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New pool construction - what would you do?

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DeltaNu1142:
I had a pool contractor over to the house yesterday. They're one of the better ones in the area, have great reviews and lots of referrals. They use Hayward equipment exclusively. The pool will be smaller, gas heated, with jets...  sort of a "spool."

Hayward offers automation, which is anything but open source. Their system controls chlorination/chemistry, pump, jets, lighting, and is all available for monitoring & control via the web. I think what I'd like to do, though, is go with the lowest level of automation on the install and use an aftermarket MultiWave or some other automation scheme that I can integrate via Vera... unless, of course, I can connect the Hayward system to Zwave (which doesn't seem to be the case).

So what would you do? Go with another (cheaper, potentially lower-quality) contractor who will put in equipment to my specs? This is my first pool, and I'm looking for any advice. Is there anything you would have done differently if you could go back to the construction phase?

I really like their ColorLogic lighting, but even on Amazon, it's $500. Is there another way to accomplish the same color effects using conventional waterproof fixtures and Z-wave compatible bulbs? If so, what are they?

DeltaNu1142:
...no input on this topic?

thewizardofoz:
I have all Hayward equipment saltwater pool with the remote communication.   I had this done before I got into Vera.   Doing it all again, I wish I could link Vera to it.  I do have the Hayward remote that is 150Ft from the main Hayward control box.   I was just about to start looking into how I could have my Hayward stuff talk to Vera, but haven't quite got around to it yet.   
You were asking about recommendations......Not an automation issue, but make sure your contractor installs a sump pump below your pool within a rock bed in the sand.  I have a fiberglass pool and last year we had a ton of rain over a week long period (about 28").  The standing water was so bad that water standing in the yard was flowing into my pool.  That was not the bad part.  The bad part was when I got the pool cleaned up again and got in the pool the hydrostatic pressure below my pool was causing a bubble under the fiberglass the bowed upwards almost 2 feet.  Luckily the fiberglass didn't crack or break, but I was sure nervous.  If I has a sump pump or at least a sump pump connection, I could have pump the water out from under the pool.  The water underneath would have kept building up until the water table went down with everything drying out, but running a pump a few times a day vs. replacing a fiberglass pool is minor.  The only thing that kept my pool in the ground was the fact that the cool deck was cantilevered over the pool lip.  If not for that, my pool would have been out of the ground.  Of course, keeping it in the ground caused the bowing from the pressure.  GET THE SUMP PUMP!!!!  A French drain might work too, but maybe not as well.

DeltaNu1142:
Yes--those are the sorts of ideas I was looking for. The pool I'd be getting is concrete, but with the height of the water table in this area, it may still be important.

Everything I've found out (which isn't much) about the Hayward equipment is that it's incompatible with Z-wave. The best I could hope for is to be able to connect relays to the pool controls to put Z-waveable contacts in parallel with the Hayward stuff--although that would probably confuse the crap out of the Hayward controls.

thewizardofoz:
Hayward Tech Support    1-908-355-7995

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