On the books for a 16 x 32 inground - Thoughts please?

offtheclock

Member
Dec 30, 2020
13
Greenville, SC
Well I pulled the trigger on a pool yesterday. Been a dream of our family for a long time. Started talking to builder about a month ago and signed contract yesterday. Completion sometime in May. It is going to be a in ground with retaining walls because of the back yard slope. To keep from getting into septic we have decided on a 16 x 32 Regale Pool Deer Creek model with vinyl liner. I am a little worried about the pool size as most of the pools I have been in are larger. When searching online for pictures of pools that size it is hard to gauge the size because of picture angle and the fact that no one posts pics of their pool with people in it. Can I get some TFP help from people with pools that size? Pictures would be great and your thoughts of the size. We are a family of 3 and will use it primarily for us but will have other couple and their children over for weekend swimming. Maybe around 10-11 people Max at a time would be over. The builder does not order the pool kit until Jan 4th when everything opens back up so if there is something I missed or should consider please help me.

One last thing with the Black Granite Liner should be do the white or gray steps? Gray steps are another $2k or $2500 for liner steel steps? White steps are included.

Here is some more info on the pool if you have any other thoughts:
-16 x 32 Deer Creek by Regale Pools
- GLI Black Granite with Black Onyx Liner Black Granite by GLI Pool Products - YouTube
- GLI winter cover with pump (Their higher quality one)
- 3.5' Shallow to a gentle 5' deep ----- Thinking this will allow more of the pool to be used. Other pools I have been to everyone has to stay in the shallow end.
- 5' Concrete surround and 10 - 12' lounge area
- Rolled concrete copping
- Pentair Superflo Variable Speed Pump
- Pentair Sand Dollar FIlter
- Pentair Salt Chlorine Generator
- Pentair Intellibrite LED Color changing light (1)
- Pentair Prowler 930 Robot Cleaner
- All needed pool equipment and chemicals for the first year ie Brush, net, ladder
- (1) Skimmer
- (3) Returns (One one stairs)
- Upper 2-3 foot retaining wall and lower 4 foot retaining wall around the back right hand side. Retaining wall blocks will match patio.
 

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offtheclock

Member
Dec 30, 2020
13
Greenville, SC
Hey Everyone,

We are just finalizing the liner and had decided on the GLI Black Granite with Black Onyx. Black Granite by GLI Pool Products - YouTube I was going to let me pool builder know but looking at the website for GLI it looks like this is no longer available. There is a new color on there called Nero with Eclipse Amber that looks very similar. Does anyone here know? Also at a dilemma on step color with that liner. White fiberglass steps are included but Gray steps is a $2k upgrade and steel liner covered steps is $2500 upgrade. Any thoughts on how the white steps would be with that liner color? I am at the top of my budget and am on the fence with a step color change pushing me over.
 
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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
16,019
Evans, Georgia
I really like liner covered steps, but if you're going to have dogs in the pool I'd go with the Gray steps. The white steps always look out of place to me in a darker pool.

Maddie :flower:
 

Dirk

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Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
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My pool is about 19x28, a sort of kidney shape, so only the widest parts are 19. Mine certainly isn't bigger than yours. We are a family of six, but mostly just four of us swim (three very active kids and me). They often have friends over, so sometimes six in the pool, sometimes more. I've never felt the pool was too small. We have had larger groups (kid's pool parties) and that has been fine, too. I don't think your pool is too small.

A bigger pool means more water, bigger equipment (heater, filter, etc), more chemicals, more cleaning tasks, more expense to heat, less yard, etc. Not discouraging bigger pools, but they do come at some "cost." Some here say "nobody has complained that their pool is too big." But not many here claim their pool is too small either. I think you'll be happy with the size.

Pool depth is a personal preference. I like a deep end. I like diving in and swimming down there. So do the kids. They don't need a lot of shallow end to hang out in, they use the whole pool, even the part they can't stand in. My deep end is 7.5'. I wish it was deeper.

No automation controller? Pentair is a good brand. Their IntelliFlo pumps are the gold standard of pool pumps, and the only ones that can be controlled with automation. The SuperFlo can't readily be automated. If you think automation might be in your future, you'll want to upgrade to the IntelliFlo. I wouldn't part with my automation. In fact I've expanded it to include SWG and acid injection. My pool is very easy to maintain. And I like being able to monitor and control it from anywhere with my phone.

You will be happy you got an SWG.

I like my IntelliBrite 5G LED light. I like being able to choose the color. The kids love the color changing light shows (me, not so much). All pool LED lights have trouble with decent longevity. So far we've yet to find one that lasts many years. Be prepared to replace that light more than you'd like to. Fortunately, they're very expensive! 🤪

I would not own a pool without an auto-fill/overflow system. I really like mine (poolmiser.com). I don't see anything listed. Without such a system, you'll need to manually add water all the time, and pump it out when it rains hard. Sometimes PBs don't list one or the other, but sometimes they don't install them at all. Best to check on that, if you're interested.

Oh, and welcome to TFP! Glad you found us. We'll be around, before, during, and after your build to help you in any way we can. Congrat's on the build! You're off to a great start!!
 

offtheclock

Member
Dec 30, 2020
13
Greenville, SC
My pool is about 19x28, a sort of kidney shape, so only the widest parts are 19. Mine certainly isn't bigger than yours. We are a family of six, but mostly just four of us swim (three very active kids and me). They often have friends over, so sometimes six in the pool, sometimes more. I've never felt the pool was too small. We have had larger groups (kid's pool parties) and that has been fine, too. I don't think your pool is too small.

A bigger pool means more water, bigger equipment (heater, filter, etc), more chemicals, more cleaning tasks, more expense to heat, less yard, etc. Not discouraging bigger pools, but they do come at some "cost." Some here say "nobody has complained that their pool is too big." But not many here claim their pool is too small either. I think you'll be happy with the size.

Pool depth is a personal preference. I like a deep end. I like diving in and swimming down there. So do the kids. They don't need a lot of shallow end to hang out in, they use the whole pool, even the part they can't stand in. My deep end is 7.5'. I wish it was deeper.

No automation controller? Pentair is a good brand. Their IntelliFlo pumps are the gold standard of pool pumps, and the only ones that can be controlled with automation. The SuperFlo can't readily be automated. If you think automation might be in your future, you'll want to upgrade to the IntelliFlo. I wouldn't part with my automation. In fact I've expanded it to include SWG and acid injection. My pool is very easy to maintain. And I like being able to monitor and control it from anywhere with my phone.

You will be happy you got an SWG.

I like my IntelliBrite 5G LED light. I like being able to choose the color. The kids love the color changing light shows (me, not so much). All pool LED lights have trouble with decent longevity. So far we've yet to find one that lasts many years. Be prepared to replace that light more than you'd like to. Fortunately, they're very expensive! 🤪

I would not own a pool without an auto-fill/overflow system. I really like mine (poolmiser.com). I don't see anything listed. Without such a system, you'll need to manually add water all the time, and pump it out when it rains hard. Sometimes PBs don't list one or the other, but sometimes they don't install them at all. Best to check on that, if you're interested.

Oh, and welcome to TFP! Glad you found us. We'll be around, before, during, and after your build to help you in any way we can. Congrat's on the build! You're off to a great start!!

Thank you so much for your reply and reassurance on pool size. From what I have gathered now I will be happy with the 16 x 32 size. We were originally at 14 x 30 but when laying that size out in the yard I was too concerned with the width, not so much the length.

My builder mentioned automation and its additional cost but I did not elect it. Truthfully I do not know what the automation is I just asked if the pool can be maintained with out it. Also there is not a auto fill overflow system. I am very hands on so I do not mind filling/ pumping and monitoring pool equipment. Will the automation benefit me?

Very much looking forward to working in the yard and then enjoying the pool!
 

PoolBrews

Well-known member
Oct 16, 2019
306
The Villages, Florida
I am on my 3rd pool in 30 years, and would never get a pool without an autofill/drain system. Hands on has nothing to do with it, it's about maintaining the level in the pool properly. No matter how good you are at filling or draining as needed (more important in a hot state vs a cold state), sooner or later your level will either drop low enough to cause an issue with the pump, or your pool will overflow when you get heavy sustained rains. I paid $1K for my autofill/drain here in FL... wish I had it on my last two pools. I hated having to drag a hose to the pool twice a week in GA to fill the pool.

With regards to automation - again I wouldn't get a pool without it. My last 2 pool have had automation, and it just makes maintaining the pool far more consistent and easy to do. Less things you have to remember to do.

I agree - the white steps are a no go for me with that liner. Get the grey steps. I don't like liner covered steps - that area gets more traffic than any other area of the liner, and this adds a lot more seams - if you're going to have a liner issue, that is most likely where it will occur.
 
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Dirk

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8,624
Central California
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SWG Type
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Firstly, automation is something you can add later, especially if you upgrade from the SuperFlo to an IntelliFlo pump now. Auto-fill and overflow systems cannot be added later (well, could be, but with a lot of trouble and a whole lot of expense). They are part of the plumbing system and require pipes that would run into the pool, and under the deck.

Like PoolBrews, if you had pools with and without auto-fill, I suspect you would not hesitate to add it to your list. By the time you regret not having it, it'll be too late. And while you say you're fine filling and draining a pool manually, consider who's going to do that while you're out of town, or otherwise unable to do so yourself. My pool probably loses about 1" a day. I'd have to drag a hose out to the pool at least every other day, perhaps every day in the heat of summer. No thanks. Oh, and based on how many times I've flooded my yard forgetting about filling my stupid little fountain, I'd surely, regularly, overflow my pool filling it manually. And remember, filling a pool is not like watering a plant: you run the hose, start the fill, go do other things, check on the water level a few times until it is just right, the turn off the hose and wind it up. So that's several trips to the pool, over the span of many minutes. Up to every day...

Automation is like a set of timers and remote controls for a pool. My automation controls my solar heater, turning valves and changing pump speed to optimize heating the pool. It does the same for my cleaning system. And it does the same for my chlorine production. It turns my pump on and off to filter the pool everyday. It can turn my pool light on and off on a timer. It could do the same for garden lights, bistro lights, etc. It turns my pump on in freezing temps to protect my pool plumbing. Any adjustments I might need to any of those systems I can do remotely. And pool systems generally need to be adjusted periodically. Either for temporary increased use (like right before a pool party), or because of the change in seasons (adjusting the SWG, for example). There are some other niceties, too. All this control and adjustment is available from a computer or a smart phone, anywhere in the world. Or from the inside, or other side, of your house. Without automation, any change to your equipment must be performed at the pool's equipment pad, night or day, rain or shine.

To be fair, the IntelliFlo pump can be programmed, to come on and off and to change speeds. But it can't adjust any valves. And it can't control an SWG. If fact, I'm not sure how to control an SWG without automation. You'll have to have some sort of timer for it, and hope that timer doesn't get out of sync with the pump schedule. If it does, the SWG could produce chlorine without the pump running, which can cause sever damage. The SWG does have a flow sensor in it, to avoid this problem, but that's supposed to be a backup safety, it's not intended to be the primary safety. Automation syncs the SWG with the pump so that they work together as they need to.

Also, the automation controller can house the transformer for the SWG, and all the circuit breakers required for your pool systems, in a single nice looking box. Without it, or if you add it later, you'll have a separate circuit breaker box, a SWG transformer, and the controller box.

Automation, including auto-fill/overflow, is not necessary to run a pool, it just makes doing so a whole lot easier and convenient. And possible, without hiring someone, while you're away. FYI: if you install Pentair automation now, it'll be included in the three-year warranty upgrade your going to get by buying several Pentair items at the same time. If you add it later, you'll only get a one year warranty.
 

offtheclock

Member
Dec 30, 2020
13
Greenville, SC
Ok Thinking I really need to consider these then. I plan to talk to my PB on monday when she returns to work. Until then do you guys have a rough idea of the costs of these two systems?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,092
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
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SWG Type
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Your description does not show any water features or need for actuated valves. If that is true, the Pentair IntelliConnect can be a much cheaper method of being able to control the pump, SWCG, and light via automation. Check it out.
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
My PoolMiser, and the Pentair equivalent system, can be had for around a hundred bucks, for the part itself. The wild card is what your PB will up-charge for installation. The PoolMiser needs three pipes run: one to the pool, another to the water supply (including a proper shut-off valve, about $50), and a third to where you want the overflow to dump out. All PVC. The materials are cheap-ish, depending on how long those pipe runs need to be. Only the overflow pipe might need additional trenching, the other two would go in the trenching they'll do for the other pool plumbing.

Automation has a pretty large range. And Marty has made a great suggestion about how to get automation for a reasonable cost. At the other end, there are bundles that come with the SWG and its transformer, and still others that include valve actuators (which you might not need). Then there is the capacity factor. Some come with four or five relays, others with eight or more. The relays are what you connect things to. Your light would use one.

So the first step, like Marty started to do for you, is to determine what you want to control. A simple pool might only need the IntelliConnect. A few more gizmos might need a 4-relay model. An elaborate pool or yard would need a more capable system. Built a list of what you need to control, and then a second list of what you might want to control, someday, and then we can help you pick out the right model.

I mentioned you'd be able to control things using an app on your phone. Would a solar heater be a possible future upgrade? Would you like to be able to control your garden lights? Or other lighting or electrical features in your yard, from your phone? How many pool lights will you have? Will they all turn on and off together? Or would you like to be able to control them independently? Etc.

Build your wish list, with some thought to how you might someday expand, and go from there.

It wouldn't surprise me to hear a PB would want $500-1000 to install auto-fill.
He might want $1000 to $5000 or more for automation, depending on the model. That number might include the cost of the SWG, which is not cheap just by itself. Buying an automation/SWG bundle should be much cheaper than buying SWG now and adding automation later.
 

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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
More to think about... I have a lot on automation control: all the pool stuff, plus garden lights, bistro lights, citrus tree heaters, a bug zapper, a fountain, four sets of flood lights, an outdoor end-table light, a dining area light and the pool light. Whew. But I separated out most of that away from my pool automation controller to a home automation system. I don't even use the pool controller for the pool light. I can control both systems from my phone, iPads and computers, but using available home automation tech is much more cost effective than trying to run all that junk from a pool control system. Both have their advantages. Having just one system, and one app, is its own advantage. Point was, some of the things you might want to have remote control of in your yard don't all have to be controlled by the pool's controller (but can be, if that makes more sense to how you and your family want to deal with this kind of tech).

Ha, maybe I just talked you right out of any automation!! o_O

The take away: consider current needs and future needs and even unforeseeable needs, so that you don't buy too little (or too big) of a system... They're too expensive to swap out later. Unless you're made of money, what you get now is what you'll have to live with for a good long while. Many years or even a decade or two...
 

offtheclock

Member
Dec 30, 2020
13
Greenville, SC
Update: Ordered the 16 x 32 with the vinyl covered steel steps. The pool kit was in stock so that was a plus. Ended up have to have the drain field relocated in order to get the placement right on the pool. Extra expense I did not prepare for but happy as to now I can get the pool in the exact location we wanted. Between the steel step upgrade and the septic relocate I am going to hold off on automation.

For the liner color we had to switch to the GLI Nero with Eclipse Amber as the Black Granite with onyx is no longer offered. We have not scene any completed examples of this but we think we will like it.

Big bonus is since the pool kit was in stock they dig our pool this Thursday!
Here is a pic of them relocating the drain field to further down the hill.
9D91D2C3-0308-437A-B375-747A4D8C584A.jpeg
 

Dirk

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Pool Size
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Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
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SWG Type
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That's what I call easy access to your yard!
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
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In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,530
Morris Cnty NJ
Have the builder tap one of the skimmers for an overflow. Should cost nothing it's a short run of 1" pipe have him run it out and under the retaining wall. Dont worry about autofill you will be fine without it but overflow is essential. Automation etc you can add later. Nice easy digging by the looks of it
 

Dirk

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Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Uh, I wasn't sure if you noticed or not, but you have a pool in your yard. ;) It happens, you'll just have to live with it.
 
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