South Jersey Fiberglass Install

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,427
Northern NJ
When you add a Jandy valve and actuator to the return T I would have them replace all the ball valves with Jandy NeverLube valves.

If you ever decide you want to run the spillover all the time you just need to adjust the cam on the return actuator to keep the spa return partially open rather then fully closed. No need to add a bypass.
 

tank47

Bronze Supporter
Apr 28, 2019
96
NJ
When you add a Jandy valve and actuator to the return T I would have them replace all the ball valves with Jandy NeverLube valves.

If you ever decide you want to run the spillover all the time you just need to adjust the cam on the return actuator to keep the spa return partially open rather then fully closed. No need to add a bypass.
I'll ask about the never lube valves and yes good point on the actuator adjustment if needed down the road. Thanks for all your help!
 

tank47

Bronze Supporter
Apr 28, 2019
96
NJ
I can't believe my build is still ongoing :rolleyes:. And here I thought fiberglass was dig a hole, drop a pool, start swimming! I ended up upgrading some of my equipment late in the game (upgrading filter to 325 and pump to vs 950 (2.7hp)), which has caused some of these delays, but boy is the waiting painful! I guess this would be worse if it was July and I was missing swim time.

I am looking for some advice for the air control valve for my spa portion of the pool. I was planning on just capping this vertical pipe through my pavers or coping with a spa air control valve but the PB suggested an option of extending the line away from the pool maybe 15' for two reasons:
1 - aesthetics
2 - noise

I didn't think either would be a problem but figured I throw this out here for some advice. Is it helpful to have that valve near the spa while you are in it or should I run it further away? Any recommendations?
 

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tank47

Bronze Supporter
Apr 28, 2019
96
NJ
They said it's for letting air in to help with the jets. I think you might have it as well but your PB probably ran your air line to your pad bc you have a blower.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
13,765
Pleasanton, CA
A well designed spa should not require a blower. My spa does not have a blower but I get more then enough bubbles. So much so, it splashes up on the deck.
 

tank47

Bronze Supporter
Apr 28, 2019
96
NJ
A well designed spa should not require a blower. My spa does not have a blower but I get more then enough bubbles. So much so, it splashes up on the deck.
Heres to hoping my spa is well designed! Do you have an air control valve through your pool deck near the spa or did you run it further away? Or perhaps you have a completely different setup.

Hopefully I can test the action while everything is still open so I can make changes if needed while it's still cost effective to do so.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
13,765
Pleasanton, CA
I just have a single vent pipe without air control about 15' from the spa. Never saw the need for air control.

If the spa has a Hartford loop so the vent pipe is prevented from filling with water when off, then you should be able to do without a blower. Most of the time, PBs use blowers because they really don't know how to design a spa without one. When the vent pipes are long and fill with water, the venturis have a difficult time removing the water without the help of a blower. From the picture, it does not look like the vent pipe has a Hartford loop. I would ask for one unless the vent pipe has an uphill climb.

However, if you have deck vents at the spa, then a blower is not needed nor possible.
 

tank47

Bronze Supporter
Apr 28, 2019
96
NJ
I just have a single vent pipe without air control about 15' from the spa. Never saw the need for air control.

If the spa has a Hartford loop so the vent pipe is prevented from filling with water when off, then you should be able to do without a blower. Most of the time, PBs use blowers because they really don't know how to design a spa without one. When the vent pipes are long and fill with water, the venturis have a difficult time removing the water without the help of a blower. From the picture, it does not look like the vent pipe has a Hartford loop. I would ask for one unless the vent pipe has an uphill climb.

However, if you have deck vents at the spa, then a blower is not needed nor possible.
Thanks for the feedback. I'll ask the PB to put in a Hartford loop and hope he knows what he's doing.
 

tank47

Bronze Supporter
Apr 28, 2019
96
NJ
I updated the first post on this thread to include a timeline. Just had the PB out for three days of work, they were making sure pool was level, swapped my pump to VS950, tweaked my equipment pad to my liking, finished the backfill and did a rough grade on rest of backyard. Side note - Thursday Pools (not my manufacturer) has something called backfill eliminator and if anyone is getting one of their pools with a tanning shelf I would say you need to get that.

Had a ton of leaves fall in the pool over Thanksgiving so I spent two hours on the weekend with a hand skimmer getting those out. We have what looks like a murky iced tea concoction for pool water now, real nice shade of brown/green! I guess I need to wait until pavers are down before I can vacuum this out otherwise the mess they will create will just dirty the pool again. My PB was saying to use a special company for this with their own equipment since I should be winterized at this point. They didn't want me to run my equipment until I open to prevent having to re-winterize after the fact. I'm considering ignoring that recommendation so I can vacuum to waste and use my skimmer basket to make sure nothing bad gets into my pipes or pump. Once pool is clean I can then test out my spa to make sure jets are operational to my liking. If for some reason it's not, they can easily dig to fix any issues before I put down pavers. Thoughts? With a VS pump I was thinking I could keep it at low speed 24 hours even in colder weather and it would be ok? Avg temps in my area for Dec are 46-28 and in Jan 42-24.

Electrical is scheduled for Friday and then on to inspections. Then bond beam and coping and hopefully that's it for the pool build. Next step would be pavers and rest of backyard landscaping. Having sunny days with no one showing up to do work has been extremely hard to handle these past two months but weather is too cold to swim anyway so we are sucking it up. At least we are getting a jump on the 2020 season!
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bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
6,515
Central MD
All is fine running 24/7 until the power goes out during a cold snap and well below freezing temps. It's a risk but you have to weigh your options.

Though your skimmer wier doors can/will freeze.
 

tank47

Bronze Supporter
Apr 28, 2019
96
NJ
My lord this seems like the longest fiberglass install in the history of the world. Pool company finished up their part early Jan and then I moved on to hardscaping company to try to put my backyard back together. If anyone is thinking of doing fiberglass in the NJ tri-state area feel free to message me and I'll be happy to give you any feedback and advice on the company I chose. I can't change the past but I hope I can help someone else out like all of you have helped me. Truly grateful.

Concrete was poured today as a paver base with geotextile fabric and paver sand to go on top. They did one big pour for this and bond beam all together. Coping should be done by end of week, hopefully pavers next week (going with Techo Bloc Aberdeen with a little Borealis mixed in on the walkway to the pool and the pavilion area). The pavilion will be getting delivered next Tuesday.

Conduit was run for HDMI, ethernet and speaker wire to the pavilion area along with some extra speaker wire around the pool just in case I need to annoy the neighbors a few years from now. Going with a SONOS set up in the basement, I already have it inside for TV and music and love it so just extending to areas on the patio. Will have two zones to start. All the contractors thought I was crazy for not doing bluetooth, and maybe I am, we will find out soon!IMG_7386.jpgimage0 (1).jpeg
 
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Liz315

Active member
Jul 12, 2020
27
Hammonton, NJ
Been thinking about a pool for a couple years and finally got serious in April (admittedly late), met with some pool builders, decided we wanted fiberglass, narrowed it down and signed in June. Engineering, permits, and some other BS dragged this out and here we are finally in Oct with a commitment from to builder to start this Friday. Found this website early on in the process and have been checking it out periodically ever since. Some members helped me along the way with decisions and I'm really looking forward to giving back. Everyone has been so helpful!

This will be our first pool so looking for any advice, I don't know what I don't know. My first questions are when should I get a pool kit for testing and when should I plan on closing pool? I'm guessing we will get one swim no matter how cold it is and then wait patiently for next season We are adding an outdoor pavilion with TV/bar so hopefully we get some use out of that for some fall/winter football games. I'm actually looking forward to that mostly at this point!

One other question my wife and I are debating is if we should keep a 3' walkway on the house side of the pool or just extend the patio to the pool coping? Is 3' plus 1' of coping wide enough to comfortably walk?

Here's what we are getting with pics attached (the design was something basic i drew up on my ipad):
Inground Fiberglass Leisure Pool Ultimate 40' in Silver Grey with spa and tanning ledge 17,690 gallons
Hayward VSOmni 900 with Smart Pool Control
200 Sq Ft Hayward Star-Clear Plus Cartridge Filter
Hayward H-Series 250k BTU heater
Hayward AquaRite 900 SWG w/ 40k cell (AQR940)
Aluminum fencing
Techo-bloc Aberdeen pavers
Amish Pavilion 20x14

TIMELINE (added 12/5)
April 1 2019 - Started interviewing pool builders and hardscapers. We will be removing our 30 yr old rear deck, a bunch of old, overgrown landscaping and trees and doing some re-grading to the property.
June 5 - Sign with hardscaper who says he doesn't want to do bond beam or coping, let pool builder / mason do that and he will do rest of patio and backyard.
June 10 - After meeting with owner of pool company a few times at our house and then some back and forth over phone and email with their "account manager" (not the owner and not the actual pool builder) we signed pool contract for a Leisure Pools Ultimate 40'. They said the pool will be ready from factory by July 18 and she is hoping for a late July install and then we can swim by August. Sounds quick! :D
June 12 - Our original property survey is outdated. Submit for new survey and township requires engineering plans for grading and coverage calculations. We budgeted for engineering so this wasn't a surprise cost but wish we new about survey so we could have taken care of that ahead of time.
June 24 - Surveyors show up.
June 25 - Out of nowhere the Account Manager suggests switching to another fiberglass manufacturer b/c of issues they've had with previous builds. :oops: We don't go with their suggestion and stick with our original pick of Leisure Pools
July 8 - Engineer receives completed survey. This was a roughly one month delay that we really weren't expecting.
July 9 - Engineer sends preliminary plans to review (I should have reviewed this with PB at this time however I didn't think to, just met with Hardscaper and all was approved).
July 12 - I call my township to get an estimate on timeframe for approval on permits once submitted. We are still dreaming of a swim in August based on original expectations set by Acct Mgr. Township informs me they are backed up about 1 month on permits. :(
July 13 - Met with electrician for his quote
July 16 - Receive final engineering plans via email. Acct Mgr sends me their permit info for submission to township
July 20 - Receive final engineering plans via mail. Ask Acct Mgr to confirm that we have all we need for submission to township, waiting on electrical rest is good. ;)
July 23 - Go to township, they inform me that I am missing a bunch of stuff including gas riser diagram for heater and a site specific electrical diagram. I also need engineering plans for pavilion, septic approval separately from county, and approval from gas company. Pavilion is now ordered with engineering plans on their way, roughly two weeks. PB says each township is different with what they need so they apologize and we wait :mad:
July 24 - Email to confirm with owner of pool company if we will need more dirt / material trucked in for elevations based on engineering survey or if they can use what we pull from the pool hole. :unsure:
July 29 - No response. Ask again about material :unsure::unsure:
Aug 1 - Set up meeting with the actual excavator and pool builder for the company for tomorrow to figure out the material needed. Get quote on gas line. Also asked Acct Mgr if pool was delivered yet and they say it's been delayed to Aug 21 for leaving factory. Not great news but our expectation is pool will be ready once permits are in hand. Go to township to re-submit for permits with all correct info. At this point we realize that our township is backed up about 1 month anyway so we shift our dreams to swimming by Labor Day. ?
Aug 2 - Meet with PB and he suggests going 8" lower than the engineering plans to save on elevation material costs. Even with that change he still suggests we will need to bring in outside material. Ask for quote on that plus quote on coping. We already have a price on bond beam.
Aug 5 - Talk with Engineer, he agrees that 8" lower is possible as long as they account for water runoff. He asks me to get the PB to send him this request so he can approve. Waiting on PB now.
Aug 6 - Put down deposit on black aluminum fence with separate fencing company for perimeter of backyard. At this point we have made decisions on all aspects of the project (pool, pavers, coping, fence, pavilion) so we can be ready once permits are approved.
Aug 27 - After no response from multiple email attempts to the Acct Mgr I copy in the owner to get a response on the PB proposed grading changes and a quote on coping and ask for update on pool delivery. We are sensing permits can be approved any day now and want answers to these final questions.
Aug 29 - Have hardscaper remove deck from backyard to make room for pool. Trying to anticipate our permit approval so we aren't the cause of any delays.
Aug 30 - Finally get quote from PB on coping. Within budget so that's good. Nothing on extra material, I'm left to believe they just won't know and can't estimate properly until they start digging. I start to do my own research so I can have a budget in mind on materials.
Sept 9 - Permits approved! ???. Pool company says their schedule is now backed up, will let me know when they can get us scheduled. ?
Oct 2 - Start my Pool Build thread on this forum. (Should have started this back in April to get advice then which would have helped me tremendously to simply ask the right questions and know what to look for.) ?‍♂
Oct 7 - Excavator arrives onsite. Minor drama about pool elevations, PB never responded to any of my emails about elevation changes for engineer sign-off and now no one wants to start digging without homeowner authorization to go with a modified plan without anything official from the engineer or township. We talk with township and they say it's fine to modify elevation as long as we compensate for water runoff. After a nerve racking start, the dig begins.
Oct 10 - Pool delivery. I upsize the filter for an additional fee based on recommendations from this forum. Pool company did upsize the salt system on their own so I was happy with that "win."
Oct 13 - After a couple attempts pool is finally in the ground. I've seen videos online from other companies with entire teams of people working to get the pool plumbed, backfill set and pool in the ground and boy do they make it look easy. My company has two guys and it's not quite the same experience. I'm starting to get really nervous that I made a major mistake with my pool builder choice. The backfill material isn't clean stone, it's a product called DGA and I'm hoping its good. PB swears it's the best stuff for my soil and he's used it for years. There is no mention from them that they had to order extra material for my build beyond backfill. I am expecting to pay for additional material and the additional time they spend grading the rest of my backyard and have a number in mind but waiting for them to tell me the price. They also use flexible PVC instead of rigid but I didn't know to ask about this upfront so I don't make a stink about it. Plus I don't know if it's really that big of a deal anyway. It's all 2" which I also didn't know at the time to ask about but that was nice to find out after the fact. Would have preferred 2.5" to the spa at least but oh well.
Oct 29 - Due to change in equipment and some weather delays there hasn't been much progress on the pool ?. Filter finally arrives and they start working on plumbing the rest of equipment pad. Met with their recommended mason for coping and bond beam. From info I gathered they severed their relationship with a previous mason just prior to me ordering which is why I believe this meeting happened so late in the build. I pay him his deposit for coping and bond beam. At this point I'm really second guessing everything. I thought a fiberglass pool could be installed in a couple days due to expectations they set back when I signed when they were expecting my pool to be ready by July 18 and I could be swimming in August. It's not all their fault, we had delays with permits and survey and I ordered right at peak season which didn't help but I think this is the main reason why pool builds can be so stressful. I had an expectation, set by them, and it was nowhere near accurate. They should have said when I ordered that we were getting a jump on the 2020 season and that would have been perfect.
Oct 30 - Discover a crack/blemish in the pool tanning shelf. ? It's not really that bad. Notify one of the workers and he says he will get this over to Leisure Pools for warranty repair.
Oct 31 - The call finally comes in asking to be paid for the extra material and equipment time spent grading. I really don't want to negotiate with them but I am questioning the amount of material they say they delivered. I thought I counted the trucks but I didn't watch all day when it was all delivered earlier in the month so I could have missed some. I did loosely track the time on the grading equipment and I felt they were accurate with that number. Bottom line it comes in under what I budgeted for so I pay after they shave off a couple hundred bucks.
Nov 5 - Email to owner of pool company to let them know we are not satisfied with all the delays. There has been no response on the warranty repair issue? ??? Turns out this is the first they are hearing of it and claim their worker didn't tell them about the crack/blemish so we lost a week waiting. And it was all good weather! They tell us they don't want to do anything else now until they hear from LP on warranty repair. I should have held back my grading and material check until the entire project was complete and am kicking myself.
Nov 15 - LP person shows up for warranty repair, nothing has been done in the meantime. Had to wait for a good weather day with temps over 50 in order for the material to set properly. Fixes it same day. I upsize my pump to the VS 950 based on recommendations from this forum. PB comes through and convinces supply house to take back the current one that was unboxed and sitting on my pad. Credit where credit is due ?. Plan is for them to come back for two days with new pump to get that installed and complete rest of project so we can move on to electrical, inspections, bond beam and coping and then be done.
Nov 27 - Delays, delays, delays ? and PB finally shows up with new pump and says they can wrap it up in one day. ?
Dec 3 - PB comes back out to dial in the backfill around tanning shelf and spa. They also tweaked the plumbing so the automation would work correctly when installed.
Dec 4 - PB back again to finish up what they thought would take just one day. Thankful that they are giving me the attention finally to get this wrapped up. Lights finally get delivered (after 15 previous emails asking where are my lights?)! Electrician is scheduled for Friday and PB is calling in for pressure testing inspection. What is that faint light I see in the distance????
Dec 6 - Electrician lays the bonding wire, connects the pad and installs automation.
Dec 11 - Electrician comes back to do more work. PB cancels pressure test for tomorrow for the fourth time b/c they still need to complete some install items.
Dec 30 - Plugs finally show up from supply house and PB stops by to complete the plumbing with pressure test back on schedule for tomorrow.
Dec 31 - Pressure test passes!
Jan 4 - use the pool maintenance company that is recommended by my PB and they winterize pool. I make sure I'm there to test each line as we blow them out and discover the plumbing is connected improperly so I call the PB to get back out to fix. So frustrating.
Jan 5 - PB fixes the plumbing and completes the winterization. Pool is still green/brown and maintenance guy does not want to clean out until the patio is completed b/c it will just get dirty all over again
Jan 13 - Hardscaper changes companies over the holidays and moves my job with him to new company. New company meets with us and we re-confirm all aspects of job and make some tweaks to the layout and design. They decide to add concrete poured base for all pavers and will do the bond beam and coping which saves us compared to our original quote for bond beam and coping with the PB. They start their work today and give us an estimate of 3 weeks weather pending.
Jan 17 - what a difference the hardscaper company is! A crew of people each and every day, on time, with excellent communication. Night and day difference from the pool build experience. Electrical and footing inspections passed, should have rest of patio concrete poured next week with Pavilion install after that and then on to pavers!
I’m looking into leisure pools for an install ready for next swim season 2021. We are doing homework now and really love the modern lines and colors of the leisure pools. I have read some great and bad reviews. It looks like you had one installed in south jersey too. Any info you can share will be greatly appreciated. Ie: who you used to install and if you would like it.

thanks.