New Construction in SE Pennsylvania

#1
Hello all,

Soon to be new pool owner here. I am beginning the process of construction for my first pool. I am 2 days into excavation (they hit solid rock of course) and will be finishing that phase up soon hopefully. I wanted to post some of the pictures so far and also list some equipment and see if anyone thinks I should make any changes before I get too far into the process.

Pool Surface area is 600sq ft. Not sure on exact gallons yet, but will be 8ft in the deep end with diving board.

Just looking over my contract I see the following:
Pump - 1.5HP
Filter System - 48sqft filter, fusion mineral sanitizer.
2 Return Lines
Pool Cleaner - TR36P Polaris - I believe this is the non booster powered cleaner.
399K BTU Heater

Just wondering if anyone thinks I should switch to a salt system or not. I'll find model #s if thought necessary. I'm not sure of the initial cost difference with my PB but I can check. Also wasn't sure if it is suggested I get a better cleaner, perhaps one that is booster powered. Either way, here are the drawlings and some progress pictures.

drawling.PNG drawling2.PNG
 

Gorilla83

Silver Supporter
Jul 2, 2017
316
Thornton, PA
#3
Welcome and congrats on breaking ground! From the looks of the drawing looks like it could be an A&S build? As far as your equipment:

-is the pump variable speed? If not, definitely consider for the energy savings alone
-most here will recommend removing the mineral system
-consider switching to a robot vs. pressure side cleaner
-absolutely consider the salt system, I wouldn't have built our pool without one
 
OP
OP
B
Oct 17, 2018
16
SE Pennsylvania
#4
Welcome and congrats on breaking ground! From the looks of the drawing looks like it could be an A&S build? As far as your equipment:

-is the pump variable speed? If not, definitely consider for the energy savings alone
-most here will recommend removing the mineral system
-consider switching to a robot vs. pressure side cleaner
-absolutely consider the salt system, I wouldn't have built our pool without one
Yes - they are the PB. Didn't know the rules on mentioning vendors so I cropped their logo. I'll look into the pump and find out. As far as the mineral system - is something else used instead, or is this simply an unnecessary piece of equipment Thanks for the tips.
 

Gorilla83

Silver Supporter
Jul 2, 2017
316
Thornton, PA
#5
Yes - they are the PB. Didn't know the rules on mentioning vendors so I cropped their logo. I'll look into the pump and find out. As far as the mineral system - is something else used instead, or is this simply an unnecessary piece of equipment Thanks for the tips.
We are using the same PB and are also in SE PA (Glen mills area). Build details and the experience so far are in my build thread linked in my signature. Don't need to replace the mineral system with anything - most in our area are using a SWCG (saltwater) for sanitation.
 
OP
OP
B
Oct 17, 2018
16
SE Pennsylvania
#6
We are using the same PB and are also in SE PA (Glen mills area). Build details and the experience so far are in my build thread linked in my signature. Don't need to replace the mineral system with anything - most in our area are using a SWCG (saltwater) for sanitation.

Awesome. I've already e-mailed to see about saltwater. Everyone I've encountered has recommended it, but I do not have any pool owning friends so I haven't had first hand experience with it. I was actually looking at your build earlier. Looks awesome. I am in Chesco, so I'm familiar with the area. Let me know if A&S have anything they have kept hidden from you. So far it's been OK except battling them on this rock breaking cost, but I am hopeful I only need one more day of it.

Thanks again.
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
1,852
NE/Pa
#8
They love that mineral system. They wouldn’t let me switch it out to something else but I had less choices in my area than u guys do. Even though it was the same office.

Keep on them. Make sure u keep them moving!

good luck!

i would do a variable speed pump and a little bigger filter for ur size pool.

- - - Updated - - -

I would add an additional return or 2. Also how many skimmers? At least 2. 1 will not be enough.

- - - Updated - - -

Wait I think I see 2 bump outs.
 
OP
OP
B
Oct 17, 2018
16
SE Pennsylvania
#9
They love that mineral system. They wouldn’t let me switch it out to something else but I had less choices in my area than u guys do. Even though it was the same office.

Keep on them. Make sure u keep them moving!

good luck!

i would do a variable speed pump and a little bigger filter for ur size pool.

- - - Updated - - -

I would add an additional return or 2. Also how many skimmers? At least 2. 1 will not be enough.

- - - Updated - - -

Wait I think I see 2 bump outs.
I have 2 return lines and 2 skimmers currently. Do you think that is sufficient? My costs are adding up haha. Also, for the pump - is it 1.5hp and not variable speed. They want $750 to change it to variable. Is this reasonable or is this something I can do down the line? I mainly want to cover things I cannot change down the road.

Thank you.
 

sktn77a

Gold Supporter
May 16, 2010
823
Chapel Hill, NC
#10
The mineral system has the potential to give you one thing other systems don't............. stains!!! Copper is the culprit. Some people don't get stains but I did. It's unnecessary - the SWGS is plenty. You might consider adding one or two additional returns - generally, you want more return lines than suction. Get 2" plumbing (not 1.5") if its not already in the plan.

Lat comment is just personal to me - I'd get the boosted pressure side Polaris cleaner if it were my pool, or failing that, a robot.
 

Mam262

Bronze Supporter
Jul 26, 2015
121
Lansdale, PA
#11
I would suggest switching to the variable speed pump now. Yes it is an added cost, but you will save money once the pump is up an running.

I also strongly suggest the SWG. We have had ours for two seasons and love it.

Good luck!
 

Nectarologist

Well-known member
Apr 3, 2015
495
New York
#12
My .02. The cost to go with a VS pump seems reasonable to me. But...that's still a lot of $. I skipped a VS b/c it would take me too long to break even, never mind saving money. If you operate your pool year round they are no brainers but in our climate I'd do the math to see how you personally feel about it. You electric cost will be listed on your bill (look at a summer's bill). BTW, 2 returns will get the job done but I like more for when you're heating the pool (warm water distributed to more places). A lot of really old pools have only 1 return. As for the heater. That's a big heater for a pool w/o a spa. It's great, it'll heat quicker but make sure your gas line and meter can handle it. PB sometimes sell large heaters only to find out you need your gas main upgraded ($$, your cost) or the meter upgraded (some utilities do it free but not all). Call your gas company to see if you are ok for that size heater. If you have the money get the salt system.

In order to calculate the average operating cost for any electrical appliance you can use the following formula:
watts/1000 = kW x hours of operation = kWh x kWh rate = cost
Watts can usually be found on the appliance nameplate. If the nameplate lists amps:
volts x amps = watts

Assume you'll run a standard pump 6 or 7 hour per day (some run even 8). I personally run for 6 hours per day.
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
Aug 10, 2017
497
Morris Cnty NJ
#13
you want 4 returns minimum and 2 skimmers. I would just use a robot and get rid of the mineral system. make deals with them to omit these items for credit and put the $$ to good use. you cant add skimmers and returns later, you can change pumps/SWG/etc anytime. 2" piping on home runs for skimmers, 2"manifolds for the returns, and you can do 2 returns stacked to a home run to cut pipe costs, but PVC is cheap if its all on its own valve and something goes wrong, you just shut that one item off and keep going with no problems. when its all tied together, you are forced to repair and that means going thru your deck and digging down to pipes, not fun
 
OP
OP
B
Oct 17, 2018
16
SE Pennsylvania
#14
Thanks for all the guidance. I will check with the PB on these items. Not sure how much the additional returns will run me but I will check. I already agreed with them to switch to salt and remove the fusion mineral system. I was owed a credit so that was basically a wash anyway. As for the VSP - I found out that my electric company will give me a $200 rebate for this so I think I will go with that too (not sure if people are aware that this is offered by some utility companies - might be worth posting somewhere!).
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
1,852
NE/Pa
#15
I personally would add a third return. The more the better. I have 3 on top and wish I had another.

I love my variable speed. I run my pump 24/7. It allows me to run it at a very very low speed to allow for my salt cell to barely run to save its life and costs nothing in electricity and 2 times a day it ramps up to skim. Pool top is always clean and it allows for my salt cell to run at like 17 percent only to give me my chlorine demand. It’s great. Everyone on here who had 1 loves them.

Loose that mineral thing. Or use it without the cart in it that produces the minerals like others have said.
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
1,852
NE/Pa
#16
Thanks for all the guidance. I will check with the PB on these items. Not sure how much the additional returns will run me but I will check. I already agreed with them to switch to salt and remove the fusion mineral system. I was owed a credit so that was basically a wash anyway. As for the VSP - I found out that my electric company will give me a $200 rebate for this so I think I will go with that too (not sure if people are aware that this is offered by some utility companies - might be worth posting somewhere!).
.

When originally as dealing with Anthony they added my extra 2 returns for like 100 dollars total. They where tied in groups of 2 so it cost them practically nothing. I couldn’t get them to home run them all. u guys who r closer to them seem to have a lot more choices. They wouldn’t let me drop the natura either. So I bet u will be good adding returns on the cheap.

i won’t even mention if u r looking into automation. Lol. Oh wait I just did. It’s very very nice for when u r away and just for general programming for pump run times.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
13,039
#17
I would recommend an automation system with the SWG power supply built in. I would recommend a robot cleaner.

With a variable speed pump and a heater and a SWG, you really need automation to coordinate everything. A timer really does not work.

You definitely want the variable speed pump. The cost to operate and the sound are 10 x higher with a single speed pump than variable speed.

Unless the pump is more than about 100 feet away from the house and pool, the sound of a single speed pump is annoying.

A variable speed pumps comes in two basic models, about 1.5 hp and 3 hp. You should never need 3 hp but it's better because you can run it slower for the same flow rate.

A variable speed pump is quiet until you get up near the higher end of the rpm. A variable speed pump has a back mounted fan that gets noisy at over about 2,700 rpm.

$750 to upgrade to a variable speed pump? The variable speed pumps don't cost that much more. The difference should only be the difference in price. Maybe a couple of hundred at most. The rebate should offset most of the cost difference.

It looks like they're going to use Jandy equipment. To work with a Jandy automaton system, you can't use any brand of variable speed pump other than Jandy. A Jandy variable speed pump has to be sold and installed by a Jandy dealer or you won't get any warranty. Jandy equipment is not going to be sold online. If you get the pump installed with the build, you get full warranty.

The mineral system is not a good choice.

I would suggest a big cartridge filter (400 sq. ft.) over the DE filter. If you want a DE filter, I would recommend a 60 sq ft model over the 48 sq ft model.
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
2,578
Damascus, MD
#20
Wow very nice! What SWCG did they spec for you? Jandy has 2 (40k models). If it is the FusionSoft that is fine it is a great SWCG just don't use or install the mineral cartridge but the SWCG portion of it works very well. See my sig line that is what I have. I would also suggest you fill out your sigline now with what you know.