New Pool Build - Austin, TX - Design and Equipment Advise Wanted

Mercat

New member
Sep 22, 2021
3
Austin, TX
Hi All! First time poster and excited to be a part of the TFP community. Family of 4 (Two kiddos Ages 4 and 1) getting set to sign with a PB here in Austin for our first pool. I've been lurking on the TFP forms on and off for a month or so now, but still feel like I have a ton to learn. Below is a summary of our new build. Any and all advice, comments, questions, and concerns are greatly appreciated.

Shape: Geometric "T" Shape
Pool Dimensions: 20' x 27 = 27' Wide x 13' Long main pool area + a Baja Shelf that is 12'4" x 7'
Linear Perimeter: 96'
Water Type: Chlorine
Pool Area: 329 sqft
Pool Depth: ~4' x 5'
Total Gallons 7,393

Structure & Plumbing
Pool Shell: 1/2 inch Grade 40 Steel Rebar on 9 inch centers, both ways.
Concrete: Dry Mix Gunite/Shotcrete rated to a minimum 5000 PSI
Floor and Walls to be minimum of 10.5"-12", Out of Ground Beam to be 12"

Pool Pipes: 2 inch Schedule 40 PVC.
Returns: (4) Directional Inlets, Looped for even pressure.
Skimmers: (2) Pentair, Independently plumbed for optimum control.
Drains: (2) AquaStar drains, VGB compliant.
Fill Line: Automatic Fill Line
Cleaner Line: (1) Independently plumbed
Gas: 99 ft of Gas line with hookup included.
Electrical: Hookup from exterior sub-panel, bonding by Electrical Code (UL). [stub out per builder] Includes all required circuit breakers and GFCI, etc. [stub out per builder]

Pool Stone & Tile: 9" Band at waterline, $9 per linear foot allowance
Coping: Leuder Coping

Water Features
Bubbler: (1) Independently plumbed for control.
Decking & Walls: 4" Rebar, 12" On Center, 4" Crushed Base
Steps: (2)
VB / Umbrella Sleeves: (1) per plan with cap.
Tanning Shelf/Beach: 86 sqft Custom Beach Entry
Benches: (1)
Maintenance: 16' Telescopic Pole, Vacuum Head & Hose, Brush, Net, Test Kit & Thermometer
Clean Up: 10 yards of Sandy Loam, spread and graded.

Pool Equipment:
Main Pump: Pentair WhisperFlo 2 1/2 HP
Filter: Pentair Clean & Clear 320 Cartridge
Heater: Pentair MasterTemp 260k - NG
Cleaner: Polaris - 360 Pressure Side Automatic Pool Cleaner
Control Box: Pentair ScreenLogic Interface Wireless Connection Kit
Sanitizer: Rainbow In-Line Chlorinator
Pool Lights: (2) Pentair AmeriLite 300w 12v

Renderings Below - FYI we enlarged the shelf slightly but only one of the renderings is representative of that change. And I am in love with the view I have of the "Bay of Austin" and the mountainers I'm surrounded by per these renderings! :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

Questions I Have So Far:
Pool Steps - Not sold on what we have so far but struggling to come up with a better design. Will we regret having them go all the way across the width of the pool as they do now? Should they go somewhere else?
Chiller - We are in Central Texas. Should we add one? Est cost?
Bubblers - Should I have two bubblers?
Auto Fill - Pros and Cons? Should we add?
Equipment - What are the things we definitely want to change? What should we add?
Other Questions - What else?

Thank you so much in advance for your feedback. I really appreciate it.
 

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TheNameIsSam

Member
Sep 18, 2021
21
Arizona
I probably know less than you do so I can't offer you much advice but I want to say that I like the design. We almost went with a similar design except the shelf, while still on the long side of the pool, was completely to one side instead of the middle like on yours. In the end, we decided to have the shelf be a part of the width of the pool instead of the length for a symmetrical shape.

If you don't like the idea of the stairs running the entire length of the pool, have you considered removing the first step on each side of the shelf. This way you'll have two benches that are likely to be deeper than the shelf and thus add something different to your pool.

We went with one long bench running the entire length of one side. We did this because we noticed the kids (8 & 10) loved going around the entire inside perimeter of a friend's pool while holding on to the edge. While doing this they'd often stop to rest at the deep end bench then jump into the deep end. Since they are very new swimmers, they didn't feel comfortable jumping into the deep in from outside the pool.

Good luck,
Sam
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
33,609
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
Welcome to TFP! :wave: Some might recommend dumping the Polaris and expense of a separate plumbing (and electric) line for a robot cleaner. Personal choice. Just letting you know now. I would ask for a salt water generator (SWG). The Rainbow inline (tab feeder) will only be used a few weeks, then you'll have to stop due to it (tabs) increasing the CYA too high. Then you have to dump water when the CYA gets out of control. So you'll either use a SWG or add chlorine manually each day (pouring liquid chlorine or regular bleach). Your pool requires chlorine each day, so there's no way around it. Don't be surprised if the builder stands on the table and says "no way" as some of them fear salt is the end of the world. However when you tell them all pools have salt as a byproduct from other chemicals that builds up over time, it doesn't matter. In today's age of challenging chlorine supply, an SWG is a great way to go.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
23,094
Bedford, TX
M,

You really do not want a single speed 2.5 HP pump.. You want an IntelliFlo VS pump.. I suspect that is what it really is, but you need to follow up with the pool builder and make sure.

I am a strong advocate of saltwater pools... Saltwater pools are chlorine pools that just use the salt to make their own chlorine.. The ocean has salt levels of over 35,000 ppm, while saltwater pools only have salt levels of about 3,500 ppm.

If you liked the old black rotary-dial phones, you will love your pressure side cleaner.. But if you jump into this Century, you can get the "cellphone" of pool cleaners, a low voltage robot. Like this one..

I like the steps they way they are, but would dump the bench on the opposite pool wall. it will just be in the way.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
49,188
Tallahassee, FL
Returns: (4) Directional Inlets, Looped for even pressure.
I hope this works out. I would ask for each set to have their own valve for even more control if needed down the road.

I LOVE the design! That is going to be so user friendly. I would also get rid of the end bench. As said above it will get in the way of lap swimming and such more than anything. The steps all on the bench side will get so much use I bet!

Make sure there is an overfill grate/pipe. This will keep you from having to run out there to dump water during a big rain.

Make sure there are "good" valves (rebuildable ones) on everything as well as unions to make working the equipment easier down the road.

Think about a light by the equipment pad. Many people are using solar lights now. You can also have them put in a corded one. Just so long as you have a light out there.

Kim:kim:
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
23,094
Bedford, TX
M,

While Kim's idea of individual valves for each pool return is the ultimate in control, but I believe that the looped design should work just fine.. The loop design is a step up for most pools, which do not have the loop or individual valves.

I agree on the overflow requirement and would make sure the pool builder does not use the small hole in the skimmer for this purpose. You need an independent overflow.

The IntelliFlo pump does not come with unions, so make sure that you buy pump unions, or your pool builder supplies them for the pump.. Like this... https://www.google.com/aclk?sa=L&ai...jH3efFlprzAhVK6p4KHbI3Bw0Q9aACegQIARBE&adurl=

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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Mercat

New member
Sep 22, 2021
3
Austin, TX
Thanks for all the great feedback:

@TheNameIsSam Will definitely consider your suggestion regarding the steps.
@Texas Splash Thank you. I need to do some more SWG research. Lot's of positive thoughts on it here at TFP.
@Jimrahbe I will get confirmation on the pump type and thanks for the heads up on the cleaner. Noted regarding the end bench.
@kimkats Thanks for the feedback re the design. Will check on overfill grate/pipe and good valves. I appreciate the advice re lighting over the equipment pad.
@Jimrahbe Good to know re looped design and will ask about pump unions. Thanks.
 

Mercat

New member
Sep 22, 2021
3
Austin, TX
Some additional Questions:
  • Being in Texas will I regret not getting a pool cooler?
  • Favorite pool heater?
  • Auto Fill system thoughts?
  • Lighting - Are the type (Pentair AmeriLite 300w 12v) and number of lights (2) acceptable?
  • Should I think about getting a bubbler with a light as well?
  • Is there a TFP favorite pool safety net (or is another type of safety system preferred)?
Thank you all.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
49,188
Tallahassee, FL
Auto Fill system thoughts?
They make pool life easier as there is no hose running across your deck. Their down side is they can "hide" any leaks. With a plaster pool leaking should not be a problem unless something goes wrong with the plumbing down the road.
Should I think about getting a bubbler with a light as well?
The kids will enjoy playing in it for a while. It is also a neat party trick. I would make sure you can turn the bubbler and light on and off separate from each other.
Is there a TFP favorite pool safety net (or is another type of safety system preferred)?
Are you wanting to enclose the whole pool area? Do you want to just block off the patio area? Will the rest of the yard be a play area for the kids as they get older? Do you have a dog? This will help us dial in what would work best to keep the kids/pets safe.
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
23,094
Bedford, TX
M,

I would at least get a fill line of some type into the pool.. Even a manual fill line is much better than a hose.. In my case I did not want an auto fill, but I have the next best thing. I use my automation system to control a water valve that lets water into the pool. I push an icon on my PC and the valve opens and then shuts off after a preset amount of time.. This allows me to see how much water my pool uses each day, and also makes it where I don't have to worry about remembering to shutting it off..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Oswald

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2021
127
Leander, TX
Pool Size
18156
Surface
Plaster
M,

I would at least get a fill line of some type into the pool.. Even a manual fill line is much better than a hose.. In my case I did not want an auto fill, but I have the next best thing. I use my automation system to control a water valve that lets water into the pool. I push an icon on my PC and the valve opens and then shuts off after a preset amount of time.. This allows me to see how much water my pool uses each day, and also makes it where I don't have to worry about remembering to shutting it off..

Thanks,

Jim R.
This is exactly what I plan to do as well. My pool builder wasn't too keen on an auto-fill but suggested a fill line that I can tie into my irrigation system.
 
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