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Thread: Want to redo filter piping, need advice!

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    lovemyazpool's Avatar
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    Want to redo filter piping, need advice!

    Hello Everyone -

    We are getting ready to install a new AutoPilot SWG and chemical system next week. In the process, the piping for the filter and pump (we inherited it from the previous home owner) looked really weird and hokey. Reading posts here (have you lost your head), as well as the installation instruction for the Pentair WisperFlo pump and the new Pentair IntelliFlo pump which says no 90 degree elbows directly into pump inlet or outlet leads me to believe that I need to redo my piping as much as possible.

    So my boys and I got out and dug up all of the piping and as you can see it is a mess.

    So I was going to go back as far as I could towards the pool and replace all of the piping with the same size piping all the way through the entire system. As you can see from the picture, they really had a good time working the piping around, changing sizing for the returns, etc. THere is nothing I can do about resizing all the way to the pool, but for a nice uniform look I wanted to go with all of the same size piping for everything, or at least maybe one size for suction and one for returns. But the pump has the same size for both.

    I am going to redo all of the piping to the pump to conform with Pentair's recommendation that you need 5 times the size of the pipe in distance from the pump before installing a 90, plus all new valves and new backflow valve on filter.

    So I guess my specific question would be:

    1) Would there be any problem to size all of the suction and return lines the same ABOVE ground and tie into the smaller pipes below ground?
    2) On the return from the filter, there is a 90 directly off the return. I know this is supposed to be bad at the pump, but is this a problem at the filter? Should I take that line down before putting a 90 on it to tee into my SWG system (generator is placed on the return side after the filter)?


    Thanks!





    33,000 Gallon, IG Plaster
    Taylor 2006 Test Kit
    Pentair Triton II TR100 Sand Filter
    Pentair IntelliFlo Pump
    AutoPilot SWG & Chemical Controller

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Want to redo filter piping, need advice!

    Unions-------please use unions when you do it! Good thing the pump has not needed work.

    I bet y'all had fun with all of that digging! Good times with boys helping out.

    I am no help on what you should do and how you should do it.

    I also think a poured slab would be better as well.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Want to redo filter piping, need advice!

    1) Would there be any problem to size all of the suction and return lines the same ABOVE ground and tie into the smaller pipes below ground?
    No problem.


    2) On the return from the filter, there is a 90 directly off the return. I know this is supposed to be bad at the pump, but is this a problem at the filter?
    No, that isn't a problem.


    Should I take that line down before putting a 90 on it to tee into my SWG system (generator is placed on the return side after the filter)?
    I am not exactly sure what you are asking here but it is ok to keep that pipe at the same level as the filter exit if that is what you are asking.

    Also, you might be better off rotating the filter 90 degrees so the pump exit (after a 90) goes straight into the filter inlet port (or is it lower). That might give you extra room for the filter outlet port and SWG.
    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: Want to redo filter piping, need advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    No problem.


    I am not exactly sure what you are asking here but it is ok to keep that pipe at the same level as the filter exit if that is what you are asking.

    Also, you might be better off rotating the filter 90 degrees so the pump exit (after a 90) goes straight into the filter inlet port (or is it lower). That might give you extra room for the filter outlet port and SWG.

    Thanks Mark -

    Just wondering if it is a bad idea to have a 90 right off the filter. I know you are not supposed to do this with a pump, just wondering if I needed to extend the line down off the filter before putting a 90 on it, or if it does not matter if there is a 90 directly off the filter.
    33,000 Gallon, IG Plaster
    Taylor 2006 Test Kit
    Pentair Triton II TR100 Sand Filter
    Pentair IntelliFlo Pump
    AutoPilot SWG & Chemical Controller

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Want to redo filter piping, need advice!

    This is just my untrained opinion but everything looks so crammed together there. The back of the WhisperFlo is right against the wall; typically you want to leave a gap there for the air cooling and servicing.

    Would it be crazy to suggest that maybe you need to cut out all the way down to the below-grade pipes and then move the equipment so that you achieve more room to work and to better layout your new equipment pad? Not sure where the water level is relative to those pipes but it could require draining some water to redo the pipes before the shutoff valves.

    Just thinking crazy-thoughts here, ignore as-needed...

    Good luck, can't wait to see the finished product.

    Matt
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Want to redo filter piping, need advice!

    A 90 directly after the filter is not a problem.
    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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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Want to redo filter piping, need advice!

    Being a sand filter, it should also have a multiport valve rather than a push/pull valve so that you can rinse the sand bed after backwashing. I would look at that as an upgrade to your system as well, and that will also change your plumbing set up a bit.

    The lay out does seem very tight in that I wish your pipes were further out from your equipment. They seem to come up vertically directly below the front of your filter and pump where if they came vertical further away, you'd have much more room for remodelling the plumbing. My equipment is fairly tight to the wall, almost as yours is, but there is much more room out in front before the plumbing dives down underground. That working area makes things much easier to configure.

    If you want to give yourself a more workable area, consider cutting off about 2-3 feet of the underground pipe to the left of the 45 degree fittings, replacing with new 45s and therefore bringing all of the pipes further from the equipment. Then you can bring the equipment away from the house a little, have a bigger pad area and more room out front of the equipment for running the plumbing more efficiently. Obviously a bigger undertaking in terms of replumbing, but a little space out front can make a big difference in how you're able to route plumbing.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Want to redo filter piping, need advice!

    Keep in mind that if your plumbing is below the level of the pool water, cutting the pipe too low in the ground will allow you to have a small lake right next to your equipment pad. Something you only do once..

    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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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Want to redo filter piping, need advice!

    LOL Jim!

    You can/should get some returns plugs and use a tennis ball for the skimmer. (shhhhh but you can use a carrot for the returns. BUT if you have a bottom drain I am not sure what you will do about that.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Want to redo filter piping, need advice!

    kimkats,

    So where were you when I was cutting the pipes?

    It was a shock, as it did not appear to be lower than the water. I have to admit I just let it drain, as I did not even think about plugging the holes.

    Thanks for the tip, but hope I never need to use it.

    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: Want to redo filter piping, need advice!

    WOW!!! Whomever plumbed that should be strung up by their britches. You would have had to redo the suction-plumbing just to service the pump.

    Do what was suggested above and move that equipment out so you have more space.

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    Re: Want to redo filter piping, need advice!

    Listen to poolmedic. If you ever need to pull the pump apart to put in new seals in or replace the motor, you'll need to have space behind it.
    30K, in ground, raised bond beam, w/attached spillover spa, chlorine, Pebble-Tec, Pentair FNSPlus 60 DE filter, 2 Jandy waterfalls, Intelliflo VS 3hp (filter), Whisperflo 2hp (spa jets), Whisperflo .5hp (water features), Sta-Rite 400K heater, a bunch of Jandy valves, a couple of automatic valve switches, 3 SAm lights, CompPool 3600 controller, Waterway Chlorinator (not used), Pool Vergnuegen, Pentair in-ground check valves ...

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    lovemyazpool's Avatar
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    Re: Want to redo filter piping, need advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimrahbe View Post
    Keep in mind that if your plumbing is below the level of the pool water, cutting the pipe too low in the ground will allow you to have a small lake right next to your equipment pad. Something you only do once..

    Jim R.

    Jim -

    Ah yes, too bad I didn't read this (and the other posts about plugging the holes) before the sazsall made easy work of all of the old pipes! Although having said that, I doubt I would have been able to bribe one of the kids to swim down to the bottom of the pool in 56 degree water to hit the bottom drain!
    33,000 Gallon, IG Plaster
    Taylor 2006 Test Kit
    Pentair Triton II TR100 Sand Filter
    Pentair IntelliFlo Pump
    AutoPilot SWG & Chemical Controller

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    Re: Want to redo filter piping, need advice!

    OK, so I have a break and wanted to update everyone on the progress of our upgrade. Of course nothing ever goes as planned. First, I have never done any type of PVC pipe work or pool plumbing so please keep that in mind as you look at the pictures.

    What started all of this was a leak, a desire to switch to a salt water and automatic chemical system and move to a variable flow pump as opposed to the single speed pump that we had. I also had a leaking slide valve on the filter that needed replacing.

    Once everything was done and primed and turned on, we had a major leak between the lower bulkhead connector on the filter. This was AFTER I replaced 600lbs of sand as part of the process!!

    So after searching the cost to replace the upper and lower bulkhead connectors (or having someone do it), I decided just to replace the entire filter with a new TR100 so I would not have to redo all of my new piping. I can now say that I have been up and running at 3000rpm for four or five hours now and not a single drop of pool water has leaked out of the system. We now have new plumbing, a new pump, a new filter with new sand, a new subpanel, and new Autopilot Chemical and SWG. I still have to run all the water lines for the chemical system and acid tank, run the wiring for the sensors and program the pump, SWG and chemical system.

    There was no GFCI at all in the pool circuit so I installed a new GFI breaker to protect the entire pool circuit at the main panel but I have an issue with it tripping each time I turn on the pool lights, so I have to run that issue to ground as my next project, I have a LOTO on the pool light breaker right now until then.

    The pipes are still exposed, I wanted to let everything run on high power for a few days before burying them, and I also wanted to place sand and bricks under the piping in ground so that there is not undo pressure on the piping.

    I would have liked to replace the slide valve with a tri-valve as was suggested, but I had already purchased the slide valve and done a bunch of the piping before realizing there was another valve I could have gotten!

    So here are some pictures, I will add some additional pictures as I get more and more done.

    I cannot thank everyone enough for all of the great advice and with all of the information here I decided that it was worth trying to do all of this myself!


    So here is what we started with:


    Old Wisperflow single speed pump hard piped into a Triton TR100 sand filter





    Digging out the old pipes and the WAY overdone cement block that held the fence post










    Old piping configuration





    Getting started, making sure everything is level including the new cement pad for the pump....





    More piping done, new subpanel mounted, Chem and SWG controllers mounted...



    Almost done (or so I thought).....

    I put in unions where I though it would be practical and useful. I can disconnect the pump and filter from the rest of the piping
    without having to revert to cutting pipes....




    Stay tuned and I will post more pictures of the project.....
    33,000 Gallon, IG Plaster
    Taylor 2006 Test Kit
    Pentair Triton II TR100 Sand Filter
    Pentair IntelliFlo Pump
    AutoPilot SWG & Chemical Controller

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Want to redo filter piping, need advice!

    Y'all look! Unions! Thinking ahead! Having the kids earn their supper! WOW! He is a keeper! GOOD JOB!

    Did you cry when you saw the leak? I would have!

    HUGS!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Want to redo filter piping, need advice!

    Looking great! You've done a great job so far and I'm sure you've saved quite a bit over having a contractor do the job.

    When burying the pipes after testing, I would certainly use sand or other similar fine screened fill around the pipes and try to eliminate any fill that has large rocks (>1") in the immediate vicinity of the pipes. If you build up the soil below the pipe before adding sand type fill, try to compact it as much as you can before adding sand.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Want to redo filter piping, need advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by JVTrain View Post
    When burying the pipes after testing, I would certainly use sand or other similar fine screened fill around the pipes and try to eliminate any fill that has large rocks (>1") in the immediate vicinity of the pipes. If you build up the soil below the pipe before adding sand type fill, try to compact it as much as you can before adding sand.

    I was planning on putting down sand and bricks (with the pipes siting directly on the bricks) to make sure the pipes are not putting pressure on the above ground piping. Is this a bad idea? Based on your comment that you want to eliminate rocks >1" near the pipes I am now wondering about my idea.


    Thanks
    33,000 Gallon, IG Plaster
    Taylor 2006 Test Kit
    Pentair Triton II TR100 Sand Filter
    Pentair IntelliFlo Pump
    AutoPilot SWG & Chemical Controller

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Want to redo filter piping, need advice!

    You want to avoid rocks, stones, etc around pipes. The pipes move and vibrate a little as water flows through them. Stones in contact with the plastic will erode away the pipe and cause it to fail soon. Same is true for the cheapo 1/2" black irrigation lines, you want to bury them in sand with no stones.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Want to redo filter piping, need advice!

    Sand is best around pipes but I've seen very small pea rock (rounded river rock with most stones being between 1/4" and 3/8") used as well. If you can get a cheap local source of "fill" sand that's usually not screened as much as say a beach sand or bedding sand, that would be good enough for around your pipes.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Want to redo filter piping, need advice!

    Nice plumbing work!!

    I have some ditch digging I need to do in my front yard, can I hire those two young laborers you had do your digging

    My only critique of your plumbing is this (and it's a debatable point) - I would buy a high quality Jandy check valve and put it between your pump and filter. The reason being is that if your equipment is higher than the water line, the water in the filter can potentially back flow into the pool when you shut off the pump. It also helps when you remove the pump lid to clean out the basket and not have all the water in the filter come flooding up and out of the pump. Jandy check valves are the best as they are serviceable when they break down unlike the PVC check valves you see in the hardware store.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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