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Thread: How to install plumbing before gunite

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    How to install plumbing before gunite

    I'm considering doing the plumbing on my pool myself as the bids are over $5,000 and I can rent the mini excavator and buy the pipe myself and just get it done. I have questions on the critical parts.

    The spa jets I found install guides for so I think I have that figured out.

    The pool light niche? any special things to do there, is the shotcrete/gunite about 3 inches out from the steel?
    Spa is more confusing as there is no steel for the bench, the previous plumber did spray where the bench would be so I guess the light just is so high up and steaked with a rebar to keep it in place?

    What's the normal way to mount the skimmer, any nice instructions anywhere?

    The pool is 11,000 gal, 15x30 with a spa included.

    Was thinking the following pipes:
    2.5" (or 2?) skimmer suction
    2" separate PD suction tee'd double drains (side port) into 2" pipe
    2" cleaner suction (might do robot anyway)
    2.5" return to pool (plumber suggested just 3 return jets in pool) would tee into 2" loop with 2" tees and stubs.
    2" deep heat pool return to pool by the drains (opposite pattern as PD) (just 2 return 2" stubs)

    SPA is:
    3" suction from 2? drains 2-2" into a tee to 3" or maybe I need 3 drains? 120GPM is the jet requirement. How would I plumb 3 drains?
    3" return, tee into a 2" loop, waterway jets maybe on the loop.

    Does the pool drain pipes need to be a certain depth under the steel? I don't have trenches for any pipes along the side or bottom of the pool so they would be just under the steel at this point, unless I notch out dirt to get it further from the steel.

    Thanks for any help or pictures/links with help.
    O/B Pool: 11,000 gal, 32x15 with baja step, 7ft spa with Waterway jets, Jandy Aqualink RS6 with Pentair IntellifloXF pump. SWG, iAqualink, LED lights, cover-pools auto cover.

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    Re: How to install plumbing before gunite

    The forum is made up mostly of pool owners.....not pool builders. It would be a stretch to find someone here who could help.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: How to install plumbing before gunite

    So far I've found tons of helpful people knowing all sorts of stuff, even got in touch with the spa jet manufacturer based off of the forums, so although I do generally agree with you, just seeing if anyone actually did their own plumbing or part of it before. Or any ex-plumbers lurking maybe.
    O/B Pool: 11,000 gal, 32x15 with baja step, 7ft spa with Waterway jets, Jandy Aqualink RS6 with Pentair IntellifloXF pump. SWG, iAqualink, LED lights, cover-pools auto cover.

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    Re: How to install plumbing before gunite

    Having just done my own pool plumbing, let's see if I can help.

    If you're buying the piping yourself (as I did), expect it to be darn near impossible to find 2.5" or fittings for it. The big pool contractor supply stores have it, but won't sell to you unless you're a contractor or get lucky.
    Knowing that, what I did was run 2x2" piping in place of 2.5" for my suction lines.

    Was thinking the following pipes:
    2.5" (or 2?) skimmer suction - I don't think you need more than 2" on a skimmer, although you might want 2 skimmers.
    2" separate PD suction tee'd double drains (side port) into 2" pipe - OK
    2" cleaner suction (might do robot anyway) - Depends on your setup, but you likely can just use the pool drains/skimmer suction to supply the cleaner
    2.5" return to pool (plumber suggested just 3 return jets in pool) would tee into 2" loop with 2" tees and stubs. - OK, but if pool is freeform, expect bending the pipe into a loop to be very difficult unless you have a giant torch heater.
    2" deep heat pool return to pool by the drains (opposite pattern as PD) (just 2 return 2" stubs)

    SPA is:
    3" suction from 2? drains 2-2" into a tee to 3" or maybe I need 3 drains? - I can't imagine you need more than 2 drains. Either 2 2" runs or 1 3" run would be fine
    3" return, tee into a 2" loop, waterway jets maybe on the loop. - Jets would be on the 2" loop. You will also need a 1.5" air loop on their jets as well, which will either go to venturis or a spa blower.

    Piping can be just below the steel, then it will be encased in gunite, that's fine.

    Especially with what you have planned, expect a major undertaking. Probably weeks of work for you, unless I'm just slow.
    Bending pipe sucks, because I didn't have a large torch heater - a blowtorch won't do.

    To place a skimmer, there is a channel on top you can put a 1ft piece of rebar into, and rest it on your pool forms.


    Not sure if you know fitting costs, but here are some guidelines -

    2" pipe - $0.75 /ft
    3" pipe - $1.50 /ft
    2" fittings (tees, elbows, couplings) - $1.50-$2
    Skimmer - $75 each
    Drain - $50 each
    Light niche - $50 each
    Spa Jets - $25 each
    Each valve or check valve at the equipment pad - $50

    I probably used around 500 fittings. 1000 ft of pipe.

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: How to install plumbing before gunite

    Doing the plumbing on my owner build now. They used 2" for main drain suctions(x2), 2" for skimmer(1), and 2" for all returns to pool. My cleaner is pressure side and will take suction off the pool return. That pipe is 1 1/2" cleaner return. Bubblers on the tanning ledge is 2" reduced down to 1/2" thru gunite. 1 1/2" to deck jets and reduced down to 3/4" to mate with deck jet fitting. 1" fill line to my auto fill.

    As Andy said. I have about $1000 in plumbing and electric pipe and fittings.

    Light niche on my pool was just piped using the conduit until it was about 3" outside the rebar. Shot crete crew moved it as they needed it.

    Main drain hub wasn't used. Just 2" pipe coming thru the slab.

    Hydrostatic relief was 1 1/2"

    All returns thru the shell were 1 1/2" since this is what the pool return wall fitting and sockets are sized as. Returns then connected to 2" pipe back to pool equipment deck

    Cannot help with spa because I didn't put one. I figured if I wanted one I could purchase a free standing one later.

    If you need any other assistance just let me know.


    Todd

    My owner build

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...ales-Louisiana

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    Re: How to install plumbing before gunite

    Thanks for all the help, I'm getting started this weekend, bought the pipe and fittings, most parts.

    More questions:

    What is the standard return depth (from water line and or bond beam) of the pool returns?
    how about the suction for cleaner?
    I think I read 8" somewhere or the plumber told me that. That would be 11" from top of bond beam form?

    how far back should the return loop be away from steel, I'm guessing on trying to keep 3-4" space between pipe and steel when traveling along the vertical walls of the bond beam? I don't want to carve into the dirt more than needed.

    how about the drain pipes vs steel? I've seen pics where it looks like there's 0-1 inch of clearance of the drain pipe between the floor and the steel.

    Thanks again, this forum is the best.
    O/B Pool: 11,000 gal, 32x15 with baja step, 7ft spa with Waterway jets, Jandy Aqualink RS6 with Pentair IntellifloXF pump. SWG, iAqualink, LED lights, cover-pools auto cover.

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    Re: How to install plumbing before gunite

    So the pool drains showed up, but I'm still wondering about the pipes. I've seen pics where the just have vertical stubs post gunite, but it looks like I put the bottom of the drain bowl in place before gunite according the the pentair star guard drains I bought. Not sure how I would get the drain installed after gunite, is there a better drain that makes this easier?
    O/B Pool: 11,000 gal, 32x15 with baja step, 7ft spa with Waterway jets, Jandy Aqualink RS6 with Pentair IntellifloXF pump. SWG, iAqualink, LED lights, cover-pools auto cover.

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    Re: How to install plumbing before gunite

    I used hayward drains with side outlets. I placed the drains in the steel before gunite. I have seen pictures where the pipes are just stubbed through the gunite, but I'm not sure how that works.

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    Re: How to install plumbing before gunite

    I have side out drains too. How did you get the drain to fit in the steel? Most of my steel pattern is every 6 inches. I would have to bend or cut a piece to fit the drain in place.


    O/B Pool: 11,000 gal, 32x15 with baja step, 7ft spa with Waterway jets, Jandy Aqualink RS6 with Pentair IntellifloXF pump. SWG, iAqualink, LED lights, cover-pools auto cover.

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: How to install plumbing before gunite

    Ideally, drains are placed and plumbed in before steel goes in. I had to move a drain slightly and ended up cutting and bending a couple pieces of steel. Asked the crew whether it mattered, no big deal.

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: How to install plumbing before gunite

    You should complete all your rough plumbing back to the pad, including the drains, before gunite. Talk with your gunite contractor about installing the drain box. Does he want you to have it set in place or should they put it in when the gunite. You should also pressure test all the rough plumbing prior to gunite. Also you should make sure you have your 4 bonding connections to the pool prior to gunite.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: How to install plumbing before gunite

    Quote Originally Posted by bsjeep View Post
    Thanks for all the help, I'm getting started this weekend, bought the pipe and fittings, most parts.

    More questions:

    What is the standard return depth (from water line and or bond beam) of the pool returns? 12
    " on mine
    how about the suction for cleaner?
    I think I read 8" somewhere or the plumber told me that. That would be 11" from top of bond beam form?

    how far back should the return loop be away from steel, I'm guessing on trying to keep 3-4" space between pipe and steel when traveling along the vertical walls of the bond beam? I don't want to carve into the dirt more than needed. Carve into dirt enough for pipe to be flush with wall. My returns 1 1/2" pipe was just stuck thru the slab and into the dirt a couple of feet. They made the connection after the gunite was sprayed. That way they could pressure test everything and make sure nothing was leaking. Just take a 4" piece and leave about 18" sticking into the pool and cover with duct tape on both ends. Connect later-!!!

    how about the drain pipes vs steel? I've seen pics where it looks like there's 0-1 inch of clearance of the drain pipe between the floor and the steel. There should be 4" blocks under the rebar against the ground. They will shoot 3-4" on top of that. 6-8" total or more depending on how they pour


    Thanks again, this forum is the best.
    Replies in red.. Sorry the red didn't show. replies after your questions in quote above

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    Re: How to install plumbing before gunite

    Quote Originally Posted by bsjeep View Post
    So the pool drains showed up, but I'm still wondering about the pipes. I've seen pics where the just have vertical stubs post gunite, but it looks like I put the bottom of the drain bowl in place before gunite according the the pentair star guard drains I bought. Not sure how I would get the drain installed after gunite, is there a better drain that makes this easier?
    PB assisting me didn't use the main drains I had purchased. He just piped the(2) 2" maindrains thru rebar and gunite. The plasters will add a wall return socket and plaster them in. Set the main drain ring and screw the cover on.

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    Re: How to install plumbing before gunite

    I recommend you do stub out plumbing as well. As said above, you're pretty much just putting a small portion of plumbing into place (everything that is needed to go to gunite). The only thing you'd need to pressure test right now would be the spa lines and the drain lines. Then you can make all your long plumbing runs back to the pad and test the complete setup.

    I highly recommend finding a plumbing wholesale shop that'll work with you. The fittings can add up quick. Big box stores are not to be considered discount stores in this dept. I found wholesale pricing at 50% of big box prices.

    Glad you posted what your bids were coming in at. I didn't bother to get bids and halfway through the project I started to get concerned that I'd made a bad decision as my cost went higher than I expected. I have similar plumbing to what you are planning and that stuff really added up.

    Best of luck! It's a chore, but it's very satisfying when you're done.

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    Re: How to install plumbing before gunite

    One other suggestion. You might want to see if your rebar guy would be willing to come back and do the stub out plumbing for a small fee. I back'd off of doing this part myself because I wasn't comfortable with my ability to get the setting depths perfect. The gunite/shotcrete crew would probably be willing to do it for a nominal fee also. One of the groups I considered using for shotcrete specified a certain price for that if I did not have it taken care of.

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: How to install plumbing before gunite

    Any ideas on glue, I've been using the "Christy's Red Hot (blue color)" and the purple primer. But it's stressful how fast it seals, would be nice if I had maybe something just as strong that dried a tad longer.
    O/B Pool: 11,000 gal, 32x15 with baja step, 7ft spa with Waterway jets, Jandy Aqualink RS6 with Pentair IntellifloXF pump. SWG, iAqualink, LED lights, cover-pools auto cover.

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: How to install plumbing before gunite

    Do not use anything other than the blue glue on PVC piping!!!! And if you have any ABS plastic to PVC connections there is another glue especially for that. I used that glue on the Pentair auto filler and will use it on the deck jets when they get installed.

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: How to install plumbing before gunite

    I used the oatey rain or shine and the yellow cleaner. I used a heavier amount of glue when I needed a few extra seconds.


  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: How to install plumbing before gunite

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...l-in-San-Diego

    Added pics back on my main build thread of plumbing status.
    O/B Pool: 11,000 gal, 32x15 with baja step, 7ft spa with Waterway jets, Jandy Aqualink RS6 with Pentair IntellifloXF pump. SWG, iAqualink, LED lights, cover-pools auto cover.

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    Re: How to install plumbing before gunite



    Can I cut or bend the steel for the third bottom jet?

    What I'd like to do is cut out a 4 in length of the steel so my jet will fit.

    Will this be an issue with inspection?


    O/B Pool: 11,000 gal, 32x15 with baja step, 7ft spa with Waterway jets, Jandy Aqualink RS6 with Pentair IntellifloXF pump. SWG, iAqualink, LED lights, cover-pools auto cover.

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