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Thread: Optimal Spa Suction design?

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    Optimal Spa Suction design?

    Hello!

    Can you please confirm if this is the right approach to designing the plumbing runs for a spa:

    Run#1 (Filter/Heater) = suction from low wall, connected to skimmer, running back to pump, to filter, to heater, through SWCG, back to spa low wall. At the pad, this is 1 line from spa, and 1 line back to spa. All 2" pipe.
    Run#2 (Jets) = suction from floor (dual "main drain"), running back to pump, out to spa jets on a loop. At the pad, this is 1 line from spa, and 1 line back to spa. All 3" pipe.
    Run#3 (Blower) = running from heated blower at the pad out to looped spa return jets. At the pad, this is 1 line back to spa. All 2" pipe (hartford loop at pad).
    Run#4 (infinity edge) = suction (dual "main drain") from catchment pool, running back to pump, back to spa low wall.
    Run#5 (Waterfall) = suction from low wall (dual?) or from catchment pool, running to pump, out to waterfall, which flows back into the spa or the catchment pool. This is one line from spa or catchment pool. 2" pipe.

    Thanks for your input!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Optimal Spa Suction design?

    That is a pretty complicated spa!

    All suction ports should be dual ports separated by 3 feet (or more). Unrelated suction ports can be next to each other, it is just the pairs that need 3' of separation.

    You don't mention the infinity edge pipe size, should probably be 3".

    You don't always need a hartford loop on the blower line. If the blower is above the max spa water level and less than 25' from the spa a hartford loop is not usually needed. It is good to have a check valve on the blower line near the spa end of the pipe to prevent the blower pipe from flooding.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Optimal Spa Suction design?

    Thanks for the input!

    For run#1 (filter), would it be better for the suction to come from the floor, not the low wall? Also, is it ok to have a single floor drain connected to the skimmer to act as the "dual port" for the filter run in a spa? In pools I understand that the dual main drains should be on their own dedicated run back to the pad and not be connected to the skimmers, which would also each be on their own dedicated run back to the pad.

    Also, if an in-floor cleaner with floor pop-ups and wall sweeps was added to this spa design, should they be on a separate dedicated pump run or would it be integrated with the existing filter run? Does the in-floor cleaner drain replace the "main drain" or is it additional?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Optimal Spa Suction design?

    Suction ports on the floor or low wall is a preference issue. The plumbing will work just fine either way. In a spa I prefer the suction ports be on the wall, so you aren't resting your feet on an uneven floor. However many builders put them on the floor, and depending on the details of the layout the drains might not even be in a place where someone might rest their feet. Putting drains on the floor does make it easier to completely drain the spa.

    A drain can not be paired with a skimmer to count as dual. You can use slot drains, which are a single narrow slot more than 3 feet long. Typically, if you have a skimmer, you would plumb it separately from the drain(s). The infinite edge does the job of a skimmer in most cases, though provisions must be made to clean debris out of the catchment pool.

    In floor cleaning is normally done with the main filter pump, though I have seen it done with a separate pump. For that matter, spa jets are often done with the main filter pump, though that becomes impractical as the number of jets goes up.

    In floor systems typically have a different kind of drain that is designed to catch debris, which a regular drain is not good at doing. The in-floor drain would be instead of a regular drain.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Optimal Spa Suction design?

    Run#3 (Blower) = running from heated blower at the pad out to looped spa return jets. At the pad, this is 1 line back to spa. All 2" pipe (hartford loop at pad).
    Hartford loop should be at the spa, not the pad. It does no good at the pad. Also, if designed properly, you shouldn't need a blower. If you put the Hartford loop in the spa wall where it belongs and use large pipe for the air (2.5"), you shouldn't need a blower even for very long runs. IMHO, blowers are only necessary for a poorly designed spa.
    Mark
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