New Pool Recommendation - SWG, Pump, and raised equipment pad?


New member
Jul 25, 2019
Houston, TX
Hey All,

I'm about to do a new pool construction in Houston, TX in the floodplain. Dimensions are roughly 30'x15' w/ a 6' tanning ledge (3 bubblers), depth is still to be decided but a v shape (shallow->deep->shallow) somewhere in the range of 4'-5.5', so I think it's 12k-16k gallons. I'm going to go with a SWG based on all the feedback in the forum :).

I'd like to get y'alls advice on pump selection and how having a raised equipment pad will affect things. We're in the floodplain and our neighborhood does flood, our street a little less so than others, regardless, the PB says we need to put the equipment on a 3' high pad. I'm not opposed since our side yard does gather water 2"-6" pretty easily and much more in the frequent and heavy Houston rains . Does the raised equipment have a dramatic effect on the pump HP needed, or anything else?

Next question is regarding a VS pump versus a 2 or 1 speed. With a pool this size, I'm wondering if I could get away with a 1 speed, even though I also have a SWG and 3 bubblers. I know a VS would give me the most flexibility, but I'm interested in the cost vs. value, and what y'all think it's worth.

Last question is about automation. Once you find out what works for your pool, can you pretty much set a schedule for a repeatable process (pump runtime, SWG settings, etc) or does it always vary so much that being able to control via phone is worth it? Can the SWG be controlled remotely? Is this something that can be added fairly easily in the future?

Any and all thoughts are much appreciated!


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

If you have a SWCG, then at a minimum you will need a 2 speed pump.. This is because you will need to run the pump longer to make the amount of chlorine your pool will need, here in Texas.. A 2-speed pump will save you a ton on your electrical bill, over a single speed pump. A VS will save a little more, but not a lot more.

Automation systems just make a pool more fun to use, but they are not at all necessary... Without a spa and a lot of water features, they are just a luxury item..

Having the equipment pad three feet higher than the pool will have almost no effect on how your pool works...

Some things I would suggest.. Make sure your SWCG is rated at least 2 x the volume of your pool. If you have a 20K pool you need a 40K SWCG.

Get 2 skimmers and do away with having a main drain.. They are not needed and just get in the way in a sports pool..

Get a Low voltage DC Robot cleaner.. Stay away from in-floor cleaners, as well as suction side and pressure side cleaners which require you to run your main pool pump to clean your pool.

Make sure your pool has an overflow line, so that if it rains real hard the water will have a place to go without you having to do anything.

Make sure all the valves are Jandy valves, not ball valves.

Make sure each skimmer is run back to the equipment pad and that you can control each one individually with a Jandy valve.

Make sure you can turn off the bubblers at the equipment, as after about 10 minutes the fun will be over.. I suspect to run the bubblers you will have to run a 2-speed pump at high speed.

Let's see if our other members can think of the many things I have forgotten.. :mrgreen:


Jim R.