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Thread: Main drain/No Main drain

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    Main drain/No Main drain

    Hello... This is my first post..Hello to All, PB said he does not install Main drains in fiberglass pools any longer. He said water is pumped from skimmer to cartridge filter back to pool.
    Also he said I'll only need 2 returns on the size pool I'm getting which is 15x34, 8700gal.

    My two questions are: 2 returns, do I really need more and do I really need a drain on the bottom of pool??
    Thanks...Harry
    Trilogy "Fiberglass" Pool,
    15x34 8900 gal.
    Pentair 1hp Super-Flo Pump
    Pentair CC100 Cartridge Filter, Pentair "Legend" Cleaner

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: Main drain/No Main drain

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryMichael
    Hello... This is my first post..Hello to All, PB said he does not install Main drains in fiberglass pools any longer. He said water is pumped from skimmer to cartridge filter back to pool.
    Also he said I'll only need 2 returns on the size pool I'm getting which is 15x34, 8700gal.

    My two questions are: 2 returns, do I really need more and do I really need a drain on the bottom of pool??
    Thanks...Harry
    No and no. I have 16x40 20,000 gallons with one return, a skimmer and a low drain on the side wall and I'm fine. No main drain. No problem
    Stay ahead of your water!

  3. Back To Top    #3
    SeanB's Avatar
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    I don't know the facts behind this debate, but this article is certainly compelling.

    From Pool and Spa News:

    Dual drain debate continues - letters
    Pool & Spa News, July 12, 2002 I just finished reading your article on the Florida main drain code (6/7/02 issue).

    I have been designing swimming pools for about 40 years. My standard procedure of the design of wading pools was to connect the main drain to the skimmer.

    About 15 or 20 years ago, at a swim club in the King of Prussia, Pa. area, at a wading pool of my design, a 4-year-old boy sat on the main drain whose cover had been removed. The skimmer was clogged. Seventy-five percent of this boy's intestine was sucked out through his rectum.

    Although I was absolved of any responsibility, the picture has never left my memory and subsequently, I have never designed any pool of any size without the use of at least two main drains sufficiently separated to preclude this ever happening again.

    Regardless of the final code wording, the pool builders, for their own protection, should insist on the use of two drains.

    Mitchel Abramowitz, AIA
    Lansdale, Pa.
    TFP Founder

    My Pool: 13K gal IG gunite with 7' spa, Pentair Cartridge Filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG, Polaris 280 Cleaner, TF-100 Test Kit w/ salt test.

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    That is just awful.
    steve

    Above Ground / 18' Round / Vinyl Liner / Sand Filter / 100K Gas Heater / Salt Added / No Nature2

  5. Back To Top    #5
    SeanB's Avatar
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    I can't imagine using the skimmer as a drain could cause any type of injury though. I just remembered reading something about dual drain debates.
    TFP Founder

    My Pool: 13K gal IG gunite with 7' spa, Pentair Cartridge Filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG, Polaris 280 Cleaner, TF-100 Test Kit w/ salt test.

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    I don't want to debate dual drain for that is what I asked for when he said he does not put drains in anymore. I just want to make the right decision. Can I live without a drain in the pool....also two returns, is that OK?
    Thanks!!! Harry
    Trilogy "Fiberglass" Pool,
    15x34 8900 gal.
    Pentair 1hp Super-Flo Pump
    Pentair CC100 Cartridge Filter, Pentair "Legend" Cleaner

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Honestly, I would say that two returns should be fine, all they do is return. You just have to keep water moving around in a circle I think. As for no MainDrain, I can see definately not wanting to put one under a fiberglass pool for sure, you would have to have everything dead on when you set it, and it could potentially be several settings in and out of the hole. I think that personally I would want a main Drain just for the fact that you would have the option of circulating water during a partial drain, like if you had to repair something. And I suppose, if you are doing one, may as well do two. But if you were to get a skimmer problem, and had to drain it for a few days while it was fixed, with a drain, you could keep the water from going that lovely green color.
    I see it as an insurance policy I guess.

    Steve
    steve

    Above Ground / 18' Round / Vinyl Liner / Sand Filter / 100K Gas Heater / Salt Added / No Nature2

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    The dangers of main drains have been pretty well eliminated by the introduction of new covers that prevent entrapment. That said, there are many good arguments that the drain isn't needed for good circulation. They are often a source of leaks, and things are expensive to fix when the drain leaks.

    Two returns ought to be okay unless you have alcove type steps or a tanning ledge. You'll want a return in there to keep debris from accumulating.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    I would suggest that if you have any significantly concave areas in your pool that you insist on a return specifically in that area. I have 3 returns, but there is one area that has very poor circulation and floaters just congregate in that section.
    ~13500 gallon gunite pool, Pentair Intelliflo 4x160, Pentair 520 SF cartridge filter, Pentair MasterTemp 400 NG heater
    Pentair Easytouch with IC40 SWCG, Hayward Navigator on dedicated suction line

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    This must be unique to fiberglass pools because I couldnt imagine not having a main drain. I sweep dust/dirt/leaves to my main drain regularly. I also have flagstone coping which causes more initial dust than most probably. I can switch my suction valve to pull exclusively from the main drain and set the pump to high speed and brush away. During normal pump run time I set my suction valve to about 60% skimmer suction and 40 % from the main drain. In an 8700 gal if you have some type of vac system it probably wouldnt be that big of deal to not have one though.

    Also 2 returns seems fine for 8700 gal. The shape and design of your pool should also help determine the number of returns. I have 4 pool returns but 3 of the returns are positioned to "sweep" benches, steps, etc.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    KurtV's Avatar
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    There's a significant move in Florida, and probably in other states, toward building pools without main drains. Here's an article that might be of interest to the OP and others (this is probably the article referenced in the letter SeanB posted): http://www.poolspanews.com/2003/041/041maindrain.html

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    I choose Not to go with main drains at the last minute. The store owner actually talked me out of it. NOT for saftey reasons but for depth. I'm almost 6' tall..if I jump in feet first and hit one I'd probably bust it! Can you say $$$$$$!!!!! Main drains are safe enough now, I belive most states now reqiure that two mains be installed on the same line and they must be several feet away from each other to prevent entrapment. I think you'll be just fine on that size pool without them...IMHO.
    If I don't jump in my wife pulls me in!!!!!!!!

    18x38 roman IG/vinyl 20k gal aquarite swcg & aquasolar tc,hayward clearstar plus 1200 ctg filter & 1 HP super pump,supervision fiber optic lights

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Thanks for all the info!!
    Harry
    Trilogy "Fiberglass" Pool,
    15x34 8900 gal.
    Pentair 1hp Super-Flo Pump
    Pentair CC100 Cartridge Filter, Pentair "Legend" Cleaner

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