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Thread: Can I add a dedicated suction line?

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    Can I add a dedicated suction line?

    It seems that most pools have a suction port for vacuums and cleaning robots but mine just has the hole under the skimmer basket.

    I want to get a suction-side pool cleaning robot and let it run most of the time, but I don't want to tie up the skimmer. I would think I could just add a valve on the line before the pump and attach the hose to that. Any reason that's a bad idea? Any better way to do it?

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    Re: Can I add a dedicated suction line?

    Seems do-able, but you really need to offer up pool size, pump size, in ground, etc to get an informed answer.

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Can I add a dedicated suction line?

    You can do that, yes. However, there are a few caveats.

    If your tie into the suction line for the skimmer, you will have to reduce the skimmer action to provide enough suction for the cleaner.

    Think about a pressure side robot, and a dedicated pump. That might do more of what you want.
    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.

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    Re: Can I add a dedicated suction line?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk View Post
    Seems do-able, but you really need to offer up pool size, pump size, in ground, etc to get an informed answer.
    Pool size is around 20,000 gallons, in ground, and I have a single speed 1 HP motor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie_R View Post
    You can do that, yes. However, there are a few caveats.

    If your tie into the suction line for the skimmer, you will have to reduce the skimmer action to provide enough suction for the cleaner.

    Think about a pressure side robot, and a dedicated pump. That might do more of what you want.
    I was thinking of drawing off the floor drain. Since the robot will be roaming the floor I shouldn't think I'd need as much drain suction.

    What would I need to set up pressure-side?

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    Re: Can I add a dedicated suction line?

    20k is a pretty good size pool and my be a bit too big for a suction side cleaner.....they do better on smaller pools.

    A pressure side cleaner is a step up, but for almost the same price you can get a nice robot that requires no plumbing changes whatsoever and is better suited for a 20k pool.......probably somewhere around $650- 950, though........certainly the priciest of the cleaners but they do the best job.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Can I add a dedicated suction line?

    Yea... I'd like the robot the best but that's a lot of money.

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    Re: Can I add a dedicated suction line?

    Yea... I'd like the robot the best but that's a lot of money.
    It certainly is. I didn't make my point well at all.

    When you add up the cost of the new suction line and suction cleaner, you STILL may not have a cleaner that will do a really good job so the robot may make more sense.

    I wasted about $300 bucks or so on a suction side set up because it simply wasn't capable of cleaning my large pool
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Can I add a dedicated suction line?

    Dave which cleaner did you use? I've used a Navigator in my pool since day one and have had no issues with it not cleaning my pool.
    It runs 6 hours a day on a dedicated line with just the one pump. Before the VF pump I had a 2.0 Whisperflo that did the job. The VF is now actually running at a lower rpm than the Whisperflo was and the cleaning has not fallen off.

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    Re: Can I add a dedicated suction line?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    It certainly is. I didn't make my point well at all.

    When you add up the cost of the new suction line and suction cleaner, you STILL may not have a cleaner that will do a really good job so the robot may make more sense.

    I wasted about $300 bucks or so on a suction side set up because it simply wasn't capable of cleaning my large pool
    I guess I never thought of my pool as "big". From what I'm measuring off the USGS National Map Viewer (I'm at work) it's only about 625 sq ft. I've heard good things about the POOLVERGNUEGEN cleaner for average sized pools. Do you think that would be a mistake?

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    Re: Can I add a dedicated suction line?

    The forum comments seem to all be pretty positive about the poolvergnuegen. I have no personal experience.

    I would also say that a 20k pool is probably not too much for it's capacity.

    My pool (43k) and my situation required more cleaning power than I could get from "The Great White Shark" and his smaller cousin.....Sorry I can't remember the brand name or the name of the smaller one.

    My pool is extremely junk-prone so I found myself cleaning out both of those suction sides almost every 2 hours and my run time was more than 6 hours daily. They had to stay in the pool. The extra long hose I needed was extremely tangle prone as well so it ended up not getting into the corners.

    My current cleaner is a Dolphin Premier (it's a pretty big robot) and I still run about 2-3 hours daily this time of year.

    Your pool may be different but I would consider the total cost of the cleaner AND the work you need done to your pool before I made a choice.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Can I add a dedicated suction line?

    43k? Now that's a pool! lol

    Now that I think more about it, it would be pretty big task to tap into the main drain line (or the skimmer) since most of the PVC is under concrete so I'd be left with very little to work with. I've just moved into this house so I have to balance my "fun" pool toys with the budget for everything else that needs done (1965 tri-level).

    I've learned, however, the key to keeping things clean is to have the right, good quality tools or you won't want to do the work and you'll find an excuse to not do it. Right now I just have the manual vacuum the old owner had which is falling apart.

    Decisions, decisions...

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    Re: Can I add a dedicated suction line?

    Granted my pool is tiny compared to yours, but with a good vacuum head it only takes me 1/2 hour to do mine manually. I have trees that are constantly shedding into my pool, so vacuuming usually involves spraying out my filter halfway through the job. Right now I'm working with just a stock 2500 gph pump/filter unit.

    You've probably posted it, but what equipment do you have? If you could add it to your signature line as outlined here, it would make things a little easier for those of us trying to help you.
    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.

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    Re: Can I add a dedicated suction line?

    Yea mine doesn't take much time, at least so far this spring. I do have an oak tree almost overhanging it so I expect to have more work soon.

    I don't recall or know what all I have. The pool was built in 1975. It's somewhere around 20k gallons, not sure of dimensions, with a 1HP pump and a sand filter. One skimmer, one drain and two return ports. That's all I know, lol.

    I'll have to get the signature filled in one day. I'll have to remember to do it when I'm at home and can go find out everything.

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