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Thread: The Frankenstein approach to filtering

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    The Frankenstein approach to filtering

    So I guess I'm looking for a little reassurance ...
    I've got a Pentair Quad 60 DE filter, An Intelliflo VS3050, several 3-way valves, and a bunch of PVC bits on the way. I've done a good bit of irrigation repair, and am comfortable around electrical repairs, but I am beginning to get a little worried on my pending filter/pump replacement.

    It does not appear to be all that difficult, though I am certain the collective experience here has developed a good bit of artistic mastery for the process.

    My plan is to:
    1) Label all my incoming and return plumbing
    2) Dry-assemble (no glue) all the bits, taking care to cut each piece as needed (measure twice - cut once)
    3) Mark the locations where the joints/fittings should end up
    4) disassemble, breath, pray
    5) reassemble with glue, starting with the pieces requiring the most manipulation (longer runs with valves, elbows, etc.) to make a few larger sections to be installed.
    6) glueing all the larger sections in place/together.

    I can tell that 1.5" and 2" PVC isn't gonna want to bend much, so hopefully it will go together without too much grief (ha!)

    Any pointers on what may help make this exercise more likely to succeed?
    34 x 19 salt water free form. 7.5" inside diameter raised spa. 24" raised beam in back. 3 moss rock waterfalls off raised beam and moss rock waterfall out of the spa. (2) Intelliflo VF pumps, 420 Cartridge Filter, 400 BTU Pentair low nox heater. 2.5" suction and 2" returns throughout.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: The Frankenstein approach to filtering

    It can be very difficult to dry-fit Schedule 40 PVC. I prefer to measure as much as I can. Patience and make marks when pieces need to be aligned. Unions are your friend. Use them liberally.
    TFP Moderator
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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: The Frankenstein approach to filtering

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    It can be very difficult to dry-fit Schedule 40 PVC.
    No doubt, it's almost impossible to fully seat dry fitted PVC. On 2 joints I'd bet there would be at least 1/4" of additional slip when the glue lubricates/softens the pipe and fitting.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: The Frankenstein approach to filtering

    I find it easier to measure as I go. Dry fitting never goes together completely, so it is impossible to know if you got it exactly right during a dry fit. I lay all the fittings out inside to plan the layout but leave out the pipe, which I cut as I glue.

    It is worth spending a little time thinking about where the final joint is going to be. You want a good bit of flex to get that final joint together. If you do it in the wrong place things can be too rigid and it might be difficult to get it to go together correctly. Sometimes gluing two joints at once is a way to avoid problems on the final joint. Doing two at once is much easier with a helper.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: The Frankenstein approach to filtering

    or put in some unions/flex fittings... unions have a little give to them, but the screw together over the outside of the pipe type connectors have a lot of give and should seal easily at pool presures (they're rated at 150psi!)
    24ft x 52in AGP 18000 gal
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    Re: The Frankenstein approach to filtering

    I have gone so far as to dry-fit using vaseline and that works pretty well. Of course you have to reprime both sides of the joint. I have also had good luck assuming the joints will bottom out to the stops if the pipe is really new and clean and you DONT let the cement get tacky....you have to be fast!
    Dave S.
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    Re: The Frankenstein approach to filtering

    This is getting to be exciting and terrifying all at the same time
    34 x 19 salt water free form. 7.5" inside diameter raised spa. 24" raised beam in back. 3 moss rock waterfalls off raised beam and moss rock waterfall out of the spa. (2) Intelliflo VF pumps, 420 Cartridge Filter, 400 BTU Pentair low nox heater. 2.5" suction and 2" returns throughout.

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    Re: The Frankenstein approach to filtering

    I agree with the others (having done a decent amount of plumbing with PVC). Measure and build as you go. Although sometimes, it does make sense to build more intricate contraptions on the bench for use as sub assembly. Two things:

    1) PVC is (relatively) cheap, so get in there and go for it. You can always cut out and start over with parts that don't work.

    2) Use CLEAR primer instead of purple primer. This work won't be buried, and purple primer drips give your plumbing job the look as if a JV plumber did it. Go ahead . . . ask me how I know this
    24' Round Doughboy AG.
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    Re: The Frankenstein approach to filtering

    I consider myself pretty handy around the house, but it's threads like this one that made me hire a plumber to do the PVC work when I installed my Aqua Rite several weeks ago.
    9,200 gal. Gunite Luna Quartz French Grey pool with spill over spa, two fountains on tanning ledge (rarely used)
    Pentair Whisperflo 2HP, Pentair CCP Cartridge 420 Sq. Ft., Polaris 280 with booster pump
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    Re: The Frankenstein approach to filtering

    PVC is both fairly easy to work with and ~somewhat forgiving

    Start from the pump, put on the unions or Teflon tape and install the M/As. As this is 'retro', attach the pump to the filter (and DO use unions on both the influent and effluent sides of the pump (if room allows, leave 3" of pipe between the union and the pump fitting) ), so that you know where it has to sit.

    Regular sch 40 fittings have a 1 1/4" 'slip' so dry fit any joints you are about to do and measure between the ends and add 2.5" to get the correct size. Try to keep your pipe cuts straight! If you have one that's over ~ 1/8" out of square, cut another piece (PVC is pretty cheap).

    (I wish I had more time tonight to give all the 'pointers' I know, but others here know as much as I and I'll be back tomorrow @ about this time)
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: The Frankenstein approach to filtering

    Quote Originally Posted by HouTex
    I consider myself pretty handy around the house, but it's threads like this one that made me hire a plumber to do the PVC work when I installed my Aqua Rite several weeks ago.
    Believe me, that thought has surfaced more than once!
    34 x 19 salt water free form. 7.5" inside diameter raised spa. 24" raised beam in back. 3 moss rock waterfalls off raised beam and moss rock waterfall out of the spa. (2) Intelliflo VF pumps, 420 Cartridge Filter, 400 BTU Pentair low nox heater. 2.5" suction and 2" returns throughout.

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    Re: The Frankenstein approach to filtering

    Pardon my naivety, M/A's?

    Thank you all for the pointers, and please keep'em coming! I still have a few more days to panic and call in the professionals

    I've gotten the impression that avoiding sharp angles is desirable. The current plumbing is neat, but not horribly efficient from a routing perspective. I assume it is the product of spare parts and necessary flex. I'm ok with wasting PVC, but messing up one of the valve connections worries me a little. I will look for some clear primer, or a suitable can of PVC paint
    34 x 19 salt water free form. 7.5" inside diameter raised spa. 24" raised beam in back. 3 moss rock waterfalls off raised beam and moss rock waterfall out of the spa. (2) Intelliflo VF pumps, 420 Cartridge Filter, 400 BTU Pentair low nox heater. 2.5" suction and 2" returns throughout.

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    Re: The Frankenstein approach to filtering

    Sorry for my haste

    M/As are male adapters (the threads are on the outside of the fitting, like a screw).

    If you can post a pic of what you need to do, the experts here (and I ) would be better able to help you with the 'best' way to replumb your system
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: The Frankenstein approach to filtering

    Here are a couple of views of the existing pump/filter
    Attached Images Attached Images
    34 x 19 salt water free form. 7.5" inside diameter raised spa. 24" raised beam in back. 3 moss rock waterfalls off raised beam and moss rock waterfall out of the spa. (2) Intelliflo VF pumps, 420 Cartridge Filter, 400 BTU Pentair low nox heater. 2.5" suction and 2" returns throughout.

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: The Frankenstein approach to filtering

    Sometimes, after you have glued a joint, you question whether or not the pipe ended up deep enough in the fitting. Here is a quality control tip that can help assure you that the joint you just glued is actually in deep enough.

    Before gluing, measure the pipe length and mark it on the pipe. Then if you want to see how deep the pipe is in the fitting, just measure out the pipe length.

    Also, when gluing PVC into plastic valves, make sure that glue does not drip into the valve.

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: The Frankenstein approach to filtering

    OK, I don't have all the details figured out, at this time - but, how do you feel about switching the pump and filter positions? If you slide the pump to be ~ where the filter is and slide the filter over and rotate it 90* clockwise so that the pump inlet on the multi lines up with the effluent port on the pump. This will make it a quick 'up, 90 and in' to the multiport from the pump, saving you 2 90*s for getting water from the pump into the filter.

    I can't see where the pipe goes behind the leaves (I suspect it wraps around only into the 3-way ) What's really idiotic is that the suction and return lines are intermixed

    Like I said, I don't have the full layout figured out doing that change, but wanted to run it by you.
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: The Frankenstein approach to filtering

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW
    when gluing PVC into plastic valves, make sure that glue does not drip into the valve.
    Hmm... Other then careful and judicious application, how can I insure I avoid glue in the valve?
    34 x 19 salt water free form. 7.5" inside diameter raised spa. 24" raised beam in back. 3 moss rock waterfalls off raised beam and moss rock waterfall out of the spa. (2) Intelliflo VF pumps, 420 Cartridge Filter, 400 BTU Pentair low nox heater. 2.5" suction and 2" returns throughout.

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: The Frankenstein approach to filtering

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    OK, I don't have all the details figured out, at this time - but, how do you feel about switching the pump and filter positions? If you slide the pump to be ~ where the filter is and slide the filter over and rotate it 90* clockwise so that the pump inlet on the multi lines up with the effluent port on the pump. This will make it a quick 'up, 90 and in' to the multiport from the pump, saving you 2 90*s for getting water from the pump into the filter.

    I can't see where the pipe goes behind the leaves (I suspect it wraps around only into the 3-way ) What's really idiotic is that the suction and return lines are intermixed

    Like I said, I don't have the full layout figured out doing that change, but wanted to run it by you.
    I'm ok with changing the layout. I assume the new multi with have the same general configuration, so with juxtaposition and a quarter turn, I count 2 90's, but that still saves one. You are correct about the return side. 2 90's to double back, into a capped tee and a second 90 to come back to a 3way. One return splits to 3 ball jets, the other to a two exit "spa like" jet feature. Not sure which line is which, but I figure I'd be ok as long as either can be shut off. I thought I'd lose the out and back from the multi by coming out to a 90, then down to a 3way. Most all of the piping above ground will be replaced with 2" except where 1.5" lines connect to valves.
    34 x 19 salt water free form. 7.5" inside diameter raised spa. 24" raised beam in back. 3 moss rock waterfalls off raised beam and moss rock waterfall out of the spa. (2) Intelliflo VF pumps, 420 Cartridge Filter, 400 BTU Pentair low nox heater. 2.5" suction and 2" returns throughout.

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: The Frankenstein approach to filtering

    Well, my collection of parts should be arriving before the weekend. Time to sharpen my cutting and gluing skills...
    34 x 19 salt water free form. 7.5" inside diameter raised spa. 24" raised beam in back. 3 moss rock waterfalls off raised beam and moss rock waterfall out of the spa. (2) Intelliflo VF pumps, 420 Cartridge Filter, 400 BTU Pentair low nox heater. 2.5" suction and 2" returns throughout.

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: The Frankenstein approach to filtering

    Quote Originally Posted by DRoessler
    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW
    when gluing PVC into plastic valves, make sure that glue does not drip into the valve.
    Hmm... Other then careful and judicious application, how can I insure I avoid glue in the valve?
    Plastic valves can usually be used by gluing a pipe into the valve or by gluing a coupling to the outside of the valve.

    When gluing pipe into plastic valves first apply the glue to the pipe, apply only a little glue to the inside of the valve (about 1/4 to 1/2 inch) and then hold the valve higher than the pipe so that any excess glue runs down the pipe and not into the valve.

    When gluing a coupling onto the valve, use the regular amount of glue and hold the valve higher than the pipe when joining.

    If priming the inside of the valve, hold the valve up so that any primer drips down away from the inside of the valve.

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