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Thread: Can a pump return water up hill?

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    Can a pump return water up hill?

    Can a 3hp pump that is down hill from a pool return the water up hill?
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Re: Can a pump return water up hill?

    There are many variables to the equation. What size pipe? How long is the run? What is the elevation gain?

    In general it should be no problem. Many people run solar panels on roofs with 20 foot vertical gains with 1 HP pumps. All situations will vary. Can you give more specifics about your situation? I'm sure somebody more knowledgable than myself will be along to help.
    3500 gallon 14x42 Intex Ultra Frame
    1/2 HP Intex 1600 sand filter/pump - Intex SWCG
    Two 4x20 Fafco solar panels.
    Taylor K-2006
    Marquis spirit hot tub - Grill Dome ceramic grill/smoker

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    Re: Can a pump return water up hill?

    Depends on many things. Best to understand fully what is involved here. Short answer to you question is yes. However, it really isn't a matter of a bigger pump or one simple answer. I would be looking at particular issues such as what the pressure of the filter is running at as well as the pump sizing etc. I would assume then that the filter and the pump is below water level then? What about the heater (pressure rating of the heater, flow switches etc), infloor cleaning system. Yours doesn't seem like an extreme situation though and if its only a matter of a couple of meters - no problems.

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    Re: Can a pump return water up hill?

    Actually, the answer is pretty much an unqualified "Yes".

    In a closed loop circulation that exists in a pool, return height is not much of an issue. The water weight coming back down the suction side negates MOST of the effort required to push it back up.

    Pumps love to "push" but they don't like to "pull". If your pump was uphill from the pool, you would have much more limitation.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Can a pump return water up hill?

    There are many variables to the equation. What size pipe? How long is the run? What is the elevation gain?
    2 inch pvc pipe. About 50 feet from pump to pool. Edge of pool is about 3-4 feet higher than bottom of pump. Pipe coming out of the top of the big round sand filter is about level with top edge of pool.

    Most people here have said I am crazy, but we just got this foreclosed house with pool and don't have a lot of money. I have determined that my pool leak is in two different returns. Rather than dig up the yard or concrete around pool or cut through side of pool, for at least the first year while we decide if we even want the pool, I plan to plug the old returns and run PVC across the yard and over the side of the pool. This will involve going up hill. Right now the higher return is about 3 feet below the edge of the pool and the lower return 5 feet below.
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Can a pump return water up hill?

    Yes, it should be fine. Why a 3hp pump? That monster is going to waste a lot of electricity. I doubt your filter is rated for that much flow.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Re: Can a pump return water up hill?

    Why a 3hp pump?
    My mistake. It is a 1hp pump.
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Re: Can a pump return water up hill?

    Each pump has a head curve that indicates how high it can pump water uphill (See example below).

    For example, pump E can pump up to a little over 70 feet uphill. The curve shows the water flow at the various head pressures. However, the flow of water also creates resistance to water flow and is expressed in terms of head pressure. Therefore, the combined resistance of the water flowing through the pipe and the height that the pump has to pump up to determines the water flow based on the pump curve.

    Since the water coming and going ends up at the same height, the height is left out and the total resistance is due to the water flow through the pipe.


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    Re: Can a pump return water up hill?

    Since the water coming and going ends up at the same height, the height is left out and the total resistance is due to the water flow through the pipe
    OK, that seems obvious now that you say it, but for some reason it didn't occur to me. Now I see why everyone asked me the size of the pipe.
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Re: Can a pump return water up hill?

    Quote Originally Posted by TomAtlanta
    Rather than dig up the yard or concrete around pool or cut through side of pool, for at least the first year while we decide if we even want the pool, I plan to plug the old returns and run PVC across the yard and over the side of the pool. This will involve going up hill. Right now the higher return is about 3 feet below the edge of the pool and the lower return 5 feet below.
    Hehe been there done that. When I got my solar install finished I ran out of steam and daylight so I just ran a 10 foot pipe from the solar return straight into the pool so I could get it going.

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