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Thread: looped suction line

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    looped suction line

    I know the return line should be looped but why can't the skimmer lines also be looped?

    I plan on installing my own pool this summer and I really don't see the purpose of a main drain. 1. I can always pump the water out if I need to. 2. I will have two skimmers. 3. If I vacuum my pool regularly then I really shouldn't have a problem with sediment at the bottom.

    The proposed pool is an inground "T" shaped 28,500 gallon poly pool. Pool is in northern Ohio

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: looped suction line

    Welcome to TFP!

    A main drain is somewhat of a toss-up. The drain is not for emptying the pool, and you normally can't use it for that. The drain also has very little to do with keeping the floor clean. A typical pool pump doesn't have enough lift to get more than a foot or so below the skimmers. One advantage of a main drain is that it can supply water to the pump when the pool level is low or in the event of heavy leaf load after a storm or late in the year. It's also handy when pumping the water below the skimmers for winterizing.

    With a T, I would consider a third skimmer. The wind will tend to trap debris in an end, and if there is no skimmer in the section the wind is blowing into, the debris will be trapped.

    As far as suction lines, you want each one brought back to the equipment pad separately. It's far and away better to be able to control the flow individually. That way you can tweak the flow for vacuuming and balancing circulation.
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    Re: looped suction line

    I could see adding a 3rd skimmer. Easy enough. But what about them all being looped together on a 2" line. Then I just have one valve coming in and if I was to use a suction style cleaner I could just plug the other 2 skimmers. I plan on a return line skimmer or possibly a robot, but running pipe is easy and cheap and I would always have the option.

    My other thought on a main drain was the the use of a Mark Urban reverse flow valve. Any thoughts on those.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: looped suction line

    I wouldn't even consider plumbing the skimmers together. It's too much of an advantage having a valve for each. Plugging the skimmers is too much when vacuuming or running a cleaner. You often need to throttle them down some, but not completely shut them off to provide enough water to your pump. If you have problem with one, you can just shut it off.
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    Re: looped suction line

    Quote Originally Posted by busterpace
    I could see adding a 3rd skimmer. Easy enough. But what about them all being looped together on a 2" line. Then I just have one valve coming in and if I was to use a suction style cleaner I could just plug the other 2 skimmers. I plan on a return line skimmer or possibly a robot, but running pipe is easy and cheap and I would always have the option.

    .
    How long of pipe run are you talking about?
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    Re: looped suction line

    136' of 2" all the way around the pool and then another 15' or so to the pump. I just figured since I had to go around the pool anyway I might as well have them share a line instead of running 2 seperate lines (or 2 if I use 2 skimmers). That and the fact after comparing the available styles of pool cleaners I might be happier with a robot. They seem to be very wife friendly. Drop it in, plug it in. No turn this valve that way and this knob that way. Makes life easier

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    Re: looped suction line

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    As far as suction lines, you want each one brought back to the equipment pad separately. It's far and away better to be able to control the flow individually. That way you can tweak the flow for vacuuming and balancing circulation.
    +1
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    Re: looped suction line

    If I have a variable speed pump why would I have to close off 1 skimmer versus another. Wouldn't the water just "pull" through these lines with the same flow? I don't really plan to use the skimmers as a source for a pool cleaner to connect to. I just thought it might be easier.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: looped suction line

    No that won't work. A loop suction pulls a constant amount of suction from each T, but that isn't the same as a constant amount of water from each source unless all the branches have the same dynamic head. Unbalanced lines will move different amounts of water even if they start with the same suction at the T. The skimmer with the vacuum will always have much higher dynamic head than the other two, so it will pull way less water. If you loop three skimmers, the flow will always be terrible from the skimmer with the vacuum plugged in compared to the other two. You would have to turn the pump up to some huge number of HP (probably way beyond the ability of any residential variable speed pump), or plug the other skimmers, to get a reasonable flow rate.
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    Re: looped suction line

    Quote Originally Posted by busterpace
    If I have a variable speed pump why would I have to close off 1 skimmer versus another. Wouldn't the water just "pull" through these lines with the same flow? I don't really plan to use the skimmers as a source for a pool cleaner to connect to. I just thought it might be easier.
    Kind of like the thought on insulation (good question), although it might be easier, is it really worth not running $200 of pvc on a $30k pool and know you have 3 controllable suction lines. The other issue (down the road, but let's hope not) is should you develop a suction side leak, good luck with that one
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: looped suction line

    The complexity of plumbing multiple suction lines to get equal suction isn't trivial. Separate plumbing is 1000% the way to go. There are zero advantages to a single line, but plenty of disadvantages. Even if it cost $1000 extra, it would still be a no-brainer to go with separate plumbing.
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    Re: looped suction line

    It is much better for the skimmers to be on their own separate lines. One very important benefit, that John T mentioned, is that if you have a problem with one of the skimmers, you can just plug it and keep operating.

    This might not seem like that big of a deal until you find out that you have a leak in one of the lines. If they are all Teed together, then you are going to have to work very fast to find and fix the leak or you're going to end up with a green pool.

    With separate lines, you will have less head loss and you will save money on electricity.

    I think that the returns should also be run separately, as well, for the same reasons.

    I recommend that you not use a reverse flow valve.

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    Re: looped suction line

    Off topic but it seems like a reverse flow would work. Especially if that was setup as a solar heater return. I really don't want a floor/main drain anyway but if my city makes me put one in then I might as well use it

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    Re: looped suction line

    I think that Mark Urban has closed since his death in November of 2010.

    Quote Originally Posted by poolspanews
    Urban’s company has closed, however the Website provides a contact number for those interested in purchasing assets. http://www.poolspanews.com/2011/011/011n_urban.html

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    Re: looped suction line

    Yes he did. I came across his site last summer and went back to show a friend and it turned out it only days after his death. He is from Ohio and had some pretty neat ideas. Maybe someone has a used valve or maybe I can rig something up

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