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Thread: what to look for at equipment pad from PB

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    what to look for at equipment pad from PB

    wasn't sure if this belonged here or in the under construction forum. at any rate, before we sign our contract with the PB is there anything we should stipulate at the equipment pad? I'm thinking in terms of minimum PVC lengths between various components, valves, any nice-to-have PVC couplings, etc.. to make maintenance easier down the road? To get an idea, we're looking at going with a Pentair system (IntelliFlo 3HP VSP, CCP520 filter, the IC40+EasyControl for SWG and automation) and a suction side cleaner (Baracuda MX8).

    We are planning on having a dedicated vacuum return line (valved separately) based on some suggestions here and was going to dedicate 2 of the returns for those DIY aeration/PVC things we've seen here as well. I assume we'd want those valved separately as well? Not planning on any water features, though we may add some scuppers if the budget allows. I suppose we'd want that valved separately as well. No attached spa as we're going with a standlalone hot tub.

    appreciate any thoughts, suggestions, wish-we-had-done-this experiences, etc.. before we sign the contract so we can get this stuff in writing.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: what to look for at equipment pad from PB

    I have heard and it makes sense to use these: Neverlube Valves

    MUCH better than the red handle ones that can and will break over time.

    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 Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: what to look for at equipment pad from PB

    They will try to put about 1/4 inch of PVC between where the plumbing comes out of the ground and any piece of equipment. I suggest you tell them you want a minimum of 18" between any valve and any piece of equipment. Not so much because the equipment needs it to run, but just in case you want to change or modify something in the future. Just look at some of the pictures of equipment pads on this site for how it can be done wrong.

    I recommend that you get one of your skimmers plumbed to the pad where you can add a valve controlled by your EasyTouch which can be used to fill the pool without having to run a hose across the deck. You'd also need to have water at the pad.

    Unless you have an overflow you will have no way to drain the pool. Recommend you have a drain installed. A lot of builder just add a standard faucet right in the pressure side of the pumps plumbing. Cost nothing.

    Oh!, most importantly make sure they install your pump with couplings. Your SWG and Filter come with them, but your pump does not.

    Ask what kind of pad you will have. I did not, and ended up with a little thin, factory-made POS.. If I had known, I would have had them pour a much bigger and thicker pad.

    And, if you have not asked for it yet, please get the Screen Logic 2 package. Do it now, and you can thank me later.

    As Kim recommends.. no ball valves only Never-lube style valves.


    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: what to look for at equipment pad from PB

    Get a light installed over pad!
    Additional 120v outlets if you want to run other items in future.
    8500 gallon IG Pebble Sheen with Spa. 3hp Pentair VS Intelliflo ( pool ), 3/4 hp WhisperFlo ( water feature ),Pentair Racer, 400K Pentair heater, Pentair 500sqft Cartridge filter, EasyTouch 8, Stenner 45mp2 15gallon wired to ET8

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: what to look for at equipment pad from PB

    I forgot about the pad light, good catch. My pool builder installed a pad light and said it was code to have it. He wired it up as part of the EasyTouch, which is a great idea in the daylight, not such a great idea at night. To turn the light on I had to carry a flashlight with me.. Now, of course, with Screen Logic 2 I can turn it off and on from my PC..

    I did think of one more thing. The Easytouch is a Circuit Breaker Panel that can be supplied with 125 Amp service (in that range anyway). I "assumed" it would be wired for at least 100 amps. They wired it for the 30 Amps.. I don't need more than 30 today, so it is not a big deal, but if I had to do it again I'd have gotten them to wire if for the max limit so that I could install a stand alone hot tub or what ever, in the future.

    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: what to look for at equipment pad from PB

    When it comes to plumbing it seems most pool builders and pool newbies think the more compact the better, what I see when I look at 90%+ of the equipment pads in build threads is a plumbing setup that would require taking a jack hammer to the entire thing if when the time comes to replace just about any piece of equipment.

    As to how to do it right that 18 inch rule mentioned above is a good idea, also there should be enough stub below any valve or fitting to cut out and replace the fitting if needed. Some people feel lots of PVC unions are best, and I do tend to agree with that school of thought, but there is another one that I also value that says each union is a potential failure point. If you do get PVC unions installed require them to provide you with some spares in case you have a problem down the road and can't find the same brand they used. Also that 18 inch rule should apply to concrete and any other valve on a manifold (although here you may want to allow 9-12 inch spaces for practicality.

    Overall look at the layout and ask yourself 2 or 3 questions that NEVER seem to occur to pool builders.

    1, Look at each component and ask when it fails how much else do I have to cut out and replace with it, because it is not if it fails, it is when.

    2, Look at each component and ask yourself if another, if you have to replace this (pump, filter, heater, etc.) is there room for a different model to fit. For example is the plumbing spaced so that there is no room between the wall and the plumbing for a longer pump, or bigger filter to fit?

    3, is there room to install future upgrades (SWG, heater / heatpump, automation, etc.), this comes back to the, is the electrical service big enough topic.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: what to look for at equipment pad from PB

    Surge protection on the pool sub panel. The Intelliflo pump is sensitive to power surges.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: what to look for at equipment pad from PB

    What size is the proposed pool.....it matters.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: what to look for at equipment pad from PB

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimrahbe View Post
    They will try to put about 1/4 inch of PVC between where the plumbing comes out of the ground and any piece of equipment. I suggest you tell them you want a minimum of 18" between any valve and any piece of equipment. Not so much because the equipment needs it to run, but just in case you want to change or modify something in the future. Just look at some of the pictures of equipment pads on this site for how it can be done wrong.

    I recommend that you get one of your skimmers plumbed to the pad where you can add a valve controlled by your EasyTouch which can be used to fill the pool without having to run a hose across the deck. You'd also need to have water at the pad.

    Unless you have an overflow you will have no way to drain the pool. Recommend you have a drain installed. A lot of builder just add a standard faucet right in the pressure side of the pumps plumbing. Cost nothing.

    Oh!, most importantly make sure they install your pump with couplings. Your SWG and Filter come with them, but your pump does not.

    Ask what kind of pad you will have. I did not, and ended up with a little thin, factory-made POS.. If I had known, I would have had them pour a much bigger and thicker pad.

    And, if you have not asked for it yet, please get the Screen Logic 2 package. Do it now, and you can thank me later.

    As Kim recommends.. no ball valves only Never-lube style valves.


    Jim R.
    good info so far. we're going to have a overflow and an auto-fill so I'm guessing that negates the need to have the skimmer/water plumbed to the pad if we ever need to fill it.

    The PB recently did a build here in the neighborhood so I'm going to go check out what they got at their pad.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    What size is the proposed pool.....it matters.
    we're doing a 93 lf perimeter play pool.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: what to look for at equipment pad from PB

    Quote Originally Posted by darin.brown View Post
    good info so far. we're going to have a overflow and an auto-fill so I'm guessing that negates the need to have the skimmer/water plumbed to the pad if we ever need to fill it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    we're doing a 93 lf perimeter play pool.
    I would say no, it does not negate the need for either water at the pad or a way to drain the pool at the pad. With a cartridge filter you are going to need to clean it, mostly by spraying with fresh water. Is there a hose bib close by? Would it be convenient to get the area where the hose bib is located wet and yucky at times?

    There are times you are going to need to partially drain the pool. You really can't use an overflow to do that, so you want some ability on the pressure side of the plumbing to pump water out of the pool.

    Now, with that being said you also want all plumbing to/from the pool to be home run. If you have a main drain and two skimmers all three should have pipes running all the way back to the pad with valves on each so you can turn off each in different circumstances. Lets go back to a partial drain. If all the suction side pipes are connected a the pool as soon as the water level drops below the skimmer(s) you loose the ability to drain any further. Many pool builders tie them all together for simplicity. Main drain ties to skimmer #1, skimmer #1 ties to skimmer #2 and only skimmer #2 has a pipe running back to the pad.

    On the return side you want the pipes divided up as much as reasonably possible.

    From you r question I think you get the idea, but every pipe to the pool should have a valve, I can't stress this enough. No valve means you have no way of isolating an individual pipe if there is ever an issue.

    Others have already pointed out, make sure they spread the equipment out and give you pipe space between fittings to be able to cut and add things in the future.

    Any idea how many gallons? 93 linear feet is really not quite descriptive enough to figure a volume.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: what to look for at equipment pad from PB

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    I would say no, it does not negate the need for either water at the pad or a way to drain the pool at the pad. With a cartridge filter you are going to need to clean it, mostly by spraying with fresh water. Is there a hose bib close by? Would it be convenient to get the area where the hose bib is located wet and yucky at times?

    There are times you are going to need to partially drain the pool. You really can't use an overflow to do that, so you want some ability on the pressure side of the plumbing to pump water out of the pool.

    Now, with that being said you also want all plumbing to/from the pool to be home run. If you have a main drain and two skimmers all three should have pipes running all the way back to the pad with valves on each so you can turn off each in different circumstances. Lets go back to a partial drain. If all the suction side pipes are connected a the pool as soon as the water level drops below the skimmer(s) you loose the ability to drain any further. Many pool builders tie them all together for simplicity. Main drain ties to skimmer #1, skimmer #1 ties to skimmer #2 and only skimmer #2 has a pipe running back to the pad.

    On the return side you want the pipes divided up as much as reasonably possible.

    From you r question I think you get the idea, but every pipe to the pool should have a valve, I can't stress this enough. No valve means you have no way of isolating an individual pipe if there is ever an issue.

    Others have already pointed out, make sure they spread the equipment out and give you pipe space between fittings to be able to cut and add things in the future.

    Any idea how many gallons? 93 linear feet is really not quite descriptive enough to figure a volume.
    we'll have a hose bib nearby to the pad (it's actually between the pad and the pool along the side of the house).

    I'll double check with the PB to make sure all the plumbing is a home run back to the pad.

    we're around 17k gallons.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: what to look for at equipment pad from PB

    Quote Originally Posted by darin.brown View Post
    we'll have a hose bib nearby to the pad (it's actually between the pad and the pool along the side of the house).

    I'll double check with the PB to make sure all the plumbing is a home run back to the pad.

    we're around 17k gallons.
    I have a feeling your pool builder won't like us before this is all over
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: what to look for at equipment pad from PB

    swung by and looked at the equipment pad at a neighbor's house who recently had a pool put in by the PB. didn't come with a flood light (though they'll wire one for $250) but the skimmers/drains are all independently plumbed back to the pad, they had a dedicated 1-1/2" line plumbed back for manually vacuuming, etc.., the pump had PVC couplings, and he had used the Jandy NeverLube valves.. seems like a good, out-of-the-box, standard install they provide.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: what to look for at equipment pad from PB

    Quote Originally Posted by darin.brown View Post
    swung by and looked at the equipment pad at a neighbor's house who recently had a pool put in by the PB. didn't come with a flood light (though they'll wire one for $250) but the skimmers/drains are all independently plumbed back to the pad, they had a dedicated 1-1/2" line plumbed back for manually vacuuming, etc.., the pump had PVC couplings, and he had used the Jandy NeverLube valves.. seems like a good, out-of-the-box, standard install they provide.
    That is nice to hear. Looks like you found a good one!
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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