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Thread: Do we need returns?

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    JimboAZ's Avatar
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    Do we need returns?

    We're having a new pool built soon (see http://www.troublefreepool.com/new-p...az-t54925.html) and have a question about the plumbing. We will be having an in-ground cleaning system installed (we're 100% set on that) but we're also asking for a dedicated suction line to be installed, just in case we want to use a vacuum at some time. Regarding the returns the PB said they'll put them in if the in floor valve has an available zone. Since we have a pool and spa and a few benches the in floor valve may not have room. Theoretically, we shouldn't NEED the returns because the circulation can/will be done through the in-floor valves.

    Do we really need returns? What if we don't have them? Thanks!
    --22k gallon pool/spa, IG, pebble w/ glass beads/abalone, all tile spa w/ stacked stone and spillway, 30 sf waterfall, 3 telescopic fountains, EZ Touch 8
    --Pentair VS3050, Whisperflo waterfall pump, Clean & Clear 520 cartridge filter, Intellibrite 5G LED lights, Ozone, Q360 in-floor cleaning, 400k btu heater
    --100 perim ft pool, 25 perim ft spa, Depth 3.5' to 7', 405 sq ft travertine decking, TF100 test kit
    --Time Lapse Video of our Pool Build ---- Our Pool Build Thread

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Do we need returns?

    In-floor cleaning systems are among the most problematic and difficult to repair parts that go in a pool. I would absolutely have a backup system for the time when (not if) you have problems with the cleaning system. The returns can have big effect on the function of the skimmers as well as they can be set to create surface flow that directs debris to the skimmer.
    TFP Moderator
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    JimboAZ's Avatar
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    Re: Do we need returns?

    Thanks John, that was our reasoning as well. We'd like to have a backup system in place. We'll keep pursuing that option.
    --22k gallon pool/spa, IG, pebble w/ glass beads/abalone, all tile spa w/ stacked stone and spillway, 30 sf waterfall, 3 telescopic fountains, EZ Touch 8
    --Pentair VS3050, Whisperflo waterfall pump, Clean & Clear 520 cartridge filter, Intellibrite 5G LED lights, Ozone, Q360 in-floor cleaning, 400k btu heater
    --100 perim ft pool, 25 perim ft spa, Depth 3.5' to 7', 405 sq ft travertine decking, TF100 test kit
    --Time Lapse Video of our Pool Build ---- Our Pool Build Thread

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Do we need returns?

    Previous pool had in floor system and a valve at the equipment pad to select a set of wall returns. Not sure why they are stating that they need to see if room in the manifold. I would absolutely have a set of wall returns installed as a backup ... and I would not want it run through the manifold but to be its own circuit with a 3 way selecting between the floor and the wall. Then you can maintain circulation if you are waiting for repairs to the floor system or do not want to be kicking the popups while you are swimming.

    Adding an additional dedicated line to the pool for a cleaner seems like a good idea as well.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Do we need returns?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimboAZ
    We will be having an in-ground cleaning system installed (we're 100% set on that)
    Just so you fully understand, in-floor cleaners are extremely energy in-efficient. They require high pressure and flow rates which means a large pump which are very expensive to run. This and other forums are peppered with POs with in-floors complaining about the energy costs. Not to mention the repairs. I would seriously reconsider. A robot will be fair less expensive to install and run over the life time of the pool and it will do a much better job of cleaning. Just my 2 cents.
    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: Do we need returns?

    Wow, you guys are harsh against in-floor cleaning systems. I happen to like them and haven't seen a lot of problems with them in the past. The valve will go bad every now and then but I haven't seen any other problems. You say they are in-efficient but they actually circulate the chemicals better as well as heat the pool faster.

    Anyways, yes you should put the "surface" returns in the pool to be able to direct the debris towards the skimmer(s). Good Luck!

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Do we need returns?

    Quote Originally Posted by RPS&D
    You say they are in-efficient but they actually circulate the chemicals better as well as heat the pool faster.
    Actually, I said they were ENERGY in-efficient which they are. In-floor cleaners require large pumps and high speeds to operate the heads effectively (i.e. high pressure and flow rate) which equates to high energy usage. A robot with a variable/two speed speed pump will use a fraction of the energy that in-floors would plus do a better job of cleaning.

    Also, properly placed returns can circulate water just as effectively as in-floors. And really, in-floor returns do not heat the pool any faster. Heat is provided by solar or a heater and that determines how fast a pool will heat not the water distribution system. The only argument that you could possibly make is that they distribute the heat better but again, I don't believe that it is much better than properly aimed pool returns.
    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: Do we need returns?

    Wow, you guys are harsh against in-floor cleaning systems.
    After 8-10 years on this and other forums, the anecdotal evidence against in-floor systems is significant....not absolute but significant.

    Based on what many have posted, they simply don't seem to be a very good value.
    Dave S.
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    JimboAZ's Avatar
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    Re: Do we need returns?

    Looks like if we want the returns on a separate circuit with a manual valve that is going to run us $185. l Still waiting to hear about the dedicated suction.

    And, we're still going with the in-floor cleaning system!
    --22k gallon pool/spa, IG, pebble w/ glass beads/abalone, all tile spa w/ stacked stone and spillway, 30 sf waterfall, 3 telescopic fountains, EZ Touch 8
    --Pentair VS3050, Whisperflo waterfall pump, Clean & Clear 520 cartridge filter, Intellibrite 5G LED lights, Ozone, Q360 in-floor cleaning, 400k btu heater
    --100 perim ft pool, 25 perim ft spa, Depth 3.5' to 7', 405 sq ft travertine decking, TF100 test kit
    --Time Lapse Video of our Pool Build ---- Our Pool Build Thread

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Do we need returns?

    $185 seems like a pretty good price ... I mean the the 3-way valve alone is over $50. The dedicated suction line should actually be a little cheaper ... need a 3-way valve on the suction side of the pump and then only 1 pipe run to the pool wall (instead of pipe run to multiple returns).
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Do we need returns?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimboAZ
    Looks like if we want the returns on a separate circuit with a manual valve that is going to run us $185. l Still waiting to hear about the dedicated suction.

    And, we're still going with the in-floor cleaning system!

    I don't know if everyone knows this but if you hook up a variable speed pump to an in-floor system you can run the in-floor for a couple of hours at high speed and the go down to a low speed for the rest of the time. What about that is in-effecient?

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Do we need returns?

    That helps but you are still forced to have enough run time at higher speeds to keep the floor clean. A VS with a robotic or even a suction/pressure cleaner could operate at much lower RPM thereby saving a lot more in energy.
    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: Do we need returns?

    There is a set of owners that find robot cleaners to be very unattractive and quite often that same type of customer gives the power bill very low priority in their lifestyle.

    Infloor systems do a much better job of cleaning spas, steps, benches, around barstools, boulders and other obstrucions such as islands that are inside the pool. If you want to create the floating stone pathway look or have a stream connecting the spa or waterfeature to the main pool you almost have to use infloor systems.

    Caretaker started offering lifetime warranties on the heads and valves in 1999 have stood behind that warranty very well.

    However, the lions share of pools we build have Polaris 280s.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Do we need returns?

    I agree. I just wanted the OP to fully understand the energy consequences of an in-floor system. They may not care but there are many on the forums that do not understand this and when they ask if they can significantly reduce energy costs, they are unhappy with the answer.
    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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    JimboAZ's Avatar
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    Re: Do we need returns?

    Thanks to everyone for the feedback. We had a pool without an in floor cleaner and we were never happy with our Hayward vac. We eventually got a robot but it was a pain to empty the bag and I really didn't enjoy removing the vac from the pool. Since we're in AZ we go in the pool very often in the summer and we don't like swimming with a vacuum in the pool. We've also talked to neighbors and friends, and have seen first hand how well their in floor systems work. We're outside of Phoenix and on the front line for major dust storms. Being able to kick on the in floor cleaner during on of those storms is going to be awesome!
    --22k gallon pool/spa, IG, pebble w/ glass beads/abalone, all tile spa w/ stacked stone and spillway, 30 sf waterfall, 3 telescopic fountains, EZ Touch 8
    --Pentair VS3050, Whisperflo waterfall pump, Clean & Clear 520 cartridge filter, Intellibrite 5G LED lights, Ozone, Q360 in-floor cleaning, 400k btu heater
    --100 perim ft pool, 25 perim ft spa, Depth 3.5' to 7', 405 sq ft travertine decking, TF100 test kit
    --Time Lapse Video of our Pool Build ---- Our Pool Build Thread

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Do we need returns?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimboAZ
    Thanks to everyone for the feedback. We had a pool without an in floor cleaner and we were never happy with our Hayward vac. We eventually got a robot but it was a pain to empty the bag and I really didn't enjoy removing the vac from the pool. Since we're in AZ we go in the pool very often in the summer and we don't like swimming with a vacuum in the pool. We've also talked to neighbors and friends, and have seen first hand how well their in floor systems work. We're outside of Phoenix and on the front line for major dust storms. Being able to kick on the in floor cleaner during on of those storms is going to be awesome!
    Do you also have an autocover? It seems like the best first line of defense in that situation.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    JimboAZ's Avatar
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    Re: Do we need returns?

    No, we don't have an automatic cover. That would be nice but not within our budget at this time. We'll just have to deal with the dust.
    --22k gallon pool/spa, IG, pebble w/ glass beads/abalone, all tile spa w/ stacked stone and spillway, 30 sf waterfall, 3 telescopic fountains, EZ Touch 8
    --Pentair VS3050, Whisperflo waterfall pump, Clean & Clear 520 cartridge filter, Intellibrite 5G LED lights, Ozone, Q360 in-floor cleaning, 400k btu heater
    --100 perim ft pool, 25 perim ft spa, Depth 3.5' to 7', 405 sq ft travertine decking, TF100 test kit
    --Time Lapse Video of our Pool Build ---- Our Pool Build Thread

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Do we need returns?

    Is am autocover more expensive than the floor cleaners? I'm clueless myself about which costs more and which would work best.

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    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Do we need returns?

    Even if they were the same price i personally dont like the idea of an autocover because then you don't get to see your beautiful pool. What do you guys think?

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Do we need returns?

    Quote Originally Posted by RPS&D
    Even if they were the same price i personally dont like the idea of an autocover because then you don't get to see your beautiful pool. What do you guys think?
    Good point - I do like the look of all that sparkling water. Crystal clear due to BBB no less!
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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