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Thread: New Pool Opening w/DIY Solar - Assistance with Pump/Filter

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    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Portland, Oregon

    New Pool Opening w/DIY Solar - Assistance with Pump/Filter

    Hello All,
    Opening my first pool soon. Doing DIY solar with Solar Bear Fafco dual 4x20ft panels and DIY piping / pump / filter from scratch. I want to do all of this right and get the smallest HP pump I can get away with for electricity cost considerations. Here is the info:

    5000 gallons Intex 16ft Ultra
    200 square feet area pool
    160 square feet solar collector (Portland, Oregon - this ain't Florida or Cali)
    214 ft pipe run (including collectors as 80ft a piece)
    13ft maximum height at highest point of system
    Can be 2" or 1.5" pipe

    There will be approximately 134ft of pipe total excluding the collectors. I assume the collectors having 2" headers can be thought of as 80ft of pipe, so let's call it 214ft of pipe total. Total height of the system to the highest point is 13ft. Pipe can be 2", but would probably prefer 1.5" if I can get away with it and the additional HP necessary is negligible.

    So my questions:

    1) What is the total head of the system? I'm seeing different ways to calculate it online...according to the PVC pipe chart on the forum, 214ft with 1.5" pipe would be somewhere in the area of 34ft of head, where as 2" pipe would give 24ft of head. If that is right, would I then just add the 13ft for a total of 50ft / 37ft respectfully.

    2) The 1/2 HP Hayward Super Pump does 20 GPM (nearly double what I actually need, 5000 gal / 8 hours / 60 minutes = 10 gpm) at 40ft of head, and presumably would run a 2" system just fine. However, on their chart, it shows a - for 50ft of head. Does that mean it can't do it? Or just that they didn't test it?

    3) Given all of the above, is there a particular cartridge or sand filter kit system that would recommend to run everything just fine? I'm thinking of some of the 12-14" sand filters systems (ie, Swimtime 12" w/ 1/2 HP pump, or the Intex Sand and Saltwater System) on Amazon. Something prebuilt would be nice, but I'm willing to do custom if it will save me money. I kind of lean towards cartridge because I am lazy, but I'm open to sand as well if it saves me money.

    4) Ultimate goal is to get pump / filter that works well and has lowest operating costs.


    Attached Images Attached Images
    Intex Ultra Frame 16ft x 48" 5061 Gallon AG
    Hayward Easy-Clear C550 w/1HP Single Speed Pump
    Hayward Skimmer Mod
    Installed July 2013

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Charlie_R's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Mexico, MO

    Re: New Pool Opening w/DIY Solar - Assistance with Pump/Filt

    While I have been experimenting with the Intex system, specifically the 1/2 hp pump and "B" cart set (56633, 2500 gph/ ~40 gpm) I've noted that since the pump volute and impeller do move water quite well, there is a lack of head. I would love to see the actual performance curve for these systems. Hmmmm... maybe I should try putting that 10 ft length of 1-1/2" pipe on an elbow from my return and see if the pump can throw water out the top. I kinda doubt that it would.

    Your best bet for your system would be something from a regular pool pump maker. I seriously doubt that the Intex system would be able to drive the solar mounted on the roof, and still maintain adequate flow through the system. Solar panels on the ground, maybe.

    Personally, aside from being on a very limited budget, I have a problem with buying a pump and filter what ultimately would cost twice what we paid for the pool liner (pool was given to us just needed a new liner).
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

  3. Back To Top    #3
    asxetos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Athens, Greece

    Re: New Pool Opening w/DIY Solar - Assistance with Pump/Filt

    I agree that Intex pumps are not at all like regular reputable pumps performancewise, they are meant to be extremely cheap and perform accordingly, regardless of their stated performance on paper.

    For any serious / consistent performance and pressure combined with low noise, a serious pump is needed. Unfortunately such a pump might cost more than the pool itself, so we do what we can with the Intex pumps until we win the lottery (or something).
    Donīt be fooled by the sheep on my bike, I swim with fish in my sound equipped pool.

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