New Pool in Houston, TX

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,030
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Second skimmer is up to you. I don't know all the details of your pool design. You have a lot going on in your design.

It looks to me like a second skimmer can go between the light and the start of the weeping wall in the deep end.
 
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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
1,416
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
@travelfeedsthesoul The perspective you have from the forum is that they have lived with a pool for many years and know what has worked and what they wish they had. Also, some have built several pools or have moved between homes that have pools so while many may not be a "PB" (although some members are actual PB) they understand the function of the pool. Also, your PB is done with your pool once he is finished whereas you will live with it everyday.

For example, a skimmer works because you create a flow towards it via circulation and it catches debris. Well, just tonight, the wind was blowing and all the debris was in a corner of my pool not because of water circulation but because of wind direction. So while a single skimmer may be suitable majority of time, I have found that 2 skimmers help and as stated above, if I ever have an issue with one, I know I have the other as backup. It is a recommendation not a requirement.

Furthermore, the ideas and guidance given on the forum is just that. No one will hold it against you that you opted to do something different. It is your pool, your money, your investment and your time to enjoy it.
 
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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
1,416
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
So I just removed the Bioshield UV system. Is this okay? I don't have a SWG but I want to still be able to follow the TFP method of pool maintenance and care. I hope removing the UV system didn't just result in the pool requiring a lot more Chlorine.
The requirement of chlorine is based on a lot of factors such as UV exposure, use of pool, debris accumulation, etc. Have you become familiar with the FC/CYA Chart? Once you reach the FC target for your CYA level, the goal is to stay there. This is what is different about TFP. Many pool stores will say 3-5ppm of FC regardless of CYA level. But that may not be a properly sanitized pool. So if you lose 4ppm of chlorine daily due to use, sunlight. etc. then you need to replace that 4pppm. It does not matter if your target is 10ppm or 5ppm (based on CYA chart). You still have to replace what you lose each day. The most common method is either via a chlorine generator (SWCG) or use of Liquid Chlorine and a third option would be to use Chlorine pucks. Even a UV system requires some level of FC - lets say it is 3ppm. So the FC value needs to stay at that level to keep the pool sanitized. The UV system does not generate FC therefore you will need to add chlorine routinely.
Hope this helps.
 

travelfeedsthesoul

Gold Supporter
Jan 21, 2021
46
Sugar Land, TX
Pool Size
17500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
@travelfeedsthesoul The perspective you have from the forum is that they have lived with a pool for many years and know what has worked and what they wish they had. Also, some have built several pools or have moved between homes that have pools so while many may not be a "PB" (although some members are actual PB) they understand the function of the pool. Also, your PB is done with your pool once he is finished whereas you will live with it everyday.

For example, a skimmer works because you create a flow towards it via circulation and it catches debris. Well, just tonight, the wind was blowing and all the debris was in a corner of my pool not because of water circulation but because of wind direction. So while a single skimmer may be suitable majority of time, I have found that 2 skimmers help and as stated above, if I ever have an issue with one, I know I have the other as backup. It is a recommendation not a requirement.

Furthermore, the ideas and guidance given on the forum is just that. No one will hold it against you that you opted to do something different. It is your pool, your money, your investment and your time to enjoy it.

Very well said sir. Thank you.
 

travelfeedsthesoul

Gold Supporter
Jan 21, 2021
46
Sugar Land, TX
Pool Size
17500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
The requirement of chlorine is based on a lot of factors such as UV exposure, use of pool, debris accumulation, etc. Have you become familiar with the FC/CYA Chart? Once you reach the FC target for your CYA level, the goal is to stay there. This is what is different about TFP. Many pool stores will say 3-5ppm of FC regardless of CYA level. But that may not be a properly sanitized pool. So if you lose 4ppm of chlorine daily due to use, sunlight. etc. then you need to replace that 4pppm. It does not matter if your target is 10ppm or 5ppm (based on CYA chart). You still have to replace what you lose each day. The most common method is either via a chlorine generator (SWCG) or use of Liquid Chlorine and a third option would be to use Chlorine pucks. Even a UV system requires some level of FC - lets say it is 3ppm. So the FC value needs to stay at that level to keep the pool sanitized. The UV system does not generate FC therefore you will need to add chlorine routinely.
Hope this helps.

The PBs that all gave me quotes said the UV/Ozone systems allow to have less Chlorine in the pool. Is that accurate? From what I've read across many threads on here is UV doesn't really help with lowering the pools chlorine requirements, but maybe I'm not understanding it right. Even if it does allow for less Chlorine, is it less enough to where there large benefits to skin and hair? Again, my 3 year old girl has slightly sensitive skin and thin hair.

I know a SWG would be ideal but I'm still worried about it with the natural stones around my pool and the water weeping thru them. Maybe I will convert over when my pool warranty is gone...which I'll have to check when that is.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,489
NY
The PBs that all gave me quotes said the UV/Ozone systems allow to have less Chlorine in the pool. Is that accurate
that is a BOLD FACED manufacturers lie. But the PBS aren’t chemistry experts and are just advising what the brochure / trade expo said. They are also following decades old sanitation standards that haven’t kept up with the times. Imagine going to the DR like it was 1985 and being treated as such. Yeah No.

the theory is that the ozone/UV handles most of the FC loss from keeping algae at bay. So you’ll need less FC for everything else. The reality is that only .00000001 % of your water passes through the units at any given moment and you have the entire pool sitting there festering with bacteria, viruses, pathogens, and yes, even algae. So you need to fully treat the pool no matter what. And at that point, why spend good money on something that does not lower your testing/adding ?

Following the holy grail FC/CYA Chart, the CYA will buffer your chlorine to the point that the water will be the most comfortable water you have ever been in, even for most people with sensitive skin. It’s never the chlorine, but the byproducts of the chlorine doing it’s thing (CCs) that irritates swimmers.

For feel alone, you can add salt with our without a SWG. The levels are so low (10% of seawater) that they will not harm a thing. Any water will damage poor quality materials but the salt takes the brunt of the blame. We had a member recently that converted to salt and was already 33% over the normal salt levels with a liquid chlorine dosed pool. His was the rarity but still. The average pool that is liquid chlorine based still has half the normal (low) levels of a salt pool.
 

travelfeedsthesoul

Gold Supporter
Jan 21, 2021
46
Sugar Land, TX
Pool Size
17500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
that is a BOLD FACED manufacturers lie. But the PBS aren’t chemistry experts and are just advising what the brochure / trade expo said. They are also following decades old sanitation standards that haven’t kept up with the times. Imagine going to the DR like it was 1985 and being treated as such. Yeah No.

the theory is that the ozone/UV handles most of the FC loss from keeping algae at bay. So you’ll need less FC for everything else. The reality is that only .00000001 % of your water passes through the units at any given moment and you have the entire pool sitting there festering with bacteria, viruses, pathogens, and yes, even algae. So you need to fully treat the pool no matter what. And at that point, why spend good money on something that does not lower your testing/adding ?

Following the holy grail FC/CYA Chart, the CYA will buffer your chlorine to the point that the water will be the most comfortable water you have ever been in, even for most people with sensitive skin. It’s never the chlorine, but the byproducts of the chlorine doing it’s thing (CCs) that irritates swimmers.

For feel alone, you can add salt with our without a SWG. The levels are so low (10% of seawater) that they will not harm a thing. Any water will damage poor quality materials but the salt takes the brunt of the blame. We had a member recently that converted to salt and was already 33% over the normal salt levels with a liquid chlorine dosed pool. His was the rarity but still. The average pool that is liquid chlorine based still has half the normal (low) levels of a salt pool.
Another great response...thanks! So how do we ensure the byproducts of chlorine (CCs?, what is that) are eliminated, or at least reduced to where it's not irritating? Or is this just always the case, regardless since even a SWG would have chlorine in it, there's always some irritants?
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,489
NY
CCs are the natural byproduct of the chlorine doing it’s thing and sanitizing. It will happen regardless of liquid chlorine or gas (SWG). If everything is fine there are no CCs in either pool. If there is normal sanitizing going on, during/after a swim for example, there will be some (but very low) CCs that won’t bother anyone. The UV from the sun quickly burns them off and nobody is the wiser.

With an algae bloom or the high bather load of a public pool, there will be tons of sanitizing going on and lots of CCs. It’s why most everybody thinks of the chlorine smell and the burning eyes after being in a public pool. Or a neighbor’s who didn’t have his pool at the recommended levels.

You are here and getting top notch guidance and should see no issues from irritation of the water. On the off chance your daughters skin is still bothered you can try adding some salt to make it even smoother on the skin. But 99%+ of people will be fine in simply a properly sanitized pool. And the longer they feel the difference in their own pool, the less likely they will swim anywhere else.
 

travelfeedsthesoul

Gold Supporter
Jan 21, 2021
46
Sugar Land, TX
Pool Size
17500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
All you guys are awesome. Thanks! I'll keep posting as the pool progresses. For now, they have my dig scheduled for Tuesday, April 20th...although the superintendent did say that can change due to weather or other issues.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,489
NY
Also, many times a Dr treating a patient with skin issues will recommend a bath with chlorine added to it. It’s helpful when it is either brand new or properly maintained which sadly the average pool that everybody thinks of isn’t.

The other recommendation is for Epsom salts added to a bath which is more or less the equivalent of a salt pool.

I had a handful of friends with skin issues over at my pool many times and they always wanted to know why it didn’t bother them like all the other pools they’d swam in. ‘Long story..... glad you enjoyed it’.
 

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Tjs011

Bronze Supporter
Aug 21, 2019
54
Houston, TX
I’m in the Woodlands and had ALL of the same questions as you about 18 months ago when I was starting the build process. The responses here are great for educating yourself and hearing about people’s experiences, without any bias.

Having never owned a pool before, I was reluctant about going with SWG, not to mention all the resistance coming from every PB I talked to. If the PB doesn’t recommend it, why should I consider it? Everything from rusting pool furniture, to corrosion of coping, equipment failure, were all mentioned by various PBs. It made me want to rule it out early... until I found TFP and hear from other people with salt pools who did their own maintenance. I truly believe the PBs don’t understand how SWG systems work and what benefits they offer. They don’t want any extra liabilities and assume that most homeowners will just pay a maintenance service. That was never my plan.. Now, after 14 months of pool ownership in the Houston area, I’m amazed at how easy the TFP process is and based on my experience so far, I would never own a pool without a SWG. If you opt not to go with SWG now, I would do everything you can to make it an easy retrofit later - even consider the control panel with power supply built in. (Not sure if your going with Pentair equipment).

As far as UV system, I have the bio shield system installed, as it was “thrown in” at no charge with a couple of extras during my contract negotiations.. I don’t do anything differently as far as maintenance and honestly have no idea if it adds any value. It’s there, maybe it helps, maybe it doesn’t. Either way following TFP method has been great for me..
 

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travelfeedsthesoul

Gold Supporter
Jan 21, 2021
46
Sugar Land, TX
Pool Size
17500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I’m in the Woodlands and had ALL of the same questions as you about 18 months ago when I was starting the build process. The responses here are great for educating yourself and hearing about people’s experiences, without any bias.

Having never owned a pool before, I was reluctant about going with SWG, not to mention all the resistance coming from every PB I talked to. If the PB doesn’t recommend it, why should I consider it? Everything from rusting pool furniture, to corrosion of coping, equipment failure, were all mentioned by various PBs. It made me want to rule it out early... until I found TFP and hear from other people with salt pools who did their own maintenance. I truly believe the PBs don’t understand how SWG systems work and what benefits they offer. They don’t want any extra liabilities and assume that most homeowners will just pay a maintenance service. That was never my plan.. Now, after 14 months of pool ownership in the Houston area, I’m amazed at how easy the TFP process is and based on my experience so far, I would never own a pool without a SWG. If you opt not to go with SWG now, I would do everything you can to make it an easy retrofit later - even consider the control panel with power supply built in. (Not sure if your going with Pentair equipment).

As far as UV system, I have the bio shield system installed, as it was “thrown in” at no charge with a couple of extras during my contract negotiations.. I don’t do anything differently as far as maintenance and honestly have no idea if it adds any value. It’s there, maybe it helps, maybe it doesn’t. Either way following TFP method has been great for me..
Thanks for the insight.

Your pool looks awesome, however my pool would have some natural stones with water weeping off them, like in the image attached. If I have a SWG, there maybe risk of these being damaged right? This is what the PB said...SWG and all the natural stone I have will not work. I also think it will work but the PB will then void my warranty, I assume.

If it's not set up to retrofit a SWG, will it be a problem? Is there no way to add one later if it's not planned a space for it?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,030
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Your PB is warrantying your natural stone? Against what? What would be the warranty remedy?

When your natural stone flakes or gets calcium scale are you going to put in a warranty claim?

If the stone you get is low quality you will have problems with it whether you have a SWG or not.

The Grand Canyon was carved by water on stone without any salt in it.

You see lots of stone by beaches and ocean water that has 10X the salinity of a salt water pool.

What your PB is saying has no scientific basis that a pool st SWG salinity is any more damaging to a natural stone then a non-salt pool. And the kicker is that if you use Liquid Chorine, that has salt in it, in about 2 to 3 years the salinity will be the same as a SWG pool. Does your PB tell you to worry about that? Nah!
 
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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,489
NY
If it's not set up to retrofit a SWG, will it be a problem? Is there no way to add one later if it's not planned a space for it?
It can usually be done fairly easy, but if it’s pre-planned it will be gravy to retrofit. It takes almost no effort/materials on the original build and they can install a dummy cell for $40 (?) if you know which brand you will go with. When the time comes, screw the dummy out and screw the SWG in. (Plus wiring which is equally easy/cheap to pre plan now).
 
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travelfeedsthesoul

Gold Supporter
Jan 21, 2021
46
Sugar Land, TX
Pool Size
17500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I seem to be a different breed about the IFCS than others. I have only had mine for a year, but I love it. Yes it uses more energy, because you have to run the pump longer (or at a higher speed, in my case), but I am not out there pulling up a robot and cleaning filters out of it several times a week. I opted for UV and Ozone on my pool, and promptly removed those devices within several months of operation. Admittedly, I did not do enough research on those prior to buying. My PB didn't push them, just offered them as an option, and I bit on it.

A&A designed my system with 2 skimmers. Mine is a 14k gallon pool. Make sure that when the plumber plumbs them back to the pad, they do both skimmers. My PB only did one, as per the A&A plans, and I wish I had known to have them do both. This way if one of them ever has an issue, I could use the other one.

If you are going to go with the IFCS, make sure that your PB puts in a bypass, so that you can turn off the IFCS zone valves if you want to. Maybe you are having a problem with it, maybe you want to not use it while people are in the pool, whatever. If they don't, the only return to the pool is through the floor popups and they will continually be going. People will stub their toes, etc.

For sure get a SWCG. If you want minimal maintenance, that is the way to go. It produces the chlorine for your pool instead of you having to pour in liquid chlorine every other day. That will get old in the summer time. I am using liquid chlorine during the winter, since the SWCG does not produce at low temps, but it is once a week. And it is not a lot. During the summer, chlorine consumption is up there, and you will be adding it a lot.

--Jeff
I went back and re-read this reply by Jeff. When I asked my PB how many returns I would get, he said I wouldn't have any returns when doing the in-floor cleaning system.

I'm not sure how often the in-floor pop-ups turn on, but am I right in assuming if I have automation, I should be able to control when these turn on? I'm not sure how standard returns work except for the fact that they bring the filtered water back into the pool. Does this mean my IFCS popups would be on often, or only when I'm running the pool pump? I assume I run the pump maybe 12 or so hours, so most likely run it overnight?

As you guys can tell, I'm a novice and of course haven't been pool schooled.

Thanks in advance for taking the time.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,489
NY
The IFCS need a lot more flow (RPMs) to activate than you would typically run a VS pump to skim. (If you’re getting a VS). So if they were your only return option you would be negating the electricity savings of the VS pump.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,030
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
The problem with an IFCS is it locks in for the life of the pool one way of running the pump, filter, and pool cleaning. Technology changes, methods evolve, but things are inflexible with the IFCS.

Without returns the IFCS is the only way your pump returns water to your pool and the IFCS is running whenever the pump is running.

VS pumps and SWGs have opened up different ways of running a pool for long periods of time at low RPM/flow very energy efficiently. IFCS systems are not adaptable to these methods of pool operation.
 

stevo777

Member
Mar 25, 2021
13
St George, UT
Pool Size
450
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I've been following this thread with interest, we are just starting the planning process, and have not discussed with any PBs yet. You've already given me some additional ideas with respect to landscape integration.

Initially, we were considering an IFCS, as the neighbor's new pool has one and seems to be an interesting concept. I've been swayed more toward a robot by comments in the forum. I see posts in support of IFCS, but they seem often to be from members who recently installed a pool. Not sure how much data is there for 5-10 year old systems.

When I asked my PB how many returns I would get, he said I wouldn't have any returns when doing the in-floor cleaning system.

Very confusing. Is he saying there are no returns period, other than through the IFCS (implying that whenever the filter/heater is running the IFCS is deployed) or is he saying that while the IFCS is running, no water returns via the standard returns? (which makes sense to me, but he's not providing a bypass as another member previously suggested.

The former would be a show stopper for me. I don't want those nozzles deployed more than necessary
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,489
NY
The size of the pool generally dictates the cost, but the smallest system usually goes for $3500 and doesn’t perform half as good as the $700 robot. And the IFCS sucks a lot more electricity to run on top of that, year after year after year. It’s a dead issue for me IMHO before it even starts.
 

travelfeedsthesoul

Gold Supporter
Jan 21, 2021
46
Sugar Land, TX
Pool Size
17500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I've been following this thread with interest, we are just starting the planning process, and have not discussed with any PBs yet. You've already given me some additional ideas with respect to landscape integration.

Initially, we were considering an IFCS, as the neighbor's new pool has one and seems to be an interesting concept. I've been swayed more toward a robot by comments in the forum. I see posts in support of IFCS, but they seem often to be from members who recently installed a pool. Not sure how much data is there for 5-10 year old systems.



Very confusing. Is he saying there are no returns period, other than through the IFCS (implying that whenever the filter/heater is running the IFCS is deployed) or is he saying that while the IFCS is running, no water returns via the standard returns? (which makes sense to me, but he's not providing a bypass as another member previously suggested.

The former would be a show stopper for me. I don't want those nozzles deployed more than necessary
PB said no standard returns would be installed, due to me having an IFCS. However, I'm assuming the nozzles deploy only then they're set to clean, so while the pump is running, I think. Someone correct me please.

In normal conditions, I'd be running the pump maybe 12 hours, overnight? I assume the IFCS would be working as scheduled, and then may whenever I want to have it cleaned before getting in the pool. This is my assumptions but maybe someone can confirm this for me.

I think at this point, to remove the IFCS, I'd have to pay a $700 fee for change of plans, as they've got them done by A&A and they'd have to re-do the plans with the IFCS and substitute it out with standard returns. I haven't checked with my PB what the cost would be, but I believe changes after the entire pool has gone thru their "Audit" department, it costs money if it's something like this. Cosmetic changes like tile selections or decking, are free of charge.
 

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