Plano Cool Pools Frequently Asked Questions

How long will my pool take to build?
What should I know about the pool layout?
I’ve heard about dust, noise, and destruction that can happen during the dig, is this true?
How do I know that my plumbing is done correctly and will not leak?
What does the steel reinforcing do for my pool?
What protects my pool from electrical problems?
When will my pool start looking like a pool?
What has to happen before my deck is installed?
What are my responsibilities concerning the deck?
When do I get rid of this construction mess?
How do they get the plaster or other interior finish into my pool?
When do I learn how to use the pool?

Length of Construction

How long will my pool take to build?

Plano Cool Pools averages just over 4-5 weeks of actual construction time for every pool we build. Considering the complexity of many of our pools, this is truly a standard for others to strive for. A good rule of thumb to use when planning a project is one week construction time for every $7,000 – $8,000 of cost. For example, a $28,000 pool should be complete in 4 weeks; a $60,000 will take about 8 weeks. There are many variables that effect construction time when building a pool; one of the biggest is weather. Weather not only effects ground conditions but the ability of the crews to complete their respective tasks in the proper sequence. Thorough planning and design can reduce unexpected delays.

Layout

What should I know about pool layout?

The pool layout and position of the pool will be staked out on your ground prior to any work being done. It is used as a guide for excavation. We ask that you approve the location and shape of the pool prior to us scheduling the dig. The layout will appear smaller than the finished pool due to it being a flat representation of your pool. Interestingly we get calls about the pool being too small at this stage. Conversely, many times we get calls on the pool seeming too large as soon as it is dug. It is necessary to layout the pool 12″ larger in every direction. In other words, a pool which will finish 30’ long must be laid out and dug 32’. This allows for 12” thick concrete on the pool walls so the finish will be exact and correct.

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Excavation

I’ve heard about dust, noise, and destruction that can happen during the dig, is this true?

There is no gentle way to remove 15 to 30 dump truck loads of dirt out of a backyard. This will be one of the nosiest and is certainly the dustiest stage of construction. It is also one of the most exciting. Protecting plants and existing landscape is a must since anything between the street and the pool, which is not cared for, will be ground into soil by this heavy machinery. During this process, fences need to be removed and pets must be placed indoors or restrained.

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Plumbing and Equipment

How do I know that my plumbing is done correctly and will not leak?

In addition to using schedule 40 PVC (133 PSI based on 4” thick pipe) we keep all plumbing under pressure throughout the construction process. We routinely check these pressure readings to insure that the plumbing is secure. Our plumbers follow a detailed plan for the location of every feature, pool return, and drain. Also, you will notice that pipes are protruding out of the shell during the pool dig. These will be cut off near the end of the construction and will be flush to the pool wall in the final stage.

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When is my equipment plumbed in place?

If you live in the house we will install the equipment the day we plumb the pool. If your home is not occupied or is under construction, we will install the equipment set once you move into the house. Why? Unfortunately there are people out there who will walk off with your pool equipment if it is easily accessible. If you own the home and the equipment is stolen, your insurance will cover the loss. Remember, once the equipment is attached and installed, you own it.

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Steel

What does the steel reinforcing do for my pool?

The steel rebar is installed in a grid pattern (see construction sequence for pictures). Depending on the loads and soil condition, rebar can be 6” to 12” apart, or in rare cases 3” apart. Our civil engineers work out the exact pattern to be used for you pool permit and for our structural specifications. The steel is always elevated 2” to 3” off the excavated floors and walls of the pool. This process re-enforces the concrete by providing for the maximum tensile strength. As a note of caution, we cover or bend the ends of the bars to protect people however the wires used to tie the steel together are very sharp. Please insure the safety of children and pets. A scratch from the steel rebar or tie wires can easily become infected and may require tetanus vaccination.

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Electric

What protects my pool from electrical problems?

In most cases, a trench will be dug from your electric panel to the equipment location. This conduit (in accordance to code) must be metal, wrapped with insulation, and buried 18” underground. It is important to mark any sprinkler lines or other obstructions that must be protected. The conduit must remain uncovered until the city inspects it. GFI circuits protect all light and electrical plugs and are usually found near sinks and bathrooms inside your house. GFI protected circuits instantly trip and shut down when contact is made with water. In addition; all steel, motors, and metals within 5’ of the pool are grounded which is why you may notice small copper wires attached to metal windows, fences, handrails, and diving boards.

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Gunite Application

When will my pool start looking like a pool?

The pool really begins to take shape when the gunite is placed. Steps and benches are formed, spas take shape, and the project begins to look like your pool. Gunite (premixed concrete) is sprayed into your pool through a hose under high pressure. It’s very noisy, messy, and in fact, very interesting to watch. A curtain is put up around the pool to block the over spray from getting on your house. The gunite dries and hardens very quickly. As a matter of fact, it can also dry too quickly. At this stage, we ask the owner to water the gunite regularly allowing it to dry slowly and cure properly. In the summer, wet the pool down at least 5 times a day. More is encourages if you are able. In cooler months (temperatures below 80 degrees F), 2 to 3 times a day is fine. Begin by spraying water on the sides until the water starts to “sheet” off. Then move on to another part of the pool. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete a pool watering. Don’t worry; you can’t over water a pool. A puddle will accumulate in the bottom of the pool…that’s ok; we’ll pump it out later. You will also notice cracks forming in the pool, particularly in the floor. This is normal. These are shrinkage cracks and do not affect the structural integrity of the pool. The Gunite shell needs to cure for 3-4 days before we can proceed with construction.

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What has to happen before my deck is installed?

We must have all rockwork, boulders and waterfalls completed prior to starting on the deck. This is also a good time to install any masonry such as barbecues, certain aspects of your outdoor kitchen, fire pits benches, and equipment walls. Gas lines, landscape sprinkler lines, lighting lines etc; that are to be placed under the deck should be in before the deck is formed. This is also a good time to review your deck ensuring it is the way you want it. Extra costs may result if we have to alter the shape of the deck after work on it has begun.

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Decking

What are my responsibilities concerning the deck?

We always find that once the deck gets started people start planning their first pool party! While we are close to completion, you must be patient. The deck crew will come out and put up forms (thin strips of wood) outlining the deck. You will see where any steps and drains go. You must approve these forms prior to the pouring of the deck. Once the deck is poured, it cannot be changed. It is a good idea to double check the color and texture you have chosen to make sure it is still your favorite. The concrete for the deck will be poured into the forms and troweled to a smooth finish. If you have cool decking, it will be applied at this point. Cool decking or “Kool Deck” will be applied when the concrete is dry enough for it to adhere properly. Other types of toppings and decks such as flagstone, tiles, or cultured stone have their specific requirements. Regardless of what kind of deck topping you have; you must stop watering the gunite at this point. Also, be careful not to walk on, get water, or cover the deck with anything for at least 48 hours. Concrete does not dry evenly so it will appear to be darker in some places and lighter in others. Don’t worry, it will reach a consistent hue after it gets through a full summer’s heat.

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Cleanup

When do I get rid of this construction mess?

The unavoidable construction mess begins at the Gunite stage as the concrete truck gets cleaned out. This continues and builds through the deck process. All of this gets cleaned up just prior to the pool being finished. Trenches are all filled, light grading is done, and the yard is raked. Basically, we make everything neat and presentable. Landscaping is not provided unless it was part of your pool contract.

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Interior Finish

How do we get the plaster or other interior finish into your pool?

Plaster will be applied and the plaster crews will use your water hose to fill the pool as soon as they are done. DO NOT TURN OFF THE WATER UNTIL YOUR POOL IS FULL! Let the pool fill all of the way up until it reaches about an inch below the deck. While this is slightly overfilled, you will be backwashing the excess out. Plus, it helps to have a little extra water in the pool until the plaster dust is filtered out. Follow the plaster care instructions given to you by Plano Cool Pools. The plaster may appear a little mottled because the plaster does not dry evenly (yes, it really does dry under water). Some parts stay wet longer and so they appear darker for a while. Brushing the pool and chemical balancing are extremely important to the pool plaster at this point.

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Start Up

When do I learn how to use the pool?

At “start up” we turn the pool on, check out the system to make sure everything is working properly and then tell you everything you need to know about a pool (and probably some stuff you were not sure you wanted to know). Plus we show you how to work the pump, filter, lights and the rest of the equipment. It’s a lot of stuff to know. Video cameras are permitted and encouraged. back to questions

When can I swim?

Is it hot out? Is the pool full? Go have FUN!

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