Pool in Campbell, Ca. Now under contract!

brimorga

Gold Supporter
I've been reading this forum for years gearing up for this moment. I created a list of the consensus recommendations from the experts here, but need some advice on some conflicting info I am getting from the pool builder. I do trust him, he is very knowledgable and his company is very reputable, but I am trying to go in a different direction on a few things and I'm conflicted. The pool builders here are also super busy, business is booming, so I'd like to be really clear on my needs.

Pool: 18x37, Pool Depth: 3.5ft to 7.5ft, Integrated Spa: 7x8, Autocover, SWG. My goal is a warm pool that can be used as much of the year as possible but also requires the least amount of maintenance and ongoing costs.

1) Auto fill: He said he doesn't recommend the autofill for 2 reasons. 1). It can clog and you won't know it, 2) it could hide a leak. I do have lawn with sprinklers currently where the pool is with an app based smart controller, a Rachio. I could use the Rachio instead and plumb it to the pool and set the fill on a timer as an alternate solution.

2) Auto leveler drain. He said this is not allowed in my area, as it's treated water. I'm in Campbell California (next to San Jose). Not sure if this is true? I'd really love to avoid as much work as possible dealing with the pool as I have 3 young kids competing for my time, but he seems to think my only option is a cover pump and good drainage in the decking. If I don't have this, I'll need to have a really good drainage system as my pool location is elevated and slopes back toward the house.

3). I said I wanted to use a robot instead of a vacuum system, but he thinks I should install the plumbing for the vacuum anyway in case I change my mind. Not sure if folks agree with this and I should just say no and try to save some money? Not sure if the booster pump is part of the cleaner quote or the plumbing quote?

4). He has some drains in the bid. I know folks say you don't really need them anymore, but he says they are more for water circulation and more even heating of the deep end than as an actual drain. I'm a little confused what to do here.

5). I definitely want solar pool heating, but debating how much coverage I need. I'd like to keep the pool "mommy temp" as much as possible, like 87 degrees, but not sure if I need 70%+ coverage given I have the auto-cover? 12 4x12 panels is a lot and will compete with the solar panels for roof space that I also want to put in. The pool will be in a spot that gets lots of sun.

6). I want lots of jets in the spa, but he thinks I'm maxed out on jets without significantly upgrading equipment and plumbing. He says I effectively have 10 jets in the current quote.

7). These guys do tons of covered pools but push a chlorine + UV system. I'm getting salt water, so do I need to make sure to get sacrificial anodes included in the quote?

8). Any other suggestions? I have a light over the equipment pad, a power outlet by the pool for the robot, a handrail mount in the decking to future proof as other items.

9). I am waiting on a list of what the quote doesn't cover, like decking, safety fence and drainage, but not sure if anything else jumps out as a big expense I need to account for?

Below is the bid sheet, my notes in bold.

BASIC SWIMMING POOL SPECS

Tile Trim:1in Tile Trim on Pool Steps & Benches

(2) Skimmers On Pool

(5) of #4 1/2in Steel Rebar In Bond Beam

2 1/2in Suction & Return To Pool w (4) Returns Inlets Dual Drains In Pool &/Or Spa

Anti-Siphon Valve For Fill Line

BASIC POOL EQUIPMENT

Basic Filter: 700sqft HWD Cartridge Extra Large

Basic Pump: TriStar Variable Sp (5 Yr Warranty)

Heater: HWD 400K Lo/Nox NG (5 Yr Warranty)

Cleaner: TriVac500 TVP500C w Pump Sanitization: Remove for robot

Salt/Chlorine Generator: Confirm model #, 2x pool capacity required

Pool RX Water Purifier: Not sure I need this? It's only $100. He seems to think I can run lower chlorine levels with this but it seems not necessary or something that can be added later.

Elec Eqp: OmniLogic 4 Base HLBASE

Elec Eqp: E-Command w/out Remote HPC-4-ACT-RC

DELUXE SPA SPECS

Bi-Level Bench In Spa

SPA EQUIPMENT

Air Blower: 1hp Bottom Mount

Spa Jets (4 Roto Jets Included)

Spa Jets (2 Additional)

OTHER EQUIPMENT AND ACCESSO

Skimmer Lid: Aluminum

Deco Umbrella Sleeve

POOL PLUMBING

Filter Run: 2in Plumbing Run (100ft Inc.)

2 1/2in Pool Suction & Return (All Included)

Pool Cleaner Plumbing: 1 1/2in

Two Main Drain Receptacle(s)

Fill Line Unobstructed (25ft Inc.)

Stubs: Solar

Skimmer(s) with self-adjusting weir:

Backfill Trenches by Others

SPA PLUMBING

Spa Plumbing Run (20ft Inc)

Upgrade Plumbing: 2 1/2in Suction

GAS PLUMBING

Gas Line Base Price 1.5in Line

1 1/2in Gas Line Above 40ft

MASONRY:TILE AND COPING

Tile Trim Package: 1in Tile

Tile: 6in Standard Waterline

Coping:Upg Rock Amer Soils: 14 x 24 x 2 Travertine Coping

Coping:Over AC Vault: 14x24x2 Travertine over vault

ELECTRICAL

Light-Pool:HAY ColorLogic 320 LED – 5 (4 pool, 1 spa)

EquipotentialBonding by Decking Contractor

PLASTER

Pool Finish:Beach Series Pebble Plus

Spa Finish:Beach Series Pebble Plus

POOL COVER

R.P. Prep:Gunite Box (WL Width 16-22 ft)
Auto Cover:Standard Fabric Color
Brackets (SS) For Coping Stones On APC (WL Width 16-22 ft)
Undertrack

SOLAR

Solar Panels:Heliocol 76% Coverage

IMG_2337.jpeg
 
Last edited:

brimorga

Gold Supporter
Here are some more pics of the space, including my dog who’s about the lose a large portion of his play area!
 

Attachments

  • 45433531-94C1-460B-8F58-92A6AFA16855.jpeg
    45433531-94C1-460B-8F58-92A6AFA16855.jpeg
    461.1 KB · Views: 42
  • F12868A4-817F-44E5-9557-C301E366A6CD.jpeg
    F12868A4-817F-44E5-9557-C301E366A6CD.jpeg
    381.2 KB · Views: 41
  • 10AA66B9-DBDB-41B3-A2A4-F9034C637431.jpeg
    10AA66B9-DBDB-41B3-A2A4-F9034C637431.jpeg
    415.5 KB · Views: 37

JJ_Tex

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,296
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Here is my 2 cents:

1) Autofill - Your builder is right that it can mask a leak. Mine said the same thing and he plumbed a pipe that goes to my hose bib. I assume yours will do the same?

2) The drain seems odd to me. I guess check with your local code, but if you pool doesnt have an overflow the treated water will still overflow over the top of your pool. I would rather control where it goes, especially if an overflowing pool would be sending water towards my house.

3. You will be fine with a robot. What is the charge for the plumbing? I guess it cant hurt if it is included, but still seems odd.

4) Drains - You don't need them, but most pools still have them. I like the fact that it is pulling from the bottom and also has some backup if a skimmer is clogged.

5) Solar heating - Sorry, I'm no help here

6) 10 jets is a lot in a spa (btw, I count 6 in your quote not 10). You can get more, but also likely need a booster pump.

7) Sacrificial anodes - I've seen it posted on here multiple times that they are not needed. I do not have one.

PoolRX - These add "minerals" to your pool like silver and copper, which can build up and stain your pool. Remove this.

Welcome and hope that helps.
 
  • Like
Reactions: brimorga

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
23,859
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
1) Auto fill: He said he doesn't recommend the autofill for 2 reasons. 1). It can clog and you won't know it, 2) it could hide a leak. I do have lawn with sprinklers currently where the pool is with an app based smart controller, a Rachio. I could use the Rachio instead and plumb it to the pool and set the fill on a timer as an alternate solution.

If you want an Autofill then get an autofill. Make sure it has a manual shutoff you can get to and turn it off periodically to check for a leak. No reason to do a hack behind your PBs back with your Rachio.

If you don't have an autoflow you will be topping your pool off to replace water lost from evaporation every few days. Although with an autocover on most of the time you will not get a lot of evaporation. So an Autofill may not be that important for your setup.

2) Auto leveler drain. He said this is not allowed in my area, as it's treated water. I'm in Campbell California (next to San Jose). Not sure if this is true? I'd really love to avoid as much work as possible dealing with the pool as I have 3 young kids competing for my time, but he seems to think my only option is a cover pump and good drainage in the decking. If I don't have this, I'll need to have a really good drainage system as my pool location is elevated and slopes back toward the house.

If it is not allowed then it is not allowed. Maybe @Dirk who is in CA may know.

Having an autofill and an overflow drain becomes complex to not have the autofill add water that then gets dumped out of the overflow drain. I think your PB realizes they both will not work well and is trying to keep your pool simple.

While you say you want as little work as possible all this auto stuff makes a lot of work when they start not doing exactly what you want done. Sometimes it is easier just doing the simple things like adding water to the pool with a hose when necessary.

3). I said I wanted to use a robot instead of a vacuum system, but he thinks I should install the plumbing for the vacuum anyway in case I change my mind. Not sure if folks agree with this and I should just say no and try to save some money? Not sure if the booster pump is part of the cleaner quote or the plumbing quote?

With an autocover your pool is not going to get a lot of debris blown into it. Every few days you need to plan to open the cover, let the pool breath, and put the robot cleaner in to clean the bottom if you see stuff there.

No reason to install plumbing for a vacuum.

4). He has some drains in the bid. I know folks say you don't really need them anymore, but he says they are more for water circulation and more even heating of the deep end than as an actual drain. I'm a little confused what to do here.

Get the main drain. While they are not mandatory they can be nice to have.

5). I definitely want solar pool heating, but debating how much coverage I need. I'd like to keep the pool "mommy temp" as much as possible, like 87 degrees, but not sure if I need 70%+ coverage given I have the auto-cover? 12 4x12 panels is a lot and will compete with the solar panels for roof space that I also want to put in. The pool will be in a spot that gets lots of sun.

@Dirk can talk to you about solar in CA.

6). I want lots of jets in the spa, but he thinks I'm maxed out on jets without significantly upgrading equipment and plumbing. He says I effectively have 10 jets in the current quote.

Every jet takes 10-15 GPM of water flow for good strong massage therapy. Using your pool filter pump limits the flow rate you can get from it. Adding a dedicated spa jet pump can give you more flow for your jets. Your builder is guiding you in the right direction but I question if you already should have a dedicated spa jet pump.

7). These guys do tons of covered pools but push a chlorine + UV system. I'm getting salt water, so do I need to make sure to get sacrificial anodes included in the quote?

Getting SWG is the right choice. Sacrificial anodes may help prevent corrosion with the autocover mechanism. It may help, can't hurt.

8). Any other suggestions? I have a light over the equipment pad, a power outlet by the pool for the robot, a handrail mount in the decking to future proof as other items.

9). I am waiting on a list of what the quote doesn't cover, like decking, safety fence and drainage, but not sure if anything else jumps out as a big expense I need to account for?

Have you read...





Pool RX Water Purifier: Not sure I need this? It's only $100. He seems to think I can run lower chlorine levels with this but it seems not necessary or something that can be added later.

Not needed.

Elec Eqp: OmniLogic 4 Base HLBASE

Consider getting the Omni PL bundled with the SWG. The Omni PL has an improved User Interface.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: brimorga

brimorga

Gold Supporter
Thank you so much JJ!, your comments are greatly appreciated!

1) Autofill - Your builder is right that it can mask a leak. Mine said the same thing and he plumbed a pipe that goes to my hose bib. I assume yours will do the same?

Yes, he put that in the quote, but it sounds to me like he has it quoted out for me to still fill manually. Is that what you do?

2) The drain seems odd to me. I guess check with your local code, but if you pool doesnt have an overflow the treated water will still overflow over the top of your pool. I would rather control where it goes, especially if an overflowing pool would be sending water towards my house.

You know, maybe I misunderstood how it works and did not describe it to him accurately. I might have indicated the drain is hooked into the waste water system and now I realize, based upon what you are saying, that I hook it into some kind of system that will drain the water to somewhere else on my property. I do have a drain system, I guess a French drain, that is integrated into my pavers and roof gutters, but I have no idea where the water actually goes as it was done by the previous owner. I guess I should look into hooking into that, or creating something similar. Thank you for clearing this up for me!

3. You will be fine with a robot. What is the charge for the plumbing? I guess it cant hurt if it is included, but still seems odd.

The plumbing is included in the quote at $0, but I could try and get them to back it out or get a credit for something else. I think I'll try to have them remove that and see if I can save a few bucks.

4) Drains - You don't need them, but most pools still have them. I like the fact that it is pulling from the bottom and also has some backup if a skimmer is clogged.

Ok, thanks! I'll keep it then. He has one for the pool and one for the hot tub and says it's really part of a closed system.

6) 10 jets is a lot in a spa (btw, I count 6 in your quote not 10). You can get more, but also likely need a booster pump.

He says the Roto jets are actually like 2 jets, so I counted them twice, but I guess I should figure out exactly what it is. Thanks for the reassurance on the jet count!

7) Sacrificial anodes - I've seen it posted on here multiple times that they are not needed. I do not have one.

Thank you!

PoolRX - These add "minerals" to your pool like silver and copper, which can build up and stain your pool. Remove this.

Will do, thanks again JJ!
 

brimorga

Gold Supporter
Thank you AJ for the advice and links! I've literally been reading this site on a regular basis for the last 7 years, in expectation of this moment, but there are so many threads to absorb I appreciate you pointing me in the right direction!



Every jet takes 10-15 GPM of water flow for good strong massage therapy. Using your pool filter pump limits the flow rate you can get from it. Adding a dedicated spa jet pump can give you more flow for your jets. Your builder is guiding you int he right direction but I question if you already should have a dedicated spa jet pump.

It does look like he has a 1HP bottom mount air blower just for the spa, but I will confirm. Hopefully that will be sufficient!


Getting SWG is the right choice. Sacraficail anodes may help prevent corrosion with the autocover mechanisim. It may help, can't hurt.

I will ask, thank you!

Consider getting the Omni PL bundled with the SWG. The Omni PL has an improved User Interface.

I did read up a bit on this and discussed it with him, exactly for the reasons you outlined. He wasn't aware they were available, but he spoke with his Hayward rep about it. According to the pool guy, the PL has slightly less functionality in terms of the amount of things it can control and he felt like for a $300 savings, it wasn't worth it and I would be better off with the OmniLogic in case I wanted to expand my system in the future. He has also installed lots of the OmniLogic and none of the PL and he recommended we stick with what he knows.

Thanks again for your help!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
23,859
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
The spa air blower has no effect on the spa pump and jets. They are independent other then both water from the pump and air from the blower comes out of the same jets.

Omni PL is not about any cost savings. It is about an improved User Interface. Some folks find the OmniLogic system very difficult to program and use.

 
  • Like
Reactions: brimorga

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
I have differing opinions about some of what has been said. It's just my own experience and logic. Another point of view for your consideration...

1) Auto fill: He said he doesn't recommend the autofill for 2 reasons. 1). It can clog and you won't know it, 2) it could hide a leak. I do have lawn with sprinklers currently where the pool is with an app based smart controller, a Rachio. I could use the Rachio instead and plumb it to the pool and set the fill on a timer as an alternate solution.
1) Yes, it can stop working. But not know it? Wouldn't you notice if your pool is a bit low? If you have no autofill, wouldn't you notice if your pool is a bit low, then fill it? If you have an autofill and notice your pool is low, then check the autofill. That was a weak reason.
2) Yes, it could. So better to be inconvenienced every day or two, for most of the year, on the off chance that maybe someday perhaps you might get a leak? So check for a leak once in a while, or just bite the bullet when you get a big water bill one month. Either would be preferable to me over having to fill my pool every day (it's every day where I live).

Not buying either one of these excuses (and I have heard them before, so these seem to be a common concern of PBs). Here's a thought, don't build a leaky pool! 🤪

2) Auto leveler drain. He said this is not allowed in my area, as it's treated water. I'm in Campbell California (next to San Jose). Not sure if this is true? I'd really love to avoid as much work as possible dealing with the pool as I have 3 young kids competing for my time, but he seems to think my only option is a cover pump and good drainage in the decking. If I don't have this, I'll need to have a really good drainage system as my pool location is elevated and slopes back toward the house.
This also make little sense to me, and I would push back and have him cite you the building code, or get in contact with the local building dept and verify this yourself. We've seen this before, when a builder just doesn't want to do something, he'll "make up code." Where you live, your pool can definitely get too full in a storm. Where is that water supposed to go? Into your garden? Into your neighbor's yard? I know for a fact that is certainly illegal. You must control 100% or your runoff water. Why not plumb an overflow system to properly control the destination of your pool's overflow? Now where that water goes: into the sewer, or a field, or a gutter, might certainly be governed by code or regulations, so your PB might be misunderstanding that, and so misquoting the code to you. Check on it. Get the local planning dept to explain how they want you to handle overflow. If the PBs take turns out to be wrong, get the overflow.

3). I said I wanted to use a robot instead of a vacuum system, but he thinks I should install the plumbing for the vacuum anyway in case I change my mind. Not sure if folks agree with this and I should just say no and try to save some money? Not sure if the booster pump is part of the cleaner quote or the plumbing quote?
I have recommended this to others, so I support this notion. That extra pipe could come in real handy. In case you change your mind, as mentioned. Or it can be used for a quick manual vac cleanup. It can be later converted to be a return instead of suction. That could be used for a floating fountain water feature. Or to take over for a leaking return that had to be permanently disconnected. Lots of reasons to have that extra pipe. You can't add one later.

4). He has some drains in the bid. I know folks say you don't really need them anymore, but he says they are more for water circulation and more even heating of the deep end than as an actual drain. I'm a little confused what to do here.
No drains. First, drains don't do squat for circulation. Pushing water into a pool moves water. Sucking water out of a pool doesn't, not for more than the water just a few inches away. If you want to improve circulation in a deep end, you install deep water returns (I forget exactly what those are called). That would push water around in the deep end and really mix it up with the water above. Drains won't do that. At all. Drains are a throw back, before automatic cleaners, when folks had to brush their pools, sweeping gunk down to the deep end, where they would then have to scoop out the big stuff and push the little stuff into the drain. There are plenty of ways to drain your pool that don't use a drain. Say, a vacuum hose connected to that extra suction line you were advised to put in would do it! Nix the drains.

5). I definitely want solar pool heating, but debating how much coverage I need. I'd like to keep the pool "mommy temp" as much as possible, like 87 degrees, but not sure if I need 70%+ coverage given I have the auto-cover? 12 4x12 panels is a lot and will compete with the solar panels for roof space that I also want to put in. The pool will be in a spot that gets lots of sun.
Get the manufacturer's suggested amount of panels. Give them a call for a consult. Leave yourself room on the roof to add more later. Try out what you first get for a season, add more later if you want to. It's a relatively easy replumb on the roof to add more panels.

I put my solar panels on the north side, so I could save the south side for PV solar. They work fine. Solar heating panels do not require the same stringent angle of sun like PV solar panels do. Plus, by the time the sun gets low enough in the fall/winter sky, it's too cold out to go swimming anyway. PV solar needs the best possible angle all year long, pool solar doesn't. Discuss this with a local solar installer and they can help you strategize best placement for both systems.
6). I want lots of jets in the spa, but he thinks I'm maxed out on jets without significantly upgrading equipment and plumbing. He says I effectively have 10 jets in the current quote.
No opinion. Other than I would never build an in-pool spa if the first place. It's a concrete bowl with a concrete bench with, as you're discovering, a very limited amount of jets. They don't compare to a stand-alone fiberglass spa with comfy contoured seating, of varying shapes and recline, with head rests and neck massagers and jets everywhere, even for your feet... jets that scratch any inch and make you blush if that's your thing. Plus you have to dump that expensive heat out of an in-pool spa every day, instead of keeping in warm 24/7 like you can do in a stand-alone. Comfort-wise, economy-wise, cost-wise, there's just no comparison. In-pool spas do look cool though, so there's that. Form over function, if that's your thing.
7). These guys do tons of covered pools but push a chlorine + UV system. I'm getting salt water, so do I need to make sure to get sacrificial anodes included in the quote?
Allen covers this topic well. Plus, you'll be getting a UV system. It's call the sun! ;)
8). Any other suggestions? I have a light over the equipment pad, a power outlet by the pool for the robot, a handrail mount in the decking to future proof as other items.
All fantastic think-ahead ideas. Good job. I always suggest running several empty conduits and pipes under the deck. They can later be used for irrigation, drip irrigation, speaker wires, ethernet cables for wifi extenders or video cams, extra 120V circuits, etc. Very cheap to put in now. Impossible to add later. Put in several PVC water pipes, and several PVC electrical conduits. I would add in a hose bib now, on the far side of the pool, so you can connect a hose up for whatever you might need.
9). I am waiting on a list of what the quote doesn't cover, like decking, safety fence and drainage, but not sure if anything else jumps out as a big expense I need to account for?
Beer.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: brimorga

Rocket J Squirrel

Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
1,051
Alamo, CA
Pool Size
36000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I live in @brimorga 's general area and climate. With an auto-cover, you don't need auto-fill or overflow drain around here.

We keep the pool covered when not in use, and I only have to add water 3 or 4 times during swim season. Only after a splash-fest pool party do I need to add more. The cover is excellent at reducing evaporation.

The under-track auto-cover should have a below-surface vault where the cover rolls up. There should be a drain at the bottom of that vault which runs to your storm drains or even just out to the street. I'm pretty sure that's standard, but make sure it's specified in the contract. If the topography and drainage are less than ideal, you can simply aim your pool cover pump's hose to go down that drain. This is just rainwater, so it's legal. It's not legal, at least where I live, to send chlorinated pool water, which is what overflow would be, to the storm drains.
 
  • Like
Reactions: brimorga and Dirk

pjt

Gold Supporter
Jan 7, 2012
261
The Woodlands, TX
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
1) Auto fill: He said he doesn't recommend the autofill for 2 reasons. 1). It can clog and you won't know it, 2) it could hide a leak. I do have lawn with sprinklers currently where the pool is with an app based smart controller, a Rachio. I could use the Rachio instead and plumb it to the pool and set the fill on a timer as an alternate solution.

3). I said I wanted to use a robot instead of a vacuum system, but he thinks I should install the plumbing for the vacuum anyway in case I change my mind. Not sure if folks agree with this and I should just say no and try to save some money? Not sure if the booster pump is part of the cleaner quote or the plumbing quote?

4). He has some drains in the bid. I know folks say you don't really need them anymore, but he says they are more for water circulation and more even heating of the deep end than as an actual drain. I'm a little confused what to do here.

8). Any other suggestions? I have a light over the equipment pad, a power outlet by the pool for the robot, a handrail mount in the decking to future proof as other items.

You have many of the same ideas I incorporated into my build (link is in my signature).

-My fill line is controlled as an irrigation zone by my Rachio. I really like that setup since I have complete control over it.

-Robot is definitely the way to go. I opted not to have a dedicated suction line since it adds cost, complexity, and one more thing to go wrong. If I ever needed suction, I can pull from a skimmer.

-I don't have main drains, and I'm very happy with that decision. Again, it avoids complexity and one more thing to go wrong.

-You'll enjoy all three things listed in 8). My build might give you a few more ideas to consider.

Good luck!
 
  • Like
Reactions: brimorga and Dirk

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

brimorga

Gold Supporter
Ha! Well, now I don't feel so bad about asking some of these questions, it sounds like there are different takes and I need to pick a side!

I live in @brimorga 's general area and climate. With an auto-cover, you don't need auto-fill or overflow drain around here.

The under-track auto-cover should have a below-surface vault where the cover rolls up. There should be a drain at the bottom of that vault which runs to your storm drains or even just out to the street. I'm pretty sure that's standard, but make sure it's specified in the contract. If the topography and drainage are less than ideal, you can simply aim your pool cover pump's hose to go down that drain. This is just rainwater, so it's legal. It's not legal, at least where I live, to send chlorinated pool water, which is what overflow would be, to the storm drains.

@Rocket J Squirrel

Thank you so much for the input! What you described about the pool cover vault and the drain is what my pool builder was trying to tell me. Now I get it, makes total sense.

So, one question about not needing an automated overflow drain, you just put the cover pump on the pool when it rains to deal with overflow? What if you are out of town? I guess that's my main reason for wanting the automatic overflow, is not going outside in the rain or having a big storm when I'm out of town. How big of a concern really is this though, or I am worried about something that isn't really a big problem because the weather is generally pretty mild here.

I guess what I've learned is if I were to get an automated overflow, I would need to hook into a French drain and drain on my property, which isn't a huge deal, just more $$! Trying to figure out if it's worth it, based on your input, I'm over engineering the solution!
 

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
Seems like if a cover captures the rain water and you can route what it catches to the street, then that solves the need for overflow. Then some sort of automation could solve for your time away. If you could operate your cover remotely, then you could leave home and control it from anywhere. Pool cams are another way to keep an eye on things while away. Surely there must be a remote solution for a pool cover (sorry, I don't know more about it)...
 

Rocket J Squirrel

Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
1,051
Alamo, CA
Pool Size
36000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
So, one question about not needing an automated overflow drain, you just put the cover pump on the pool when it rains to deal with overflow? What if you are out of town? I guess that's my main reason for wanting the automatic overflow, is not going outside in the rain or having a big storm when I'm out of town. How big of a concern really is this though, or I am worried about something that isn't really a big problem because the weather is generally pretty mild here.
If you're going away for an extended period, you have 2 choices: cover the pool or don't.

If you cover the pool, just leave the pool cover pump in place while you're away. It will run when needed as long as you don't have a power outage.

If you uncover the pool, any rain-caused overflow will pour into the vault and drain that way. This will send some chemical-laden water to the storm drains unless you figured out something better when you designed the pool/cover/vault/drain, like somehow draining into the sewer.
If you could operate your cover remotely, then you could leave home and control it from anywhere. Surely there must be a remote solution for a pool cover (sorry, I don't know more about it)...
Doubtful. The cover control switch must be within line of sight to the pool. A remote app doesn't meet that requirement and I don't think I'd trust a pool cam. I'd hate to be in the pool when a family member decided to remotely close the cover.
 
  • Like
Reactions: brimorga

santacruzpool

Gold Supporter
Feb 24, 2015
770
Santa Cruz, CA
With a cover in Campbell you might not need Solar - I can get 90's temps for much of the summer over in a warm part of Santa Cruz - Campbell is a bit warmer than here for sure.

The supervisor on our pool build suggested holding off on adding solar to see how our pool behaved. We don't really need it. I get good swimming temps for the family from May - Sept. Solar would only gain me a bit warmer water during the April and October, becauase I don't want to swim when it is 50degs outside...I swim right up to Halloween (in cold 70 deg water).

I would not do a auto-fill with the cover, or the overflow - the coverwall gets lots of splash over during rough play or any jumping and acts like an overflow by design - due to this I keep my water level on the low side (say 1/3 up the tile instead of 1/2 way) to save on lost water. If I want to let a non windy rainstorm fill my pool I just open it up and let it fill - it will never overfill.

We tend to know when storms are coming and by late November you can put the cover pump on the closed pool and pretty much leave it there for months. I take mine off here and there during the winter to open the pool and clean things up.

A robot is super and requires much less electrical energy to clean your pool.
 

brimorga

Gold Supporter
With a cover in Campbell you might not need Solar - I can get 90's temps for much of the summer over in a warm part of Santa Cruz - Campbell is a bit warmer than here for sure.

The supervisor on our pool build suggested holding off on adding solar to see how our pool behaved. We don't really need it. I get good swimming temps for the family from May - Sept. Solar would only gain me a bit warmer water during the April and October, becauase I don't want to swim when it is 50degs outside...I swim right up to Halloween (in cold 70 deg water).

I would not do a auto-fill with the cover, or the overflow - the coverwall gets lots of splash over during rough play or any jumping and acts like an overflow by design - due to this I keep my water level on the low side (say 1/3 up the tile instead of 1/2 way) to save on lost water. If I want to let a non windy rainstorm fill my pool I just open it up and let it fill - it will never overfill.

We tend to know when storms are coming and by late November you can put the cover pump on the closed pool and pretty much leave it there for months. I take mine off here and there during the winter to open the pool and clean things up.

A robot is super and requires much less electrical energy to clean your pool.

Thanks Santacruzpool! I've read all about your pool and the temps and it's your input that has me questioning the need for solar heating or how much I need! Where I live in Campbell is definitely a hot spot!

Dirks input on placement of the solar pool heating helped me tremendously. If I put solar PV on the south and west facing roofs, I should be able to fit 8kw on there and then have plenty of east facing roof, and north facing, if I need it. I will probably add some solar pool heating for the shoulder seasons on my east facing roof, 480sqft, and then hold off on adding more to the north facing if that is not enough. With 3 little kids, I figure it's worth the extra money to maximize any opportunity we get to use the pool and expand the shoulder seasons. I also assume if I have the solar pool heating it can help keep the spa warmer, so I have less temp to raise via the gas heater, assuming the pool is open.

On the autofill and drain, you all have me convinced it's not needed with an autocover. Thank you for the education. I'm going to talk to the builder about tying the fill into my sprinkler controller.
 

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
Doubtful. The cover control switch must be within line of sight to the pool. A remote app doesn't meet that requirement and I don't think I'd trust a pool cam. I'd hate to be in the pool when a family member decided to remotely close the cover.
Oh, right. Duh. It's a safety issue. My bad. Learn sumpin' new every day here...
 

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
I will probably add some solar pool heating for the shoulder seasons on my east facing roof,
I'd defer to a local solar installer/expert on this, but on my house the north side is better. My east side gets the morning sun, but not late afternoon. The sun travels directly over my ridge line, virtually parallel, and almost directly overhead, so my north side gets sun all day long, morning to night.

That's why my north side works virtually the same for me as the south side would have, because the sun is directly overhead, same-same. Early morning and late afternoon/evening, the sun is actually north of my roof, not south. In the colder months, it's the other way around, so the panels suffer. But it's too cold out to swim anyway. So that's why the north might even have been the preferred side, if the south side was available (PV is on south side).
 
  • Like
Reactions: brimorga

brimorga

Gold Supporter
I'd defer to a local solar installer/expert on this, but on my house the north side is better. My east side gets the morning sun, but not late afternoon. The sun travels directly over my ridge line, virtually parallel, and almost directly overhead, so my north side gets sun all day long, morning to night.

That's why my north side works virtually the same for me as the south side would have, because the sun is directly overhead, same-same. Early morning and late afternoon/evening, the sun is actually north of my roof, not south. In the colder months, it's the other way around, so the panels suffer. But it's too cold out to swim anyway. So that's why the north might even have been the preferred side, if the south side was available (PV is on south side).

Thanks Dirk! Every time I think I got it all figured out, you just keep dropping knowledge on me!
 
  • Haha
Reactions: Dirk

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support
Thread Status
Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.