Sugar Land TX, New Pool Build - looking for suggestions

EngineerNerd

Gold Supporter
May 9, 2021
34
Houston, TX
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Thank You for the tip. What model of robot are you going with?
revstrikerTX (and stack24),

I have a suggestion to consider if you go with a plug-in robot.

And would you believe I live in Sugar Land too! What are the odds of that :).

I've got some experience with various Polaris pressure side cleaners, and just recently got a plug-in robot as well.

Bottom line, if I were building a new pool in this area (hot, sunny), I would go plug-in robot, but also have them leave room (on your pad) and add all necessary piping (from the pad to the pool), so that you could add a pressure line Polaris 280 at a later date if you ever decided to. Think of this as a bit of future-proofing, as it would be prohibitively expensive to do that at a later date if you ever would want to switch. I would expect that they could plumb things so that limited flow will go through the unused pressure side cleaner line (just a dribble should do when your main pump is on) to prevent algae from growing in that line.

Here's my story, which includes having owned 4 separate Polaris models.

We moved to our home when the pool was 3 years old, and it's now 26 years old. The original owner had them install the CHEAPEST possible pool available (one 2.5HP pump to run pool, Polaris 360, Jacuzzi, and the Jacuzzi water lines run through venturi jets that suck air from the pool deck to provide the bubbles. In any case, that's why we started with a Polaris 360.

Here are the details and comments about our cleaners:
- Polaris 360 - horrible; stiff hose prevented cleaning all parts of pool and pre-filtered water clogs the tiny inline filter every few days; with a single pump and no automation, it also ran whenever the pool filter ran which causes a lot of wear on the cleaner
- Polaris 280 and 3/4 HP pressure side cleaner pump (older Polaris design); worked well for many years
- Upgraded when Polaris 3/4 HP pump died to a much improved Polaris PB45Q pump - huge improvement; much quieter and seems to last about 3 times as long as the other booster pumps we've had
- Polaris Quattro Sport (actually Leslie's P40 with different colored plastic from factory Polaris model) came next (~ 2 years ago). After being relatively pleased with the Polaris 280 (I think it's #1 selling pool cleaner even now?), the pool store helped me to purchase this model; it cleans about 100% better than the Polaris 280 - goes much higher on sides, flappers really do help cut down on how often I need to brush pool, BUT... And there is a huge but, just one month before the 2 year wtty. was out, my Quattro Sport needed about $340 of parts for two small outside wheel gear assemblies. And the YouTube video I watched to learn how to disassemble this model said that the most often parts to fail were a drive shaft assy and "engine" which add up to over $500 if those were to fail too. While the 280's don't clean as well, their maintenance of ~17 years probably ran about $60/year. Our pool is warm, gets total sun, and we have been running the Polaris for 9 months a year for about 2 hours/day, and about 1 hour day for the other 3 months of the year.
- circa 2021' - purchased Polaris Alpha iQ+ (actually, Leslie's VRX iQ+) true plug in robot purchased earlier this year while our Polaris Quattro was in the shop for above mentioned wtty. repairs. Evidently, Leslie's cannot use their in-stock parts for wtty. repairs; they have to order from Polaris and customers have to wait. I will not leave this wonderful cleaner in the pool, but will use it as needed. What's to love about the robot - best overall effectiveness and cleaning yet; you can "drive" it with an iPhone, and it really does the best job had so far for scrubbing the tiles. It's massive filter removes even the tiniest silt and has an optional even finer filter available that some TFP users have mentioned.

My situation - I will reprogram the Quattro Sport run only 45 mins/day (down from 2 hours) and use the robot as required (been once/week lately). I would prefer a Polaris 280 to run this way over the Quattro Sport just because of that model's bullet-proof reliability and low cost rebuilds. And, while Polaris instructions say don't leave any cleaner in your pool 24/7, the pressure side 280 really doesn't seem to mind. Electric robots have very expensive parts ($500 cables, $500+ motors, etc.) and I would not expect them to hold up as well left in a pool 24/7 in Texas as the 280's seem to.

Hope this helps!

Too, PM me if you want to visit and watch how either of our current Polaris models navigate in our Sugar Land pool.

Jim
 

revstrikerTX

Active member
Apr 9, 2018
36
SUGAR LAND, TX
revstrikerTX (and stack24),

I have a suggestion to consider if you go with a plug-in robot.

And would you believe I live in Sugar Land too! What are the odds of that :).

I've got some experience with various Polaris pressure side cleaners, and just recently got a plug-in robot as well.

Bottom line, if I were building a new pool in this area (hot, sunny), I would go plug-in robot, but also have them leave room (on your pad) and add all necessary piping (from the pad to the pool), so that you could add a pressure line Polaris 280 at a later date if you ever decided to. Think of this as a bit of future-proofing, as it would be prohibitively expensive to do that at a later date if you ever would want to switch. I would expect that they could plumb things so that limited flow will go through the unused pressure side cleaner line (just a dribble should do when your main pump is on) to prevent algae from growing in that line.

Here's my story, which includes having owned 4 separate Polaris models.

We moved to our home when the pool was 3 years old, and it's now 26 years old. The original owner had them install the CHEAPEST possible pool available (one 2.5HP pump to run pool, Polaris 360, Jacuzzi, and the Jacuzzi water lines run through venturi jets that suck air from the pool deck to provide the bubbles. In any case, that's why we started with a Polaris 360.

Here are the details and comments about our cleaners:
- Polaris 360 - horrible; stiff hose prevented cleaning all parts of pool and pre-filtered water clogs the tiny inline filter every few days; with a single pump and no automation, it also ran whenever the pool filter ran which causes a lot of wear on the cleaner
- Polaris 280 and 3/4 HP pressure side cleaner pump (older Polaris design); worked well for many years
- Upgraded when Polaris 3/4 HP pump died to a much improved Polaris PB45Q pump - huge improvement; much quieter and seems to last about 3 times as long as the other booster pumps we've had
- Polaris Quattro Sport (actually Leslie's P40 with different colored plastic from factory Polaris model) came next (~ 2 years ago). After being relatively pleased with the Polaris 280 (I think it's #1 selling pool cleaner even now?), the pool store helped me to purchase this model; it cleans about 100% better than the Polaris 280 - goes much higher on sides, flappers really do help cut down on how often I need to brush pool, BUT... And there is a huge but, just one month before the 2 year wtty. was out, my Quattro Sport needed about $340 of parts for two small outside wheel gear assemblies. And the YouTube video I watched to learn how to disassemble this model said that the most often parts to fail were a drive shaft assy and "engine" which add up to over $500 if those were to fail too. While the 280's don't clean as well, their maintenance of ~17 years probably ran about $60/year. Our pool is warm, gets total sun, and we have been running the Polaris for 9 months a year for about 2 hours/day, and about 1 hour day for the other 3 months of the year.
- circa 2021' - purchased Polaris Alpha iQ+ (actually, Leslie's VRX iQ+) true plug in robot purchased earlier this year while our Polaris Quattro was in the shop for above mentioned wtty. repairs. Evidently, Leslie's cannot use their in-stock parts for wtty. repairs; they have to order from Polaris and customers have to wait. I will not leave this wonderful cleaner in the pool, but will use it as needed. What's to love about the robot - best overall effectiveness and cleaning yet; you can "drive" it with an iPhone, and it really does the best job had so far for scrubbing the tiles. It's massive filter removes even the tiniest silt and has an optional even finer filter available that some TFP users have mentioned.

My situation - I will reprogram the Quattro Sport run only 45 mins/day (down from 2 hours) and use the robot as required (been once/week lately). I would prefer a Polaris 280 to run this way over the Quattro Sport just because of that model's bullet-proof reliability and low cost rebuilds. And, while Polaris instructions say don't leave any cleaner in your pool 24/7, the pressure side 280 really doesn't seem to mind. Electric robots have very expensive parts ($500 cables, $500+ motors, etc.) and I would not expect them to hold up as well left in a pool 24/7 in Texas as the 280's seem to.

Hope this helps!

Too, PM me if you want to visit and watch how either of our current Polaris models navigate in our Sugar Land pool.

Jim
Jim, Thank You so much for the detailed explanation, after reading up on Robot vs Polaris, I have decided to let the PB do the Polaris and I will buy a robot vacuum separately so will have the best of both like you suggested. I do have a 100yr old magnolia right next to where the pool is being built and it does shed a lot of the big leaves at this time of the year, that's the main issue I am worried about is cleaning these leaves our of the pool.
 

Berger82

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2018
93
Richmond, TX
Jim, Thank You so much for the detailed explanation, after reading up on Robot vs Polaris, I have decided to let the PB do the Polaris and I will buy a robot vacuum separately so will have the best of both like you suggested. I do have a 100yr old magnolia right next to where the pool is being built and it does shed a lot of the big leaves at this time of the year, that's the main issue I am worried about is cleaning these leaves our of the pool.
Just a hunch, but I dont think many magnolia leaves are going to get picked up by any kind of cleaner...except a net. Those leaves are pretty big and I can imagine them causing some issues with a robot.
 
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jjbradley

Active member
Jun 12, 2021
26
Pearland
Got my first quote for my PB builder (small shop). He did my friend's pool back in 2003 so I know he is reputable.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Quote $65K, I did have him agree to increase the size to 18' x 35' for the same price, waiting on updated proposal.

Also would the 5' x 10' tanning ledge ok to put 2 ledge loungers? Thanks.

Pool size:
Perimeter 89’
Width & Length 18’ x 30’ (size changed to 22' x 38')
Depth 4’ x 6’ x 4’
Area 380 sq. ft.
Volume 13,280 gallons

Reinforcing:
#3 bars 8” x 8” o.c. both ways on floor and wall
Additional #3 bars 4”x 8” o.c. as required on all major stress areas
(4) #4 bars continuous in 12” x 14” Bond Beam

Gunite:
6 sack mix- 4000 psi pneumatically applied

Coping:
3cm travertine paver

Waterline Tile:
6” Standard

Plaster:
Cool Blue (Pebble Sheen)

Equipment:
Hayward variable speed pump
Hayward Omni Logic remote system; Iphone, Ipad & Android compatible
Hayward cartridge 425 sq. ft. filter
Hayward 400,000 btu heater w/ gas hookup
Unlimited gas line run from meter to heater
Rainbow 320 chlorinator
(1) Color Logic LED pool light
(1) Color Logic LED spa light
Silencer 1.5 hp Blower
Polaris 280 automatic pool cleaner w/ ¾ hp pump
2 Skimmers
4 main drains in pool with antivortex covers

Plumbing:
Unlimited plumbing run from equipment to skimmer
All pool piping will be sch. 40 PVC
Separate main drain line and Skimmer lines with valving
¾” PVC fill line w/ valve anti-siphon
Overflow line

Electrical:
Includes unlimited electrical run from circuit breaker box to equipment location
Hookup of all pool equipment, lights and light switches
Grounding and G.F.I included
Sub panel included—if needed

Deck:
585 sq. ft. of Spray Deck

Spa:
7’ Circular
Raised 12”
6’ Spillway with 6” x 6” waterline tile
6” waterline tile on outside of spa
6 jets
Color Logic LED spa light
Silencer 1.5 hp Blower

Miscellaneous:
Spa Raised 12” faced with waterline tile
5' x 10' Tanning ledge with steps extending out from ledge
(2) Benches, one on each side of pool in the deep part
Umbrella hole on tanning ledge
Take down fence for excavation/put back up
Maintenance kit included; brush, leaf net, telescope pole & test kit
StartUp chemical dosage and pool operation instruction included
May I ask the companies name? We’re currently going with Anthony Sylvan for $68,000. But my heart is saying go with the small builder for 85,000.
 

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Bvacchiano

Silver Supporter
Apr 6, 2018
365
Sugar Land, Texas
Howdy Sugar Land neighbor! I can tell you this definitively, you will be hating life without an SWG down here unless you are looking forward to making your pool your second full time job. Without an SWG you will need to manually add Liquid Chlorine EVERY day from June-October (I won’t go into the trichlor CYA issue.

also, my water temp hit 91 deg last week. Was like a big bathtub. I turned my Chiller on and it’s down to 84/85. Something to consider unless u like swimming in a hot tub when it’s 110 degrees outside

My two cents anyway..
 

revstrikerTX

Active member
Apr 9, 2018
36
SUGAR LAND, TX
Howdy Sugar Land neighbor! I can tell you this definitively, you will be hating life without an SWG down here unless you are looking forward to making your pool your second full time job. Without an SWG you will need to manually add Liquid Chlorine EVERY day from June-October (I won’t go into the trichlor CYA issue.

also, my water temp hit 91 deg last week. Was like a big bathtub. I turned my Chiller on and it’s down to 84/85. Something to consider unless u like swimming in a hot tub when it’s 110 degrees outside

My two cents anyway..
Thank You neighbor, what chiller do you have? I got the Omni PL control box so will add the TCell940 after my build is completed, it integrates right in with the Omni PL. Right now I just want to get the pool finished and take the first dip lol. I didn't add the salt cell as my PB kept recommending against it.
All my equipment was delivered today so waiting for next week start more progress.
 
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Bvacchiano

Silver Supporter
Apr 6, 2018
365
Sugar Land, Texas
Thank You neighbor, what chiller do you have? I got the Omni PL control box so will add the TCell940 after my build is completed, it integrates right in with the Omni PL. Right now I just want to get the pool finished and take the first dip lol. I didn't add the salt cell as my PB kept recommending against it.
All my equipment was delivered today so waiting for next week start more progress.
Glacier Chiller. Mines plumbed into my Pentair Easy Touch so I can schedule and turn on/off from my phone. As stated you can’t set it to turn on/off by temp. I’m sitting at 83 now as I type this.
 
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revstrikerTX

Active member
Apr 9, 2018
36
SUGAR LAND, TX
Sorry All I’ve been bad at posting pics. I just figured out that you can select the size of pics when uploading from your phone. When I tried initially l, some weeks back, I just selected the pics and posted and they were rejected due to size. So I emailed them to myself, changed the size using mspaint then posted. I feel dumb now that I figured it out and I work in IT. LOL.
 

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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,657
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Some of the equipment will have part numbers and serial numbers on the exterior of the box. Take close up pictures of each. Good for verification with your PB and warranty documents
 
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revstrikerTX

Active member
Apr 9, 2018
36
SUGAR LAND, TX
Some more pics.
 

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revstrikerTX

Active member
Apr 9, 2018
36
SUGAR LAND, TX
My tile/coping selections are below. 1x1 for the spa and spillway. 6x6 for the waterline.
Electrician & Tile/coping scheduled for next week.
 

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revstrikerTX

Active member
Apr 9, 2018
36
SUGAR LAND, TX
Tile & Coping almost done.
 

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