Remodel - Need Advice Please - San Jose, CA


Apr 17, 2017
Los Gatos, CA
We are remodeling a 1964 or so lazy "L" shaped gunite in ground pool.

My Questions:

  1. What brand and model automation systems are best? I have new Pentair IntelliFlo VS 3 HP 230V pump, plan to have solar heat panels, plan to have SWCG and two 12V color LED pool lights.
  2. Should I plug up and fill in old main drain? (it has a copper pipe to old skimmer I am concerned about)
  3. What type, brand and size filter is best?
  4. What brand and size SWCG for my pool?
  5. What brand LED low 12V lights to use here with old stainless niches?

Existing Pool Specs: (Please see photos also).

  • Approx 35,000 gallons, 122’ linear perimeter, approx 756 square feet surface area.
  • 1 skimmer with 1.5-inch copper suction line and main drain connection and two 1.5” return lines, one shallow end and one deep end.
  • Maytronics Dolphin M4 robotic cleaner (4 years old).
  • Small swim out in deep end.
  • Three steps in shallow end with long extended middle step.
  • Two non-functioning lights (power has been disabled) one in deep end and one in shallow.
Proposed remodeling selections: Approximately $30,000.00

  • Drain & Strip pool to 80% gunite. $3,940.00
  • Adams Pebble Plus standard colors (Has Glass beads mixed in) $7,795.00
  • Remove tile and Install New Customer Supplied 6”x6” NPT Tile. $2,360.00
  • Remove coping and install New Customer Supplied concrete coping. $4,812.00
  • Install 2 steel rebar forms for 2 deep end swim out seats. $3,950.00
  • Re Plumb Pool: $4,125.00
    • New waterway skimmer
    • 2 ½” suction line
    • 2” return line reduced (split) into qty 4 1 ½” return lines with 1 fittings at pool shell. Non-threaded fittings.
    • 1 ½" vacuum line with valve.
  • Auto Fill $750.00
  • Install Qty2 new red brass conduit for pool lights $990.00
  • Install new concrete 4’ x 8’ equipment pad $550.00
  • Install all homeowner suppled equipment $0.00
Thank you for your time and I appreciate your advice and recommendations,


Photos will be added in post below:

- - - Updated - - -

Pool Dimensional Overview.jpg
Last edited:


Mod Squad
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Jul 16, 2012
Central MD
[*]Main drain still functions well...What are the Pro's and Con's of plugging the main drain and plastering over it?
  • Local pool code says pool drain must be a VGB compliant system of two drains or a large linear drain or compliant drain cover installed.
  • What is best VGB system to use? a two-drain system or 32” long linear drain?
  • Concerned with the integrity of old copper drain piping and functionality, future longevity after the jackhammer assault.
  • Would using a VGB compliant cover fitted to old drain niche be safe?
Welcome to TFP! Quite a nice post! Maybe folks were overwhelmed. I'll reply to one aspect and also give you a bump.

I don't have the 32" long linear drain but would highly recommend it based on my experience with the standard round raised main drain covers. Since it is flush, debris would have an easier time getting in. Ours always have dust accumulation around them. One less thing for robots to bump on. Looks nicer IMO. Either type can be made less visible by getting the types that allow the pool finish to be installed in them.

This is the cover. The drain it works with is also discussed. I should have done this.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
May 3, 2014
Laughlin, NV
If you have a Pentair VS3050 then you should get an Easytouch with a IC 60 SWCG and Screenlogic.

Filter, biggest you can afford. Cartridge is best as you use less water and with SWCG you do not want to backwash. Other option are the new hybrid DE/cartridge filters that do not get back washed.

Best to plug the main drain. Do not need.

Contact Inyopools on lights. They have some retro fit ones others have used.

Have fun!

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