Dane's "How To" for a quick & easy pool cooler

FramerTim

Member
Jul 18, 2011
8
Oklahoma
OK. After reading all the posts about fountains, I decided to make my own.

1 - 10' section 1 1/2" PVC
2 - 1 1/2" slip Tee
1 - 1 1/2" ball valve
2 - 1 1/2" caps

I only have one return and am using a Hayward 1 1/2" HP pump
After finding proper connection to fit pool return I attached my fountain to the center tee.
I placed a ball valve at the bottom so I could regulate the spray height or turn it off completely.
I drilled about 25 1/16" holes in each of the pipes across top
Because the fountain doesn't stick up more then about 5 inches above the water, I don't have to worry about my kids breaking it (I used long zip ties to secure the top section to the side of the pool)
I was able to get my fountain to spray about 4 feet above the pool surface into the middle of the pool.
My pool temp was 94 at 6pm. the next day my pool temp was 90 at 6pm on the third day the temp was 86.
The temp outside has been a pretty constant high of about 105 every day.
I have been running it at night for about 8 hours.
I am using the valve as a kind of thermostat to regulate how cool I want the pool to be. The higher the spray then the cooler it gets. I couldn't be more pleased
 

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DaneCE

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2011
342
VA
Hey, that's a great design. I'm considering making one similar to that but I wasn't going to add the valve. We had a small pool party with kids today and they loved the fountain effect.

While holding my hand in the drops coming down just above the water I could tell that it was several degrees cooler than my 88 degree pool water. I'm going to let it run overnight. The bad thing is I'm going out of town for 3 days so my water will probably be 93 when I get back. I don't want to run the cooler while I'm away on the timer.
 

amylucintfp

Active member
Jul 31, 2009
36
I was going to post my attempt, but FramerTim's is much better. Mine is a T out of the wall horizontally, with one elbow on the left with a valve and the return jet, and then the other elbow to the right, but straight up with the vertical fountain.

The only thing, then, that I can contribute is that I found a MUCH bigger selection of threaded 1.5" pvc parts at Lowe's than at Home Depot. In fact, I'm not sure Home Depot had any. The threaded stuff makes it fast and less permanent, which is nice for experimenting. I have a few pieces I have to glue, like some hub parts I'm using to create a male-to-male threaded adapter.

I looked at the ball joints at Home Depot, but they were terribly hard to turn and I was concerned about putting pressure on the pipes. Lowe's had cheaper, easier-to-turn 1.5" union valves.

Even I have to admit that 95+ is too warm for a pool!

Amy
 

FramerTim

Member
Jul 18, 2011
8
Oklahoma
The best thing about the valve is when it is turned "on" the return water runs straight out the bottom so you can decide when you want the fountain to run. My pool is cooling off so quickly that I am not running it every night, and when I do I only run the fountain at half.
 

FramerTim

Member
Jul 18, 2011
8
Oklahoma
amylucintfp said:
The threaded stuff makes it fast and less permanent, which is nice for experimenting. I have a few pieces I have to glue, like some hub parts I'm using to create a male-to-male threaded adapter.
Amy


I used all slip joints on mine except for the threaded connection to the return. I have all my joints glued except for the one connecting the lower Tee to the pipe from the return. It fits snug enough to stay in place while it is running, but with a little pull I can remove the whole thing if I don't want it in the way. The union joints with threads are more expensive too.
 

DaneCE

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2011
342
VA
I also found Lowe's to have a better selection.

I decided to find a way to run my cooler while I'm away. I was surprised to see the 6' pipe section fall to the one side when I turned the pump off. The threads into the return are fairly tight but for some reason...

So I did a redneck fix. Two C clamps later... :mrgreen:

19.jpg


20.jpg
 

amylucintfp

Active member
Jul 31, 2009
36
Just a quickie update to give kudos to my husband!

I think he blanched when he saw the original marking scheme in this thread, so he came up with his own. He took some small gauge wire we had (not sure what it's called...probably 1/2" squares.) He wrapped it around the pipe and did a quickie pencil outline in each square. Then he drilled in the center of each square.

It was a good DH day! :cheers:
 

Dr_Obbins

Well-known member
Mar 19, 2011
48
Cave City, KY
I was able to add the pool temperature to the weather website:
http://www.cavecountryweather.com/index.php
customscreen10.jpg

So then I got to building a cooler based on this design. When I started I notices a wasp flying around. This is nothing new here and if ignored they go about their business and I go about mine. I was disconnecting the return hose and one buzzed by. I still ignored him but he wasn't ignoring me! :-x The next pass by and I got stung on the shoulder. Now of course you know this means war! Off to DG to get wasp spray! Turns out they had a nest in the pools upright support. Here is the last known picture of the enemy:
Pool1.jpg

Once I got them out of the way it was a pretty easy project. Instead of mounting on the return line, I added some piping and valves outside the pool. This was the return flow can be easily changed and regulated between the return and the cooler. Also easier for the rest of the family to do. :wink:
Pool2.jpg

I went with a horizontal design to try and keep the height lower. It is actually horizontal, but looks out of wack due to the camera angle. The one thing I noticed though is there is some dripping taking place here. Not a lot, but I might have to move it over the water do minimize water loss.
Pool3.jpg

Finished product:
Pool4.jpg

Pool5.jpg
 

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DaneCE

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2011
342
VA
@ Dr. - I really like your idea with the separate piping and the valve. That makes a lot of sense. It looks like you're getting plenty of distance/air with that design. Thanks for the pics. Wasps- I hate them since I'm allergic and one sting requires me to take a nasty injection from the EpiPen.

I've been away from home since Friday morning but I have my cooler set to run from 8 AM to 2 PM. My water temp has maxed out at 88. This is pretty good considering that the official high temp for Friday was 103. Without the cooler my temp would have been 91~93 by now.
 

Dr_Obbins

Well-known member
Mar 19, 2011
48
Cave City, KY
My brother is allergic to stings, but somehow I am not. To me they are less bothersome than a mosquito bite.
The pool has been in the mid 90s during the day and cooling off to about 87 at night. I am interested to see how much of a difference this makes. In any case the wife is really enjoying it. :goodjob: I will have to move it over the water due to the dripping.
 

FramerTim

Member
Jul 18, 2011
8
Oklahoma
Dr Obbins,

Awesome design. It was after I built mine that my wife said "why didn't you put it on the outside of the pool?" (I am supposed to be the one with the good ideas not her) Now I am thinking of doing something very similar to yours. looks like a little more length on one pipe to extend slightly over the pool would take of the drippage. Thanks!
 

bcobb

Active member
Jul 24, 2011
38
Northern KY
Great thread everyone! I just put in an inground pool and was shocked to find that I can't swim in it because it's too hot! I live in the Cincinnati area (N. KY) and it's been well into the 90's for a few weeks now. I stole FramerTims design with a slight modification or two to meet my needs (see pics). As you can see I added a union so that I can do a quick disconnect on the fountain "head" which will allow me to do different types of fountains and will also easily allow me to remove the entire rig more easily. I have 4 returns (18 x 42 oval) and a variable speed pump so this might be tricky getting enough pressure to the fountain without turning the pump way up.

The only problem I'm having is that the male threads on my return lines (which I know are 1.5") aren't matching up to the schedule 40 1.5" female threads, they are a hair bigger. What gives?

Thanks again!
-Bryan
Union, KY
 

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Dr_Obbins

Well-known member
Mar 19, 2011
48
Cave City, KY
FramerTim said:
Dr Obbins,

Awesome design. It was after I built mine that my wife said "why didn't you put it on the outside of the pool?" (I am supposed to be the one with the good ideas not her) Now I am thinking of doing something very similar to yours. looks like a little more length on one pipe to extend slightly over the pool would take of the drippage. Thanks!
Yes, that is what I ended up doing - great minds think alike. :lol: Also added the U-bolt to better secure it. Didn't like the idea of all that pipe being stabilized only by the pump outlet.
Pool6.jpg
 

WestSidePool

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2009
424
Cincinnati, OH
bcobb said:
The only problem I'm having is that the male threads on my return lines (which I know are 1.5") aren't matching up to the schedule 40 1.5" female threads, they are a hair bigger. What gives?

Thanks again!
-Bryan
Union, KY

Bryan,
If your attempting to put it over the the threaded end that the eyeball collar sits on, that end is bigger. I have yet to find a piece for it.
You actually have to remove the male threaded piece from your wall return, and use a 1.5 male adapter and screw that into the wall fitting which is a 1.5 female thread.
34ycxw6.jpg

The 3rd arrowed piece in this picture is what i'm talking about.

This is the piece I bought to put in the wall return.
 

bcobb

Active member
Jul 24, 2011
38
Northern KY
WestSidePool:
Thank you SO much for the info, that will save me a lot of headache calling around trying to explain what I'm doing tomorrow. That is exactly what I'm referring to...amazing that it's not standard size threads. I wish I could say whether or not we've visited West Side Pool, but if not and we are out that way, I'll be sure to stop in! Thanks again!

Dr_Obbins:
Really nice set up! And hello from the Northern end of KY!

-Bryan
 

Dr_Obbins

Well-known member
Mar 19, 2011
48
Cave City, KY
Bryan - I was just up your neck of the state 2 weeks ago. Pretty county side up there.

Our pool hit 95 and that is what had us looking into this type of cooler. It was somewhat cloudy today, but after using this for 24 hours, the temp is now 85 this evening. That is cool enough for me.
 

bcobb

Active member
Jul 24, 2011
38
Northern KY
Dr: I've been down towards your neck of the woods as well, gotta say that KY is pretty everywhere you go. The horse farms of Lexington/Frankfort in particular.

Thanks to the quick response from West side pools, my cooler is now installed and running. A few pics to come. What I feared though is happening, I've got too many returns to produce a high enough stream...I blocked one of them (which I didn't want to do) and it's sufficient, however my pump is running on a speed that is a little higher than I would like. Too many variables (I'll figure it out though)!

Current water temps:
In pool thermometer: 87.5
Salt Chlorine Generator: 90 (I'm pretty sure this one is off, but will still give me an accurate differential and it's nice to have two different temp sources)

Will check back the next few nights with more stats.
Thanks to everyone again on this site!
-Bryan
 

DaneCE

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2011
342
VA
Dr_Obbins previously asked about my water loss. Last night I ran my cooler from 7 PM to 7 AM. My water temp was 88 at 7 PM and 82 at 7 AM. Normally the temp would have dropped to 85~86. Starting air temp was 92 and 77 at 7 AM.

My water level dropped approx. 1/4" in this 12 hour period. 15x30 AG. I can live with that amount of loss. The water temp had maxed at 89 and would have likely reached 91 today if I had not cooled it.
 

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