Thoughts On New Build

amfiteatro

New member
Feb 4, 2021
2
Queens, NY
Hi Everyone,

I'm glad I found this forum thanks to a colleague! My wife and I are about to build out our first gunite pool. We currently have a vinyl pool which we plan to demo being that we're revamping our whole back yard and decided to go with a gunite version. I'm not very familiar with pool terminology, equipment specs, etc. but I've been reading throughout the forum and other sites to better understand as much as I can. To be quite honest I'm a bit overwhelmed. Below are the specs of the new build scheduled to kick into gear start April. I'll be posting progress updates as well. I would really appreciate feedback and/or recommendations from you. As far as feedback is concerned, I wouldn't mind hearing you out regarding the layout of the steps or bench as well.

Great to be here by the way! Thank You

BUILD
  • Gunite pool 18' x 50' with a 7' x 7' spa with corner entrance, steps and bench along length of pool
  • Build shell with pressurized concrete (gunite) materials Portland sand and a 10 1/2" perimeter bond beam
  • Supply and install 3 water-line skimmers,
  • 2" plumbing with 8" mouth color TBD
  • 6 return lines,
  • 2 split main drains with VGB anti entrapment plaster top drains to meet safety standards
  • Install 5 SAVI 24 watt LED white pool lights and 1 SAVI 24 watt LED in spa with 300 watt transformer
  • Install dry-well at designated area with connection to filter system for backwash/waste functions
  • Supply and install coping treads 2" x 12" with flamed edging 136 linear feet
  • Supply and install 136 linear feet of 6" x 6" water-line ceramic or porcelain tiles around pool perimeter and perimeter of spa
  • Surface interior of pool with Pebble Fina quartz-based plaster
  • Supply and install mechanical auto-fill box and float to be plumbed into existing outdoor spigot
  • Provide plumbing from pool and spa location to designated equipment location using all 2" & 3" rigid PVC hard-pipe and sweep elbows
  • Backfill all trenches
  • Supply and install: Filter, heater, pump and the following equipment - plumbing with suction and return system manifolds in 2" PVC with dedicated schedule 80 Jandy Never-lube valves for each suction and return line
  • Fill, prime and start pool system upon completion, including new plaster start-up procedure for maintenance for 30 days while plaster cures

POOL AND SPA EQUIPMENT
  • 2 Pentair intelliflow variable speed pumps and power adjustable filter pumps
  • 1 Pentair triton TR-60 filter with high-rate glass filter and 2" multi-port valve for spa
  • 1 Pentair triton TR-100 filter with high-rate glass filter and 2" multi-port valve for pool
  • 2 Raypack RP2100, 406K BTU cupro nickle with electronic ignition, digital display heater for use with propane gas or natural gas
  • 6 SAVI 24 watt white LED lights with 300 watt transformer and conduit
  • 1 Jandy Aqualink RS2/10 automation system with one-touch indoor panel and I-Aqualink upgrade for web integration and smartphone/tablet app.
  • 2 - 2HP Hydroletapy pumps for spa
  • 1 - 2HP air blower for spa
  • 1 Auto fill
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,842
Bedford, TX
A,

Looks like a big project... :thumleft:

I am not a fan of diagonal steps of any kind.. They are awkward for me to walk down.. It almost feels to me like I am walking with my eyes closed.. Most likely because I am old as dirt.. :mrgreen:
I would move the stairs to the side of the spa..

I would think about putting the equipment in a shed of some type.. Big enough to fully stand in and maybe even with a bathroom or changing room.

Do you have a standalone spa now?? I ask, because unless you have been in a gunite spa before, you might be surprised at the difference.. Visually, an gunite spa beats a standalone spa 100% of the time... But.. I don't get in the spa to look at it, I want to use it now, not an hour from now. For me a standalone spa is a much better option for actual use. Much more comfortable.. Gunite spas are the most oversold and underused items in pool pools.. About 50% of the owners love them.. But that leaves 50% that almost never use them.. You just need to make sure which 50% you are in.. :)

Good luck with your new pool build,

Jim R.
 

TexasRain

Well-known member
May 19, 2020
335
San Antonio, TX
Pool Size
13868
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Welcome! I am not an expert but I think having Pentair automation (Intellicenter) might work better with your equipment than Jandy automation. I'm sure others will chime in soon! Love the length of your pool, we wish we could've gone to 50"! But we got to 40" and that will work for us! :giggle:
 

pjt

Gold Supporter
Jan 7, 2012
261
The Woodlands, TX
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Looks like a great build! A few suggestions:

-Upsize to 2.5" pipes
-Have you thought about color lights? You might get bored with just white lighting.
-I would consider more returns for a pool that size.
-If you're going with Pentair equipment, get Pentair IntelliCenter automation instead of Jandy so everything plays nicely together.
-How are you going to chlorinate?

Good luck!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
23,657
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
How many gallons in the pool?

What is the depth profile of the pool?

Get a Pentair IntelliCenter automation with all the other Pentair equipment instead of the Jandy Aqualink.

Understand how your two gas heaters will work together with your automation. Will they always turn on and off at the same time? Will they be connected in series or parallel? You may get better heater control with the IntelliCenter with Pentair MasterTemp heaters that can use the RS-485 heater connection.

How will you be chlorinating the pool?
 

JJ_Tex

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,293
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I'm in the 50% that use my gunite spa, but I'm also in a climate where we do not have to close and winterize our pools. I would assume in NY closing your pool for the winter would be a must, which also means your spa would be closed for the winter.
 

amfiteatro

New member
Feb 4, 2021
2
Queens, NY
You're all fantastic! Thank you so much for your feedback! Some answers to some of the questions:
@[B]Jimrahbe[/B]: I'm with you on the step positioning. I don't think I'm a big fan of that layout. I'll continue looking at some other ideas. I was considering putting in steps on the other side but that will end up taking the space from the swim-lane which is how we are considering it. As far as the pool equipment is concerned, that will be hiding behind the fireplace covered with cedar slats. If it was up to me, I'd hide it underground but this project even though it's Phase 1 exceeded our budget by 110%. Phase 2 will add a bar in the pergola, bathroom and shower next to the pergola as well as an outdoor kitchen to the left of the pergola, masonry, etc. Thanks for the spa perspective as well. I'm not a huge fan of a separate spa which is why we're combining the two. I also expect to use the pool and spa seasonally in the summer months being that this built is based in NY.

@TexasRain: Great feedback; Thank you

@pjt: Thanks for the suggestions regarding returns and pipe sizes. I will bring that to their attention to see what they say. I also like the led lights color suggestion! Do you recommend any particular brand? I agree with the Pentair IntelliCenter. @TexasRain made this suggestion too which makes perfect sense. As far as chlorinating the pool, we're actually looking into salt vs. chlorinated. Still TBD. Thank You

@ajw22: We didn't yet discuss depth but I think around 11 to 12 feet in the deep end and 5 feet in the shallow end. What do you recommend? Gallons will depend on what we end up agreeing at re: depth. Thanks for the Pentair IntelliCenter. It seems based on other feedback this is the way to go. As far as the gas heaters are concerned, how do you recommend we set these up? I don't have any details on this just yet. I'l have to look into the Pentair MasterTemp heaters that can use the RS-485 heater connection. As far as chlorinating the pool, we're actually looking into salt vs. chlorinated. Still TBD. Thank You

@JJ_Tex: Thanks for that POV!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,842
Bedford, TX
A,

While I am a big fan of saltwater pools, because your pool is so big, you would need two cells or an upgrade to a commercial model.. A salt system needs to be rated for about 2 x the volume of your pool.

And... just to be clear.. A saltwater pool is a chlorine pool.. The salt cell, called a Saltwater Chlorine Generator or SWCG, just uses the salt in the pool to make chlorine. Also keep in mind that the salt level in a saltwater pool is about 3,000 ppm.. the ocean is 35,000 rpm, so it is not as salty as many believe.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
23,657
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
@ajw22: We didn't yet discuss depth but I think around 11 to 12 feet in the deep end and 5 feet in the shallow end. What do you recommend? Gallons will depend on what we end up agreeing at re: depth. Thanks for the Pentair IntelliCenter. It seems based on other feedback this is the way to go. As far as the gas heaters are concerned, how do you recommend we set these up? I don't have any details on this just yet. I'l have to look into the Pentair MasterTemp heaters that can use the RS-485 heater connection. As far as chlorinating the pool, we're actually looking into salt vs. chlorinated. Still TBD. Thank You

Until you know the sizing of your pool in gallons you are putting the cart before the horse in saying what your filter, heater, chlorination, or SWG requirements are. Most residential pools top out at around 35,000 - 40,000 gallons. And residential pool equipment can handle that.

Once you build a too large pool it tips you into another level of complexity with two heaters or SWG's or commercial pool equipment. That will greatly add to your maintenance and operational costs as well as efforts. The larger the pool the more it will cost to heat it as well as the greater chemicals required for it.

You can build a large size pool with fairly shallow water depth and keep it under 40,000 gallons. 11 to 12 feet is too deep and 5 feet not shallow enough. An 18'x50' pool with an average water depth of 8 feet which is what you are headed for would have around 54,000 gallons. If the average water depth is kept to 6 feet then you have a 40,000 gallon pool which is manageable.

Do you have some special diving needs?

This document has the depth requirements if you are building a diving pool...


The maximum diving depth required is 9'. And you can build the deep end for diving and then keep the rest of the pool shallow enough to keep it at 40,000 gallons.

Also, check with your home insurance company if you will have a diving pool.

So figure out the size, shape, depth, and water volume of the pool first and then we can discuss equipment needed to support it.
 
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