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Thread: question for the masses

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    question for the masses

    I am currently servicing an above ground pool that is 30 x 15 with a pitched liner that goes to 6 feet on one end. The pool is about 17k gallons. The pool is on the down side of the a mountain. There is a retaining wall build below it and it sits obviously on the level part. The thing it it has 2 skimmers, 2 returns and a center drain. The guy is currently using an above ground 3/4 hp pump and no getting much movement of the water. Am I correct in thinking because this is on the side of a mountain he would need a self priming inground pump of at least 1 hp?? He just bought this and put it on before he hired me. He got sick and can't maintain it but I have never seen a set up like this.

    24k 18 x 36 vinyl inground, Pentair pump, DE filter & 250 BTU heater, SWG

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    MikeInTN's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Middle Tennessee

    Re: question for the masses

    It'd really depend on the head loss associated with the plumbing. I would think an AGP pump would be fine, as long as it's physically located above the waterline of the pool.

    edit: that should read "below the waterline of the pool"..
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SouthWest Alabama

    Re: question for the masses

    What type filter does he have?
    What's the max flow it'll accept?

    If the pump is on the up side of the pool above the water line then you're right about needing a self priming pump. (I think Mike meant to say below)

    My question would be, Does it really need two skimmers and two returns? I'd be tempted to plug one of the skimmers and aim the returns for the best possible circulation. I'd also be tempted to plug one of the returns depending on where they're located in the pool provided that I could aim the remaining one so that the entire pools circulates or at least buy reduced sized eyeballs for both.

    If it winds up that it does have to have both skimmers and returns I'd say a 2 speed pump would be in order.

    I'm sure the guru's will correct me if any of the above is in contradiction to good practice.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: question for the masses

    An above-ground pump is fine if the pump, and the pipes that feed water to the pump, are all located below the water line. If the pump and/or pipes that carry water to the pump inlet are above the water line, then the pool will need an in-ground pump.

    A 3/4 HP above ground pump is on the small side for a pool that size, but it should work as long as the pump is below the water line and water flows into the pump by gravity even when the pump is off. Assuming all that is true, I would suspect a problem priming the filter or some kind of blockage in the lines. If, on the other hand, the pump is above the water line, then I wouldn't expect it to work.
    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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    Re: question for the masses

    3/4's should be good enough like everyone above stated, could it be that the pump impeller needs to be disassembled and cleaned? I've seen plenty of pumps that looked too weak when looking at the flow coming off the return but just had a bunch of old leaves bunched up right behind the impeller where you can't see unless you take it apart.
    Having multiple skimmers on a pool that size is almost pointless, but should not impede pump operation or water flow.

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