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Thread: Plumbing setup for new install

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    Plumbing setup for new install

    Hey everyone,

    I have found a lot of useful info on this site while I've spent the past few months researching for my build. I'm putting in an inground gunite pool. Technically I'm going to be the GC, but my excavator, plumber and layout guy has done many and is helping significantly.

    That being said, I'm trying to figure out whether I have the plumbing/equipment sizing correct.

    Specs:
    700 sq ft freeform (~26000 gallons)
    ~60 sq ft spillover spa
    2-3 other sheer descent waterfalls off of raised bond beam
    Equipment pad is roughly 30' from edge of pool


    Plumber is recommending 2" throughout, with 2 main drains, 2 skimmers for the main filtration loop.

    He is advocating a secondary loop with 2 more drains, to feed the waterfalls (closer to 50-60 ft from pump to water features) with 2nd pump.

    Should the spa be on it's own loop? Or should I just be using a big enough pump to drive both for filtering? (2 hp maybe?) Jet pump is another possibility I guess?

    As far as equipment goes, I was looking at the Jandy ePump, with their larger DE filter, and LXi natural gas heater. What is the difference between a standard pool pump and their "water feature" pump?

    Anyone have better recommendations? Thanks ahead of time for the input

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing setup for new install

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    So of this depends on what you water to accomplish. Do you want the waterfalls running at the same time the spa jets are running?
    If so, then you are going to need to have 2 pumps.
    If not, you could get by with a single large 2-speed or VS pump. You would run this on low speed for general filtering and kick it up to high speed for the spa or waterfalls.

    As far as plumbing goes. Run the floor drains and the skimmers separately to the equipment pad with valves (prefereably pool valve like Neverlube) to adjust suction. Also for the spa plumbing, you may want to go larger than 2" to reduce head loss and get better flow rates (especially on the suction line).
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Plumbing setup for new install

    Thanks for the reply.

    Having the waterfalls on would be nice.

    I guess the question is, what's a preferred setup:

    VS Pump driving Pool + spa, then a second single speed pump driving water features (Any idea how big this would need to be?)
    or
    VS Pump driving Pool + spa circulation + waterfalls, then a second pump for spa jets.

    With the first option, is a single 2 HP pump really enough to have nice jets on the spa when in "spa mode"?

    My plumber was suggesting no drain on the spa, just to use spillover, but from what I see that doesn't make any sense. Then I will be unable to heat spa by itself. Are you talking 2.5" or 3" or what for spa plumbing?

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    Killer95Stang's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing setup for new install

    My pool was recently completed with two separate pumps. One 1hp whisperflo is used for the waterfall and bubblers. The second VS pump is used for the filter, and spa. Ours was built with drains in the spa, so it can be heated independently. In all honestly... we use the spa about 75% of the time, so not having a separate drain would be a problem. The 3 hp VS pump has more than enough flow to operate the spa jets, without having to use a separate blower.
    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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing setup for new install

    I would think if you were doing 2 pumps, which method depends on your usage. Are you going to use the waterfall or the spa more often?

    I think it would be simplest to have the waterfall on its own pump. And then a 2-speed or VS pump to be used for the general circulation and the spa. One issue with this is that all the flow for the spa will likely have to pass through the filter, so you need to ensure a large filter to handle the flow rates.

    If you put the spa jets on its own pump, you would need to have 2 separate return line loops and 2 drains (one for the circulation/heater pump and one for the jets). BUT, if the heater is run off the circulation pump, then you would not be able to be running the waterfall off the circulation pump as you would be heating it. So to me that seems to lean toward the waterfall on the separate pump ... or having the heater in the spa jet pump loop, which would then prevent you from ever adding heat to the pool.

    These setups can be plumbed in many different ways, I am not sure what the "best" is.
    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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    Re: Plumbing setup for new install

    Thanks for all the answers. Probably leaning to a VS for the pool + spa, separate for waterfall. Heating the waterfalls wouldn't really matter as they'll go into the pool, but no need to.

    Any thoughts on the size of either pump? Would 2HP cover the main?

    Not sure on waterfall, I know Jandy has "water feature" pumps, not that I know what's special about them. There will be at least 2 3 foot descents.

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    Re: Plumbing setup for new install

    Also, you mentioned a large enough filter for the spa to handle the jet flow rates. Is a 60 sq ft DE filter good enough? Overkill?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing setup for new install

    For a larger 26k gallon pool, we would actually recommend going with a 72 sqft DE filter ... and that will certainly be large enough to handle the flow rate.

    The required size of the pump depends on the plumbing to/from the spa, number of spa jets, required flow rate per jet, etc. Most of the VS pump are larger than 2HP anyway.

    Water feature pumps are high flow at low head loss ... so you want to be sure to use large pipe with clean runs so the head loss stays low.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Plumbing setup for new install

    I had been looking at Jandy EPump, but I mainly see that in 1.5 and 2 HP variants. Will be about 50' to spa, probably about 6 jets.

    Is 2" too small for water features?

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    Re: Plumbing setup for new install

    I had posted a similar question a few days back and got a very different answer... now I'm confused...

    spa-plumbing-pump-question-t70268.html
    28K IGP, AquaPure 1400 SWG, Inteliflow filtration, Inteliflow spa, pentair 1.5HP water feature pumps, pentair cartridge filter, 2.5 / 3" plumbing.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing setup for new install

    I see nothing contradictory between the 2 threads. What specifically are you confused about? I will certainly defer to Mark though
    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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    Re: Plumbing setup for new install

    The main difference is the number jets 6 vs 8.

    6 jets @ 15 GPM = 90 GPM while 8 jets @ 15 GPM = 120 GPM. The ePump can handle 90 but not 120 GPM going through the filter and heater. Also even 90 GPM is borderline for a 60 sq-ft DE filter.

    I am not a big fan of using a single pump for circulation and the spa jets but if done correctly, it can be done. It just puts a lot of stress and wear on the filter and it wastes energy too.

    A third option is to use a single VS pump but put in a bypass around the filter and heater so most of the water can bypass the pad equipment while some of it still goes through the filter and heater.
    Mark
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    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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