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Thread: Is my Pump too small? What can I handle?

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    ImmaNewPoolGuy's Avatar
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    Is my Pump too small? What can I handle?

    Hello all,

    I am new pool owner and I am having trouble with the setup of my IG pool/attached spa.

    Symptoms:
    -Skimmers don't skim a thing (the suction is decent if I turn off the main drains but my skimmers are never full)
    -If have both the floor return as well as a spa returns open fully, then the force is not sufficient enough to pop-up the caretaker system returns on the pool floor...I basically cannot run both open, must mostly close spa return
    -Spa jets (4 in total) pressure not great even when floor returns are shutoff

    Question. Is my pump drastically underpowered given the size of the pool? My pool guy is telling me I can/should only upgrade to a 1.5hp pump as there is a 1.5" intake pipe. From what I see (check avatar pic), there are two intakes....a 2" pipe from the main drains and a 1.5" pipe from the skimmers. I would think that would up the GPM that I can feed through a more appropriately sized pump. Also, I run the pump 9/10 hours a day, not sure I am filtering enough water on a daily basis?


    Please share your thoughts/advice
    Pool Dimensions: 22' Wide, 42' Long, 8' Deep, 3.5" Shallow Volume = 37,000 Gal
    Pool plumbing = 2 skimmers & 1 main drain
    Attached Spill Over Spa = 1 main drain, 4 return jets
    Equipment: Pump = Hayward 1hp super pump Heater = Raypack 400,000BTU
    Filter = Sta Rite System 3 cartridge filter (500 sq feet filter area, 130 Gpm Max Flow)

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    triptyx's Avatar
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    Re: Is my Pump too small? What can I handle?

    Does the spa have a spillover into the pool?
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    ImmaNewPoolGuy's Avatar
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    Re: Is my Pump too small? What can I handle?

    Yes it does.
    Pool Dimensions: 22' Wide, 42' Long, 8' Deep, 3.5" Shallow Volume = 37,000 Gal
    Pool plumbing = 2 skimmers & 1 main drain
    Attached Spill Over Spa = 1 main drain, 4 return jets
    Equipment: Pump = Hayward 1hp super pump Heater = Raypack 400,000BTU
    Filter = Sta Rite System 3 cartridge filter (500 sq feet filter area, 130 Gpm Max Flow)

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    Re: Is my Pump too small? What can I handle?

    Alright, I'll share what Robert here at TFP told me when I was trying to figure out my valve settings for normal operation.

    Shut off the spa drain - if something goes wrong with the drains on the main pool, you don't want to drain the spa dry, suck air, and burn up the pump. I only turn on my spa drain (turning off the pool drain and skimmers) when I'm brushing and need some submerged junk to head for the filter.

    Try 80% pool skimmer and 20% main drain.

    Set the returns to around 20% spa, 80% pool. This should be enough to spill water over your spillway (my spillway is small enough this also serves to dump floating debris into the pool where it gets skimmed as well), and will allow the water to "turn over" in the spa to keep the chemicals balanced.

    See if that helps you with your flow issues. Obviously, when you want to use the spa, you turn off the pool skimmer/drain and set 100% spa drain and 100% spa jets, but the above hopefully will work with your current equipment.

    Rereading your post above - you're saying your spa jets are really weak even when all​ returns to the pool are shut off?
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Re: Is my Pump too small? What can I handle?

    What are the spa jets like?

    With that pump you are not going to be able to produce the volume of water necessary for all those uses.

    Someone better than me will come along and help you with that. If not PM Mas985 and he will help you.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    wjr75's Avatar
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    Re: Is my Pump too small? What can I handle?

    I have a 1.5hp on the pool with spa spill over. The main drains in the spa are off unless you are in spa mode. You actually need to flush them once a day which I have programed for 15 minutes at the end of the day. I have two returns in the spa which are in use for the spill over and pumps about 50% of the water to the spa. We actually have a separate 2hp pump that is used for the eight spa jets. Sounds like you may need a little more horse power on the pump .
    Inground 22k gallon gunite 15x31 main pool, 15x7 wading pool/sunning deck, hot tub/with overflow (9' octagon with limestone top) & slide NSWG, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen
    Filter dual cartridge Sta-rite 450sq/ft, TF-100 Test Kit
    Heater Raypak 2100 400k btu cupro-nickel exchanger
    Auto pool cover, Polaris 280 auto pool cleaner, Jandy AqualinkRS8 Remote Control System

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    ImmaNewPoolGuy's Avatar
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    Re: Is my Pump too small? What can I handle?

    The jets are pretty weak...My biggest concern is that my skimmers don't have suction sufficient to draw debris off the top of the pool. The skimmer baskets almost never require emptying as they are almost always clean. This is the case even when I shut off the main drain intake and just leave skimmers open. Will a stronger pump solve this problem? Given I have a 1.5 inch skimmer intake and a 2 inch intake from the main drain....can my system handle 2hp?
    Pool Dimensions: 22' Wide, 42' Long, 8' Deep, 3.5" Shallow Volume = 37,000 Gal
    Pool plumbing = 2 skimmers & 1 main drain
    Attached Spill Over Spa = 1 main drain, 4 return jets
    Equipment: Pump = Hayward 1hp super pump Heater = Raypack 400,000BTU
    Filter = Sta Rite System 3 cartridge filter (500 sq feet filter area, 130 Gpm Max Flow)

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    Re: Is my Pump too small? What can I handle?

    Are the skimmers still weak if you shut off everything but the skimmers themselves?
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    ImmaNewPoolGuy's Avatar
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    Re: Is my Pump too small? What can I handle?

    Yes....Even if everything else is off, skimmers still don't properly skim the pool.
    Pool Dimensions: 22' Wide, 42' Long, 8' Deep, 3.5" Shallow Volume = 37,000 Gal
    Pool plumbing = 2 skimmers & 1 main drain
    Attached Spill Over Spa = 1 main drain, 4 return jets
    Equipment: Pump = Hayward 1hp super pump Heater = Raypack 400,000BTU
    Filter = Sta Rite System 3 cartridge filter (500 sq feet filter area, 130 Gpm Max Flow)

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