New Build in PA

SecoSteve

Member
Jul 28, 2020
22
Lincoln University, Pa
Wonderful site with tons of information. I hope to continue learning as well as being able to help others.

We have decided to build a concrete pool after having a 24 foot round above ground pool for the last 15 years. I have always used DE with an inline chlorinator and a Nature2 mineral system. Never have had a problem with algae except one opening with a bad cover(possibly from birds poking holes in it) that leaked into the pool. Water chemistry has always been a breeze with only needing to raise Ph and Alkalinity, usually only after heavy rain. Only other issue was high phosphates or phosphites, that the only solution would be to partial drain and refill. Didn't do the drain as the pool store said the issue was that the phosphates were a food source for potential algae which we didn't have to begin with. The plan is to continue with the same filter and sanitizing system with the new pool, just adding a heat pump for heating.

I know by reading through the various threads that I am in the minority NOT switching to saltwater. I just don't want to take the risk of not knowing if there are actually any drawbacks to saltwater. There's quite the divide to people that I have talked to. Some say saltwater is corrosive to the metal in the pump and heater. That the saltwater will corrode any furniture that is sat on while dripping wet and also the concrete patio will eventually crack. Now, I know this won't happen overnight, but what will these things look like 10-15 years down the road. Not to mention that the plaster may not react too kindly to the saltwater. Others say that none of these issues will happen. I have lost many of nights sleep contemplating this decision. I still have time to make the final decision as the build won't finish until next spring. Feel free to let your opinions be known on this issue.

The plan is to build a gunite pool with white plaster that is appox. 22ft X 44ft (with a 15ft wide X 8ft long tanning ledge that is 12in deep with 2 bubblers inside the perimeter). There will be two in pool loungers with a cooler table with the option for an umbrella. The depth is another undecided issue, but we are thinking 3.5ft to 6ft. More sleepless nights deciding on 6ft or 8ft depths. Please share your comments on this as well. We've been in both depths and one issue we had was hanging out or playing in the shallow end and then slipping down the slope of the deep end. We plan on using the pool for hanging out and playing games(volleyball/basketball) in it as well as cooling off. There will be DE, chlorinator/mineral system, with a heat pump and an LED light in the deep end as well as 2 LED lights in the bubblers. Also, 3 feet of concrete around the pool with about 600sq ft of concrete for furniture.

Still deciding which way to orient the pool to maximize the sun time. Any ideas as to which volleyball or basketball sets you would recommend would be very helpful. I plan to have anchors/sleeves buried into the concrete for the poles that can easily be removed and capped. Would love any opinions on the anchors/sleeves as well.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to the feedback.

Thanks

SecoSteve
 

mknauss

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gingrbredman

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Jun 10, 2020
113
Chicagoland
Another good option is to read through the "under construction" threads. A lot of people, and I am not under estimating when I say a lot, have asked the same questions and there a lot of good responses which would be applicable to you as well. SWCG, depths, layouts, etc. are a part of just about all the threads. Good reading, and great perspectives from people who were asking the exact same questions.
 

TimZ

Member
Apr 30, 2020
19
Southeastern PA
Greetings from a fellow Lincoln University (really New London Twp) resident! We completed (pending a couple punchlist items...) our gunite pool at the end of June. We have a saltwater pool and a diving board. Total length is approximately 47 feet. We were very concerned with having enough space in the shallow end for volleyball, and while we aren't set up with the net yet I think we'll be ok. At 44 feet long, I imagine you'd have a pretty spacious shallow area before the slope as well even with an 8 foot deep end. I recommend getting the depth profile from your builder and seeing if the shallow end area is large enough for your games. We do have a diving board, and are in the camp that if you are going to have a deep end you may as well make it deep enough for kids to dive safely even if you don't put in a board/rock. But you'll find lots of different opinions on the subject.
 
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bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
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Welcome to TFP SS! Sounds like you will have a very nice size pool planned and a great setup for fun. It's interesting how people view things differently. With a gunite pool, I would be much more concerned about using a mineral system (staining the plaster) than saltwater causing any of the impacts you mention. Our 7 year old pool looks like it did a week after it was built. I say a week after, because in the first week, cracks formed in the concrete. Sometimes that happens. Nothing since though and the plaster is nearly perfect. All pools accumulate salt from chlorine additions. You have been swimming in your pool with likely over 1000 PPM of salt for years. SWCG's need 3-4K PPM and the ocean is 10x that for reference. You'll just need to decide after reading our scientific approach, if you are interested in following it or your existing protocol. So long as your FC/CYA ratio is correct, your pool will be properly sanitized, however, there are numerous other issues that can create problems over time (scaling, staining, high CYA, etc.) Marty gave you two links that are good introductions to sanitization and mineral systems. I'd expect that you've spoken to a handful of pool owners, possibly twice or even five times that. The number of folks positively affected by our methods are considerably larger with excellent long-term results. Our method is most scientifically accurate and the one that will have a solution for any issue. And a solution that is cheap, effective, scientifically based and supported practically 24/7 by live support here.

For the fun stuff, I too recommend a deep end to make diving safe, regardless of if you have a diving board. If you do, I recommend going deeper than the minimum required of 8'. We have 8 1/2' and if I did it again, I'd go 9'. Just more margin for error. For basketball hoops with anchors, I'd recommend this brand and hoop. Regulation Clear Hoop We have the same brand but a portable and adjustable version. They make good products on the upper end of their product line at least.
 

SecoSteve

Member
Jul 28, 2020
22
Lincoln University, Pa
Welcome to TFP SS! Sounds like you will have a very nice size pool planned and a great setup for fun. It's interesting how people view things differently. With a gunite pool, I would be much more concerned about using a mineral system (staining the plaster) than saltwater causing any of the impacts you mention. Our 7 year old pool looks like it did a week after it was built. I say a week after, because in the first week, cracks formed in the concrete. Sometimes that happens. Nothing since though and the plaster is nearly perfect. All pools accumulate salt from chlorine additions. You have been swimming in your pool with likely over 1000 PPM of salt for years. SWCG's need 3-4K PPM and the ocean is 10x that for reference. You'll just need to decide after reading our scientific approach, if you are interested in following it or your existing protocol. So long as your FC/CYA ratio is correct, your pool will be properly sanitized, however, there are numerous other issues that can create problems over time (scaling, staining, high CYA, etc.) Marty gave you two links that are good introductions to sanitization and mineral systems. I'd expect that you've spoken to a handful of pool owners, possibly twice or even five times that. The number of folks positively affected by our methods are considerably larger with excellent long-term results. Our method is most scientifically accurate and the one that will have a solution for any issue. And a solution that is cheap, effective, scientifically based and supported practically 24/7 by live support here.

For the fun stuff, I too recommend a deep end to make diving safe, regardless of if you have a diving board. If you do, I recommend going deeper than the minimum required of 8'. We have 8 1/2' and if I did it again, I'd go 9'. Just more margin for error. For basketball hoops with anchors, I'd recommend this brand and hoop. Regulation Clear Hoop We have the same brand but a portable and adjustable version. They make good products on the upper end of their product line at least.
Thanks for the thorough reply. Some interesting things to contemplate. After reading through the various threads, I have come to the conclusion that the SWCG is the way to go. Even though I've had success with the mineral system in the past(vinyl liner), it makes sense to NOT introduce metals to the plaster. I still believe the mineral system that I had used in the past was effective with our vinyl liner. I've had friends and neighbors who didn't use it and they always had algae problems. Our water was always crystal clear and that was the only main difference that I can think of. It will be exciting to see how the SWCG works and no more nearly passing out when opening the chlorine bucket.

Thanks for the basketball hoop recommendation. Still contemplating the depth and haven't brought it up with the PB yet. Not sure what the extra cost will be to dig two feet deeper, as the "free upgrades" have probably run out since I have already put a small deposit down.

Layout coming soon and dig to hopefully begin after.
 
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SecoSteve

Member
Jul 28, 2020
22
Lincoln University, Pa
Need some help with equipment please. I have decided to go with the SWCG and PB has offered a
Nature2 Fusion Soft(FSOFT1400) for up to 40,000 gallons of water. Original quote had Nature2 with a regular chlorinator. The upgrade to SWCG is about $1000. I know not to use the mineral sanitizer that comes with it, but is this cell any good? Also, the equipment in general is made by Jandy, DE48 filter and the Jandy 1.5HP Whisper Flow. Any thoughts or concerns with these items? It doesn't appear that PB offers any other types of equipment.

If this equipment is not up to TFP standards, would it make any sense to just get the regular chlorinator and then upgrade to the SWCG with a preferred type?

Thanks in advance!!
 

SecoSteve

Member
Jul 28, 2020
22
Lincoln University, Pa
Thank you for the reply.

We are now getting close to layout. The way our property is set up, we have to build the pool perpendicular to the house(due to drain fields). Due to my neighbors tree, the sun in late afternoon(~5:00pm) begins to cast a shadow where the pool will begin(closest to the house) and will continue to shade the rest of the pool until pool is in full shade (~7:30pm).

PB has proposed the shallow end(3ft) closest to the house and deep end(8ft) at end of yard. He said 90% of pools are set up this way, which seems normal. Some in my family say they want the shallow end of the pool at the end of the yard with decking for chairs, and the deep end closest to the house. We also have a SUN Shelf on one side of the pool that we would like to get as much sun as possible. Is it unheard of to build the deep end closer to the house? Family says we will be in the shallow end more often and would want to be in the sun longer. We are more inclined to be swimming from 3pm-8pm than from 10am-3pm. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,508
NY
Your pool = you look at it. Take whatever ‘everybody else does’ and boot it to the curb. If you have good reasons for putting the orientation a certain way then they are good reasons. I may have different reasons in my yard but they don’t make your reasons any less good.
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
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I agree that all else being equal, shallow end near the house. But I also would want shallow end near the largest decking area. When adults other than me are using the pool, the shallow end sees more use. I’d want more sun there.

Just don’t do anything design-wise that will lead visitors to your pool to think the close end is the shallow end. They will naturally expect it to be the shallow end. It’s almost always the first part of the pool you come to by way of the most common entrance.
 

SecoSteve

Member
Jul 28, 2020
22
Lincoln University, Pa
Thanks @Newdude. I’m not worried what everybody else does, but I only get 1 chance to build this and I want to make sure all scenarios are considered before finalizing. I will have to consider what a potential buyer of my house/pool would think, though.

Great point @bmoreswim about visitors not realizing which end is shallow. However, your comments seem to be contradictory and that’s my dilemma. You would recommend shallow near house, but would also want shallow in the sun the most. I can’t have both.
 

SecoSteve

Member
Jul 28, 2020
22
Lincoln University, Pa
Decided to keep the shallow end near the house, and it appears the sun shelf will be along the side of the pool where we get some later sun. It looks like the left edge of the shelf will end near where the deep end transition is, so it should be cool to dive in off the shelf.

Hopefully, the neighbor will let us trim his tree to get more sun! Property line survey scheduled for today, so hopefully we begin in the next week!
 

bmoreswim

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Great news on the decisions and progress!

If the tree is over your property line, trim away. Good to maybe give a heads up but don't ask for permission, you don't need it. And if they say no, you'll feel worse when you do it anyway.
 
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SecoSteve

Member
Jul 28, 2020
22
Lincoln University, Pa
The excavators did a great job around the pool and really took the time to grade it out. However, due to drain fields and driveway, they had to access on the far side of the property, which created a mess from the street to the back of the property and then along the back fence to the pool. There’s two “trenches” from the excavator tracks and also the dump truck tires. They were kind enough to pull out two tree stumps, but that work tore up those trenches even worse. It was expected so we’ll deal with it.
 

bmoreswim

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The excavators did a great job around the pool and really took the time to grade it out. However, due to drain fields and driveway, they had to access on the far side of the property, which created a mess from the street to the back of the property and then along the back fence to the pool. There’s two “trenches” from the excavator tracks and also the dump truck tires. They were kind enough to pull out two tree stumps, but that work tore up those trenches even worse. It was expected so we’ll deal with it.
Yeah, if you expect a disaster area, then you will only be mildly surprised by the carnage. But next spring it won't even be visible.

Looking good. We are in for a nice run of fall building weather.
 

SecoSteve

Member
Jul 28, 2020
22
Lincoln University, Pa
Rebar done and plumbing mostly finished. Pressure holding at 10psi on the pipes. May have lost a pound or two since it was originally done. Looks like the bubblers were “short stubbed”?, is that correct? I’m assuming that will be fixed when gunite is done? Equipment pad is right on the fence line. Hope that’s not an issue. I may have to put something to block the neighbors grass clippings blowing into my equipment. Any suggestions?

Tomorrow will be one week since they started. That’s pretty good progress!!

Also, don’t know why my pics are not oriented correctly when I post. They look correct on my phone.
 

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