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Thread: is 2" pipe overkill when working at low pump volume flow?

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    is 2" pipe overkill when working at low pump volume flow?

    Hello Friends,
    I am upgrading my pool with a new Pentair variable speed pump and an aqua-rite 40k cell Chlorinator. I am planning in predominantly be using the pump at a very low speed for a long time. I will be changing most of the connections due to poor design. I was wondering if is wise to upgrade my pipes from 1½ to 2”. My copper underground pipes going to the pool are 1½ inches and cannot be upgraded. Since only my above ground equipment connecting pipes can be change, is it wise to upgrade to the bigger size? Specially, since I will be using my Pentair variable speed pump at a very low setting.
    Please advice,
    George
    22k plaster pool kidney shape. Pentair 4000 de series 48 ft. 2 SKIMMERS, 2 drains (pool and spa), 3 returns (2 pool and 1 spa) gas heater and pentair intelliflow , Underwater pentair light.

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    Re: is 2" pipe overkill when working at low pump volume flo

    George
    You can find flow charts for piping online... every foot of pipe, reduces pressure, but the amount of pressure loss is directly related to pressure and inversely related to pipe size...
    This means, if 1 1/2 inch is big enough to allow the flow of the pump, you're wasting money to go to 2 inch...
    Remember, however, to differentiate between tubing size and pipe size- if your installed copper is 1 1/2 copper tube, it is smaller than that inside diameter. If it is pipe, the inner diameter is probably bigger than 1 1/2 (schedule 40 pipe is approximately ID=pipe size; in a pool application, I doubt anyone used schedule 40- probably schedule 10! or more probably 1 1/2 OD tube, with a smaller ID- getting 1 1/2 inch PVC will actually be more flow than the current copper, or at least as much!)
    24ft x 52in AGP 18000 gal
    sand filter, 200#,1.5 hp single speed pump
    Wood deck (still in progress...)

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    Re: is 2" pipe overkill when working at low pump volume flo

    Quote Originally Posted by madwil
    George
    You can find flow charts for piping online... every foot of pipe, reduces pressure, but the amount of pressure loss is directly related to pressure and inversely related to pipe size...
    This means, if 1 1/2 inch is big enough to allow the flow of the pump, you're wasting money to go to 2 inch...
    Remember, however, to differentiate between tubing size and pipe size- if your installed copper is 1 1/2 copper tube, it is smaller than that inside diameter. If it is pipe, the inner diameter is probably bigger than 1 1/2 (schedule 40 pipe is approximately ID=pipe size; in a pool application, I doubt anyone used schedule 40- probably schedule 10! or more probably 1 1/2 OD tube, with a smaller ID- getting 1 1/2 inch PVC will actually be more flow than the current copper, or at least as much!)

    Thanks for getting back to me and sharing with us the great info. I went on line and found some info regarding the difference in materials such as pvc, galvanized and copper.

    Finally, I have copper pipe running on my pool's equiptment. 1.65" O.D.
    22k plaster pool kidney shape. Pentair 4000 de series 48 ft. 2 SKIMMERS, 2 drains (pool and spa), 3 returns (2 pool and 1 spa) gas heater and pentair intelliflow , Underwater pentair light.

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    Re: is 2" pipe overkill when working at low pump volume flo

    I'd go with the 2". You'll cut a few feet of head out of your equipment and that can only make your intelliflo operate more efficiently. It's not like the 2" costs much more.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: is 2" pipe overkill when working at low pump volume flo

    I would go with the 2" pipe. It isn't much more expensive and it will help, if only a tiny bit.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: is 2" pipe overkill when working at low pump volume flo

    I agree with 2" as well.
    35K IG Vinyl 20 x 40 self built pool, Hayward Pro Series High-Rate Sand Filter 31" 98gal/min, Hayward TriStar 1.85hp, Hayward 400btu heater, BBB method w/Hypo, Jazz light w/matching fiber optic rope lighting around coping w/syncronized color wheels. Concrete Paver deck.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: is 2" pipe overkill when working at low pump volume flo

    +1

    Larger pipe helps at all flow rates. However, I wouldn't replace the stuff underground as that probably would not pay for itself. But the stuff above ground is easy and cheap to do.
    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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