+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Recommended equipment for inground pools (Original)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Default Recommended equipment for inground pools (Original)

    New here, enjoy the info already. I am building a 30-35000 gallon pool. I am needing advice on the equipment and cleaner. I prefer pentair will have spa, and want to use the intellachem controller.

    If you could start from scratch and could put in anything you want to do to make your pool ez to maintain what would you do and the most energy efficient. Pool cleaner also thanks.
    Last edited by PoolDoc; 06-20-2018 at 07:02 AM. Reason: merge similar posts

  2. #2
    PoolDoc's Avatar
    PoolDoc is offline Administrator Quark Inspector PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Default Re: Recommended equipment for new inground pool

    I actually did a bit of work on your question, because it's one many ask: "What is the best pool equipment for me and my pool?". I'm going to post that info below, and also invite some of my more experienced members to join in.

    I'm also going to ignore your preference for Pentair, since asking for "all Pentair" (or, "all Jandy", "all Hayward") contradicts your request for "what's recommended". There are only two reasons I know of for single sourcing all pool equipment: (1) using an electronic controller that only works with a single set of equipment or (2) allowing your builder to benefit from incentives he receives for 'single sourcing'. Otherwise, it's not a good idea, since all of the major pool equipment manufacturers have some items that are 'best of breed" and others that are real 'mangy mutts' that probably shouldn't even exist.

    For example:

    Pentair's TR series sand filters are the best available, and their System3 DE filter is possibly the best DE filter available; it's certainly a good one. But the Pentair System3 cartridge filter is an expensive beast that's extremely difficult and expensive to service, and is hypersensitive to allowing filter pressures to get high: doing so permanently damages the cartridges. And, Pentair's Intellichlor salt water chlorine generators are probably the worse SWCG made by a major manufacturer.

    Hayward's white goods (skimmers, drains, returns) are as good, if not better than any others, and benefit from widespread parts availability. But the Hayward inline chlorinator is one of the worst, and severely restricts water flow on any pool with more than a 1/2 HP full rate pump!

    And, Zodiac's (Jandy, Polaris) Polaris 180/280 cleaners are one of the best and most reliable cleaners available. Unfortunately, their salt system is reportedly not nearly so reliable . . . if not quite as bad as Pentair's.

    Anyhow, here's my list of recommended equipment for in-ground pools, based on my own experiences plus 15+ years of operating the PoolForum:




    Undersized pool filters cause many, many problems. Manufacturers have caused this by drastically EXAGGERATING the capacity of their filters, courtesy of some jiggery-pokery with the NSF. I don't understand how they did this, but somehow they got the NSF to go along with the idea that filters which could only handle X gpm on commercial pools could handle 2X on IG pools and 3X gpm on AG pools.

    => Sand filter: Pentair TR series
    @ Pentair: TR sand filters

    @ Amazon: TR40 / 140236 => 25 GPM; TR50 / 140249 => 35 GPM; TR60 / 140264 => 45 GPM; TR100 / 140210 => 70 GPM; TR140 / 140243 => 100 GPM
    (GPM values in RED are corrections to bogus over-ratings by Pentair.)

    => Cartridge filters: various

    => DE filter:
    Pentair S7D75 - 37 GPM*
    Pentair S8D110 - 53 GPM**

    * Current (Jun 2018) seller (Pool Supply Warehouse) on Amazon of this model seems to be having difficulty shipping it safely.
    ** As of June 2018, this model is sold and shipped by Amazon.

    Filter valves:
    => Under 45 GPM: Hayward SP710XALL (Hayward manual, Amazon)
    => Under 80 GPM: Hayward SP0715 (Hayward manual,Amazon)
    => Over 80 GPM: Pentair "High Flow" - (manual, Amazon)

    => Pentair Whisperflo 2 speed
    => Pentair VS on Whisperflo wet-end (VS pumps NOT recommended for areas prone to thunderstorms, unless voltage surge protection is installed!)
    => applications needing high suction, high lift, or frequent cleaning (vacuum cart!): Hayward SuperPump

    => 3-way valve: Jandy 4717; check valve: Jandy 7305
    [Pentair valves are probably as good, and cheaper. However Jandy parts are much more available.]
    [Scam warning: on Jandy type valves, pay attention to the SMALLER size number. 1.5" x 2" valves . . . are just 1.5" valves. 2 x 2.5" valves . . . are just 2" valves. Trying to use the 1.5" valve as a 2" creates a flow restriction! ]

    => Ball valve: GF Piping - full union /
    => Slide valve: Valterra (low pressure only!)

    Inline tab feeder:
    => Pentair Rainbow 320

    => AutoPilot or Hayward Goldline, in the largest size available.
    - - - (Turn it down, rather than get a smaller size!)

    => Hayward Universal series
    Natural gas models:
    Propane models:
    (These heaters are compact, efficient, price competitive, and only standard heater that is salt compatible. The smallest size is sufficient to WARM a residential pool, and extend the season. Actually HEATING a outdoor pool in cold weather is something few people can afford.)

    Heat pump:
    => No recommendation (I don't have enough info.)

    Pool cleaner:
    => Zodiac Polaris 280 with booster

    In-floor cleaners:
    => Not recommended. They are extremely inefficient, and tend not to remain functional more than 5 years.

    Safety cover:
    => Loop-loc (my preference) or Meyco (just as durable, but less pleasant to take on/off, due to straps woven of monofilament.)

    => Taylor K2006 (DPD-FAS)
    => Taylor K1000 (OTO)
    => AquaChek salt strips . . . but read instructions CAREFULLY!
    => Taylor K1106 (phosphate)
    => Lamotte borate strips

    Replacement filter cartridges:
    => Filbur, Unicel, or OEM


    • Asian made cartridges, including Intex OEM cartridges, and probably, all brands EXCEPT Filbur and Unicel.
    • Asian made anything else, not part of a soft-side above ground pool.NEVER install Chinese products underground (including valves and piping) or in a hard to access location. Chinese quality control is poor: a product that is 90% defect free . . . still means 10% of installations require repair! The statistics are such that if you use a 90% product 10x on a job, there is 75% chance you'll have problems! US products are often manufactured to a 99.9% defect free state.
    • Hayward inline chlorinator -- it works poorly, and restricts flow terribly
    • Intellichlor. (Pentair quickly -- and with good reason -- reduced the warranty on these from 3 years, to 1!)
    • Test-strips (AKA: guess-strips), except for those above. Test strips are never very accurate, but are horrendously inaccurate when testing CYA.
    • Cartridge filters, unless needed to reduce water discharge. Cartridge filters are sort of the worst combination: they offer neither the high clarity of DE filters nor the ease of use and reliability of sand filters. [ Some users have challenged this. Apparently there may be some good cartridge filters in existence. ]
    • Bioguard chemicals and stores -- overpriced products sold by dealers HIGHLY trained in convincing you to buy what you don't need.
    • Clorox or Arm & Hammer pool chemicals. Some of their non-pool chemicals are fine.

    Last edited by PoolDoc; 06-22-2018 at 05:44 PM.

  3. #3
    waterbear's Avatar
    waterbear is offline Lifetime Member Sniggle Mechanic waterbear 4 stars waterbear 4 stars waterbear 4 stars waterbear 4 stars
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    St. Augustine, Fl

    Default Re: Recommended equipment for new inground pool

    I agree with these recommendations almost 100%!

    I have to disagree with one item, cartridge filters. As I have often stated I am a fan and have one on my own pool. The Pentair Clean and Clear are excellent. The trick with a cart filter is to make sure you oversize it for the size of your pool so your mean time between cleanings is at least monthly or longer,otherwise you will be cleaning it weekly and that is not a pleasant chore.

    Then again, I do not believe in backwashing a DE filter but in breaking it down when it needs cleaning and that is more work than a cart any day. The problem with backwashing is you never really know how much DE you have washed out and it is way too easy to over or under charge the filter. Overcharged filters cause DE to bridge the DE can become rock hard when you finally break the filter down, making the grids difficult to clean to say the least. Undercharged filters cause the grids to foul, necessitating breaking down the filter to clean the grids.

    There are also "bump" DE filters which I have never understood. You "bump" the dirt covered DE off the filter so the dirt and DE can mix then RECOAT THE FINGERS WITH DIRTY DE?! You are now filtering with a mixture of dirt and DE. What am I missing here? If you want a clean filter you have to break it down, no?
    Retired pool store and commercial pool maintenance guy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Default Re: Recommended equipment for new inground pool

    My experience is limited to what was installed with our pool, our first and only pool we've ever had (installed in March 2004).

    I definitely agree with oversizing the filter! We chose DE since DE is much cheaper than replacing cartridge filters and were told it would require fewer cleanings. Our DE filter hasn't been near the hassle waterbear suggested. At most I've had to backwash once in the middle of the season. Last year it went all season on one charge. If I do have to backwash and recharge, I put in one less pound of DE than a full charge calls for. When I close down the pool for the winter I break down the DE filter and clean the grids without any problems of DE getting like "cement". However, I have heard of this happening when people didn't clean the DE filter at closing and instead let it sit dry all winter then tried to clean it in the spring (don't do that!). At least in my case, my DE filter has been less work than what waterbear describes with the cartridge filters.

    We also use an Aqua Rite SWCG, also oversized (rated for 40k gal). The first cell only lasted 4 seasons, but I believe that's because I was using it to "shock" the pool as well as raising the CL level. I learned after that to only use the SWCG to maintain CL level and use other sources of CL to shock or raise the CL level (starting last season I use bleach). The second cell so far has lasted 6 seasons. Hopefully it will carry me through this season as well. The main board had to be replaced a few years ago. Overall I like having the SWCG. There was a period of a week or so last season I had to manually chlorinate the pool cause the original pump died (Hayward Super Pump, single speed)....what a PIA (I guess the SWCG spoiled me...lol).

    Originally we used a Hayward Viper (w/booster pump) pool cleaner. That cleaner was OK at best. Once replacement parts became harder to find I switched to a Polaris 280 (I've had it 2 seasons). It performs much better than the Viper ever did. Also, parts seem readily available and less expensive.

    Equipment aside, the best thing you can do is follow the testing and maintenance recommendations here! Since finding this site my pool has been easier, cheaper, and less mysterious to maintain!

    Hope something in my ramblings helps.
    22'x40' Grecian Lazy L 20K gal IG vinyl pool; Aqua Rite SWCG T15 cell; Hayward Pro Grid 6020 DE filter; Hayward Superpump 1hp pump; 12 hrs; Taylor K-2006; city; PF:6

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Default Re: Recommended equipment for new inground pool

    Thanks, looking to buy my equipment soon y'all have really got me thinking now, would y'all go audimated with the equipment or is it too big of a hassle.

  6. #6
    PoolDoc's Avatar
    PoolDoc is offline Administrator Quark Inspector PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars PoolDoc 5 stars
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Default Re: Recommended equipment for new inground pool

    @JimK, Waterbear: Thanks for your input and criticism -- it was very helpful. I'd like to collect as many reactions as I can.

    @Willx6: Chemical automation, based on sensor electrodes, is a bad idea for any pool not operated by someone with substantial technical skills. The electrodes do not maintain a stable signal response to the water chemistry: in other words, the signal varies over time, even when the chemistry remains the same. As a result, the units have to be regularly calibrated, and the calibration can be complex. Even worse, the ORP electrodes, used to control chlorine levels, do NOT measure chlorine at all. Instead, they measure the NET oxidizing potential of the water: (chlorine + other oxidizers including MPS) - (reducible chemicals, such as urine and many stain removal agents). Even more complex, on outdoor pools running with stabilizer, strong sunlight reduces the HOCl fraction of the measurable DPD chlorine. This means that the ORP controller will RAISE chlorine levels on sunny days, and LOWER chlorine levels on cloudy days -- a result that confuses the heck out of operators.

    OK. With respect to chemical automation, I have a bunch of experience, and some data-based criticisms.

    With respect to other automation, my objections are more personal, based on my own preferences, but here goes. Most of USEFUL (in my opinion) functions of automation controls can be achieved with much less complexity and expense and much MORE reliability using a multi-channel time clock. The things that can't be done -- like remote reporting, and using your iPhone to turn on your spa -- seem to be less than useful to me. How valuable is it to be able to turn on the lights or blower with your phone, instead of flipping a couple of switches as you walk toward the spa?

    The one exception I can think of, is the ability to turn up the heat on a spa remotely. This would allow you to leave the spa low normally, but turn it up when you and your spouse plan a pleasant evening. But that's a life style issue: if YOU would benefit from that, then it's a benefit. But I'm guessing most people wouldn't actually use it.

    There is one objective criticism to electronic controls and programmers: they are way too complex for many people, but those same people are often ashamed to admit it. People who are confused by their AV equipment, should not get electronic controls for their pools and spas! And there's a perfectly good reason that you can give people: just tell them that you realized that the smart choice was electromechanical controls that are cheaper and more reliable, rather than far less reliable 'gee-whiz' controls that local installers often can't service, and that manufacturer telephone support techs often don't understand!
    Last edited by PoolDoc; 06-20-2018 at 06:58 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Default Re: Recommended equipment for new inground pool

    Thanks, I will have a spa waterfall, two bubblers and some deck jets. Is the 3hp vs pump worth spending $1200 for.

  8. #8
    CarlD's Avatar
    CarlD is offline SuperMod Emeritus Vortex Adjuster CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    North Central NJ

    Default Re: Recommended equipment for new inground pool

    I would add to the discussion with two cleaners I have generally been delighted with:
    First would be the Pool Blaster (formerly Pool Buster) rechargeable hand and pole vacuum. I'm on my second and I wouldn't be without it! It's great for spot cleaning or doing the whole pool without a hose. You can use it while you are swimming. It looks like a gimmick but I love mine!
    Caveats: First--get the extra-fine filter as well. It's too fine for spring cleanup but gets dust and pollen the regular filter bag doesn't. Second--occasionally the battery-pack fails. If it seems to be running low fast and you're still under warranty, act to get it fixed (changing the battery/motor combo isn't hard, if you follow the directions). Otherwise the replacement cost won't be worth it.

    Second would be a robotic cleaner. Personally, I've had great luck with Blue Diamond wireless remote model and far less with the Dolphin Dynamic because of reliability problems. It's really a set-it-and-forget-it gadget. Yeah, it cost more, but it also brushes the walls as it climbs them so you don't have to do more than spot vacuum and you don't have to brush the walls. In fact, one robotic cycle on all the brands is like one full water cycle by the filter and pump.

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Looking at DIY Vinyl Liner Inground Pools
    By InfernoSS in forum --cleanup--
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-23-2014, 08:05 PM
  2. Water circulation inground pools
    By Jer111 in forum --cleanup--
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-09-2014, 02:17 PM
  3. Radiant Inground Pools
    By wam67 in forum In-Ground Pool Construction and Repair
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-28-2012, 11:19 PM
  4. How do ya'll like your steel/polymer wall inground pools?
    By georgiapoollover in forum In-Ground Pool Construction and Repair
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-16-2006, 08:50 AM
  5. Leslie's Pools has their vacuum equipment 20% off until 7/31
    By The Raddish in forum Pool Cleaning: Manual or Automatic
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-18-2006, 12:48 AM

Tags for this Thread


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts