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Thread: How many pumps do I really need?

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    Killer95Stang's Avatar
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    How many pumps do I really need?

    I'm just about to sign a contract on a 19' x 32' freeform gunite pool with spa. I've had five different pool builders come in to give me a quote and only one has added extra pumps to his quote. With pool features below, what do I really need?

    - 19 x 32 freeform pool with 3.5 shallow and 8 ft deep end
    - 12" raised 7' diameter spa with 6 jets and spillway into pool
    - 9' w x 3ft h x 3' d water feature rock waterfall
    - suction side dedicated pool cleaner line (pentair sand shark)
    - clean clear 420 cartridge or Pentair DE 60 filter
    - Pentair 3hp VS+ variable speed pump
    - Easytouch automation w/ intellichlor SWG

    Four of the quotes only list Pentair variable speed pump. In the fifth quote, the builder added a booster pump for the spa to go along with the Pentair variable speed pump. He also added a third 2hp whisperflo pump for the water feature.

    So what do I really need? I really like the thoroughness of the 5th quote, but the added pumps along with other addons is taking his quote out of my limited budget.

    Thanks
    Pool done!! (backyard = work in progress) 32' x 19' inground freeform with 7' spa, baja step w/ (2) bubblers, stonescapes mini pebble finish, rock waterfall feature, 12" raised bond beam, Intelliflo VS, Whisperflo feature pump, (3) 5G Color LED's, FNS + DE 60, 400K Master Temp, Easytouch 8 w/ remote, Intellichlor IC40, Vision Classic Ceramic Kamado smoker, Margaritaville DM1000!!! Party Coming Soon!!
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    Christian's Avatar
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    Re: How many pumps do I really need?

    The IntelliFlo (Pentair VS pump) is plenty for that set up. You could add an extra dedicated pump for the spa jets but with only 6 jets it is not really necessary.

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: How many pumps do I really need?

    One thing to mention: it is better to have a separate plumbing loop for spa jets that doesn't go through the filter. It makes the jets more powerful and doesn't subject your filter to what is possibly more flow than it is designed for.
    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!
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    Killer95Stang's Avatar
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    Re: How many pumps do I really need?

    Okay... so from me a soon to be first time pool owner, I would have the following separate functions using one 3hp Pentair Intelliflo. This would be accomplished by turning a certain sequence of ball valves, or actuators if I do go ahead with the Easytouch automation.

    1.) Pool filter by itself, running 8-12 hours while the pool isn't being used.
    2.) Spa jets & heater w/ filter off and water feature off.
    3.) Water feature with spa and filter off.
    4.) Pool cleaner (sand shark) with filter on or off.

    Does the single VS pump have enough power to run more than one function at a time, like the water feature and spa? I know it depends on pipe sizes and pressure losses, but can you typically run all the functions you want with the single pump? I being real general here...

    Thanks again...
    Pool done!! (backyard = work in progress) 32' x 19' inground freeform with 7' spa, baja step w/ (2) bubblers, stonescapes mini pebble finish, rock waterfall feature, 12" raised bond beam, Intelliflo VS, Whisperflo feature pump, (3) 5G Color LED's, FNS + DE 60, 400K Master Temp, Easytouch 8 w/ remote, Intellichlor IC40, Vision Classic Ceramic Kamado smoker, Margaritaville DM1000!!! Party Coming Soon!!
    TF-100 Test Kit w/ Speedstir

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    Christian's Avatar
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    Re: How many pumps do I really need?

    That sounds like a good set up to me. The IntelliFlo has plenty of power and you should be able to run 2 of those functions without a problem. You might even be able to do all 3 though the spa jets might not have quite as much oomph if you do that. I would advise getting a leaf canister for your cleaner and having the filter on when you are running that.

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    Mike_W's Avatar
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    Re: How many pumps do I really need?

    Quote Originally Posted by Killer95Stang
    Does the single VS pump have enough power to run more than one function at a time, like the water feature and spa?
    I have a system similar to what you describe and the IntelliFlo handles it without any issues.

    Does your water feature empty into the spa? Will you keep your pool heated? If not, the down side of running the spa with any other functions is that you are heating water that ends up in the pool.

    Mike
    ~17' x 34' IG pool with attached spa - 20500 gallons - Gunite with a "pebblesheen"-ish finish
    Jandy iAqualink with iPad and Jandy PDA remote - Pentair IntelliFlo VS 11018 Pump
    AquaRite SWCG - Pentair SMBW 4060 DE Filter - Really Old Raypak heater
    "Wall-E" an Arneson-Hayward Navigator - A couple of Jandy/Zodiac WaterColors LED Lights - Blue-White F-1000 Flow meter

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: How many pumps do I really need?

    Given what you are paying for the entire pool, to me it doesn't make sense to skimp on the pumps. There are many reasons to have multiple pumps.

    1-Spa jets will perform much better on a dedicated pump without a filter and heater.

    2-You can run the pump and filter in pool mode while still using the spa jets. You can't do that with a single pump.

    3-You can run the waterfall at the same time as the spa. You can't do that with a single pump.

    If you want the most flexibility, go with three pumps. Yes, one pump can do the job but then you will have to make sacrifices.
    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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    Mike_W's Avatar
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    Re: How many pumps do I really need?

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    1-Spa jets will perform much better on a dedicated pump without a filter and heater.
    At my house, an unheated spa would be a no go, even with better jet performance. The wifey likes the spa in the 100-102 F range.
    Mike
    ~17' x 34' IG pool with attached spa - 20500 gallons - Gunite with a "pebblesheen"-ish finish
    Jandy iAqualink with iPad and Jandy PDA remote - Pentair IntelliFlo VS 11018 Pump
    AquaRite SWCG - Pentair SMBW 4060 DE Filter - Really Old Raypak heater
    "Wall-E" an Arneson-Hayward Navigator - A couple of Jandy/Zodiac WaterColors LED Lights - Blue-White F-1000 Flow meter

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: How many pumps do I really need?

    Mike,

    I think you misunderstood. I wasn't suggesting not to have a heater for the spa. Only that the jets should be on a separate loop that does not include the filter or heater. There is still a return loop in the spa for the filter and heater but it is separate from the jets as shown in the picture below:

    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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    Mike_W's Avatar
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    Re: How many pumps do I really need?

    Yes I did misunderstand - and I can see the advantages of the system you propose. I guess that's why you are a TFP expert.
    Mike
    ~17' x 34' IG pool with attached spa - 20500 gallons - Gunite with a "pebblesheen"-ish finish
    Jandy iAqualink with iPad and Jandy PDA remote - Pentair IntelliFlo VS 11018 Pump
    AquaRite SWCG - Pentair SMBW 4060 DE Filter - Really Old Raypak heater
    "Wall-E" an Arneson-Hayward Navigator - A couple of Jandy/Zodiac WaterColors LED Lights - Blue-White F-1000 Flow meter

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    Re: How many pumps do I really need?

    I know that it is a multispeed pump, but having a 3hp pump running 95% of the time for what you could use a 1hp multispeed pump does not make sense to me. Get a separate pump - You only will need to run it while in the spa, and the other can handle the pool.
    Science and Math Teacher
    Owner - SPS - part time pool biz
    18x36 IG Vinyl, 23000 Gallons with Jacuzzi (the bane of my existance) pumpworks
    Polaris 280 w/ PB4 booster

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    Re: How many pumps do I really need?

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    Given what you are paying for the entire pool, to me it doesn't make sense to skimp on the pumps. There are many reasons to have multiple pumps.

    1-Spa jets will perform much better on a dedicated pump without a filter and heater.

    2-You can run the pump and filter in pool mode while still using the spa jets. You can't do that with a single pump.

    3-You can run the waterfall at the same time as the spa. You can't do that with a single pump.

    If you want the most flexibility, go with three pumps. Yes, one pump can do the job but then you will have to make sacrifices.

    I am in the process of building a pool and have been looking at spas. I think your set up is perfect. One VS pump for the pool, pool features and spa just really doesn't make for a really active, bubbling spa, IMO. Contractor is stating that I can just use one pump for our sheer descents, spa, and pool & just get a blower for the jets for more bubbles. I'm thinking I need to have at least two pumps.

    -Shad Dixon

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