New IG-with Spa. SoCal, owner-builder. Equipment ?'s

btan42

Member
Mar 15, 2021
10
Los Angeles, CA
Having a pool built. Started last week. It's an 18'x36' freeform with a spa. Backside is raised 18''. We have it dug and re-bar. Plumber is coming tomorrow.

I've been researching equipment for a couple months now.
So far I have this in mind:

Pool Pump: $1,265
PentAir IntellifloXF Variable Speed 3HP
Pool Heater: $2,320
PentAir MasterTemp 400 460736 Natural Gas
Pool Filter: $999
PentAir Clean and Clear plus Cartridge 160332
Pool Automation: $2,200
Pentair IntelliCenter i8PS System and WiFi - 8PS
Lighting: $1,556
J&J ColorSplash XG-W, 12V: 2 Pool (30’,100’), 1 Spa (50’)

Also planning 2-3 waterfalls on the backside of the pool. Probably 24'' each.

So Questions:

Any changes recommended on equipment choices?
Would another pump be recommended for spa, and if so, which one?
Is there anything i'm missing?
 

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btan42

Member
Mar 15, 2021
10
Los Angeles, CA
Also, my PB said i only needed 1 skimmer. Everything i'm reading is people suggesting to get 2.

It's been dug and rebar is installed. Is it too late to add a second?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,024
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Welcome to the forum.

2 skimmers are better but 1 will work. Issue is if you have a problem with one, then you still have a skimmer.
Not sure they can put one in now. It would take bringing the rebar (and plumbing crew possibly) back.

That pump will work for a reasonable size spa with up to 6 jets. Any more and you will need a spa jet pump. If you want lots of bubbles you would need a blower.

The waterfalls would be better off having a dedicated Water Feature pump. With its own suction. Be careful on the pump, many builders have no clue that there are special pumps just for water features.

Depth of 3' is really shallow. I would suggest going to at least 3.5'. Also be sure it is understood that is water depth. Lots of mess ups reported in the forum of getting too shallow of a pool.

I would suggest you get the Intellicenter with an Intellichlor 40 Salt Water Chlorine Generator integrated in it.
 

btan42

Member
Mar 15, 2021
10
Los Angeles, CA
Thank you for the response!

Is 6 jets pretty average for an 8’ spa? Not trying to do anything fancy or extra.

I’ve read numerous times on here about the SWCG’s and asked my PB about SW today.
His response was: he doesn’t care for saltwater because it ruins the heater core and anything else that has metal.
 

btan42

Member
Mar 15, 2021
10
Los Angeles, CA
Progress so far.
Also, plan wasn’t updated. we changed it to 3.5 after the diggers came out. Guy told me 3.5 is more common and 3 is too shallow.
 

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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,024
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Big spa, 6 jets may not be enough. Your preference on that.

Pool builder is a bit clueless. Saltwater has nothing to do with corrosion of pool equipment. Low pH does.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,657
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
What size plumbing are you planning?

IntelliFloXF is made for 2.5" or 3" plumbing.

What flow rates will the waterfall need?

You feeding the waterfalls from the main pool pump?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,657
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
His response was: he doesn’t care for saltwater because it ruins the heater core and anything else that has metal.

So ask your clueless PB what metals are in the heater core? And what else is metal in the pool or equipment you are getting?

Heater core on the MasterTemp is copper. Salt water has no effect on copper.

What does have a damaging effect on copper is low pH. So install a heater bypass so that you can bypass the heater core if your pool water chemistry is questionable.

 
Last edited:

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
1,912
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
I just added a 1.5 HP Silencer blower to my 7' spa with six jets last weekend. It cost me about $150 for the blower, conduit and wire. You already have the power source and automation. It definitely adds to the spa experience. Without the blower, I had to run my VS at high speeds to get a decent amount of bubbles. I can now run at half the speed and get more bubbles. At high speed, it's like Victory at Sea. If they charge you more than a couple hundred bucks, you can add it later.

Don't sweat the PB's opinion about the SWG. Maybe he thought you were describing a chlorinator (tablet feeder) and not a SWG. Either way, you won't regret it. Just follow TFP guidelines for chemistry and you'll be good.

Best of luck!
 
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btan42

Member
Mar 15, 2021
10
Los Angeles, CA
What size plumbing are you planning?

IntelliFloXF is made for 2.5" or 3" plumbing.

What flow rates will the waterfall need?

You feeding the waterfalls from the main pool pump?
The plumber is coming in the morning. I will ask him those questions. It’s my understanding a secondary pump will power the water features. But the main pump, 3hp variable Pentair will do pool and spa.

he also said we are doing a blower for the spa.
 
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btan42

Member
Mar 15, 2021
10
Los Angeles, CA
So ask your clueless PB what metals are in the heater core? And what else is metal in the pool or equipment you are getting?

Heater core or the MasterTemp is copper. Salt water has no effect on copper.

What does have a damaging effect on copper is low pH. So install a heater bypass so that you can bypass the heater core if your pool water chemistry is questionable.

I’ll ask again tomorrow and push a little more for the saltwater.

I’m searching around the site right now, but any recommendations or preferred company for the sheer descents? Or are they all about the same?
 

SinCityCJ

Gold Supporter
Nov 6, 2019
103
Las Vegas
We built a similar size pool & spa last year with an XF 3HP main, and secondary spa pumps. I’d recommend a booster for the water falls as stated above, if you intend to run pool, WF and Spa simultaneously. The time to do it is right now. Add the second skim as well.

Your PB doesn’t have a clue about SWG, many don’t tho. As a minimum, get the heater bypass and loop plumbed for the SWG and add it yourself.
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,657
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I’ll ask again tomorrow and push a little more for the saltwater.

I’m searching around the site right now, but any recommendations or preferred company for the sheer descents? Or are they all about the same?

Sheer Descents is a Jandy brand. Other manufacturers call their water features by other names. They vary in the look and effects they present and the water arc.

 
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btan42

Member
Mar 15, 2021
10
Los Angeles, CA
Update. Finished the Gunite yesterday. Been watering it and shopping for tile and rock now.

On Monday I plan on buying all the equipment in LA.
Chose the:
Pentair Variable speed: 011056, or if not in stock the 011028
400k BTU gas heater
520sqft, cartridge filter
Trying to find the IntelliCenter 8IPS w/IC40 in stock
got some J&J colorsplash RGB-W lights
Two 18'' sheer descents

Chose this tile for the waterline tile. Love the blue color.

Anyone with a SWG have any tips for the stone on the back raised area of the pool. I found some nice marble stacked stone, but am concerned with how it will hold up against the saltwater.
 

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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,024
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I found some nice marble stacked stone, but am concerned with how it will hold up against the saltwater.
The big issue with that type of material is calcium deposits. The saltwater will have no effect.
 

btan42

Member
Mar 15, 2021
10
Los Angeles, CA
The big issue with that type of material is calcium deposits. The saltwater will have no effect.
is that something that can be minimized with sealing and regular brushing? or should i just avoid marble?.. Currently have about 20 tabs open trying to read up on swg and stone.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,024
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
A rough surface like stacked stone is very difficult to clean and is prone to calcium deposits in wet /splash areas.

You will read all kinds of horror stories on the internet (but not on TFP) about stone and SWCG. Issue is nearly 100% tied to improper pool water chemistry maintenance. Especially low pH.
 

btan42

Member
Mar 15, 2021
10
Los Angeles, CA
A rough surface like stacked stone is very difficult to clean and is prone to calcium deposits in wet /splash areas.

You will read all kinds of horror stories on the internet (but not on TFP) about stone and SWCG. Issue is nearly 100% tied to improper pool water chemistry maintenance. Especially low pH.
Gotcha, thanks for the insight.
 

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