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Thread: How many center drains and returns?

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    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    How many center drains and returns?

    We are replacing a 30 foot round pool that had one center drain and one return. We get a lot leaves in our pool and often make a whirlpool and use the center drain for the leaves to collect there and then we can easily remove them. One pool company told us that state law (Indiana) now requires that we have 2 center drains. He also suggests that we have two returns. If we get the two center drains put in, will our whirlpool system still work for getting the leaves out? Also, do you think two returns is a good idea with only one skimmer, if we go with either the one or two center drains? Thanks

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    Agent99's Avatar
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    Re: How many center drains and returns?

    Just to be clear, you don't/won't really have 2 center (main) drains. It'll be one drain with one pipe going back to the pump. The new law asks that you spread out the drain from one to two by tee'ing the line and adding a second drain (although there are many ways to do this). This is the Virginia Graem Baker Act. It serves to spread out the suction of drain into two thus halving the suction power.

    Skimmers are usually good for surface debris like leaves and anything that sinks to the bottom is the domain of the main (what you call center) drain.

    Increasing your returns from one to two should help improve chemical and heater (if applicable) mixing of the water.

    FWIW in my pool, I have one skimmer and 3 returns for the pool and no main (center) drain. I have a large oak tree that always dumps stuff in the pool. My skimmer catches quite a bit of it. I also have a pressure cleaner that helps get items that reach the bottom of the pool since I don't have a main drain.

    What is the volume of your pool in gallons? I assume it is in-ground? What exactly do you mean by 'replacing' the pool? More details will help us to help you.
    ----Chris----
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    Re: How many center drains and returns?

    There was a 30 foot round above ground pool with a main drain when we purchased the house. We had it for a few years and it was recently damaged by a storm, we are getting a new pool put in and one installer said we need to have two drains but others said we could just use the existing one. He also suggested the two returns. The two returns sound like they might be nice, but I am concerned that by separating the draw of the main drain to two areas that it may not be strong enough to pull the leaves to the center of the pool. The pool has approximately 22,000 gallons of water. Thanks for your help.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: How many center drains and returns?

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Many pools do not even have a floor drain. By code, your choices are having 0 or having 2 that are tied together with plumbing. Usually you are better off having most of the suction from the skimmer so that you catch debris before it sinks anyway. I would not want to have to be scooping leaves off the bottom, especially all the way out in the middle.
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