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Thread: Do builders use long or short radius elbows in the plumbing?

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    Do builders use long or short radius elbows in the plumbing?

    I only found out today about the existence and efficiency advantage of long-radius elbows versus short-radius elbows.

    Taking a look at my professionally installed pool equipment, I see only short radius elbows:

    Since there was plenty of room then, and now, I wonder why a builder would opt for short-radius elbows when longer-radius elbows would fit as well.

    Any insight into this new topic (for me) of what most builders use for initial pool equipment elbows?
    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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    mas985's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Pleasanton, CA

    Re: Do builders use long or short radius elbows in the plumb

    Yes most builders use short radius elbows because it makes the plumbing a little easier.

    However, the advantage of long radius elbows is small at best. In a typical plumbing setup, replacing a 90 with long radius 90 would reduce head loss by less than 0.2% per 90. To me it isn't worth the hassle. Up sizing the pipe has a much larger impact (~9%) because it affects not only 90s but every fitting and all the pipe.
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner

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