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Thread: Plumbing VS Electric .. Underground Preference?

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    Plumbing VS Electric .. Underground Preference?

    Hi All,
    We live in the Cleveland Ohio area, so our frost line is 42". We are putting in an 18' x 52' AGP and I would prefer to have the pump and filter in the "pump room" which is off the garage and was built specifically for pool equipment (there was an old pool on the property before we bought it which has since been taken down). We just had this pump room brought up to NEC code with the intention of putting the equipment in there and running the piping underground to the pool. Now my husband is changing his mind!

    He now wants to run the electric underground to the pool and have the GFCI outlet installed out there. He says the electric line only has to go down 18" (waiting to hear back from our electrician on this) but the plumbing lines would need to go down to the frost line. I've read different things on depth of piping so any info from this expert community of pool owners would be much appreciated!! This is all new to us!

    Is there any preference or reason to go one way or another? We have about 30' distance from pump room to pool.

    My husband can run the plumbing (so that will save us money), whereas we would have to hire the electrician again to run the electric and install a GFCI out to the pool. I'm all about saving the money but will do what makes the most sense in the long run.

    Thanks Everyone!
    Lizzy

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    Re: Plumbing VS Electric .. Underground Preference?

    I'm no expert but I would think it would be a toss up either way, longer plumbing would require a little more work on the pump but it would be out of the elements which should make winterizing easier
    18x36 Vinyl, sports depth, 8' Roman steps at each end. Hayward 1.5hp 2speed pump, catridge filter, 2 skimmers, no main drain, 3 SR Smith Treo LED lights

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    AftonJeeper's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing VS Electric .. Underground Preference?

    I have an in ground pool and all of my lines are run less than 18" below the surface. Frost line up here is 48". Key is to get all the water out when winterizing or use an RV type antifreeze. This is a link to the above ground closing article.

    Personally, I'd rather have the equipment out of the elements and away from where I'll be relaxing.
    20'x48' 40,000 gal. Vinyl, Pentair Intelliflo 2 VST, Sta-Rite PLM300 System 2 Cartridge Filter, and a Pentair Mastertemp 250 heater all controlled by Pentair Easy Touch with Screen Logic. Dolphin Premier pool attendant.
    I've got iron stained well water. TF-100 and Speed Stir, Lamotte 3017-G for Borates

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    Re: Plumbing VS Electric .. Underground Preference?

    Thanks! I thought that I had read somewhere it's more like a sprinkler line and can go as shallow as 10 inches. I read somewhere else that this guy only put them down 6 inches and he lived in upstate NY. So, as long as you winterize properly, and don't run any lawn aerators or heavy equipment, it seems like shallower depths are okay? Just wondering what the general consensus is on this. Or if there is an "insider" rule of thumb. Thanks Everyone!

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    foobert's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing VS Electric .. Underground Preference?

    Regarding your burial depth for conduit, see this.

    Short answer, 6" for RMC (rigid metal conduit), 18" for NMC (pvc conduit). Note that RMC is thick like a water pipe and has threaded ends.
    ~john
    24.5K G, pebble, SuperFlo VS 1.5, 48sq DE filter, Hayward H250FDN, Autopilot RC-52, Poolvergnuegen & 3 daily swimmers in season.

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    Nectarologist's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing VS Electric .. Underground Preference?

    Hi. My personal preference would be to have the equipment in the room shielded from the elements too. That being said you should have a GFCI outlet within X distance of the pool. Even if your town code doesn't require it, it is an important safety item. My town requires one no closer to the pool than 10 feet, no more than 20 feet. Not sure what the NEC says but follow that if you don't have a town regulation on it. If you have a standard outlet in that location already it is easy to swap out with a GFCI. Another thing to consider is the bonding of the pool. My above ground pool had this so you might need an electrician to run the bonding wire to the pool so don't backfill/burry the pipes until you know for sure. Would stink to dig another trench just for that.

    If you're digging for the pipe might as well put another in there for outdoor speakers. Hook up a Sonos Amp or Google audio cast thing and you can play music from your phone/tablet without lugging a radio in and out.
    Inground, vinyl liner, 16 x 32 (approx. 21k gallons), roman end w/ bench, 2 Jandy LED lights
    Pump: Jandy Flopro, 1.5 hp Heater: Raypak, 266k btu (P-R266-A-EN-C; nat gas) Filter: Jandy C340 (cartridge filter) Robot: Doheny's Dolphin Discovery SWCG: Circupool RJ45

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    Re: Plumbing VS Electric .. Underground Preference?

    This is all really great..thanks!! Helps make my case for the pump room!.. LOL

    - - - Updated - - -


    Yes, thanks! We're going to bond. Good catch about that reciprocal outlet too. I remember reading that's a requirement (we fall under NEC 2014) and we have one, but will have to check the distance on that.

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    Teald024's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing VS Electric .. Underground Preference?

    I'm about to relocate my pump/filter about 15 ft away from the pool to the corner of the fence. I'm putting the pvc piping underground about 18". The depth was somewhat arbitrary except that is what I was trenching the electrical conduit at. Come winter, I'm going to disconnect the piping and blow out the lines to prevent freezing.
    Put some extra unions / valves in the line to make life easier.



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    Re: Plumbing VS Electric .. Underground Preference?

    foobert: 6" isn't helping my case.. LOL... Thanks for the info though, very, very helpful!!

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    foobert's Avatar
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    Re: Plumbing VS Electric .. Underground Preference?

    Well, 6" might meet code, but that's REALLY shallow, in my personal opinion.

    Also, having dug up 35 year old rigid metal conduit near to the pool environment, I would NOT ever install it myself. It rusted completely down to nothing. I'd prefer PvC, even if it requires digging another foot deeper.
    ~john
    24.5K G, pebble, SuperFlo VS 1.5, 48sq DE filter, Hayward H250FDN, Autopilot RC-52, Poolvergnuegen & 3 daily swimmers in season.

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