New In Ground Pool - NJ (Dig has Begun)

jonnyd91

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
45
NJ
So I started the process to build a 18X36 in ground pool. Similar to the drawing below, however there will be a square spa in place of the sun deck in that picture.
All equipment will be Hayward.

EquipmentHayward
ControllerPro-Logic Plus w/salt generator
LightsColor Logic
HeaterH-Series Natural Gas 300,000 BTU
FilterS270T Sand Filter
PumpSuper Pump 2HP - SP2615X20
Spa Booster Pump1.5 HP
SaltAquaRite 900

So I have the option between a DE filter and a sand filter, I read somewhere that the DE releases carcinogens. Not sure how big a deal this is or if It should deter me from choosing it.

I am also up in the air upgrading to a VS pump over the super pump for 1150.00. Is it worth the up charge?

I also think I will be upgrading from a pro logic to an omni logic depending on how much the up charge will be. Any idea how much more the omni costs over the pro ?

As far as backfill, i never even knew until i read here that its bad to use the dirt from excavation to backfill. Pretty much every builder in my area used the excavation dirt (which is mostly comprised of sandy material).

I asked the builder if I could backfill with gravel and I am waiting for a reply back. I assume I would just want 3/4" gray gravel? I priced this out locally at 26.50/Ton. My assumption is at 108ft trench around the pool at 2ft wide and 3 ft deep would need around 24 cubic yards or 34 tons. Does that sound about right?

Anything else im missing here or should look to upgrade?

IMG_4882.jpegIMG_4936.jpg
 

phonedave

Well-known member
May 30, 2012
741
Montville NJ
I have the option between a DE filter and a sand filter, I read somewhere that the DE releases carcinogens. Not sure how big a deal this is or if It should deter me from choosing it.
DE is Diatomaceous Earth - It is made of the fossilized skeletons of diatoms. If you inhale large amount of the right (or wrong) kind of DE it can cause silicosis of the lungs. Unfortunately, the pool kind is the "wrong" kind. That is why it works so well in the pool filter. The sharp edges of the silica in the DE that can damage your lungs also damages the surface of the pathogens that go through the filter. But no, DE does not "release" carcinogens,. When it is in the filter it is totally harmless. When it is soaking wet and you are cleaning the filter it is harmless. As long as you don't go inhaling it when you add new DE to your skimmer (wear a mask) there is no problem with it.

As far as backfill, i never even knew until i read here that its bad to use the dirt from excavation to backfill. Pretty much every builder in my area used the excavation dirt (which is mostly comprised of sandy material).
I think you have been reading that it is bad to level an above ground pool by excavating one side and using it to fill the other. There is nothing wrong with using native soils to backfill as long as the native soil is suitable for backfill. Without going too deep into soil compaction, some soils are never suitable for backfill (those with organic content). Some suitable soils are easier to work with than others. Sandy soils are easy to work with.

The issue with the above ground pool is not native backfill, but backfill in general. Compacting backfill correctly is not as easy as hitting it really hard with a tamper, or even running a plate compactor over it. If you have the moisture content of the soil wrong, you can compact it with the biggest compactor you can find for hours and you never reach anything close to its maximum dry density - meaning it will settle. If your native soils is placed back correctly, and is compacted correctly, then it will not be an issue.

I asked the builder if I could backfill with gravel and I am waiting for a reply back. I assume I would just want 3/4" gray gravel? I priced this out locally at 26.50/Ton. My assumption is at 108ft trench around the pool at 2ft wide and 3 ft deep would need around 24 cubic yards or 34 tons. Does that sound about right?
Gravel will provide drainage, It does not matter what color it is (grey or otherwise). Based on your dimensions above, 24 yards is the correct volume. Keep in mind that you also have to haul away 24 yards of original material. Granted it is clean fill, so there is likely going to be no charge to dump it, but there will be a trucking fee.
 
Last edited:

guinness

Well-known member
May 3, 2019
553
California
I am also up in the air upgrading to a VS pump over the super pump for 1150.00. Is it worth the up charge?

I also think I will be upgrading from a pro logic to an omni logic depending on how much the up charge will be. Any idea how much more the omni costs over the pro ?
Personally I'd go for the VS pump and the savings you'd end up with over it's life - have you looked into rebates from your utility? Otherwise go for a dual speed pump if budget is limited.

You could also look at the new OmniPL HLBPLUS4W that comes bundled with TCELL940 for $2000. I'd give the folks at Polytec Pools a call and get them to talk you through your options and price it up for you.

 

jonnyd91

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
45
NJ
So I got information from the PB:

If I wanted to upgrade to the Omnilogic it would be in the neighborhood of 3500.00, this seems excessive to me. I did have in the back of my mind to use the Omni Hub, I would just like to install it myself after the pool builder installs the pro-logic. This builder is not very techie, they have only installed one other omnilogic. I have a tech background so im ok with adding the OmniPL myself thereafter.

My question is can I use this with the Prologic Panel? I assume it would use the power and breakers from that prologic and just bypass the controls to go to the OmniPL ?
They are giving me the aquaplus with the pool AquaPlus | Automation | In Ground Pool Automation - Hayward Pool Products
I called Polytec Pools and they did not know. Tried to call Hayward and they wouldn't answer my questions unless I was a PB. Maybe i got the wrong person on the phone.

The VS pump for whatever reason they offer as an upgrade is 1.5HP @ an 1150.00 upgrade charge. Would I be better sticking with the 2HP pump in that case?

Re backfill - These were the 2 articles that I read:


I have pretty sandy soil here. I will be adding concrete decking to the pool. The builders process is to back fill with excavated dirt and the let it settle for a month and water around it.
To add the gravel would cost me 900ish dollars for the gravel and then the PB charges 1k to backfill due to the added labor of it being in the driveway.

Im all for saving the 1900 and putting it elsewhere if its really not needed, but I also want to do it right.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,931
Morris Cnty NJ
Ask the PB what he will credit you for no automation or salt cell. You can easily add if yourself for around 2k or less. I install alot of prologic with t15 cells. For most pools it does a good job when paired with a compatible VS pump. I like the tristar VS and the newer ecostars. If you need more relays they have PL8 and higher. I see your in NJ, I never recommend an attached spa here. Once the pool is closed the spa gets shut down too. We close in late sept or early October up north. A standalone spa can be kept open year round and the therapeutic value is leaps and bounds over an attached spa. Sandy soil can be used for backfill if it's got no regular dirt mixed in. I never use native soil s I cant afford to go back amd fix a sunken deck. I rarely do concrete these days pavers are the demand. With concrete if its done right you can span small settlement voids. Guys who bang out a pool in a week use 4" pvc pipe filled with concrete as piers to support the deck in the overdig as they know the fill dirt will settle. The price you quoted is retail landscape price, a quarry is half that. What is PB gonna put under the concrete deck just dirt? Hes gotta bring in stone anyway for base
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rich D and Biggt53

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
959
MA
Do you know if you have a high water table in your area? Have any PB's mentioned putting in a collar drain? These are needed to prevent floating liners and also to allow for liner replacements with high ground water. They would need stone for that as well.

To me this like asking your framer to spread out your floor joists to save some money.
Will it work -- Yes
Will it exponentially increase the likelihood of something going wrong in the future -- Yes
Any quality product needs a solid foundation.

I would say that is money well spent.
 

jonnyd91

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
45
NJ
@jimmythegreek - The spa is more of a novelty for us, we went into it knowing that when the pool closes so does the spa and we are all good with that. I am in Ocean Township NJ we have pretty sandy soil down here, there is a 1ft layer of top soil over the entire backyard from when the builder graded it. I know they dont use deck bracing in their builds.

I was able to get another quote on #57 stone at 18.00 a ton. The only issue is that they only do full loads at 27 tons, so I couldn't get a partial load to make it 34. The more i think about it though I may only need 27 tons. The linear ft of the pool is 108, they dig 2 ft out around the pool and 3.5 ft deep. After that they fill around the bottom of the pool with 12" of cement. So 27 tons may just get it done. Or i can just roll with the sandy soil...

@Rich D - The water table should be good here. I dug 3ft below ground in my basement and there was no ground water. If they hit ground water they put in a dry well.

As far as the controllers go the more i look there are so many variations. Omnilogic, OmniPL, OmniHub, then they have omni built into the pumps. These guys don't really do too much automated stuff. Seems they mostly just sell the prologic systems with the salt cell. I can ask for a controller credit, i just dont want to sour anything with the builder.

As for the VS pump, the one they offer is the MaxFlo VS500 i believe. It is a 1.65HP pump, would that be enough for this size pool? The spa will have a 1.5hp booster pump.
 

phonedave

Well-known member
May 30, 2012
741
Montville NJ
I have pretty sandy soil here. I will be adding concrete decking to the pool. The builders process is to back fill with excavated dirt and the let it settle for a month and water around it.
To add the gravel would cost me 900ish dollars for the gravel and then the PB charges 1k to backfill due to the added labor of it being in the driveway.

Im all for saving the 1900 and putting it elsewhere if its really not needed, but I also want to do it right.
Anytime I hear something like this I get all twitchy. Maybe it's my background (BS in Civil Engineering - concentrating in soils, MS in Civil Engineering concentration in construction engineering management) but "let it settle and water around it" is like a doctor saying "I don't know what is wrong with you but I have some random medication that you may want to try."

There is a certain moisture content where a soil will compact to its maximum dry density. If you have more or less water it will never compact as much. To achieve 95% of a soils maximum dry density you need to determine what moisture content the soil needs to be at, and then compact it correctly, preferably testing the density to make sure. Watering at random does not get you to the correct moisture content. It does not give you a uniform moisture content across the fill, and with out some sort of surcharge (weight on the fill) it will not settle to its maximum.

When contractors do the "fill and let settle naturally" thing, they usually put a heavy surcharge on top of the fill, which is later removed, and the fill is tested to see what dry density it is at.

Years ago, that was my job. Collect soil samples, take them back to the lab, calculate the compaction curves, go back to the jobsite and monitor the backfill procedure testing the density of each lift in multiple spots to ensure the correct density has been achieved.

In your case, I would go with the stone. While 900 is high for the stone, I think you are getting a bargain at $1,900 total, unless he forgot to add in how he is going to remove the 27 years of excavated soil from your backyard.

If it is truly $1,900 for just stone and labor to install, that is a bit high. Yeah, he has to move it from the driveway to the pool, but he does not have to mess with compacting it, making sure there are no voids, etc. I suspect that he was just going to push your excavated fill back into the trench with the side of his excavator bucket. Not the right way at all. He could rent a Georgia buggy for $200 a day, place his mini ex at the stone pile, and have 27 yards in place with 2-3 people pretty quickly. 75 trips - 10 minutes each. OK, it's a long day, but not insane. Rent two buggies and cut it in half.

Or heck, the guy should own a skid steer.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jimmythegreek

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,358
Northern NJ

jonnyd91

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
45
NJ
I like how you put the chairs out there with the marked off pool area! really helps you get the feel of the size and what you have room for! :goodjob: Good thinking!
That was my kids "playing" in the "pool" :ROFLMAO: Kept them busy for a bit, so I was all good with it.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
13,764
Pleasanton, CA
As long as you have a separate pump for the spa jets, the MaxFlo is ok. However, I would go with the TriStar 2.7vs. Having the extra power can come in handy if you should ever need it. Plus you can run on lower speeds for the same flow rate which means it will be much quieter.

Also find out what pipe size is being used for each run. This is especially critical to a spa design. PBs tend to under size piping for the flow rate requirements which results in lower efficiency and weak spa jets.
 

jonnyd91

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
45
NJ
As long as you have a separate pump for the spa jets, the MaxFlo is ok. However, I would go with the TriStar 2.7vs. Having the extra power can come in handy if you should ever need it. Plus you can run on lower speeds for the same flow rate which means it will be much quieter.

Also find out what pipe size is being used for each run. This is especially critical to a spa design. PBs tend to under size piping for the flow rate requirements which results in lower efficiency and weak spa jets.
The builder states he uses 2" plumbing throughout.
 

jonnyd91

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
45
NJ
How many spa jets do you have and what size are they (i.e. flow rate per jet)?
Its a Latham Meridian Spillover spa

I am actually unsure of how many jets.

Im also open to moving the filter closer to the pool especially with the VS pump being that it is quieter.