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Thread: Replace bottom and side drains with single low wall drain

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    Replace bottom and side drains with single low wall drain

    Hi. We may be replacing our fiberglass pool (VERY long story for another time) and I would like to get thoughts on a different low drain system. Our current set up today involves a Paramount MDX bottom drain, which is plumbed in conjunction with a Paramount SDX sidewall 'safety' drain, both of which feed into a deck debris canister, before feeding back to the pump/equipment pad. There is also a small (1/5 or 2") 'equalizer' opening high on the pool wall which feeds water into the top of the debris canister.

    Our pool is only a 10,000 gallon fiberglass with a 5'9" deep end, and therefore, I think this set-up, and even a bottom drain for that matter, is overkill. The system also does not really draw much debris into the deck canister, and the whole system is a collosal PITA to winterize! Also, for such a small pool, the bottom drain is aesthetically unpleasing and kind of 'in the way' on a 5'+ deep end floor (both for feet and the cleaner robot gets stuck the bottom drain all the time, very frustrating!). That said, I do like the idea of moving low water through the filter system. I am thinking of a single sidewall drain that is low on the deep end wall (but not on the floor) which feeds directly back to the filter (ie no deck canister).

    Greatly appreciate any thoughts/suggestions.
    10k gallon fiberglass freeform pool, Paramount SwingJet system, Dolphin DX5 robot, Pentair 48" Tagelus sand filter with glass media, WhisperFlo 1 HP pump, Hayward H200FDN natural gas heater, TF-100 Test Kit, and, of course, Margaritaville Tahiti blender!

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    Re: Replace bottom and side drains with single low wall drain

    hi all, just following up to see if anyone has thoughts on this post? should this be in the construction forum? thanks!
    10k gallon fiberglass freeform pool, Paramount SwingJet system, Dolphin DX5 robot, Pentair 48" Tagelus sand filter with glass media, WhisperFlo 1 HP pump, Hayward H200FDN natural gas heater, TF-100 Test Kit, and, of course, Margaritaville Tahiti blender!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Replace bottom and side drains with single low wall drain

    Sounds good to me.

    There are some advantages to a true bottom drain, but they are all minor. A true bottom drain makes it easier to fully drain the pool, and has some (very small) advantages in circulation pattern compared to a low side drain. Of course many people don't have any kind of low drain at all, and they do fine.

    A side wall drain will almost certainly need to be a dual drain, not a big deal but likely to have a little more visual impact (depending on placement).
    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: Replace bottom and side drains with single low wall drain

    Hi. Thanks for the reply. Given that it's a fiberglass pool, we really should never drain it, but in the event we do/need to, I'm ok with using a submersible pump (only 10k gallons).

    Is the reason for dual sidewall drains due to safety/redudancy laws? If so, your point about aesthetics may lead me to scrap the idea all together and just go with a skimmer and my robot cleaner!

    One additional (stupid) question; should we go with a sidewall drain (or 2), do these need to be mounted on a flat surface of the pool? There are very few flat surfaces of the pool walls due to the small nature and free form shape, so wondering how flat the area needs to be to mount the drain covers, etc. Thanks!
    10k gallon fiberglass freeform pool, Paramount SwingJet system, Dolphin DX5 robot, Pentair 48" Tagelus sand filter with glass media, WhisperFlo 1 HP pump, Hayward H200FDN natural gas heater, TF-100 Test Kit, and, of course, Margaritaville Tahiti blender!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Replace bottom and side drains with single low wall drain

    There are ways around needing dual drains, but they are a bit involved and I don't really recommend them. Using an SVRS eliminates the need for dual drains. However SVRS systems are both mildly expensive and can be trouble prone so I don't really recommend them.

    The surface where you mount the drain don't need to be literally flat, but it does need to be fairly low curvature. The fiberglass needs to be able to bend enough to present a flat rim at the point of attachment of the drain fitting. Fiberglass has a fair bit of flex, but pushing it too far creates stress points, which are in effect weak spots. How that works out in practice depends on a number of details difficult to resolve one way or the other here. Your builder should have a much better idea of what is possible in your specific situation.
    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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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Replace bottom and side drains with single low wall drain

    If it were my pool, I wouldn't bother. You are creating another hole in the pool and I doubt you will see any benefit in a 6' deep pool.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    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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    Re: Replace bottom and side drains with single low wall drain

    hi all, i'm starting to lean towards no bottom drain. jasonlion, thanks for your last reply. i hear you re: low curvature for placement of a drain, and we don't want to bend the fiberglass in any way!

    mas985 makes a good point as well (and if you knew our history, we have enough holes in our pool!). it's a small pool, i run a robot, and it will make closing process much easier. also, we have a 6 return Paramount Swingjet system, which helps circulate water top to bottom.

    oh, and i would not bet on my builder having any good insight or expertise! story for another time but let's just say that's why we may be replacing the whole thing.
    10k gallon fiberglass freeform pool, Paramount SwingJet system, Dolphin DX5 robot, Pentair 48" Tagelus sand filter with glass media, WhisperFlo 1 HP pump, Hayward H200FDN natural gas heater, TF-100 Test Kit, and, of course, Margaritaville Tahiti blender!

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