We sell inexpensive inground pool kits for under $5000 - a rectangular 12'x24' pool, with basic equipment - a pump and a sand filter, step and ladder.
But nearly all pool packages end up costing a lot more because people like a larger pool with some curves to it, and can see the benefit of additional or upgraded equipment for cleaning, heating, filtering and purifying or enjoying the pool water.
The best way to buy an inground pool kit is ... slowly. Take the time to understand the myriad options/upgrades so that you can build your own pool the way you want, and design your pool for safety, ease of use, and maximum enjoyment.
I do not know why it is , but each pool equipment category has 3 Types...
Pool Pumps: 3 Types
Our pool kits come with a single speed 1 hp Hayward Super Pump, a medium head (flow) pump that is sized to match pools up to 18x36 in size. Larger or deeper pools, or for pools with several wall skimmers or an attached spa will benefit from a larger pump. We will help you with the math, to find the perfect pool pump to match additional equipment or a larger pool.
If your budget allows, the best pool pump is a Variable Speed pump that allows you to set up to 8 different pump motor speeds (from 400 - 3450 RPM), to produce the best combination of water flow, pressure and energy consumption. The IntelliFlo or EcoStar pumps run cool, run quiet, and sip electricity, but cost 2-3x more than a Superpump.
A 2-speed pump is another option available for reducing pump energy use. In many states, variable speed or dual speed pumps are now required, in an effort to conserve energy. With a Superpump VS, it runs on a low speed most of the time. A multi speed timeclock allows you to set a 3-6 hour block of time each day for high speed filtration, at 3450 RPM.
Upgrading to a 1.5 hp Superpump won't cost much, just $25 or so - but if we need to go larger than that, we may suggest that you also increase the size of some of the pipes, from 1.5" to 2" PVC, to accommodate higher flow rates at lower pressure and resistance. And, larger pumps go with larger filters, so a filter upgrade may also be needed.
More information on pool pumps ~
Pool Filters: 3 Types
SPP pool kits come with a 24" Hayward sand filter. When pump size is increased to 2hp or a variable speed pump is used, the filter size also needs to be increased, to a 27" or 31" Hayward sand filter. Even with a standard pool pump, a larger pool filter is always a smart upgrade that pays off every year, in lower maintenance and cleaner water.
Diatomaceous Earth filters are the best filter type, when you talk about filtration ability. DE filters filter down to 3 microns, which is a very small particle size. With a better filter, you're less likely to have water problems, or if you do - it can be cleaned up quickly, like during spring clean-up, or after storms or if the chlorine level gets too low.
A cartridge filter like the SwimClear 425 will filter your water better than any sand filter, and can go an entire season before being cleaned. They also save water, unlike sand and DE filters, which can waste 500 gallons of water during each backwash or cleaning.
More information on pool filters ~
Pool Heaters: 3 Types
Our inground pool kits do not include a pool heater, and it's normally the first upgrade suggested, unless you live in the deep south. Just like there are 3 different pump and filter types, there are also 3 types of pool heaters, Solar, Electric and Gas.
Solar Heater systems for inground pools should be large enough to do the job. You'll need 400-600 sq ft of solar panels (sold in 4'x10' and 4'x20' panels), and at least 6 hours of uninterrupted daily sun. Pool solar panels can be mounted on roof, rack or fence, facing south.
Electric Heat Pumps take the heat from the outside air, compress it and use the heat to warm the pool water as it passes through. Heat pumps heat slowly (3-5 degrees per day), but very cheaply ($100+ per month), and do not heat at all if the outside air temp is lower than 50°.
Gas Pool Heaters work with Natural or Propane gas, lighting a series of burners that heat pool water as it passes through a heat exchanger. Gas Heaters heat fast (1-2 degrees per hour) and works in any temperature or weather conditions. Most expensive type of pool heater to use, however.
More information on pool heaters ~
Pool Cleaners: 3 Types
If you want to keep your pool clean with a Leaf Rake and Vacuum Hose, you certainly can - but if you want to add some automation to the pool cleaning process, there are 3 types of pool cleaners, Suction, Pressure and Robotic.
Suction cleaners are the least expensive type of pool cleaner, and also the least effective, relying on the operation of the filter system. They are also slow to clean, prone to clogging, and won't turn on/off without your intervention.
Pressure cleaners are the most expensive cleaner, when installed with a booster pump and a dedicated cleaner plumbing pipe. But, they are also the most automatic pool cleaner and operate without much help, just empty the bag!
Robotic cleaners are priced in-between suction and pressure cleaners. They operate on low voltage power, 24 volts, and capture debris in their on-board filter bag or cartridge. They also filter the water as they clean the pool, and can shut themselves off after a cleaning cycle.
More information on pool cleaners ~
Pool Purifiers: 3 Types
Inground pools are usually sanitized with chlorine, either from tablets or from a salt chlorinator. If you want to reduce the amount of chlorine needed, you can install a purifier to supplement your chlorine, and cut your usage in half.
Ozonators create ozone and then pump it into an injection manifold where it instantly sanitizes the water, and continues to disinfect until the tiny gas bubble floats to the surface of the pool. Wall mounted units install easily.
Mineral Purifiers such as Frog or Nature2 use copper and silver ion minerals to purify the water naturally. Install the purifier unit in the plumbing return line and drop in the 6 month cartridge. You can instantly begin using half as much chlorine, with better water quality.
UV Systems use ultraviolet radiation to zap impurities and contaminants in the water as it passes under the blue light. UV radiation for pools is the newest technology, but completely safe, effective and easy to use. As with other pool purifier types, you can dramatically reduce chlorine use.
Interesting, isn't it? Each category of pool products has 3 distinct product types - not just Good, Better, Best - but 3 completely different methods to accomplish the same thing!
I could go on, with 3 types of pool lights (incandescent, LED and Fiber Optic), 3 types of pool covers (solar, winter and automatic), and 3 types of pool alarms (floating, stationary and wristband), but I'll leave it here!
Equipment selection and planning is just one of those areas where the valuable advice and help from the SPP Pool Experts is especially useful. But we do not stop there - when you purchase an in-ground pool kit from SPP, you get dedicated, free, unlimited support by email/phone - by experts who have actually built our vinyl pool kits themselves.
Every step of the way - you can build your own inground pool, and we can show you how to do it!
SPP Pool Expert