Several questions on new build


Well-known member
Jun 24, 2008
East of Dallas
First off, I have to say this forum has a huge wealth of information. I have learned a ton since being given a link to here a few weeks ago.

Sorry that I have so many questions with my first post. Hope you will all forgive that. :) Thanks in advance.

We have had a few consultations to have a pool built. Both have given nice designs for the pool and both have different things we like about them. The pools are roughly the same wize with 89 perimeter for builder 1 and 87 for builder 2. Both prices are pretty close with builder 1 coming in about cheaper $1500.

1. One is offering a cartridge filter vs. DE filtering. I think I am leaning towards DE as one company mentioned that the pump would be used less as the DE filters the water better and quicker than the cartridge type. Is this true?

2. One is offering a salt water chlorine generator the other favors chemicals. The one that favors chemicals talked up that the Salt system would need to be run more than it would with chemicals as the system would have to continue generating chlorine. Also, mentioned that the cells would have to be changed out every 3-5 years at $800 each time.

3. Builder 1 offered a plaster surface with a tint to it, other offered plaster but with additional quartz added but also offered Pebbletec for another $3k. Any recommendations on those?

Pool builder 1 uses all Pentair equipment
Pool Builder 2 uses all Jandy equipment

Pool builder 1 will put in 2 skimmers with 3 drains MDX and 2 SDX(not sure what that means) 5 returns.
Pool builder 2 will put in 2 skimmers with 2 drains and 4 returns

Builder 1 as mentioned is Cartridge and Salt Water
Builder 2 is DE and chemicals

Builder 1 will use 4x160 programmable motor for the pump
Not sure which pump builder 2 will use


LifeTime Supporter
Oct 5, 2007
Valrico, FL
There is a sticky on the characteristics of the various types of filters. The type of filter also is somewhat dependent on your method of chlorination. With a salt generator, a cartridge filter will not lose as much water, and therefore lose less salt and other chemicals. The salt generator is really a lower maintenance setup. You pay more upfront however.

On pool finishes, PebbleTech offers a lifetime warranty on some of their finishes. May be worth the extra money.


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
Tonedeaf said:
mentioned that the cells would have to be changed out every 3-5 years at $800 each time.
No question, a SWG is easier to use. The cell does need to be replaced occasionally, but it won't cost anywhere near $800. Cells typically cost $200 to $400, which is similar to what you will save in chemical costs from the SWG over the same period.

Both quartz and pebble increase the lifetime of the pool surface and add visual appeal. Some people really love their pebble surfaces but others don't like how it feels on their feet.

The IntelliFlo 4x160 will save electricity, reducing your electric bill by around 50% compared to a single speed pump (a two speed pump's electrical usage is in the middle).

The whole issue of DE vs cartridge, or SWG vs not, changing your pump run time is mostly untrue. There are rare cases when a SWG will require increased pump run time, but only with an oversized single speed pump. You actually want a smaller pump, or variable speed pump, with a longer run time to lower electrical usage, which is also ideal for a SWG.

Most of these options are negotiable. I am sure either builder can get you quartz or pebble if you ask for it. The prices may well vary, but the option is almost always available. Same with the filter and probably the SWG. However, it may well be that builder 2 won't offer you a variable speed pump.