New pool build in California....Best deal I have?? HELP??

PCR

Bronze Supporter
Jul 19, 2015
70
Frederick County, MD
We have a waterfall, but I am not sure what type of rocks were used. It wasn't specified in the contract, and at the time I just assumed they would use the "right" kind. And I think they did. We've had the pool for three pool seasons now and used the waterfall alot. We really only have a few spots of small staining just under the waterline tile below the waterfall - maybe three inches worth of stain below the tile in the spots where it has happened. I have never even attempted to clean it off as it doesn't bother me (at least yet :)). I guess a few times we've had some very small "rock chips" that have ended up in the pool after running the waterfall but very seldom and not any significant amount so a tiny bit of erosion only. Calcium has not been an issue, and I'm not having any chemical issues. Sure, the ph goes up a bit if I run the waterfall and/or other water features alot, but I just throw some acid in - no big deal. I've attached a pic of the waterfall and a stain that also shows a closeup of one of the rocks. Maybe someone can tell what kind of rocks I have!
2020-09 Waterfall2.JPG
2020-09 Waterfall1.JPG
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,888
Central California
Seems like a little acid is a very fair trade for that! It looks great, and was blended nicely into the surrounding landscaping and natural backdrop. Not something pools with falls always pull off (the ol' pile-o-rocks on the deck look sometimes doesn't work, IMO).

@PCR, got any thoughts about your slide? The OP is considering one and a suggestion was made to better integrate it into his grotto structure. Yours is a hybrid: not a stand-alone slide, yet not formed out of concrete in the stonework. How is that working out? I've read slides can be dangerous, but I've also read that they are a huge hit for kids and adults alike.
 
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mihzyd777

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2009
81
Manteca, CA
So I changed directions lol. Not doing a grotto now and no rocks around the pools. We are going to build a 2ft. tall retaining wall around where the grotto was, then have a gap for a walkway then continue the wall to the bridge. We are then going to put a 8'ft. wide sheer arch rain on a arbor that covers the Caribbean shelf and bridge then the water decent will go down the long side of the bridge. We also asked for 2 or 3 36" wide sheer decents in the raised wall to see what the price would be. Looking to shave off at least $12-15k which should put us around $62-65k which is much nicer :)
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,040
Laughlin, NV
Smart to get rid of the rocks.

The sheer descents are fine. Just be sure you can run them only when you wish. They will push pH up when running. And will be noisy.
 

mihzyd777

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2009
81
Manteca, CA
We have a waterfall, but I am not sure what type of rocks were used. It wasn't specified in the contract, and at the time I just assumed they would use the "right" kind. And I think they did. We've had the pool for three pool seasons now and used the waterfall alot. We really only have a few spots of small staining just under the waterline tile below the waterfall - maybe three inches worth of stain below the tile in the spots where it has happened. I have never even attempted to clean it off as it doesn't bother me (at least yet :)). I guess a few times we've had some very small "rock chips" that have ended up in the pool after running the waterfall but very seldom and not any significant amount so a tiny bit of erosion only. Calcium has not been an issue, and I'm not having any chemical issues. Sure, the ph goes up a bit if I run the waterfall and/or other water features alot, but I just throw some acid in - no big deal. I've attached a pic of the waterfall and a stain that also shows a closeup of one of the rocks. Maybe someone can tell what kind of rocks I have!
View attachment 161064
View attachment 161065
If I can ask, how many children do you have and how old were they when you built the pool? Did they use the slide as much as you thought and would you put it in again? Thanks!
 

mihzyd777

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2009
81
Manteca, CA
Smart to get rid of the rocks.

The sheer descents are fine. Just be sure you can run them only when you wish. They will push pH up when running. And will be noisy.
Ya for sure I'll have it all controlled on my phone and even thinking about going the extra miles and hooking up each sheer decent including the 8' ft. sheer rain all on their on control so I can turn on just 1 or 2, or all. When you say noisy, do you mean the waterfalls themselves or the pumps working? I love lots of water fall noise so I'm good if that. Also, I am aware of the PH being pushed up, however is there a way to counter this? Is it simply adding more muratic acid to drop the PH slightly before turning them on?

Lastly, what do you think of EcoFinish for pools (#1 High Performance Swimming Pool Finishes | EcoFINISH | ecopoolfinish.com) the company returned my call today and I asked a tone of questions and it seems to be like a great solution to regular plaster or pebble/plaster finishes. It runs around $10-12/sq. ft. My new calculations for my total pool sq. ft. is approx. 1050 so that is roughly $12,600 at the highest. Going to talk to my pool guy this week to see if he can work with the only installer around me which is located in Sacramento. My pool builder gives me a "free" upgrade to Krystalkrete which they say is a $4k upgrade. So maybe I can save $4k by doing that. ???
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,040
Laughlin, NV
When you say noisy, do you mean the waterfalls themselves or the pumps working?
If your pumps are SS or full rpm VS, they will be noisy. Also, the water falls will be noisy. If your yard is small or contained by solid fences,etc, the noise will be contained. Waterfalls are great in the open area, but contain them in a small space and they are noisy. We have two simple deck jets. Have run them a couple times for a few minutes. In our yard, with block walls, and the covered patio at the pool, the noise is too much. Hard to talk and any males over 50 have a sudden urge to go use the restroom.

pH will just have to be managed. Your water characteristics may not be too bad if your source is the Sierras. Lower TA fill water will help.

We have an ex Ecofinish installer as a TFP Expert. It was all the rage a couple years ago. But do not hear much about it anymore. Still requires you to manage the water chemistry properly.
 

mihzyd777

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2009
81
Manteca, CA
Interesting. Well where the waterfall will be there is a good 40 ft. until the fence and where I live we are double fenced, meaning the neighbor behind us has a 6 ft. vinyl fence and our build built a 6.5' ft. wood fence in front of it. (Ya weird I know). Hopefully it helps contain the sound from bothering the neighbors to much.
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,638
Prosper, TX (DFW)
While its good to be neighborly, I think they are saying that the noise from the water will be annoying to you. I know we have scuppers that look good and the kids love them, but when adults are in the pool we typically turn them off so that we are not having to yell to have a conversation.
 
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mihzyd777

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2009
81
Manteca, CA
I hear ya I figured it was more for the waterfall noise. I've always enjoyed the noise. I think because our yard is a decent size where we will be sitting vs. where the waterfalls is a good distance at least 60' ft. and we also have a covered patio that will help block some noise. In the end the best part is we can control them and either have them pumping less water out or turn them off completely :) I think it's better than the grotto idea we originally had even though my oldest daughter wanted the grotto, she is fine with waterfalls.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,888
Central California
Hard to talk and any males over 50 have a sudden urge to go use the restroom.
Uh... I've heard of this phenomenon! Doesn't happen to me, you understand... 🤭

I have a small fountain between where we sit and the pool. It provides just the right amount of ambient water sounds, and is controlled from phone, switches, HA, etc. Uses an aquarium pump, so no noise there. No concerns about pH or FC, as it is a separate body of water. No cleaning issues. No calcium buid-up issues. I sometimes throw some chlorine in it. It has a "built-in" look to it due to some surrounding landscaping. Oh, and it was free!

The more you "stretch" your pool to be (sports field, grotto, water feature, water park, sundeck, landscape feature, art piece, etc), the more complications you have to deal with: chemistry, maintenance, safety, usability, plumbing requirements, etc. and of course cost! I'm only stating the obvious and not trying to talk you into or out of trying to make your pool all it can be. Just consider separating some of those goals away from the pool and use a dedicated solution instead. At some point, it might end up that you have a pool that does a ton of things sort'a well, a few things badly, but no one thing really well. Food for thought...

We're looking forward to the rendering of your new plan. It sounds amazing.
 
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PCR

Bronze Supporter
Jul 19, 2015
70
Frederick County, MD
If I can ask, how many children do you have and how old were they when you built the pool? Did they use the slide as much as you thought and would you put it in again? Thanks!
My two were 10 and 16 when we built the pool. They both used/use the slide - the older one and her friends probably as much as the younger one and her friends (but my older daughter has a pretty goofy personality :) But they do not use it non-stop when they are outside swimming. As a recent example of how people use our pool at a gathering .... We had our "neighbor quarantine bubble" here for a Labor Day bbq. There were 10 kids from ages 8-12 (neither of our kids were actually home that day!) swimming from 2:30 when it started to 10:00pm when their parents were dragging them out of the pool. They were on the slide (a line all the time) and diving board and in the deep end the entire time except when the adults were playing volleyball in the pool and the kids rotated in and out of the games as they wanted to. I would say we played volleyball in the pool for about three hours. And after that, some of the adults were on the slide and diving board and in the deep end with the kids. And some adults hung out in the shallow end or on the sunshelf with drinks. (The kids never hung out in the shallow end even when it was free of volleyball players.) So, yes, personally I would still put in a slide, diving board, waterfall, volleyball net, sunshelf .... We do keep our pool pretty warm via a heat pump - around 86-87 degrees, so I think that contributes to people staying in the pool so long. Having said all that - your pool will be great no matter what decisions you make! I grew up with a really tiny round above ground and then a small inground with no features of any kind and still have so many fun memories of time in the pool! e.g. If there is mostly shallower water - then kids/adults have a great time playing different games than if there is a deep end. But just as much fun! So I wouldn't stress about the slide decision at all. Your design has alot of really nice features, and it will be a beautiful pool! Last couple of random things - suggest 4 feet deep in shallow end, not 3. And agree with someone above that in any kind of enclosed space, water features are noisy. But if you don't have anything enclosing the noise (we don't) the sound is really nice and not bothersome (well, to us anyway!).
 

mihzyd777

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2009
81
Manteca, CA
Uh... I've heard of this phenomenon! Doesn't happen to me, you understand... 🤭

I have a small fountain between where we sit and the pool. It provides just the right amount of ambient water sounds, and is controlled from phone, switches, HA, etc. Uses an aquarium pump, so no noise there. No concerns about pH or FC, as it is a separate body of water. No cleaning issues. No calcium buid-up issues. I sometimes throw some chlorine in it. It has a "built-in" look to it due to some surrounding landscaping. Oh, and it was free!

The more you "stretch" your pool to be (sports field, grotto, water feature, water park, sundeck, landscape feature, art piece, etc), the more complications you have to deal with: chemistry, maintenance, safety, usability, plumbing requirements, etc. and of course cost! I'm only stating the obvious and not trying to talk you into or out of trying to make your pool all it can be. Just consider separating some of those goals away from the pool and use a dedicated solution instead. At some point, it might end up that you have a pool that does a ton of things sort'a well, a few things badly, but no one thing really well. Food for thought...

We're looking forward to the rendering of your new plan. It sounds amazing.
Good l
My two were 10 and 16 when we built the pool. They both used/use the slide - the older one and her friends probably as much as the younger one and her friends (but my older daughter has a pretty goofy personality :) But they do not use it non-stop when they are outside swimming. As a recent example of how people use our pool at a gathering .... We had our "neighbor quarantine bubble" here for a Labor Day bbq. There were 10 kids from ages 8-12 (neither of our kids were actually home that day!) swimming from 2:30 when it started to 10:00pm when their parents were dragging them out of the pool. They were on the slide (a line all the time) and diving board and in the deep end the entire time except when the adults were playing volleyball in the pool and the kids rotated in and out of the games as they wanted to. I would say we played volleyball in the pool for about three hours. And after that, some of the adults were on the slide and diving board and in the deep end with the kids. And some adults hung out in the shallow end or on the sunshelf with drinks. (The kids never hung out in the shallow end even when it was free of volleyball players.) So, yes, personally I would still put in a slide, diving board, waterfall, volleyball net, sunshelf .... We do keep our pool pretty warm via a heat pump - around 86-87 degrees, so I think that contributes to people staying in the pool so long. Having said all that - your pool will be great no matter what decisions you make! I grew up with a really tiny round above ground and then a small inground with no features of any kind and still have so many fun memories of time in the pool! e.g. If there is mostly shallower water - then kids/adults have a great time playing different games than if there is a deep end. But just as much fun! So I wouldn't stress about the slide decision at all. Your design has alot of really nice features, and it will be a beautiful pool! Last couple of random things - suggest 4 feet deep in shallow end, not 3. And agree with someone above that in any kind of enclosed space, water features are noisy. But if you don't have anything enclosing the noise (we don't) the sound is really nice and not bothersome (well, to us anyway!).
Thanks for that input really appreciate all the insight for the kids. As for the waterfall, I think our yard is open and large enough. On the very first post here I posted my plot map also shows where pool will go. Not sure if that is still considered a closed spaced, or is a closed spaced more of a backyard that is rectangular and the fence is 30 ft. from the house ?