# Thread: Return pipes and fittings

1. ## Return pipes and fittings

I am in the process of replumbing my pool and had a question as to the size of the return pipes.

Basically what was there before that didn't work. When the system first came on a tiny bit of water would come out of all of the returns but then the water would only flow out of the deep end:

1. From the heater there was a 2" pipe which ran to the first return (in the deep end under the diving board) connected to a T that sent water to the pool through a 1' pipe and sent water to the other returns through a 1 1/2" pipe.

2. 1 1/2" pipe was connected to a T that sent water to the pool (in the middle of the pool) through a 1" pipe to the pool and to the last return through a 1" pipe.

3. The last return in the shallow end of the pool was a 1" pipe connected to a 90 degree elbow which went to the pool.

I have decided to only use the deep end and shallow end returns, because the middle one goes right under my slide and I didn't want to cut the deck there. Also I have bought the following items and plan to use them. http://www.thecirculator.com/index.html (I would also appreciate any comments on these items as well, whether you have used them or not.)

So my dilemma is how to achieve maximum pressure at both returns. Logic tells me that if I use 2β to the first return and then split it with a T and reducers to 1β to the pool and 1β to the other return, then I should have equal distribution. If this is true then what would be the normal setup for 3 returns?

So my main question is what size pipe to use for the return lines?

If nothing else, this project has taught me that experience is much more valuable than logic, please help.

2. ## Re: Return pipes and fittings

I would keep all the returns at 1 1/2"
then to alternate how much water is flowing out of each return install valves near the filtering system.

3. ## Re: Return pipes and fittings

The larger the pipe you can use, the lower the head loss will be and the higher the flow rates will be. However, ideally, you would like to increase the pipe for both the suction and return lines. Having large pipe on just 1/2 of the plumbing has limited benefit. So if you can, change as much of the pipe to 2" as possible or practical then step down where you need to.

4. ## Re: Return pipes and fittings

I agree with the others about keeping it big all the way. I'd also run each line back to the equipment pad and valve each one to a manifold. That way you can valve each one to achieve the flow to each return individually.

By the way, it takes four 1" pipes to equal the volume of a 2" pipe.

5. ## Re: Return pipes and fittings

My PB ran a 2" line from the pump to the first return, from there a T splits off to a 1 1/2" goes under the pool and to the second return on the other side. During the build concerned that 2 returns was not enough, seeing that some folks have 4 or more, but the circulation is very good in the pool. The return that joins to the 2" pipe the stream is very strong, the other is good as well, but not as hard. Both returns are toward the center of the pool, one points deep, the other shallow, skimmers at both ends and a main drain. I'm happy with the setup.

There are 2" pipes from the skimmers and drain, all return to the pump. There's also a 1 1/2" from the Polaris pump to the pool.

6. ## Re: Return pipes and fittings

Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
By the way, it takes four 1" pipes to equal the volume of a 2" pipe.
While that may be true for volume or cross-sectional area, it actually takes 6-1" lines to equal the same head loss as a single 2" line.

7. ## Re: Return pipes and fittings

I would take the extra time and material and make dedicated runs to each return and skimmer. It will pay off in the future if you have pipe trouble. The other way if you have trouble with that 2" pipe you will lose all your returns and not have a fuctional pool.

8. ## Re: Return pipes and fittings

Originally Posted by NYCPOOL
I would take the extra time and material and make dedicated runs to each return and skimmer. It will pay off in the future if you have pipe trouble. The other way if you have trouble with that 2" pipe you will lose all your returns and not have a fuctional pool.
This is exactly what happened ti get me into the mess I'm in now. This is what I was going to do but every contractor I brought out said that they would just run one line.

I really appreciate all of the input. I have tried 2 or 3 other forums before finding this one and they just didn't have enough people on them to answer questions.

I originally hired a contractor install a salt chlorinator and automation system as well as replace my skimmer and redo the plumbing since these are the only things I haven't replaced since moving into this house 3 years ago. After taking the 50% deposit and spending 2 days digging some trenches, the guy just disappeared. I then brought a couple of other contractors out but I just didn't have enough money left for them. So I researched and decided to finish the job myself.

At this point I have finished removing the old skimmer and dug the trenches for the plumbing. I figured I would just replace the pipes that were there with the same size but as I dug them up it didn't make sense not to improve on the plumbing setup.

I am ready to start installing the new plumbing so I will take some pictures and post my plan tomorrow; and would really appreciate the input.

Thanks

9. ## Re: Return pipes and fittings

Every contractor wants to run just one pipe, because they dont care what happens after 6 months to 1 year. Take your time and make dedicated runs. Remember to use pvc PRESSURE fittings not DRAIN fittings.

10. ## Re: Return pipes and fittings

My in-laws lived in this house for 11 years without every using the pool or equipment. They had a pool man come every week to manage the water chem. Since buying the house 3 years ago I have had to replace the spa jet pump, the main pump, the heater, first all of the filter cartridges and then the whole filter itself, the lights in both the pool and spa. And after all of that I started losing a lot of water; so I had a leak detection company come out and tell me that my main drain and skimmer were leaking. I plugged and sealed the main drain and that seemed to help for a year but then I started losing a lot of water when the system was on. After doing all of the tests I isolated the majority of the water loss was occurring in my return line, however I was also loosing water through the skimmer as well.

I figured that by replacing the skimmer and subsequent suction lines, along with the return line plumbing everything would be brand new.

According to the contractors who have been here, between the skimmer, an automatic cleaner, one return line in the deep end and one in the shallow end I should have adequate circulation.

So here is the plan: (See attached pics )

Suction

1. I am going to connect my Hayward Navigator to either a cap that goes on the top of the skimmer or better yet, there is a 1β line that was supposed to be used for a pressure side washer that hasnβt been used in at least 15 years. This line will meet my skimmer line near the equipment with a PVC T underground.
Q: Is there a way to test the line while the pool is drained?

2. From my new Sta-Rite U-3 SKMR 2β SLP , the pool suction lines will be 2β (about a 20β run) to equipment.
Q: Is it possible to use Flexible PVC at 1 ΒΌβ and insert it into my main drain line which is 1 Β½β?

At Equipment
3. I know that any turns I need to make in my pipes, I should make as rounded as possible. For example where I need to make a 90 degree angle, I will use 2 45-degree joints instead.
Q: Should this same idea be applied to where the pipe comes above ground and connects to the equipment?

From the T I will run 2" PVC to a Jandy 3-way Valve, which will be controlled by a Jandy JVA2440 Valve Actuator, where it meets the spa suction.
4. Then to my Flotec 1.5 HP pump
5. Then to my Pentair D.E. Filter FNSP 48
6. Then through a Jandy Inline Check Valve 2β β 2.5β
7. Then to my Pentair Master Temp 400 heater
8. Then to my Goldline Aqua Collection Turbo Cell T-15 Automatic Chlorinator and Flow Switch.
9. Finally back through another Jandy 3-way Valve, which will be controlled by a Jandy JVA2440 Valve Actuator which will split the pool and spa return lines
10. Then the pool return will split again with a Jandy 3-way Valve which will separate the 2 pool return lines. The first will be a 2β X 25β run to the deep end return; and the second will be a 2β X (40β then 45-degree angle joint, 4β and another 45-degree joint, then 30β) to shallow end return. Then a 2β 90-degree elbow with a 2β to 1β reducer and a 1β pipe to the pool.
Inside the pool I will replace the eye ball nozzles with the Circulator. ( http://www.thecirculator.com )
Q: Has anyone ever seen these in action?

I was planning on having someone come in to finish the skimmer install because I want someone who is experienced to make sure it is properly sealed to the pool. (See pic below ) I assume that most of the labor associated with replacing a skimmer stems from the removal.
Q. How much should it cost to install the new skimmer, since the old one has been removed?

The whole System will be controlled by a Goldline Prologic PS-8 and wireless remote? I will install and mount the panel but I was thinking to call someone out to actually connect all of the equipment to the panel
Q. How much should that cost?

Q. Finally how much should having someone connect all of the equipment components together cost?

Let me thank you in advance for your time and input, I greatly appreciate any and all critiques, comments or suggestions.

11. ## Re: Return pipes and fittings

Back to back 45s will have about the same head loss as a typical small radius 90 so that doesn't really buy you much. If you can find sweep 90s, that would be a better choice although sometimes they won't fit in the space available.

However, if you really want to reduce head loss, upsize the pipe. Head loss is inversely proportional to the 5th power of pipe diameter (4th power for fittings) so going from 1.5" to 2" will reduce head loss in the pipes by over 75%! So just going to the next pipe size can reduce head loss by quite a bit. The fitting type is really a second order effect and doesn't change things as much.

12. ## Re: Return pipes and fittings

All of my plumbing is going to be at 2", do you think I should go bigger, and if so, just on the return lines, right?

Never knew about the sweep fitting, will definately go that route, Thanks

13. ## Re: Return pipes and fittings

The suction side will probably benfit more than the return side with larger pipe. From what I understand, you have only one suction line from the pool which would definitely benefit from 2 1/2" line. The returns have two separate 2" lines which is more than enough and have the equivalent head loss of a single 2 1/2" line.

14. ## Re: Return pipes and fittings

I believe the check valve needs to be after the heater before the chlorinator

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