A Cheap Pool Cooler for the end of Summer

Yev

Well-known member
Jul 29, 2014
547
Independence, KY
Its one thing to get the holes in a line. But, dont forget to hold the drill straight (which is where a drill press woudl work well). If with one hole you have the drill angled towards you, and the other the drill is angled away from you, even if they are exactly in line. So whenyou drill you want to be as "true" as possible. Centered/level left to right and simultaneously centered/leveled front to back
 

ckendalls

Gold Supporter
May 17, 2018
76
Clermont FL
Our 11K gallon pool gets direct sun much of the day. If it wasn’t in a screened enclosure and the sun sails I installed, it would be too warm on the hottest part of the year particularly with the short fall on storms this year. The multiple sun sails I put up are a god send. But this year lately, with the weather consistently in the upper 90s the water edged up to the high 80s and as high as 91. My wife is OK with that but I like 82-85. The sheer falls and bubblers help a bit if run all the time but I finally experimented with the DIY cheap PVC cooler. But I tested it running it with my cheap portable submersible pump. I am on Gen 6 and very happy after multiple rounds of “tuning”. I am amazed at how well and how fast it works even in this humid area. I found the 3/32 bit with 44 holes gives me a shower that doesn’t quite hit the sun sails mounted on the highest section. I dropped 5 degrees in a few hours mid afternoon the evening and another 5 over night first day. Not sure how long the submersible pump will last but its a handy quick setup and not sure I want to install on the bubblers because we like the sun shelf space. The return positions are not optimal for this as they are close to corners.

If I was designing a pool I want something like this built in. Is it available?

Glad I found this! It’s awesome!

 

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YippeeSkippy

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Jan 17, 2012
14,825
Evans, Georgia
Take a look at Skippy's pool cooling fountain link in my signature. We used a discarded Polaris wall outlet to build our fountain on to, but others use other water returns just as often.

Maddie
 

ckendalls

Gold Supporter
May 17, 2018
76
Clermont FL
Can something like this be built in for the people who are DIY able?
Certainly where I got the idea here, fitting to returns or bubblers. But Since I don’t need it all summer or every day I didn’t go that route and used the submersible.. for now. If I was building a pool in a consistently hot climate, I’d want something more built in and planned position etc. and independent water feature adjustable etc. for this. Fortunately PVC pipe and fittings are cheap and you may have to experiment with your pump speed pressure, other return constriction pr capping , drill bit size and number of holes after you get your return fittings set up. For my purposes, the 5/64 drill bit was best with 44 holes using this pump.
 

Taylor1584

LifeTime Supporter
May 13, 2011
161
Houston, Texas
Certainly where I got the idea here, fitting to returns or bubblers. But Since I don’t need it all summer or every day I didn’t go that route and used the submersible.. for now. If I was building a pool in a consistently hot climate, I’d want something more built in and planned position etc. and independent water feature adjustable etc. for this. Fortunately PVC pipe and fittings are cheap and you may have to experiment with your pump speed pressure, other return constriction pr capping , drill bit size and number of holes after you get your return fittings set up. For my purposes, the 5/64 drill bit was best with 44 holes using this pump.
What I meant to say...was for people who cannot DIY. How can this be planned into a new pool build, perhaps for 1-2 of these fountain sprays.
 

Yev

Well-known member
Jul 29, 2014
547
Independence, KY
What I meant to say...was for people who cannot DIY. How can this be planned into a new pool build, perhaps for 1-2 of these fountain sprays.
FOr a new pool build, add an extra return into your pool. when you want a fountain, then convert the extra return to a fountain port. If you dont want the fountain, then you have an extra return, which is never a bad thing.

As for people who are not DIY, I see this with an much honesty as I can. Working with PVC is about the easiest DIY project you can have. Attach fittings with pvc glue, no special skill required, watch a 3 minute you tube video and you will know what you need for this task. Buy a PVC cutter from lowes, costs about $25, and works sort of like scissors. And then you need a drill and a drill bit. You can get the cheapest drill you can find for this task, and accuracy does not matter too much. And I suppose you would need a tape measure as well.
 

ckendalls

Gold Supporter
May 17, 2018
76
Clermont FL
What I think would be ideal is to have a water feature sprayer cooler built in with an actuator valve to adjust the flow between water features. On our current pool, it would be nice to have this built in right above where our water fall sheers are. We have a variable speed pump and I think it would be best to have VSP for this purpose too.
 
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txtroutbum

Bronze Supporter
Apr 13, 2018
46
Houston, TX
With Houston having a week + of heat advisories, my pool finally hit 90. Since my favorite swimming hole is Barton Springs in Austin (year round temperature of 68) this is wholly unacceptable. So I found myself in the A/C under the ceiling fan looking for this post.... and subsequently made several runs to Home Depot. My results are unspectacular and I'm looking for solutions.

First run was to create a simple 1.5" fountain to fit into one of the returns; I liked the idea of slipping the sprayer into a smooth coupling in the return, so went that route. printed off graph paper, drilled holes, and fabricated a simple riser that "T'ed" to produce the spray; installed, turned on the pump..... and got about 3, maybe 4 inches of spray. *re-reads post; oh people are closing off their other returns.* Not really wanting to do that, I deduced I could increase the spray pressure by reducing the pvc size.

Second run to HD was for some 3/4 pvc; got a reducer from 1.5" > 3/4", tee, caps and pipe. Drill, glue, install,..... now up to say.... 6" of spray....

Clearly, this is not working for me.... so here's my questions for those who may have gone down this road before. 1) I don't really want to close off the other returns, as I do like the idea of keeping my circulation going, 2) Has anyone crafted a sprayer that generates enough pressure to get decent cooling effect with the returns open? 3) I have a Pentair Racer on a booster pump; for those who have used the sprayers on a cleaner line, does your booster pump provide enough pressure to achieve the cooling? (this could be the impetus I need to get that robot!)

Here's dreaming of cooler waters....
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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I don't really want to close off the other returns, as I do like the idea of keeping my circulation going,
Then you are out of luck........unless the booster pump works for you.

FAR TOO MUCH flow will go back to the pool unless you block off the returns. You need to get spray 20+ feet into the air for evaporation to take effect. Not sure why you do not want to block the returns but that's your call.
 

txtroutbum

Bronze Supporter
Apr 13, 2018
46
Houston, TX
Then you are out of luck........unless the booster pump works for you.

FAR TOO MUCH flow will go back to the pool unless you block off the returns. You need to get spray 20+ feet into the air for evaporation to take effect. Not sure why you do not want to block the returns but that's your call.
Primarily (as mentioned in another post) to keep the pool circulating; but, I understand the principals and am going to try to close off a few returns as well. I've currently hooked my contraption up to the booster pump return, and am getting 3' - 4' of spray, but still not optimal for this setup. Unfortunately, my returns are not great places for this to work for me.

I'm adding to my list of next pool builds to add in the Glacier cooler, right after I win the lottery...
 

George Whitzel

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2017
199
San jose, california
If building a new pool I would recommend having lines installed in plumbing with jet sprays installed in the pool decking. The valves on the return line can be configured via a mechanical switch to route the return water to the jets and another valve added to each to allow for controlling each jet sprays height. I had three installed in my pool and everyone loves them on a very warm day as the cool down the pool water and the kids like to play in the spray that lands in the pool. One of the sprays is directed to the area where my slide enters the water and adds fun to going down the slide. The only caution is to keep the young ones away from where the water exits the end of spray nozzles as it is has a lot of pressure that would not be good to hit the eyes directly with.
 

Yev

Well-known member
Jul 29, 2014
547
Independence, KY
With Houston having a week + of heat advisories, my pool finally hit 90. Since my favorite swimming hole is Barton Springs in Austin (year round temperature of 68) this is wholly unacceptable. So I found myself in the A/C under the ceiling fan looking for this post.... and subsequently made several runs to Home Depot. My results are unspectacular and I'm looking for solutions.
Couple of questions about your build.
How many holes, and what diameter holes did you drill??
On the pipe that you drilled, does it sit underwater or above water? If the holes sit underwater, or on teh surface, then the spray will be much lower. You want the holes to be above the height of high water in teh pull with waves from people swimming around.
 

txtroutbum

Bronze Supporter
Apr 13, 2018
46
Houston, TX
Couple of questions about your build.
How many holes, and what diameter holes did you drill??
On the pipe that you drilled, does it sit underwater or above water? If the holes sit underwater, or on teh surface, then the spray will be much lower. You want the holes to be above the height of high water in teh pull with waves from people swimming around.
Good questions. I went with a lot of small holes (maybe too many?). the vertical pipe goes into a tee that is about 5-6" above the water line. the two horizontal drilled pipes are about 18" on both sides of the tee. I used the "graph paper" technique to drill my holes and there was probably 2 per inch for two rows with a 1/16" drill bit. I made the assumption that if I had too many holes, I could cut the pipes down and cap off.

I've ordered some plugs for the returns, so will be experimenting with those in the next few days to see how much airtime we can create with the fountain.
 

mberlew

Member
Jun 20, 2020
20
Southlake, TX
I ended up re-doing mine with smaller holes which worked better. I think i settled on 1/32 bit - really tiny. 1 1/2 inch PVC in a T of ~16 inches on each side. I have it sitting just above water level (bottom of PVC is at water level). Two rows of holes. Each rows holes were probably separated by about 2 inches, with the rows staggered (so high row would be at 0", 2", 4", etc, and low row would be a at 1", 3", 5", etc.). You may have more holes than necessary, but I suspect your bigger problem is not blocking some of the other returns. I suspect tinkering with that as you suggest will help. You'll get circulation either way, whether you return via typical jets or return via the fountain. I know Dave goes for 20 feet of height, but my pool is a lot smaller and that isn't really practical for me. I only go for about 10 feet of height but have gotten great cooling action from it.
 

Darin

Well-known member
May 29, 2015
56
Muscatine/IA
This is all heat transfer. the smaller the droplets, then the more droplets for surface area. heat transfer at night will always be greater due to the delta, or temperature difference between water and air. Height simply gives your more time for the transfer of heat to move from water to the air. Bigger droplets (one gallon of big droplets have less surface area than one gallon of small droplets) need more height (think of height as time) than smaller droplets to achieve the transfer. It is all surface area, surface area, surface area...
 

txtroutbum

Bronze Supporter
Apr 13, 2018
46
Houston, TX
I ended up re-doing mine with smaller holes which worked better. I think i settled on 1/32 bit - really tiny. 1 1/2 inch PVC in a T of ~16 inches on each side. I have it sitting just above water level (bottom of PVC is at water level). Two rows of holes. Each rows holes were probably separated by about 2 inches, with the rows staggered (so high row would be at 0", 2", 4", etc, and low row would be a at 1", 3", 5", etc.). You may have more holes than necessary, but I suspect your bigger problem is not blocking some of the other returns. I suspect tinkering with that as you suggest will help. You'll get circulation either way, whether you return via typical jets or return via the fountain. I know Dave goes for 20 feet of height, but my pool is a lot smaller and that isn't really practical for me. I only go for about 10 feet of height but have gotten great cooling action from it.
I think you're right, too many holes. I did some work yesterday plugging all the other return jets, then ran into another problem: my connection between the slip fitting in the return pipe and the fountain was not sufficiently snug to keep the assembly together (my fountain is not glued to the threaded fitting in the wall, as per other posts here)...there was too much pressure, once the other returns were plugged, to keep it all together. Ran out of time to work on it more, but will likely glue it up and give it another go this weekend.
 

duraleigh

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The process that makes this work is evaporation.....not heat transfer. That's why a Tucson pool will cool down on a 100 degree air temp day.....dramatically

but will likely glue it up and give it another go this weekend.
Why not put a screw in it rather than glue it?