New IG build League City, TX

Jbrillo

Gold Supporter
Jun 11, 2018
197
League City, Texas
#1
I’ve been on here a few months now trying to learn as much as I can to prepare for my pool build. I’ve been on other sites too but this is by far the best. Lots of info and friendly people. Pool School was an excellent read and I plan on putting that pool math calculator to good use. I plan on making a contribution soon as I want to support such a helpful site. I’m thinking I’ll need a hat to protect my head from this scorching Texas heat while I brush some walls.
We’ve signed a contract and have HOA approval. The pool is outlined and utilities have been marked. We are just waiting on city permits to get started. So, while I’m waiting on permits, I figured I’d get this thread started.
I’ve always wanted a pool for my family and I’m excited to finally make this happen. We have a good size lot but the house is so long we have to put the pool on the left side of the backyard. Our back door basically backs up to the fence. There’s a small patio but it’s getting ripped up to run gas/electricity to the other side of the yard without encroaching on the 14ft. utility easement. Also, there are no windows from our living room that face the left side so we won’t be able to enjoy the view. We will be able to see it from our game room but it’s not the same.
Here is what we are about to tear up:
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And here’s what’s going in:
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Its similar to what I posted earlier but we added some extra decking.
Here are the spec’s:
-33' 5" X 16' 9"
-Perimeter 103ft/ area 564sf
-Sport pool depth 3.5 x 5.5 x 4
- 2-skimmers/5-returns/2-main drains
- 19ft of 6-inch raised wall
- 20ft of 12-inch raised wall
- (2) 18 x 18 x 18 inch columns
- (3) 24" scuppers
- tanning ledge with 8" depth
- travertine coping
- 1,070sf of spraydeck(includes back patio and walkway from back patio to pool)
- 7ft. raised 12" spa with stacked spillway, 6-jets, 1.5HP blower Hayward color LED light
- (2) Hayward color LED lights in pool
- Tigershark robot cleaner
- Hayward Tri-Star VS pump
- Hayward 525sf cartridge filter
- Hayward 2.5HP booster pump
- Hayward 400K BTU heater
- Automation: Aquaplus w/Aquaconnect
- AquaPlus Salt system
- Pebble Sheen finish
We have had tons of rain the past few weeks and we are suppose to get more this weekend. I hope the permits come in after all this rain and it dries up some.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
36,003
Tallahassee, FL
#2
Okay!! Lets get this party started! :party:

Equipment-get model numbers for everything please. Check real close on the SWG. You want it to be rated for twice your pool size to save the cell life and energy costs.

-depth-measure where the 5'5" will hit the tallest and shortest (that will not grow anymore) person in the family. Make sure that is what you want. Also make sure that is WATER depth and not from floor to coping. The water should be at the middle of the skimmer face which is a couple/few inches lower than the coping.

-spa placement-just something I want you to think about.....the spa will block the view of the part of the pool from the seating area. Not a big deal if no kids but could be scary if there are kids in the mix.

Kim:kim:
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,088
Evans, Georgia
#4
I'd suggest moving the spa from the middle to one side end or another.

You don't want the pool cut up in viewing, especially since your yard isn't allowing for the pool to be centered on the back porch area or as you said seen from the living room.

Maddie :flower:
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,377
Central California
#5
Congrat's on the build. Very exciting! I like your design. Here's some random ideas for you:

- Consider having no drains. They are not actually needed. Better visually. Safer. No hangs ups for cleaner, manually brushing, or peoples' toes. That much less plumbing to buy or fail.

- I didn't see auto-fill listed. I wouldn't have a pool without an auto-fill system.

- Rain you say? I wouldn't have a pool without an overflow system, either. Mine is both in one unit and works well. I never have to think about my water level getting to low or too high, all year'round.
Pool Water Leveler By PoolMiser | The Original Pool Spa Water Leveler

- I would go a step farther about being able to view the bottom of your pool from your primary sitting/viewing angle. I don't think that safety tip is kid-dependent. That spa is definitely in the wrong place if you want to be able to keep a good eye on your swimmers and non-swimmers.

- Plot your pool light(s) so that they shine away from your primary sitting/viewing angle, and away from the house and windows. If you can see the bulb, you won't like having the light(s) on. They should all be on the house side of the pool.

- Maybe add another bench? One or even two on the other side of the pool? I like to sit on mine, and there's not always room to with a lot of people in the pool.

- I fly a small shade sail over my pool. It's nice to be able to hide from the sun, even when I'm in my pool. Others use umbrellas for that, but a shade sail is wind-proof.
https://shadesails.com

- I'd want a fence or block wall around that pad, hide it out of sight, and soundproof it a bit. Newer pumps are quiet, but not that quiet. I've seen a pad enclosure here that also included a pool toy corral, a place to hide those big, inflatable floaties and lounges you will probably acquire. Unless you want to blow them up each time, if you don't have a place to hide them, you'll have these big, pink and bright lime green beasts laying and/or blowing around in your yard all summer.

- Speaking of blowing around your yard, go get a beach ball early. Throw it out in your yard. Keep track of where it ends up for lots of days in a row. That's the side of the pool one of your skimmers should be located. Double check with your local weather website and see if that location aligns with your prevailing wind throughout the year. Doesn't matter how much circulation your pool has, the wind will determine which side of the pool all the surface gunk will end up on. That's where you want your skimmer, sucking it all up.
 

Jbrillo

Gold Supporter
Jun 11, 2018
197
League City, Texas
#6
Okay!! Lets get this party started! :party:

Equipment-get model numbers for everything please. Check real close on the SWG. You want it to be rated for twice your pool size to save the cell life and energy costs.

-depth-measure where the 5'5" will hit the tallest and shortest (that will not grow anymore) person in the family. Make sure that is what you want. Also make sure that is WATER depth and not from floor to coping. The water should be at the middle of the skimmer face which is a couple/few inches lower than the coping.

-spa placement-just something I want you to think about.....the spa will block the view of the part of the pool from the seating area. Not a big deal if no kids but could be scary if there are kids in the mix.

Kim:kim:
I don’t know the model number for the SWG but my builder sent me a link for it. It’s rated at 40,000 gallons so it should be good. I checked on the depth and it is floor to top of waterline tile. I’ve pondered the spa placement but I think it’s best there. My kiddos are teenagers so it shouldn’t be much of a problem. Plus, I could just sit on the left side of the deck if I want to watch smaller kids. But I’ll still think about changing it. Thanks for the input!
 

Jbrillo

Gold Supporter
Jun 11, 2018
197
League City, Texas
#7
Texas Splash,
Thanks!

YippeeSkippy,
I will ponder the idea of moving the spa location.

Dirk,

I think the drains are required down here but not sure.

Are there any cons to having an auto fill? I like the idea but I guess I should read more about them. I’m not opposed to putting the hose in to fill it up. The hose bib is right next to the pool.

I will think about moving the spa location. I’m think I’m ok with it there.

The pool lights will face face away from the house. I plan on having one at each end.

I was thinking about adding a bench on the other side under the middle waterfall. But I’m not sure.

Thanks for for the idea on the shade!

I will gauge the noise level of the equipment once it’s in. If it’s too loud I’ll look into something. I plan on running some outdoor speakers so it may cancel out the equipment noise.

The beachball is a good idea. Funny, I’ve actually got a beachball leftover from my wife making gift bags for my daughters volleyball team. The universe must’ve known I’d need it!:D
 

tldude876

Silver Supporter
Jan 3, 2018
88
League City, TX
#8
Looking good there neighbor. The drains are required by the city. I don't have an autofill (PB didn't recommend) but I have a line that is hooked up my hose bib that I can use to fill the pool.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,377
Central California
#9
Me, in blue:

I think the drains are required down here but not sure.

If you're interested in pursuing that, you have to double-check the code. Often the code clearly describes how to configure the drain system, but only if you have one, not that one is required. Sometimes PBs will not understand that distinction, or obscure that if they want a drain and you don't.

Are there any cons to having an auto fill? I like the idea but I guess I should read more about them.

Yes, if they get stuck open (all pumping is subject to failure), and you have an overflow system, and you're not paying attention to your pool for any length of time, the auto-fill will pump water right into your overflow tube until you catch it doing it.

I’m not opposed to putting the hose in to fill it up. The hose bib is right next to the pool.

I can come up with way more cons for hose method. You have to remember to do it, or you could starve your pump and damage it. You have to go out there to turn it on and off, which might be every day down where you live. You have to have someone do it for you when you're away from your pool for more than a day or two. And, if you're like me, you'll forget the running hose often enough to regularly overflow your pool, flood your garden, and/or drive up your water bill. Or, if you have an overflow system, you'll have the same issue as with auto-fill, you'll leave the hose running and run that water right through the overflow system until you notice it happening. I guarantee that will happen more often than an auto-fill system will fail!

I will think about moving the spa location. I’m think I’m ok with it there.

Depends on how safe you want your pool to be... Surely young children are the biggest risk, but not the only. Just glad you're aware of the issue and can think about it.

The pool lights will face face away from the house. I plan on having one at each end.

Cool! Me, I'd wire them such that I could turn either on or off independently. Like when I wanted a slightly more subtle lighting effect. How about a spa light. That wired separately, too.

I was thinking about adding a bench on the other side under the middle waterfall. But I’m not sure.

I kinda like the idea of sitting there with the water running down my neck. That sounds very relaxing/refreshing. I'd be tempted to fill that whole curve in with a big bench. You'll have lots of company when others see you getting your neck massage, and it'd be big enough to sort of lounge on.

Thanks for for the idea on the shade!

Something you can always add later, unless you want to include umbrella pole holders in the deck or shelf. Not a fan of either myself, but a lot of pools have one or both.

I will gauge the noise level of the equipment once it’s in. If it’s too loud I’ll look into something.

Good plan. Something you can do later. I only mentioned it for now in case the design needed a bigger pad. Which, of course, could also be added later.

I plan on running some outdoor speakers so it may cancel out the equipment noise.

Speakering of which! Myself and others have come to the same conclusion: I have my speakers mounted under the eves. Easy wiring, dry, etc. But I've found that to have the music loud enough to enjoy at the pool, it makes it really uncomfortable at the table or chairs between speakers and pool (the ones on the deck). So the solution is to have more, smaller speakers, out in the landscaping, surrounding the pool. They make speakers just for that. That way, you get the jams you want in the pool, and a more comfortable environment in the sitting area. All depends on your style of listening... Point being: run conduit under the deck to get from house to landscaping areas, so that you can later run wires as you need. Same for electrical outlets, irrigation wiring. Even extra hose bibs, etc. Think about all those things you might want out back, that will be impossible to run once the concrete is poured.

The beachball is a good idea. Funny, I’ve actually got a beachball leftover from my wife making gift bags for my daughters volleyball team. The universe must’ve known I’d need it!

Your stars are aligning!! I see a great pool and yard in your future!!
 

Jbrillo

Gold Supporter
Jun 11, 2018
197
League City, Texas
#10
tdude876,

Thanks man! Just curious, but where does that fill line come in the pool?

Dirk,

I’m gonna do more reading on auto fillers, but it may not really be an issue for me. I’m almost never gone on vacation. I work too much. The pool is going to be my vacation!

I’m almost certain the pool and spa lights will be an all on or off deal. It would probably cost extra to wire them separately and I’m not sure it would be worth the cost.

Good point on on the speakers. I was planning on mounting them on the eaves.

You have given many things to mull over while I’m waiting. Glad I started this now while I still have time. I appreciate all the input.
 

tldude876

Silver Supporter
Jan 3, 2018
88
League City, TX
#11
I'll snap a pic later when I get off work. Basically a piece of pvc that sticks out right under the coping. Two downsides of the autofill are not being able to identify a leak since the level will never drop and freeze issues in the winter.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,377
Central California
#12
Looking good there neighbor. The drains are required by the city. I don't have an autofill (PB didn't recommend) but I have a line that is hooked up my hose bib that I can use to fill the pool.
Hi tldude876, curious...

- about the code requirement for your drains, did you learn that from your PB, or did you get access to the actual city building code and read if for yourself? Can you share the code here, if you have it?

- sounds like you have a manual fill line, which I would prefer over using a hose, for sure. Just want to point out that the supply line of my auto-filler enters the system at about 18" below grade, no where near where it could freeze in my area. I suppose the top 1/4" of the water in the auto-fill well could freeze, but it never has. What kind of winter temps do you get down there?

Jbrillo, do you know what your frost line level is?

And while tldude876 has a good point about noticing a leak, that's a strange logic. That's almost like saying you shouldn't use your filter because you won't notice when your filter cartridges gets dirty. You can always turn off an auto-fill system to check for a leak, and do so periodically to cover that contingency if you're constantly worried about it. But you can't later add an auto-fill unless you at least plan for it. Again, excuse me for pestering you about this point, I'm just predicting this to be a regret.

The materials are about $100, not including the PVC supply line.

The PoolMiser can be installed up to 30' away from your pool. It is something you could install later, if your PB installs the equalizer tube at build time. That equalizer tube could be used (and should cost the same) as the manual fill line that tldude876 suggests, it would just enter the pool below the waterline instead of above. You'd have the best of both, a manual fill line, and one that could be converted to auto if (when!) you grow tired of filling your pool yourself every day.

Maybe others from Texas or Arizona can weigh in about how they top off their pools...
 

tldude876

Silver Supporter
Jan 3, 2018
88
League City, TX
#13
Dirk,

I will try to dig up some literature in regards to the code but I think it is standard among all PB's in this area as it is required by the city. The autofill I think is just personal preference and as with everything, there are pros and cons. We had a few freezes last winter and a few people had issues with water freezing. In my instance, I'm a very hands on person (do my own yardwork, etc) and I am outside all the time so I'll definitely notice the water level and if I need to bring it up I'll just open the line.


Edit. See #5 on the list

http://www.leaguecity.com/DocumentCenter/Home/View/3282
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,377
Central California
#16
Interesting, the PoolMiser is just a toilet fill valve.
Not exactly, it's a modified version of one, built by the same company that does make toilet valves. All plastic, which is both a plus and a minus. And adjustable, so you can dial in your water level. What the PoolMiser has going for it, is that it is both auto-fill and overflow in one, both adjustable, all connected to the pool via an equalizer tube, so it is not subject to wave action from people in the pool, as some systems are. And as I mentioned, it can be installed up to 30' away from the pool.

Ha, I'm not a PM salesman or anything, I just like mine! ;)

It is a personal preference, and this idea, along with my others, were just meant to give the OP the opportunity to think about things he might not have otherwise. There are so many components and decisions to building a pool, and not everything is brought up by a PB, who wants to build what he knows and not much else... The great thing about building a pool? You can have it exactly the way you want it!! ;)
 

SBall

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2017
158
Nashville, TN
#17
I meant more conceptually than identically. One would think that one of the pool companies could just make a skimmer that is a little larger and has the valve sitting in the back of it.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,377
Central California
#18
There are skimmers with overflow and I think autofill too, but they are subject to wave action from the pool. And different water levels in the skimmer based on pump suction. I'm in another thread where someone is trying to solve for that. His overflow hole is fixed, so not adjustable, and as people slosh the water, it spills out of the pool through the overflow hole, wasting water. Auto-fillers and overflow systems that live in their own separate tank, connected by an equalizer tube that is below the surface, are not subject to those problems.
 

tldude876

Silver Supporter
Jan 3, 2018
88
League City, TX
#19
Was that in reference to a drain? Not seeing anything about a drain...

#5 of which page?
Were you able to open the link? It says that there must be a line connected to city sewer. I am still new to all this pool stuff. Is there another way to tap into the sewer line without being connected to the drains? Also, how would one drain a pool if they had to with no floor drains?
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,377
Central California
#20
Oh, that #5. That's referring to running pool water into the sewer line when necessary (emptying your pool, or backwashing your filter). It has nothing to do with whether you must have a drain in your pool or not. They don't want you running pool water into the street, and probably nowhere else either (like into a field or creek, etc).

There are a few ways to drain a pool. Some can involve a drain, others don't require one. For example, my pool had a drain (before I removed it) and the pool guys still brought in a pump with a long hose and just dropped it into the deep end. I've drained my pool with a siphon hose. I don't worry about not having a drain when it comes to emptying my pool.

A pool drain is not really named appropriately. It's a throwback to before there were automatic cleaners. You'd brush the gunk and leaves on the bottom of your pool down towards the drain, or it would naturally drift down there, and the pump would suck the stuff into the filter through the drain. It's other primary purpose was to circulate the water, but drains are not very good at doing that.

Now-a-days, automatic vacuums and robots clean your pool floor much more efficiently, and circulation is better achieved by extra skimmers and returns, even returns placed lower in the pool (I think they call those "deep heating systems"). Water being pushed out of a hole does a much better job of circulating than water being sucked into a hole (like a drain). Plus, vacuums and robots roaming the pool are also circulating the water, over the entire pool, not just in one fixed place in the deep end.

Further, drains are responsible for entrapment injuries (and deaths) and while they have come a long way in making them safer, they still can be a danger. Not to mention they're ugly (IMO) and can hang up cleaners and toes, unless you get the low-profile or flat drains, which I'd recommend if you end up with a drain.

So that document has nothing in it requiring a drain. Though that doesn't mean there isn't a code requiring one. A call to your planning dept might settle this, though even they can misinterpret the actual code. And as we discovered here in other threads about this, sometimes PBs will insist on a drain, either for their own reasons or because they've misinterpreted the actual codes, too. If you want to be free of a drain, and your PB is insisting on one, you might have to check the codes yourself. Which we've helped people do here.

To be fair, the other good reason to have a drain is to protect your pump. And without an autofill system, that might be something for you to consider. Without a drain, if you forget to fill the pool and the level drops below the skimmer opening, your pump will run dry and possibly get damaged. With a drain, if your skimmer has a feature that will close itself off when it runs dry, then the drain will continue to supply water to the pump. Some pool systems have valves that balance the amount of flow, independently, through skimmer and drain. But the more suction you have coming from the drain, the less skimming action you'll get.

With my auto-fill, I don't have to worry about the skimmer running dry. Granted, the auto-fill could fail and my skimmer run dry, but that is an acceptable risk, to me. My pool circulates quite well with three returns and one skimmer, no drain. If you're building a bigger pool, you might have two skimmers and four or five returns. And you could have one down low to mixup the bottom. Lots of ways to get it done.

Sorry, I'm throwing a lot at you. And I don't mean to keep pushing the auto-fill. I'm just explaining that drains and returns and skimmers and fillers and overflow tubes all work in harmony, in ways that are not immediately obvious. I'll be happy to help you sort it all out, as will others here. Just ask away. A good understanding of how all these systems work would be a good thing to have, then you can discuss all the issues with your PB and then make an informed decision on what's right for you. Otherwise, he'll do what he wants, you'll get what you get, and that'll be the end of it, whether it's ultimately what you would have preferred or not.