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Thread: Plumbing questions

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    Plumbing questions

    My pool has been gunited and my PB is getting ready to put in the equipment and piping. Most of my plumbing is 3 inch. I get 3'' plumbing for main pool pump, skimmers and returns (returns are 3 inch plumbing to pool and then split into 1.5 pipe and fitting through wall); My Grotto spiillover pump, the SWF 185, has plumbing which is 3 inches on suction and stub return. All returns are home runs and all the piping between the equipment is supposed to be 3" piping (excluding the SW125 pump (for the Grotto jets and Laminars) and the polaris line).

    My question is I see that the contract states that the main drains (there are 2 sets of these -one for the main pool pump and one for bothtthe grotto and Laminar jets) are tied into the deep end skimmer. Note that I have 2 inch flex line inside the Gunite shell). I have a feignt recollection that someone said not to tie in the main drains to the skimmer beause it makes it harder to detect leaks. Are there other reasons? Is this a big issue? Should I ask them not to tie the main drains into the skimmer? Would this be a big cost for them?


    Thanks.
    1200 Sq Ft 41,000 Gal. Gunite, JANDY SVRS VS pump, JANDY JXI 400,000 BTU, Polaris 280 w/ 3/4 BP, Rockwall and Grotto (w/6 jets and blower), 2 JANDY Lam Jets, 2 LED Bubblers, 5 Ledlights, AQUALINK P16 RS, 90% Quartz, SWF 185 GMP BP, SWF 125 BP, Levelor K1100 Autofill, AP Digital SWG, 2 skim and 5 returns, and mostly 3 inch piping

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing questions

    No, and it's better to have them plumbed independently.

    Are you sure you have those other lines in 3"? That's pretty odd...At least as I've seen.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing questions

    You get more control of the flow if the drains are plumbed to the pad ... you use valves to add suction to the floor and are able to isolate the suction to the floor only if so desired.

    Also, it would normally lower the suction head loss to have multiple suction lines if you only had 1 skimmer, but since you have multiple skimmers and very large pipes, the head loss is not really a concern.
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    Re: Plumbing questions

    Thanks Patrick and Jbizzle.

    Patrick,

    When you said "No" I'm not sure which question that was in response to. But I think you are saying that it would be good to have the PB not tie in the main drains to the deep end skimmer.

    Jblizzle,

    you mention I get more flow if the main drains are not tied to the deep end skimmer and that I can isolate suction to the floor if desired. Could you please elaborate on the signficance of these points and when and in what situation this would benefit me. Excuse my ignorance, but I don't know anything about plumbing and am not really sure what you meant. One thing I can add is that the flex pipes from the main drains come up through the gunite about 10 feet or so to the right of the deep end skimmer and those pipes and the deep end skimmer are going to be close to where the equipment is (which may mean that not tieing the main drains to the deep end skimmer may not be too expensive for the PB?)
    1200 Sq Ft 41,000 Gal. Gunite, JANDY SVRS VS pump, JANDY JXI 400,000 BTU, Polaris 280 w/ 3/4 BP, Rockwall and Grotto (w/6 jets and blower), 2 JANDY Lam Jets, 2 LED Bubblers, 5 Ledlights, AQUALINK P16 RS, 90% Quartz, SWF 185 GMP BP, SWF 125 BP, Levelor K1100 Autofill, AP Digital SWG, 2 skim and 5 returns, and mostly 3 inch piping

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing questions

    We have a valve that can be 100% main drain or 100% skimmers, or anything in between. We normally have it about 80% skimmer and 20% drain just to be on the safe side in case there is some issue with water flow to the skimmers. Right now, pollen season, it is 100% skimmer to get maximum skimming. When we have extra debris on the bottom we can switch to 100% drain and brush toward the drain to filter out the debris.
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    Re: Plumbing questions

    It is far preferred to plumb the main drain back to the main equipment pad, rather than to a skimmer. That gives you much more control.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Plumbing questions

    I was saying no to it being more expensive. Technically a few dollars perhaps, but it shouldn't be much. I'd want them plumbed seperate. A valve for each skimmer, and one for the drains.
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    Re: Plumbing questions

    Pooklv,

    I think your saying that your main drains are tied to your skimmer, and you adjust the valve as you seem fit. Did the PB do this to save money (and if so, how much?). Am I correct that it would be easier for you if your main drains were not tied to the skimmer?
    1200 Sq Ft 41,000 Gal. Gunite, JANDY SVRS VS pump, JANDY JXI 400,000 BTU, Polaris 280 w/ 3/4 BP, Rockwall and Grotto (w/6 jets and blower), 2 JANDY Lam Jets, 2 LED Bubblers, 5 Ledlights, AQUALINK P16 RS, 90% Quartz, SWF 185 GMP BP, SWF 125 BP, Levelor K1100 Autofill, AP Digital SWG, 2 skim and 5 returns, and mostly 3 inch piping

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    Re: Plumbing questions

    Running the skimmer and main drain separately will give you more total flow capacity since it's not all going through one pipe. That's not really the issue though, since it's not a significant benefit. Being able to isolate where the water comes from is very useful. You can do just the skimmers if there is debris in the pool that you wanna clear up quicker. If you winterized the pool, or just need to pump out some water, being able to close the skimmer valve will let you pump out of the main drain and go below the level of the skimmer. I have two skimmers and a main drain. All three have valves. When I vacuum I close one skimmer, and cut the main drain back some to give the vacuum extra suction.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: Plumbing questions

    My last response was written before I saw Jason's and Patrick B's responses.

    I'll ask my PB to do that and see what he says.

    Thanks everyone.
    1200 Sq Ft 41,000 Gal. Gunite, JANDY SVRS VS pump, JANDY JXI 400,000 BTU, Polaris 280 w/ 3/4 BP, Rockwall and Grotto (w/6 jets and blower), 2 JANDY Lam Jets, 2 LED Bubblers, 5 Ledlights, AQUALINK P16 RS, 90% Quartz, SWF 185 GMP BP, SWF 125 BP, Levelor K1100 Autofill, AP Digital SWG, 2 skim and 5 returns, and mostly 3 inch piping

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    Re: Plumbing questions

    One followup question. If it is not a big expense to do it the "right way," why do you think my PB made a point of putting in the contract that he was doing it the other way?

    Just curious.
    1200 Sq Ft 41,000 Gal. Gunite, JANDY SVRS VS pump, JANDY JXI 400,000 BTU, Polaris 280 w/ 3/4 BP, Rockwall and Grotto (w/6 jets and blower), 2 JANDY Lam Jets, 2 LED Bubblers, 5 Ledlights, AQUALINK P16 RS, 90% Quartz, SWF 185 GMP BP, SWF 125 BP, Levelor K1100 Autofill, AP Digital SWG, 2 skim and 5 returns, and mostly 3 inch piping

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    Re: Plumbing questions

    I have no idea. I really don't get the people who plumb the main drain to the skimmer. From my point of view, if you do that you might as well not bother with a main drain at all.

    By the by, plumbing back to the equipment pad can easily cost $100-200 extra for pipe, valve, and labor. That is trivial in terms of the total cost.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Plumbing questions

    Can't speak for him, but sometimes it just "because that's the way we've always done it"

    You'll have to ask him to change it, but I really would if it was mine. Much more flexibility.

    Trying to balance between the two without them seperated can give you the worst of both, and a headache.
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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing questions

    My guess would be some pool builders try to make it idiot proof so someone won't go out and close the main drain valve, have the skimmer plug up causing the pump to lose prime, burn up the pump, and expect the builder to pay for it.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing questions

    Quote Originally Posted by grottoguy View Post
    Pooklv,

    I think your saying that your main drains are tied to your skimmer, and you adjust the valve as you seem fit. Did the PB do this to save money (and if so, how much?). Am I correct that it would be easier for you if your main drains were not tied to the skimmer?
    No, my main drain and skimmers are plumbed separately to the equipment pad. The Jandy valve is right before the pump to control drain vs skimmer. And I definitely vote for plumbed separate to the pad.
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    Re: Plumbing questions

    Thanks everyone. I will definitely tell him to do this. Hope he doesn't ask for too much money.
    1200 Sq Ft 41,000 Gal. Gunite, JANDY SVRS VS pump, JANDY JXI 400,000 BTU, Polaris 280 w/ 3/4 BP, Rockwall and Grotto (w/6 jets and blower), 2 JANDY Lam Jets, 2 LED Bubblers, 5 Ledlights, AQUALINK P16 RS, 90% Quartz, SWF 185 GMP BP, SWF 125 BP, Levelor K1100 Autofill, AP Digital SWG, 2 skim and 5 returns, and mostly 3 inch piping

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing questions

    He shouldn't, it really is very little PVC in the scope of the whole job, and hardly much more labor.
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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing questions

    At worst it will be the price of the valves. Depending on what kind of valves he uses, and how many you need. I think you said you had another drain-grotto or something. So four valves. Cheaper pvc ball valves are probably $15 each. Good pool grade valves are around $50. I wouldn't think he would charge more than $200-250 if he uses the good valves.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: Plumbing questions

    UPDATE: I asked my PB "NOT to tie the main drains into the deep end skimmer if that was what you were planning to do. I note that the 2 inch flex lines for the main drains come out of the Gunite about 6 feet or so to the right of the deepend skimmer."

    My PB said "If we didn’t already tie it in then it won’t be until it is valved in front of the pump itself."

    How would I know if it was tied in already? The flex pipes from the main drain pipes in the pool did not go through my skimmer when they gunited. Does that mean they weren't tied in?

    Also, Do I want it (as he says) tied in when it's valved in front of the pump, or do I want separate valves?
    1200 Sq Ft 41,000 Gal. Gunite, JANDY SVRS VS pump, JANDY JXI 400,000 BTU, Polaris 280 w/ 3/4 BP, Rockwall and Grotto (w/6 jets and blower), 2 JANDY Lam Jets, 2 LED Bubblers, 5 Ledlights, AQUALINK P16 RS, 90% Quartz, SWF 185 GMP BP, SWF 125 BP, Levelor K1100 Autofill, AP Digital SWG, 2 skim and 5 returns, and mostly 3 inch piping

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing questions

    If you did not see it attached to the skimmer, then it is not tied in.

    At the pump I would want a 3-way to select between the floor and the skimmers and then another 3-way to select between the 2 skimmers.
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