New Pool Plan - Tampa, Florida

sourabhdeb

Member
Mar 16, 2020
13
Tampa, FL
Hey All,
My first post here. Never owned a pool and just discovered TFP as I was researching on various things related to pool. I always used to think that pools are money pits (still hold that opinion sort of) and elitist and require lot of care and maintenance (translating to time and effort). Then family happened and we are blessed with 2 kids - 4 year old and almost 1 year old. We live in a newer neighborhood where lot of families have pools or are constructing one. The 4 year old goes to a swim school and has taken a liking to water. The house has appreciated well since we purchased and we have a large backyard with a pond view. The neighborhood pool is crowded or there is always an "accident" by some child so we never go there. So considering all this building a pool in our backyard seemed a reasonable thing to do since we are likely to stay put here for few years. I started jotting down our needs before we approach any PB.
- Should have a longish length to swim laps (the max the backyard can accommodate)
- Should have a decent size spa
- Should have a sunshelf for the kids to play
- Not interested in diving so keeping the deep end to 6'
- Will not employ any pool service company - so maintenance should be as minimal as possible - both the pool and deck
- Should be able to swim in the winter shoulder months - at a minimum use the spa
- Will need a pool cage and the current view should not be obstructed as much as possible
- Though we are in FL, we are not sun lovers. The backyard faces west, so anything to block sun would be great
- An outdoor toilet or privacy room for changing wet clothes - not a must but good to have
- All aspects of the pool should be controllable through phone/tablet remotely
- Need some space for entertaining guests around the pool.
With these needs in mind we approached couple of PBs that had good feedback and track record from our neighbors. I am attaching a quote and the drawing from one of them that we really liked.
I still don't completely understand all the nuances of the equipment they are providing but wanted to get the feedback from the community if this looks good or should I be asking for something to be replaced?
Also any other items that you all suggest that I need to keep in mind prior to the build.
I am going through the past threads to improve my knowledge in this area but I thought I would post my build here and get your feedback.
Thanks in advance!
Made 2 changes to the design - the shallow end is now 3'6'' instead of 3' (so 3 steps from the sunshelf instead of 2) and added an auto leveler for the water level to stay constant as we might be out for long periods of time. With those 2 updates the total came to 89K.


Pool Plan03172020.jpgPool Pricing.jpg
 
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jtburf

Well-known member
Jun 8, 2015
479
Houston, TX
Congrats on the little ones and now wanting a pool, each design is unique and most of us answer from experience. So take mine with a grain of salt.

With 2 little ones the location of the spa gives you a blocked view zone, consider moving to the left hand end.
40ft is not long enough to do real laps in so why not make it a tad shorter and wider. Have you considered keeping it close to the same overall perimeter just tweak the size say 30ft long x 15ft wide?
Wider will make it a fun pool when they have a bunch of friends over in a few years.

I do not get all into equipment so I let others discuss that, I just think function.

Good Luck.

John
 

setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
2,544
Stuart/FL
Sour,

Welcome to TFP! Congrats on getting here before you build. Often people join here after experiencing big problems after the pool is under construction or finished. You've come to the right place for a new pool buyer and just at the right time. TFP is staffed by volunteer experts and pool enthusiasts that sell absolutely nothing. So you can be assured that our advice is never influenced by what we sell. I've provided my input where I have an opinion or knowledge below. I also have a couple of questions for you:
  • Have you selected your builder? If so, why?
  • If not, how do you plan to select your builder?
  • Have you read the contract template and do you understand every word of it? If not, please do so before you sign and ask any questions you may have here or post here if you're comfortable doing so (please block out any personal information).
  • Here is some great construction information for you that you should read before you sign the contract.
  • In general Pentair makes great pool equipment but the devil's in the details. We need model numbers for all equipment
  • If your builder does not start up your pool for the first month or so:
    Startup New Plaster
    You should read the following for pool care information:
    ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    FC/CYA Chart
    Overnight Chlorine Loss Test
    Also watch this video:
  • Deck bathroom is a great idea. We have a cabana bath right off the patio inside the house and use it almost every time to shower off after swimming
  • Consider upgrading to Intellicenter. It's a couple hundred $ more and the best automation on the market.
  • You can get various screen density to block more of the sun or add roll down screens for the hot part of the day. We are sun-lovers so we didn't do this but our neighbors are more like you and they love the roll downs.

I hope this is helpful.

Chris
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
5,876
Central MD
Exciting times! A few thoughts below...

Maybe consider 3' is too shallow. We often hear that in general and for swimming laps.

Regarding pool main drain and skimmers...

Use these for the skimmer(s):

Pour-A-Lid

And these for the channel drain:

Channel Pebble Top Drain Covers — Color Match Pool Fittings

Agree on the color light upgrade. But also consider moving the lights out of your lap swimming line of sight. And also therefore, away from your kick turn area. Place the two (or three for most even light distribution) on the house side.

I did see a ClearVIew or picture window for a screen enclosure recently in a thread. It looked fantastic because the view was of water I believe, and it was awesome. Amazing what removing a handful of verticals did for the view.

Speaking of view, we are paid in pictures of your backyard and I don't see any yet!! :eek: Before, during and after.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
13,002
Evans, Georgia
I agree with the idea of moving the spa to the far right (of the drawing) side to allow full view of the pool itself.

Black birdcage structures seem to look better than white ones. Black is less obvious when looking at the "view". it disappears from site more.

Different types of screening let more/less UV rays in. Might be worth investigating?

With two spa overflows and two bubblers in the sun deck, you will have more pH rising due to the water splashing. You'll have to treat that more often with muriatic acid to lower the pH. Just so you're aware. Each water feature will need to be run at least a few minutes a day to keep refreshed chlorinated water in the lines, but some folks minimize the use of such features after that just to limit the affect on the pH.

Maddie :flower:
 

sourabhdeb

Member
Mar 16, 2020
13
Tampa, FL
Congrats on the little ones and now wanting a pool, each design is unique and most of us answer from experience. So take mine with a grain of salt.

With 2 little ones the location of the spa gives you a blocked view zone, consider moving to the left hand end.
40ft is not long enough to do real laps in so why not make it a tad shorter and wider. Have you considered keeping it close to the same overall perimeter just tweak the size say 30ft long x 15ft wide?
Wider will make it a fun pool when they have a bunch of friends over in a few years.

I do not get all into equipment so I let others discuss that, I just think function.

Good Luck.

John
My reasoning for the spa to be next to the sunshelf was that we would be closer to the kids for watching and also we would have the option of the spillover towards the sunshelf. However I agree with your comment that it blocks the pool view. Maybe reducing the spa height to 6'' from 18'' might help. We will definitely rethink this.
I am viewing the pool more of an exercise equipment than leisure. Who knows all that will change after 2-3 months into ownership :) I explored the idea of a Fastlane from endless pool and build it shorter but then was very skeptical with their customer service and after sales support. I think we are fixated on the length to be 40ft but are still debating on the width. We have space but costs would go up significantly if we add 2-4ft to the width (12-14ft). Decisions!!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
16,912
Bedford, TX
S,

How many gallons is your pool going to be? I ask because we always recommend that any SWCG system be rated for 2 X the volume of the pool. This is because the systems are rated when running at 100% output 24/7... I have a 17K pool with an IC40 IntelliChlor cell.

They appear to be quoting you an iChlor cell, which is only a 30K cell????

Have you ever been in a gunite spa.. If not, you really need to try one, before you buy one.

The IntelliFlo is the gold standard of pool pumps, just make sure you never get one that has the SVRS option.

Florida is the land of the dinky filters and I have no idea why. The bigger the filter the less often you have to clean it. I have a CCP-520 and they are quoting you a CCP-150.. Oh! I do not consider a DE filter an "upgrade". I suggest you stick with the cartridge filter and skip the multiport valve and all the associated problems. Simple plumbing, makes a easier pool to care for..

I too would use the new IntelliCenter rather than the EasyTouch/ScreenLogic. The IntelliCenter is much much better and almost the same price. Just one simple example.. the EasyTouch has 12 programs/schedule, the IntelliCenter has 100... etc, etc, etc...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

sourabhdeb

Member
Mar 16, 2020
13
Tampa, FL
Sour,

Welcome to TFP! Congrats on getting here before you build. Often people join here after experiencing big problems after the pool is under construction or finished. You've come to the right place for a new pool buyer and just at the right time. TFP is staffed by volunteer experts and pool enthusiasts that sell absolutely nothing. So you can be assured that our advice is never influenced by what we sell. I've provided my input where I have an opinion or knowledge below. I also have a couple of questions for you:
  • Have you selected your builder? If so, why?
  • If not, how do you plan to select your builder?
  • Have you read the contract template and do you understand every word of it? If not, please do so before you sign and ask any questions you may have here or post here if you're comfortable doing so (please block out any personal information).
  • Here is some great construction information for you that you should read before you sign the contract.
  • In general Pentair makes great pool equipment but the devil's in the details. We need model numbers for all equipment
  • If your builder does not start up your pool for the first month or so:
    Startup New Plaster
    You should read the following for pool care information:
    ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    FC/CYA Chart
    Overnight Chlorine Loss Test
    Also watch this video:
  • Deck bathroom is a great idea. We have a cabana bath right off the patio inside the house and use it almost every time to shower off after swimming
  • Consider upgrading to Intellicenter. It's a couple hundred $ more and the best automation on the market.
  • You can get various screen density to block more of the sun or add roll down screens for the hot part of the day. We are sun-lovers so we didn't do this but our neighbors are more like you and they love the roll downs.

I hope this is helpful.

Chris
Thanks Chris for the detailed reply.
  • No, we haven't selected any builder yet. We have got quotes from few and the one I attached in the post is the one we like the most and might probably end up going with
  • Builder selection would depend on reputation, reviews/feedback from neighbors we know, time to build/close, price, ability to work within our requirements etc.
  • Nope, not entered into any contract yet. Will definitely reach out if I have questions
  • Below are the main equipment details that were finalized with the rep -
    • IntelliFlow VSF pump
    • Pentair DE-60sf filter
    • Pentair Ultratemp 140 heat pump
    • IntelliChlor Salt System - IC40
    • EZ Touch and Screen Logic for automation
    • Intellibrite Color LED lights (low voltage ones)
  • Thanks for all those links. I haven't really discussed if they will be responsible for startup or not but regardless this is good information to have as I plan to maintain the chemistry myself.
  • For starters just some privacy panels to change instead of dripping water inside the house.
  • I did ask for it and the rep steered me away from it saying its an overkill for my situation and its relatively new and is glitchy. Being a techie nerd I was not satisfied and might mostly add it to future proof. Its a $900 upgrade though.
  • The issue with denser screen is that it blocks out the breeze too along with sun. Will look into shade sails, roll down privacy screens or curtains or just plan umbrellas placed in strategic locations.
Thanks again for your help!
 

sourabhdeb

Member
Mar 16, 2020
13
Tampa, FL
Exciting times! A few thoughts below...

Maybe consider 3' is too shallow. We often hear that in general and for swimming laps.

Regarding pool main drain and skimmers...

Use these for the skimmer(s):

Pour-A-Lid

And these for the channel drain:

Channel Pebble Top Drain Covers — Color Match Pool Fittings

Agree on the color light upgrade. But also consider moving the lights out of your lap swimming line of sight. And also therefore, away from your kick turn area. Place the two (or three for most even light distribution) on the house side.

I did see a ClearVIew or picture window for a screen enclosure recently in a thread. It looked fantastic because the view was of water I believe, and it was awesome. Amazing what removing a handful of verticals did for the view.

Speaking of view, we are paid in pictures of your backyard and I don't see any yet!! :eek: Before, during and after.
Yup, so we updated that to 3'6'' on the shallow side.
Great tips on the skimmers and drain. Since we are doing PebbleSheen it should be fairly easy to add I guess
Great idea on the light placement. Never thought about it interfering in the flip turns
Don't have a pic handy of my backyard but this is what one of my neighbors did with the picture screen. 57503501_10161715829025092_813826041222004736_n.jpg
 

sourabhdeb

Member
Mar 16, 2020
13
Tampa, FL
I agree with the idea of moving the spa to the far right (of the drawing) side to allow full view of the pool itself.

Black birdcage structures seem to look better than white ones. Black is less obvious when looking at the "view". it disappears from site more.

Different types of screening let more/less UV rays in. Might be worth investigating?

With two spa overflows and two bubblers in the sun deck, you will have more pH rising due to the water splashing. You'll have to treat that more often with muriatic acid to lower the pH. Just so you're aware. Each water feature will need to be run at least a few minutes a day to keep refreshed chlorinated water in the lines, but some folks minimize the use of such features after that just to limit the affect on the pH.

Maddie :flower:
I don't think we have space to move the spa all the way to the right. We need 3' of clearance from all side per code. Will have to reduce the length to do it which is not gonna work. But yes, get the concern that its blocking the view, so thinking of reducing the height to 6''
Black it is....I am not even sure if HoA would approve white. I haven't seen anyone doing white in the community
The trade-off with the denser one that block light is they block the breeze too. So will have to do with shade sails, curtains or umbrellas.
Good feedback on the water features. They said that in pool mode which is what it will be 90% of the time all water features would run. For the remaining 10% of the time in spa mode they will be switched off.
 

sourabhdeb

Member
Mar 16, 2020
13
Tampa, FL
S,

How many gallons is your pool going to be? I ask because we always recommend that any SWCG system be rated for 2 X the volume of the pool. This is because the systems are rated when running at 100% output 24/7... I have a 17K pool with an IC40 IntelliChlor cell.

They appear to be quoting you an iChlor cell, which is only a 30K cell????

Have you ever been in a gunite spa.. If not, you really need to try one, before you buy one.

The IntelliFlo is the gold standard of pool pumps, just make sure you never get one that has the SVRS option.

Florida is the land of the dinky filters and I have no idea why. The bigger the filter the less often you have to clean it. I have a CCP-520 and they are quoting you a CCP-150.. Oh! I do not consider a DE filter an "upgrade". I suggest you stick with the cartridge filter and skip the multiport valve and all the associated problems. Simple plumbing, makes a easier pool to care for..

I too would use the new IntelliCenter rather than the EasyTouch/ScreenLogic. The IntelliCenter is much much better and almost the same price. Just one simple example.. the EasyTouch has 12 programs/schedule, the IntelliCenter has 100... etc, etc, etc...

Thanks,

Jim R.
Thanks Jim. The pool with the spa and sunshelf is going to be around 18.5K gallons. I am getting the IC40 Intellichlor system as they upgraded to that.
Nope, never been to a gunite spa. Is it gonna be rough even with the pebble sheen? They were very proud of their high pressure massage blower system and how effective it is.
Yup getting the VSF one. Here is the complete equipment list -
  • IntelliFlow VSF pump
  • Pentair DE-60sf filter
  • Pentair Ultratemp 140 heat pump
  • IntelliChlor Salt System - IC40
  • EZ Touch and Screen Logic for automation
  • Intellibrite Color LED lights (low voltage ones)
I have no clue on the DE vs catridge. The only reason we went to DE was that he said something to the effect that smaller particles (less than some microns) will be filtered by the DE vs. the catridge will let them pass. Wifey being a germaphobe immediately jumped to the DE option. But if you think catridge is easier to maintain (which is what I will do) then will go that route.
For some reason they kept pushing me away from Intellicenter. I get the advantages but I guess will reap the benefits down the years when I am upgrading or adding stuff. They said they will have a Pentair rep call me to explain in detail since the PB rep didn't know in-depth.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
1,213
Spring Valley, NY
One other note about light placement is while sitting out or looking out from the house to the pool you don't want to see the actual light but rather just nice illumination so it'll have to be on the side closest to the house and aimed away from you.
 

jtburf

Well-known member
Jun 8, 2015
479
Houston, TX
I am viewing the pool more of an exercise equipment than leisure. Who knows all that will change after 2-3 months into ownership :) I explored the idea of a Fastlane from endless pool and build it shorter but then was very skeptical with their customer service and after sales support. I think we are fixated on the length to be 40ft but are still debating on the width. We have space but costs would go up significantly if we add 2-4ft to the width (12-14ft). Decisions!!
Unless you are very short I mean in the 4ft tall range doing a flip turn in 3.6ft or water is not going to be fun. you need to deepen that ends so this is possible. Look at the "Swimmers Pool" thread. They are digging the turn area from 4-6ft. Just my .02, wife and son were swimmers.


John
 

setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
2,544
Stuart/FL
Thanks Chris for the detailed reply.
  • No, we haven't selected any builder yet. We have got quotes from few and the one I attached in the post is the one we like the most and might probably end up going with
  • Builder selection would depend on reputation, reviews/feedback from neighbors we know, time to build/close, price, ability to work within our requirements etc.
  • Nope, not entered into any contract yet. Will definitely reach out if I have questions
  • Below are the main equipment details that were finalized with the rep -
    • IntelliFlow VSF pump
    • Pentair DE-60sf filter
    • Pentair Ultratemp 140 heat pump
    • IntelliChlor Salt System - IC40
    • EZ Touch and Screen Logic for automation
    • Intellibrite Color LED lights (low voltage ones)
  • Thanks for all those links. I haven't really discussed if they will be responsible for startup or not but regardless this is good information to have as I plan to maintain the chemistry myself.
  • For starters just some privacy panels to change instead of dripping water inside the house.
  • I did ask for it and the rep steered me away from it saying its an overkill for my situation and its relatively new and is glitchy. Being a techie nerd I was not satisfied and might mostly add it to future proof. Its a $900 upgrade though.
  • The issue with denser screen is that it blocks out the breeze too along with sun. Will look into shade sails, roll down privacy screens or curtains or just plan umbrellas placed in strategic locations.
Thanks again for your help!
S,

Sounds like you're really planning this well. Too many buyers select and sign up with a builder before they even know what they want. You're clearly ahead of the pack in this area. Please do remember most contracts offered by builders are written by their attorney for them. So they're very one-sided in the PB favor. Many will pressure you to sign because it's "their standard paper work that nobody else has had changed" or something like that. Sadly that's sort of true because many don't even look at it. But I've never seen a case that a builder would walk away from a deal when the buyer just wants revision of the terms to make it fair. If the ever do it's a good thing for you.

I would encourage you to look at a cartridge filter rather than DE especially with an enclosure you'll be very happy with a right-sized cartridge. Mine gets cleaned twice per year and doesn't really need it that often. As Jim said earlier bigger is definitely better. I'd also say if your pool is less than 20K gal the IC 40 is a good choice. As to the automation $900 is a lot for the upgrade. Probably also reflects the builders familiarity. Yes there were a few bugs in the app but nothing that keeps me from enjoying the pool and they're knocking them out with each new revision. As of now I do full control of pool, lights, chlorinator, spa, heater, and solar from my app with no problems whatsoever. They promised a version that will allow valve positioning eventually for Pentair valves that has not been issued yet. None of the other automation products can do this. But it does all the valve control that all other manufacturer do right now. It also has a modular design and online firmware updates and several other features that are well worth paying for. I'd offer $400 for the upgrade and see what he says. This is probably twice what it costs him... so long as he's planning an 8 relay system. Speaking of this make sure you get model numbers. Different models can have a big impact on cost and whether you're getting a good deal or not.

Chris
 

Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
1,411
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
Dont budge on the intellicenter, the EZ touch is old tech(it works but old), make sure you get the packaged deal with the SWG transformer inside the intellicenter. They probably dont know how to program it yet, but we have experts here so dont worry about that. Im a sand filter guy and you can always add DE to the sand filter for better performance if needed. I could not live without a MPV.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
16,912
Bedford, TX
FT,

My pool has no MVP, and is over five yeas old. I have yet to find anything that an MVP can do for me... Keep in mind the OP lives in Florida, will never close his pool, and has an overflow drain. What would he need an MVP for assuming he had a cartridge filter..?

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
1,411
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
JR,
Definitely in a different situation, i dont have an overflow and it dont rain as much down here. My equipment room is enclosed concrete and in 2 years has never seen a drop of water besides de purging of air from filter and twice the cleaning of the pump basket. I cant imagine having to clean cartridges inside my equipment room and getting it all wet.☔ Probably just the perception of turning a lever and having it done.
 

sourabhdeb

Member
Mar 16, 2020
13
Tampa, FL
Thanks guys. Made up my mind to go with Intellicenter. Regarding the MPV, I was told it would be useful 1) during backwash of the DE filter (guess it wouldn't matter if I go Catridge which is where I am leaning after reading the responses here) 2) Can be used to drain or reduce the water level of the pool for whatever reason - it rains a lot here. But we have added the auto leveler too so that makes it redundant unless i want to go below the set water level for some reason.
The spa is mostly going to the left as many have suggested and lights would be along the length of the pool pointing away from the house. 3.5' to 4' on the shallow end is also under consideration depending on the additional cost.
COVID-19 is playing at the back of my mind. Plunking down 90+ grand on a pool in these uncertain times is not my cup of tea so taking a bit of a hiatus for few weeks before sitting with the PB again.
 
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