Soon to be new pool


Aug 3, 2020
Florida Panhandle
My family and I are planning to put in a 20x40 vinyl liner pool around Feb/Mar 2021. We are going with the composite walls, standard shallow end with an 8' deep end, and plan on using a saltwater system. Also, the liner will more than likely be one that is not too dark, more of a medium. The pool is stated to be 28,557 gallons and the pump and all the hardware will be about 10-15' away from the deep end. With that being said, I would like to hear everyone's input regarding the following subjects that I need help deciding on:

1) How many returns? 3 come with the pool, should I put in 4....5...?
2) Lights.... I am struggling in this area because I want to get it right. I know I want colored LED lights, but will lights like the "Kelo", "Microbrite", and other similar size lights be able to do the job? I am thinking I would need 4-5 along the long side of the pool. Does this sound right? Do I need one specifically for the deep end? I am concerned about the deep end and those smaller sized lights being able to reach across the 20' span of the pool.
3) Pump.... I want to go with a variable speed pump.... is it worth the extra money?
4) Filter.... I've been looking at the Hayward Perflex DE filter...... Is it worth the money versus a suitable sand filter?

I know this is a lot of questions, but I know I only get one chance to get this right and I have 3 kids depending on me to provide them with an awesome pool. I look forward to the feedback and suggestions. Thanks in advance!!


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
Laughlin, NV
How do you plan to chlorinate?
The VS pump is a great plan. The filter, I would recommend a large cartridge filter. 400 SF at least. You should then only need to clean it once or twice a year. Your pool will be open year around so keeping it algae free will be easy.


Aug 3, 2020
Florida Panhandle
My wife has been adamant on a saltwater system...... softer skin, no green hair... that type of thing. I really don't know much about the salt systems, I have read that they don't last too terribly long which has me concerned considering their cost. To answer your question, I am undecided as far as chlorinating the pool. Your thoughts?


Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2011
Flower Mound, TX
My salt cells last around 5-6 years, on average. I’m on my 3rd and in my 13th year of ownership. The thing I like most is that I don’t have to maintain anything to keep my chlorine levels right where I want them. I usually add salt once or twice a year. Super easy! And yes, the water feels great, but you can add salt to any pool and get the same soft water feel.