New pool design finalized. Open to suggestions.

Oct 28, 2019
14
Baton Rouge, LA
Hello,
My wife and I are looking to start construction of our first pool around January/February. It will be a 13' x 26' gunite pool with attached 6' x 6' spa and 12"x24" bullnose ivory travertine coping. It will be a broom finish concrete deck. There will also be 6" glass tile on the waterline and quartzscape plaster. We have worked with the contractor on the design and laid it out in the yard a few times. It will be 4' deep sloping to 5.5' deep with a bench across the wall in the deep end. I have been reading a lot here and feel like I have a pretty good setup going. I'm open to suggestions.

Components will be:
2 LED lights in pool and 1 in the spa (4bubblers in spa and 1 drain)
SWG
2 skimmers, 5 eyeball returns, and 1 main drain
Pentair Intelliflo variable speed pump
Mastertemp 400k BTU heater
320 sf 4 cartridge filter
I think it will be 2.5" piping throughout

I plan to add a robotic cleaner and some sort of cover once the pool and startup is done. I will also buy my test kit before the pool is filled. Any other things I should be planning on getting? Any issues with the components listed above?
 

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Rocket J Squirrel

Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
554
Alamo, CA
Well, since none of the well-known experts have chimed in yet, I, a non-expert, will.

No one on TFP recommends chlorine tablet feeders (except perhaps for occasional vacation use). Long story short, the cyanuric acid "conditioner" in the conditioned tablets builds up to unsustainable levels. If you hate the idea of manual dosing from a jug, look into a Stenner pump or a salt water chlorine generator.

Given that your pool is rectangular, you might consider putting the spa inside the rectangle instead of jutting out the side. This would enable you to install a motorized auto-cover at build time. The auto-cover is easily my favorite feature of my pool. My spa is in a corner at the shallow end of the pool.
 

Rocket J Squirrel

Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
554
Alamo, CA
Also, you didn't mention what type of controller you'll be using. Electronic automation? Mechanical timer? You'll need some type of controller unless you want to manually mess with the pump, valves, and heater when you switch between pool and spa modes.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,741
Northern NJ
Are you planning on automation now or in the future to switch from POOL mode to SPA mode?

You want all Jandy NeverLube valves. No ball valves.

What model LED lights?

Consider a SWG.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,620
Evans, Georgia
Definitely go for the Salt Water Chlorine Generator for your sanitation needs! Simplifies your life enormously....and also makes the water feel more silky.
For a pool that size an autocover shouldn't cost you the moon and back. Great help in keeping the pool/spa warm and keeping debris out. Also provides a safety factor that can't be surpassed.

Maddie :flower:
 
Oct 28, 2019
14
Baton Rouge, LA
Also, you didn't mention what type of controller you'll be using. Electronic automation? Mechanical timer? You'll need some type of controller unless you want to manually mess with the pump, valves, and heater when you switch between pool and spa modes.
I'm not entirely sure. The estimate states "Pentair control panel, pumps, lights, spa"
Well, since none of the well-known experts have chimed in yet, I, a non-expert, will.

No one on TFP recommends chlorine tablet feeders (except perhaps for occasional vacation use). Long story short, the cyanuric acid "conditioner" in the conditioned tablets builds up to unsustainable levels. If you hate the idea of manual dosing from a jug, look into a Stenner pump or a salt water chlorine generator.

Given that your pool is rectangular, you might consider putting the spa inside the rectangle instead of jutting out the side. This would enable you to install a motorized auto-cover at build time. The auto-cover is easily my favorite feature of my pool. My spa is in a corner at the shallow end of the pool.
I'm not sure if that means it will be a chlorine feeder. I have read about the issues here and will just not use it if it is included in the price. We do travel often so it could be handy for during a trip.

We had the spa in the pool but had to move it to work with the layout we wanted. Thanks for the feedback.
 

Rocket J Squirrel

Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
554
Alamo, CA
The estimate states "Pentair control panel, pumps, lights, spa"
That's too vague. You need to pin them down on the exact models of controller, pumps (plural?), etc. How can they give you a quote without specifics?

They probably intend to sell you an EasyTouch. This is a 1980s style piece of electronics. It works, but I would not buy one of these today. The newer panel is the IntelliCenter, just released last year. You can find reviews of that newer panel on the TFP site if you search. Also visit the Pentair automation page to see what the differences are.

 
Oct 28, 2019
14
Baton Rouge, LA
Definitely go for the Salt Water Chlorine Generator for your sanitation needs! Simplifies your life enormously....and also makes the water feel more silky.
For a pool that size an autocover shouldn't cost you the moon and back. Great help in keeping the pool/spa warm and keeping debris out. Also provides a safety factor that can't be surpassed.

Maddie :flower:
We will have three deck jets and was suggested to not do the SWG because the water is being thrown in the air and we are also trying to keep the price down on the pool. The SWG seemed a good bit more expensive upfront and probably almost even in the long run when changing out the salt cell compared to chemicals. I could be wrong though.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,741
Northern NJ
You need to pin down manufacturer and model numbers for all equipment provided for a price.

I will let others tell you why you will be penny wise and pound foolish in not getting a SWG.
 
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Oct 28, 2019
14
Baton Rouge, LA
You need to pin down manufacturer and model numbers for all equipment provided for a price.

I will let others tell you why you will be penny wise and pound foolish in not getting a SWG.
I had thought the estimate was a bit generic but all of the estimates I had received were that way. I have reached out to the builder for more information on exactly what components will be used. I will update the thread once I find out. Thanks for all of the suggestions!
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
41,481
Tallahassee, FL
If you travel a bit you DO want the SWG as it will manage your pool for you. The puck feeder will manage it WHILE it adds extra stuff to the pool.

Is the spa elevated?

Kim:kim:
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
5,421
Central MD
Specify the depth of the pool every 2' along it's length so there are no disagreements later on slope. Regardless of what is said, there is no standard.
 
Oct 28, 2019
14
Baton Rouge, LA
I think we are going to go for the SWG over chlorine last minute. My only concern is the saltwater reacting with the travertine coping but I have seen conflicting results on if that actually happens or not. Any advice?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,741
Northern NJ
My only concern is the saltwater reacting with the travertine coping but I have seen conflicting results on if that actually happens or not. Any advice?
High quality travertine is not effected by the elements or salt water.

Low quality travertine will flake in time and the SWG is a good excuse by builders.

From Unfinished Travertine Decking Erosion around entry and exit points

I truly believe this is a materials quality problem and not so much a chemistry problem. Not all travertine is the same, it's quality depend A LOT of where it was mined from and how it was formed. Travertine is nothing more than limestone that has formed from a flowing water source. True travertine comes from hot spring sources where superheated water that is saturated with calcium carbonate rises up to the surface. Once there, the excess dissolved CO2 rapidly outgassed and the pH rises. As the pH rises the calcium carbonate precipitates out of solution. There are two forms of calcium carbonate - calcite and aragonite (different crystalline structures). If the water that the travertine deposit forms in is hot (the hotter the better), then the aragonite is the preferred precipitate and the travertine will be harder, more dense and less porous. If the water is cooler, then the calcite form is favored where the travertine will be less dense, softer and more porous. In the extreme case of fluvial waters (free flowing cool waters like rivers and lakes), the deposit that is formed is very porous and weak; as such, it is not technically travertine but it is called tufa.

So, my gut feeling is that the homeowner simply has a poor quality batch of travertine that is likely more porous and soft. As such, the constant exposure to water, wet/dry cycling and chloride exposure (from the chlorine used in the pool) has simply caused the travertine to spall and disintegrate. Chloride and sulfate attack are well known problems in cementitious materials especially in arid climates where the rapid evaporation allows the pool water to deposit lots of chloride into the surface of the stone. Those tiles should have been sealed to prevent the damage you are seeing. My guess is they were not to prevent them from being slippery.
 
Oct 28, 2019
14
Baton Rouge, LA
I just built a patio cover and the pool deck will extend from the patio. I have attached a photo of the yard where the pool will be and the patio.

We were very close to signing our agreement with the PB but I found some issues with the details in the estimate after numerous attempts to get it clarified. The biggest being they specified we would be getting 6" glass waterline tile since the beginning and on every estimate revision since but are stating that glass tile is not included so we have a big issue there!
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,741
Northern NJ
We were very close to signing our agreement with the PB but I found some issues with the details in the estimate after numerous attempts to get it clarified. The biggest being they specified we would be getting 6" glass waterline tile since the beginning and on every estimate revision since but are stating that glass tile is not included so we have a big issue there!
My experience in construction is contractors know how much profit they need to get out of a job. If you squeeze them too much they figure out where they can recover it. Either in quality of materials or quality of work. I seek to understand where the builders profit is and let them keep it in a few areas. They need to put food on their table.

You need to look at the overall cost of the project and decide if it is a decent value.