Anybody with sidewall suction instead of main drains?

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,942
Morris Cnty NJ
Im a contractor about to start on my inground next week (full DIY). Im not doing main drains going to do sidewall suction and have been having a hard time finding the info I need. I know I need VGB compliant covers, and was planning on spacing 3' apart. I have a single 2" line skimmer and 4 min. returns planned but I want another suction in case water level drops in future etc. This is the only thing I saw online that was a "kit" w the wall fittings https://sunplay.com/collections/poo...s/paramount-sdx-10-vinyl-pool-suction-outlets otherwise they have adapter plates that screw into standard 1.5" return fitting and then the compliant covers go on like these
https://sunplay.com/products/aquast...k-suction-outlet-covers?variant=6883514318883
https://sunplay.com/products/aquastar-4-inch-bulkhead-adapter-415t10x?variant=6883514089507

Any advice or a point in the right direction would be MUCH appreciated, trying to get all the little things here so I can keep going w the build. Thanks in advance.....Jimmy
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
47,061
Tallahassee, FL
Jimmy? You want to put suction drains on the WALL????? There are so many reasons my gut says this is not a good idea. I just want to see what you are thinking and why so I make sure I understand what you are wanting to do and why.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,942
Morris Cnty NJ
Kim, its actually pretty common nowadays to delete main drains from a build, they actually don't do much for cleaning and eventually become a problem. I want to put in a 2nd source for pump water in the event down the road I had a leak or busted skimmer so I have a way to feed the pump. I will delete the main drains and add another source for water as an equalizer leg does below the skimmer, problem is with the VGB law you cannot legally do an equalizer on a sidewall anymore, in NJ all suction sources other than skimmer have to be VGB compliant and dual setups w 3' spacing. You cannot have a vacuum port here anymore unless it has an approved cover and my local building dept. requires it to have an isolation valve as well.
 

PoolguyinCT

In The Industry
Jul 21, 2014
3,077
Connecticut
It’s not a matter of safe today, it’s a matter of safe everyday & forever.
Parts get lost, damaged, compromised and removed... kids stick stuff in pi

what about the next family to live in the house?

The best risk mitigation is no risk.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
47,061
Tallahassee, FL
I know all about nixing the main drain as several people are doing it and I am making sure all know it is allowed.

The idea of that in the wall scares me big time! I know where you are coming from but I would just get a cheap sub. pump to move the water until the problem can be fixed before I would do this.

Kim TFP MOD
 

grottoguy

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 24, 2014
458
NJ
They were going to put three sets of main drains in my pool at the bottom, but i didnt like the look of that so I had them put one set on the wall. For the set on the wall I had them put three (instead of the required two) to decrease the risk of a suction accident. In other words, although main drains need to be a set of two at least three feet apart, I had them make it a set of three on the wall.
 

PoolguyinCT

In The Industry
Jul 21, 2014
3,077
Connecticut
Im a contractor about to start on my inground next week (full DIY). Im not doing main drains going to do sidewall suction and have been having a hard time finding the info I need. I know I need VGB compliant covers, and was planning on spacing 3' apart. I have a single 2" line skimmer and 4 min. returns planned but I want another suction in case water level drops in future etc. This is the only thing I saw online that was a "kit" w the wall fittings https://sunplay.com/collections/poo...s/paramount-sdx-10-vinyl-pool-suction-outlets otherwise they have adapter plates that screw into standard 1.5" return fitting and then the compliant covers go on like these
https://sunplay.com/products/aquast...k-suction-outlet-covers?variant=6883514318883
https://sunplay.com/products/aquastar-4-inch-bulkhead-adapter-415t10x?variant=6883514089507

Any advice or a point in the right direction would be MUCH appreciated, trying to get all the little things here so I can keep going w the build. Thanks in advance.....Jimmy

The problem with those grates is they are secured to faceplate by a self tapping screw, after threading to wall & before assembling the cover- this is a real PITA. & just not likely to be done properly due to depth & winterizing in NJ.

Are you nervous to install a drain because you are not confident or you just don’t want floor drains in a shallow pool? If the latter the risk is more accessible on the wall.

I’d go skimmers only if this were my house & if water drops I’d just fill it or find the leak.

Wall suction’s won’t add to efficiency or water quality.


https://www.apsp.org/portals/0/PDFs/Case%20Study%20-%20The%20Option%20of%20Pools%20without%20Main%20Drains.pdf
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,942
Morris Cnty NJ
[/QUOTE]Are you nervous to install a drain because you are not confident or you just don’t want floor drains in a shallow pool? If the latter the risk is more accessible on the wall.

I’d go skimmers only if this were my house & if water drops I’d just fill it or find the leak.

Wall suction’s won’t add to efficiency or water quality.


https://www.apsp.org/portals/0/PDFs/Case Study - The Option of Pools without Main Drains.pdf[/QUOTE]


Mostly I dont want the drains in a shallow pool, my kids will def do cannonballs and Im tall I will almost stand in deep end. I also dont want to deal w the drains when installing liner and I dont feel they do much for circulation. Im fine w doing 2 skimmers I just feel like I want a safeguard if water level were to drop below skimmer somehow, dont want to run pump dry by accident. I did not rly think about winterizing, I figure at the tail end of season I would just remove faceplate and adapter and screw in a plug while water wasnt ice cold and go skimmer only if pool stays open. Also low suction would be easier than none to lower water level. Im only going by the MANY threads on here about new installs without main drains and they very often mention equalizer leg in second skimmer hole or low suctions. I cant pass inspection w equalizer leg, needs to be VGB compliant on any suction other than skimmer. Thank you for the help PoolguyCT I appreciate it alot
 

PoolguyinCT

In The Industry
Jul 21, 2014
3,077
Connecticut
Your welcome.. winterizing & opening those things safely is a bit more miserable than you anticipated..

They are also pretty proud of walls, kids could use them for handholds , push offs - or whatever pops in mind..

Big picture— if you smoke a pump because your pool is leaking, the pump isn’t your real problem. & a pump won’t break the wallet (or the rubber band you guys carry the Franklins in NJ)

Did you dig yet??

Ray
 

needsajet

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 4, 2016
4,731
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Just wondering if there's a flow sensing device available that would cut power to the pump. Down here the SWG has the timers and runs the show. The pump cuts out if the SWG senses no flow, so I can't find anything down here. It seems to me that a flow sensor and time-delayed relay could do the job.

Just curious... are you allowed an equalizer with dual intakes?
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,942
Morris Cnty NJ
I'm digging next weekend I've already pulled a few small trees and stumps out and yanked a small slab off house where pool pavers will go. I own a skidsteer I'm in construction but gotta borrow buddies 160 to dig and be able to load triaxles i have nowhere to put 120yrds material not needed anymore. We use money clips now in Jersey we are refined now lol.


Yes I can use equalizer leg or any suction but must be vgb compliant covers and 3' spacing anywhere they go. I do see they stick out some I found ones that go into regular return ports that are threaded. I'm toying w idea of a small waterfall now so I think I actually need a second source or intake water maybe 2nd skimmer is way to go
 

Arizonarob

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
TFP Guide
Mar 25, 2018
4,083
Chandler Arizona
It’s not a matter of safe today, it’s a matter of safe everyday & forever.
Parts get lost, damaged, compromised and removed... kids stick stuff in pi

what about the next family to live in the house?

The best risk mitigation is no risk.
Now see, this post speaks volume on doing things the right way!!!

My hats off to you my friend!!! :bowdown:
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,209
Central California
^^^^^ Agree!! ^^^^^

Any suction port, any number of 'em, is more dangerous than none. Period. Compliant or not. I've read at least three times in the last few days people adding plumbing to their pools to protect their pump. Is this really such a problem? Happens all the time, does it? If you really want a safe pool, get rid of all the suction ports. Install an auto fill system (which is practically mandatory anyway, IMO). Done.

PoolMiser | Pool Water Leveler By PoolMiser

If you get a leak that can out do a PoolMiser, you've got bigger problems than a new pump.

Don't modern pumps (or at least some models) have low-flow protection built in anyway? They just shut off? And even if I heard that wrong, $600 is pretty cheap insurance for a safe pool against a pretty low-odds occurrence. I figure that's the cost of a new pump should all else fail, all at once (leak happens, pump's flow protection fails, auto fill fails).

Oh, and subtract the cost of the extra plumbing, two VGB covers and the labor from that $600.

Just me?
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,942
Morris Cnty NJ
Its a DIY job so just materials cost, pipe is cheap, a VS pump is a thousand bucks. Ive never owned a pool I like to do belt and suspenders on my work and Im not very confident on a single or dual skimmer only, but that may be the way.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,209
Central California
Its a DIY job so just materials cost, pipe is cheap, a VS pump is a thousand bucks. Ive never owned a pool I like to do belt and suspenders on my work and Im not very confident on a single or dual skimmer only, but that may be the way.
I was suggesting a way, not necessarily the way. And I convoluted the post with the numbers. I was just meaning to get you to look at the trade offs, because that's what this really is about.

How safe do you want your pool to be trading off how safe do you want your pump to be trading off looks trading off cost trading off practicality, etc.

If the drains don't bug you, or worry you, that's probably the best way to safeguard your pump. The very minimal danger is there, but you can decide for yourself if that matters a lot, a little or not at all.

Same for the side-mounted intakes. Probably the tiniest bit less safe for the pump (only because they're not on the bottom), and not an ideal drain, same danger level (minimal), slightly better looking. Won't get in the way of anything moving on the bottom (feet, brush, vacuum, etc).

An autofill would solve for looks, toe-stub factor and be the safest choice for humans, but might not provide the absolute pump safeguard you're after...

I have no drains (had them removed), and the autofill. My pump has been safe for six years. I love the look of no drains, they no longer hang up my vacuum or my brushing, and I no longer step on them or kick them. And my grand daughter will never get her beautiful long blonde hair sucked into a drain. I'm rolling the dice that my waterline will never go below the skimmer. A lot would have to go wrong for that to occur. It's a relatively low-risk gamble for what was more important to me.

Just giving you my point of view, for you to consider...
 

uxbridgechris

Bronze Supporter
Jan 25, 2018
655
uxbridge, Ontario Canada
Buddy. I am just learning so take my opinion for what it's worth.

I designed my pool to have the least amount of holes drilled into it. Everything you add increases the chances of a leak. Simple is better imo. Wall suctions will be used as steps, hand holds etc. No matter how many times you drill it into the kids. They are completely unnecessary. Add a second skimmer if you like. Add a auto fill. Jandy makes a nice one that is electronic. K1100 I think. All are better choices than wall suctions IMO. I am not a pool expert by any means but I am a mechanical thinker and I just don't have any positive thoughts about wall suction.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
47,061
Tallahassee, FL
Buddy. I am just learning so take my opinion for what it's worth.

I designed my pool to have the least amount of holes drilled into it. Everything you add increases the chances of a leak. Simple is better imo. Wall suctions will be used as steps, hand holds etc. No matter how many times you drill it into the kids. They are completely unnecessary. Add a second skimmer if you like. Add a auto fill. Jandy makes a nice one that is electronic. K1100 I think. All are better choices than wall suctions IMO. I am not a pool expert by any means but I am a mechanical thinker and I just don't have any positive thoughts about wall suction.
ALL of what he said!!!