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Thread: Quick question about plumbing on pool quote

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    Quick question about plumbing on pool quote

    Been trying to nail down specifics for my pool build and wanted to get TFP's opinion on the plumbing that this PB standardly puts in:

    Pool is a 18' x 32' sport pool (3.5' - 5.5' - 4.0') rectangle pool, approximately 19,000 gallons.
    It will have an auto cover
    Pool is roughly 30' from pool equipment
    PB says he puts in 2 drains, 1 skimmer, 1 "dedicated" port for a Polaris 340 and 2 returns. He states it's all plumbed with 2" schedule 40 PVC. (side note, we are putting in a shallow "baja step" and we plan on putting in two additional returns that will act as bubblers here)

    I had assumed two skimmers would be appropriate for this sized pool, but he states that they'll put one skimmer on a (and up to) 20'x32' sized pool. I also thought that you typically would balance the amount of volume in and out of the pump (so have 2 drains, 2 skimmers and then have 4 returns) - is this not correct? He also said that the drains typically aren't used (unless you're draining the pool) and that most of the water to the pump will be coming from the skimmer and the dedicated port. This just doesn't make sense to me, as I would think if you were truly trying to turn over the water in the pool that you would want multiple inputs.

    I'm confused and not sure what I should be requiring for this sized pool.
    Thank you for your feedback!
    Jason

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Quick question about plumbing on pool quote

    My friends have a similar pool - one skimmer, two returns, one floor drain. Adequate I'm sure. But... and I'm not an expert on this so the ones that are will chime in shortly - I'm inclined to agree with you so I'll be watching this thread... their one skimmer doesn't do that great of a job so their polaris is in the pool 24/7... they have alot of trees tho.

    Good luck with your build
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Quick question about plumbing on pool quote

    Two skimmers is quite common these days, even on small pools. One skimmer, especially if well placed, is enough. Two is better.

    There isn't any reason to balance the number of suctions vs the number of returns, that ratio varies all over the place.

    It is normal to draw about half your water from the main drain. But if you don't there won't be any real problems. The water should be well mixed throughout regardless. The one thing you really don't want is to have the main drain plumbed into the skimmer. Both drains should share one pipe to the equipment pad and the skimmer should get it's own pipe to the equipment pad. It is alright if the returns share a pipe, though separate pipes are a little better. What they said suggests to me that they might be thinking of plumbing the drain to the skimmer.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Quick question about plumbing on pool quote

    Thanks to both of you for the info-

    If I request two skimmers, would it be appropriate to have them share a pipe, similar to what JasonLion suggested for the drains? So, you'd have the drains connected and then a single run back to the pump and both skimmers joined and a single run back?

    The builder seems fairly open to additions and changes - when we asked about the two "bubblers" on the baja deck he basically said they would just add $200 to the cost, so I think if I requested and extra skimmer it'd be no biggie. It also be good to be able to specify how I want the plumbing run (drain not through the skimmer, etc.).

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Quick question about plumbing on pool quote

    If it were me I would have separate pipe ran , the expense should be minimal, and if at some point in the future you should develop a leak in either pipe it would be easy to isolate and shut off until you were ready to make repairs. Trust me from experience having to jack hammer up concrete to get to broken pipe is not fun.

    Ike
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    Re: Quick question about plumbing on pool quote

    I had one skimmer in a 20'x40' pool for about 40 years. It was retrofitted into a 1946 pool around 1964. It was in the middle of the (long) east side and worked well in the prevailing west wind. If we got an extended storm (from the east usually) it didn't clear so well until the winds changed back. My new pool (18'x36') has two skimmers and works in all weather. So plan its location in accord with your prevailing wind pattern.
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    Re: Quick question about plumbing on pool quote

    Ahh, perception is 9/10s of reality. Sort of like possession and ownership.

    Most pools are designed with 1 skimmer per 650 square feet of surface. Adding the 2nd skimmer on a pool that is smaller isn't a must but it doesn't hurt and can assist in keeping the surface relatively free of surface stuff without regard to the wind. If you have dual or variable speed pump and you run at a low speed, no skimmer will work worth a darn as there isn't enough flow to get the weir to lay down to just below the surface.

    Dual drains are almost always tied to a single line. The drain covers are at a minimum of 3' apart. Each drain cover and sumps, if used, must be able to accommodate the full suction of the pump they are connected to and so the the water velocity entering doesn't exceed certain a speed. This is to meet the federally mandated VGB act that is designed to prevent anyone from becoming entrapped by a submerged suction port. Some localities also require an SVRS system on top of this. The two drain cover system with VGB compliant covers are not blockable with the vast majority of people. It would take someone close to being the largest person in the world to do it.

    Very large drain covers, such as those often seen on large commercial facilities, will still have drain covers that take in water from different heights and anti-vortexing in nature but would still be too big for a person to block.

    The same is true for side suction ports except those used for vacuuming and they are equipped with self closing doors.

    An additional skimmer and associated plumbing should run about $300 to costs.

    2" pipe should be fine.

    If you use a dual skimmer system, a 1 HP pump, IMHO, if you are using a single speed will be needed to provide sufficient flow to the skimmers and drain. If you choose a single skimmer, a 3/4 HP will be fine.

    If you opt for a dual or variable speed, make sure you can set the timer to run at high for a couple brief periods so the surface can be skimmed and to feed the pool sweep.

    You might want to double check the pool sweep model. AFAIK, there is no 340.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
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    Re: Quick question about plumbing on pool quote

    Thanks for all the info.

    Yes, I guessed at the Polaris #, it might not be a 340.

    So to summarize what the above posts have said:

    - 1 skimmer is adequate, 2 is better (more coverage, not wind dependent)
    - Drains should not be plumbed through the skimmer.
    - Drains and skimmers can be tied to a single line (one line for drains, one line for skimmers) without issue
    - Returns can be split off of a single 2", but single line for each would be ideal.
    - I'm assuming my "bubblers" that will come out of the baja step (shallow bench, 6" below water surface) can most likely be tied together from a single line since I won't need a whole lot of pressure.
    - I'm requiring on a variable speed pump.
    - The contract states that the equipment will have a "timer" for auto running the pump and filter, do I need to request anything additional with the variable speed pump? //I hadn't planned on purchasing a fancy automation setup as I've been mainly focusing on other aspects of the build and assume that it will be a several thousand dollar upgrade. Is this something that I can add down the road if I need?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Quick question about plumbing on pool quote

    The timer depends on which specific variable speed pump your get. Many of them come with built-in timers.

    An automation system should be well under $1000 unless there is lots and lots for it to be doing and you need a higher end model.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Quick question about plumbing on pool quote

    and can I add the automation system at any time, or is it best to install it with the rest of the new equipment?

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