New Build Suggestions, Mesa, AZ

NinjaWorf

Member
Jun 27, 2015
18
Mesa, AZ
Just starting out in the process (getting quotes). Looking for suggestions on things I should definitely do or not do. Like tips or things I should know during this process, any recommendations on type of filter for the weather we have here in AZ (monsoons and dust storms) that is better suited. Just looking for ideas along these lines. Thanks so much and I'll start a new thread with pics once construction starts.
 

Arizonarob

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Mar 25, 2018
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Hi neighbor. If I was building a pool from scratch, these are some of my do’s and don’t’s for AZ life.

I would have 2 skimmers plumbed (separately) directly to the equipment pad.

I would not have main drains installed.

I would not have a IFC (in floor cleaning) installed.

I would have a suction side port installed. (To have the ability to drop a vac in the pool while on vacation)

I would have multiple umbrella sleeves installed around the pool perimeter.

I would have my auto fill plumbed to soft water.

I would not have an attached spa to my pool. (IMO a separate hot tub is way more efficient to manage and run during the cooler months)

I would have an oversized cartridge filter, VSP (Variable speed pump), and at least plumbed for a SWCG if not one installed from the start.

Those are just some of the things I can think of off the top of my head. The main thing for you to think about, is how YOU are going to use the pool, and what YOU want out of it. :cheers:
 

Psycho1122

Well-known member
Sep 29, 2018
57
Mesa, AZ
I have a question Arizonarob; Can you explain why you would NOT go with a drain in the bottom of the deep end? We had a rectangular drain installed at the bottom of the deep end and I run it at about 25% flow.

Thank you!
 

Arizonarob

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Mar 25, 2018
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I have a question Arizonarob; Can you explain why you would NOT go with a drain in the bottom of the deep end? We had a rectangular drain installed at the bottom of the deep end and I run it at about 25% flow.

Thank you!
Sure, I am a firm believer in not putting any additional holes in a pools shell. I’ve personally seen (friends pool) what happens to a pool when IFC plumbing & main drain seals fail.
IMHO, main drains are useless in keeping a pool clean, especially in today’s world of pool cleaning robots. :cheers:
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
474
NY
Friend of mine just had a pool built. Dont know if its a genious new idea or not but its new to me and awesome on paper. His PB ran 2 extra returns on both sides of the deep end. He points them downward and they circulate the cold 8 ft water to the top and supposedly will warm his pool with little/no cost. PVC pipe is arquably the cheapest part of the build so it didnt add much to the overall price of the build. He can switch them on and off to allow the skimmers to do their thing when need be.
 

Psycho1122

Well-known member
Sep 29, 2018
57
Mesa, AZ
Sure, I am a firm believer in not putting any additional holes in a pools shell. I’ve personally seen (friends pool) what happens to a pool when IFC plumbing & main drain seals fail.
IMHO, main drains are useless in keeping a pool clean, especially in today’s world of pool cleaning robots. :cheers:
Understood. It is the primary reason we did not go with IFC system. However, we do have three returns and a dedicated suction port for the Rebel. Our "Drain" is the large, thick, grey manifold with one 3" pipe drawing from below it. The cover is fastened with 10 stainless torx screws. I handled it prior to installation and it has no seals. It is also formidable so we will see how it holds up over time.

Thanks Again!!
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
474
NY
IMHO, main drains are useless in keeping a pool clean, especially in today’s world of pool cleaning robots. :cheers:
I will politely agree to disagree on this one. I have alot of oak trees in my yard. When we built the pool i took 14 down in the immediate area and watch leaves and pollen float sideways from the front/side yard into the pool in the back. I have a constant supply of small particles that you can visibly see with a snorkle mask while swimming. The smaller particles that i can barely see would arguably find their way back up to the skimmers but most of it settles on the bottom. The returns generally push it all towards the deep end where the main drains get most of it. Usually i just sweep the pool forcing it all to the deep end and only have to vaccuum up the bigger stuff that didnt go into the drains. A robot would certainly solve that but ive managed so far with little effort for free. Just my $.02
 

Arizonarob

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Mar 25, 2018
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I will politely agree to disagree on this one. I have alot of oak trees in my yard. When we built the pool i took 14 down in the immediate area and watch leaves and pollen float sideways from the front/side yard into the pool in the back. I have a constant supply of small particles that you can visibly see with a snorkle mask while swimming. The smaller particles that i can barely see would arguably find their way back up to the skimmers but most of it settles on the bottom. The returns generally push it all towards the deep end where the main drains get most of it. Usually i just sweep the pool forcing it all to the deep end and only have to vaccuum up the bigger stuff that didnt go into the drains. A robot would certainly solve that but ive managed so far with little effort for free. Just my $.02
My original response was directed at Arizona pools, our climate and storms are different then other parts of the country. :cheers:

I handled it prior to installation and it has no seals.
The seal I’m referring too is the pipe to the shell. (Or the drain housing to the shell)
 
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Psycho1122

Well-known member
Sep 29, 2018
57
Mesa, AZ
The seal I’m referring too is the pipe to the shell. (Or the drain housing to the shell)
OK. You have my attention! So, even though I cannot do anything about it now. Let's take a pragmatic look at what IS there. Please, review the image and note how much shot crete is around the drain. I measured over 9" from drain manifold to the excavated ground. It is closer to a foot where the 3" pipe exits the bottom. I would venture to say that with all that material round and under the drain manifold and pipe that is would be difficult to have any significant water seep through (especially under pressure) for years to come. Then add the Pebble layer, which is packed in very tight around the lip. You say?!?

Rebar - Plumbing NE.jpg
 

joronimo

Active member
Jun 4, 2019
25
Phoenix, Az
I'll weigh in on the main drain issue. I have never used ours, no diverter valve when we moved in. The suction side vacuum keeps the bottom clean. I would agree with the less holes the better argument, especially at the bottom. I know it might not leak if installed correctly, but it cannot leak if its not there. I think we will need to look at some pool repair work in the next few years (probably 30+ year old pool) and one thing on my list will be drain removal.
 
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cwstnsko

Well-known member
Apr 5, 2007
53
Mesa, AZ
In my not very extensive experience, leaks are much more likely at the wall penetrations than the floor penetrations. The surfacing material (plaster, pebble etc) is what creates the watertight seal and on the bottom, gravity tends to draw the slurry into whatever gaps/cracks there may be. Any gaps and/or cracks on the walls do not have the benefit of gravity drawing the slurry into the crack. The surface material must be actively forced into any gaps to get things sealed. On my previous pool, I had no issues with any leaks around the IFC heads or the main drain, but I did have a couple of wall returns that the pool builder had a tough time getting to stop leaking:cautious:
If you deal with earthquakes, or expansive soils, that could, of course, add more potential problems as the pool ages
 

Psycho1122

Well-known member
Sep 29, 2018
57
Mesa, AZ
I will contribute that my pool floor at the deep end is "coupled" to the Caliche. Additionally, the north side is "coupled" to the HUGE footer of the Terrace wall. Should keep the shell stable over time. ;)
 

Arizonarob

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I’m sorry this thread has turned into a debate over floor drains. The OP simply asked for people’s suggestions on building a pool in AZ, to which I offered my 2 cents to the way I would build it. :cheers:
 

beez74

Well-known member
Oct 15, 2018
52
Phoenix AZ
AZ pool here......I have 1 skimmer, IFCS, Main Drain, VS speed pump, No Salt system , (still debating on getting on added, so far adding chlorine every other day hasn't been to much of an issue). The cleaning system works great , I know folks on here Crud on them but mine works like a charm , I run the in floor 2 hours a day and the rest of my pump schedule is skim mode...I can walk past the pool while its off and see leaves and debris in the bottom and walk by later and its all gone so not sure if the main drain gets it or not because I never see it actually working but its gone. amount of skimmers id say depends on the size of the pool but the location of the skimmer and wind plays a big role.
 

NinjaWorf

Member
Jun 27, 2015
18
Mesa, AZ
Thanks for all the replies everyone, few more questions. I how do I know how much oversized filter I need and do I need to match the pump as well? And do I need jet returns?
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
383
MA
I’m sorry this thread has turned into a debate over floor drains. The OP simply asked for people’s suggestions on building a pool in AZ, to which I offered my 2 cents to the way I would build it. :cheers:
If I were considering a new pool this is exactly the the type of debates I would welcome on my thread... I would be interested in hearing how bad those leaks in your friends pool were to fix. How many, and the cost and issues that went along with the repair.

I am another happy main drain and IFCS customer. Would definitely do it again. I do agree that the geographical location and debris type play a huge part in the success of the IFCS as well as the type of pool ( it has been noted that sports pools without a classic deep end do not work well with IFCS) . My thoughts on (more holes = more potential leaks) is the plaster is what seals it and all the plaster is done at the same time by the same crew. If you have a inexperienced crew you have the "almost" the same chances of getting a leak with one hole or 20. They have been putting plumbing holes in plaster pools for a long time now so I would assume they have it pretty well figured out. That's how I convinced myself to pay that much money to have a bunch of holes in my 50,000 to 80,000 dollar pool.... :)
 
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Arizonarob

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I would be interested in hearing how bad those leaks in your friends pool were to fix. How many, and the cost and issues that went along with the repair.
PM me and I’ll fill you in.

( it has been noted that sports pools without a classic deep end do not work well with IFCS) .
Exactly. And again, AZ is loaded with them, and it’s what most people build.
My thoughts on (more holes = more potential leaks) is the plaster is what seals it and all the plaster is done at the same time by the same crew.
One leak in a pipe that is under the shell, and you’re either jackhammering your pool, or you’re abandoning the main drain or the entire IFCS.