First off, I am very grateful for all of the TLC you guys have put into TFP so that pool newbies like myself that have limped, stumbled, or crawled from their pool stores can get the help that they REALLY need.
I'm sure to have several posts with questions on specific things (you've been warned), and my latest one has to do with piping - PVC, that is. Here's a little background first -
I live in south-eastern Michigan, and was able to get our new 24 foot AGP set up just so we could close it. Had a couple small disasters occur in the installation phase (thanks to local pool store), but we got through it. Since we went right to closing, I didn't even bother breaking the pump and filter out of their boxes. Fortunately, I had been doing some research/lurking on TFP before we bought our pool, and was able to dodge a pool store bullet in avoiding the frog system. My pool package came with the notorious hopper, but I was able to convince the pool hustler, I mean store to take it back in exchange for a larger filter system (didn't like that fact that I had to take a 1.5 hp pump with it, but it's still a 2-speed). However, I wasn't able to dodge the winterizing kit bullet - I bought and installed one for our closing, but I've learned my lesson and will hopefully be better from this point on.
Enough rambling (Bama should appreciate that) - onto the question at hand. Since I haven't installed the pump and filter, I'm thinking that I should go straight to PVC. I know a few of you have PVC on your AGP's, and I've seen a few pics of some installations that look really good. One that stood out in particular is Miranda's. At this point, I'm looking for any advice on components and/or design for the installation:
1. The pump/filter will be at ground level, while skimmer and return is approximately 3.5 feet up on the pool wall. Is it better to have the pump/filter closer to the skimmer/return or can it be anywhere once you go to PVC?
2. I've seen some have valves in their piping (especially Miranda's). Should I consider putting any valves in my installation, and if so, what brand and/or type? I'll be running a 1.5 hp 2-speed pump with a 150 sq. ft. cartridge filter.
3. What do you recommend for an efficient connect/disconnect setup for the pump and filter for removal in winterizing/repair/ect?
4. I'm planning on getting a Liquidator for helping automate chlorine distribution in the BBB method. I've seen a few posts regarding this (poolgirl22's). It looks like the LQ's connections need to be as close to the pump/filter as possible. Anything else I need to consider in my piping to accommodate that?
5. Any other tips or gotcha's to watch out for when I go to do this next Spring?
Thanks in advance for helping yet another "wet behind the ears" (yes, pun intended) rookie out,