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Thread: What is the proper depth and PSI of the pipes?

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    What is the proper depth and PSI of the pipes?

    Hey folks,

    About to replace the lines and considering the Black Poly Pipe (I've got someone with experience willing to give me a hand making the connections).

    A few questions:
    1) How deep do they need to be? Can it be the same depth as the returns in the pool? (this is for Massachusetts) And would this depth be the same for both Poly and Sched 40 Rigid?
    2) What is the proper PSI of the Black Poly Pipe. Home Depot has 1.5" at 100 PSI. Does this work? The pool store also sells pipe, but they don't know the PSI and it's fairly expensive compared.
    3) I checked the local pool stores and HD and Lowes and none have 2" Black Poly Pipe (which I was going to use for the skimmer). Anywhere else you recommend I try? Somewhere online maybe? Otherwise I'll just go 1.5" on the skimmer as well.

    Thanks!
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: What is the proper depth and PSI of the pipes?

    Depth is only whatever you like. Since the lines are drained, you can run them on the surface if you want. Damage from landscaping tools, mowers or vehicles would be an issue if they are buried shallow. Mine are down about a foot.

    I don't think I'd even consider the black poly for a pool. A rock or anything remotely rough could puncture that stuff, and fittings are much more iffy IMO. Schedule 40 PVC is much more rugged and all the fittings you need are easy to find.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: What is the proper depth and PSI of the pipes?

    I'm in Massachusetts, I have 2 inch black poly, and it's fine. Like John T said, it's Mass, so you need to blow them out in the winter anyway. Mine are buried 3.5 feet at the lowest point, so even if I dont get all the water out, it wont freeze at the lowest point. Lots of rock in the backfill isnt good for the pipe, even PVC. Think about it. How many times do you see irrigation lines spontaneoulsy split open and gush water because some rock got to close to the pipe. Good, clean processed gravel should be use for any backfill. I assume you wont have any joints under the ground except where the pipe attaches to the returns/suction and at the pump.
    Dont let anybody scare you off poly, it's good stuff. For some reason, some folks on here dont like it and have convinced everybody to be afraid of it.
    100 psi stuff is fine. In new england, if the pipe does freeze, PVC will split right apart. The poly will have some give to it.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: What is the proper depth and PSI of the pipes?

    See, the guys at the pool store (who are popular local installers for the past 20 or so years) say that with Black Poly Pipe, there is no need to blow out the pipes. They say to just leave them full and it will be fine. They say if it's rigid pvc then you have to blow them out because they will crack when it freezes, but with the poly that won't happen and there is no need at all to blow them out.

    I actually posed the question on this forum last fall on the type of pipes to use. Seemed like general consensus was that if I wanted to prevent leakage due to freezing, I'd be best off with the poly. However the connections are difficult to make so it's a risk to use them. Since I had someone who makes the connections often helping me out, I figured I'd give poly a shot. But...If I gotta blow out the pipe anyway, then I'll go back to rigid.
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

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    Join Date
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    Re: What is the proper depth and PSI of the pipes?

    Null, we've known each other for a while now

    Let me give you my take on use of blackpoly v.s. what you suggest.

    The stuff is tough! it can take pool pressures and is hardier than pvc against bursting from water freezing inside it. However, I would NEVER leave a pipe full of water over the winter in freezing conditions .

    No pipe will suffer freeze damage, IF it doesn't freeze - so if the lines are run below the frostline and any water within ~ the frostline is removed, there will be no damage.

    If you are unsure about the pipe being susceptible to freeze damage, blow as much water out of it as you can and add an appropriate amount of antifreeze to the line!

    The fittings that connect any 2 pieces of pipe come in different quality and the low quality ones will fail more rapidly (if not immediately )

    How the pipes are secured to each other is another issue for me: I prefer the chemical/ mechanical bond of PVC glue, however - threaded connections are what you have to use, and are fine, (as long as you properly Teflon/ dope them) ... AND properly using barbed connectors and 2 QUALITY clamps works for black poly.

    It's the low quality fittings and 'cr@p" clamps that give the blackpoly it's bad rap -- this is especially true for underground joinings.

    If it's less expensive, run the blackpoly - but (other than the poolside connection, leave all the connections above ground so you can easily see/ test for failure.

    Have fun with the project We'll be here to bounce ideas off of
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: What is the proper depth and PSI of the pipes?

    Hey Waste! Good to see you again!

    I was surprised myself when they said it...they all agreed though and said that they tell all their customers that buy their pools the same. They also told me the same thing last fall when I called them to ask the price of it. But as I was driving away I said to my fiancé "I have a feeling the guys on the forum wouldn't agree...and frankly I trust their opinion more"

    But no...it's definitely not less expensive. It's about 5 times more expensive for the poly.

    I probably wouldn't be able to get the connections above ground and if it's that risky...I'm definitely back to rigid

    So then, it sounds like I can run the rigid around 18" below ground (or however deep my returns are) so long as I blow out the lines and add the antifreeze, which I've always been good about. Sounds like a plan!

    Thanks everyone!
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

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