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Thread: Equipment help

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    JamieP's Avatar
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    Equipment help

    I'm hoping that some of the experts here can help me with my equipment choices for our upcoming pool build. We are having an engineer draw up our plans now in anticipation of doing an owner build, and I want to make sure I've got all the equipment covered before I send the plans out to the subs for bids.

    Our pool will be basic, but big. About 127' perimeter, 927 sq ft, and about 40K gallons. It will have two lighted bubblers, a slide, Pentair's biggest SWG and their biggest cartridge filter. It will also have 2-3 LED lights in the pool. No spa. Not sure how many skimmers and returns yet, but we are going the robot route. Possibly plumbing for a pressure side cleaner to give us options down the road.

    As for equipment:

    Pump:
    I'm considering the Intelliflo XF since my plumbing will be sized big enough to benefit from it and it has the on board programmable controls. I think it also has freeze protection, but I'm not certain. Living in Dallas, I definitely need freeze protection, one way or another. I know this pump is more than I need, but I've read that it's efficient, can be run as low as I need it, and with the onboard controls, I don't have to buy an external timer with freeze protection (I think.). If I don't get the Intelliflo XF or VS, I know I at least want a 2 speed Pentair pump, but I don't know which model or size would be best. From what I had seen, it really wasn't that much more to upgrade to the VS, and then the XF.

    Automation:
    Only recently I've begun considering the EasyTouch automation only because I've heard that the SWG benefits from the finer adjustments you can make with it. Maybe that's not a big deal though. Automating the lights would also be a nice perk. But if I get this automation, do I need the controls that the intelliflo XF has? I figured I would integrate the automation with the SWG, but I think the only integrated version for the largest SWG is with the spa combination. That is more than I need, but I'll have to look into whether getting the units separately is a savings, and worth not having them together for ease of use.

    Filter:
    Pentair's largest cartridge. I'd prefer not to waste water and chemicals by back washing, and I'm a little concerned about possible salt accumulation that would result to our trees and landscaping.

    Surge protection:
    I need to look into this for the equipment. I know I need it, but have to figure out what to get and were it gets installed.

    Any insight you could offer would be much appreciated!
    28,000 gallon freeform, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Minipebble with abalone, 3.5' to 8.5' depth. 2 skimmers, 5 returns, dedicated vacuum port, Dolphin Z5 robot. All Pentair equip: EasyTouch 8, IC60 SWG, VS pump, 520 Cartridge Filter, 3 Intellibrites, 2 Color Cascade Bubblers. TurboTwister Slide and 8' Salt System Jump Board. TF-100. My Jan-Mar 2016 build:
    Waxahachie, TX Owner Build - A race to beat the baby!!

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Equipment help

    From what I had seen, it really wasn't that much more to upgrade to the VS, and then the XF.
    From what I have seen going from a SuperFlo two speed to the Intelliflo VS is about twice the cost (surge protection not included). What two speeds are you looking at? I would agree though that there isn't much difference between the VS and XF but there is no reason to go with an XF either. Based upon the Energy Star test data, the XF has no better efficiency than the VS. Seems like wasted money to me.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Equipment help

    Thanks Mark. The trouble is that I don't really know what size and model 2 speed pump would cover my needs, so I figured I'd be safe going with the VS or XF, even if they are overkill. If you can recommend a reliable 2 speed I would definitely take a look. Then I'd have to figure out freeze protection, but I think the Easy Touch automation covers that.

    I'm going to have the engineer design the pool with 3" plumbing for the main drains, 2 1/2" to skimmers and at least 1 1/2", probably 2" for the returns, unless someone advises otherwise. I'm aiming for efficiency, and I know the plumbing, filter and pump sizes all have to work together. I'm just not sure how to figure it all out.
    28,000 gallon freeform, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Minipebble with abalone, 3.5' to 8.5' depth. 2 skimmers, 5 returns, dedicated vacuum port, Dolphin Z5 robot. All Pentair equip: EasyTouch 8, IC60 SWG, VS pump, 520 Cartridge Filter, 3 Intellibrites, 2 Color Cascade Bubblers. TurboTwister Slide and 8' Salt System Jump Board. TF-100. My Jan-Mar 2016 build:
    Waxahachie, TX Owner Build - A race to beat the baby!!

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    Re: Equipment help

    Do you have any high water flow features? If not, then any pump will do even the smallest pump. I have two pumps, a 1/2 HP two speed for filtering and a 1 HP jet pump for the spa. But I didn't see anything that said you had any higher flow rate features. If that is the case, then a SuperFlo 1 HP 2 speed would work just fine. But yes, a VS takes the guesswork out of choosing a pump although with simple setups, it isn't that difficult anyway. You can go either way, it is just a mater of cost.

    But just a few comments on pipe size and efficiency. Larger pipe size does result in a higher GPM/Watt but it also results in higher watts (i.e. GPM goes up more than watts). If you run the pump the same length of time at the same RPM, you will actually have higher energy use with larger pipes. But with a VS, you can reduce speed to compensate if you know to do that. Bottom line is that I have seen people go over board with large pipes and they probably didn't yield that much of a benefit.

    However, be careful to balance out the return lines and suction lines. Ideally, you want the total pipe cross-sectional area of the suction lines (i.e. pipe area * number of parallel pipes) to be greater than the return lines by 50% or more. I have pools where they had too many return lines with only a few suction lines and the pump was in cavitation. So if you have two skimmers with 2.5" lines from pool to pad, you want your 2" return lines to be no more than 3 parallel runs.

    One more thing I think you should read is this article on main drains: http://www.poolinspections.com/manua...out-drains.pdf

    They are really overrated and totally unnecessary when using lower returns. Plus without the MD, you can run at lower RPM and the skimmers will work just as good. That will save much more in energy than the larger pipe.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Equipment help

    I find that I like the MD for sweeping into. Also, makes it easier to drain below the skimmer. Those are small things. As long as your returns are low enough to circulate the colder water up from the deep end, you should be fine without them.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Equipment help

    Mark, no, we don't have any high flow water features, only the bubblers and a TurboTwister slide. I'm not sure what our engineer will recommend, but one pool builder who bid our design had specified 3 skimmers and 6 returns with the typical 2 main drain setup.

    I read the article you referenced and found it persuasive. But considering the number of returns it seems like our pool may have, and your comment, "They are really overrated and totally unnecessary when using lower returns," I wonder if we can make removing the main drains work. I'm persuaded to look into it though. It sounds like it would be best.

    I appreciate your discussion of pipe size, but I'm not sure if I followed your example. From what you wrote, it seems like the suction cross-section adds up to 5", whereas 3 parallel 2" returns makes 6". However, I understood you to have said that I want the suction lines larger by 50% than the returns which seems to be the opposite of your example. Did I misunderstand? Also, I'm not sure I'll be doing parallel returns. It seems like most people loop them around here. Is it worth the increased plumbing cost to put them in parallel?

    Thank you, too, for the information on the pump size. Now that I'm seriously considering removing the main drains altogether, I need to figure out the right placement and number of skimmers and returns with the engineer and their proper pipe size. I'll include an picture of the pool shape to give you an idea of what we're working with. The benches and entry steps have been modified slightly since this design.

    Thanks again, Mark! You've been a wealth of information already.
    28,000 gallon freeform, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Minipebble with abalone, 3.5' to 8.5' depth. 2 skimmers, 5 returns, dedicated vacuum port, Dolphin Z5 robot. All Pentair equip: EasyTouch 8, IC60 SWG, VS pump, 520 Cartridge Filter, 3 Intellibrites, 2 Color Cascade Bubblers. TurboTwister Slide and 8' Salt System Jump Board. TF-100. My Jan-Mar 2016 build:
    Waxahachie, TX Owner Build - A race to beat the baby!!

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    Re: Equipment help

    Quote Originally Posted by pabeader View Post
    I find that I like the MD for sweeping into. Also, makes it easier to drain below the skimmer. Those are small things. As long as your returns are low enough to circulate the colder water up from the deep end, you should be fine without them.
    There are many examples on the forum of people "sweeping" into a MD only to find out it clogs very easily. I would not recommend doing that.



    Quote Originally Posted by JamieP
    I appreciate your discussion of pipe size, but I'm not sure if I followed your example. From what you wrote, it seems like the suction cross-section adds up to 5", whereas 3 parallel 2" returns makes 6".
    I did make a mistake but you have to use area, not diameter so square the diameter. The ratio of area is

    2 * 2.5^2 / (3 * 2^2) = 1.04 I forgot the 50% factor so ideally, you don't want more than 2 return lines although as a maximum you could go with three without it being too much of an issue. When that ratio gets below 1, you start having problems with air leaks and much lower than 1 and it can cause cavitation so I like to target above 1.5 but there is wiggle room.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Equipment help

    Mine sucked up a chipmunk/small squirrel so I think it's okay (found it in the pump basket when I came home from work a few weeks ago). But most folks wouldn't have that I'm sure.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Equipment help

    My guess is you don't have a VGBA compliant cover on the MD because they don't allow much of anything through.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Equipment help

    Correct. In fact, if you were to look at it you would think it's a return. I had asked on the forum if there was something I could use, but so far nothing seems to fit the bill.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Equipment help

    Just make sure nobody gets close to it. I would shut it off before it traps someone.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Equipment help

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    I did make a mistake but you have to use area, not diameter so square the diameter. The ratio of area is

    2 * 2.5^2 / (3 * 2^2) = 1.04 I forgot the 50% factor so ideally, you don't want more than 2 return lines although as a maximum you could go with three without it being too much of an issue. When that ratio gets below 1, you start having problems with air leaks and much lower than 1 and it can cause cavitation so I like to target above 1.5 but there is wiggle room.
    For a pool of the size and shape mine will be, are 2 or 3 returns enough? What if there are 3 skimmers? Then there could be more returns? I guess I'm stuck on the mentality that "more is better" when in reality that may not be the case. Plus, it will take me a bit to wrap my mind around the math! Thank you for clarifying it though.

    Does any of this get affected by the size of pump I choose to go with?
    28,000 gallon freeform, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Minipebble with abalone, 3.5' to 8.5' depth. 2 skimmers, 5 returns, dedicated vacuum port, Dolphin Z5 robot. All Pentair equip: EasyTouch 8, IC60 SWG, VS pump, 520 Cartridge Filter, 3 Intellibrites, 2 Color Cascade Bubblers. TurboTwister Slide and 8' Salt System Jump Board. TF-100. My Jan-Mar 2016 build:
    Waxahachie, TX Owner Build - A race to beat the baby!!

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    Re: Equipment help

    JamieP,

    You asked, so here are my thoughts...

    1. Pump. I recommend the 3 HP Intelliflo VS pump. A two/speed pump may be more energy efficient, but there is no guarantee that those are the exact speeds you will want or end up needing. A VS pump can be set to the exact speed you want for any specific configuration. The additional cost of a VS pump is in the noise when compared to the cost of 40K gallon pool. Comes with freeze protection.

    2. Filter. I have the larger Pentair cartridge filter at my house and a couple of DE filters at rent houses. I didn't do any measurements, but it appears to me that cleaning my cartridges takes about as much water, if not more than cleaning the DE grids. All my pools have VS pumps running at pretty slow speeds, so I don't backwash anymore. I just break the filters down about twice a year and clean them.

    3. Automation. I like the idea of having the same equipment manufacturer to ensure things work together. So, since the rest of your equipment is Pentair, I'd go with the EasyTouch for a number of reasons.

    a. The EasyTouch acts as the main breaker panel for all your pool/equipment.
    b. Contains the power supply for the SWG (if you buy the right one)
    c. Provides a convenient place to install a CB style surge protector
    d. Allow you the ability control most pool functions
    1. Can adjust SWG percentages
    2. Can automate valve operation (Could turn your slide's water or bubblers on/off)
    3. Can control the pool light
    e. Provides a place to install AC receptacle for your robot.
    f. Allow you to automate external items such as landscape lighting
    g. The additional cost when installed during the original construction does not have a major impact on the overall cost of the pool.
    h. And if the bug really bites you, you can add links so you can control everything from your phone or PC.


    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    Re: Equipment help

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimrahbe View Post
    JamieP,

    You asked, so here are my thoughts...
    Thank you, Jim! Your points are very thorough and much appreciated.

    For your filter setups, do you find the breakdown of one type to be easier than another? I hadn't really thought about the water usage of spraying things down, but at least doing it that way isn't taking water from the pool. I'll have to consider the types of filters in that new light now.

    Also, what is a "CB style surge protector"? Somewhere on TFP I read that an Intermatic PS3000 surge protector (Intermatic PS3000 Pool and Spa Surge Protective Device - - Amazon.com) would work, but I need to look into that more. Is that what you mean? I've also read of people putting their whole house on a surge protector (if I was reading correctly), but that is foreign to me too.
    28,000 gallon freeform, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Minipebble with abalone, 3.5' to 8.5' depth. 2 skimmers, 5 returns, dedicated vacuum port, Dolphin Z5 robot. All Pentair equip: EasyTouch 8, IC60 SWG, VS pump, 520 Cartridge Filter, 3 Intellibrites, 2 Color Cascade Bubblers. TurboTwister Slide and 8' Salt System Jump Board. TF-100. My Jan-Mar 2016 build:
    Waxahachie, TX Owner Build - A race to beat the baby!!

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Equipment help

    JamieP,

    They make surge protectors that fit into a Circuit Breaker (CB) Panel just like a 220 volt circuit breaker. I use a Square-D-HOM2175SB-SurgeBreaker in my EasyTouch panels. Nothing is perfect, but it helps to protect the pump and the EasyTouch itself.

    I see no difference in taking a Cartridge filter or DE filter apart. It is much easier to reassemble the cartridge. The first time I put the DE grids back together it took me about an hour and I thought I was going to have to call someone to do it for me. Once you get the hang of it, it only takes a few minutes. I think I actually like the DE filter better, but the city codes where I live will no longer allow you to install a DE filter unless the backwash/waste is plumbed into the city sewer, not storm drain, but sewer.

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    Re: Equipment help

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimrahbe View Post
    I think I actually like the DE filter better, but the city codes where I live will no longer allow you to install a DE filter unless the backwash/waste is plumbed into the city sewer, not storm drain, but sewer.
    I don't think we have any regulations here, but I do know I wouldn't be able to get the backwash to any type of sewer or storm drain since we don't have those in our neighborhood. It would just be going into the yard. Not sure if that matters. I'll have to look into it.

    Thanks, once again, for your insight.
    28,000 gallon freeform, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Minipebble with abalone, 3.5' to 8.5' depth. 2 skimmers, 5 returns, dedicated vacuum port, Dolphin Z5 robot. All Pentair equip: EasyTouch 8, IC60 SWG, VS pump, 520 Cartridge Filter, 3 Intellibrites, 2 Color Cascade Bubblers. TurboTwister Slide and 8' Salt System Jump Board. TF-100. My Jan-Mar 2016 build:
    Waxahachie, TX Owner Build - A race to beat the baby!!

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    Re: Equipment help

    Quote Originally Posted by JamieP View Post
    For a pool of the size and shape mine will be, are 2 or 3 returns enough? What if there are 3 skimmers? Then there could be more returns? I guess I'm stuck on the mentality that "more is better" when in reality that may not be the case. Plus, it will take me a bit to wrap my mind around the math! Thank you for clarifying it though.

    Does any of this get affected by the size of pump I choose to go with?
    Each skimmer will require a minimum flow rate to work properly so having 2 vs 3 is more energy efficient (i.e. lower RPM is required for 2 vs 3). Plus if you have prevailing winds, most of the stuff will blow down to one side of the pool anyway so more than likely one or more of the skimmers won't be doing much. Unless you have a very odd shaped pool, 2 is probably more than sufficient.

    As for the returns, the balance comment was directed at the return pipes from pump to pool. At the pool, you can split those pipes as many times as you want for as many returns as you want.

    So if you end up with 2 skimmers with 2x2.5" pipe runs and 2x2" return lines, you can branch those return lines into 2 or 4 returns on each line near the pool.

    As for the filter discussion above, one thing to keep in mind is that a DE filter usually requires a backwash valve and backwash valves have fairly high head loss so are not very energy efficient. If you are after energy efficiency, then I would stick with a cartridge filter. The chart below is in the Hydraulics 101 sticky:

    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    JamieP's Avatar
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    Re: Equipment help

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    Unless you have a very odd shaped pool, 2 is probably more than sufficient.
    I added a photo of the shape of my pool to post #6. Does that constitute a very odd shaped pool? Half the year we get winds from the north, and the other half the winds come from the south, directly up and down in the picture. I can see how 2 skimmers would be more efficient, but I wonder with the shape whether 3 skimmers would be recommended. Most of the PBs specified 2 but one had 3. I'll have to see what the engineer thinks.

    As for the returns, the balance comment was directed at the return pipes from pump to pool. At the pool, you can split those pipes as many times as you want for as many returns as you want.

    So if you end up with 2 skimmers with 2x2.5" pipe runs and 2x2" return lines, you can branch those return lines into 2 or 4 returns on each line near the pool.
    That makes sense. Thank you.

    Good to know about the filter comparison too. It looks like the cartridge may still be the way to go.

    Thanks again for your help Mark. I appreciate your time.
    28,000 gallon freeform, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Minipebble with abalone, 3.5' to 8.5' depth. 2 skimmers, 5 returns, dedicated vacuum port, Dolphin Z5 robot. All Pentair equip: EasyTouch 8, IC60 SWG, VS pump, 520 Cartridge Filter, 3 Intellibrites, 2 Color Cascade Bubblers. TurboTwister Slide and 8' Salt System Jump Board. TF-100. My Jan-Mar 2016 build:
    Waxahachie, TX Owner Build - A race to beat the baby!!

  19. Back To Top    #19
    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Equipment help

    That makes it tough for the steps into the pool since you would not want to put a skimmer there but debris might collect there. However, you could put some returns in that area so debris won't collect there and just put skimmers on the north side circle and the other south south side circle areas.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    JamieP's Avatar
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    Re: Equipment help

    Good point about the steps and returns. I'll see what the engineer has in mind.
    28,000 gallon freeform, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Minipebble with abalone, 3.5' to 8.5' depth. 2 skimmers, 5 returns, dedicated vacuum port, Dolphin Z5 robot. All Pentair equip: EasyTouch 8, IC60 SWG, VS pump, 520 Cartridge Filter, 3 Intellibrites, 2 Color Cascade Bubblers. TurboTwister Slide and 8' Salt System Jump Board. TF-100. My Jan-Mar 2016 build:
    Waxahachie, TX Owner Build - A race to beat the baby!!

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