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Thread: 3" Pluming Suction Line Good or Overkill?

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    agent86's Avatar
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    3" Pluming Suction Line Good or Overkill?

    Greetings...

    First off let me say that is seemed easier building a custom house than it is meeting with all the pool builders with their various experience/opinions....

    Question...currently looking at the following configuration for our pool:

    Approximately 25k gallon salt water pool
    38' x 18' free form kidney shaped variation
    ~110' perimeter

    Most pool builders are quoting anything from 2", to 2.5" PVC piping with a 2.5HP pump...

    One builder (small builder, but could really tell he ran the numbers and provided pretty extensive calculation breakout) is using 3" piping (suction?) with no 90 degree elbows, all with a 1HP hayward tristar pump....

    Anyone shed any light on the advantages/disadvantages with the 3" vs 2" / 2.5"?

    I should have mentioned in the beginning besides the approximately dimensions/capacity of the pool...it also has an ~20' infinity edge....and besides the 1hp pump for the main pool, and a dedicated 3hp pump for the infinity edge catch basin...

    Guessing the pump would be 30ft from the pool...

    Know there's lot of other factors but wanted to get a general sense of the better way to go...

    Thanks
    Pool: 24k, 38' x 19' x 24' Free-form IG Gunite with 24' Infinity Edge and Cantilever coping, SGM Diamond Brite Super Blue Plaster,
    Filter: Hayward C5025 Swim Clear Cartridge Pool Filter - 525 Square Feet
    Main Pool Pump: Hayward TriStar Energy Efficient Pool Pump 1HP - (SP3210EE), Hayward Pool Cleaner Booster Pump - 6060
    Infinity Edge Catch Basin Pump: Hayward TriStar Energy Efficient Pool Pump 3HP - (SP3230EE)
    Automation: Aqua Plus 40K Gallon Chlorination and Control - PL-PLUS (SWG)

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    Re: 3" Pluming Suction Line Good or Overkill?

    I would forgo the infinity edge and get the SWG. The combination is going to make pH control difficult and the SWG is definitely the way to go.
    Pump and plumbing is not enough info. Need to know the filters selected also. Matching the pump to the filter is probably the most important because, unless you have a VERY unsual builld, they all end up in the neighborhood 60 ft of head, give or take. Also are you planning any water features such as jets or fountains or possibly adding a spa on a shared system. These all will affect the size of pump needed.

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    agent86's Avatar
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    Re: 3" Pluming Suction Line Good or Overkill?

    Thought about not having an infinity edge but we have an approximate 4' drop...the infinity edge seemed the aesthetically pleasing, and then am planning on have another deck in front of the infinity edge basin area...so basically a two tiered deck with stairs on each side...
    Pool: 24k, 38' x 19' x 24' Free-form IG Gunite with 24' Infinity Edge and Cantilever coping, SGM Diamond Brite Super Blue Plaster,
    Filter: Hayward C5025 Swim Clear Cartridge Pool Filter - 525 Square Feet
    Main Pool Pump: Hayward TriStar Energy Efficient Pool Pump 1HP - (SP3210EE), Hayward Pool Cleaner Booster Pump - 6060
    Infinity Edge Catch Basin Pump: Hayward TriStar Energy Efficient Pool Pump 3HP - (SP3230EE)
    Automation: Aqua Plus 40K Gallon Chlorination and Control - PL-PLUS (SWG)

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    Re: 3" Pluming Suction Line Good or Overkill?

    It will become a pH control problem. It's rather complicated so I will not get into the chemistry here but you would be better off with some other type of water feature that does not introduce so much aeration or perhaps consider putting a small spa there.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: 3" Pluming Suction Line Good or Overkill?

    As a general rule, if all the pump is doing is circulation, you want a smaller pump rather than a larger pump. Larger pumps draw more electricity, which isn't really worth it unless there is some reason that you need a high flow rate. Filtering doesn't normally need a very high flow rate, unless the pool is huge. The infinite edge, on the other hand, does require a high flow rate to look correct.

    As a general rule, larger pipes are more efficient. Larger pipes cost more, but not usually very much more. So, most of the time larger pipes are good. I would expect to see fairly large pipes on the infinite edge plumbing, and slightly smaller pipes on the pool circulation plumbing. 3" plumbing on the infinite edge makes a lot of sense. 3" plumbing running to a 1 HP circulation pump is unusual.

    An infinite edge can look really really wonderful. But do keep in mind that the electricity to run it will be significant and it does pose a significant challenge for maintaining your pool chemistry. The constant aeration from the infinite edge waterfall will be constantly raising the PH, which you will need to keep under control by constantly adding acid. One way to manage this is to get an automatic acid feed system to add the acid for you, but even then there will be some extra work because of the infinite edge.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    agent86's Avatar
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    Re: 3" Pluming Suction Line Good or Overkill?

    Thanks for all the information. It's obvious that I'll be visiting this site daily as the wealth of information/knowledge is HUGE. We plan to start this week so I'll be taking pictures pretty much during each phase and would appreciate feedback....

    Thanks again.
    Pool: 24k, 38' x 19' x 24' Free-form IG Gunite with 24' Infinity Edge and Cantilever coping, SGM Diamond Brite Super Blue Plaster,
    Filter: Hayward C5025 Swim Clear Cartridge Pool Filter - 525 Square Feet
    Main Pool Pump: Hayward TriStar Energy Efficient Pool Pump 1HP - (SP3210EE), Hayward Pool Cleaner Booster Pump - 6060
    Infinity Edge Catch Basin Pump: Hayward TriStar Energy Efficient Pool Pump 3HP - (SP3230EE)
    Automation: Aqua Plus 40K Gallon Chlorination and Control - PL-PLUS (SWG)

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    Re: 3" Pluming Suction Line Good or Overkill?

    Most builders are going the rout of smaller pumps with larger plumbing 3" however seems to be a little overkill. However a 1 HP or 1 1/2 HP pump should be plenty to turn you pool over (depending on filter, # of jets, and other water features).

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