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Thread: Water feature pump sizing

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    Join Date
    Sep 2016

    Water feature pump sizing

    Let me start off with a disclaimer, I know nothing about pools, just trying to learn.


    What would you recommend for pumping the following pool with multiple water features.
    We will assume the spa has it's own pump to simplify things and all features need to be able to run at the same time along with the pool circulation.

    Pool size - 18,000 gallons
    Water features - 36" wide waterfall, 2-laminar jets, 2-tanning deck bubblers, 2 column scuppers at 5' above pool

    From the research I have done so far here are the GPM requirements for each feature.
    CMP LED Waterfall 36" - 36 GPM
    Jandy laminar jet - 8 GPM each = 16 GPM
    CMP LED Bubblers - 15 GPM each = 30 GPM
    Bobe Fire 1 1/2" Cannon Scupper - 10 GPM each = 20 GPM
    Total = 102 GPM

    For the pool I am assuming 60' of head, 8 hr turnover = 38 GPM min.

    Am I going about this correctly and would need a pump that puts out 140 GPM to run everything at once? Maybe a Pentair Intelliflo Variable Speed High Performance pump which can produce 140 GPM at 60' of head.

    If the pool circulation was scheduled to run at a time when the water features would not be in use than couldn't a smaller pump rated at min of 102 GPM be used?

    Would putting the water features on their own pump be wise?

    I'm assuming that the drains and return ports would need to equal or exceed the maximum flow rate?

    The Pentair Intelliflo Variable Speed High Performance pump has an inlet and outlet of 2", 2" pipe has a max flow rate of around 90-100 GPM. The pump can produce 140 GPM, the pipe can only flow 90 GPM, would you put an increaser right after the pump and increase to 3" than manifold off to each feature or use a 2" wye and come off with 2 - 2" lines?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Pleasanton, CA

    Re: Water feature pump sizing

    Am I going about this correctly and would need a pump that puts out 140 GPM to run everything at once?
    You will get circulation with all the water features so you really don't need to add anything on top of that. Also, you will never be able to get 60' of head at 140 GPM. That is like 3" pipe without any equipment. Also, that is close to run out so the pump would probably be in cavitation.

    The Intelliflo can do about 100 GPM with 2" plumbing and a cartridge filter. That is a little more realistic.

    You might want to go with feature pumps so they can be run independently or in groups.

    Also, turnover doesn't matter: Pool School - Determine Pump Run Time
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3

    TFP Guide

    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    tucson, arizona

    Re: Water feature pump sizing, You would be better of controlling all these features with another pump. Also using valves on everything so you can find tune. The advantage of a variable is you can control the flow by adjusting speeds

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