matrix pebble finish
Stamped coping
Spray deck, not really sure what that is, just recommended over Kool deck
2 skimmers, 4 returns
Swimout, no handrail or ladder

This PB uses Jandy and Hayward, and from my bids seems to be an even split between Pentair and Jandy. I hate that Jandy still doesn't support Amazon Echo or Google Home, but I may try figuring something out with a raspberry pi to USB/RS-485 and some existing libraries on github for the Jandy controller. I just emailed Zodiac a couple days ago and got a simple response- they don't currently support any home automation. Regardless, I'm getting the iAqualink and will probably regret spending the money on it later.

Jandy SWG, 40k gal
Jandy CL series cartidge filter (340 sqft)
Jandy VS pump - ??? model
Jandy controller - ??? model
Raypak heat pump with cooling option, originally Hayward but it's discontinued
Dolphin 400
3x Jandy color LEDs

This PB doesn't like SWG, as I've read many are prone to do and do ozone standard instead. They're worried the salt will corrode the heat pump. Raypak manual seems cool with salt, and seems highly recommended by this forum so no doubts there. I've read the zinc sacrificial anodes are a just in case thing but jury is still out on their effectiveness. If stray currents are a concern, just make sure equipment and water is properly bonded. Well here's the rub, interesting story:

Hard time convincing PB that my water needs to be bonded by 9 sq inches of metal, as per NEC 680.26, and I have no metal rail/ladder in my build, and heat pump will usually be bypassed. I copy/paste the code and try an appeal to common sense: if a live wire touches pool water, where's the current going to go? Can't trip a breaker with no path to ground, you've just got an electrified pool. I emailed the head county inspector, no response for weeks. Called again today, find out from a different inspector that they just learned that provision and will start enforcing it. They learned it from my email weeks ago that I got no response on. Anyway, PB already agreed to install the Perma-Cast PB2008 I bought on amazon for $22. I'll tell him soon enough that the inspectors are caught up now.

Here are some pics. Design should shift the pool right so the deck lines up with the edge of the porch.
design (1).jpg
1118181458_HDR.jpg
1127181547b.jpg
 
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TxHr

Active member
Sep 6, 2018
44
New Braunfels, TX
Looking good! Where in Middle GA are you? We used to live in Warner Robins. Midstate is the biggest in the area for sure and from what I’ve seen, they do good work. Good luck!
 

zac280

Silver Supporter
May 29, 2018
44
Central Georgia
Yeah we're Houston County, south of WR. Construction is blowing up down here so all the PBs are in high demand and material costs are up significantly just from when I started getting bids mid summer. One PB told me they were booked and couldn't start work for 5 months! Mid-state does great work from what I've seen and has high customer satisfaction. I feel confident using them, but we'll see how it goes.
 

zac280

Silver Supporter
May 29, 2018
44
Central Georgia
Pretty muddy today, didn't think they'd show up with a decent chance of more rain today, but the PB said if they didn't get it done today it'd be another week to get an opening with the shotcrete guys. This whole time we were talking gunnite, so I assumed that's what they were doing, but maybe they just use the term interchangeably now. PB said industry is mostly going all shotcrete now because it's so much easier. They showed up a little after 7, and were pulling out of the driveway at 12:30. Amazing how quickly shotcrete is done. I watched the whole thing, slight moment of anxiety when there was some significant collapsing on the deep end wall. Soft ground from all the rain I guess. Took around 45 yards of concrete.

Shotcrete pics: https://imgur.com/a/IHpVjIb
 

hollywoodfrodo

Silver Supporter
Feb 20, 2018
194
Lakewood, CA
Welcome to TFP - I'm a former Middle Georgian - grew up in Macon, parents still live there.

Yeah, I told my PB right at the beginning I wanted to be able to control my pool (at least somewhat) using an Echo and/or Google Home. When we first met mid-2017 I think I was the first person to ever request that and he didn't know of anything, but by the time we were ready to start moving forward (January 2018), he had found that Pentair Screenlogic had Alexa integration. It's not perfect and doesn't allow full control, but I can tell Alexa to turn on the waterfall or the landscape lights or the heater. It's pretty sweet. I'm surprised that for competition Jandy doesn't support something similar.

We have an SWG and can't imagine doing it any other way. It's made maintaining good chlorine levels so simple and also being able to have lower levels overall is nice.

Watching the shotcrete was crazy - it was so much faster than I thought. And yeah, it seems that there is a technical difference between gunite and shotcrete but that the words get used interchangeably a lot. Our plaster (we used quartzscape) was also super fast.

Would love to see the latest pics assuming more work has been done!
 

zac280

Silver Supporter
May 29, 2018
44
Central Georgia
Not much done with the holidays and with all the rain which has been nearly every day the last couple weeks. The deep end is completely underwater now, there's gotta be 2-3 ft of water in there. They did get the border tile up before Christmas, and put in a swell which has helped carry some of the water away.

https://imgur.com/a/1AJILX9
 

zac280

Silver Supporter
May 29, 2018
44
Central Georgia
Scheduled to pour coping tomorrow, and deck on Wednesday. Just found out they're changing the heat pump again from Raypak to Jandy this time, the JE3000TR. Looks like the Jandy has better efficiency and longer warranty, but plastic casing instead of the powder-coated aluminum of the Raypak. They said they've had connection problems between the Raypak and the iAqualink controller, so if the Jandy works better I'm not complaining.

I'm also making my first change to the contract - adding an electronic valve to the heat pump bypass based on this thread - Heater Bypass Data. My plan was to bypass the heat pump when not in use and drain it completely to not keep stale water sitting in it, but I like the idea in that thread better of just periodically running pool water through it via an automated valve.

After all the rain lately I was worried I screwed up and overlooked asking to include an overflow drain, and thought about all the miserable time I was going to spend going out there draining the pool during rainy winters. Now I see they put the ports on the backs of the skimmers, they just have to drill it out, nice. Also don't have to worry about an ugly drain pipe cut into the border tile, just hidden in the skimmer.
 

crockettjeanne

Bronze Supporter
Sep 6, 2018
60
Athens, GA
Hello from Athens, GA. We have such similar start dates and pool design. I will be following along with your story. We had coping and tile done on the 10th of this month. We have to bring in dirt for the grading. Hoping to see that completed and the deck forms up soon.
 

zac280

Silver Supporter
May 29, 2018
44
Central Georgia
Oh yes I've seen your thread, and your tile issues made me double check mine. We may have had the same shotcrete sub since mine was out of Duluth. I can't believe with all the dirt dug out they still need to bring in more, even with the slight slope to your yard. I'm anxious to see how the deck meets the slope of my yard. PB insisted it would be high enough too drain, but it's looking iffy to me right now.
 

zac280

Silver Supporter
May 29, 2018
44
Central Georgia
Made some progress this week, poured and stamped the coping then poured the deck two days later. Glad to have gotten it done a little earlier than expected since we have a hard freeze coming tomorrow night and was worried about the curing. The ground was pretty soggy when they poured the deck, hasn't really dried here yet from all the rain, but in the worst corner they dug several piers and added some rebar, so we'll see.

Absent-mindedly left the dog out, guess we're considering it a unique feature:
pawprings2.jpg
0117191610.jpg

This weekend I'm trying to figure out how/if I want to add a water line to the return plumbing. We broke the pressure line from the irrigation when we dug the pool, so I asked the PB about just running that to the pad and fill it via a valve instead of the hose. He was first concerned I was asking about auto-fill, which they seem to be against because leaks go unnoticed, but after clarifying it'd be manual he told me they'd plumb it in if I ran the pipe. I've only found one thread on this forum where people have attempted it (https://www.troublefreepool.com/threads/adding-water-via-the-plumbing-instead-of-a-hose.25927/) but I'd like to hear from others if this a good idea. County code allows it with a check valve. A timer would be a good idea if I could find a reliable one. I have to run new irrigation anyway, so it's either now or later.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Looking good! I think you should've just let the pooch run across that new coping while it was wet as well. Ha. As for the water line, I don't' have one myself as I fill old-school, but I suppose it's a personal preference. Perhaps the only downside is having another line underground that could potentially require work later. Probably doubtful, but I can't think of anything else. Have a great weekend.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,816
Tallahassee, FL
I really like the idea of running the pipe to fill. So much easier to just turn the valve to fill BUT a timer worn around your neck to remind to turn it off. No real idea how to do it but the idea is a good one.

LOVE the pitty pat paws! I hope they get to stay!

It is time for your own set of links! It is a lot of info so take your time reading over them. It is a lot of info but it will all start to sink in as you start using them:

Print these out:
Pool School - Basic Pool Care Schedule

Pool School - Recommended Levels

Bookmark these:
Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

https://www.troublefreepool.com/blog/poolmath/

Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

You also need to start thinking about your test kit. Look in my siggy for the one I think is the best bang for the buck.

Kim:kim:
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,047
Bedford, TX
Zac,

I have a line that is connected to my sprinkler system that is used to fill the pool.. It works great. It just has a sprinkler valve that turns the water on/off. In my case I have an automation system, so all I need to do is push an icon on my PC and the water starts and shuts off after a set amount of time.

If I did not have an automation system, I would most likely use sprinkler timer to control it.. You do not want to rely on your memory to shut it off... :p

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

zac280

Silver Supporter
May 29, 2018
44
Central Georgia
Thanks for the links, Kim. I'll buy the test kit soon since I'm just a few weeks from start-up, my plaster date is Feb 4th.

I like it Jim, you're speaking my language. I assume you have a Wifi-connected sprinkler controller? Recommendation on which? My current controller is in the garage, so it'd be a pain to go there to set the timer. A solenoid connected to the sprinkler controller would definitely be a better option than any of the in-line irrigation timer valves that I've seen. I have to run new irrigation control line anyway since it got tore up, and if there's an extra control line available I'll definitely consider it.

I had already asked the very experienced employee at the pool store who orders the equipment about using a Jandy valve instead of a ball valve, giving me the possibility of using an actuator in the future if I wanted, but I don't want to go overboard with these actuators that don't seem to have much longevity from what I've read. She didn't care for the idea, and I think I'm trying her patience. So I think I'm just going to have them just tee to a 1" ball valve, then decide after they're done what to do.
 

zac280

Silver Supporter
May 29, 2018
44
Central Georgia
PB is telling me equipment may not be set this week, and plaster is scheduled for next Monday. Everything I read says to have operational equipment in place before plaster in order to start filtration and chemical balance. Do I need to insist on this? It would likely push a new plaster date out a couple weeks.

edit: I'm probably preemptively axious. I got more clarification, says it might not happen this week, but I got him to guarantee it'll be running by the time the pool is filled. He says one day to plaster, next day to acid wash then start filling, then another 24-48 hrs to fill, so he thinks that's enough time.
 
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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,816
Tallahassee, FL
We have two pools that were filled just recently. They did not have pool school or running equipment until a couple of day after the water was put in. They are dealing with scaling already :( due to the plaster dust not being able to get out of the pool as there was not pump running so not filter doing it's job. Things to think about!
 

BMK

Bronze Supporter
Mar 29, 2016
291
SW PA
Absent-mindedly left the dog out, guess we're considering it a unique feature:
View attachment 92113
Bringing new meaning to 'stamped concrete'. Love it!

Our PB actually had the kids do their little handprints with the date on our tan ledge when it was poured. Not really noticeable under the water (unless you know where to look), but it was a really nice surprise to my wife and I when they pointed it out after the pool was complete and filled.
 

zac280

Silver Supporter
May 29, 2018
44
Central Georgia
Plaster and pebble installed yesterday. The Wet Edge Tahoe ended up just being a mix of bags of Black and Gold from what I could tell from the bags on the truck. Talking with the acid wash guys today, seems the pebble crew did a good job spraying enough plaster off the pebble during install, as some crews leave too much on and it's very difficult getting it all off. The acid wash then pressure washing took a few hours, then we ran two hoses with sock covers and started filling.

Still no equipment installed. I called the tech and he said he'll be out this afternoon and it'll only take a few hours, and he can just run the bottom drains in the meantime. Still seems like a risky approach to me, to wait until the very last minute to set anything when you could then face equipment failure, parts issues, the flu, whatever, any of which could leave the water sitting still and scaling over. But they're the pros, and maybe it'll pay off, so we'll see.

filling.jpg