New pool, Jersey shore, probably too late to change anything, but thought I'd ask.

Floragirl

Active member
Aug 17, 2016
25
Cincinnati/OH
I've been using this forum for 2 years to care for an existing pool. I really only know about my own equipment and chemistry. My husband is building a pool in his investment property. It will not be for our own enjoyment. We have tenants check in weekly from June through September. The pool will be serviced by the builder's service company twice/week. I haven't been involved in this project until now. My husband has gone along with what the pool builder suggests based upon what the norm is down here. I went along yesterday to choose plaster, tile, coping, and the stone veneer around the spa. This was my first contact with the builder. The deck around the pool will be concrete. The coping was supposed to be pavers, but we upgraded to silver travertine. We chose blue stone for the seating/coping around the spa. The glass tiles for the water line were very pretty, but I thought I read something negative on here about them. We picked large square tiles, "npt, coral, Georgonian Teal". We couldn't resist upgrading from white plaster, which was in the contract, to WetEdge Prism Matrix. We were leaning toward Kaleidoscope, but the builder mentioned the way the green pops, and with the way tenants complain about anything and everything, he discouraged us. We don't need extra service calls because a tenant checks in and says, "I think there might be algae in the pool. It looks a little green." We went with Blue Lagoon, but I'm worried it may be a little dark. We felt very rushed, and didn't know the options before we got there. We didn't have time to research any of the decisions we made, and if we are going to change anything, I think we have to do it immediately. He seems somewhat flexible though. I asked about a SWCG. He didn't feel it was worth the money, and said we wouldn't be able to use it during the first 30 days. Is this because it can't be used with new plaster? It was an option though. So it's not too late to choose one. He was worried we thought salt water pools don't have chlorine. We're a little too knowledgeable to think that. The only filter allowed in our community is a cartridge filter. Water is not allowed to be pumped out of the pool. I have a sand filter at home, to which I add diatomaceous earth. So that's all I am familiar with. Then came the chlorine question. They use trichlor and cal hypo. I asked what happens when the CYA gets too high. (The pool at my residence had CYA of 200, and CH of 500 when I moved in. I tried patiently waiting for rain, backwashing, and splash-out to fix it, then did a partial drain and refill.) He said they "don't add CYA. It can completely clog up the filter". I mentioned that CYA is in trichlor, and he said only a very small amount. I already know what happens when you chlorinate with trichlor. And if they use cal hypo, what happens when the calcium gets too high? What equipment would you choose to chlorinate a pool that has to be professionally serviced, and has to be as low-maintenance as possible? Would you choose an SWCG, or is there some sort of a system that will dispense liquid chlorine? Would most pool services be willing to use liquid chlorine if you requested it? Or would I need to shop for a pool service that would be willing to do it that way? Is there anything we picked that we might want to immediately reconsider? Here is the initial proposal. The crew that "blew" the pool left an hour ago. At this point, I can probably change the surface materials and the equipment, but I would have to do it immediately.
  • Construction of a 400 square foot pool, with custom steps and benches, and or a sunshelf with umbrella sleeve
  • Excavation and removal of soil, clean stone base, 3/8” rebar shell, 12” on center as per code
  • The pool will have a minimum of 4 returns, and 2 main drains (tee’d together asper code), and 1 skimmer, all plumbing to be schedule 40 P.V.C.
  • The pool will get a multicolor light
  • Pentair filtration system including, Pentair Master Temp 400,000 BTU heater,
    420 Sq. ft. cartridge filter, and a Superflo variable speed pump
  • Coping (bull nose pavers) and 6” of frost proof tile installation, including tile trim on steps and benches
  • Electric connections , and gas line from meter to equipment
  • White pool plaster
  • 300 square feet of lightly broomed concrete
  • OPTION 1: Raised spa with cultured stone veneer, 8 jets,bench seat all the way around, easy touch control panel with remote


 

jblizzle

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May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
You are not supposed to add salt for 30 days until the plaster cures.

They probably think a SWG is not worth it as they will be the ones "maintaining" the chemistry ... of course as you can see by their responses regarding chlorine and CYA, why would you want to trust them with the chemistry?

If you want low maintenance, get an SWG to maintain the FC levels for you. Generally you may only need to add some acid every week to keep the pH inline. Possibly do not even bother with a service. Can you get there weekly to check on things? Perhaps teach the tenets to add X amount of bleach after heavy usage.

Your equipment choices look fine, BTW.
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
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Central MD
Northeastern pools have a little more tolerance for pucks. This is because it rains regularly (replaces splashout) and we pump a good portion of water each fall. Both of these help to keep CYA a little more in line. That said, it will still build up and could be an issue. A SWCG would be a good choice so long as the pool maintenance company is used to dealing with pools with them.

On finishes, I'd go with a lighter blue pebble type finish. I would avoid darker pebble finishes because of the tendency for mottling after installed and filled. This way you get longevity, improved appearance and less likelihood of mottling.
 

Floragirl

Active member
Aug 17, 2016
25
Cincinnati/OH
I only make it to this house once or twice/year. The tenants won't do anything. They are on vacation, and are very clear about that. If anything doesn't work, or breaks, they demand immediate repair and/or money back. I asked about a robot, but tenants usually break those, or complain about how heavy they are to remove from the pool.

The pool builder mentioned the pH problems associated with a SWCG. His service used to clean every pool once/week, but increased to twice/week to cut down on tenant complaints. If they are going to service the pool twice/week, I would rather they add acid than trichlor or cal-hypo. Can borates be added to this pool? I added borates to my Ohio pool last spring, and my pH hardly budges.

The pool builder mentioned the effect of salt water on the concrete and the deck furniture. This pool is across from where the waves crash against rocks. Our house, garden, cars, etc. are constantly sprayed with salt mist. Very few plants are happy to grow on our property, even with a shower every day from the irrigation system to rinse the salt away. What is more corrosive, the salt spray from the ocean, or the salt water in the pool? We're not going to choose deck furniture that is made of anything but wood, vinyl, or plastic. We learned long ago not to choose metal. We have to replace our grill every 1-2 years.

Thanks for your opinion on the equipment. I wish I had been involved in this project sooner, in order to thoroughly research everything, but there's no time now.
 

jblizzle

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May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
Honestly, this sounds like a situation where I would not want a pool :D I just do not trust pool service companies based on what I see here (and my FIL still uses). But, perhaps the companies you are dealing with know they are dealing with rentals and take more pride in their work. If tenets complain about the pool, does the company make it right? If you lose money back to tenets, does that come out of the what you pay the pool service.

If the service is the one doing all the work, then perhaps it makes sense to build the pool as they recommend so they know what they are dealing with.

The ocean will have a MUCH higher impact on the pool and furniture than the SWG water (which has 1/10 the amount of salt in it). Rediculous that they would try to use that as an argument.
 

grottoguy

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 24, 2014
458
NJ
I would add a Polaris 280. It is very easy for the tenants to remove if they are having a party and it can clean the pool automatically each day. The Pool service can clean and empty the Polaris bag each week.

I would also go with the SWG and have the pool services add the necessary acid each week.
 

kimkats

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Jul 10, 2012
47,041
Tallahassee, FL
White plaster all of the way for this house. The darker colors tend to show uneven colors. White plaster is so pretty and easy to care for! It gives a very inviting look to the water.

SWG-all of the way!!! There is a LOT less salt in a SWG pool than the ocean so you should be good there.
 

PoolGate

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Jun 7, 2017
4,955
Damascus, MD
+1 why in the world would you add a pool to this rental property and all of the headaches and expense that will come with it? Are you going to charge more rent now and will that extra rent ever provide an ROI?

With servicing only 2 times a week, for sure go saltwater. Also I would add automation with remote access so you can at least check on the pool from your home. Like see if the heater is set to 100 and just left there. Variable speed pump?
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
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Central MD
It will be interesting to hear, but there are tons of beach rental houses at every beach. I suspect that those with pool have lower vacancy rates. If not, or if the rate isn't higher, then yes, why? But I suspect lower vacancy or higher rent is true.
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,939
NE/Pa
I would add a Polaris 280. It is very easy for the tenants to remove if they are having a party and it can clean the pool automatically each day. The Pool service can clean and empty the Polaris bag each week.

I would also go with the SWG and have the pool services add the necessary acid each week.

there is no way you are going to get a tenant to do that. we rent beach houses every year with multiple families and when we have a pool we do zero. we r on vacation paying money to stay there. we have never done a thing except usually clean up after the last family who stayed cause the cleaning services never do a good job.

plus if the people staying there don't own a pool they will look at that thing with crossed eyes. i know before i built my pool i did't know a blasted thing let alone about a robot. ya i know you toss them in and go but when you don't know.

- - - Updated - - -

if i had a rental i was using to strictly make money on i would be going as low mainanance as possible. no flash and frills cause to people renting as long as there is a pool they r cool i would think. at least when we rent we r looking at the house location on the water and how it is setup inside for us. that pool would be built to take a beating cause people don't care in general. last a long time so i make money week after week of renting. that's just me.

then i would sell the place to buy a place on the water that i would not rent and would be only mine. cause i really don't think i could stay in a place i rented out.
 

Floragirl

Active member
Aug 17, 2016
25
Cincinnati/OH
+1 why in the world would you add a pool to this rental property and all of the headaches and expense that will come with it? Are you going to charge more rent now and will that extra rent ever provide an ROI?

With servicing only 2 times a week, for sure go saltwater. Also I would add automation with remote access so you can at least check on the pool from your home. Like see if the heater is set to 100 and just left there. Variable speed pump?
We have owned/built and rented out many homes in this community for almost 40 years. Pools were very rare, and never a popular item. Now, they are THE thing to have. To increase our rent (almost double it) and the number of weeks our home is occupied, our realtor recommended we start to allow pets and add a pool. Many of the homes as close to the ocean as ours have pools by now, and we have more empty weeks than in years past. We used to have tenants from May through September, sometimes into October, but in recent years only from late June through early September, with one or two weeks open in July. My oldest is a springboard diver, and she is thoroughly disgusted with the pool. She doesn't want to spend any more time in chlorine than she already does. She has no idea why anyone would want to go into a pool with the beach and ocean right across the street. The tenants see it as something their kids can do after they get home from the beach for the day. While the adults are inside cooking, drinking, and socializing, the kids are out of their hair at the pool in the late afternoon and evenings. Also, the adults enjoy going out to the spa at night.

The heater is tenant-proof. I can't remember the specifics because I was overwhelmed by all of the decisions we had to make, but he mentioned that they have many ways of preventing the tenants from controlling the heater and the spa jets. Something about codes and locks to prevent them from changing anything or leaving anything on too long.

This is what the contract said about the pump: "Superflo variable speed pump" Pentair, I assume, as that was the brand name of the other equipment.

- - - Updated - - -

It will be interesting to hear, but there are tons of beach rental houses at every beach. I suspect that those with pool have lower vacancy rates. If not, or if the rate isn't higher, then yes, why? But I suspect lower vacancy or higher rent is true.
Yes, you are correct. I replied to PoolGate. Nearly double rent, and increase in the length of the rental season. Trying to stay with the trends in this community and remain competitive with the other rental properties. "Give the tenants what they want."
 

Floragirl

Active member
Aug 17, 2016
25
Cincinnati/OH
there is no way you are going to get a tenant to do that. we rent beach houses every year with multiple families and when we have a pool we do zero. we r on vacation paying money to stay there. we have never done a thing except usually clean up after the last family who stayed cause the cleaning services never do a good job.

plus if the people staying there don't own a pool they will look at that thing with crossed eyes. i know before i built my pool i did't know a blasted thing let alone about a robot. ya i know you toss them in and go but when you don't know.

- - - Updated - - -

if i had a rental i was using to strictly make money on i would be going as low mainanance as possible. no flash and frills cause to people renting as long as there is a pool they r cool i would think. at least when we rent we r looking at the house location on the water and how it is setup inside for us. that pool would be built to take a beating cause people don't care in general. last a long time so i make money week after week of renting. that's just me.

then i would sell the place to buy a place on the water that i would not rent and would be only mine. cause i really don't think i could stay in a place i rented out.
You are correct about the Polaris. We have one in Ohio, and I'm happy with it. It is definitely not an option for this new pool. The tenants will either throw it in the trash because it is in their way and they don't know what it is or what to do with it, step on it and break off a wheel (my kids did this while getting their pool floats out of my shed $45), or they will call the realtor and demand they send someone immediately to get it out of the pool for a $50 service charge. Our realtor's motto is "KISS". I'm ok with the pool service vacuuming the old fashioned way twice/week, or I'm going to have to be.

Hint for you: our cleaning service has to go back and do whatever the tenant wants free of charge if they think the changeover cleaning was inadequate. As a tenant, you should demand that.

What do you mean by "as low maintenance as possible"? Do you mean plaster vs pebbled finish? SWG or no SWG? Let the pool service do whatever they want with the chemistry? What would you pick in order for the pool to "take a beating" by both the tenants and the pool service?

We don't vacation in our own house. We are too tempted to do repairs/improvements, or garden while we are here. We rent someone else's small condo instead, for a fraction of the rental income we're getting on our own house. Our kids force us to do this so we will actually vacation, instead of work. It's so heartbreaking to see the things tenants do to our house, but after so many years, nothing surprises us anymore. We just keep raising the rent and trying to choose indestructible things.
 

Floragirl

Active member
Aug 17, 2016
25
Cincinnati/OH
White plaster all of the way for this house. The darker colors tend to show uneven colors. White plaster is so pretty and easy to care for! It gives a very inviting look to the water.

SWG-all of the way!!! There is a LOT less salt in a SWG pool than the ocean so you should be good there.
The contract said white plaster. We chose WetEdge Prism Matrix Blue Lagoon. It's pebbled/full of glass beads. It's neither dark nor light. The pool builder doesn't like too dark nor too light. He said he has not built a single pool in our community that has white plaster, so we interpreted that to mean it wasn't advisable, or would be very unusual. Not sure why he put it into his proposal. Perhaps it's the minimum cost-wise. We could have picked one of the blue shades of plaster, though, and still can. We definitely felt strongly urged to stick within his recommendations. We went to see a pool right after the appointment with the same finish, and we liked it. My pool at home has mottled plaster. It was re-done 2 years before I moved in, so it's not my fault. I asked the pool service that did the plaster if it was calcium scaling, but he said it's always been that way. Which finish is more forgiving if the pool service doesn't seem to see eye to eye with me about my chemistry wishes? Will the pebbled finish hold up longer, or a smooth plaster finish? I don't think I can have another discussion with the pb about pool chemistry. I'm still shaking from the one I attempted to have a few hours ago. I should pick the finish that will hold up to his method of servicing the pool, whether its pebbled or smooth.

He is willing to add/install the SWG. He is convinced I want it because I don't understand that a salt water pool is still a chlorine pool. I told him I want it only because I would prefer not to have cal hypo and trichlor used for chlorination. He said they have to routinely shock with cal hypo even with an swg because an swg can't handle the bather load in houses that sleep 12-14. He said they can't keep up if a tenant vomits in the pool or if a baby poops in its diaper. Is this true? Is there one that can keep up, so they won't have to shock?

Last week he strongly recommended against the swg because of the need to frequently add acid to lower the pH. I asked if we could add something like the intelli pH system to make it easier to keep the pH down, or if we could chlorinate with liquid instead of the swg. He ridiculed me for thinking it would be safe for them to carry liquid chemicals on their trucks. He said I could be sued by a tenant if I kept a supply of chlorine and muriatic acid in the garage for the pool, and a tenant spilled some on themselves. So I asked him how they adjust the pH down for pools with swg's, and he said dry acid. I told him I read dry acid wasn't recommended for swg's. Now I'm not even sure I should get the swg. I'm beginning to think he's a "my way or the highway" kind of guy. He said my questions were insulting because he has 25 years of experience.

His objection to liquid chlorine was that it would be immediately burned up by the sun. I told him I add 1/2 gallon of bleach/day to my 31,000 gallon pool in Ohio, and it doesn't "all burn up" as long as I keep the cya/stabilizer at 50. He reminded me he already explained last week they don't use stabilizer because it clogs up the cartridge filters (I keep mine in a sock in my skimmer baskets when I need to add). I asked him what they do once the stabilizer from the trichlor and the calcium from the cal hypo gets too concentrated. He said that never happens, and trichlor only has a very small amount of stabilizer. It's now a mystery to me how my pool in Ohio had CYA of 200 and CH of 500 when I moved in, and why the only way I could change that was by eventually draining half of the water. Draining water here requires a $50 permit, and there's a $1,000 fine for not getting one.

Finally, he brought up again the damage the salt water will do to the concrete, blue stone, travertine, and deck furniture. He said the damage will be visible as soon as next summer. I explained the metal garage door the builder installed was covered in rust within 2 years, and the grill has to be replaced every 1-2 years. The ocean crashes into the rocks, sends salt mist into the air, and the salt is then blown across the street coating and corroding every surface of our house and yard. We live on a very unique corner, and have much bigger salt problems than the pool water could ever cause. I think at this point, I'm just going to have to be happy with the SWG and let him have his way on everything else. Maybe I will add borates and not tell him, just to be a little rebellious.
 

Floragirl

Active member
Aug 17, 2016
25
Cincinnati/OH
At this point, if anyone is still following this thread, given that the pool service will be using dry acid, and routinely shocking with cal hypo even with the SWG, does it even make sense to spend the money on the SWG? Won't these particular chemicals shorten the life of the SWG? Also, which finish will be the most durable given their insistence that CYA and CH will not eventually climb too high when trichlor and cal hypo are used routinely? The blue stone and travertine coping is being installed at the moment. The WetEdge installer is doing the plaster next week. I can still choose a different WetEdge option besides the Prism Matrix pebbled glass finish, if it will hold up better given the chemicals the pool service is insistent upon using. My understanding of pool chemistry from using this forum to care for my plaster finish at home is that balanced water prolongs the life of the plaster. Which type of plaster finish lasts the longest with unbalanced chemistry?
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
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May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
Plaster is the most delicate. The pebble products I think are more robust. Think of it this way, rocks or glass beads are not going to degrade. Although they are all still susceptible to calcium scaling if pH and CH get too high.
 

Floragirl

Active member
Aug 17, 2016
25
Cincinnati/OH
Also, which SWG is most recommended? Is there one that can adjust automatically to varying bather loads to prevent the need to shock? It seems that the equipment in the proposal is all Pentair. Should I specify exactly which SWG I want to purchase? Should it be Pentair? The proposal says: "Pentair filtration system including, Pentair Master Temp 400,000 BTU heater,420 Sq. ft. cartridge filter, and a Superflo variable speed pump" Is the Intellichlor I've heard mentioned on here possible to specify at this point? Or would it be unwise to spend the money on this if they will be using dry acid and possibly cal hypo if they deem shocking is necessary? I'm in the mood to start another fight with the pool builder today.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
If you do not have a Pentair automation system, then no need to stick with Pentair SWG (infact, I would suggest against it as they are not as adjustable and the replacement cells are more expensive).

There are systems with probes (ORP) to adjust the SWG output, but we do not recommended them as they are far from trouble free.

Sulfate build up due to use of dry acid can degrade the SWG cell, but I am not sure how quickly.
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,939
NE/Pa
You are correct about the Polaris. We have one in Ohio, and I'm happy with it. It is definitely not an option for this new pool. The tenants will either throw it in the trash because it is in their way and they don't know what it is or what to do with it, step on it and break off a wheel (my kids did this while getting their pool floats out of my shed $45), or they will call the realtor and demand they send someone immediately to get it out of the pool for a $50 service charge. Our realtor's motto is "KISS". I'm ok with the pool service vacuuming the old fashioned way twice/week, or I'm going to have to be.

Hint for you: our cleaning service has to go back and do whatever the tenant wants free of charge if they think the changeover cleaning was inadequate. As a tenant, you should demand that.

What do you mean by "as low maintenance as possible"? Do you mean plaster vs pebbled finish? SWG or no SWG? Let the pool service do whatever they want with the chemistry? What would you pick in order for the pool to "take a beating" by both the tenants and the pool service?

We don't vacation in our own house. We are too tempted to do repairs/improvements, or garden while we are here. We rent someone else's small condo instead, for a fraction of the rental income we're getting on our own house. Our kids force us to do this so we will actually vacation, instead of work. It's so heartbreaking to see the things tenants do to our house, but after so many years, nothing surprises us anymore. We just keep raising the rent and trying to choose indestructible things.

I wpuld do salt for ease ease of maintaining chlorine levels. I personally would do cheapest plaster finish cause it’s going to get beaten up and at least it’s some money in ur pocket for when u need to redo it.

I would be doing what keeps money money in ur pocket but keeps u renting to make money. I would not turn away ur rental cause it hadcwhite plaster bs pebble. Lol

as long as ur on the water so I can surf fish every day and night and urxhouse is clean u for my money!