Small family owned installer vs. large company installer

Buckbuck

Member
Jan 23, 2019
16
New York
I love, love,love the design of this pool. Something for everyone! SWEET!

Lets talk about the SWG a little more. How many gallons is the one you listed good for? We suggest getting one that is twice the size of your pool. This saves you on electric and cell life.

Kim:kim:
Thanks - I’ll ask about this. The AutoPilot website says only “ For pools up to 40,000 gallons when used with the Digital, 75003 or Soft Touch power supply.” And we will have the 75003 power supply - so maybe this is ok?
For pools up to 28,000 gallons with used with the Digital Nano power supply.PPM1 AutoPilot's patented Bypass Manifold is a pre-assembled unit designed to control the flow rate delivered to our cell. The spring check valve in the manifold allows excess flow, over 20 gpm, to bypass the cell. The water in turn flows at a controlled rate through the cell where it is super chlorinated. The inline strainer on the inlet side of the manifold protects the Tri-Sensor and production cell from debris that might bypass the filter. The location of the strainer next to a connection union makes periodic cleaning easy.” “ Tri-sensor – Is a three way sensing device which measures flow, salt level, and water temperature. Chlorine Production Cell – The cell produces 100% pure Sodium Hypochlorite in your pool plumbing, returning it to your pool. Check Valve – The check valve in the Manifold allows all water flowing through the plumbing at a rate greater than 20 gallons per minute to by-pass the production cell to maximize the production of chlorine.”
Nowhere that I see does it say how many gallons it’s good for. Maybe I’m missing how to understand the info provided? Put it all here in case you have a moment to skim the details provided. Thanks!
 

Buckbuck

Member
Jan 23, 2019
16
New York
And be aware that the pump and SWCG should be from the same manufacturer if you are installing automation.

If no automation, be absolutely sure that the SWCG is wired so that it only is powered when the pump is ON. Do not let them rely on only the flow switch.
Automation? Meaning turning equipment on and off remotely?? So new to all this! Ahhhh!
 

Buckbuck

Member
Jan 23, 2019
16
New York
Since you are getting an autocover, you will need to have some type of 24" wide modular cover pieces over the pit, sitting on the referenced SS brackets. This could be formed concrete blocks, bluestone, etc. I will say that I like the way our bluestone coping and bluestone autocover lid blends together. Mind you it gets hot (but just get it wet and it's fine). Especially the darker stones (ours is varied in color - especially over the cover pit). You can see pictures of the coping and cover stones around page 3-5 of our build thread linked in my signature for a visual, which may help you one way or the other with that decision.

@Jimrahbe - Any reason to get a Pentair SWCG in this setup versus an Autopilot? JUST ANSWERED BY MARTY.
LOVE the look of your bluestone coping and cover ! Wow! Great job.
 

Nectarologist

Well-known member
Apr 3, 2015
518
New York
Looking great. My .02, 3k for bluestone coping is well worth it. It looks so great imo, and I'd jump at that. Also, I would at least run the gas line for the heater while the yard is dug up. You'll save digging costs and ruining the yard down the road. I'm sure some don't use a heater but for me it's the difference between swimming whenever we want during our short 4 month swim season and only using the pool in July / August. I keep my pool at 86 and my gas bill for the entire swim season costs less than $500 (and I don't have any cover solar or auto). If it's going to rain for a few days straight I'll turn it off. The auto cover will help keep the heat in for sure but it won't help it warm up.
 

Buckbuck

Member
Jan 23, 2019
16
New York
Looking great. My .02, 3k for bluestone coping is well worth it. It looks so great imo, and I'd jump at that. Also, I would at least run the gas line for the heater while the yard is dug up. You'll save digging costs and ruining the yard down the road. I'm sure some don't use a heater but for me it's the difference between swimming whenever we want during our short 4 month swim season and only using the pool in July / August. I keep my pool at 86 and my gas bill for the entire swim season costs less than $500 (and I don't have any cover solar or auto). If it's going to rain for a few days straight I'll turn it off. The auto cover will help keep the heat in for sure but it won't help it warm up.
Good food for thought - thanks very much. I like the idea of running the line for the heater, just in case. And the numbers for how much usage costs is really helpful. I would have guessed much more.
 

Buckbuck

Member
Jan 23, 2019
16
New York
Heater question. We’re moving along with our ZBA Pool Request! Trying to figure out how much propane we’d be using so we can estimate size of tank(s) needed/ budgeting. Our town doesn’t have Natural Gas option, and our location is too chilly for Heat Pump. Will be using pool primarily on weeeknds, June - September. Pool is Viking Empress: 12x26’ (3.8’ - 5.8’), with Auto Cover, and the heater recommended is Pentair Heater 400,000 BTU MasterTemp. Estimated propane needed per season? Thank you!!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
6,707
Northern NJ
Heater question. We’re moving along with our ZBA Pool Request! Trying to figure out how much propane we’d be using so we can estimate size of tank(s) needed/ budgeting. Our town doesn’t have Natural Gas option, and our location is too chilly for Heat Pump. Will be using pool primarily on weeeknds, June - September. Pool is Viking Empress: 12x26’ (3.8’ - 5.8’), with Auto Cover, and the heater recommended is Pentair Heater 400,000 BTU MasterTemp. Estimated propane needed per season? Thank you!!
One gallon of propane contains approximately 92,000 BTU's. Your 400K BTU heater will use about 4.5 gallons/hour.

1BTU will raise 1 lb of wateer 1 degree.

Assume the heater has 80% efficiency.

You need to provide gallons/lbs of water in the pool; daily starting temperature and ending pool temperature for heat; and number of days you run heater; then you calculate propane usage.
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Aug 10, 2017
1,038
Morris Cnty NJ
with a pool that small a heat pump will work fine and be much cheaper than propane overall for daily use. if you are just using it for weekends then a gas heater is better suited to your needs a 250k btu is plenty. I have 14k gallons and I get 1.5 degrees an hour from my raypak, you should see the same or maybe 2 degrees for a pool your size. propane is expensive as a heating choice but with a solar cover you will retain some heat, probably your only choice if natural gas isnt avail
 

Buckbuck

Member
Jan 23, 2019
16
New York
with a pool that small a heat pump will work fine and be much cheaper than propane overall for daily use. if you are just using it for weekends then a gas heater is better suited to your needs a 250k btu is plenty. I have 14k gallons and I get 1.5 degrees an hour from my raypak, you should see the same or maybe 2 degrees for a pool your size. propane is expensive as a heating choice but with a solar cover you will retain some heat, probably your only choice if natural gas isnt avail
Thanks very much for the info. We’re weekenders, and there’s no natural gas available - so we’ll go with the propane heater. I’ll speak with installer about 250 instead of 400btu. Our pool is less than 8000 gallons. Thanks again.
 

Buckbuck

Member
Jan 23, 2019
16
New York
One gallon of propane contains approximately 92,000 BTU's. Your 400K BTU heater will use about 4.5 gallons/hour.

1BTU will raise 1 lb of wateer 1 degree.

Assume the heater has 80% efficiency.

You need to provide gallons/lbs of water in the pool; daily starting temperature and ending pool temperature for heat; and number of days you run heater; then you calculate propane usage.
Thanks for the way to calculate usage - I’ll work with the numbers. And also figure out whether the 250k btu pentair master temp would save us money over the 400k btu master temp heater. The budget is expanding daily and we haven’t even begun the install! :) thanks for your help.
 

Buckbuck

Member
Jan 23, 2019
16
New York
Now a question about GEL COATS: we have a choice of “standard” (solid white or light blue) or “Premium” (various speckled blue choices, with greens, black, silver,...) - the Premium is additional $1,200. I’ve heard that it’s easier to hide a patch in a solid color gelcoat (plus for “standard”), and that it’s easier to see age stains on a solid color gelcoat (negative for “standard”). Is the speckled Premium worth an extra $1,200? Any thoughts? Thanks again!
 
Last edited: