Prehistoric Pool Gets Major Remodel in NorCal!

PrehistoricPool

Gold Supporter
Aug 22, 2015
134
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
At last! My Prehistoric Pool is getting some help! I have a "retro classic" 16 x 36 rectangular pool with diving board and deep end. I believe it was built around 1960 and had very little done to it since. Probably even the original plaster, which may be some kind of a record. Original copper plumbing, original concrete coping and old, old, weathered gray concrete pool deck with redwood dividers. In desperate need of a remodel. Despite its shortcomings, the pool has provided a great deal of fun for my kids, friends, family, etc. over the years, and we are finally going to return the love. Here’s what the pool looked like a couple weeks ago with my kid rowing grandma:

IMG_3821 (1).jpg

We are going to do new plaster, tile, travertine coping, two color LED lights, a bench / swim out, skimmer, plumbing, electric, new smaller diving board, 1100 square feet of travertine pool deck, most of the equipment, and a new shed for the equipment. So, except for the gunite shell, basically a new pool. Can't wait!
 

PrehistoricPool

Gold Supporter
Aug 22, 2015
134
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
We started on the demo Monday! Here iswhat it looked like today:

IMG_3925.jpg

This forum has been an invaluable resource for me in learningabout pools and how they work. One thing I am thinking about is adding aSalt Water Generator. Originally, I was going to stick withchlorine. We use a pool service and they have kept the water nice for the10 years we have owned this house and pool. But after reading everyone onhere raving about SWG’s, I have asked my pool builder to tell me how much itwould cost to add it. I would like any guidance you guys can provide asto the correct size unit to get and which brand. I think my pool is about25,000 gallons. It is 16 x 36, 8.5 feet deep in deep end, with a typicalshaped diving well, and three and half feet deep in shallow end. Thanks!
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
48,709
Tallahassee, FL
Too late to turn back now!!!

For the SWG it is said to go at least double your pool size. The reason is this allows you to run the pump for shorter periods of time (power savings) as well as helps the cell last longer (long term savings). Make sure your installer reads the paperwork for installing the SWG as some say xx" long run after the SWG, some say install this way instead of that way. Best to know what it wants before they start working with the PVC.

Equipment shed-make sure you can drain water out of it as you know how wet the world gets when working on the filter and such. Make sure you have plenty of room to turn around and such.

Do you need/want any help picking out finishes?

Kim:kim:
 

PrehistoricPool

Gold Supporter
Aug 22, 2015
134
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Kim, thanks for info on SWG. On the pool equipment shed, mine has not gotten that wet in the past. I use a cartridge filter and the pool service would just take it out of the shed and hose it down near some bushes or vegetation - we never have enough water in California and the plants would get a drink.

For the new shed, my plan is to re-use my existing equipment pad (this may allow me to grandfather the shed in closer to the property line than current zoning allows). Then I am going to lay gravel all around the pad and under "shed" walls to handle any water that does run off. The shed itself I am planning to have built as a redwood fence enclosure. Six or eight 4x4 posts set in concrete and in between posts redwood set on the gravel, then add a roof myself. The redwood can handle a soaking, no problem. There is no separate permit required for the shed as long as I keep it under 64 square feet and 8 feet in height, which I intend to do. I think the redwood will look good and also help the shed blend into the fence behind it and so minimize the visual impact. It has to look better than the steel shed from Home Depot I had before!

As for the finishes, I am pretty close to deciding. The plaster (quartz) is subject to approval from The Boss, I mean my dear wife, who can be finicky. We went to pick out the actual pallets of travertine today and she was wavering and reconsidering the entire color scheme but I got her back on track. I will post colors soon once I can gather up my samples.
 

PrehistoricPool

Gold Supporter
Aug 22, 2015
134
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Thanks, Woody! It sure has been a lot of fun.

But we had some maintenance issues we really had to address. Most importantly, I had leaks at the skimmer and light niche. I discovered just today that the galvanized water supply pipe was rusted under the concrete deck and leaking - we have been going through a ton a of water and that is a big deal in drought-prone California. The coping was loose in its settings and I was afraid it was going to start breaking off. The diving board was two sizes too big for the pool size and very springy. The plaster had delaminations and pop-offs and was terrifically stained after ~60 years of copper pipes. And I was nervous about how thick the walls of the copper pipes are now after all the chemicals running through them all these years. Finally, the old weathered concrete with rotten wood dividers. Really. Really. Ugly.
 

changeyez

Bronze Supporter
Jan 5, 2016
73
Northern California
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pureline Crystal Pure 40,000
At last! My Prehistoric Pool is getting some help! I have a "retro classic" 16 x 36 rectangular pool with diving board and deep end. I believe it was built around 1960 and had very little done to it since. Probably even the original plaster, which may be some kind of a record. Original copper plumbing, original concrete coping and old, old, weathered gray concrete pool deck with redwood dividers. In desperate need of a remodel. Despite its shortcomings, the pool has provided a great deal of fun for my kids, friends, family, etc. over the years, and we are finally going to return the love. Here’s what the pool looked like a couple weeks ago with my kid rowing grandma:

View attachment 73685

We are going to do new plaster, tile, travertine coping, two color LED lights, a bench / swim out, skimmer, plumbing, electric, new smaller diving board, 1100 square feet of travertine pool deck, most of the equipment, and a new shed for the equipment. So, except for the gunite shell, basically a new pool. Can't wait!
Where in NorCal? I'm looking for someone to remodel my pool in NorCal. Thanks!
 

PrehistoricPool

Gold Supporter
Aug 22, 2015
134
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Howdy, neighbor! The pool builder I am using is Paramount Pool Plaster, who is based in Hayward. I expect Petaluma may be too far afield for them, but who knows? Too early in my project for me to be able to give a testimonial, but stay tuned.

Everything I am hearing from everyone I talk to indicates this is a really busy year for contractors all around the Bay Area, and nowhere more so than the North Bay after the fires. So be prepared for it to be even harder than it usually is around here to find contractors and stay on schedule.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
17,083
Evans, Georgia
The addition of a SWG and a good robot along with getting your own testing kit would allow you to ditch the pool guy, if you're interested in doing so?

Pool care takes no time at all really. The robot does the brushing and clean up, the SWG puts the chlorine in. All you would have to do is monitor it with testing and empty the skimmer.

Just a thought....

Maddie :flower:
 

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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
17,083
Evans, Georgia
Does your Polaris brush the pool walls? Or you can brush them- its good exercise. Either way it beats paying someone else to do a half baked job, right??

Maddie :flower:
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
48,709
Tallahassee, FL
Nothing wrong with keeping the cleaner you are happy with and is still working. If/when it gives out then we can talk robots.

Looks like you have everything well thought out for the shed! SWEET! We had on shed they put drywall up inside it to sell the house :( The poor buyers had quite a mess on their hands.

Will you have a light in/by the shed? How about a power outlet?

Kim:kim:
 

PrehistoricPool

Gold Supporter
Aug 22, 2015
134
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Maddie, good point on the walls. I guess that is an advantage of the robots. The Polaris only days the floors and the very bottom, coved, portion of the walls. I don't think my walls need much brushing though. THe pool service has done a good job keeping the water balanced and I hardly ever have algae. They will brush the walls when they come once a week, as long as the solar cover is not on. They won't take that off and put it back. Most weeks, the solar cover is on and it doesn't get brushed. I only brush it on rare occasions when there is some green algae showing, usually only on one side where it gets the most sun. Or sometimes when I have guest coming over and I'm out by the pool and just feel like doing something, even if it doesn't really need it. Bottom line, I think I can handle the extra burden of brushing the pool. I think I will need to pay more attention to the waterline tile. My old tile had kind of a film on it that was not attractive.

Kim, I have thought about the shed a lot. Trying to get something that's nicer to look at without spending a bundle. I am going to have an outlet for sure, maybe two. I had not thought about a light. Old shed didn't have a light, but it had big sliding double doors that let in a lot of light. I am planning a smaller door on the narrow end for new one, so maybe I need a light in there. If I have an extra outlet, I can just plug in one of the four foot strip LED's from Costco. I put a couple of them in my basement, and it's like high noon in the Mojave desert down there now.
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,441
Pacific NW
Jealous! well kind of lol....not for all that work to do!

The design of your pool shell is my absolute favorite (wish mine was)
shallow end immediately dips down to the deep end.
 

PrehistoricPool

Gold Supporter
Aug 22, 2015
134
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Jealous! well kind of lol....not for all that work to do!

The design of your pool shell is my absolute favorite (wish mine was)
shallow end immediately dips down to the deep end.

When we first bought the house, my kids were 2 and 4 years old. They hung out on the steps and didn't venture too far. I actually thought about filling the pool in part way, eliminating the deep end and making the shallow end shallower. Boy, am I glad I never got around to doing that! Now my kids are (suddenly) 12 and 14 and they use the board and the deep end all the time. They made me promise we would have a diving board after the remodel. I can't imagine a pool without one.

I am getting a shorter board though. I had a 12 foot, very springy board. The guidelines (from ANSI/APSP/ICC-5 2011) say I have a type III pool, so maximum board length is 10 feet for diving board or 8 feet for jump board. I am going with an 8 foot diving board.
 

PrehistoricPool

Gold Supporter
Aug 22, 2015
134
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
sergeant-schultz-i-know-nothing.jpg


I've been researching this remodel a lot, here and elsewhere on the web, and I was starting to feel like I had a clue about what I needed. Now I'm pretty sure I don't.

My plan had been to keep the existing subpanel, chlorine system and the pool service, but the members on this forum have shown me the error of my ways. I asked my pool builder to quote for adding a SWG. He is recommending an iChlor 30 with power center. This relatively new unit apparently is designed for retrofits where you don't have an automation system. So far so good. But it is too small. iChlor only comes in 15K and 30K sizes.

My signature says my pool is 22,000 gallons, but I think it's really closer to 25,000. I need a SWG rated for at least 40,000 gallons, maybe 60,000. But if I get an IntelliChlor IC60, I need an automation system, right? And a new PentAir pump that the IntelliChlor can talk to? And....

I KNOW NOTHING! I KNOW NOTHING!

Where can I learn how these things all fit together and what I need? I want to do things properly, but obviously not spend more than I need to. Thanks, everyone!
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
48,709
Tallahassee, FL
I SO understand where you are coming from! You don't know what you don't know until you try to put it into action!

Hold on a bit while I ping someone who should be able to help you.

Kim:kim:
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
22,224
Bedford, TX
sergeant-schultz-i-know-nothing.jpg


I've been researching this remodel a lot, here and elsewhere on the web, and I was starting to feel like I had a clue about what I needed. Now I'm pretty sure I don't.

My plan had been to keep the existing subpanel, chlorine system and the pool service, but the members on this forum have shown me the error of my ways. I asked my pool builder to quote for adding a SWG. He is recommending an iChlor 30 with power center. This relatively new unit apparently is designed for retrofits where you don't have an automation system. So far so good. But it is too small. iChlor only comes in 15K and 30K sizes.

My signature says my pool is 22,000 gallons, but I think it's really closer to 25,000. I need a SWG rated for at least 40,000 gallons, maybe 60,000. But if I get an IntelliChlor IC60, I need an automation system, right? And a new PentAir pump that the IntelliChlor can talk to? And....

I KNOW NOTHING! I KNOW NOTHING!

Where can I learn how these things all fit together and what I need? I want to do things properly, but obviously not spend more than I need to. Thanks, everyone!


Pre,

We always recommend a SWCG that is 2 x the volume of your pool... You could get away with an IC40, but I believe that the iChlor 30 is a little too small for your pool.

Almost all salt cells are made to be standalone... you do NOT need automation or special pumps.. The IC40 and IC60 can be controlled by automation, but they can also be used without automation. The pump and the salt cell never talk to one another.

I am not sure what pump you are planning on, but if you decide on a saltwater pool, then I would never recommend a single speed pump, just due to electrical costs... For a salt system to work, the pump has to run a relatively long time... I would suggest either a 2-speed or Variable speed pump...

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
 

PrehistoricPool

Gold Supporter
Aug 22, 2015
134
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Thanks, Jim (and Kim for fetching Jim)! That is reassuring on the automation. I thought the iChlor 30 was too small. I guess it's a question of whether to go with the IC40 or IC60. Have to think about this a bit.

I do plan to replace the pump, although it may be in a Phase II after I get other work done. Either variable speed or two speed. Not sure which. Right now, I have a single speed main pump (I believe 1 horsepower) and a booster pump for the Polaris (which I think is 1/2 horsepower). The booster pump was replaced relatively recently and should have a lot of life left, so I was planning on keeping it, and replacing the main pump. I don't have a spa, sheer descent, bubblers or other water features. What are advantages of variable speed vs. two speed? Can you or anyone recommend a pump? I guess I should stick with Pentair. Thanks!
 

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