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Thread: AGP Bottom Drain?

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    AGP Bottom Drain?

    We're getting a 16 x 32 AGP installed next week. My wife did the wheeling & dealing with pool store and I paid for it. She

    got a bottom drain as part of the install. Does anyone have any good or bad things to day about these? I've got the heebie

    jeebies about a hole at the bottom of the liner. I have time now to cancel it if they are junk. I just don't know why we would

    need it or how leak free they are. If something goes bad on it, WHOA NELLY throw some more money at it.

    Thanks for any advice.
    Skinman

    16 x 32 Doughboy AGP
    Doughboy 17" AquaView sand filter
    1 HP, 2 Spd. pump
    (4) 2 x 20 Sunheater Solar Heat
    Solar cover w/reel
    TF 100 Test Kit

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    I don't have any experience with them, but I would not get one. Especially in an area that gets a winter. The level of water in the bottom drain pipe is going to be the level of the pool, and will be susceptible to freezing. Not to mention the thought of having a hole in the bottom of the pool.

    I did know someone who had one though, and he said they could never get it working for some reason and ended up capping it.
    steve

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

  3. Back To Top    #3
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    It is rare to see a main drain on an above ground pool. They can help keep the circulation working well and they can also, very rarely, cause leaks. It can be tricky to fully winterize an AGP main drain if you live in an area that has hard freezes.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    One thing I can think of that would be good though for a bottom drain is that you would have the ability to lower the water below the skimmer and keep it circulating to repair or add something like a light or a return.
    steve

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

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    krcossin's Avatar
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    Having a center drain in a AGP is not worth the cost/benefit IMO.
    Chances of leaks increase, the less holes the better, keep the plumbing simple.
    Direct the return to circulate the water flow, dish the center to cause most floor debre to settle in the center. I use a skimmer net sometimes to pick up that junk.
    Draining a pool below skimmer level should only be needed once a year for closing in our climate. You can just use your garden hose to accomplish this. Or I have a spare pump and suck it out much quicker.
    Trust me, when you see your water level going down, you first think it is evaporation, then after you do the bucket test, you immediately regret the center drain.
    Now on an inground, must have center drain, AGP: no thanks.
    Good luck with your new pool, enjoy the heck out of it.
    btw: did you buy your pool at Pool Town? Me too, I'm in Livonia/Westland area. I installed pools during college and still install for friends and family.
    2007 - 24' AG Doughboy Desert Spring dished 1.5', with DB Power Pak II-1hp pump, DB Sequel I Plus DE, Hayward H-Series Heater 100k + 8gal LQ.

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Thanks for the replies. I've already canceled it. The pool store didn't push it, they just gave my wife different options available
    and she thought it might be helpful. No harm done.

    Krcossin, same basic thoughts I had, good reply. We bought our pool from 3R pools in South Lyon. They had many good references. When the sales guy came out I tried to trip him up on some things I learned here about pump/filter size, install procedure, and I found him to be pretty honest.
    Skinman

    16 x 32 Doughboy AGP
    Doughboy 17" AquaView sand filter
    1 HP, 2 Spd. pump
    (4) 2 x 20 Sunheater Solar Heat
    Solar cover w/reel
    TF 100 Test Kit

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Skinman I had one installed with my pool and think that it was worth it. I'm able to get better cerculation with it, I use solar heater and it realy moves the colder water around. In the winter I take a 5 Gallon bucket and pour RV ant-freeze in and with a drill powered pump I inject the anti-freeze into the suction piping untill I can see it come up in the bottom drains. In the spring I just open the valves and the water pushes the anti-freeze out.
    As you are aware we had a cold winter and I opened with no trouble, My brother also has na AG pool and does the same thing.
    15x30 AG
    Cartridge Filter
    Solar Heater
    1.0 HP 2 Speed pump
    + 2 KIDS

  8. Back To Top    #8
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear you cancelled it, I didn't see this post till now.

    We are on our 6th (7th? I've lost track) season now, and we have a bottom drain. Wouldn't have it any other way. But our pool is round. The kids love making a whirlpool. Flip the bottom drain on "full", turn the pump on high, no vacuming necessary. The only time I vacume is once on opening.

    We blow out the bottom drain plumbing with an air pump, keeps the pipe from freezing. We have had no leaks or plumbing issues (yet, did you go an jinx me?)

    My sister had one in her pool, 20 years ago, never had any issues.

    My sister in law has had one in her pool for the last 15-20 years and never had any issues.

    Now, have you heard what Chicago winters are like?

    I love my bottom drain.

    You could in theory continue circulation with the water below the skimmer if your return is low enough, ours is not.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Would the water not just shoot out of the return? What difference would it make if it were still in the water or not? I had always just pictured it like this, correct me if I am wrong.

    Thanks
    Steve
    steve

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

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    I appreciate everyones response both ways. Never had one in any pools growing up and don't know anyone (other than here) that has one so it's not something I'll miss. I have two young VERY Curious George's and I feel better knowing I'll never hear "Dad, is the bottom drain supposed to come apart like this?"
    Skinman

    16 x 32 Doughboy AGP
    Doughboy 17" AquaView sand filter
    1 HP, 2 Spd. pump
    (4) 2 x 20 Sunheater Solar Heat
    Solar cover w/reel
    TF 100 Test Kit

  11. Back To Top    #11
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sevver
    Would the water not just shoot out of the return? What difference would it make if it were still in the water or not? I had always just pictured it like this, correct me if I am wrong.

    Thanks
    Steve
    Well, yes, but then you are aerating....which could raise your PH...
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    I don't know, this is the way I see it. If you had a bottom drain, and needed to say, fix a hole in your liner, you would be able to drain the pool below the skimmer to make the patch. You would also have the luxury of having filtered water, which would be able to be maintained as normal. I am not suggesting that you could indefinitely run your pool like this, but it would be a perk to a bottom drain, and would allow you some time to do something the right way without your pool turning into a swamp. For all intents and purposes, the return could be bypassed with a longer hose draped over the side directly into the water, eliminating the aerating thing and the Ph rise. Although that is a good point. You could use it as a method to lower TA.
    steve

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

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: AGP Bottom Drain?

    Well I just had a new AGP installed and it also came with a bottom drain. The pool store said they consider that standard equipment for around here. I had not heard of a bottom drain in AGPs either but it seems to work fine. They also include PVC as the standard plumbing so no hoses to deal with. When I asked about it I was told that the pool will stay lots cleaner with the bottom drain and as some others have mentioned, you can run the pump even if the water level is below the skimmer. We just finished filling the pool today so I can't speak to the good or bad but I am looking forward to not having to vacuum much.
    Jim

    24' X 52" AGP (13,500 gal)
    Pentair Dynamo 1HP with SD-40 filter
    TF-100 test kit
    BBB and loving it

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: AGP Bottom Drain?

    I'm not far away from you either, in New Hudson. We don't have much direct experience since the pool is exactly 1 year old, but we do have a main drain.

    I also looked into this when we bought our pool last year. Trying to be as objective as possible here, I think the benefits of the main drain include: a) better water circulation, leading to better filtration and even water temperature; b) can run the filter at lower water levels, if needed (startup, during drain-down, maintenance); c) less vacuuming. The drawbacks are a) another worrybead for leaks; b) winterizing has the additional step of taking care of the main drain; c) additional cost, albeit small.

    With all that said, my experience in the decision-making process was based on my brother's pool, who has a main drain (AG) working for about 6 years. He loves it. And now that I have a pool with main drain, I don't think I'd would have second thoughts about doing another - we really like it, and have turned it off periodically and notice a lot more debris on the pool floor. A key for me in making myself comfortable in the decision was talking with my installer, who had tons of local experience installing AG pools with main drains. And in watching him and his crew setup my pool, I knew the work quality of the entire installation was better than I had hoped. I truly believe that my liner is more likely to leak due to random swimmer usage than my main drain is likely to leak. If you have confidence in the installers putting up your pool, then there is no reason to worry about a main drain leaking.

    And now that I've winterized this drain once, I'm not worried about that step as it truly takes only 5 minutes to pour 4-5 jugs of RV anti-freeze into the lines once I've disconnected the skimmer. Open the main drain valve in the spring until all signs of pink fluid are gone and it's done!

    Good luck with your new pool!
    Scott

    27'x52" AG Vogue Impact, Waterway Cyclone 200 cartridge filter, Waterway pump w/2 HP 2-sp motor, 8mil solar cover, Raypak 206 nat gas heater, Pool Rover Jr.

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