Bypass installed for wfeatures pump, now noisy

ciaka

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
195
Austin, TX
My new pool has 3 water features, 2 waterfalls on either side of bar, plus a bubbler in tan ledge.
The pump PB installed to run these features, is a 2hp fixed pump (see my sig).
When they started it all, waterfalls were shooting water out about 6 feet away from wall. Bubbler was about 3 feet tall, and after about 20 minutes of running, would create a nice vortex that would start splashing water out of the tan ledge, onto the deck. Not that it was a huge problem, except on cold winter days, when bubbler would be on due to freeze protection, and would soak one side of deck, plus stairs to our firepit area. Add sub zero temp, and you got a nice ice rink.

I have been talking to them about it. PB said they will install bypass from pump out port, to the return, with a check valve and a valve I can open/close manually.
Today they came. Installed it. Left right away.
I turn on the pump for features, open bypass all the way,, and it looks like the bypass reduced the waterfalls by about 1 foot. Now, wayer shoots out by a foot, bubbler not as high, maybe 2 feet high now. Still does the vortex thing.

The one thing worrying me is after I open the bypass, the features pump becomes loud, with hissing sound coming out of it. In top cover, I see some air, and makes me think there is cavitation inside pump when bypass is open.

What do I do now? Really wanted control of the falls strength, but this bypass gives me marginal control at best.

What are your suggestions?
What are your thoughts on cavitation and noise inside pump? Can it break the pump?
Thanks.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
23,683
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
What model and HP pump is for the water features?
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
23,264
What do I do now?
They should have used a waterfall pump or a variable speed pump.

A fixed medium or high head pump is incorrect for the application.

What is the total flow required?

What is the suction supply plumbing size and length?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
23,683
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
The bypass removes most of the “head” that the pump is designed for. As @JamesW said the correct pump for that application is a low head waterfall pump or a VS pump.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
23,264
Jandy Pro Series 2.0HP 193987XCN
That's not a valid model number.

That looks like a part number from the motor, which isn't what we need.

We need to know the actual model number of the pump from the pump label.
 
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ciaka

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
195
Austin, TX
The number I found on the box for the pump is PHPM2.0
1611965934833.png
Good thing I keep all the pics from the process.

Here is the pic of actual sticker on pump...
1611967126761.png
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
23,264
The PlusHP Pump (PHPM2.0) is described as “Powerful, efficient, compact high head pump”, which is a horrible choice for a water feature pump.

As you can see in the document, they make special pumps for water features and waterfalls.


Water features and waterfalls are medium or low head pumps and a high head pump is a very bad choice.

The installer needs to change the pump to a more appropriate pump depending on the flow required and the expected head loss at the required flow.

A variable speed pump will give you the best control, but a water feature or waterfall pump might work depending on the requirements.

You also have to verify that the suction plumbing is large enough for the required flow.

For suction, you want to keep the water velocity below 6 ft/sec. For returns, you want to keep the water velocity below 8 ft/sec.

Size.......6 ft/sec......8 ft/sec.

1.5"...........38...............51 gpm

2"..............63...............84 gpm

2.5............90.............119 gpm

3.0".........138.............184 gpm

4”...........234.............313 gpm
 
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ciaka

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
195
Austin, TX
When I discussed this pump with the PB when they were near end of build (late November), construction manager initially discussed with me and mentioned variable speed pump.
Then he spoke to his mgr. Next day came out and told me if I want variable speed pump, they will need to collect 1k as the difference.

I am irritated at their process, the way they do things. Pool was supposed to be all done September. Was not done til November and I had a list of items to punch out or fix. That
has been dragging since November until now. I have the regional gm on the email thread now since the construction mgr was not getting anything done.
Have 21 items on the list, actually 22, because I just noticed a large omission on their part (and I feel really fn stupid for not noticing it earlier, but I had so many things to juggle, on top of that, making sure construction workers do what they are supposed to on the pool).
I will return to the big omission in a bit.
So for the pump, I will have to send them email letting them know the bypass is not working.
Should I be worrying about the cavitation in the pump when bypass is open? It is noticeable and noisy, and I see air in the pump basket there too. Once I close the bypass all gets quiet and no air in basket.
The below picture shows waterfalls with bypass open fully. When fully closed, the water is shot about 6' away from the pool edge, guess this does look better in a pic. Should that be what the waterfalls look like when on?


About the large omission, I was putting some chemicals into pool today am, and I always do it near the spa. Today decided to do at the bar end (I have a pool bar with 3 stools, and 2 waterfalls on sides of bar).
SO I get onto the bar, start pouring, and keep thinking why is this bar looking so weird...
1611967702600.png

Can you spot what the problem is? I feel so stupid for not noticing earlier.
The bar missing is whats wrong. They put in stone that does not overhang into pool to create a bar surface.
I cant believe I did not catch earlier. I dont know if too late to tell them now about it. Even I feel so stupid....
wife's mouth opened when I pointed it out...we never used the pool yet, I only pump chemicals into it til it gets warmer.
So far the PB completed 4 out of 21 items. Wonder if I can talk to them about it, feel so stupid, not funny.
We spent a chit load of money on the pool, and I hope I dont have to spend more to fix that.
Advice very welcome. <facepalm x3 here>
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
23,264
Should I be worrying about the cavitation in the pump when bypass is open?
Yes, cavitation is likely. High heads pumps work best in high head applications. If there is not enough head loss on the return side, some of the head loss transfers to the suction side and can cause cavitation.

You usually can't see cavitation. So the bubbles are probably due to high suction causing a suction leak, but the noise is probably due to cavitation.

For those features, you don't need an extra pump.

I would just use the return from the main pump to feed the water features.

The only concern when using the returns for the sheers is if the heater is on, the sheers will lose some heat due to evaporation.

Sheers need filtered water or they will eventually clog because the thin slit clogs easily.

The bar missing is whats wrong. They put in stone that does not overhang into pool to create a bar surface.
Get them to come back and make it right.
 
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jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,383
Morris Cnty NJ
These guys are clowns using that pump for this application. Hopefully you still have some money held back for punchlist so use that for leverage. I doubt you want to go adjusting bypass once features are dialed in. The proper pump and plumbing setup for this is set amd forget other than turning on or off. What automation do you have and what operates the feature pump
 

ciaka

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
195
Austin, TX
They required last of full payment before starting last stage of build (pebble finish). So I do not have any money leverage.
Pool was completed November, and we had a punch list of items to complete. But since then, they barely did anything, nothing until I included the regional manager, and their marketing vp, who bugged me about survey. Now, out of 21 items, they completed 4 (over last month one item). Now, I have to write email about the frigging bar too, and tell them that the bypass did not do the job.
I am getting so frustrated, I don't know how any company can function like this. And I went with them since they have been in business for 80 years, very large national pool builder. Spent extra $$$ and now dealing with all this.

Those $%/#@^ <&$;() ]>;%/^ a##&0/!&...


My automation is iAqualink with wifi. Box by pool equipment.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
1,378
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
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Chlorine
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It is easy to get frustrated when building any project. Suggest you continue to document issues by email and continue to push for action i.e. the squeaky wheel gets the grease. However, since you have no $$$ leverage, you have to use your capability of a "future" satisfied customer. If the marketing guy is pushing for survey then they are clearly interested in good feedback plus whatever reviews you may provide to your neighborhood community group.
 

ciaka

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
195
Austin, TX
Yeah, I know. I just hoped that the build would be something I don't have to be thinking about, and all would be done the right way, the first time. Wrong of me to assume such pie in the sky dream.
 

ciaka

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
195
Austin, TX
Just sent out a detailed email. Lets see what comes back. If they do not make this right I might just start using their name in the threads. Been irritated since November, now even more so. Maybe its just me, I dont know. I do get irritated easily, but for the $$$$$$ we spent, I should not even be thinking about the build, and it should have all been done well the first time. Here goes me again, with my perfectionist dreams.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
1,378
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I might just start using their name in the threads.
I don't think you need to that in this forum. If someone wants to know as they are in Austin, they can just DM you.
The forum is here to help you think through your issues and provide suggestions to help resolve. It does not matter who the PB is.
 
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jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,383
Morris Cnty NJ
Here in NJ I cannot collect final payment til I pass final inspection. State code with all licensed contractors of any kind. I hope they step up and finish punchlist. It's amazing all the little things in the end that need attention and they eat up alot of man hours
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
23,264
Is the contractor bonded?

Most likely, the contractor will make it right.

If the contractor has a bond or errors and omissions coverage, those might be possible avenue to pursue if necessary (among many other possible remedies).
 
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