new pool selection

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neva in ohio

new pool selection

Postby neva in ohio » Tue 01 Aug, 2006 01:02

We're in the process of selecting an inground pool. We have so many questions and keep getting different answers!! We've selected a 16x32 kidney shaped pool with vinyl liner. We were advised that 20 mil is sufficient thickness and that 27 mil is not worth the extra cost. We are looking at a 200,000 btu Hayward heater and a safety cover. Questions we have: A standard chlorinator or a mineral base unit that takes cartridges? If a standard chlorinator, is a CL200 or a CL220 better? A sand filter vs. a vertical grid diatomacious (DE) filter? Or is a salt system better? A ploaris cleaner vs. a creepie crawler? A 1 HP vs a 1.5 HP pump? This is a big investment for us and I am trying to do my homework to help us make the best choices. Operating costs and energy efficiency are important to us, as well as choices to minimize maintenance. Any suggestions anyone has would be appreciated.

neva in ohio


Re: new pool selection

Postby Guest » Tue 01 Aug, 2006 21:11

So many questions. Fortunately you're in luck, I've just recently built my own aboveground pool (similar size to your inground one) and I had to answer all those questions myself. You keep getting different answers because everyone is trying to push 1 or more particular products on to you. Here starts the long reply...

First off you need to ask yourself whether you are trying to:

1)Save money on initial outlay and do all maintenance yourself
2)Spend more at installation time but low ongoing maintenance required

On to your selections. I have solar heating, so I suggest you do some more research on running costs for the Hayward heater.

I'm in Australia and here safety covers are illegal as a standalone safety item, we are required to have a safety fence around the pool. So those that do have safety covers have them only for the retention of heat or aesthetic value. Consider what your priorities are.

I'm not a big fan of the standard chlorinator due to the cyanuric acid buildup in the water from the stabilised tablets. In Australia and there's no winterizing of pools so CYA buildup is a problem. It may be something you're prepared to put up with though if you are draining your pool each year. The alternative is liquid chlorine but that will require constant maintenance.

The mineral based units will hit your wallet more when it comes to replace the cartridges. Note: some will still require the addition of chlorine and/or shock for full sanitisation. So they become expensive AND time-intensive.

The other alternative is a salt pool, which is what I have. You will need to buy salt but it should only cost you $50-$100 for the salt, plus any topups from backwashing/splashouts. If you are draining your pool each year that cost can be a consideration. The SWG (salt water chlorine generator) will have a high outlay cost (think $700 plus), then minimal running costs (electricity only) until the salt cell wears out and then a cost of a few hundred dollars to replace the cell in 3-5 years. The upside is reduced maintence time and more control over chlorine levels. Be aware - there are 2 types of SWG: single polarity and reversing (self-cleaning). The single polarity will require routine cleaning in acid to remove the buildup of calcium but has a lower purchase cost. The self-cleaning will be more expensive but doesn't need much maintenance. One over-rider: if you are using well water with high calcium levels the SWG can be a nightmare.

On to filtration. In order of what will filter out the smallest sized particles the order is (smallest to largest): cartridge, DE, then sand. In terms of outlay cost (smallest to largest) the order is the same. In terms of maintenance cost the order is (low to high): sand, DE, cartridge. So if you want minimal work you have to do yourself choose sand. All it needs is a 20 second backwash once a month. But it comes at the price of only filtering down to 20 micron. That's especially noticeable if you have underwater lights, you'll see the particles floating in water, but you won't notice them during the day. A cartridge has the lowest purchase price and will filter down to 3 micron meaning the water will be clearer at night but it requires continual cleaning as well as ongoing cartridge replacement. Weigh up what's more important to you.

On to the cleaners. The polaris style requires a separate booster pump (more startup $ and electricity) as it works off high pressure. It will have better coverage of the floor though. The kreepy is a suction cleaner and works off your existing filtration pump through a skimmer box. There can be trouble with it missing sections of the pool based on where the return outlets are located and the suction/return pressure. Alternatively look into an in-floor cleaning system. That has pop-up heads built into the pool floor and there's no maintenance required. The cheapest option is to vacuum the pool yourself manually but can be a considerable time investment.

Now the more difficult question: your pump. This requires a lot more thought than just "which is better"? Increased horsepower will equal turning your water over in a shorter time which equals less electricity used (might come to $30 per month) My pump is a 1.5HP pump, it will turn over the water in my pool (15000 gallons) in 4 hours. The usual recommendation is 8-12 hours runtime per day. I also have a higher rated SWG than is necessary for my pool so getting the right amount of chlorine into the pool is no problem. So they're both oversized (and hence higher initial $) but have lower running costs. Be aware that bigger is not necessarily better, too large a pump can cause channeling in sand filters and whirlpools at the return outlets as well as suction problems at the skimmer box. All leads to cavitation at the pump which makes for a much reducted lifespan.
So which one is right for you? All manufacturers will have a curve relating flow rate to Total Dynamic Head (TDH). So one will flow at a greater rate than another one even though they're both rated at 1 HP. You can compare curves and factor in the price to choose the right one for you. But first you need to determine what your minimum/maximum flow rates are and determine how much head you will have. That is a reasonably complex calculation and needs info such as the number of drains, size of piping, number of elbows in the piping, length of piping, type of filter etc. That will determine what flow rate you require and you can then choose the right pump. I can provide that info if required. Note: The builder can save a heap of money based on which pump they decide for you. The downside is that down the track the pump may have a short lifespan or not have sufficient grunt for your needs. It's something you need to be aware of. I recommend you work out what pump you require and specify that to the builder.

Any more questions feel free to ask. I went to enormous lengths to determine all the right equipment for my pool so I'm happy to help you out.

New pool selection

Postby bassintm » Tue 16 Jun, 2009 17:53

How bad is calcium on the SWG? How do you test your levels and is there a way to counteract the problems from the calcium?
I'm new here
I'm new here
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue 02 Jun, 2009 10:01
My Pool: 18x36 Inground, vinyl liner, approx 27,000 gallons
Hayward DE filter, 1.5 HP pump
Location: Toms River, NJ

Re: new pool selection

Postby skinsfan44 » Mon 29 Jun, 2009 11:41

Pool User wrote:On to filtration. In order of what will filter out the smallest sized particles the order is (smallest to largest): cartridge, DE, then sand.

I believe DE filters the smallest particles, not cartridge.
I'm new here
I'm new here
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri 24 Jul, 2009 14:56
My Pool: New pool 18X36 vinyl inground. Salt water system. 1 Hp pump and DE filter.
Location: Alabama

New pool selection

Postby sgaddis » Fri 24 Jul, 2009 20:28

Hello, I'm essentially doing the same thing right now. Putting in an 18X36 inground vinyl pool. I wish I had found this site earlier. These folks know their stuff. The guy from Australia had some great feedback. He did his homework. Not sure how far along you guys are. Would love to hear how it is turning out. They start excavating ours next friday.

Some research I did actually quite a lot backs up what our friend from Australia was saying. The short version is the DE filter cost a few hundred dollars more than the sand initially but has the lowest filtration (micron size). Very easy to use and just a little powder to replace periodically. We use some at work for some laboratory testing. About the same on the electric bill and no messy cartridges to worry about. Costs are about the same. Maybe a little more a "green" solution.

The pump size all depends. However, with your volume the 1 HP should be fine but what size pipe did you use. The 2" will give you some more flow rate (gpm). My wife's uncle installs pools and uses 1 HP with 2" pipe up to 40,000 gallon pools (definitely the top end). Hasn't had problems. If you want a faster turn over or you anticipate higher volume use then maybe a 1.5 HP is the way to go.

I am still studying the pool sweep myself. The polaris seems to be the most popular but they all are costly other than the old manual method. The in pool "pop up" from the bottom sounds great but too late for me.

Don't know too much about the heaters. Just know the start cost is high and its runs up the utility bill. Hope things are going well!

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