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Thread: Can a 1 inch line be used for a Kreepy Krauly? (plus other related questions)

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    Can a 1 inch line be used for a Kreepy Krauly? (plus other related questions)

    I've been using my Kreepy Krauly by connecting it to my skimmer via a Vac-Mate (which gives me the ability to balance flow and I retain a bit of skimming action via the "half-weir.") One of the main problems with this setup is that I end up needing a VERY long Kreepy hose (15 sections I believe) in order to reach the entire pool, which creates some issues. There is an unused port, however, located mid-pool that used to be used for a pressure side cleaner. My thinking was that if I re-plumb on the equipment deck and convert this line to be a suction port, I could connect the Kreepy to it's own port mid-pool, reducing the hose length by half, and giving me a full weir on the skimmer.

    The one problem is that even though the port is the standard 1 1/2 inch type, at some point under the deck it reduces to a 1 inch pipe (which is what comes up at the equipment deck.) I had always assumed that the Kreepy needs at least a 1 1/2 inch pipe, but I just saw a post on another forum where someone asked the same question, and the response was that the 1 inch line COULD be used for a Kreepy Krauly cleaner. The response came from someone that appeared to be a Pentair rep, so it seems credible as far as I can tell, but I wanted to ask here to see if anyone had any feedback or opinions on this.

    Note that I always use a leaf basket on the Kreepy hose to intercept any large debris, so I would think this would prevent anything from getting stuck in the 1 inch pipe. The only other concern I can think of would be flow balancing issues between the skimmer and the Kreepy port (the main drain is plugged), but I believe that Pentair makes some sort of regulator that can be placed into the skimmer for this situation. I was also thinking that it might work to install a valve on the equipment deck that would allow me to control the flow from the skimmer, reducing it enough such that the Kreepy could work. Having said that, it strikes me that another valve on the 1 inch line would allow me to switch to "skimmer-only" if desired without needing to disconnect the Kreepy from the wall.

    Any suggestions and/or feedback on all this would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Larry

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Can a 1 inch line be used for a Kreepy Krauly? (plus other related questions)

    1" pipe can be used if the pipe run isn't too long, but it tends to be a little finicky. You need to adjust it so that most of the water comes through the 1" pipe to get enough suction for the cleaner to work, but that might not be enough water for the pump to stay happy, depending on how long the pipe is and how large your pump is.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Can a 1 inch line be used for a Kreepy Krauly? (plus other related questions)

    Thanks for the feedback JasonLion.

    I just did some quick measurements. I obviously can't tell what's happening underground, but if they went straight in from the wall about 3 feet and then turned about 45 degrees and made a relatively straight shot to the equipment deck, I'd guestimate that it's probably around 27 feet of 1 inch pipe from the port to the deck. Is that considered a long run? The distance from the skimmer to the equipment deck is shorter, I'd say somewhere around 17 feet. All of the other pipe on the equipment deck is 2 inch. The main drain is plugged, so the only returns would be the Kreepy (into the 1 inch line) and the skimmer.

    The new pump (which isn't installed yet) will be an Intelliflo VS. I assume that this pump will be plenty powerful, so my concern is, as you said, whether or not I can reduce the flow from the skimmer so that the Kreepy gets enough suction to work, while at the same time keeping the pump happy. I called Pentair and they recommended using a ball valve on the skimmer line to reduce the skimmer flow and "tune" the Kreepy performance. They said that the Kreepy needs around 25 to 30 gpm to work properly, and that this was within the capability of 1 inch pipe.

    I understand that the only way to really know if it will work will be to try it, but I'm trying to get a feel for how "likely" it is to work. If it doesn't work, I'm going to have the equipment guys re-plumb the currently unused port and turn it into an extra return jet instead of a suction port. This is going to cost me, so if there is little to no chance that it will work, I'd rather avoid the extra trouble and expense.

    Given the new info, how likely do you think it is that this could work? Again, I realize that this is all just conjecture at this point, but I'm hoping that people with more experience than myself can give me a better feel for the situation. I'm trying to avoid running things too close to their max tolerance specs, but without any point of reference, I really have no way of knowing how close to the edge I might be. Given my basic parameters, is there any chance that I'd break/implode any of the pipe in the system?

    Thanks again,

    Larry

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Can a 1 inch line be used for a Kreepy Krauly? (plus other related questions)

    That should all work. You will probably need to turn the pump RPM up a bit to get the required flow rate, but the VS is flexible and should handle it without problems.

    The stress on the pipes is well below what schedule 40 PVC is rated for. I can't imagine any problems there. It is likely to be a little difficult to prime the pump with the cleaner setup, but that shouldn't come up all that often and you can always open up the skimmer when you need to prime.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Can a 1 inch line be used for a Kreepy Krauly? (plus other related questions)

    Thanks again for the feedback.

    That's great news that it should work. I've been struggling with the extra long Kreepy hose (the skimmer is all the way at one end of the pool), which I believe may be responsible for air being pulled into the hose. I've been fighting with this for a long time, so if cutting the host length in half solves it, it would be a big relief. I'm sure that the cleaner also isn't as efficient having to work with 15 hose sections. One of the best improvements that this will offer, however, is that I'll get my full skimmer back. I only have one skimmer in the pool, so I think this could make a big difference in keeping the surface clear.

    Thanks,

    Larry

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