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Thread: Are many small returns feasible?

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    wpbucher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    South-Central Pennsylvania

    Are many small returns feasible?

    We rented a house in Canada that had two returns and two small (I believe 3/8") eyeballs at the pool steps. As the air cools in the evening (happens quite a bit in Canada), everyone wanted a spot in front of the returns because that is where the heated water entered the pool.

    We are now back in the US of A and I would like to configure the pool such that there are multiple place for people to sit and enjoy a bit of warm water hitting their backs. I'm not talking about any kind of jet action or massage, just some warmth.

    Vinyl liner pool [31x40 (807 sf)] with a waterfall, and a spillover spa plumbed for two pumps. One loop for filtration and the other attached to a separate pump. The waterfall has a separate pump. Pool will have 2 skimmers.

    The waterfall is fairly large. Three steps each 12" thick with a 5.5 foot opening where it dumps into the pool. I've attached a picture of the waterfall from the pool in Canada. The new waterfall will look the same (hopefully) but will be slightly larger.

    The pool has a cuddle cove in the deep end and will have steps/benches in the shallow end (where the 6 returns are located). The exact step and bench configuration remains a work in progress.

    The return near the spa is to ensure that there is not a dead spot in the middle of the pool.

    Is it feasible to have multiple small returns in place of a single large return?

    Am I going to regret having that many tees and connections underground?

    If feasible,

    How best to plumb?

    I was thinking of using 1" directional eyeballs.

    I've attached two crude drawings that show the general routing of pipe. One has individual lines that would each utilize a 2 way FullFloFX diverter valve. The other is configured as a loop.

    I like the individual piping because of the flow control, although all of that piping and all of those valves create a lot of head loss.

    My understanding is that loop configuration will provide even flow though all of the returns. I'm OK with that.
    Although....could the pressure be adjusted at each return by using different size eyeballs?

    If going with the loop configuration, should I plumb two returns for the "dead spot" return so that all return plumbing coming off of the loop are identical...and thus have the same head loss?

    Finally, is it advisable to run plumbing under a waterfall?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    2013 HotSpring Grandee with Ace Sanitizing System
    25K IG vinyl pool with Alps spillover spa and waterfall. Build Date: June 2013
    Triton II TR100 Sand Filter, Pentair Master Temp 400 natural gas pool heater, Intellichlor SWG, Rainbow Chlorine Feeder
    Pentair VF filter pump, WhisperFlo 2 hp WFE-8 waterfall pump, WhisperFloFX 2 hp spillover spa pump
    Intellibrite 5G (2 pool and 1 in spa) lights :: TFT-100 test kit, Taylor K-1776 test kit

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