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Thread: Plumbing Options for Separate Pool / Spa (non spillover)

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    Plumbing Options for Separate Pool / Spa (non spillover)

    Hello!

    I am looking at purchasing a home which has an in ground fiberglass pool and spa. The spa doesn't spillover into the pool and they appear to be completely separate systems. The equipment pad has two pumps, two filters, one heater, and one SWCG. The house is a foreclosure, so I can't ask the owner how it was supposed to work.

    Can this type of system be plumbed in a fashion to use only one filter/pump? I'm assuming it would difficult/impossible to maintain the water level in the pool/spa since the amount of water coming from/going to the pool/spa would be hard to control.

    Just wondering if there were any options there. I'm not really sure how the existing SWCG works for both unless they were maintaining the spa chlorine by hand. The though of running two single speed pumps sounds expensive.

    Thanks!

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
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    Re: Plumbing Options for Separate Pool / Spa (non spillover)

    I would expect the cell in on the pool and the heater is on the spa. The spa can either be bromine of chlorine but manually kept with bleach, 1" tabs of chlorine or bromine in a floater or manually with bleach, cal-hypo, or dichlor.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Plumbing Options for Separate Pool / Spa (non spillover)

    I found a few more details.

    The pool is a viking cancun 15k gallon fiberglass pool.

    The spa is a viking regal 600 gallon?? fiberglass spa.

    The equipment is two Sta Rite 300sqft cartridge filters, a Sta Rite 400k btu heater, 2 2hp Sta-Rite pumps (the pool one is broken/not installed), and an Aqua Rite SWCG.

    I've never seen a setup like this, so I'm not sure what to make of it. My current pool is pool only.

    A 300sqft filter seems overkill on the spa only side.

    Just wondering if there are any ways I could simplify this setup.

    Here is a picture of the current equipment pad:

    http://imgur.com/jRB9m


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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing Options for Separate Pool / Spa (non spillover)

    That is an interesting setup, the heater and SWG can be switched (together) to work on either the pool or the spa, while the other one still filters.

    You could convert this to a traditional shared equipment setup. Doing so would mean completely redoing the plumbing at the equipment pad, but wouldn't otherwise be difficult. The setup would be spa suction and pool suction joined by a three way valve to the single pump, to a single filter, to the heater, to the SWG to a three way valve that picks between pool and spa, with the pool side going through a second three way valve to pick between the two pool return lines. This setup will be simplest to use if you add an automation system, but that is not required. To get it to work effortlessly, you will also want to add an overflow line so that any spa overflow goes into the pool. There are a couple of ways of doing that, which one will work depends on some details I can't see, like the relative height of the pool and spa and equipment pad.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing Options for Separate Pool / Spa (non spillover)

    Quote Originally Posted by vegas4x4
    Can this type of system be plumbed in a fashion to use only one filter/pump? I'm assuming it would difficult/impossible to maintain the water level in the pool/spa since the amount of water coming from/going to the pool/spa would be hard to control.
    Normally, when you have a pool and spa run off a single pump you have three modes you can operate in; pool only, spa only, spa spillover (pool suction, spa return).

    It looks like it already is configured to share the heater & SWG on the return side so you don't necessarily need the second filter. However, you will need to bring the pool suction over to the spa suction and connect them to the pump with a 3-way valve. You will then be able to choose the spa or pool suction but not usually both at the same time which can cause water level issues in the spa.

    But other than the cost of a second pump, why do you want to run the system off just one pump? Since you already have the second filter, with a dual system, you can run the spa independently from the pool which is a really nice feature to have. The spa pump would not need to be run long since the body of water is so small, turnover is very fast. Plus, because you have the spillover feature already built in, you can use the pool pump to circulate water through the spa spillover. The pool pump can be a low HP efficient pump for circulation of the pool and spa spillover.
    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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    Re: Plumbing Options for Separate Pool / Spa (non spillover)

    Thanks guys, you've given me some ideas.

    I need to take a closer look and see if there is any type of equalizer line between the pool and spa. I assumed not, but currently the pool and spa are covered by makeshift 2x4/wire mesh/tarp covers the bank installed on the foreclosure to keep a kid from falling in. Lifting the pool one is very heavy.

    I can see the advantages of having two systems. I was just not looking forward to the idea of having two filters to clean/maintain, two pumps to run, etc. Plus having to maintain the spa chlorine by hand, isn't preferred. I love my existing pool since I pretty much just adjust the SWG as needed and I'm hardly ever out dosing chemicals and I never get algae. When I was using liquid chlorine I was dosing every 2-3 days in the summer and still not keeping 100% on top of it and would still occasionally get algae.

    And I love the cost savings of the variable speed pump. My current electric bill went down about $35 a month after installing that. On this setup I would definitely install a variable speed pump on the pool side.

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    Re: Plumbing Options for Separate Pool / Spa (non spillover)

    I had the same setup you currently have, but the previous owners removed all spa equipment. I just had 2 pipes coming out of the ground. I had the plumbing reconfigured as mentioned above so I could put it back to use.

    I suppose the downside is that the spa would not be ready for use at your disposal. You'd need to switch it over to circulate and heat. Not a huge deal, but I usually have to decide if I want to get in the spa badly enough to do this.

    The upside is that it never takes much to get the water back in balance. As mentioned above, turnover is extremely short, and water will clear up in about 30 minutes if I haven't circulated it for a few days. And as you mentioned, less equipment to maintain/utility bills, etc.

    It's just a matter of wanting to use it enough to warrant going out and switching the valves.
    Kansas City, MO
    13500 gallon Foxx vinyl sport pool--inground (1988)
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing Options for Separate Pool / Spa (non spillover)

    Plus having to maintain the spa chlorine by hand, isn't preferred.
    You shouldn't have to. The current setup will allow for chlorinating both the spa and pool but separately. You might be able to adjust the valves so they run together but if that doesn't work, you could add automation such that they are run at different times. Another option is to add a second SWG.

    Also, I just realized that you mentioned before that the spa does not spillover into the pool. Is that because it is not close to the pool or does not have the spillover spout or was it for some other reason?
    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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