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Thread: Water feature pump on main drain or skimmer?

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    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Water feature pump on main drain or skimmer?

    I have a new pool with two pumps, one to run the filter and the other to run the water features. The PB didn't provide a dedicated suction line from the pool for the water features. The water features are a set of sheers and a bubbler on the tanning ledge. Looking for an answer to sharing 1-drain feed and 1-skimmer feed for both pumps.

    I believe my options are:

    (1) Filter pump feeds off both main drain and skimmer. Put a T in the main drain line at the pad to allow the water feature pump to pull from the drain suction, insert a 2-port valve to close the drain suction to the filter pump whenever the feature pump is on, and insert a check-valve in front of the feature pump so when it isn't running the filter pump doesn't pull through it. There is less risk to either pump that zero water is available if both pumps are turned on, but there is some risk if the 2-port on the drain line to the filter pump isn't closed that the feature pump would try to steal from the drain line while the filter pump is pulling from both the drain and skimmer. This involves both a 2-port automated valve (on drain to filter pump) plus a check-valve (on drain to feature pump). Running features for a long time will have the filter running only from the skimmer.

    (2) Put a 3-way valve on the main drain line, where it provides a feed to the filter pump or the feature pump. There is some risk to the feature pump running dry if the 3-way is set for the filter pump and I turn on the feature pump without checking. This involves an automated 3-port valve. Running features for a long time will have the filter running only from the skimmer.

    (3) Put a 3-way valve on the skimmer line, similar to #2, where the feature pump pulls from the skimmer when in use. Again, there is some risk to the feature pump if the 3-way is set for the filter pump and I turn on the feature pump without checking. This involves an automated 3-port valve. Running features for a long time will have the filter running only from the main drain.


    Any recommendations for the above options?

    Or, do I forget the automated valve, and put the feature pump permanently on either the main drain or skimmer, and use the filter on one feed, features on the other? What is better for the filter - to run from water sourced at the skimmer, or water sourced from the main drain? I'm guessing it's better to filter from the main drain, but I'm not a pool expert.

    Where things stand with the PB and getting this pool 'finished', building out a new dedicated suction line for the feature pump from the pool (e.g. wall suction or other input) isn't going to happen. The PB wants to call the job complete, and I'm not looking forward to drilling holes into the pool which now has plaster.

    Any recommendations or ideas would be much appreciated!

    Thanks
    15K gal, IG gunite, NPT Tropics Blue Mini-Pebble, Hayward equipment, cartridge filter, SWG, OK coping, under construction

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Water feature pump on main drain or skimmer?

    Bumping this thread for you.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Water feature pump on main drain or skimmer?

    It is common for a feature pump to have a wall suction inlet. I would prefer to feed the feature pump from the main drain vs skimmers just because there is less chance for debris. I think my preference would be to have it permanently tied in to the main drain with a check valve.

    It is convenient to be able to change from skimmer to drain on the filter suction when you need more skimmer action or want to brush debris on the bottom to the main drain to be filtered.
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