help in selecting in-ground pool equipment

is there an online forum or some place where I could research equipment experiences of swimming pool owners?
Akin to a "consumer reports" for pumps, filters, automatic controllers, salinators, etc
I would like to purchase my own equipment and just pay someone to install it.
I have a brand new in-ground gunite/diamond brite pool, temperatures are always above 60 F and builder does not sell or install equipment and his links all remind me of used-car salesmen where after a few minutes of conversation, I no longer wish to continue to talk as it is obvious they are trying to make as much money as possible and do not have my interests at heart.
Visited several local supply stores and same story, they are just interested in selling me as much stuff as they can.
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The biggest trick is sizing the pump. There are several web sites that talk about "pool hydraulics" and give you a way to compute what your static head will be based on the fittings you have and the pipe size/length. I used that to compute mine and after I was done, using gauges on the suction and supply side, they were surprisingly accurate. After that you want to buy the most efficient pump you can get. The law will soon be enforcing that anyway. Whether you buy Pentair or Hayward is a "Coke/.Pepsi" thing. Each have their fans. The same is true on filters. I went with a paper cartridge but my pool is in a screen cage. If you get a lot of tree trash in your pool a sand filter may be more up your alley. DE also has a lot of fans but some sewer systems don't like DE in their waste stream.
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I like sand filters but that's all I've owned. Simple and cheap.
Jim
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Oh yeah. You'll get a lot more use out of your pool with a good heater.
Jim
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Just bear in mind, if you are going to heat your pool, you need a cover ... or a winning lotto ticket. I have a 300,000 BTU gas heater in Florida and when the cover is off it heats more air than water.
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== True. I use a solar cover. A relatively inexpensive item for my pool.
I think my heater is a 266k BTU (Rapak). I use natural gas. It's pretty cheap here (TX).
I was going to tell the OP to look into a Polaris system also. Well worth the money. I don't know if those are just considered standard equipment now.
Jim
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Sorry, but you reek of a homebuilder who doesn't have a clue how to do it, trusts no one, and doesn't even know how to select a contractor or sub, and who will howl until the last cow is in about the job and price.
If you know so much, do it yourself.
Steve
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LOL. Is there another kind?
Jim
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agreed to all of the above.
my order of priority from Most Important to Least Important is as follows:
1. Energy Savings and Quiet Operation 2. Generic replacement parts available, ie. not at risk for company disappearing from market. 3. Least amount/time of User interaction in required maintenance. 4. Cost.
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Get a solar unit. Size the motors right so they don't run all the time. Put the equipment in a shed, or block wall enclosure to kill sound.

Jandy. Hayward. Been around forever, and costs are competitive from supplier to supplier, and not proprietary.\

With the exception of a pool robot, there's no such thing.

You get what you pay for, unless you educate yourself about the equipment, and watch for sales, and second hand gear. I got a big Hayward cartridge filter with 8 replacement filters for $175, about $1500 worth of stuff.
The more you know about the gear, the cheaper and easier it is to keep running. Or you can pay someone else to do it for you.
It sounds simple. Git R' Done!
Steve
Heart surgery pending? Read up and prepare. Learn how to care for a friend. http://cabgbypasssurgery.com
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So first thing, pools are expensive -- the equipment is expensive, but running them is even more expensive. Once you get that idea embedded in your mind, it becomes easier to do the shopping. After that: the cost of the pump is actually small compared to the amount you're going to pay to run it over its lifetime. So get something that's efficient even if it costs you more. A bit of research will help you out with that. Next, for heating. I have a roof that's south facing so we have solar panels. I have to say, they increase the enjoyment of the pool immensely. The wife and kids like it around 80. With solar panels we can keep it that temperature for pretty much the entire season guilt free. Even in a hot spell, we can set the panels to cool (they turn on at night to cool the water). Of course, if you can't do solar panels, then a pool cover is recommended (depending on where you are of course). Gas heating is really expensive (again, depending on where you are. If you're in Florida, not so much...). Can't comment much on filters: the one we have works fine, and we've had it since we bought the house (10 years ago). We're thinking of switching to salt, but again, I've heard there's hidden costs with Salt as well (apparently the salt itself is cheaper, but the equipment doesn't last as long, there can be concrete erosion, etc).
Anyways, that's my 2 cents.
John
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You only think you want a pool.
Pools are expensive, in more ways than one, and they cost what they cost, and every veteran pool owner and major manufacturer knows it.
If you don't know that, and since you chose a pool builder that does not sell or install pool plumbing/filter systems, somehow, choosing your own components and another installer seems it might possibly lead to greater unhappiness.
But, Hayward has excellent customer service and will help you choose/ size your pump and filter... or at least they will if you're replacing their products. http://www.hayward-pool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Homepage_10201_10551_-1 -----
- gpsman
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Things must work differently in other parts of the country. Around here, it would be very rare indeed to have a new inground pool built and not have the company doing that work also provide the equipment that goes with it and provide a complete functioning pool, And compared to the overall cost, the cost of the pool equipment is a relatively small percentage.
For advice and opinions you could go to the pool and spa forum which you can find via google.
Aside from the eqpt issue, I'd be wondering what kind of pool you got, knowing this:
"I have a brand new in-ground gunite/diamond brite pool, temperatures are always above 60 F and builder does not sell or install equipment and his links all remind me of used-car salesmen where after a few minutes of conversation, I no longer wish to continue to talk as it is obvious they are trying to make as much money as possible and do not have my interests at heart. "
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