Poolguynj (or other experts)- should new pool be salt water, chlo

Centex43August 11, 2012

Scott (or other experts),

I really appreciate your time you devote to this forum and I hope your health is getting better. I have read this forum for the past couple months and see that you have a pretty good reputation. I have a question for you or other experts in pools, so here it goes.

I am in the process of choosing a few pool builders to interview and design my pool. I have read conflicting thoughts about what type of inground pool to build- either salt water, chlorine, etc. Background- I live in central Texas between Austin and San Antonio and the water here is "hard" meaning alot of calcium/limestone and without a water softener on the house our faucets would drip with the buildup. What are your thoughts about the type of system we should seriously consider? I am banging my head on the desk trying to figure out what would be best. More backgroud- I have 2 acres, septic system (no sewer available) city water supply. Let me know if you need more info to give an opinion. I really appreciate everyone's time. Once we get into the proposal/quoting process I'd like to post them to have people's input. I don't know squat about pumps, filters, etc...yet:) Have a good day.

Matt

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poolguynj

Hard water may have some bearing. If you run your tap outside for 5 minutes or so but not through the softener, you can take a sample of your fill water to a retailer near you that doesn't use test strips.

Then we can help with deciding which way of chlorinating would be right for you.

Scott

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 7:34PM
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Centex43

Scott,
What do you mean by "taking a sample of the water to a retailer that doesn't use test strips?" A pool shop? I don't understand.

Matt

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 9:19PM
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poolguynj

A decent pool store usually tests water for customers. Those that use drops based testing are usually more accurate than those that use test strips. Just tell them this will be your fill water and you need to know the levels of the pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness.

Scott

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 9:45AM
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topfiftybuilder

You can also get an independent water exam from a 3rd party... you will know what to treat in the pool that is introduced from top off water... ie .. hardness, high ph, phosphate , etc.... these are easily treatable. Sanitation choice won't matter much depending... I prefer and sell alot of salt systems.... although chlorine is still the staple of the industry.....

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 12:43PM
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Centex43

I went to Leslie's Pool Supply this afternoon and got my tap water tested per your instructions. Here are the results:

Free Available Chlorine (FAC)- 1
Total Available Chlorine (TAC)- 1
pH- 7.8
Total Alkalinity(TA)- 190
Cyanuric Acid- 0
Calcium Hardness- 140
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)- 250
Copper/Iron- 0
Phosphates- 200

Let me know what you think. Thanks.

Matt

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 5:06PM
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poolguynj

As long as you're not using Oklahoma Flagstone for the coping, using a cell is fine.

All methods of adding chlorine make the same two types, hypochlorite ions and hypochlorous acid, depending on the pH of the water. However, the different forms we can buy will add different things such as salt, calcium, or CYA,

A cell's proper name is a salt water chlorine generator. A salt pool is a chlorine pool.

There are three "types" of pools. They are gunite, vinyl, and fiberglass.

There are three type of filters. They are sand, cartridge, and DE. Generally, the larger for each type, the better.

The top names in equipment manufacturers are Hayward, Jandy, and Pentair/Sta-Rite. When putting in a new system, make sure all are the same brand.

Scott

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 5:37PM
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Centex43

Scott, so are you leaning towards a SW chlorine generator? Pool will be gunite and probably a Pebble Tec or Pebble Sheen, if that matters. Water looks ok I guess since you didn't comment on it. Is one type of filter better than the other? What I mean is (as an example) if I go with a SW pool use a cartridge filter or with a standard chlorine pool use sand. Which type of filter is recommended with each water type? It gets blazing hot here in the summer if that plays into it too. Winter normally aren't too bad.

Matt

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 5:51PM
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poolguynj

Being in Texas, saving water is an important aspect. Cartridge filters help some in that they don't get backwashed. Have the PB put a 3 way valve on the pump exhaust so you can lower the water or vacuum to waste with a cartridge filter. Some PBs put a hose spigot on instead but this prevents vacuuming to waste.

Your fill water is pretty hard but not overly so. Calcium will build up in the water so watching it is called for. It is one of the chemicals in pool water that can only be removed by diluting.

The water has a slightly high pH and high alkalinity. This will need to be brought down with acid added. Not a big deal to do but skipping it will cause the calcium to drop out of solution and stick to various surfaces like steps and pool walls and floors where the circulation is slower. This is called scaling and is random in where it occurs in the pool. It also takes time to form and is a gradual process. It isn't something that would stop you, just something to be aware of when maintaining your pool. While seemingly premature in the discovery process of building, taking it into account can help you later in making your equipment choices and layout.

Blazing hot means a relatively a high evaporation rate. Have an auto-filler so you don't have to put a hose in every day during the Summer. Remember, calcium doesn't evaporate so the CH value will rise. Occasionally, you will need to lower the water in the pool and put in a significant amount of fill water. This will also lower your salt level and raise your alkalinity and pH levels when you refill.

Your blazing hot Summers may lead you to a desire for a cooling solution. Some opt for a heat pump that works in reverse or solar panels that when the pump is run at night, radiate the heat and cool the pool. Please note that this is additional run time. A pool pump needs to run during the day.

Scott

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 4:08AM
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Centex43

Thanks. Is it a big deal to vacuum out salt water into the yard when that need arises? I know the SW systems make chlorine but there has to be a certain amount of salt in the water. I don't want to eventually kill my grass by emptying a third of the pool water every 4 months, or so.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 2:25PM
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poolguynj

Generally, it doesn't but significant amounts (over 2500 gallons) should be sent to the storm sewers in the street.

If the pool is at a shocking level of chlorine, that should not be discharged anywhere without letting it come down or using some thio-sulfate to neutralize it.

Scott

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 5:25AM
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