Pool Contractors - Who's saying the truth?

el_steak

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 15, 2007
110
Ottawa, Canada
#1
I'm shopping for a new inground pool. I'm looking at a 12' x 24' kidney pool (with vinyl liner).

I've met with 2 pool contractors with good reputations in my area. Eventhough they both claim to have the best product and installation techniques, on some elements they are completely contradicting each other. Who's saying the truth ?

1- The vinyl liner.

Contractor "A" includes a 40 mil (wall) / 30 mil (bottom) vinyl liner. He says it's the best you can have.

Contractor "B" includes a 30 mil only vinyl liner. He says to stay away like the plague from the 40mil/30mil liner as the seam between the 40mil and 30 mil section is likely to fail and tear the liner appart.

2- Liner "Coping"

Contractor "A" uses a fairly large aluminum coping to hook up the vinyl liner. Says it is superior/stronger than the PVC coping.

Contractor "B" uses PVC coping and says it is superior/stronger than the aluminum coping.

3- "Aqua Genie"

Contractor "A" uses the Aqua-Genie instead of the traditional skimmer + bottom drain and round returns. Claims it is superior.

Contractor "B" uses traditional skimmer + round returns and doesn't want anything to do with the Aqua-Genie.

4- Lighting

Contractor "A" includes 2 spots in the pool (Aqua-Lamp).

Contractor "B" says to steer clear from those as the housing is likely to crack during the winter (I'm in Canada) and cause water infiltration under the liner / damage to the pool.

5- Pool Pump

On this one, both contractors agree and they include a 1 1/2hp pump. This seems overkill to me as the pool only contains 7500 gallons and could be easily handled by a simple 1/2hp pump. Furthermore, the pump will be hooked to 1 1/2" pipes only which are limited anyways in the volume of water they can deliver (still plenty for such a small pool). Won't this create useless high pressures in the pipes? Is this really a case of "bigger is better"

Thanks!
 

Kinguni

Well-known member
Apr 6, 2007
144
Winnipeg, Canada
#2
I like contractor "B".

I can't comment on the liner, but 30 mil seems fine to me.

Coping, PVC works just fine.

Aqua-Genie - intriguing concept, but they'll probably try to sell you on the stuff designed for it. It's intended to work by itself without any other returns or a main drain.

Lighting - nice to have but most people around here do without it after the first liner replacement. The most common complaint is that all it does is attract bugs to the pool.

Pump - I have a 3/4hp pump on my 18x36 inground and that's adequate. Anything more than that is just wasted electricity. I'd go with 3/4hp on that pool personally.

HTH! 8)
 

el_steak

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 15, 2007
110
Ottawa, Canada
#4
Contractor B is cheaper (20000$ CAN vs 23000$ CAN) so I'll probably go with him if all things are equal.

I'm Glad I found this forum, I got a lot of great information by searching through it.

Thanks
 

Matt 633

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 27, 2007
40
Western East Texas
#5
Welcome. I noticed that you didn't mention anything about the filter. What is being considered? It is important to properly match the filter with the pump selected. I would suggest a 2 speed pump. A 3/4 or 1 hp 2 speed pump will save you operating costs in the long run. If possible, choose a 220/240 volt one. Low speed for routine filtering, high speed for vacuuming and chemical additions.

Best wishes
 

el_steak

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 15, 2007
110
Ottawa, Canada
#6
The pump / filter that was "included" in the builder proposal is 1 1/2HP with a 25 inch sand filter.

I will ask him to downsize the pump to 3/4HP, but I don't know which size the filter should be.

The pool will be plumbed with 1 1/2" pipes, it contains about 7500 gals, has 1 skimmer, 1 bottom drain and 2 returns. The pump/filter will be within 10 feet of the pool.

I'll also add 4 solar panels (4x12 each) which will be located around feet 30 feet from the pool and 10 feet up on the roof.
 

haybird

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
211
Ontario
#8
We have the aqua lamps rainbow (2), and can't imagine the pool without them.
Even if your not a big swimmer at night, it is very soothing to set by at night.
I have read lots of threads where people wish they went for the lights after it
was to late.. Just my 2 cents good luck with your build.
 

el_steak

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 15, 2007
110
Ottawa, Canada
#9
Actually, Builder "A" (Mermaid Pools in my area) offers The Rainbow Light as an upgrade in his package. Have you had any issues/concerns with them for the winter period?

Are they PVC or Stainless Steel?
 

Matt 633

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 27, 2007
40
Western East Texas
#11
The 25" filter will be great. I'm assuming that it will hold 300 lbs or so of sand. Please consider what type of sand that they will be using. It is not uncommon to use size 1/2 sand. This is pretty coarse and most are not happy with it and end up going to a cartridge filter. This is how I received my free filter. I cleaned it out and refilled with a 50/50 mix of 12x20 and 20x40 sand. Filters very nicely. :-D It sounds like you are progressing nicely with the decision making process.
 

haybird

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
211
Ontario
#12
Its are first summer with the rainbows. All three builders we had to are house use them.
They say they never have any problems. I can't imagine they would all use them if they always
had problems. There are pretty simple instructions for winterizing. Also inquire about a remote
its a very handy option, to change through the 6 different settings.
 

el_steak

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 15, 2007
110
Ottawa, Canada
#13
Thanks for the comments/help everybody.

I finally made the deal with Contractor "A" today (Mermaid). I would have preferred to go with "B", but unfortunately it turns out they don't carry the pool shape we wanted in the size we wanted. (Our backyard is pretty small so we don't have too many options).

I had a pretty hard time negociating the price with them. They didn't want to lower it at all. All I could get is an upgrade on the width of the concrete sidewalk.

I also had a hard time getting them to lower the power of the pump. I wanted to go from a 1 1/2hp to a 3/4hp but they initially refused, stating the bigger is better argument. Finally convinced them it made no sense to hook up a pump that big to a 7000 gallons pool using 1 1/2" pipes. Still, I got the feeling they think I'm a bit crazy to ask for that. I didn't state my "internet" information sources as this would have probably launched them on the "can't trust any information found on the internet" rant...
 

bluenoise

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 25, 2007
187
Alamo, CA
#14
My pool has a 3/4 HP main filter pump and I'm pushing water to my roof's solar panels just fine, for what it's worth. The roof is about 11-13 feet above the pool equipment and the plumbing is 2" PVC to and from the panels (seven 4' x 12' panels).

The only time the panels "starve" of water is when the filter needs cleaning and the flow is reduced. I don't know if a larger pump would help, but it's certainly a valid enough reason for me to keep the filter clean.