I appreciate the thoughtful reply. I’ve been around a lot of forums and not all are so kindly.
Pardon me while I get ‘wordy’ on a blizzard-ridden Sunday.
“Is it possible to keep the pools full year round?”
It would be better not to have year round water in the pools. I’m the caretaker and security and remote warm water draws trespassers like road-kill draws flies. Empty pools and locked gates and valves gives me more peace and quiet. I have a method and the place to store up to 5,000 gallons of hot water and deliver it to the pools 500 feet away and 35 feet down the hill, without losing enough heat to matter. THAT system is another subject all together.
“How hot, and flow rates of the water?”
There are two springs of 113 deg F. Each spring produces about 13 gpm. The old, commercial hot springs day resort has four hot tubs that total about 4,000 gallons, and a 15,000 gallon outside pool. Obviously there isn’t enough water to support all those, so they were seasonally used in different configurations.
One spring will feed the caretaker’s facility with any excess being directed into the flow of the other spring. That combined flow circulates through storage and overflows 500 feet north. That’s the site of the new pools and about 1000 square feet of heated dressing rooms and patio.
“about 80% of your heat loss will be from the water surface. I would not use it on the bottom unless the actual foam is certified to bear the weight of the loaded vessel. Why not use the excavation as a form? Mountain soil can be tough.”
With cold water pools I might agree with the 80% number but as the difference in temperature between soil and water gets greater a hot tub (without circulation and insulation) gets cold from the bottom up. Wind make a BIG difference in that, though!
The insulation will be ‘pink or blue’ EPS foam board. We’ll be using about an acre of it for floors, ditches, pools, and as forms in some concrete work.
Here’s a reference to one brand---I have no connection, profit, etc…just a product of a google search-
According to that, I’ll have more than 10% deformation with five feet of water and gunnite, so I might insulate, gunnite, and then re-bar and gunnite again.
“The buildings probably consume the heat in the winter and the pools take 2nd priority?”
The buildings will be heated by the overflow of the two springs 24/7 in winter. Only when the pools are filled and being used will the heating water be diverted into the pools. At that point all spring production goes to the two hot pools, (the large pool not used in winter). Any left-over water not used by the pools would heat the floors. In the case the pools are in use and all the water is being used in the pools, a thermostat in the floor would turn on a pump that would take some soaking pool water for heating, circulate it through the building, and run it to waste.
“Would you be using the PEX within the pool shell, if so let the engineer know that also. Does the hot water go through an exchanger? Is the shell the exchanger? Is there a risk of freezing if the source goes down? Is it a gylcol system?”
I’ll try to cover all those with a couple of paragraphs—
I’ll be the engineer on most things. I figure if its’ built with enough safety factor,
the professional blessing is not needed. The money spent is about the same and I’d
rather buy more re-bar and concrete than a stack of expensive papers telling me to
buy and use more re-bar and concrete.
I’m working with 35 feet of fall in a six inch pipe, so water pressure should be about 14psi. My idea is to use large PEX (3/4 or 7/8”) for all heating applications with all the natural pressure I can maintain. One way of doing that is to have ‘fall’ in the PEX between the manifold and the eventual exit. If I arrange the three pools below, but close to the water control valves, with floors and decks that need heat between the level of the manifolds and the bottom drain of the pool’s level, I can run PEX through the floors and both of the smaller pools and to waste with no pump. There won’t be much heat….possibly a flow of 5gpm at 80F, but it should be enough to prevent freezing.
The goal being not to have to use a 115VAC pump for anything and use volume instead of pressure to get flow through the floor.
“Size these accordingly and consider an entrapment potential as if they were going to be used,…”
I don’t know what ‘entrapment potential’ means…
At the top elevation of the entire new complex will be a dug-out water control/manifold and valve room of about 10x10 feet. That room will have a direct floor drain access to the bottom-most French drain exit on the place, so in case of major pipeline failure, or collapse, freeze, or stoppage, water has a place to go and be disposed of. The pipeline itself has three access and diversion points and all the drainage from cold and hot water springs will be separated and run into, central drains and pipelines. It’s been a big job to figure it all out. I’m ready for the back-hoe, now, though.
My intention of ‘pre-plumbing’ the pools for the future was to run sections of 6 inch PVC pipe from the central water control to each pool wall and mark where the end is for a future ‘utility tunnel’ for more pipes, tubes, wires, and controls as needed.
Can a filter be plumbed through an existing 6” pipe?
“…you will love the pools so much that you will want them to look good for a long time,…”
My pools up the hill will be used all the time, but without the expense and trouble to filter and treat water….never have, never will. I’m really not into ‘pools’ as much as I am ‘pits’. I keep my “pool light” in my robe pocket and expect a certain amount of wildlife and drama with my nightly soak.
I agree about the plaster. I spent 13 years at a place with a 50,000 gallon gunnite pool that wouldn’t keep plaster on the walls. I drained, pressure washed and ‘re-painted’ the raw gunnite with a big floor broom and tubs of whitewash once every two months or so. It can be a pain! (add two pounds of copper sulfate to 100 gallons of whitewash for ‘time release’ biocide.)
The current building suffers from a bad foundation, which has cracked at every buried pipe, the entire building is breaking apart with the poured concrete pools. Plaster applied in the ‘60s is still well stuck away from the cracks, though, which gives me hope the water is benign. Foundation, drainage, and structural strength will make the next place better.
I’ll have about 2600 ‘concrete’ (not cinder) blocks to salvage and use for all kinds of pillars, columns, supports, walls, and bracing at the new.
By observing the mistakes of the past (shallow foundation that’s gradually accumulated too much water), and having the newer products, such as PEX, perforated drain hose and pipes, and silicone plasters to work with……AND a rock quarry on the property (Quail Hollow Golf (?) clubhouse came from here), I should be able to create a truly unique family retreat and picnic spot.
Time will tell if my ideas, guided by experience actually work, but I don’t want to be really *stupid* right from the start!
The MAIN thing is to keep all the options for bright ideas open as long as I can before casting them in concrete.
Thanks for any help in doing that.