Newbie Equipment Questions - 18x36 sport pool

wgipe

Active member
Jul 4, 2020
29
Fletcher, OH
Hi guys! We are building a new 18x36 liner pool (3.5'-5'). I have attached a line drawing that is nearly accurate (we are doing an auto cover instead of fence and are not doing a sun shelf) We have three boys, and are super excited to finally see this dream come true.

I am somewhat of an equipment / home automation nut, and really don't want to screw this up, so I have a number of questions for the group - mainly about equipment choices. The PB I am using uses mostly Pentair stuff, though they will use Hayward stuff also from time to time. I told them I'd like to be very involved in the equipment selection process, and they were totally fine with that - they are great people. That said, they have not done any automation systems. I'm not at all afraid of plumbing, electrical, or electronics, and have built smart systems for all other aspects of our home, so automating the pool is important to me. I'm also happy to do the setup of the equipment and deal with the PB not having direct experience with the tech side - I need to learn it anyway, and they are glad to work with me on it. I decided to call both Pentair and Hayward to get a feel for how they would approach it. Off the bat, the Pentair rep I talked with was far more knowledgeable and helpful. Based on the experience with, I am strongly leaning in the Pentair direction. I'd love your comments, suggestions, or critique, as I am very new to this:


Control System / SWG - IntelliCenter I5P Bundle with IC40 Salt Chlorinator
Pump - 3HP VSF Intelliflow Pump

That seems to be the core system. This is where the decisions come....

Filter - Need to choose between sand, DE and cartridge:
Sand - Tagelus 100
Cartridge - Clean & Clear Plus 420
DE - Quad D.E. 80 and 6-way Backwash Valve

I am leaning toward DE at this point, as it seems that it is more effective, especially if you have a VS pump. Water usage is no issue, as we are on a strong well. What are your thoughts?

Heater
Unfortunately, we are on propane, and from what I can tell, if we want to extend our season at all here in Ohio, a heat pump is not a great option. From my understanding, I'm better off to keep the heater from the same manufacturer if doing automation so that the controls work as they should. Is this correct? They recommended a MasterTemp 400 LP Heater (1.34lb/hr propane consumption).

Sorry for the long post - just wanted to be sure that you had as much info as possible. Any advice would be greatly apprecaited!

Wes
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,169
Bedford, TX
Wes,

Your equipment list looks pretty good to me, but then I am a big fan of Pentair equipment.

The IntelliFlo pump is considered by most to be the "Gold Standard" of pool pumps..

The IntelliCenter is the newest Pentair automation system.. and much better than the EasyTouch systems that I have..

Having the integrated saltwater system is the best of all worlds.. You will love how easy a saltwater pool is to maintain..

The filter is a personal choice and is not at all dependent on the specific brand.. Here is my filter story.. When we decided to build a pool at my house, my only pool experience was with two rent house pools that I own. Both of these pool have DE filters, so that is what I wanted for the new pool at my house. City code would not let me put in a DE filter, and I was really disappointed, but went with a large cartridge filter... Now, about 6 years later, I can't wait for the old DE filters at my rent houses to die, so that I have an excuse to replace them with large cartridge filters.. Like you, I thought DE would be better, but I was wrong.. Cartridge filters have no multi-port valve to go bad or leak... Cartridge filters have very simple plumbing.. No more DE to play with.. I am simple and I like simple.. I would take a cartridge filter over a DE filter any day of the week. :mrgreen: That said, we have a lot of people that swear by their DE filters.. They backwash them every few weeks and just love them.. I clean my filter twice a year.. If I lived in a place where my pool was closed in the winter, I would do it once a year.

Any filter you pick will work just fine...

Heaters are also not required to be a specific brand.. Pentair can control almost any heater that was ever made.

The bad news... Pool automation has really not much to do with home automation... In truth, you just don't need it... But if you envisioned your home automation doing much with the pool, I am afraid that you will be disappointed.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

wgipe

Active member
Jul 4, 2020
29
Fletcher, OH
Wes,

Your equipment list looks pretty good to me, but then I am a big fan of Pentair equipment.

The IntelliFlo pump is considered by most to be the "Gold Standard" of pool pumps..

The IntelliCenter is the newest Pentair automation system.. and much better than the EasyTouch systems that I have..

Having the integrated saltwater system is the best of all worlds.. You will love how easy a saltwater pool is to maintain..

The filter is a personal choice and is not at all dependent on the specific brand.. Here is my filter story.. When we decided to build a pool at my house, my only pool experience was with two rent house pools that I own. Both of these pool have DE filters, so that is what I wanted for the new pool at my house. City code would not let me put in a DE filter, and I was really disappointed, but went with a large cartridge filter... Now, about 6 years later, I can't wait for the old DE filters at my rent houses to die, so that I have an excuse to replace them with large cartridge filters.. Like you, I thought DE would be better, but I was wrong.. Cartridge filters have no multi-port valve to go bad or leak... Cartridge filters have very simple plumbing.. No more DE to play with.. I am simple and I like simple.. I would take a cartridge filter over a DE filter any day of the week. :mrgreen: That said, we have a lot of people that swear by their DE filters.. They backwash them every few weeks and just love them.. I clean my filter twice a year.. If I lived in a place where my pool was closed in the winter, I would do it once a year.

Any filter you pick will work just fine...

Heaters are also not required to be a specific brand.. Pentair can control almost any heater that was ever made.

The bad news... Pool automation has really not much to do with home automation... In truth, you just don't need it... But if you envisioned your home automation doing much with the pool, I am afraid that you will be disappointed.

Thanks,

Jim R.
Thank you so much! This is very helpful. For exactly the reason you just stated, I didn't invest in a home automation "aggregator" such as Crestron - they're just another layer of hassle, and I find that using the native apps is just as well and not really any more hassle. So....no worries on the integration piece.

I have had a nagging feeling that cartridge would be easier all the way around, and from what I can tell, the cartridges don't require replacement all that often as long as you keep everything clean and balanced. Our equipment stores around here don't carry them for some reason, so after I found that out, I kind of assumed there was some reason for that.

Thanks for the tip on heaters also. I see a lot of good stuff about RayPak. Is that what you'd recommend?

Thanks!

Wes
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,169
Bedford, TX
W,

My cartridges came with the pool about 6 years ago... I don't expect that I will need to replace them before they are 10 years old, maybe more...

I do not have a heater, so have no real practical experience with pool heaters.. If I were to install a heater, the first one I would look at would be the RayPak..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,169
Bedford, TX
W,

There is one downside to cartridge filters... they take a lot more effort to use if you get algae.. They will fill up with algae very quickly, meaning repeated cycles of cleaning.. The key of course is to not get algae..

I follow the TFP pool care principles and have never gotten algae, but my pools are never closed, so I don't have to worry about them turning green over the winter.

I don't see this as a major issue, but you need to see both sides of an issue.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

wgipe

Active member
Jul 4, 2020
29
Fletcher, OH
W,

There is one downside to cartridge filters... they take a lot more effort to use if you get algae.. They will fill up with algae very quickly, meaning repeated cycles of cleaning.. The key of course is to not get algae..

I follow the TFP pool care principles and have never gotten algae, but my pools are never closed, so I don't have to worry about them turning green over the winter.

I don't see this as a major issue, but you need to see both sides of an issue.

Thanks,

Jim R.
Jim,

Thanks! I'll check around a bit on that. The pool would be closed here for 5-6 months over winter. Not sure if algae becomes an issue if I take good acre of it or not. Perhaps that's why the stores here don't carry them. If I can eliminate that as an issue, I think cartridges are the way to go. I like simple.

Wes