New DIY Pool Build in Arizona - Questions

mprzybylski

Member
May 25, 2020
8
Gilbert, AZ
Hello,
Firstly, let me introduce myself and my pool. My name is Matt and I'm a Chicago transplant now living in Arizona. Our house backs up to a mostly dirt area (it will be getting converted to houses soon, though there is a wash and road between us and the other side where the houses will go). As a result, we get a ton of dust in our back yard all over our patio furniture. We have two younger kids and obviously with the pandemic, we decided to build a pool in our already done back yard (yeah, not ideal, but it is what it is). We're doing some demo ourselves (moving pavers/travertine, moving rock, etc) because the demo quotes we got were ridiculous. We prefer a salt water pool and think that, due to the dust, an in floor cleaning system would be very helpful to try and combat the constant build up. This is my first pool ever and I've been gathering quotes from the different trades.

The pool is a basic geometric design (we are replacing a prior turf area with a pool, so we had limited options on design) but I think it's going to work well for us. I've attached a picture of our plans to give you an idea (the light on the right is in the incorrect position, it will be on the baja step in the end). I've also attached some 3d renderings which are very similar to the final design that we received from a pool builder when we were getting quotes prior to deciding to do it ourselves (this is purely a visual for rough idea on what it will end up looking like as well as what is already existing that we had to build around). The pool is roughly 28x16, 3-5-4 depth, 5' baja step with two bubblers and two umbrella sleeves, 441 sq ft and 88' of perimeter, with an interior volume of 826 sf and 14,661 gallons.

I'm looking for some guidance (as of right now, I'm sure I'll be looking for more guidance later) on pool equipment. We got a quote yesterday for equipment and I've been trying to look through it and compare prices as well as equipment online but I'm having a hard time making sense of it all and would appreciate a second (or 15th) pair of eyes. I just don't really know if this equipment is good, if it will work well for my pool based on the specs, and if there are better choices and prices out there that would serve us better. I would really appreciate some opinions and input/guidance on this phase right now.
 

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clambert1273

Gold Supporter
Jun 13, 2013
1,076
Gilbert, AZ
Pool Size
12000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool Edge-40
HI neighbor, I am currently in process of renovating our pool and @Nikilyn is doing an OB as well here :) lots of us in Gilbert :)
 
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mprzybylski

Member
May 25, 2020
8
Gilbert, AZ
HI neighbor, I am currently in process of renovating our pool and @Nikilyn is doing an OB as well here :) lots of us in Gilbert :)
Hello! Yes, Gilbert/AZ seems to be a hot spot right now for pool building, hence all the contractors being so far out on timelines. Would love to know whom people are using for some of their contractors as well if possible, I'm having trouble finding a plumber :\
 

clambert1273

Gold Supporter
Jun 13, 2013
1,076
Gilbert, AZ
Pool Size
12000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool Edge-40
Hello! Yes, Gilbert/AZ seems to be a hot spot right now for pool building, hence all the contractors being so far out on timelines. Would love to know whom people are using for some of their contractors as well if possible, I'm having trouble finding a plumber :\

I'm no help there as I hired one company to do our entire reno, I just hired my house plumbers to add another outdoor hose bib yesterday lol but I know they don't do pool plumbing AT ALL, which was all me last year lol
 

clambert1273

Gold Supporter
Jun 13, 2013
1,076
Gilbert, AZ
Pool Size
12000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool Edge-40
I would not put a solar cover on my pool, our water easily hits 95 degrees in August lol my backyard is full sun all summer
 
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clambert1273

Gold Supporter
Jun 13, 2013
1,076
Gilbert, AZ
Pool Size
12000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool Edge-40
Sorry, I guess I meant we will use the solar cover for the cooler months. Still trying to figure all this out :)

mine is all leaves all the time, during "winter", I just leave it open and pretty much let it go all winter lol Usually around March, I will start cleaning it out and getting it slammed and balanced out, doesn't take me long at all. By April it's full on ready to go I believe my avatar picture was taken in either April or early May.
 

Nikilyn

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2018
922
Gilbert, AZ
Pool Size
17000
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Hi Matt! I'm the UPS drivers wife from the neighborhood 😊. Glad to see things coming along for you. Everyone here will tell you to skip the in floor and get a robot. It's what we're doing. In floor is expensive. After one of our big dust storms you'll just throw the robot in and it will clean better than the in floor and it's cheaper to run. We plan to get a solar cover for April, May and Oct. It worked well for my BILs pool.
 

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proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
2,260
Chandler AZ
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Welcome to TFP! :wave:

I have had an A&A infloor system for over 20 years.. From experience, it doesn't do as great job on lots of dust and dirt as one may think. And you need to run your pump at high rpms to get sufficient cleaning action, which cost more in electricity. If I was building a new pool today I would NOT install an infloor system. I would instead invest in a good robot - like a Maytronics S200 or similar.

Many here will recommend the Intellicenter over the Easytouch w/Screenlogic. The Intellicenter is just a better product. Whichever you choose, be sure it comes as a package with the SWCG as the SWCG power supply will then be built into the automation housing instead of a separate box. Also consider upsizing the SWCG to the IC60. This will allow shorter pump run times and also extend the life of the SWCG cell - if you maintain the water chemistry according to TFP guidelines.

The water leveler, quik skim and channel drain are great. As well, the 420 sq.ft. cartridge filter and Intelliflow pump will work great.

Suggest you double check with the city on the pool setback requirements. I see you list a 3 foot setback. Also consider that you will need to walk in that 3 foot area frequently to brush the pool and do other maintenance. At 3 feet, you will be standing in your landscape and/or balancing on the coping edge. Consider a minimum of 5 feet instead.

Many consider 3 foot depth as too shallow. If you plan on swimming a lot, think about your knuckles scraping on the pool bottom. Maybe think about 3.5' to 4' minimum depth.

Also, while it may look pretty, having turf that close to the pool edge is a maintenance nightmare. If real grass, edging and mowing will always result in clippings in the pool - and fertilizing will play havoc with your water chemistry and possibly stain the pool finish. If artificial turf, the sand used on the turf will eventually end up in the pool. And artifical turf is hot on the feet as well.

Hopefully others will be along shortly to provide other ideas. In any case, the support here is outstanding. We can help you keep your pool as troublefree as possible.

There are a few members doing owner builds in the area that may be able to help with subcontractors, etc. Best of luck on your build!
 
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Silvio

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2020
64
Gilbert/AZ/USA
Pool Size
14000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Hi there neighbor! Our pools and backyard are very similar. Plumber is the part I struggled the most with too, I'll send my contacts. I recognize this equipment list, I had a similar quote. At least two of contractors that bid for electrical offered to supply equipment at cost, keep that in mind. My comments:

- EasyTouch 8 with Screenlogic for wifi is a very known setup, nothing wrong with it but there is a newer version (Intellicenter). Plenty of posts here about it, you want the single body with SWG, the size depends on your features. I'm going with the base model (5 relays), single body and an IC40.
- For 3 Microbrites you can use the 100W transformer instead of 300W, assuming nothing else connected to the transformer. The manual states: "When using multiple MicroBrite 12 VAC lights on a 100 Watt safety isolation transformer, it is recommended that no more than six (6) MicroBrite color lights be used".
- Seems like you have an IFCS (In-Floor Cleaning System), not a lot of people love these but is a personal choice.
- The channel drain is "dual" but just one pump, likely you need the single-drain one. It is rated "unblockable" so not a entrapment concern.
- The Valve actuators are regular ones (two positions that you set mechanically), there isn't much of a price difference to IntelliValve which you can setup electronically. Eventually Intellicenter will support programming the Intellivalves to setup specific positions.

Unsolicited feedback on the pool :) You have grass around the pool, won't you end up with dirt into the water? People stepping on the grass, grass clippings from mowing, water from sprinklers bringing dirt, etc. I'm planning on a couple feet of deck around the pool and stepping stones over the grass but I might be overthinking this.
 
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mprzybylski

Member
May 25, 2020
8
Gilbert, AZ
Thanks everyone so far for the feedback. I need to take some time and digest, compare, and make lists based on some of this. Truly appreciate it, keep it coming.

@Nikilyn LOL! Well, that makes sense, I didn't see your full name but always good to see familiar faces.

@silvio Thank you for all of that! In terms of the grass, its turf. We have existing turf and don't want to just toss it (its <3 years old) and wanted to add some green to the back yard because its pretty much all hardscape right now with our pergola and travertine everywhere. We will probably do more of a broken up turf area than what is shown in the designs, but it will be set back roughly 2 feet from the water's edge.
 
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Nikilyn

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2018
922
Gilbert, AZ
Pool Size
17000
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Ours is 3'6". You can come stand in it before it is plastered on Friday (hopefully).
 

Nikilyn

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2018
922
Gilbert, AZ
Pool Size
17000
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I would consider a bench at the other end.
 

mprzybylski

Member
May 25, 2020
8
Gilbert, AZ
Hello,
My coping contractor is here and is asking what this pipe is for. I sent the picture to my plumber but he is not responding and I don't really remember what its for as its been a few months since we had plumbing done. Does anyone know just by looking at this pipe what its for? We don't have any deck jets in our design.
 

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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
39,550
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Your equipment list showed a 'scupper'. Is that pipe in the area of that water feature?
 

Nikilyn

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2018
922
Gilbert, AZ
Pool Size
17000
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I was going to say an aerator. We have a poured deck and they fixed it right before they did the concrete.
 

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