Southern Indiana Tiny 'lil FG Build

Danimal92Sport

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2017
76
Southern Indiana
Pool Size
4600
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Hello All,

I've been cruising this site for several years yet I do not have a pool - it's a long story.

However, our local PB is starting on a fiberglass build in November '21 in our Southern Indiana back yard. The pool shell was constructed last year, equipment is in-stock thanks to a pool builder who pre-buys everything, and they say our build is on-schedule.

Below are the details of our current plan. My main questions are;

  1. Any suggestions on the skimmer/return layout?
  2. Should I have them include a side vacuum port? Not sure if this is normal for them, may be for all I know.
  3. Any other equipment suggestions?
  4. Any other suggestions on how to make the pool as low-maintenance as possible, given the extreme amount of leaves?

Overall goal:
  • We want a small pool, even though we have two boys. We live across the street from the city olympic sized pool with slides, etc which is a great pool. This is a little spot to cool off on hot days, have a drink with friends, and shoot some hoops. We also want to keep some grass for aesthetic reasons and for my two little dogs.
  • We've had a landscape designer lay out the whole yard with the goal of making the landscaping, hardscaping, and pool look like they were put in with the house in the 1920s. This is mostly related to the layout, the plants, decking, etc. I'm good with the fiberglass pool, but we may end up doing water line tile depending on how it looks when finished...

My yard:
  • 95 year old home, detached garage
  • Tons of big trees - two of them that are near and even over the pool that are estimated to be 80 and 100 years old, respectively. The trees are in fantastic health, but they do lose leaves in July/August when heat stressed, and the 100 year old tree is a 90+ft tulip poplar that also drops tulips and the related mess about 4 times a year.
  • THE TREES ARE STAYING!!! :ROFLMAO: I know I have to say that to you folks
  • We will trim the trees back (as we do every other year) to give the desired level of sun and reduce leaf load a bit
  • Most of the yard is done. This is because we decided years ago that we "didn't want a pool" so we moved ahead with the yard. Whoops... Our patio brick contractor is ready to help redo portions of the patio that need to be removed and adjusted after the pool and decking are complete.

The Pool:
  • Thursday Pools Sea Turtle - 10' x 20' x 4'6" all of the way across, with benches on half of it
  • Graphite color
  • May DIY some water line tile later on, depending on looks

Equipment:
  • 1x skimmer, no bottom drains. I've put skimmer placement in image below - look OK?
  • No mention of a side vac port, but this seems like a good idea - right?
  • 2x returns - Shouldn't I have more? Especially with the need for moving water on the surface to remove leaf debris.
    • I'd like 1 extra near the skimmer for a PoolSkim
    • We've also asked for a line for a fountain
    • I've added like 5 returns in the image below, but perhaps the velocity will be too low out of each?
  • Hayward S210 sand filter (44 GPM, 2.2 ft^2 filter area, 200 lb sand)
  • Hayward Super Pump VS - model # not yet provided by PB
  • Hayward H200FD 200k BTU natural gas heater
  • Hayward AquaRite 900 - 40,000 gal SWCG
    • PB has suggested that we go with a 25k gallon at the same price. I want the big one.
  • 1x Hayward ColorLogic 320 LED light & knob controller thingie
    • According to Hayward's size chart, a single 320 is sufficient for my pool
  • Not sure which robot, but a Dolphin of some kind based on my positive experience maintaining my neighbor's pool for the last several years when they travel
Deck:
  • 2 foot wide cantilevered concrete deck around the 3 sides of the pool that meet up with grass
  • 3 foot wide decking on the stair side that meets with the clay brick
  • We want a straight/flat edge and a sand wash finish using a retarder. This was recommended by our landscape architect who is trying to get it as close to the local limestone as possible without us having to pay for limestone coping. South central Indiana, where we live, is famous for it's limestone, and we have some on the front of the house we want to mimic.
    • Pool builder has spoken to his concrete sub and they say this is no problem
    • However - this part seems to be stressing my wife and I out more than the rest of the pool build!

Testing Equip
  • I've already got a Taylor K2006c, K1766, speed stir
  • My fill water:
    • pH: 7.8, though this seems higher than our local water report, so I'll retest
    • CH: 220 ppm - surprised it's not higher, our water leaves calcium rocks on everything it touches. Hardest water ever… has me concerned.
    • TA: 190-200 ppm

Images attached show yard as it stands today, as well as my amateur PowerPoint work - using the landscape architect's plans and pasting the pool over top. The large red outline circles represent approximate tree canopy, which will be trimmed to remove branches over the pool.

You all are great, thanks for letting me lurk and learn so much! Sorry for the novel, but I'll use this as my build thread and there will be a payoff for others looking to learn
 

Attachments

  • IMG_0528.jpg
    IMG_0528.jpg
    994.6 KB · Views: 99
  • Pool Layout danCAD_1.jpg
    Pool Layout danCAD_1.jpg
    496.2 KB · Views: 103
  • D61D3F54-C4B8-4869-8414-F1D39D8B3AEE.jpeg
    D61D3F54-C4B8-4869-8414-F1D39D8B3AEE.jpeg
    488.7 KB · Views: 103
Last edited:

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
43,983
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Looks great. With your tree debris, did you consider an auto cover? Just a thought. They are pretty expensive and do have recurring maintenance costs.

With your small pool, why the sand filter? I would go with a 200+SF cartridge filter. I bet you only will clean it once a year when you close for the winter. I believe the sand filter will make your chemistry maintenance more of a hassle with the small pool.

Our small pool has two returns. Seems to work fine, but we do not have a large debris load. If you go with that many returns, get the largest VS pump they make. Also home run all the returns. If they will not do that, try to at least do two sets with them being looped.

I assume you will have some kind of automation. Be sure to check that all your equipment plays nice together.

Your fill water looks pretty good especially since you get rain and I doubt have to add all that much tap water. Do you have a whole house water softener?

Grass near a pool is a pain. Just be cognizant of that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Danimal92Sport

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
49,054
Tallahassee, FL
Because of the trees that WILL BE STAYING (LOL) I would get a second skimmer or even better put in a main drain. My worry is if the skimmer gets filled with leaves it wills starve the pump of water. The main drain will allow the water to still get to the pump and filter. Just something to think about.
 

Danimal92Sport

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2017
76
Southern Indiana
Pool Size
4600
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Excellent, thanks so much to you both for suggestions.

A cartridge filter is not something I had considered due to the trees, pollen, etc. But that’s quite an intriguing idea, I’ll explore that more, thanks!

And kimkats, I also worry about the skimmer clogging while we’re out of town, etc. My current thinking is to use a PoolSkim as well as a leaf catcher net DIY contraption outside of the skimmer when lots of leaves are coming down. I also planned to use a skimpro (or similar) skimmer basket with a tower as a last line of defense. Oh, also we have plenty of neighbor friends who’d be willing to come empty the skimmer for us and take a dip while they’re at it :)

Dan
 
  • Like
Reactions: kimkats

SunnyP2000

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
227
Long Island, NY
Pool Size
17280
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite Pro (T-15)
+1 on the pump upgrade as @mknauss stated. I have super pump and everyday i kick my self for not upgrading to bigger Tri-Star pump. super pump is ok but i am constantly running at higher speed to get good skimming which beats the purpose of having VSP pump.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Danimal92Sport

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
10,846
NY
Hey Danimal and belated Welcome !!!

Food for thought :

I get the only wanting a small pool with such an awesome pool across the street. You can just run across the street anytime you want ? Right ?

But that’s easier said than done. At my old house we had free reign at the neighbors pool across the street before we built ours. But as the kids got a little older and had all kinds of activities, many times we had *excatly* 45 mins before we had to be loaded up in the car and out to scouts/ sports/ etc. By the time we suited up, Sunblocked, grabbed towels, waters, goggles and everything else, we didn’t have enough time to allow the reverse of packing up to come home. When the pool was right out the back door; we could hop in for 30 mins and leave the towels hanging on a railing for later. Our usage went through the roof, even though another perfectly good pool was a couple hundred of feet away.

Your friends visiting will also increase. It’s true that they can come use the communal pool with you, but they’ll be more apt to have a intimate day with friends in the personal setting. *AND* be able to run across the street soaking wet for 20 mins to hit the slides. But then go back to your house for the good grilling and private ambiance in your backyard oasis.

Between your pool and the whopper across the street it will be the best of both worlds and your house will certainly be high on the list where friends want the invite.

So on the surface it seems you don’t need a larger pool, But if you have the funds and the space, It will only come in handy.

Apologies for making a difficult decision more difficult. 😁
 
  • Haha
Reactions: Danimal92Sport

gingrbredman

Gold Supporter
Jun 10, 2020
387
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Really liking the plan. Looks like you put a lot of thought into your house, your family, and all that you learned here. Just a couple thoughts...

  1. Should I have them include a side vacuum port? Not sure if this is normal for them, may be for all I know.?
A vacuum port is probably not needed with your build. A nice robot is all you will need to clean up that FG pool and keep the plumbing a little easier. Less equipment and cost to run the robot for sure, and with that size it will clean up in no time.

Hayward AquaRite 900 - 40,000 gal SWCG
  • PB has suggested that we go with a 25k gallon at the same price. I want the big one.
I like that idea a lot. My FG is on the smaller side, and ended up getting a SWCG rated almost 3 times more than I needed. For the small cost difference up front, I can run the thing low and slow and get all the chlorine I need and it will last a long time. No reason to go smaller if you can swing the upfront costs of the bigger one.

A cartridge filter is not something I had considered due to the trees, pollen, etc. But that’s quite an intriguing idea, I’ll explore that more, thanks!
Your new pool would probably benefit from a nice cartridge filter. The leaves should never make it there anyway, and if you use a skimmer sock or hairnet in the skimmer, you capture a lot of what would normally get to the filters anyway, and the ease of the cartridges just makes easier on everything.



Good luck with the build, looking forward to the updates!
 

Tcadwall0

Gold Supporter
May 19, 2021
114
Charlotte, NC
Pool Size
12900
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
Not exactly about the pool itself, but I have two dogs that love to swim. Instead of grass, inside the pool fence I have about 600sqft of artificial grass. No grass clippings in pool, don't have to worry about dogs making dirt paths along fence and bringing that into the pool, etc. Helps a lot. It is easy to blow the leaves off, etc.
 

Attachments

  • 20210415_180256.jpg
    20210415_180256.jpg
    599.1 KB · Views: 26
  • 20210520_114216.jpg
    20210520_114216.jpg
    448.2 KB · Views: 25
  • Like
Reactions: Danimal92Sport

Danimal92Sport

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2017
76
Southern Indiana
Pool Size
4600
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Build starts this week or next, rain pending. The pool shell will be dropped off in my driveway off of our alley mid-week. I’ll probably tarp it because my wife is worried that teens will spray paint private parts on the inside :ROFLMAO:

I followed the advice here and went with a cartridge filter, which I’m very excited about. I also upsized the VS pump due to the higher number of returns. I’m excited for the build to begin, yet nervous. So nervous…

Pics to follow.

Dan
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
43,983
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
@mknauss Why do you recommend sand filters for *large* pools? Just because the cartridges are big and it's a pain to clean?
I don't. In almost all cases, for a residential pool, a cartridge filter is the best choice.
 

Danimal92Sport

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2017
76
Southern Indiana
Pool Size
4600
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Pool shell delivered today, sitting in my back driveway off of the alley.

This is the Thursday Pools “graphite” color and it looks great. The non-slip surfaces look really good, and the overall quality of this shell is fantastic! Very pleased. Now to just get it in the ground…

D80961A6-2C74-4B6B-B77C-45901B5ADE29.jpeg
02BB5A67-A41C-4A5C-82E1-1CF8F843F960.jpeg
F8220159-27D1-4444-AB31-82AAA0351DF9.jpeg
 
  • Love
Reactions: Casey and Newdude

Danimal92Sport

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2017
76
Southern Indiana
Pool Size
4600
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Can anyone comment on light placement? We’re going to have a single ColorLogic light. Based on the Hayward calcs, this is more than sufficient. Looking at the site plan in my first post, and with the desire to aim it away from the house, I’m worried the steps will be dark if it’s installed on the large flat wall near/under the skimmer. This is because the bench seat sticks out farther than the light. Thoughts?

Dan
 

Tcadwall0

Gold Supporter
May 19, 2021
114
Charlotte, NC
Pool Size
12900
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
I really liked Thursday Pools when I did my research last year. They were one of my top 3 choices. Congrats, they seem to have an incredible QC and top of the line engineering.

As far as your light. If it is high enough it should light the stairs, at least well enough. Do you plan on swimming in complete darkness besides the pool lighting?

With a TFP clear pool, you should be able to see the steps from ambient light, even at night. Where else are you thinking? The deep end facing the stairs? That might be pretty bright to the people looking down at the stairs, coming across the pool.

Can't wait to see this one when it is full!
 

Tcadwall0

Gold Supporter
May 19, 2021
114
Charlotte, NC
Pool Size
12900
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
One more question on the light placement. Where will you be sitting when outside the pool? From pics I can't really tell how many windows overlook the pool - that is normally the concern regarding lights facing away from the house. But it is also important how the light would hit you if you were in your hang-out spot outside the pool.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
10,846
NY
As far as your light. If it is high enough it should light the stairs, at least well enough.
+1. It will reflect pretty well off the smooth/shiny walls. The ends won't be the brightest, but the certainly won't be dark. Although you could lose some Pizzaz if the ends aren't as vibrantly lit as the middle.

Any reason you can't shoot the long way ? If the skimmer is on the house side, the light would go across the yard (side to side) and not towards the house. That's still 'away' from the house.

The deep end of course would be ideal for light height, but that would blind anybody sitting on the benches. Is the light small enough to fit on the 2nd to bottom stair riser ? The first 2 are curved so they won't work. If it fits that would be my spot. It would reflect right back from the deep wall and light the area above the benches. And from a distance, the whole pool would have that POP being equally lit. Feel free to not like my $.02 :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Danimal92Sport

Tcadwall0

Gold Supporter
May 19, 2021
114
Charlotte, NC
Pool Size
12900
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
So I have a 16'x36' with a tanning ledge at one end and bench seating in the opposite.

Fiberglass pools have sloped sides, so when the light reflects off the "sides" (think the fronts of the steps) it still reflects up a little. So the horizontal of the step may be darker, but the vertical is brighter even when looking down. So there is clear definition of where the steps are.

I can't control my bubbler lights separate from my wall lights, so I am including a picture from each direction of what it looks like right now. It should give you a feel of what the side lighting is at the ends of the pool.

In any case, this is 2 wall lights (but a longer pool) and probably a similar experience you will have with your original placement.

--- edit - I am not sure about the ColorLogic lights you have, but intellibrite do cast shadows, so it is not as attractive when you are seated opposite the light... Added one more picture (poor quality) for that.
 

Attachments

  • 20211006_192642.jpg
    20211006_192642.jpg
    59.4 KB · Views: 16
  • 20211006_192656.jpg
    20211006_192656.jpg
    53.6 KB · Views: 16
  • 20211006_193923.jpg
    20211006_193923.jpg
    52.8 KB · Views: 16
Last edited:

Danimal92Sport

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2017
76
Southern Indiana
Pool Size
4600
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Great feedback, thanks! I’m puzzled over light placement now, as no direction seems ideal. I’ll have to think about this some more and determine which direction is the best compromise.

Dan
 
  • Like
Reactions: Newdude

Danimal92Sport

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2017
76
Southern Indiana
Pool Size
4600
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Dig day. Hit electrical conduit from the 1920s right off the bat - 2nd shovel load! But we expected it, so no issue. One of the workers didn’t think it was funny when I mumbled “just wait till you find the body”…

Rock goes down Monday and they’ll start setting the pool and backfilling.

CDB3099C-08A0-4363-9A62-07A92645ECB7.jpeg
540F364E-B059-4FB5-B028-DDDFACB4B326.jpeg
0C20316F-9E3A-4C2D-819D-E1BEEE52AC8D.jpeg
0510049D-BBDA-44BA-9FB1-5666FC553677.jpeg
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support