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Thread: Pool and Spa plumbing questions

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    Pool and Spa plumbing questions

    This is my first post and my first pool and spa build, and I am looking for a little advice regarding my plumbing schematic. I have a few scenarios that are unique, and these oddities are what create the challenge, along with my limited experience.

    First, I have attached a PDF of my proposed plumbing schematic (it may look fancy thanks to Adobe Illustrator, but don't be fooled, I really don't know what I am doing!). I am hoping someone with more expertise than I can look at the PDF and make constructive comments--and thank you from the bottom of my heart in advance! I think I am close but I really need some help here! I am ready to break ground but am waiting until I have full confidence in my plumbing schematic.

    Unique to my situation:

    First, my location: St Maarten in the Caribbean (I am from the U.S.). The good: season is year round and heating needs are minimal (air temps range from 72 to 87). The bad: plenty of pool builders and plumbers, but no one who understands the plumbing schematics and automation of pool/spa combo systems--so I am on my own.

    This is for a house that also has three vacation rental apartments in a resort area, so I am building for the use of people who will come for a week or two and then leave. I am not planning to heat the pool, but because of the vacation nature of the property I am electing to keep the spa at temperature, without a cover, while guests are on-property (I may sneak a floating open cell spa cover on when all have left for the beach for the day, and again after midnight when everyone is sawing wood . For this reason, I am planning to skip a spillover feature to keep the two bodies of water isolated (is this a really bad idea? I have owned a portable spa and, as it's own isolated body of water, I became proficient in keeping the water healthy).

    The pool will be about 20,000 gallons and the spa, at 8' in diameter, about 750 gallons. My climate seems ideal for a heat pump for the spa (propane is very costly on the island) so I was planning on an AquaCal 140k BTU heat pump-it seems to have the highest efficiency rating (comments anyone?).

    Here's where the fun begins. I am planning to use Bullfrogs "Jetpaks" designed for in-ground concrete spas They claim to offer the therapy jet advantages of a portable spa in an in-ground spa application. They require 3 to 4 HP per pair of jets. So, I plan to power four jetpaks with two separate 3 or 4 hp pumps, then create another two seating positions with regular plain old venturie jets that would run on the filter pump, either a two speed or variable speed.

    I was hoping to use one filter pump and one filter for both pool and spa (I'm thinking a quad cartridge filter for ease of use) and no chlorine generator or feeder for now (maybe later, for now I'd like to get running and then see).

    Finally, I would like my guests to be able to climb into the spa and turn on the jets, turn off the lights, etc., from within the spa, so I would like a water proof spa-side controller. I am thinking Pentair's IntelliTouch system with their Spa-Side Remote Control.

    That's about it. I have made an amateur pass at a plumbing schematic (attached), and I would like to have confidence in it before we break ground. I do not have a "spa Makeup" in the schematic, but it would be nice to be able to swap out the water from the spa with the pool once in awhile. The problem is, without spillover, a spa makeup would simply overfill the spa without returning water to the pool. Any suggestions?

    Anyone who cares to look at my schematic and comment, I would be very grateful. My questions in particular:
    Am I crazy to isolate the pool and spa water?
    Do I have the right valves in the right places?
    Am I missing anything important?
    Do I have loops or elements that are typically done a different way? Or a better way?
    Would you recommend having dedicated pumps and filters to the pool and spa, and if so, why?
    Any comments or recommendations concerning my choice of heater or controller?
    Am I missing check valves?
    Any ideas for a spa makeup circuit given no spillover feature?
    Any comments regarding my choice to not have a spillover and isolate the (heated) spa water?

    I really look forward to some informed opinions. Thank you!
    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: Pool and Spa plumbing questions

    I am the original poster and realize I need to add one more point that would pertain to placement of check valves: my pump room will actually be under the deep end of the pool. Sounds odd, but the pool will be an infinity edge built on a cliff. Under the pool (and therefore down the cliff) will be a garage with a pump room. I hope this helps!

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