Inground pool upgrades - Questions

SpaceBaller

Member
May 13, 2018
10
Wisconsin
I bought a house( in Wisconsin’s) a few years ago that had an in-ground pool (20x40’), one skimmer, 2 return lines, no main drain on the deep end, liner( maybe The previous owner abandon the main drain?), pretty simple set up.

Over the past 3 years I’ve had return line issues (cracks) that would return small amounts of dirt and gravel into the pool.
I'm going to replace the pool liner and was going to do it myself but A little weary of getting the correct measurements so I’m having a pool guy do it.
The pool guy I’m going to use suggested that I put in a main drain in and new return lines as I’m replacing the liner now. I'm going to trench the new lines in and I’ll have him do the final hook ups.
I have about 120’ from the pump to where the main drain and one of the return lines needs to go.
Questions:
He suggests that I use flexible PVC( that’s what he uses but I’ve seen and read the debates here and on YouTube about flexible PVC vs Schedule 40 , also I can’t seem to find any 1.5” flex available), should I just use schedule 40 PVC?

Can I mix flexible PVC to schedule 40 for the run from the main drain up the side wall of the pool to by trench line?

I’m planning on using 1.5” on the return lines, should I use a 2” pipe on the main drain side?
Can I run 1 return line about 50 feet and use a T or Y to split and connect to the pull returns or should I run a dedicated pipe to each return?

I’m also planning on re-plumbing all the piping on the pump, filter, heater.
Where do you suggest buying the three-way valves and stuff for plumbing around the pool equipment? Should I stick with all scheduled 40 components or should I upgrade to schedule 80? Does the cold winters put extra strain on sch40 vs sch80?


I have fiberglass coping that looks like white tile around the edge of the pool, it’s chipping in places. I was planning on getting a fiberglass repair kit and fill in the chips and cracks and then paint all of it. Any suggestions on this approach or paint I should use?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
41,573
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I am not a pool builder, so will ping @jimmythegreek

I personally would not install a main drain. Do very little for pool water maintenance and can have lots of issues.
Flex pipe is not well regarded here. Sched 40 is best to use. Do not use DWV fittings. Best to get proper pvc fittings from a true plumbing supplier, not big box stores. Neverlube valves, etc you can check with Inyopools. They are a bit in short supply right now due to the damage this winter in the south.
 

Pool_Medic

In The Industry
Apr 1, 2018
1,522
Bangor Maine
Flexible pvc is fine and can be glued to rigid with zero issues. I love main drains and would use 2” piping. 1.5” is fine for returns and skimmers.
 

SpaceBaller

Member
May 13, 2018
10
Wisconsin
Thanks for the response.
One of my concerns with the Sched 40 is the hard freezes and ground shifting we get in Wisconsin, would that break the unions, or crack the pipes? How deep would you recommend bury the pipe , 24"?
I like the idea of a continuous run of the flex pipe but see the comments on the termites (not sure we have a lot of them up here).
 

Pool_Medic

In The Industry
Apr 1, 2018
1,522
Bangor Maine
There are issues with termites yes, so not recommended in areas where they are present. As far as depth, that’s determined by how deep your frost sets. Up east it’s not an issue because we winterize pools. Shifting shouldnt be an issue because it’s normally backfilled with gravel.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,747
Morris Cnty NJ
Yes you can mix but generally ridgid is the choice made the most. Flex is used cause its fast, I bet every PB who uses flex used ridgid on their own pool

Main driansnare fine but in your case not worth the hassle. I would add several return lines like 4 to 6 total amd that will move way more water. You can add dual main drains on the wall for an additional suction point, if a single skimmer is all you got. Or add another skimmer that's simple too. 2" for all suction 1.5 for returns. Dont stack more than 2 on each return line amd if you only keep the 2 you have run a seperate line for each
 

SpaceBaller

Member
May 13, 2018
10
Wisconsin
I believe the original / current pool piping is a black polyethylene is this not recommended any more? the run from furthest end of the pool to the equipment is about 120 feet and I would like to curve the pipe in on a angle vs doing 90 degree cuts, should I not care about that?
For the ridge Sched 40, if it is dual marked for DWV and Pressure applications is that Ok to use?
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
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In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
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Morris Cnty NJ
The black polo holds up pretty well. Ot usually leaks at fittings not the actual pipe. You can curve rigid pipe somewhat, no issue using 45s or 90s they all have them in pool piping. Yes pvc is the same, it's the fittings that must be pressure rated. Easy way to tell is the 1" socket depth
 

SpaceBaller

Member
May 13, 2018
10
Wisconsin
Any recommendations on fixing or painting( what type of paint) the coping?
Would filling the the cracks with bondo, sanding , priming and painting work?

Pool1.jpg

Pool2.jpg
 
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SpaceBaller

Member
May 13, 2018
10
Wisconsin
is this Poly Pipe Ok to use?
Is it recommended to use schedule 80 T 's or Y's ? Also when the pipe comes up out of the ground to connect to the equipment, just use Schedule 80 pipes and connectors?

thanks!
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
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Aug 10, 2017
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Morris Cnty NJ
Why are you trying to use poly? That's a last resort. Flexible PVC is much better and rigid is best. Personally I wouldnt ever plumb a pool in poly. It's not very puncture resistant.
 

SpaceBaller

Member
May 13, 2018
10
Wisconsin
Why are you trying to use poly? That's a last resort. Flexible PVC is much better and rigid is best. Personally I wouldnt ever plumb a pool in poly. It's not very puncture resistant.
I can't find any flexible PVC. I need about 250'. The pool guy I'm having install the liner said poly would work and he likes it better than Schedule 40.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
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Aug 10, 2017
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Morris Cnty NJ
It's very easy to find. Online its everywhere and any well pump dealer or pool supply house has 100ft rolls stacked up high. It's easy to work with poly, its good for him, easy work. But its thin and not nearly as durable as pvc. Why not rigid pipe it? It's the best way
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
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In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
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Morris Cnty NJ
There are a bunch around here too that are older. I find the clamps rust away and they leak at the fittings and leak slowly. I agree it works fine but if you had the choice on a new install it should be the last choice compared to sched40 options