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Thread: New Pool Plumbing Layout

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    New Pool Plumbing Layout

    Hi Folks, first post so here goes.

    After 4 years of planning (on and off), I am in the middle of building my pool myself.
    I had the plumbing more or less worked out but decided to re-check
    my plumbing layout with one of my suppliers who is also a pool builder and plumber.
    I wanted to check with people here to see if they agree with his suggestions.

    I liked my original plan because it was simple:
    The pool is 23ftX13ft by 5ft deep and will contain about 10,000 gallons. No deep end. No main drain. Hydroplug in floor.
    1 large skimmer box placed at center of long wall. 2Xwall suctions on either side of skimmer towards corners. All on same plumbing line.
    Opposite long wall, 3X eyeball returns.
    1hp pump (which I thought was oversize)
    2" pressure pipe
    When I add a solid fuel heater at a later date, I would join a heat exchanger into the return line.

    So he advised me that:
    A) the skimmer is all that is required, no wall suctions necessary and that even on their own plumbing line, if used at the same time as the skimmer, they will
    reduce the efficacy of the skimmer.
    B) 4 eyeballs on the opposite wall not three as the eyeballs do most of the work of circulation not wall suctions.
    C) He always puts a 1.5hp pump in as any less and the vacuum cleaners dont work properly.
    D) Heated water needs to be pumped in on a separate circuit using a 2nd pump, two suctions with two returns. I really dont want to do it this way if possible.

    I did check my original design and pump/filter spec with Pentair and another parts supplier and they said it was fine. Please could people advise.
    thanks.
    11k gallon IG Ferrocement , Onga (Pentair) SF750 1hp pump, Onga Pantera MK11 PCF200sqft Cartridge Filter, Watermaid WM40-QT300 SWG, Spa Electrics GK7 LED

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Plumbing Layout

    I think you'll be fine with a single skimmer. Tell us about your yard; Rural or town? Many leaves? A skimmer can get clogged if a storm comes up and dumps leaves in the pool, so an alternate water intake below the surface might have benefit. In a rural area, there tends to be more debris and bugs hitting the water, so a second skimmer might be useful. My 1HP pump can't get enough water from a single skimmer if I close my main drain. If you have multiple suction sources, give them all their own piping back to the equipment area and valve them separately.

    The idea for maximum surface skimmer action is to get the water flowing along the wall in front of the skimmer so it can grab the stuff. You want the prevailing winds to help with that, so locate your skimmer accordingly.

    I'm not sure you need even a 1HP pump, but you might consider a 2-speed so you can circulate with a 0.5HP or 0.75HP pump and crank it up for cleaning.

    You don't need separate plumbing for your heater.

    Make sure that every return has the same length plumbing run back to the pump. Same on the suction side.
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    Re: New Pool Plumbing Layout

    Thanks for your reply John,

    This is leaf and bug central here but fortunately all of the vegetation is evergreen so it could be worse, plus there will be a wall surrounding the pool so only airborne leaves could enter the pool area.
    I was going to put the skimmer (Waterco Supaskimmer with the mega sized basket) on the left wall because it would face the big
    tree on the right. Of course you are right, when the basket gets full, there must be another way for the pump to get water.
    Plus if the waterline drops below the skimmer (no piped water here) there needs to be another way for the pump to get water from lower down
    I reckon my original plan doesn't look so bad after all.
    11k gallon IG Ferrocement , Onga (Pentair) SF750 1hp pump, Onga Pantera MK11 PCF200sqft Cartridge Filter, Watermaid WM40-QT300 SWG, Spa Electrics GK7 LED

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Plumbing Layout

    My pool has a single skimmer, a main drain, and three returns. 1HP pump is plenty.
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    Re: New Pool Plumbing Layout

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Make sure that every return has the same length plumbing run back to the pump. Same on the suction side.
    Not sure what that means. I was going to do the plumbing for the suction side (and returns) like this- is this what you mean? :
    Attached Images Attached Images
    11k gallon IG Ferrocement , Onga (Pentair) SF750 1hp pump, Onga Pantera MK11 PCF200sqft Cartridge Filter, Watermaid WM40-QT300 SWG, Spa Electrics GK7 LED

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    Re: New Pool Plumbing Layout

    Quote Originally Posted by pool250
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Make sure that every return has the same length plumbing run back to the pump. Same on the suction side.
    Not sure what that means. I was going to do the plumbing for the suction side (and returns) like this- is this what you mean? :
    That will be fine for the suction. For the returns, each eyeball has to be the same distance through the pipe from the pump. This often means running a pipe past the closer returns, then splitting it off in equal length segments to the eyeballs. If you don't the eyeballs with the shorter runs will have more flow.
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    Re: New Pool Plumbing Layout

    Thanks. Just to make sure; A,B or c, or none of these is best?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    11k gallon IG Ferrocement , Onga (Pentair) SF750 1hp pump, Onga Pantera MK11 PCF200sqft Cartridge Filter, Watermaid WM40-QT300 SWG, Spa Electrics GK7 LED

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    Re: New Pool Plumbing Layout

    With three returns, I would recommend using a loop. Starting with option A and instead of ending at the left most return, extend that pipe toward the pump at least a distance similar to the distance between the returns and then reconnect the pipe back to the main pipe with a tee to complete the loop. That should provide nearly equal flow to each return. Also, it helps if the loop is a larger pipe although not totally necessary.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
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    Re: New Pool Plumbing Layout

    Bear in mind that VGB act requires that any submerged suctions MUST be covered with VGB compliant and approved drain covers and they MUST be tied together and at least 3' apart to ensure there are no single sources of submerged suction that could trap or entangle a person under water.

    The 1st plumbing diagram is nearly perfect.

    The skimmer can be on it's own line. I recommend a quality 3 port gate valve such as a Jandy Never Lube be used so you can switch between the wall ports and skimmer .

    Skimmer baskets break. It is inevitable. Finding replacements for a Waterco when you need one may require going on line.

    My past experiences with Waterco has not been particularly good. I prefer to see Pentair skimmers on gunite pools and Haward's on liners.

    It was mentioned in an earlier post to put the skimmer where the prevailing winds will blow the debris towards it. Good advice.

    I hope you plan to put hydrostatic ports in the floor. God forbid you need to empty the pool and the water table rises.

    A 3/4 HP will be more than enough suction for vacuuming purposes. Just shut the wall suction.

    Oversize the filter.

    2" pressure rated pipe will be fine. On the returns, tee off the 2" to 1.5" so you can put push in directional eyes . That will keep the curious little hands of children from getting stuck in the return port. Avoid using Flex pipe.

    Equal length plumbing is not that big a deal. Between the side suctions, yes, but for the returns , not a biggie. If you extend the return line by a foot or two beyond the more distant return and cap it, the returns will equalize. I see mas985 had the same idea.

    Don't forget to add the bonding wire.

    Looking good!

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: New Pool Plumbing Layout

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    With three returns, I would recommend using a loop. Starting with option A and instead of ending at the left most return, extend that pipe toward the pump at least a distance similar to the distance between the returns and then reconnect the pipe back to the main pipe with a tee to complete the loop. That should provide nearly equal flow to each return. Also, it helps if the loop is a larger pipe although not totally necessary.
    thanks. I had read that a loop is best.
    Would this need to have a non return valve just before the T or does the water flow from both ends of the loop towards the outlets?
    11k gallon IG Ferrocement , Onga (Pentair) SF750 1hp pump, Onga Pantera MK11 PCF200sqft Cartridge Filter, Watermaid WM40-QT300 SWG, Spa Electrics GK7 LED

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    Re: New Pool Plumbing Layout

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    Bear in mind that VGB act requires that any submerged suctions MUST be covered with VGB compliant and approved drain covers and they MUST be tied together and at least 3' apart to ensure there are no single sources of submerged suction that could trap or entangle a person under water.

    The 1st plumbing diagram is nearly perfect.

    The skimmer can be on it's own line. I recommend a quality 3 port gate valve such as a Jandy Never Lube be used so you can switch between the wall ports and skimmer .

    Skimmer baskets break. It is inevitable. Finding replacements for a Waterco when you need one may require going on line.

    My past experiences with Waterco has not been particularly good. I prefer to see Pentair skimmers on gunite pools and Haward's on liners.

    It was mentioned in an earlier post to put the skimmer where the prevailing winds will blow the debris towards it. Good advice.

    I hope you plan to put hydrostatic ports in the floor. God forbid you need to empty the pool and the water table rises.

    A 3/4 HP will be more than enough suction for vacuuming purposes. Just shut the wall suction.

    Oversize the filter.

    2" pressure rated pipe will be fine. On the returns, tee off the 2" to 1.5" so you can put push in directional eyes . That will keep the curious little hands of children from getting stuck in the return port. Avoid using Flex pipe.

    Equal length plumbing is not that big a deal. Between the side suctions, yes, but for the returns , not a biggie. If you extend the return line by a foot or two beyond the more distant return and cap it, the returns will equalize. I see mas985 had the same idea.

    Don't forget to add the bonding wire.

    Looking good!

    Scott
    Jandy valves already on my list.
    Went for the Supaskimmer because of the larger sized depth of throat: I need to clear the flange as I didnt want/can't cut into it as it has a rebar across the top. The face of the skimmer will be almost flush with the inside wall of the pool due to the thickness of the wall.

    The prevailing wind comes from behind the big tree so all is good there.

    Hydrovalve in the floor as mentioned before.

    Have found 2" push-in returns with directionals from Waterco

    The electrician said to leave one of the rebars sticking out and he would bond to that after we spray on the mortar.
    11k gallon IG Ferrocement , Onga (Pentair) SF750 1hp pump, Onga Pantera MK11 PCF200sqft Cartridge Filter, Watermaid WM40-QT300 SWG, Spa Electrics GK7 LED

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Plumbing Layout

    Quote Originally Posted by pool250
    The electrician said to leave one of the rebars sticking out and he would bond to that after we spray on the mortar.
    I'd bond to more than one unless you have very good connections between them. This is one of those things that's fairly easy to do during construction, but very difficult to fix later. Don't forget that any decking concrete needs to be bonded as well.
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    Re: New Pool Plumbing Layout

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Quote Originally Posted by pool250
    The electrician said to leave one of the rebars sticking out and he would bond to that after we spray on the mortar.
    I'd bond to more than one unless you have very good connections between them. This is one of those things that's fairly easy to do during construction, but very difficult to fix later. Don't forget that any decking concrete needs to be bonded as well.

    Thanks John. Yes I had read that the bonding needs to be done in a grid.
    The pool surround will be paving slabs (concrete) as I wanted to make sure that I could get to the plumbing etc in case of probs later, rather than have to dig up a slab.
    11k gallon IG Ferrocement , Onga (Pentair) SF750 1hp pump, Onga Pantera MK11 PCF200sqft Cartridge Filter, Watermaid WM40-QT300 SWG, Spa Electrics GK7 LED

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    Re: New Pool Plumbing Layout

    I am not an electrician but have seen the following:

    Deck around the pool:6"x6" grid 5' out from the pool. Some inspector require copper be used, most don't. Attached to bond wire.

    Pool: attached to the bond at at least 4 points with lugs rated for outdoor use.

    Wire Used: Typically bare, solid, #8 run continuously from the shell to all metal such as rail anchors, lights, pumps, heaters, controllers, etc...

    Suggestion: Ask your local inspector what he wants first.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
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    Re: New Pool Plumbing Layout

    Equal length plumbing is not that big a deal. Between the side suctions, yes, but for the returns , not a biggie. If you extend the return line by a foot or two beyond the more distant return and cap it, the returns will equalize. I see mas985 had the same idea.
    That isn't quite what I had in mind. Capping one end of the line won't really help any to equalize the returns. I was suggesting using a loop where both ends of the pipe along the pool feeding the returns are connected to the main return pipe via a tee. Ideally the tee is halfway between the two end returns with each end of the tee feeding the outer two most returns.

    However, if you are trying to make the paths to each return have the same head loss, you need to take the fittings into consideration. Each fitting type has an equivalent length of head loss. But because you have three returns, there will be an imbalance due to that as well unless you can find a three way split. One option is to split the line once with a direct route to the furthest return and a second split going to the closest two returns. But because one return has one split and the other two have two splits, the single split return needs to have an extra 12' of 2" pipe to compensate for the split it doesn't have. Then each of the three paths would have approximately the same head loss. If the single split line has an extra 90, then it would only need 6' of extra 2" line (45s are about 3' of 2" pipe). So depending on how you lay out the plumbing you can usually make the head loss close to equal.

    PVC Fittings Equivalent Length


    [EDIT] Added picture of different configurations:

    Mark
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    Re: New Pool Plumbing Layout

    You may need a grid under the pavers. There is a member here with a paver deck that has problems with stray voltage. Go to mikeholt.com and search for 680.26, which is the applicable section of the NEC. They have good information there.
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    Re: New Pool Plumbing Layout

    Quote Originally Posted by pool250

    He then told me that he thought the pool would "blow up" because pool electrics were an unknown quantity to him and the other electricians in this area.
    Yep, most electricians that do not work on pools have no clue, really.
    Dont spend you money on a code book. The relavent part is Article 680. The bonding requirements are there. You can find all that online.

    Paver decks may or may not be required in your area. The NEC now says any deck needs the grid. When my pool was built, Massachusetts didnt enforce it, so I dont have one. Doesnt mean it shouldnt be there. If I ever re-do my deck, i'll probably put one it. With a new build, I'd put the grid in like the NEC suggest. As always, the inspector has the final say as to what he will accept or not. Really, bonding the pool isnt that difficult, you just have to know how to do it. Also, in the USA, the bonding wires doesnt have to be grounded. In fact, the NEC goes out of its way to say it doesnt have to be. for reason /I wont get into here, its safer if it's not. Most electricians mistake bonding for grounding; two different things entirely.
    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: New Pool Plumbing Layout

    The local building dept/inspector have no interest in electrics in this country (not USA), it's not part of their remit.
    Electrics here are a matter between the client and the electrician who is supposed to certify his (or her) own work.
    11k gallon IG Ferrocement , Onga (Pentair) SF750 1hp pump, Onga Pantera MK11 PCF200sqft Cartridge Filter, Watermaid WM40-QT300 SWG, Spa Electrics GK7 LED

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    Re: New Pool Plumbing Layout

    Oh, ok. I didnt know you weren't in the USA. Where are you?

    As you are aware, its doesnt matter where you are, electrical safety is electrical safety
    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: New Pool Plumbing Layout

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    Oh, ok. I didnt know you weren't in the USA. Where are you?

    As you are aware, its doesnt matter where you are, electrical safety is electrical safety
    Australia.
    And I totally agree with you.

    As this part of the thread has moved onto electrical matters I have started another post in the Under Construction section.
    11k gallon IG Ferrocement , Onga (Pentair) SF750 1hp pump, Onga Pantera MK11 PCF200sqft Cartridge Filter, Watermaid WM40-QT300 SWG, Spa Electrics GK7 LED

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