Seismic issues in Central America and Intelliflo question


Well-known member
Dec 21, 2014
Rivas, Nicaragua
Hello everybody. We are building a small plunge pool most in ground and the top 20" sticking above. This will be all tile. About 10x20 feet, 42" to 65" deep plus a tanning deck on an L which is 6x8 feet. I am using a local contractor here who has built dozen or so pools. The pools he has built are awesome but he is not super sophisticated on pool construction. He is basically a very good masonry contractor who has built a dozen pools. Looks like most were partially managed or designed by the pool owners. To me, it looks like he builds everything with overkill. He just completed a building here for us for commercial purposes and his quality and attention was very good. No problems though looks like he overkilled the esign of the walls on this building. (bond beams etc and floor thickness).

BUT, in Nicaragua, they build things from bricks and cement with the ease of a North American carpenter.

Will have a waterfall, 4 Jandy Deck jets and 2 Pentair Bubblers.

This will be a slab floor with re-bar in it. Then a perimeter bond beam connected to the slab that will also have re-bar going up into each block. At the top of the walls, another bond beam all the way around an then a wall cap/coping. All the re-bar connected.

He wants to use 8" on the pool floor.

I will likely have to provide moderate guidance to him. More on the pool systems side and some on the structural side.

A few questions to start...

1. Is this overkill?
2. Many threads on here suggest that full tile will seal itself using the correct quikset and grout? I am cloudy on that issue.
3. The tanning deck does not need footered to the bottom of the rest of the pool? The wall around it sticking out of the ground bond beamed at the top? (It is only like 20" tall at maximum)
4. I like the Intelliflo 3Hp but the complexity of the electronics make sme nervous as service here would be non-existent. (I will import my pump/filter and many other items). My other choice is the Whisperflo 2 speed 2Hp which seems a lot simpler. Both are close to the same price.

I am asking for comments.



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TFP Expert
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
Welcome to TFP!

1) Sounds reasonable.
2) Tile is just fine as long as you use a water tight grout. Full tile isn't normally done because of the expense, but that is probably much lower there.
3) I'm assuming the tanning deck has shallow water over it, in which case it should be connected into the rest of the pool shell with rebar. If it is above water, then it should not be rigidly connected to the pool shell, but instead have an expansion joint sealed with mastic between it and the pool. If there is a wall directly on top of the bond beam then it should be rigidly connected to the bond beam.
4) Variable speed pumps are fairly reliable, but not as reliable as single/dual speed pumps. Unless the cost of electricity is a major issue, I would go with a two speed as you will have better access to service parts and local people with some knowledge of the motor. If you can get the two pumps for close to the same price you are being over charged for the two speed.


Well-known member
Dec 21, 2014
Rivas, Nicaragua
Going further.

1) Contractor says there are two kind of block here. 1) "Normal block" which he said is not as good and "certified block". Problem is, I will have to transport about 450 blocks from Managua to use the certified block. (2 hours away). In this region of Nicargua most structures are done with clay bricks wrapped with bond beams out of concrete. We are opting for blocks over poured concrete because the pool is small and for simplicity. The bond beams are easy to form.

What does "certified block" mean? Do I need it for walls that are not very tall?

2. Just verying what I have read thanks!

3. Tanning deck will have 6-7 inches of water

4. Power is $0.26/Kwh here. (one of the few expensive things in Nicaragua) as your cost per Kwh is on a progressive scale. I have read some reviews where the Intelliflo's came DOA and where others died shortly thereafter. Usually electronics. The incidence of this is not a lot but enough to make me think twice because service/return will be nearly impossible.

I will also have a Polaris 280 with a Pentair boost pump.

With the two speed Whisperflo, i can use the Intermatic timer that is specifically for two speed motors AND a cleaner boost pump. (I an assuming the low speed setting will work jut fine even if all of the fancy water effects valves are left on, they will jut flow really slow for when filtering/cleaning? (Another question)

Or, Unless I have a lot of expensive Pentair automation, how do I manage the boost pump using the Intelliflo?