Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Guide for best practices for plumbing a pool? Guide to what NOT to do?

  1. Back To Top    #1
    MitchRyan912's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    314

    Guide for best practices for plumbing a pool? Guide to what NOT to do?

    Is there any sort of guide, FAQ, or best practices for how to plumb a pool? Can we get a sticky going for how to plumb a pool properly, and with the fewest bends, and (especially) what sort of plumbing techniques should be avoided?

    Last year I had to redo some plumbing in a way that I didn't realize would cause the pump's suction line to have a "p-trap" in the line (it wasn't intentional, but the way I had piped my 3-way valves boxed me in such that had to do it that way.) It worked, but the pump never fully primed... oops.

    This year, we are redoing all the pipe work from the pool wall & skimmer to the pad in a new location (PB will take over at the pad, connecting these pipes to the equipment they're installing), and feel good about the actual gluing & fitting pipe together, but want to make sure we're not doing anything that will restrict or prevent flow.

    I'm googling images and looking at lots of builds on here that seem to have lots of 90's and tee's, and am not sure if we should mimic that kind of work or if we should be avoiding that at all costs? Specifically, 90's straight down from the steel wall connections to another 90 that points toward the pad. The way we have to excavate a trench means we are having to dig it about 3' away from the pool, so I'm thinking that a 45 down and away from the pool to the trench and then a 90 pointing toward the pad would work. Alternatively, we could come straight out from the pool wall, 90 down then 90 toward the pad. However, that adds a bit more resistance in the pipe work with that extra 90.

    Anyway, if there are some other threads on here or some guides to best (& worst) practices that I just haven't found yet, I'd appreciate seeing them. I'm sure that others could use this in a sticky, as I probably won't be the last person having these types of questions.

    Thanks!
    2016 total pool rebuild thread: here. Pool: 26,000 gal IG vinyl liner (20'x40') in Madison, WI. Gear: ​Superflo VS, Triton TR-60 filter, 2" hi-flow MPV, & Raypak 266A heater. Testing: Taylor K-2006C. Manual chems: 12.5% NaClO liquid, granular CYA, baking soda, 31.25% muriatic acid.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    145

    Re: Guide for best practices for plumbing a pool? Guide to what NOT to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by MitchRyan912 View Post

    I'm googling images and looking at lots of builds on here that seem to have lots of 90's and tee's, and am not sure if we should mimic that kind of work or if we should be avoiding that at all costs?
    Don't mimic what you see pool builders have done. They just sub it out to people who could care less about your electric bill or head loss.

    I'm no expert but I've been studying this thread:

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...lost-your-head

    And it seems very few plumbed pools are designed with efficiency in mind.

  3. Back To Top    #3
    MitchRyan912's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    314

    Re: Guide for best practices for plumbing a pool? Guide to what NOT to do?

    One "best practice" I saw as a recommendation was to have X amount of straight pipe coming into the pump inlet, based on the diameter of the pipe you're using. APSP-15 says 4x the pipe diameter as a minimum, while I saw something in a Pentair manual that recommended 5x.

    I'm not sure how good an idea this is, but our current plumbing setup is such that there is a constant downhill gradient in the in-wall plumbing, such that blowing air in the two lines will completely (and easily) clear any water from them. This sounds like a good idea, but the pipe is only 18-22" below ground at the pool, and less than 6" below at our former pad location. This might explain why there's a patch near the wall on every pipe, where water might be accumulating and expanding, causing cracks.
    2016 total pool rebuild thread: here. Pool: 26,000 gal IG vinyl liner (20'x40') in Madison, WI. Gear: ​Superflo VS, Triton TR-60 filter, 2" hi-flow MPV, & Raypak 266A heater. Testing: Taylor K-2006C. Manual chems: 12.5% NaClO liquid, granular CYA, baking soda, 31.25% muriatic acid.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    2,769

    Re: Guide for best practices for plumbing a pool? Guide to what NOT to do?

    In modern pool pumps the straight in distance prior to the pump is meaningless because of the leaf basket.

    The same is basically true with twists and turns in the pool plumbing system. Using wide turns and avoiding 90s is great but in the long run on a normal pool installation the overall effect is negligible. One's time is much better spent making sure the pipe is correctly routed and supported, is below the frost depth, is in trenches without rocks and the joints are properly glued. The vast majority of pool builders do this very well. Most of the problems come from weekend warriors or unqualified handymen. If we can all resolve to fix problems the right way rather than grabbing the first thing off the shelf at HDn that we think will make the problem go away for cheap and get our spouse speaking to us again we will have made a great deal of progress.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

  5. Back To Top    #5
    MitchRyan912's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    314

    Re: Guide for best practices for plumbing a pool? Guide to what NOT to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by gwegan View Post
    Most of the problems come from weekend warriors or unqualified handymen. If we can all resolve to fix problems the right way rather than grabbing the first thing off the shelf at HDn that we think will make the problem go away for cheap and get our spouse speaking to us again we will have made a great deal of progress.
    I have only been able to get ONE solid quote on getting any work done for moving our pad, and that PB wants to use poly pipe. I've had two others come out to look, both haven't gotten back to us, and one isn't one I really wanted a quote from anyway (he says "1.5" poly pipe is fine, throw a 1.5 hp Max-E-Pro in and run it 24/7," so I wouldn't use him if his work was for free.)

    The point is that while reputable PB's might be found on every corner in Cali and Florida, they're a little bit harder to come by in the frozen tundra. The comments I've heard from PB's up here doesn't exactly inspire much confidence that they'd do any better than a weekend warrior would. Armed with the right knowledge, I think it's possible for a non-pro to do just as good a job as a veteran (even if it might take longer).
    2016 total pool rebuild thread: here. Pool: 26,000 gal IG vinyl liner (20'x40') in Madison, WI. Gear: ​Superflo VS, Triton TR-60 filter, 2" hi-flow MPV, & Raypak 266A heater. Testing: Taylor K-2006C. Manual chems: 12.5% NaClO liquid, granular CYA, baking soda, 31.25% muriatic acid.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Long Island City, NY
    Posts
    70

    Re: Guide for best practices for plumbing a pool? Guide to what NOT to do?

    Fitting PVC pipe requires a few details that are usually ignored. If you take these steps you will greatly minimize leaks:
    1) Cut pipe square, an electric miter saw is best for 2-3" pipe, 1" pipe use a ratcheting pipe cutter
    2) Chamfer outside edge of cut and deburr inside edge. Rigid sells a tool that does both operations (1 at a time).
    3) Make sure all joint surface are clean and dry.
    4) Use a brush, not the dauber that comes in the can, to apply primer and glue. Primer (acetone) is critical because it cleans oils from the surface and softens the pipe.
    5) Use a heavy bodied glue instead of the hot glue (christy's blue). Oatley calls their heavy body "grey." This glue will also take longer to set giving you more time to adjust fitment.
    6) Apply the right amount of glue. Glue should cause the pipe surface to "melt" and fuse to the fitting surface. Not enough glue will create a leaking joint, too much glue will cause obstructions. Bench top practice is the only way to get this step right.
    7) Dry fit your joints to verify alignment, length, etc... When you are satisfied then prime and glue both joint surfaces.
    8) Insert the pipe into fitting until the pipe bottoms out. Then twist pipe 1/4 turn. Hold the pipe in place for a few minutes while joint sets. Often the pipe will back out of a fitting while a joint is setting.
    9) It is a good idea to place a reference mark on the pipe during the dry fit stage to make sure pipe bottoms out when gluing.
    10) Pressure test before backfill. Water is recommended because PVC can shatter due to air pressure.
    11) If you find a leak replace entire fitting. Water or dirt from testing will inevitably lead to additional failures.

  7. Back To Top    #7


    TFP Guide

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Quaker Hill, CT
    Posts
    1,246

    Re: Guide for best practices for plumbing a pool? Guide to what NOT to do?

    Vermaraj is right on with the proper way to make a glue joint in PVC. He forgot to mention that using too much glue can be just as bad or worse than not enough glue because the excess glue actually eats into the pipe leaving a weak spot.

    The reason to use water to test is because compressed air leaving the compressor can get hot enough to weaken the pvc and cause it to burst. Properly glued sch40 pvc pipe is rated for 330psi for 1.5" pipe and 280psi for 2" pipe.
    Chuck-
    15x30 Above ground, Pentair Superflo VS, 19" sand filter, TF-100 test kit
    Aqua Comfort ACT750 heat pump / 6x20 ground mount solar panel / DIY automation

    Photos of 2016 Build, Inside Your Breaker Panel, Free Copy of 2017 NEC code
    TFP is funded by member support click here to help

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    2,769

    Re: Guide for best practices for plumbing a pool? Guide to what NOT to do?

    But code only requires pool pie to be tested to 65 psi. Use Water and it should hold overnight.

    Up there in the great white north poly may have advantages over pvc
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

  9. Back To Top    #9
    MitchRyan912's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    314

    Re: Guide for best practices for plumbing a pool? Guide to what NOT to do?

    It doesn't look like we are going to be doing the actual pipe laying or connections, but this thread should still be a useful one (IMHO) for those wanting to make sure their pool is installed properly. If I could go back, I'd re-title this thread "Guide for best practices for you/PB to follow when plumbing a pool."

    On the pressure testing question, what should we expect of the PB for testing their poly pipe before we backfill (we are doing the trenching ourselves for the new piping, so we have to backfill ourselves as well)?

    PB wants to install a pair of "true union valves" and charge $80 each for the part. If someone, say one of my 4 kids, got back there and turned them both off, that would dead head the pump. This is a no go, but PB didn't recommend using 3-way valves, as "true union valves are easier to replace if they go bad." I can't say I buy this sales pitch.

    - - - Updated - - -

    All good stuff, and things I'd done before, but this was new to me:
    Quote Originally Posted by vermaraj View Post
    4) Use a brush, not the dauber that comes in the can, to apply primer and glue. Primer (acetone) is critical because it cleans oils from the surface and softens the pipe.
    Why not use the dauber on the cap of the can? Obviously I've always used primer first, but also used the daubers in each of the two cans.
    Last edited by MitchRyan912; 05-18-2016 at 10:43 AM. Reason: Edited to remove something extraneous.
    2016 total pool rebuild thread: here. Pool: 26,000 gal IG vinyl liner (20'x40') in Madison, WI. Gear: ​Superflo VS, Triton TR-60 filter, 2" hi-flow MPV, & Raypak 266A heater. Testing: Taylor K-2006C. Manual chems: 12.5% NaClO liquid, granular CYA, baking soda, 31.25% muriatic acid.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •