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Thread: Which Paramount In-Floor System?

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    Which Paramount In-Floor System?

    I've been investigating the various models of in-floor cleaning systems and having trouble figuring out what differentiates them. According to Paramount each dealer only installs one of the product lines which isn't exactly useful when one is trying to figure out which is "best" or at least what sets each line apart. This is what I have been find out so far.

    Pool Valet is their oldest design. Other than noting the heads employ a weighted system they wouldn't say anything else and my impression was it is not a preferred choice.

    Cyclean is the newest system. It uses a cam sprung nozzle and they have a set cleaning pattern.

    PV3 uses a retracted weight nozzle and they use a random cleaning pattern.

    What the advantages or disadvantages are of each is not at all clear. One would think that the newer would be an improvement (or why bother) but they wouldn't say. I'm thinking that a pattern cleaning head might do a better job or work faster but it just a guess. I have no idea what the tradeoffs are between a cam sprung vs retracted weight head but since they used the latter on their first system I'm venturing that a cam spring might be give a more deliberate push.

    Both systems are agitation systems. They use a large number of small heads. For example an 18 x 36 would use about 35 total on about 4 zones more or less.

    In contrast PCC 2000 is a collection system. It uses about a third the number of heads but the flows are much higher. There are also two fixed heads near the drain. Best as I can tell this system by virtue of its higher flow rates (not clear if the pressure is higher also) moves the dirt directly rather than just lifting it up off the floor.

    Again it wasn't possible to get a clear sense of how these three systems perform in relation to each other and what are the strengths and weaknesses of each design. I can't find any information contrasting agitation vs collection as a technique.

    All cost about the same. Dealers are generally allowed to carry only one system and push that so it is very difficult to get impartial answers.

    Any advice would be most welcome.
    33'x15' x 52" Aqualeader
    Gallons ? - (I use appx 13,500 to calculate "stuff")
    33 x 15 x 4.3 x 5.9 = 12,558. or . . The Pool Calculator = 14,400
    Hayward S-166T 100Lb Sand Filter - Hayward Power-Flo LX 1HP Pump
    Intex S.W.G.

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    Re: Which Paramount In-Floor System?

    Welcome to TFP!!

    My honest opinion is to get a robotic cleaner for less$ than the in floor system Perhaps they've made great improvements since I used to install them (SWCGs have ) but ~15 years ago, they didn't quite do what they were supposed to, the heads often popped out, the pool always had areas that weren't cleaned and protecting them from freezing is neigh impossible.

    Just my $.02 from experience ~ 15 years ago -- perhaps someone else here has some more recent input

    Again, welcome here - we'll answer the questions you have
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: Which Paramount In-Floor System?

    Not to pile on, but I'm with Ted. I have no technical expertise on in-floors but I do know that reading these forums for 8 + years has given me a feeling of uneasiness about their reliability.

    That said, the folks who have never had a problem with them don't post that....we only hear about the ones that are a problem. It does seem like the potential for trouble to me.....I like Ted's idea of a nice robotic.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Which Paramount In-Floor System?

    Thanks for the welcome. Sorry about signing up and posting right off but I couldn't find information on this anywhere.

    I'm considering that option.

    The reason it would be nice to get some information on the differences between these systems is so I can find out if perhaps the newer ones solve some of the problems that people have had.
    33'x15' x 52" Aqualeader
    Gallons ? - (I use appx 13,500 to calculate "stuff")
    33 x 15 x 4.3 x 5.9 = 12,558. or . . The Pool Calculator = 14,400
    Hayward S-166T 100Lb Sand Filter - Hayward Power-Flo LX 1HP Pump
    Intex S.W.G.

  5. Back To Top    #5
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    Re: Which Paramount In-Floor System?

    The BIG problem with these systems that is inherent in their design is that they put a LOT of strain on the plumbing. They have a manifold that switches between the different sets of popups to sweep the dirt to the main drain. Each time it switches it creates a LOT of backpressure on the system. If you look at the pressure gauge on the filter that has an in floor cleaner you can see the needle jump up and down each time a new set of popups turn on. This is what leads to system failure. Also, replacing the jets (which is needed after a while) is often problematic. While not as convenient a robot or pressure side cleaner will do a better job at keeping your pool clean with far fewer problems in the long run, IMHO.

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    Re: Which Paramount In-Floor System?

    As far as comparisons I can't offer any assistance. We have the PV3 system, and although we had a problem recently, it has been fixed and the cause of it was excessive debris in the system. PB did some repairs and a lot of dirt and small rocks were in the pool and clogged up the cleaners.

    We've only been up and running with our pool since the end of June, so I don't have long term experience, but the company guarantees a 99% effective cleaning rate and I would say it lives up to that. My Dad has one of the older systems..not sure which one but he has never had a problem with his. Lucky, I guess, from some of the things I've heard about recently that can go wrong.

    We were adamant that we didn't want a hose floating around the pool constantly, so went for the in floor. It cleans really well and my opinion is it's worth the added cost. As for possible future problems, obviously you run the risk of that with any equipment.

    One thing I will mention is if you decide to go with the system, find out how your PB is going to do the plumbing. They came out and added a valve and extra plumbing to ours, in contrast to what Paramount recommends. I was told it will not void the warranty. Here is the post re: the problem we had and the new plumbing: http://www.troublefreepool.com/in-fl...ion-t9050.html

    We're still waiting to hear from them with regards to the lid blowing off.
    No Cover Charge
    17,000 gal IG w/ raised 8' spillover spa, 3M plaster, 10' stainless rain WF, Pentair SAM lights, Sta-Rite Sys3 cart. filter, Intellichlor SWG, 400kBTU Gas Heater, Paramount IF Cleaners, ET-8 Wireless Remote

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    Re: Which Paramount In-Floor System?

    For what it's worth, I also have researched the PCC-2000 a bit, before deciding to install it in my new build. One of my colleagues has the system in an 800sq ft pool that is directly adjacent to woods, and has found over 5 years that it does a generally excellent job of clearing leaves and dirt from his pool, although it misses cleaning one small area of the floor. Another acquaintance has several years of very good cleaning from his, but his situation is less challenging. A third, with a 1000sq ft with auto cover, reports the pool is always clean, with no areas missed. A fourth, with a smaller pool and a fairly minimal system in terms of head placement, has a significant streak that does not clear, and doesn't think so highly of it.
    I will be putting it to the test, as my 1250sq ft L is half surrounded by trees, and previous experience (1000 sq ft vinyl pool in same spot) was that a lot of things in addition to leaves ended up in the pool. We went through two revisions of Paramounts design before I was convinced that the entire floor would be swept. Unfortunately a permit issue means that we are still building instead of swimming, so I have no direct experience to relate. I will say that if you intend or need to do much heating of your pool, that if you do not go with a floor cleaner, you should install some floor returns so that the heat can be injected at the bottom rather than the top.
    By the way, on the pressure fluctuation issue, different companies valves have different designs, the current Paramount valve is designed to avoid spiking the pressure up during port switches, from the FAQ:

    Why does my water valve pressure fluctuate?
    Each time the water valve switches; the next port opens before the one that has finished shuts off. The Paramount water valve always operates so that the system is pressure safe.

    The builder that installed mine installs them in a couple hundred pools a year, on each of which they warrant the plumbing for life. I don't know what their warranty experience is like, but don't believe it can be that bad. However, if you intend to supply solar panels, you should not do it from a plumbing run with an operating water valve on it, the solar panels are considerably less robust than schedule 40 pvc.

    Good luck with your decision.
    52k gal/1300sqft white plaster wi spa, 2 Intelliflo 4x160, 2 C&C 420, Heat Siphon heat pump, PCC-2000, Intellitouch, CL&MA injection

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    Re: Which Paramount In-Floor System?

    Your information is correct bcatv regarding back pressure. The manifolds are now designed to engaged the new zone before releasing the old (or so they promise) which means pressure should drop during changeover rather than rise. Frankly I'm kind of surprised they would have ever done it the other way around if in fact that was the case.

    How did you end up deciding on PCC 2000? Did your PB offer only that product line or also one of the others?

    Reason I ask is that according to Paramount the PCC is the only line that they will permit a dealer to carry in addition to one other so there is at least some opportunity to get some comparison. This makes sense since it uses a completely different technique (collection vs agitation) and uses half the heads of either PV3 or Cyclean.

    Frankly the vendor is making me pretty nervous. I realize their goals are well served by having distinct product lines so that dealers don't have to compete with each other but it doesn't serve me very well when they won't compare the product lines so I can discern which might work better in my environment. They say the differences are gratuitous but I find that hard to believe particularly between the two completely different cleaning methods.

    If anyone would be willing to post their experiences with each of these three systems I'd really appreciate it. Perhaps we might figure strengths and weaknesses of each all on our own or at least use these observations to prod Paramount into a more candid conversation regarding the differences between the products.

    Anybody out there have Cyclean, PCC2000 or PV3 and willing to list their observations?
    33'x15' x 52" Aqualeader
    Gallons ? - (I use appx 13,500 to calculate "stuff")
    33 x 15 x 4.3 x 5.9 = 12,558. or . . The Pool Calculator = 14,400
    Hayward S-166T 100Lb Sand Filter - Hayward Power-Flo LX 1HP Pump
    Intex S.W.G.

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    Re: Which Paramount In-Floor System?

    bcatv, one further thought. Would you be willing to give me the name of the guys who did your PCC 2000 install? The problem is I am in an area where pools are few and far between and in-floor cleaners if more rare so they don't do many of these. I could email him and ask if he might be willing to chat with me for a couple of minutes say in exchange for a bottle of really nice Pinot Noir or alternately some hard cash. My experience is that people are often willing to spend a few minutes talking if you don't waste their time by keeping it short and doing your homework up front so you are at least trying to ask intelligent questions.

    Plus the nice bottle of wine usually gets a really good reaction from the spouse.
    33'x15' x 52" Aqualeader
    Gallons ? - (I use appx 13,500 to calculate "stuff")
    33 x 15 x 4.3 x 5.9 = 12,558. or . . The Pool Calculator = 14,400
    Hayward S-166T 100Lb Sand Filter - Hayward Power-Flo LX 1HP Pump
    Intex S.W.G.

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    EPCompX2's Avatar
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    Re: Which Paramount In-Floor System?

    sbe

    I owned a ig pool with a Kreepy Krauly and it worked fine (pool built in '88). My current home/pool was built in '04 and we had A&A installed. The plans were sent to the manufacture and they designed the placement of the heads. This was one of the best decisions we made on this build. I have not had one issue with tis system. When we get high winds and the pool gets filled with dirt and leaves it is cleared up in a couple of hours. I also never have to worry that I fogot to take the KK out before the kids jump in and break it (happened once in our old pool).

    Just my 2 cents
    10,000 gal gunite standard plaster
    7' spa raised 18", 8 x 8 "Sun Deck"
    4' Sheer Descent, A & A Infloor
    Jandy AquaLink RS6 PDA w/ SWG
    Pentair VS-3050, 1hp Sheer
    Pentair Clean&Clear Plus 420, Pentair MiniMax 400,000 BTU

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    Re: Which Paramount In-Floor System?

    sbe,

    My PB only installs the PCC, so can't help you there, and I'm ashamed to say that my research before signing didn't go very deep, only enough to convince me that Paramount had substantial history with the system. I can tell you that this is the only system my PB installs, so I don't know how much comparitive information they have. However, I'm not sure I believe there is a large difference in operational priniciple between the various Paramount systems, even the PCC relies mostly on gravity plus a sloping pool floor combined with temporary suspension of debris due to the blast of water to work the sunken debris down to the MDX main drain.
    The system engineering of pools leaves a lot to be desired, but, experience trumps theory: I have consistent reports from people using the system that it works pretty well. Whether it justifies its price over the robotic cleaners is a different question; I believe that a properly designed and built robot, which might cost a similar amount, could do an even better job of cleaning, but I haven't seen it yet.

    Cheers.
    52k gal/1300sqft white plaster wi spa, 2 Intelliflo 4x160, 2 C&C 420, Heat Siphon heat pump, PCC-2000, Intellitouch, CL&MA injection

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    Re: Which Paramount In-Floor System?

    I have been managing my pool with the PCC 2000 since last November and am very pleased. It is a smallish freeform pool like 15X30 or so...I am fortunate as to not have any blind spots on the floor...I never have to vacum

    Noted Downsides on a 4 year old system:
    1 - Pressure spikes are real as the system switches from one set of jets to another
    (I have developed PVC leaks perhaps due to this?)
    2- Floor cleaner Trap system requries re-epoxy of lid stops that have broken free (I am holding the lid down with rocks now)

    If I were buiilding anew pool I would pay for he PCC2000 system!
    <><><><><><><><><><><><><><>>>>
    11070 gal Gunnite, Tahoe blue pebbletec, free form
    Pentair 420, PCC 2000 in floor cleaner, waterfall
    2 - 1 HP whisper flow pumps (floor cleaner & main)
    1 - 1 HP Pentair Waterfall pump

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    Re: Which Paramount In-Floor System?

    Poolscout, thanks for the info. I'll ask Paramount when they phased in the new manifolds that supposedly solve the problem of pressure spikes by opening the new zone before cutting off the old one.

    Can you tell me how big your pool is and how many jets you have not counting the two dedicated ones by the drain? I'm attracted to the PCC product because it would be great to have a third of the heads assuming the system still cleans fine.

    Anyone else who would care to share their experiences I'd be most appreciative.
    33'x15' x 52" Aqualeader
    Gallons ? - (I use appx 13,500 to calculate "stuff")
    33 x 15 x 4.3 x 5.9 = 12,558. or . . The Pool Calculator = 14,400
    Hayward S-166T 100Lb Sand Filter - Hayward Power-Flo LX 1HP Pump
    Intex S.W.G.

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Back Pressure Spikes with the Paramount In-Floor System

    The issue is still there. This is why their system won't work with the Intelliflo VP. When the Paramount goes to change zones there is a moment during the transition when the manifold cuts off flow to the first zone before opening it to the second. I'm not sure how long this is or if the cutoff is partial or complete but it is enough that the back pressure spikes momentarily. The Intelliflo interprets this as a system fault.

    Apparently Paramount is attempting to get Pentair to revise their code to ignore this but it hasn't happened yet. FYI A &A says their manifold opens the second zone before closing the first and so doesn't have this problem.

    One might wonder what if any effect this has on a standard pump. In general allowing a significant impulse into a mechanical system is to be avoided it isn't clear if this is significant enough to cause problems but it strikes me as a less than ideal design. I'd be happier if it was a make before break valve.
    33'x15' x 52" Aqualeader
    Gallons ? - (I use appx 13,500 to calculate "stuff")
    33 x 15 x 4.3 x 5.9 = 12,558. or . . The Pool Calculator = 14,400
    Hayward S-166T 100Lb Sand Filter - Hayward Power-Flo LX 1HP Pump
    Intex S.W.G.

  15. Back To Top    #15
    EPCompX2's Avatar
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    Re: Which Paramount In-Floor System?

    sbe

    I have A & A with WisperFlo 2hp and have not noticed any pressure fluctuations. I do see that the next zone "opens" (heads pop up) before the previous zone "closes".
    10,000 gal gunite standard plaster
    7' spa raised 18", 8 x 8 "Sun Deck"
    4' Sheer Descent, A & A Infloor
    Jandy AquaLink RS6 PDA w/ SWG
    Pentair VS-3050, 1hp Sheer
    Pentair Clean&Clear Plus 420, Pentair MiniMax 400,000 BTU

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Which Paramount In-Floor System?

    That's good to know. Much better engineering.
    33'x15' x 52" Aqualeader
    Gallons ? - (I use appx 13,500 to calculate "stuff")
    33 x 15 x 4.3 x 5.9 = 12,558. or . . The Pool Calculator = 14,400
    Hayward S-166T 100Lb Sand Filter - Hayward Power-Flo LX 1HP Pump
    Intex S.W.G.

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Which Paramount In-Floor System?

    SBE,
    What is your source for the information on the Paramount valve function? If someone has done some real data collection that would be interesting.
    The Intelliflo VF also has been reported to have issues with the pressure variations from a solar loop opening and closing, that is why I went with the VS.
    52k gal/1300sqft white plaster wi spa, 2 Intelliflo 4x160, 2 C&C 420, Heat Siphon heat pump, PCC-2000, Intellitouch, CL&MA injection

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Which Paramount In-Floor System?

    Paramount tech support.

    When I mentioned I was looking at using the Intelliflo VF they said it wouldn't work and suggested I use the 4 x 160 instead. He went on to say the problem was that the pump interpreted the pressure spike when the zones switch as an error condition and they were working with Pentair to get the code revised.

    Even if Pentair does that it strikes me as less than ideal that the switchover would be break before make. Maybe the pumps can handle the situation without a problem but I would think it is preferable that pressure drop during the switch rather than spike. But my fluid dynamics is a little rusty.
    33'x15' x 52" Aqualeader
    Gallons ? - (I use appx 13,500 to calculate "stuff")
    33 x 15 x 4.3 x 5.9 = 12,558. or . . The Pool Calculator = 14,400
    Hayward S-166T 100Lb Sand Filter - Hayward Power-Flo LX 1HP Pump
    Intex S.W.G.

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Which Paramount In-Floor System?

    Interesting, I'll have to pay attention to the gauges on mine when I finally get to run them. Maybe I'll tell the builder we need to add an air chamber just upstream of the the PCC valves to absorb the spikes. He already thinks I'm a nut, so I could probably get an entertaining rise out of him.
    By the way, saw your description of efforts to optimize piping flow, reminded me of my efforts, about which I was feeling pretty good until I looked in one of those 3-port diverter valves. May not be as bad as a backwash, but it's sure nothing like a 2.5" pipe. Jandy is now making some 3x2.5 valves that might be worth considering.
    Now, if you are really getting into the op cost thing, have you started calculating the heat losses from one of these puppies in the cooler months? It will make your pumping losses look cheap
    52k gal/1300sqft white plaster wi spa, 2 Intelliflo 4x160, 2 C&C 420, Heat Siphon heat pump, PCC-2000, Intellitouch, CL&MA injection

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Which Paramount In-Floor System?

    Of course your correct that heating costs swamp everything. However I'm in the Northwest and we going to only use the pool in season, meaning when it is pretty warm anyway, so we won't be heating it except to top it up during that time.

    In addition if all goes according to plan the house will be heated and cooled using heat pumps and I will use that same equipment to heat the pool. At .10 per kW/hr it comes out to about half the cost of gas. Not cheap but since we only would be running the heater about 3-4 months out of the year it's tolerable.

    One should take one's energy savings wherever they are cheapest. Reducing head seems to be a relatively inexpensive place to do that as does reducing flow beyond what is necessary to properly clean the pool.

    Thanks for the info on the valves. Again you are correct that these are a very large source of friction. I'm only working on the system layout right now so that they can get the lines in and the pool built then start on the equipment room so I'll start on that next. Hopefully the upticks in energy costs have spurred manufacturers to focus on better energy efficiency in their components. If not then I'll look for look towards Europe. Since their costs have always been higher they often have just what I need.
    33'x15' x 52" Aqualeader
    Gallons ? - (I use appx 13,500 to calculate "stuff")
    33 x 15 x 4.3 x 5.9 = 12,558. or . . The Pool Calculator = 14,400
    Hayward S-166T 100Lb Sand Filter - Hayward Power-Flo LX 1HP Pump
    Intex S.W.G.

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