Plumbing and electrical, and many other build frustrations! Need help

Hubbs4240

Member
Nov 10, 2020
6
Florida
Pool is under construction with numerous delays and frustrations. For example, day of shotcrete we had a hurricane/tropical storm come through and reeked havoc on the massive open dirt/sand hole in my backyard. Anyway, we have moved on from that issue and now the plumbing has been installed along with the electrical conduit.

I believe that they did the plumbing/electrical wrong, but the builder is saying "no big deal, we can fix it later when we lay the equipment." However, given my past issues I am not being very trusting of the builder. For example, I told him of the issue last week and he said "Ill get on it and get it fixed." Today when he tells me that the plumbing inspection is tomorrow and I remind him of the issue he says "That is news to me." I then called him and politely reminded him of our text last week and he says "Oh its no big deal, we can fix it when we pull the lights through."

So here is the potential issue. The pool is supposed to have 3 returns and 4 lights (3 led globrite and 1 led bubbler). The bubbler and two light fixtures (just pvc pipe at this point) have the gray electrical conduit running to where the equipment will be. The other light location pictured in the attached pictures is plumbed into the main return line going back to the area of equipment. My theory is that they screwed up the plumbing and created 4 returns instead of 3 and gave me 2 led globrite locations and 1 bubbler.

So if my theory is correct, can the builder simply fix the issue by pulling the electrical through that existing plumbing pictured and fix the issue at the equipment area plumbing? Or is this something that I need to demand that they come back and fix at the site pictured where the plumbing comes off of the pool shell (similar to the other properly plumbed lights)? The builder is also saying that the plumbing wont create a issue for the inspection (which I question because they will see that the pool is plumbed for 4 returns currently and only supposed to have 3), is he correct?
 

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TampaKathy

Gold Supporter
Oct 2, 2020
144
Tampa, FL
Hi Hubbs, I can't answer your questions but wanted to suggest that given your lack of trust in the PB, you may want to post what kind of equipment you are getting so experts here can look at it and make sure it is good. Also, if you post a picture of the whole pool showing where the lights are currently, maybe someone can weigh in on whether or not the 2 lights will be enough. You should at least ask for some money back for the 3rd light that you aren't getting and it may be too late but the recommendation on this site is to get microbrites or intellibrites not globrites b/c the globrites have a special niche and will only be able to be replaced with globrites in the future. I don't inspectors compare the number of returns to the plans but again, I'm not positive but that is my understanding.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
22,247
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Welcome to TFP.

You will find the building inspector will not check or care if you have 3 or 4 return lines. He is not there to do quality control on your build.

I am not sure what you are describing. The builder will need to replace the PVC pipe with a light conduit and also chip out the gunite to install a Globrite niche. It is handowrk but can be done.
 

Hubbs4240

Member
Nov 10, 2020
6
Florida
Attached is a overall picture and a drawing of the layout. Pool will be 37 x 15 freeform as you can see from the drawing and photograph. The tanning ledge is 8 x 12, with 6" water depth. Equipment is Pentair Superflo 1.5hp Variable speed pump, Pentair clean and clear 150sf cartridge filter, Pentair ICHLOR 30k salt chlorine generator, Pentair cascade LED bubbler for sun shelf, Pentair dual drains, and 1 Pentair Deluxe Skimmer. Supposed to have 3 other pentair globrites (originally only had 1 light and LED bubbler, but opted for 2 additional after researching this site) for lighting, along with the Pentair colorwheel controller for the lighting. Finish will be Pebblesheen blue granite. Also added the Gulfstream 125btu electric heatpump.

Which brings me to the issue I discussed above. The current plumbing lines (white PVC) would create 4 returns in the pool (supposed to be 3). The 4th return line is to the area where there is supposed to be a light fixture with gray conduit like the other lights. Its also obvious to me because the prefab PVC is much lower position (like a light) than the other returns.

PB says that no big deal and will just fix the issue when they set the equipment and do the electrical. Basically they want to run the light wiring through the white PVC pipe and fix the issue at the equipment plumbing/hookup. I am assuming they would just not hook up the line as a return and instead act like the white PVC is like the electrical conduit?

I may just be overthinking this and driving myself crazy because of the issues we have had. We paid deposit in July and its December and we just have a shell and plumbing! PB did not get permit until September and every conversation is "we are trying and having scheduling issues with sub contractors."

Any advice or help would be great. Or just tell me to sit back and relax and that will work too! Just seems like a lot of money for things not to go smooth.
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
22,247
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
PB says that no big deal and will just fix the issue when they set the equipment and do the electrical. Basically they want to run the light wiring through the white PVC pipe and fix the issue at the equipment plumbing/hookup. I am assuming they would just not hook up the line as a return and instead act like the white PVC is like the electrical conduit?

Your pictures are too small for me to zoom in and see any details.

The PVC pipe can be used for part of the electrical conduit. But the PVC pipe needs to be cut off of the return line piping outside the pool and things need to be capped without leaks. The conduit and electical line needs to be run in the trench to connect with the PVC pipe.

The niche for the Globrite light needs to be chipped into the gunite. This all needs to be done before trenches are backfilled and the pool is plastered.

It is a bunch of handwork. Will he place the light at the same level as the other lights or will it be in an "odd" height?
 

TampaKathy

Gold Supporter
Oct 2, 2020
144
Tampa, FL
All the PBs are busy now so the waits you are experiencing are typical...I paid a deposit in Oct and I'm not even scheduled for dig until April. Are you going to have a cage? How many inches tall is the wall right now where the sunshelf is?
 

Slapulator

Gold Supporter
Aug 16, 2018
19
Riverview, FL
Pool will be 37 x 15 freeform as you can see from the drawing and photograph. Rough calculations say that would be around 700 sq. ft. and 19K gallons. The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP) advises that there should be a minimum of one skimmer per 400 sq. ft. of pool surface area. Not sure with the shell already there what can be done but a second skimmer could have been very useful for this size pool and the number of returns you are talking about. Now a cage will help a lot if you are getting one.

Pentair clean and clear 150sf cartridge filter

150sf filter is tiny on your pool any will mean more frequent cleanings on your part to keep your pressures where you want them to be. Once again, a cage can help a lot if you are getting one. If possible see about getting a larger filter if no cage.

Pentair Superflo 1.5hp Variable speed pump

If you are getting or think in the future, you would want automation this pump will not be what you want to use. It does not play nice in talking with others.

Pentair ICHLOR 30k salt chlorine generator

With rough calculation of 19k gallons for your pool. The recommendation is 2X so you would really want to investigate an IC40 vs the IC30. This will make you spend less energy, and your cell will last longer between replacements saving you money in the long run.

Globrites are a personal choice that have been reported to have shorter life spans and high replacement costs because as mentioned they have a proprietary niche of doom and you cannot swap anything else in for them. If you have options to swap to microbrites or intellibrites you might want to think about that to give you far more flexibility in the future.

The issues can be fixed if the PB takes the time and effort to do so correctly. It seems you have doubts already about this PB’s attention to quality and detail. I feel you are going to need to be a real hawk for the rest of this build and take daily pictures of the work and compare it to the engineering and plumbing plans you should have been given to stay on top you the rest of the build.

Keep posting statuses and questions. This is the best group of humans I have never met that all care about making sure each of us have the best pool possible.
 

Hubbs4240

Member
Nov 10, 2020
6
Florida
All the PBs are busy now so the waits you are experiencing are typical...I paid a deposit in Oct and I'm not even scheduled for dig until April. Are you going to have a cage? How many inches tall is the wall right now where the sunshelf is?

We are not putting up a cage. Leaving the backyard open with white vinyl privacy fence going around the yard. The wall is about 12" right now.

Thank you for your response, made the wife feel a little better. Plus she had a long talk with the PB today which calmed her nerves.
 
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Hubbs4240

Member
Nov 10, 2020
6
Florida
Thank you all for the responses. The PB came out today after hearing my concerns. He explained the process of the lights and plumbing fixtures. He agrees that the plumbing/light was done incorrectly; however, explained how they would fix the issue when the equipment is set and plumbed. We also went over the equipment again. To clarify from the post by "Slapulator." Because of the 8 x 12 x 6" water depth sunshelf, the actual gallons in the pool is around 15,000. The square footage is 453ft. That was the explanation for the 30k ICHLOR. As far as the filter, Pentair has the same flow rates for the 150 and the 200. So what would the 200 gain for me? I guess little bigger filter so less cleaning?

As far as the pump, my question is whether the automation is worth the cost. I have been on the fence about this and probably should start a new thread. I am a big fan of tech and automation for the home; however, my wife thinks I am ridiculous and would much rather go old fashioned set the timer and leave it. Let me know anyone's thoughts on whether the automation is worth the cost and how reliable is it in terms of functioning properly through the app? I do think the automation would be nice for the lights because that is only way to control individual lights. Otherwise, I will just be able to control the lights with the controller and have lightshows, but not be able to select individual light colors.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
22,247
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
That was the explanation for the 30k ICHLOR.

In my opinion the Intellichlor is higher quality and has less reliability problems then the iChlor. The iChlor has a history of developing leaks in the cap.

As far as the filter, Pentair has the same flow rates for the 150 and the 200. So what would the 200 gain for me? I guess little bigger filter so less cleaning?

There is not a big difference between the 150 and 200. Getting a larger filter means getting something like CCP420, You will have to clean it much less often. More importantly when you get an algae problem you have a lot of filtering capacity to filter the dead algae while following the SLAM Process. With a 150 filter you can find algae clogging the filter within a few hours and needing to clean the filter man times a day.

As far as the pump, my question is whether the automation is worth the cost. I have been on the fence about this and probably should start a new thread.

Keep all your build questions in this one thread.

I am a big fan of tech and automation for the home; however, my wife thinks I am ridiculous and would much rather go old fashioned set the timer and leave it. Let me know anyone's thoughts on whether the automation is worth the cost and how reliable is it in terms of functioning properly through the app? I do think the automation would be nice for the lights because that is only way to control individual lights. Otherwise, I will just be able to control the lights with the controller and have lightshows, but not be able to select individual light colors.

To control individual lights you need to have each light on its own switch and transformer and not sharing one transformer. This is whether you have automation or not.

No pool needs automation. Here is what automation can do....

 

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Hubbs4240

Member
Nov 10, 2020
6
Florida
Update, for anyone wondering. They set the equipment last week, did a rough plumb and backfilled. The PB fixed the light issue by having the plumbers cut out the mistaken return and redid with electrical conduit. All the equipment is set and I now have the wiring for the 4 lights all correctly installed!

All is well, today they are installing the coping and tile!
 
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