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Thread: "General" (?) guidelines for pipe sizes?

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    "General" (?) guidelines for pipe sizes?

    I asked one PB some questions about the type and size of piping they are using for our potential pool build - a ~35,000 gallon, 20x40 foot pool with spa, grotto/waterfall, deep end, and in-floor popup's.

    Q: Any use of “flexible” pipe?
    A: no

    Q: What size pipe do you use standardly?
    A: vary by application generally main line 2" with 2" return line going to infloor, spa would use 2 1/2 inch suction, waterfall returns 1 1/2" return 2" suction, water leveler 3/4".

    Does this answer seem ok? Seems to be a lot of discussions around this, and as usual, my head is spinning trying to figure out what is appropriate for us...thx for any help. I'm pretty anal, and expect to put this kind of detail in the actual contract. Amazing how little detail is in the bid they gave me.

    thx,

    RK
    RawhideKid
    Phoenix, AZ (Goodyear actually)
    Pool finally complete!!! IG, 40,635 gallons w/2080 gallon spa with 16 jets. Pool is 40x21 ft with 10 ft deep end; two baja steps
    Pentair Cartridge filter - 520 SQ. PebbleSheen interior. 2 Pentair VS pumps. Pentair Intellichlor SWG
    4 deck jets, 2 bubblers, fake rock grotto/waterfall with wet steps. 3 surrounding half-pergola's with misters in future
    Sunken covered ramada with cabinets, fridge, and wood fireplace. (soon to have big screen TV)
    Basically, 14 years of planning on how to survive this blistering AZ summer!!! WAHOOOOO!!!!!!

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    Re: "General" (?) guidelines for pipe sizes?

    That's typically what I use with the exception of 2" to the water fall.

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    Re: "General" (?) guidelines for pipe sizes?

    Quote Originally Posted by RawhideKid
    A: vary by application generally main line 2" with 2" return line going to infloor, spa would use 2 1/2 inch suction, waterfall returns 1 1/2" return 2" suction, water leveler 3/4".
    "infloor" as in in-floor cleaner? I'm sure some other people will have some things to say about that as having floor returns can be much less energy efficient due to needing far higher flow rates. It may also limit your cleaning system options compared to having a dedicated line that could be plumbed for a pressure-side cleaner (or a suction-side cleaner if one prefers).
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: "General" (?) guidelines for pipe sizes?

    Ditto on the in-floor cleaner. They require quite a bit of flow rate so the pump needs to be larger and/or run faster (higher RPM for a VS) to accomodate the cleaner. IMHO, they are not worth the extra initial costs nor the on going energy costs.

    Also, larger diameter plumbing will increase the efficiency of any system. However, it also depends on how the PB configures the plumbing. Multiple runs of smaller pipe can be just as efficient or more so than a single run of larger pipe. However, a pool that size I would probably go with 2.5" plumbing and multiple suction runs especially if you are going ahead with the in-floor cleaner.

    Also, 2.5" plumbing for a spa is the absolute minimum and 3" would be better but it depends on how many and type of jets you are planning.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    JesseJames's Avatar
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    Re: "General" (?) guidelines for pipe sizes?

    My pool is small in comparison and the pipes are 2 1/2 inch in diameter.
    13K Gal., Plaster, SWG, Intellichlor IC 20, Sta-Rite 1 HP Pump, Sta-Rite PLM 300 Filter, Pentair LED, Solar, Screened Enclosure, Great White, TF-100

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    Re: "General" (?) guidelines for pipe sizes?

    Ok - more info is obviously needed. Yes - infloor cleaning system. Debate is over within my family and we are going with this - probably the PV3 system. Going with a variable speed pump for cleaning system. Separate pump for the waterfall. Two total pumps quoted: 1 hp 011517 Pentair Whisperflo (for waterfall primarily) and Variable speed 011013 Pentair Intelliflo VS 3050 for jets/cleaning.

    Sounds like you all pretty much recommend the following changes, broken down to each line so I'm hopefully tracking this correctly.

    main line 2" - increase to 2 1/2 (right?)
    with 2" return line going to infloor - increase to 2 1/2 inch
    spa would use 2 1/2 inch suction - ok (they quoted 5 jets only) but bump to 3 inch if add a lot of jets (which we plan on doing)
    waterfall returns 1 1/2" - Per Sceadu - change to 2 inch.
    return 2" suction, - increase to 2 1/2 (right?)
    water leveler 3/4" - no comments, so ok?

    Planning on two skimmers. Two drains and add'l in the spa.

    Still confused about the spa jets vs. return vs. drain. I have to find a good diagram that appropriately describes how the water should flow to and from the various places. Simply not tracking this very well. (I'm no plumber!) I did some waterwell drilling as a kid with my dad on a ranch (MT) but this is obviously a LONG way from home...

    Y'all have no idea how much we appreciate this. Seriously. Hope I can someday return the favor(s).

    RK
    RawhideKid
    Phoenix, AZ (Goodyear actually)
    Pool finally complete!!! IG, 40,635 gallons w/2080 gallon spa with 16 jets. Pool is 40x21 ft with 10 ft deep end; two baja steps
    Pentair Cartridge filter - 520 SQ. PebbleSheen interior. 2 Pentair VS pumps. Pentair Intellichlor SWG
    4 deck jets, 2 bubblers, fake rock grotto/waterfall with wet steps. 3 surrounding half-pergola's with misters in future
    Sunken covered ramada with cabinets, fridge, and wood fireplace. (soon to have big screen TV)
    Basically, 14 years of planning on how to survive this blistering AZ summer!!! WAHOOOOO!!!!!!

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    Re: "General" (?) guidelines for pipe sizes?

    The size of the pipe is related to the power and flow of your pump and whole system.

    2" is standard and well enough for your suction- skimmers and drains. This is why these boxes come standard with 2" ports.
    Also makes closing and hooking up pumps and filters straight forward. 1.5 is plenty for a spa or grotto, unless your building Trump palace. If you need more water you can increase the flow of the pump.

    Say you NEED BIG and go with 3" pipe. You then need to DOWNSIZE to 2" to get in and out of the pump, filter and valves, unless you oversize those too.

    Also most pool returns are 1.5 inch and you need that flow to push debris to your skimmers.

    I would be MORE concerned about;

    How the whole system flows - and the pump. I went with a Pentair Intellipro pump that has a RANGE of pump settings from
    1200-3400 RPM (which is kinda hard to convert to GPM without a meter) and via my pentair easytouch control I can and have set the pump to run at an optimum speed depending on the function.

    I have a 20x 40 pool, large spa, heater, deck jets and plenty of flow to run this and more no problem.

    Without a variable speed pump most pool builders are doing a WAG as far as flow and function. i.e. One size fits all.

    I would not try to re-invent a proven system for plumbing your pool. Bigger is not always better.
    25k 20x40 Gunite w/ integrated Spa & Caribbean Blue Plaster, Curved Bluestone Coping, Deck Jets
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: "General" (?) guidelines for pipe sizes?

    It is simple physics

    Larger pipes >> Lower head loss >> High flow rates for a given RPM >> Higher energy efficiency (Gallons/watt-hr)

    Intelliflo or not, larger pipes nearly always results in lower energy costs. If you don't care about that, then don't bother but to most of us, energy efficiency matters.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: "General" (?) guidelines for pipe sizes?

    Quote Originally Posted by RawhideKid
    Y'all have no idea how much we appreciate this. Seriously. Hope I can someday return the favor(s).

    RK

    When the pool is all done, be sure to post pics. Also, it's not to late to become a TFP supporting member or order a TF100 and a speedstir from TFTestkits.net when you are ready to get into chemistry

    TFtestkits is owned by Dave Smith, aka Duraleigh, who also owns TFP. He's a stand up guy.... his customer service as well as this forum is 2nd to none.

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    Re: "General" (?) guidelines for pipe sizes?

    Just became a supporter, and definitely will order a test kit a little down the road. Y'all have been great.
    RawhideKid
    Phoenix, AZ (Goodyear actually)
    Pool finally complete!!! IG, 40,635 gallons w/2080 gallon spa with 16 jets. Pool is 40x21 ft with 10 ft deep end; two baja steps
    Pentair Cartridge filter - 520 SQ. PebbleSheen interior. 2 Pentair VS pumps. Pentair Intellichlor SWG
    4 deck jets, 2 bubblers, fake rock grotto/waterfall with wet steps. 3 surrounding half-pergola's with misters in future
    Sunken covered ramada with cabinets, fridge, and wood fireplace. (soon to have big screen TV)
    Basically, 14 years of planning on how to survive this blistering AZ summer!!! WAHOOOOO!!!!!!

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