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Thread: Poor man's endless swimjet

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    Poor man's endless swimjet

    I'm putting together ideas and pieces for my winter projects this year. I will be installing a new liner on my doughboy and I'll be adding extra returns and skimmer. I've been looking at a lot of water treadmill, swim currents etc. but very $$$ for this diy guy.I've found a 2" pvc solvent drain fitting with gaskets similar to a return jet and I'm thinking, what if?? ... Info=Oatey

    I could try to install 2-4 on one end, fed by a 2 hp pump with suction lines on the opposite end. If 2 hp wasn't enough I could add another pump.... Am I crazy? See any major draw backs?
    Doughboy 16x24' Semi inground -in progress, Hayward 210 sand filter w/ Flotec 3/4 Hp.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SouthWest Alabama

    Re: Poor man's endless swimjet

    That could work but before I made a bunch of penetrations, I'd hang a 3" header over the side and plumb some 1½" or 2" fittings into it and see if it'll do what you want. You could also run a 3" suction over the side too. That way you could test out several configurations before cutting holes in the walls.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Poor man's endless swimjet

    that is a good idea, hate to ruin my new liner right away!
    Doughboy 16x24' Semi inground -in progress, Hayward 210 sand filter w/ Flotec 3/4 Hp.

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    Re: Poor man's endless swimjet

    Do you have any update on this project?? I have been thinking of the same thing... I have a 3600 gph pond pump and I was thinking of doing something similar... Less invasive, but similar... I figured it would only cost a few dollars if I'd build something that hangs over the side of the pool that would hold the pump and whatever type of jet I can make... I was thinking a 1.5 inch PVC about 3 ft long with a few drilled holes in it to create the flow... But I don't know if I'll have enough flow.... So I came across this post.... Any update?? Suggestions??
    20x40 vinyl liner IG pool, 20x16 shallow end, deep end is 8ft....Metal walls... 1hp single speed Pentair Pump..... 24" sand filter... build in progress....

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    Re: Poor man's endless swimjet

    I've been mentally designing this as well for some time. Would love to hear any updates

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    Re: Poor man's endless swimjet

    I have an extra 1hp pentair pump and I tried... I built a contraption using 2" PVC ... I put 3 "t" on it that were 2" by 3/4"... Then I put jet type water hose fittings on it... 2 of the jets were about 1.5' apart and at the surface of the water and 1 was in the middle just under the water... The jets didn't let the pump get prime... So I took them off... The 3/4 inch openings created quite a bit of flow... However it wasn't enough.. I could swim pretty easily against it... The kids had fun with it.... I still have all the parts but haven't tried anything else... I have a higher gph pond pump I may try...
    20x40 vinyl liner IG pool, 20x16 shallow end, deep end is 8ft....Metal walls... 1hp single speed Pentair Pump..... 24" sand filter... build in progress....

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    Join Date
    May 2008
    NE Florida

    Re: Poor man's endless swimjet

    I used to have a indoor swim spa and I believe it had a 5 hp multispeed motor for the central jet, so I believe you guys will need to think "bigger" if you want a current that you can swim against and not overpower it.
    22K gallon free form pebble tec pool, non screened, surrounded by 3, 100+ year old Live Oaks (pure misery for 3 months every spring) elevated non heated spa, jandy cl340 filter, Pentair Inteliflo 3hp pump, Jandy 1400 swg, infloor cleaning system which has had all outlets removed due to uselessness of system with the organic load the pool carries and now low rp

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    Re: Poor man's endless swimjet

    Glad to see I'm not the only one considering this.
    Still plumbing my pool. Currently I'm running a 1.5 hp pump with just hoses no jets. Unrestricted its doesn't look overpowering. I do have 2 other 1.5 hp pumps. I'm thinking 3 pumps feeding 6 large jets in a 4' wall panel might do the trick. Speed control would be number of motors on/off. My pool should be open in about 2 weeks...once things are back together I'll be able to make a little progress.
    When the only tool you have is a hammer everything starts looking like a nail.
    Doughboy 16x24 "Aboveground Inground" in progress...

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    Re: Poor man's endless swimjet

    Yes, think much bigger:

    My pool has a swimjet system that consists of three jets/returns and two 5HP pool pumps (Badujet system). It's a huge system and works well. My research showed two types of systems, one like mine with jets and the second was just flowing water. The jet system works by not only moving water but by jetting it out at high pressure. This causes a much larger flow in the pool about three feet from the jets. In fact where I swim is about 8-15 feet from the jets. The second system just flows water at very low pressure but by a huge volume. My system is about 800-1000 GPM and the second system is probably 10 times this. I bought the best I could because I like to swim but even with 10HP I can still outswim the flow if I really try.

    The jets are a very odd design (German made) and incorporate the jet in the center of a 6 inch square housing that has about a 1.5 inch jet opening and the return around that. You could never get sucked into the unit with this design. It also incorporates air into the flow which seems to soften the jet of water. The system uses a standard air button to turn on/off at the pools edge.

    The downside of this system is the initial cost and the electricity to operate it since it becomes a play toy. The PVC at cost was about $3,000 in my install alone. With so much pipe in the ground it also cools the water when running. The pump pad is about 35 feet from the pool and it's still fairly loud when the pumps are running.

    If I had to do it all again I would have just made the pool longer.

    My last thought to this is that with all this water I should do more and have another water feature like a boogie board ride. When someone figures this out let me know.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Northeast PA (Mt Cobb) 16,000 gallon in ground salt pool with all Pentair automation and Intelliflo VS pump. Also part of the pool is a two 5-horsepower 3-jet Badujet swim system. For heating we use a 384 sq-ft Heliocol solar pool heating system and additional solar from the 160 sq-ft house solar heating system.

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    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Lantzville BC, Canada

    Re: Poor man's endless swimjet

    Not crazy. The big question is pump capacity. Hard to find out what gpm pump capacity we need.
    14' x 7' x 4' made of 1/8" steel re enforced with 1"x3" tubing at 3 levels along the side. Total of 6 panels each 7'x4'. Insulated with 1.5" standard house insulated Corning board. Heated primarily by a heat exchange radiator connected to my solar heated 740 gallon reservoir. River system design powered by 2 pumps thru 8 jets.

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