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Thread: Have you built a pool pole out of sliding 10' pipes? .. How?

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    Have you built a pool pole out of sliding 10' pipes? .. How?

    Over the years, I've bought & broken and finally given up on aluminum pool poles from the box & pool stores:


    They bend:


    They crack:


    They kink:


    They break:


    My wife angrily threw away my prized yellow fiberglass pole after getting splinters, so I am trying to build a sliding steel pole out of fittings at home depot.


    But I can't seem to get the fittings right.

    Have you ever created a sliding pole out of cheap but strong (strong than aluminum anyway) 10' EMT tubing?
    What fittings did you use so that you could slide & clamp the two ten-foot steel (EMT conduit) poles together?
    Silicon Valley, 38,500 gallons in-ground plaster; Sta-Rite System 3 Model S8M150, 259 sqft cartridge 25022-0203S + 191 sqft cartridge #25021-0202S = 450 sqft filter@0.28gpm/sqft = 125 gpm@50psi max. Three 220v Sta-Rite Max-e-Glas II pumps {AO Smith QC1102 1.0x1.65SF for filter + cleaner; SQ1152 1.5x1.47SF for spa jets; square 48Y flange}. 13 Fafco 12'x4' professionally installed "Revolution" solar heating panels + Raypak RP2100 P-R 405A-EP LPG 399,000/hour heater + Compool Lx3600 controller + Infinity 4000 automatic pool cover (120v 3/4 HP motor); both skimmers are NOT filtered & serve only as intake for 9-port water valves (aka cleaner heads) controlling fifteen Paramount PCC2000 3" self-cleaning jets with the optional Debris Containment Canister.

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    Re: Have you built a pool pole out of sliding 10' pipes? ..

    OMG, what do you do with your poles. Do use them for pole vaulting over the pool. Do the kids use them for a volley ball net. I've had the same poles that came with the house 11yrs ago. They are scratched, dented, rusted, corroded and look horrible but they are still fairly straight and usable. Just remember to go slow when pulling through the water. Slow and steady is the name of the game. Don't be in a hurry. Water has alot of resistance especially when your pulling up a basket full of leaves.

    skeeter
    47 yr old(1977) 18,000gal Kidney shaped 38ft long plaster Pool with built-in Spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS3050 Pump, Pentair 48sf DE filter, Raypack RP2100 gas heater. HTH 5-way test kit

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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Re: Have you built a pool pole out of sliding 10' pipes? ..

    If you use EMT you won't have a true telescoping effect because there's a big difference between the OD of the smaller tube and the ID of the next larger size. The tight, but slip fit of regular pool poles allow them to be somewhat stiff, even when fully extended. If you use EMT, you'd have to crank any compression fitting super tight (wrenches), and even then it probably wouldn't be as rigid as a standard pool pole.

    In other words you need true telescoping sized tubing to make this work.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Have you built a pool pole out of sliding 10' pipes? ..

    Quote Originally Posted by skeeter_ca
    I've had the same poles that came with the house 11yrs ago.
    Wow. I can't imagine that. None of my poles can be more than 3 years old as I bought all new ones at that time, and have replaced some since.
    It would be interesting to find out if I'm the only one with such cruddy poles, as mine are clearly of inferior quality (most are from Home Depot, but some are from Leslie's pool supply).

    Quote Originally Posted by gtemkin
    EMT ... won't have a true telescoping effect ... In other words you need true telescoping sized tubing
    I understand what you're saying - but I wanted to try it out to see how well it worked, even with the loose fit.
    Regarding locking down the compression nut, I'm actually OK with a set size, locked in place.

    As for telecoping tubes, do you know of any sources of inexpensive light but strong steel?
    With the deep end being about 8 or 9 feet, what's the rule of thumb for how long a pole needs to be?
    Silicon Valley, 38,500 gallons in-ground plaster; Sta-Rite System 3 Model S8M150, 259 sqft cartridge 25022-0203S + 191 sqft cartridge #25021-0202S = 450 sqft filter@0.28gpm/sqft = 125 gpm@50psi max. Three 220v Sta-Rite Max-e-Glas II pumps {AO Smith QC1102 1.0x1.65SF for filter + cleaner; SQ1152 1.5x1.47SF for spa jets; square 48Y flange}. 13 Fafco 12'x4' professionally installed "Revolution" solar heating panels + Raypak RP2100 P-R 405A-EP LPG 399,000/hour heater + Compool Lx3600 controller + Infinity 4000 automatic pool cover (120v 3/4 HP motor); both skimmers are NOT filtered & serve only as intake for 9-port water valves (aka cleaner heads) controlling fifteen Paramount PCC2000 3" self-cleaning jets with the optional Debris Containment Canister.

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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Re: Have you built a pool pole out of sliding 10' pipes? ..

    If you don't need adjustability, then you probably could accomplish what your thinking of doing. It's hard to say how much more durable it would be, considering EMT is not the hardest tubing and intended to be bent with some ease, but it's worth a try. I don't think you'll find a stepped size electrical compression fitting; I think electrical folks frown on joining 2 different size conduits without terminating to a junction box, but you may take fittings that have a compression on one end and a pipe thread on the other end and join them back to back with a pipe coupling. One of those fittings would be sized for the larger tube, the other for the smaller tube. I think you'd want to have the tubes telescoped even if they weren't adjustable, so you could anchor the inner tube to the outer tube some distance away from compression fittings. A telescoped construction would require that you drill out the bore of the smaller compression fitting to allow the tubing to go through it. They typically have a step in the compression fitting sot only allow the tube to go in so far; that would have to be drilled out.

    Good luck, and I'll keep an eye out for a setup that might help you.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Re: Have you built a pool pole out of sliding 10' pipes? ..

    Go to http://www.mcmaster.com and in the FIND field type in telescoping. You'll see several options for telescoping poles and tubing made out of different materials, including stainless steel (eewwwee). You'd have to work out how to attach standard pool tools but that should be easy. Not as cheap as EMT though.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Have you built a pool pole out of sliding 10' pipes? ..

    Quote Originally Posted by gtemkin
    it's worth a try.
    That was my thinking.
    I'd find it hard to believe I'm the first one with this idea - but I'm willing to be the guinea pig if that's the case.
    Quote Originally Posted by gtemkin
    electrical folks frown on joining 2 different size conduits
    Makes sense.
    The first goal would be to find the 'desired" 3/4 to " fitting, if it exists; if it doesn't exist, the goal would be to step it down; and if that can't be done, then I would drill or ream it out with a file.
    Quote Originally Posted by gtemkin
    They typically have a step in the compression fitting sot only allow the tube to go in so far
    That's exactly the problem that I am trying to figure out how to resolve!

    I'll keep looking ... and report back if/when I'm successful - as the final test is the only one that matters, which is how well it works, in pool practice.
    Silicon Valley, 38,500 gallons in-ground plaster; Sta-Rite System 3 Model S8M150, 259 sqft cartridge 25022-0203S + 191 sqft cartridge #25021-0202S = 450 sqft filter@0.28gpm/sqft = 125 gpm@50psi max. Three 220v Sta-Rite Max-e-Glas II pumps {AO Smith QC1102 1.0x1.65SF for filter + cleaner; SQ1152 1.5x1.47SF for spa jets; square 48Y flange}. 13 Fafco 12'x4' professionally installed "Revolution" solar heating panels + Raypak RP2100 P-R 405A-EP LPG 399,000/hour heater + Compool Lx3600 controller + Infinity 4000 automatic pool cover (120v 3/4 HP motor); both skimmers are NOT filtered & serve only as intake for 9-port water valves (aka cleaner heads) controlling fifteen Paramount PCC2000 3" self-cleaning jets with the optional Debris Containment Canister.

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    AlanH's Avatar
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    Re: Have you built a pool pole out of sliding 10' pipes? ..

    Just a thought. Have you looked at making some "bushings" out of PVC tubing and/or connectors (or other types of plastic tubing). PVC might be easier to machine/work than the metal EMT fittings. Try various types of PVC tubing (potable water, CPVC, conduit, connectors) to find something that fills the gap between the two sizes of EMT tubing. Once you have the "fit" figured out (jamming onto one tube while letting the other slide freely) you could epoxy the "jammed" bushing inside the larger EMT tubing and on the outside the smaller EMT tubing. Once assembled you could probably drill a small hole in the EMT tubes when extended between the two bushings for a locking pin (or plastic spring clip like those used on most pole equipment) without too much risk of creating a weak spot causing the tubes to break.

    As an aside, we had to make some heavy steel hinges for a large gate in which the steel tubing had an inside diameter of 5/8" and the hinge pin was 1/2" round bar. We found some PVC tubing that would take up the slack perfectly but was 3/4" diameter. We simply cut a slot out of the length of tubing and squeezed it so the it would fit inside the 5/8" steel tube. Been like that for 10 years and is opened and shut at least a half dozen times a day.
    "I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." (R. Frost); 12.5K gal; 18'x72" round joined to 10x16x18" oval; vinyl liners; ferrocement-like wall panels; perimeter wet edge; fountain and cascade; Pentair Dynamo 1hp 2 spd; Pentair CC75 filter; Pentair no-lube valves. My build here.

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    Re: Have you built a pool pole out of sliding 10' pipes? ..

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanH
    making some "bushings" out of PVC tubing and/or connectors
    That's a great suggestion!
    I hadn't thought of it - and - the good news - it expands our choices of connections.
    I'll check it out the next time I head off to Home Depot & report back what I find out.
    Thanks for the suggestion ... what we find out may help many others in a similar situation.
    Silicon Valley, 38,500 gallons in-ground plaster; Sta-Rite System 3 Model S8M150, 259 sqft cartridge 25022-0203S + 191 sqft cartridge #25021-0202S = 450 sqft filter@0.28gpm/sqft = 125 gpm@50psi max. Three 220v Sta-Rite Max-e-Glas II pumps {AO Smith QC1102 1.0x1.65SF for filter + cleaner; SQ1152 1.5x1.47SF for spa jets; square 48Y flange}. 13 Fafco 12'x4' professionally installed "Revolution" solar heating panels + Raypak RP2100 P-R 405A-EP LPG 399,000/hour heater + Compool Lx3600 controller + Infinity 4000 automatic pool cover (120v 3/4 HP motor); both skimmers are NOT filtered & serve only as intake for 9-port water valves (aka cleaner heads) controlling fifteen Paramount PCC2000 3" self-cleaning jets with the optional Debris Containment Canister.

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    Re: Have you built a pool pole out of sliding 10' pipes? ..

    If you spend 60 dollars or so on a Professional Grade Pole it will last a long time.

    The blue pool store ones are junk.

    Worth spending the money and getting a pro pole, leaf rake and brush.
    25k 20x40 Gunite w/ integrated Spa & Caribbean Blue Plaster, Curved Bluestone Coping, Deck Jets
    Pentair Easy Touch/Wireless, Sta-Rite Intellipro SRVS Pump, Intellibrite Lights, & Pentair IC40 Cell, Sta-Rite 450sf Cartridge filter
    Heated from Central Boiler - Outdoor Wood Furnace & Triangle Tube Max Heat Exchanger
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    Re: Have you built a pool pole out of sliding 10' pipes? ..

    Quote Originally Posted by blakeusa
    If you spend 60 dollars or so on a Professional Grade Pole it will last a long time.

    The blue pool store ones are junk.

    Worth spending the money and getting a pro pole, leaf rake and brush.
    ^this


    http://amzn.com/B005MAHAV0

    If you need stouter than that try a professional painter's roller extension pole. Both will be cheaper than building one from scratch.
    Erik

    20k gallons, IG (Fiberglass), T-40 Sand Filter(38 GPM),Hayward Superpump w/1 HP motor, Solaxx Harmony (combo cleaner/SWG).

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    Re: Have you built a pool pole out of sliding 10' pipes? ..

    Quote Originally Posted by blakeusa
    If you spend 60 dollars or so on a Professional Grade Pole it will last a long time.
    The question is what is a professional grade, given that whatever I bought from Home Depot & Leslies is, agreed by all, to be junk.

    The blue pool store ones are junk.

    Which is why I asked here ... :)

    Quote Originally Posted by 2.ooohhh
    I read all 24 reviews of that particular pole, and everyone said it appears to be more solid than the blue poies, in both the metal and in the clamping mechanism.

    Are there any metal-thickness or plastic clamping material specifications that we should aim for so that we can order online intelligently?
    Silicon Valley, 38,500 gallons in-ground plaster; Sta-Rite System 3 Model S8M150, 259 sqft cartridge 25022-0203S + 191 sqft cartridge #25021-0202S = 450 sqft filter@0.28gpm/sqft = 125 gpm@50psi max. Three 220v Sta-Rite Max-e-Glas II pumps {AO Smith QC1102 1.0x1.65SF for filter + cleaner; SQ1152 1.5x1.47SF for spa jets; square 48Y flange}. 13 Fafco 12'x4' professionally installed "Revolution" solar heating panels + Raypak RP2100 P-R 405A-EP LPG 399,000/hour heater + Compool Lx3600 controller + Infinity 4000 automatic pool cover (120v 3/4 HP motor); both skimmers are NOT filtered & serve only as intake for 9-port water valves (aka cleaner heads) controlling fifteen Paramount PCC2000 3" self-cleaning jets with the optional Debris Containment Canister.

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    Re: Have you built a pool pole out of sliding 10' pipes? ..

    Quote Originally Posted by rock
    The question is what is a professional grade, given that whatever I bought from Home Depot & Leslies is, agreed by all, to be junk.

    The blue pool store ones are junk.

    Worth spending the money and getting a pro pole, leaf rake and brush.
    When I was working on cars professionally I didn't buy my tools at sears or home depot b/c nearly everything they sold wasn't up to my standards. I take the same approach with every tool I buy today. I looked at the "tools" available at the local Leslie's and had to laugh. There is no way that if I'm going to be cleaning my pool nearly daily in the summer for years to come that these are the items that I would choose to do it with, so I searched on my phone from within the store and ordered a leaf net, pole, and brush from amazon. They cost around 2x-3x what the set in the retail pool store did but when they got here (still waiting on the brush) I was throughly impressed for the price paid and I didn't spend a dime on gas driving around to get them.



    Quote Originally Posted by rock
    I read all 24 reviews of that particular pole, and everyone said it appears to be more solid than the blue poies, in both the metal and in the clamping mechanism.

    Are there any metal-thickness or plastic clamping material specifications that we should aim for so that we can order online intelligently?
    You could look at clamp specifications and material specifications for hours or trust the 24 other people who took the time out of their day to review it. I could measure it with a dial caliper for you or you could just take my word for it that it's much better than others on the market. The reviews very rarely lie, occasionally there is an outlier that the product did or didn't work for but 100% solid positive (4 and 5 star) reviews for a product on a site like amazon generally points to it being the top in its field.(be sure to exclude amazon "vine" reviews as those reviewers are receiving the product free and rarely are as truthful as a normal customer.) My time off is worth a lot to me and I want to not waste it. Buying a quality product once and not having to fool with that "issue" again helps me get back to what I really want to be doing. (swimming in this case)


    PS- Jed's pool tools makes a longer version than the one I ordered as well but you'll need to order it directly from them since it's apparently too long to ship via amazon's means.

    http://www.jedpooltools.com/
    or call them at 1-800-345-0685
    Erik

    20k gallons, IG (Fiberglass), T-40 Sand Filter(38 GPM),Hayward Superpump w/1 HP motor, Solaxx Harmony (combo cleaner/SWG).

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