A new pool for Neptune - Stage 1: Getting quotes for DE filter, heater, valves, plumbing and electrical controls

by Klaus Graefensteiner 13. January 2011 04:23


How exiting, we are going to modernize the pool equipment and the plaster of the in-ground swimming pool at our new house. At the moment I am trying to get quotes for the re-plastering of the pool and for replacing the DE filter, the pump timer and the heater with state of the art appliances. In addition to that we are going to change the sanitization from chlorine tablets to a saline based system with chlorine generator cells. The only part that we won’t replace at this point is the pump, since it seems to be not too old. The pump is a Pentair WhisperFlo WFE-4. It has 1 Horse Power and a Service Factor of 1.65. Because the pool seems to be as big as our old pool, I am guessing that it is 15,000 gallons big.


Figure 1: The before picture of the pool at our new house

Subsystems to purchase

For the pool equipment bid I will ask the bidders to provide the prices for each part on their list and to separate the labor for the plumbing, electrical wiring and testing and tuning.

Gas heater or heat exchanger

The heater should either heat just the hot tub or both, the pool and the hot tub. It should be energy efficient. I am not getting a heat exchanger, since it requires a 50 A breaker line, it will be louder to operate and the main purpose of the heater is to warm the hot tub within minutes. Optionally I would like to remotely control the heater and the valves that belong to the heating system. Pentair is my preferred brand. The heater should be big enough to heat a 15,000 gallon pool in a reasonable short time and the hot top in few minutes?

I found some heater sizing guidance here: http://www.poolcenter.com/heaters_what_size.htm

I decided to get a Pentair MasterTemp 400 M BTU Natural Gas Heater for $2,336 from http://poolcenter.com. The price contains shipping and sales tax.

Saline system and chlorinator

AquaRite and SwimPure are from Hayward are the same units, SwimPure Plus comes with the installation kit. The size of the cells depend on the throughput of your pump and the size of your pool.

I decided to get the AquaRite Controller and Cell for a 15000 Gallon Pool for $1,004 from http://poolcenter.com. The price contains shipping and sales tax.

DE Filter with backwash valve or cartridge filter

DE Filters are yesterday’s news. DE filters waste energy because the pump needs to push the water through the backwash valve. Also old DE and pool water need to be disposed during the backwash process. Hayward has a cartridge filter that doesn’t need to be cleaned during the swim season.

Help on sizing the filter can be found here: http://www.poolplaza.com/pool-school/choosing_pool_filter_sizing.shtml

I decided to get the Hayward SwimClear C3025 for with 325 square feet for $776 from http://poolcenter.com. The price contains shipping and sales tax.

The bubble maker a.k.a blower

The blower adds air bubbles into the hot top jets. Here is a link to a Polaris QT Blower. I think a 1 HP 120V blower would do the trick: http://www.poolcenter.com/Polaris_Spa_Blowers.html.

The following link points to the Polaris Blower User Manual that has a sizing work sheet. http://www.polarispool.com/files/manual/PolarisManualBlowers.pdf

http://poolcenter.com offers blowers from $177 to about $280.

The valves for controlling suction and return streams

The valves should be maintenance free and be used with an valve actuator. Preferably I would get the Jandy Never Lube Valve and the Jandy Actuator. I getting 3 Never Lube 3-Way valves with an inside diameter of 2’’ and 2.5 on the outside. One valve for the suction, one for the return and one for draining the pool. Each of the valves should be automatically positioned.

I decided to get the three Jandy NeverLube 3-way valves 2" & 2.5" for $180 from http://poolcenter.com. The price contains shipping and sales tax.

The prices for one Jandy Valve Actuators (JVA2440) range from $180 to $100.

The automatic pool vacuum

I am having a good experience with the Hayward Navigator.

I get it the cheapest from my local Leslie’s Pool Store for $385 The price contains the main-in rebate from Hayward and sales tax

Manual and automatic control

The pump and the blower are currently controlled by an Intermatic Timer Switch. I can get new Intermatic Timer Switch T104P from http://poolcenter.com for about $100 a piece.

Ideally I would like to control everything from an industrial grade programmable logic controller and have an operator interface on my PC. But this is part of the third phase of this project.

Pool lights

On Jandy’s web page I noticed that there now colored LED pool lights that can even be used for light shows. Unfortunately they are still very pricey about $600 to $800 dollars. This will have to wait for now.

Don’t forget

When talking to the different vendors, I use the following list to remind me about what else to ask:

  • The power and gas supply needs to withstand the weather and might have to be modernized
  • The pool lights should be working and also be remotely controllable.
  • The pool equipment like heater, pump and filter should stand on solid ground like a concrete slap.
  • Find out about extended warranty options for each of the more expensive systems.
  • How often does a saline cell need to be replaced?
  • Consider future use of solar heat in the piping design.
  • What valve sizes do I need?
  • I need an electrical panel enclosure. 
  • Consider piping and valve for draining the pool.
  • Ask for pool water level control
  • Find PLC with 24V I/O
  • Find device that takes 24 volts and switches on the motor?

Piping and plumbing diagram

I went to the local Leslie’s Pool store and took pictures of a Hayward and Pentair system. The pictures are here.


Figure 2: Hayward Pool System


Figure 3: Pentair Pool System

Here is a link a PDF file from Jandy that shows some common plumbing schematics.

Original Pool plan


Figure 4: The original plan for the pool at our house

The quotes

We requested proposals from three local pool companies. Gardner Pool Plastering won the race. There bid was the most reasonable one concerning price and services. The other two bidders were trying to take advantage of the inexperience of their customers. 

Pictures of the before state

Here are a few photo’s of the old pool equipment.


Figure 5: Heater, pump and blower


Figure 6: Pump, blower and suction valve


Figure 7: Heater and return valve


Figure 8: Gas supply to the heater


Figure 9: The old filter and the plumbing


Figure 10: Pump and blower timer control


Figure 11: Electrical and filter plumbing


Figure 12: Back wash drain


Figure 13: WhisperFlo pump serial number


Figure 14: WhisperFlow pump motor serial number and specs

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Automation | Swimming Pool

About Klaus Graefensteiner

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