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Thread: In ground pool with no main drain

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    In ground pool with no main drain

    Our PB wants to sell us an upgrade to a pool without a main drain.

    It consists of a Hayward ecostar variable speed pump, low returns for better circulation, and 2 skimmers. This will be for an inground pool approximately 33 x 17.

    Is this a good option? Can you really achieve enough circulation without a main drain? Any advice would be appreciated.
    32x15 freeform gunite pool (approx 15,000 gallons) with a 7x7 raised spa with 2 spillovers - tanning ledge with 2 bubblers - All Hayward Equipment - ARQ15 SWCG - 400btu heater, 60sq ft DE filter - 2HP EcoStar VS pump - Oklahoma flagstone coping - MasterTile MASMIX 3 1x1 - Sundek - Crystal Stones Smooth Caribbean Blue - TF-100 - Doheny's Discovery Robot

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: In ground pool with no main drain

    For a fairly standard pool without any waterfalls or other major water features, a variable speed pump is only worth it if your electric rates are $0.20/kwh or higher. Otherwise you will never pay back the extra up front costs. With low electric rates a two speed pump is a much better choice.

    While it can be really nice to have a main drain sometimes, it certainly isn't required and does not affect the pump choice.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    ivyleager's Avatar
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    Re: In ground pool with no main drain

    I have a 38 x 18 inground rectangular pool. One speed pump, one skimmer, 2 return, no main drain. I have NO problem with adequate circulation. I would add that I tend to use pump >8 hrs day.
    CaryB
    36 x 18 IG vinyl, 25K, 1 HP pump, sand filter
    1 skimmer, 2 returns, no main drain
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    Re: In ground pool with no main drain

    Thanks for the information. I'm not as worried about the energy savings as I am with the noise. I was told the variable speed pumps are much quieter. Is that true?
    32x15 freeform gunite pool (approx 15,000 gallons) with a 7x7 raised spa with 2 spillovers - tanning ledge with 2 bubblers - All Hayward Equipment - ARQ15 SWCG - 400btu heater, 60sq ft DE filter - 2HP EcoStar VS pump - Oklahoma flagstone coping - MasterTile MASMIX 3 1x1 - Sundek - Crystal Stones Smooth Caribbean Blue - TF-100 - Doheny's Discovery Robot

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: In ground pool with no main drain

    My pool also has only one skimmer and two returns, and while it works, there are many times I wish it had a main drain, so much so that I am strongly considering doing a major renovation next time it needs a new liner, and part of that will be adding a main drain. As to the pump, you might consider getting a 2 speed pump, they are considerably cheaper than the variable speed models.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: In ground pool with no main drain

    I like having a drain.

    It always seems to happen that just after I vacuum and put everything away I spot one or two pieces I missed. So I set things to pull from the drain and gently brush the stuff downhill to it, and it gets sucked away.

    Normally I get maybe 30% from the drain. I don't have that temperature stratification some pool have. Low returns would probably accomplish the same thing.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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    Malibu07's Avatar
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    Re: In ground pool with no main drain

    My pool is a 28 x 14 and we have two main drains, 4 returns, 1 skimmer and two jet spas in the steps. I am glad we got the main drains as they are handy pumping off water when we get a lot of rain. With out a main drain how do you pump out excess water?
    14,700 gal. 14 x 28 rectangle with 2R IG by Hydra Pools, 1 hp Hayward Maxflow ll, Hayward 24" Sand Filter, Aquarite Electronic SWG, one Aqua Genie Complete Skimmer, two main drains, four returns, 2 spa jets in steps, 30ml Tidewater liner. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: In ground pool with no main drain

    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu07
    My pool is a 28 x 14 and we have two main drains, 4 returns, 1 skimmer and two jet spas in the steps. I am glad we got the main drains as they are handy pumping off water when we get a lot of rain. With out a main drain how do you pump out excess water?
    From the skimmer - you never want to drain below the working level of the skimmer anyway
    15,600 Gallon, 16' x 32' In-Ground Vinyl Pool
    Pentair VS 3050 pump, Quad DE 60 filter and SunTouch controller
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: In ground pool with no main drain

    Both variable speed pumps, and two speed pumps, running on low speed are much quieter than any pump running at full speed.
    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: In ground pool with no main drain

    Thanks to everyone for all the info. I don't think I'm going to go with this PB. Another one I met with quoted me all Pentair products with a choice of a 2 speed Whisperflo or a Challenger. I felt like the no main drain wasn't really an "upgrade" anyway.
    32x15 freeform gunite pool (approx 15,000 gallons) with a 7x7 raised spa with 2 spillovers - tanning ledge with 2 bubblers - All Hayward Equipment - ARQ15 SWCG - 400btu heater, 60sq ft DE filter - 2HP EcoStar VS pump - Oklahoma flagstone coping - MasterTile MASMIX 3 1x1 - Sundek - Crystal Stones Smooth Caribbean Blue - TF-100 - Doheny's Discovery Robot

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