South Alabama build - conclusion

Andrew_D

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May 8, 2020
149
Manitoba, Canada
Pool Size
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Vinyl
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Liquid Chlorine
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If you leave it as a fake return, I'd cap it as short as possible. Don't want a dead zone of no circulation where algae might grow.

Andrew
 

Auburn02

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2019
228
Mobile, AL
If you leave it as a fake return, I'd cap it as short as possible. Don't want a dead zone of no circulation where algae might grow.

Andrew
That's a good point. I think I decided against that anyway, I'd never be able to get over it when people ask "why isn't there any flow coming out of this one?" :LOL:
 

Auburn02

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2019
228
Mobile, AL
Well I've discovered some more plumbing issues, have the builder coming today hopefully to take a look. In addition to my concerns about that one return, I've discovered 3 leaks/drips at the filter. Both the input and output lines from the filter have a very slow but very consistent drip, as does the filter drain plug itself. I had noticed the pad was staying wet but for the past few weeks the entire filter body and most of the pipes were covered in condensation from the warm ambient temp and the cool pool water flowing through. Now that ambient temps have dropped some and the condensation is gone, I realized the pad is staying wet and discovered these drips on a closer look.

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To make matters more difficult, there are no unions anywhere in the plumbing. The fittings are threaded into the filter and then pipes are glued from there outward. So there's no tightening these fittings as they sit or removing them to apply sealant/etc, without cutting pipe.
 
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mknauss

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Get unions installed on the filter piping. You will need to be able to take the top off the sand filter to deep clean it.
 

Auburn02

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2019
228
Mobile, AL
Get unions installed on the filter piping. You will need to be able to take the top off the sand filter to deep clean it.
Yep, builder came and went and that's exactly what he'll have to do to even tighten these, let alone allowing for future maintenance.

He's also going to try a "slotted-style" (?) return fitting instead of the eyeball to see if it will direct the pressure more down and sideways (might be good for the ledge anyway) and reduce the sloshing when there is wave action in the pool. I assume one of these: Amazon.com: Hayward SP1419A 1-1/2-Inch MIP Inlet Fitting Hydrosweep with Slotted Opening: Garden & Outdoor

If we still get annoying sloshing with some wave action, we may yet add an additional valve for that return. But I think I've moved past plugging/relocating it at least.
 
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Auburn02

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2019
228
Mobile, AL
Couple updates:

1. The return over the shelf was replaced with the slotted opening. I think it's worse than before - the orifice being lower in the water does reduce the likelihood of it breaching the surface with wave action but not by much, but moreso because it is a smaller opening the exit pressure/velocity is significantly higher than before and at medium to high pump speeds we get the frequent surface vortex due to the pressure which brings with it a lovely sucking noise. I ordered a couple of different size returns to mess with it on my own and see if I can find a happy medium, but do plan to ask the builder to dig that line up and split it off with its own valve so I can dial down the flow to that return or shut it off completely.

2. They added unions on the filter lines, of course one of them still leaked after, I'm sure I could have cranked on it myself (who knows if they even added lube) but I just had them come back so I wouldn't break something and have to take the blame. I'm sure they just cranked on it another half turn or what not. At least for the time being I have no more leaks at the pad.

3. I built my fence down the side of the property that had a not-to-code wire fence, and I replaced a couple of latches on my other fence with higher magna latches so we should be ready for the final county inspection. It's so barren, can't wait to get some decking and grass done so we can then get some plants added to liven up the view.

4. I've got my patio/landscape guy scheduled for around the first week of March to install the bullnose paver coping, finish backfill/pack and lay the paver decking, along with a small one-block high retaining wall around 1/2 of the pool where the grade flows toward the pool. With that, he's also going to dig in a french drain to a gravel pit and will plumb the filter waste line, the pool overflow line, and a channel drain from the deck in front of the retaining wall into said pit. Hopefully that all goes according to plan!

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Auburn02

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2019
228
Mobile, AL
Well, materials are on order for coping and decking and that work should happen in the next 2-4 weeks. All of it will be Tremron pavers to match the existing patio with bullnose paver coping. As far as the coping goes, should anything be done to seal off the openings in the aluminum liner track to try and prevent or reduce the likelihood of mortar getting down into the track? Pic below, arrows highlighting the areas of concern. The track is notched this way to allow it to bend around the freeform pool shape, but being that the cut goes into the liner track channel itself, I can see the lip of the liner through each slot. My concern is mortar getting squished down into the track which may not affect anything now, but could make a future liner replacement more difficult than it needs to be. My first idea is to grab a caulk gun and a tube of silicone and fill the track openings that way, but wanted to check here first.

Hate to play the tag game, but @jimmythegreek I believe I've read numerous posts indicating you construct vinyl liner pools and use pavers around, what are your thoughts here?

pool_edge.jpg
 

jimmythegreek

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Morris Cnty NJ
Take a close up of the track and one so I can see the profile. I usually cement board the wall cap with tex screws or once in a while with certain copings I use metal lathe amd scratch coat it. You dont need mortar near the track I stay back am inch or so amd let it squish into place. I use thinset BTW its stronger, laticrete 254 if u want the best. I use a concrete collar to set my copings on that's the primary bond the wall cap is just extra hold
 

Auburn02

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2019
228
Mobile, AL
Take a close up of the track and one so I can see the profile. I usually cement board the wall cap with tex screws or once in a while with certain copings I use metal lathe amd scratch coat it. You dont need mortar near the track I stay back am inch or so amd let it squish into place. I use thinset BTW its stronger, laticrete 254 if u want the best. I use a concrete collar to set my copings on that's the primary bond the wall cap is just extra hold
Here you go @jimmythegreek , appreciate you taking a look. Let me know if these don’t show what you were asking for.

I’ll have to suggest the laticrete, not sure what this contractor typically uses. I also like the idea of the concrete collar, do you lay up a form on top of the backfill somehow or is it more of a hand laid setup? Just trying to visualize the collar setup and pour.

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jimmythegreek

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With that style you just run tape and cover the strip so mud doesn't ooze into the track. I form it and use good mix. That's what holds the coping the wall is just bonus strength
 

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Auburn02

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2019
228
Mobile, AL
Good deal, thanks again @jimmythegreek - I assume I'm overcomplicating as usual, but any particular tape? Figure I can probably just spend an hour or two cutting duct tape into ~ 1" x 1" squares and slap one over each cut in the track. Or just get some narrower (1") rolls and run it around in one strip and make it easier.

Last question (maybe, no promises), what brand/type of caulk do you like to use from the pool side to seal off the top of the track to the bottom of the bullnose edge?
 

jimmythegreek

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Any tape will do, I use this 3M stuff I get from the hvac supplyhouse that is sticky as anything. But realistically anything will do amd just run one lap around mo cutting needed. I use laticrete caulk the better grade its tile caulk non sanded, unless a huge gap. I'm OCD I tape it off and spend way too much time doing it. For a quick bead and go, colored silicone works. Just can't work the silicone like tile caulk amd sponge it out nice. I tape an edge on track or it gets in the bead seam. In summer we do it with lifejacket in the deep end one guy on outside. Gotta test the water sometimes.
 
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Auburn02

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2019
228
Mobile, AL
Well, I was successful in getting the builder to split the shelf return into its own valve, but of course I work from home 75-80% of the time and they came on a day I wasn’t here.

So, new question. They did not dig up any existing plumbing to cap off the former return line where it was previously T’d into the others, they just cut the elbow off at the back of the return, capped the old line and ran a new shallower line back to the pad. Pics attached.

My question is I now have a dead end return run that is about 12-15’ long off the main return trunk until it reaches the cap they installed. Will fresh chlorinated water still circulate into this line or am I going to run into problems with algae hiding in there? My next option is digging up the main bundle myself to find the T and cap this side off there. Thoughts?

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Auburn02

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2019
228
Mobile, AL
Questioning myself now if I could even cut/cap this line where I had thought about doing so. Easy enough to shut off the supply valve at the pad, but as the tee is probably about 2-3’ below the water line I would have no way of stopping the flow of water from the pool itself in order to cut it and glue on a new pvc cap. Maybe I’m stuck with what I have.
 

jimmythegreek

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Aug 10, 2017
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I wouldmt worry about it. You can plug a return easily with a thread in plug or am expansion plug and blue glue it. I'm not a fan of shallow run lines, winter cover anchors can be a problem if u have one installed with a paver deck
 

Auburn02

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2019
228
Mobile, AL
Thanks @jimmythegreek , I’ll sleep better now. :LOL:

No winter covers or associated anchors in my future, I’ll put this at the back of my mind and just make sure we’re extra careful with the final compaction ahead of decking as it relates to this shallower line and where it comes off of the wall return.
 

Auburn02

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2019
228
Mobile, AL
We are moving along with decking this week. One thing I should have been prepared for but didn’t even think about is the mess in the pool. And not just dirt but crusher run, mortar, and soon lots and lots of concrete dust from cutting pavers. I will at least ask them to set up the cutting station downwind and/or around the side of the garage but we know that dust is going everywhere.

Making matters worse, I am leaving town tomorrow until Sunday. But the wife will be home at least. What should I/we be doing to try and keep up with all the mess? Run the robot 2-3 times a day? Or just let it accumulate and vacuum manually at the end? Oh, and our live oaks are shedding all their leaves and pollen over the next week or two. 😆

I upped the chlorine output as one safeguard, and added some MA this evening as the pH was in the 8.2 range because of the concrete so far. What else?

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bmoreswim

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How are we looking today Auburn?
 

Auburn02

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2019
228
Mobile, AL
How are we looking today Auburn?
Dang, forgot to update!

Still waiting on coping. I know, it's backwards, but we did have sample coping pavers on hand so they could use them as they went around to set the level appropriately. At least, I sure hope they set it all appropriately. But hey, it's pavers, they can always pick them up and pack them down again. The coping pavers were delayed by about a month so I opted to have them go ahead with the rest of the decking, small wall, and drainage. It's a lot more deck/patio than I envisioned but that's fine with us!

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Hopefully the coping will be here first thing next week, and they also need to extend the wall just a few more blocks along the decking at the left end. Then they can final grade, I'll drop 4 pallets of sod around there along with some other landscaping. I also need to cut down my 4x4 post with the outlet attached to behind the sunshelf, still not sure why they mounted the outlet at 12" but left the post near 36" tall.

As I alluded in my last reply I wasn't prepared for the mess that the dust would make, which only got 10x worse when they started cutting pavers. But we ran the robot 2-3x per day for a few days, added some DE to the skimmer and it cleared right up. Only chemical adjustments I had to make was about a quart - maybe less - of MA in total over the course of a week to keep the pH in check while we got all the cement out.
 
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bmoreswim

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You’ll only be sorry about all the deck space once, when you pay for it.

It’s looking great! Glad the dust was able to be cleared up quickly. Go robots!
 
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