Equipment pad elevation differential


Silver Supporter
Jul 23, 2018
Milford, OH
First post so please go easy!
New build underway debating on keeping equipment pad adjacent to garage and readily available electric feed.
Looking at a 16 to 18 feet height differential (pad will be higher) to pool returns, a few feet less to skimmer intakes.
Inteliflow VSF pump, SWG, DE filter- all Pentair. Am i setting myself up for problems? PB questioning if we shouldn't locate lower to reduce head.
Would the increased head / lift cause early pump failure or problems?
Next to garage is ideal, hate to move it to a free standing location.

Thanks for the feedback!


Silver Supporter
Jul 23, 2018
Milford, OH
Just spoke with Pentair Technical support..
The elevation difference to the water level will be 13 / 14 feet (lift by pump). The representative said it will not be a problem if a check valve is installed.

Dose this make sense? I guess it keeps the water from draining back to the pool and causing problems with priming?


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
Pleasanton, CA
Yes, the lift will cause priming problems. Most pool pumps cannot prime above about 8' without help. Their suggestion of adding a check valve might help but only if you can put it at the lower elevation (i.e. closer to water level). I don't think putting the check valve at the pump level would help much in this case.

Also, the lift causes an additional 14' of head loss so the pump is going to be more prone to sucking air and cavitation.

To make your life easier, I would try to put the pump at a lower elevation if possible.

BTW, did you ask Pentair if they would incur the cost of relocating the pad if they were wrong?


TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
I would do it lower if possible. That much lift is not a good situation.

It can work, but it has to be done correctly.

If you're going to do it, you need to make sure that the pipe size is big enough.

You have so much static head that you have to basically eliminate the dynamic head as much as possible.

At least 3" for suction depending on the distance from the pump to the pool.

I would put jandy valves at deck level and jandy valves at pump level and a jandy check valve at the discharge of the pump.

You don't want the check valve on the suction because it adds head loss. You want it on the discharge.

That way you can prime the pump by closing the deck level valves and filling the pipes. When you put the pump lid back on, open the deck level valves. The check valve will keep the water from falling.

When you need to clean the pump basket, close the pump level valves or the deck level valves to keep the lines primed.

I would suggest the intellifloxf over the intelliflo.

Overall, I would recommend that you keep the pump as close to the pool level as possible for best results.

Note that the important elevation difference is between the water level in the pool and the inlet to the pump.

The elevation to fittings under water is not relevant.
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Silver Supporter
Jul 23, 2018
Milford, OH
Thank you all very much for the insight and advice. I will be relocating the equipment pad.

This website has been a wealth of information, having stumbled upon it a year ago when we got serious about moving ahead with a pool. It has been one heck of a project.
After a good start with construction in the fall with some major clearing and down slope wall building things fell apart as we experienced an especially wet winter and then spring. Dig has finally happened and panels are being set today!101335