New pool build- questions re: equipment

poolprincessJune 8, 2013

We are in the process of our pool build. We have the steel put in and need to make some decisions fast.

Our PB is recommending Jandy equipment and to use Chlorine. We have hear mixed reviews on Jandy and really want the best equipment with the least amount of problems. I would rather pay a little more upfront then have problems later.

What is the best, most reliable pool equipment?

Also, we prefer the way salt systems feel, but our PB is strongly against this. What is your take on salt systems? We want the least amount of problems. I hate chlorine though!

Also will solar make that much of a difference? I truly hate a cold pool.

Also thoughts on LED lights? He is pushing that too. I am not big on flashy things. Prefer more a hollywood glam/florida look.

Thanks for your help!

This post was edited by poolprincess on Sat, Jun 8, 13 at 16:44

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We started our pool build on June 3, 2013. A week later, we have our concrete shell. Our pool builder agreed about the saline pool feeling nicer and being easier on skin, hair, and clothing. It was only $800 more to have saline instead of chlorine. We just went down to choose tile and finishing today. I want a deep blue water color, but hubby and kids want more tropical color since we live in Florida.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 5:26PM
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I am simply amazed that some of your decisions were not already decided.
LED lights cost less to maintain and are the preferred pool light. A basic bulb can be used instead of using a colored light.
As for Pool equipment the internet is loaded with discussions regarding the filter selections. SOme prefer Jandy, others Pentair and a few use Hayward. I am sure if you google swimming pool filter choices you will come across what is offered. I found a website that compared the three just by googling.
A salt system breaks down into Chlorine. NACl gets broken down into two compounds which one is chlorine.

As for heating the pool, you can google your options and see what works for your location. You can use solar panels, a heat pump or a heater. Sun, gas or electric can be used to power your 'heating choice". It all depends on your pocket book, and your weather for your home.
Google your questions and you will find a plethora of information.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 1:56PM
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Ahhhhh, the people like you chickadee.

This post was edited by poolprincess on Sat, Jun 15, 13 at 21:39

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 6:54PM
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Thanks Nicki- yes we prefer the salt system, but one thing that came up after I googled salt systems, that it is quicker to damage concrete, pool tile etc. I wonder how much of this is true and is it worth it to have better water with salt.

Would love some opinions on this and congrats on your pool build! They are guniting our pool tomorrow!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 6:58PM
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We have salt and live on a salt-water canal, so salt is always an issue, for example landscaping has to be salt-tolerant and we have to give additional nutrients to our palms. I jump into my neighbor's chlorine pool (our backyards are open to each other) and within minutes my eyes are red and sore, and my skin feels dry and itchy. Besides how much more expensive and difficult it is to keep his pool balanced - they struggled all last year to get back in balance once it got away from them - but they're okay this year.
We have not had any problems with salt and find it strange because literally every pool builder I interviewed (more than a dozen) pushes salt pools. Most don't even build chlorine pools anymore. And everyone here (in Florida) have all kinds of stone and concrete and various finishes and decks and trim and I've never heard of it being a problem.
The salt solution in the pool is so miniscule (as others have said, it converts to chlorine), that it is less than our reclaimed water and spray from the canal.

I wanted plain white LED lights, but only one company made them (can't remember), and it was not the company my PB used (which is Hayward), so he gave us the disco lights free because he didn't want to deal with the other company. Mostly I didn't want the heat that the halogen lights put out because heat is a problem here during July and August. We have a lot of ambient light so we ended up not using the lights much, especially when we're skinny dipping, obviously. When I do turn them on, I usually just put them on the dark blue and leave them, because it's not as bright as say, the yellow, and puts out a nice glow. When there are kids around, we let them rotate because they get a kick out of it and make games out of it when it turns certain colors to get out or something like that.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 10:07AM
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That's so weird! Our PB again was pushing us for chlorine because he thinks the salt will break down the concrete and glass tile. He said he would sell us the salt system, its $1400 extra but doesn't feel its worth the extra cost. He said chorine in public pools are much stronger than private pools. I am pretty sure we will go with the salt system based on what you all are saying on this forum.

I will check with our tile manufacture, to see what they recommend.

Thanks for the info regarding the LED, I have a feeling we won't use them much either.

Thanks so much for your input. I really appreciate it!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 6:44PM
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We got another blow today. I hated all the tile our PB was offering, so I ordered this Sicis Italian glass tile, which is beautiful, but my PB was concerned on how to install so called the manufacture and they recommended to wait 6 months after gunite!

Here's a picture of our pool/spa so far! We have a separate spa, which is hard to tell by this photo. I will try to take betters ones later.

I have no idea how to fix the picture so its straight. It's straight on my computer so don't know what happened when I uploaded.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 7:05PM
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A salt water pool has the same amount of chlorine as a regular chlorine pool has. It's all the same chlorine. The salt cell just produces it's own chlorine where the regular pools have to have chlorine added via tabs, liquid, or gas. You will have to lug around 50lb. bags of salt occasionally if you get a lot of rain. Also you have to add acid in the pool almost weekly due to the PH rise caused by salt.

Salt cells are good for around 4 or 5 years max before they go bad and need replacing. They are expensive too. Also I see dramatic evidence of stone damage on my weekly pool route caused by the salt.

The advantages are the softer water feel on your hair and skin. That's about all I can think of at the moment! LOL

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 11:01PM
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We keep going back and forth on the salt system.

Anyway, our designer talked us into a separate spa from the pool. We have a very long yard and he said it would give dimension. We almost think it over powers the yard and we haven't even done the concrete yet where he wants stairs and a platform. Thinking no to that now. We are hoping tile and planters will soften the spa.

Anyway, a few more pics of the yard and our tile. We have a long ways to go- tile instal, plaster, concrete, landscaping, 2 fireplaces and 1 modern koi pond.

I hope it looks okay when finished! We had to pay extra $ to push back our wall and add a 137 ft 5 ft retaining wall.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 8:58PM
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Here's our pool's more beige IRL.

This post was edited by poolprincess on Sun, Jun 16, 13 at 11:08

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 9:00PM
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We built our first saltwater pool in 2006, and we absoltutely love it! We just built a new house and are in the process of building our second saltwater pool.
We used flagstone, moss boudlers, and dark plaster on our last pool and never had issues. We had a waterfall running through the moss boulders and a flagstone spillway running off the spa. In our Texas heat, we ran the pump, waterfalls, etc. quite a bit during the hot months. I really feel that water/chemical balance makes a huge difference as well, and I made sure to keep the pool balanced all year long, and other than normal erosion from water alone, the pool coping, tile, rocks, etc. still look awesome! My family suffers from allergies, excema on the skin, and asthma, and tend to react to chlorine pools as soon as they get in. I know saltwater pools also contain chlorine, but the feel and smell on the skin, eyes, and hair is so much different! Just my two cents. Best of luck with your pool and outdoor living areas. Can't wait to see more pics!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 11:03AM
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Some of the arguments about salt pools just don't make sense. A pool is made of concrete - shotcrete, gunite, pebbletec - they are all basically concrete, so to say that salt will break them down just doesn't make sense. I might believe that some unsealed natural stones, such as perhaps limestone, react poorly with salt.
All your equipment needs to be properly grounded. We are sensitive to this because of our sailboat in the water and stray current in our canal. Electrolysis could be a problem if someone didn't ground properly (just answering to one of the suggestions of the anti-salt crowd).
Some of the broad generalizations apply to both chlorine and salt, such as having to shock the pool and/or balance the pool after backwashing or heavy rains.
And folks who say that it's all chlorine anyway, obviously haven't felt the difference. I can tell within 5 minutes (assuming the pool is balanced), and I'm talking about private pools in my neighborhood, not public pools. Many of them have simply given up on maintaining chlorine themselves because it is just difficult. Nobody with salt pools seems to have it that hard. Some of the anti-salt arguments seem to think maintaining a chlorine pool is as simple as replacing chlorine tablets but nobody around here has it that easy, for sure. I've taken care of friends' chlorine pools for short periods, and basically, it sucked. That was one of the happy surprises with our pool - we knew they felt so much better, but I had no idea they were so easy to maintain, so we're happy to pocket the money that we had budgeted for a pool service.
My pool was looking pretty shabby after TS Andrea, and it took me 4 hours and about $40 to clear it up. My next door neighbor's pool is still green and after the previous storm it cost him over $200 in chemicals to sort it out (and his pool is about 1/2 the size of mine). We do use a 1/2 gallon of muratic acid each month. Initially this is due to the curing of the concrete, but afterwards I was told it was due to the town water, but the arguments suggest it is the salt. Whatever. It takes about 30 seconds to test and $3/gallon, and I stay out of the pool for a while.
If I shock the pool, I can get in within 4-6 hours. If you shock a chlorine pool, you better stay out for at least 12. I was "watching" another neighbor's pool, and basically, you couldn't swim on the days that they came and did service (what?!?!?!). Ridiculous. I don't know if they were shocking it every week or what.
I'm surprised the initial cost of the salt generator is so high. Perhaps it is lower here because of volume. My pool included start up, but salt isn't more expensive than chlorine, so I really can't attribute that to the extra expense.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 1:47PM
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I service over 30 pools a week and I have been in the business for years. I feel as though I do have better than average knowledge of pool equipment and water chemistry. That being said, I do agree that salt pools make your skin feel softer. I have been in them many, many times. But the facts are what they are. It's all the same chlorine. Your water still has to be in balance no matter what type of pool that you have. If you are in an area that gets rain, you will have to replace salt when the water gets diluted. If you have tile/concrete coping salt will not harm that usually. But most new pool owners opt for natural stone these days and salt just eats them up. You can seal the rock which will abate the problem somewhat, but that is yet another maintenance item to consider every few years. What happens is the water is splashed onto the rock and then evaporates leaving the dried salt crystals embedded into the pores of the rock. The crystals expand as they dry, and slough off the grains of the rock which ultimately end up as sand on the bottom of your pool. It's tough to deal with at that point too.

One thing I noticed in her pictures (beautiful pool by-the way!) is that they have made ample room around the pool to use a pole for brushing, vacuuming etc. This is good as this is often overlooked. I don't really think a spa that is detached or attached makes much difference. It's a matter of personal choice and yard logistics. I am a personal fan of cartridge filters, but both Sand and D.E. filters work well as long as the pool is maintained properly. Keeping your water in balance using whatever method you choose is not that difficult and everything has both advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately it's all about enjoying your pool and I hope that all is going smoothly for the new pool owner!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 7:37AM
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You can also add Borates to a chlorine maintained pool to get the "soft water" feel that you get from a salt water pool.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 1:06PM
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We have Jandy equipment and have not had any issues yet. We installed the iaqualink panel and after a few weeks of hiccups it seems to be working as planned. Not sure it was worth the extra money but we spent it and have it now.

I would definitely go with the salt. Almost instantly we noticed a huge difference. We didn't add salt until 6 weeks after we had water. Thank goodness we went the salt route.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 9:09PM
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I would not use the salt system, and instead us a Del Ozone machine, with a tablet chlorinator dial to the lowest setting, and a DE filter. Salt is corrosive, and maintenance is costlier.

Ozone is the cost effective sanitizer. It can help reduce the need for repeated chemical purchase costs.

This is what I use, I have the Eclipse 4 and could not be happier.


Here is a link that might be useful: Del Ozone Residential Pool Application

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 2:30PM
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Our project came to a halt because our PB used the wrong grout color (without our consult) I have a separate posting on our grout issues. They are redoing the tile in our pool but this is what our pool tile looks like. It's called SICIS tile in Zinnia 2 and we love it.

Here is a picture with half tiled correctly using LITOKOL crystal glass grout and the other using tradition white grout.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 10:35AM
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Here is our spa wall that is not grouted yet, but will be using the LITOKOL grout once our pool tile is removed and reinstalled! So much for using our pool this season!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 10:37AM
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Another pic. Looks so much better in person though!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 10:39AM
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Love the spa wall. It's going to be fantastic when it's all done. Nearly there!!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 7:59PM
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We just finished our pool and we used all Pentair, including Intelliflo pumps, Intellibrite lights, Clean and Clear Plus cartridge filter, IntelliChlor salt, MasterTemp heater, and EasyTouch with ScreenLogic automation.

It's all working great, and we can control our entire system including pool, spa, light colors, and yard lights from our iPhones.

I'm not sure about the other companies but Pentair has great support techs by phone.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 1:54PM
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Finally after a long standstill over the poor grout selction from our PB we are finally back on track. Ordered new tile that was reinstalled, now waiting on the grout installation using the proper grout! So much for having our pool this season....

Anyway pics of our pool tile without grout. Grout install is tomorrow.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 10:55AM
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Pool tile, without grout...

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 10:57AM
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