Please comment on Steve T's proposed pool/equipment setup


Active member
May 28, 2007

Thanks for your input. I understand that cartridge filters will filter better than sand alone, but some people on this board have had good results with sand + DE or zeolite media instead of sand. This to me seems to be the best of both worlds: the convenience of easy backwashing and the filtration capability approaching DE.

I was also thinking about a salt finish as an initial finish for my concrete deck. If it doesn't work out, then I can always coat the concrete with an acrylic/epoxy topping.

I'm waiting for the landscape architect to come up with a design. If it blows me away, I'll probably go gunite. If I think I can achieve something similar with a Viking FG pool, then I'll go FG.

Thanks again,


LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
Houston, TX
I also have a cartridge filter and dont find cleaning the cartridges much of a problem at all. Really only takes about 30 minutes and for my pool only needs to be done a couple of times a year. If there is a water quality difference over sand I would say the maintenance time is worth it as least to me.

Tex Arcana

Jun 4, 2007
McKinney, Texas
Steve, my 2 cents:

I've had 3 pools, all gunite, the first two were standard chlorine.

Pool #1 was a 25,000 gallon monstrosity that was a major pain to keep up with; it had a DE filter that was fairly easy to deal with (wash off twice a year and recharge); the pool itself, being so large and in the sun for so long, was hard to keep balanced, if I got off the schedule just a few days, it would go right to he77 on me.

Pool #2 we had built when we built the previous house we had, and was nothing more than a glorified oversized spa at 9500 gallons, standard chlorine, DE filter. The only mistake I made there was not putting in a heater, it was on the east side of the house and lost sunlight at about 2pm, and being buried in rock made it nearly impossible to keep above 75-80 deg during the summer in Texas. :(

Pool #3 is my favorite, tho: 16,500 gallon saltwater pool. WE LOVE IT! It's been the easiest and cheapest pool EVER. As long as the salt level is good, and I keep half an eye on the chemicals, it's been excellent, and the saltwater is easy on the skin and eyes. The only thing I don't like about this pool is the cartridge filter, because it's a major pain to wash decently, and costs more than a new filter to replace the darn media; right now, it's got a couple tears in the media that's letting junk past, and I'm busy trying to find a way to replace the thing cost-effectively.

As for gunite vs. fiberglass: I would think about the next time your area decides to ban filling pools again. If that happens, the fiberglass might collapse under the weight of the soil around it, while the gunite might hold up better.

Couple other suggestions:

* If you go with gunite, make sure the coping blocks are the same length as the wall of the pool is thick; otherwise, you'll get ground heave pushing the deck into the coping and the coping popping off.

* Go with patterned concrete, with a stain and a sealer. We did this with pool #2, and it was immensely easy on the feet, and much easier to care for, and didn't cost much more than a standard pebbled concrete deck.

Good luck with your pool selection.