many questions related to our Wilbar 18ft AG pool install


New member
Jun 25, 2012
Springfield, OR
Ok, long extended post with a lot of questions.

First off I want to say a huge “thank you” to all the folks posting knowledge on this forum, I wish I had found it last year. I've spent abut 10 hours researching here before making this post. I've talked with the local pool shop but have not gotten much valuable help, seems like since the pool was not purchased there the answers they will give are minimal and as I discovered yesterday, they told me to just go buy a outdoor timer at the local hardware store, and of course they don't sell what I need.....or at least what I think I need.

We have stalled for a month or so on our 18ft AG pool. We got the location leveled, footers in place, sand leveled. The kit we purchased just included the pump/filter mentioned in my sig. We then bought the Raypak heater since the primary purpose for the pool is exercise for my gf (and maybe even me), both of us with arthritis. So adding this heater really has complicated things as the kit does not take into account connecting to a heater. I'm doing as much as I can DIY since we cannot afford $70 an hour pool installers.
The filter will be 4ft away from the pool and the heater is about 7ft.

Took some time to get the electrical and natural gas out to the heater, but that is basically done. The electrical is not 100% in place because we are still trying to determine exactly what timer to connect both the pump and heater.

Thanks to this forum I now know (or think I know) that I need a timer with a “firemans switch” to turn the heater off 20 min earlier than the pump. BUT I am confused. I had thought that the Intermatic T101P201 would be the timer I would need to purchase. But do I really need the “firemans switch” type of time with this heater or will just having a timer on the pump be enough? I absolutely do not want to reduce the life of the heater. Does the Intermatic T101P201 just shut the 120V power off to the heater? I cannot find this model locally to look at it in detail, looks like amazon or elsewhere. Also can anyone suggest a different manufacturer? The Intermatic is $100, would love to spend less.

I was looking at the 1 1/2” ball valve with union at Lowes, AMERICAN VALVE 1-1/2" T-Handle PVC Single Union Ball Valve Model #: P200SUE 1 ½. I want to put one of these at both the skimmer and the return for maintenance/winterizing. the local Lowes is out of stock so I have to order whatever I need. But since this pool will be heated, should I be using SCH80 Single Union Ball Valve (P200SU) instead of the SCH40? Leads me to think I might want to use SHC80 all around on the “out” side from the heater, but I'm not sure, I also don't know where I would purchase the SCH80 version.

I forgot to mention after the heater will also be an inline tablet chlorinator. I'm trying to determine what will be the best 1 ½“ check valve to purchase, as everything I have read here leads me to believe that the American valve and other inline ball check valves from the home improvement hardware stories restrict flow and they are not serviceable. Any suggestions what swing check valve I should purchase? I saw one thread with a approx $50 model but there must be a couple to choose from?

Looking for a part number so I can order a 3/4” pressure relief valve equal to the 130K BTUH rating of the Raypak heater 130A (P-R130A-EN-C) as I have not found one locally at the home improvement stores. Those only seem to be for water heaters.

The Raypak manual says I need an external auxiliary bypass valve if rates exceed 70 GPM. I cannot measure rate at this point. I'm assuming the purpose of the valve is to reduce and to be able to adjust the flow past the heater in case the rate is too high. I've seen some comments that the 1.5HP pump is too high for this small of a pool. If this is the case then the what size of a valve would be installed? Something smaller than the 1 1/2”? I guess if I use a valve the same size as the rest being used in the system that the flow will bypass the heater completely if the valve is open?

thanks in advance for any help!


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
Pleasanton, CA
Re: many questions related to our Wilbar 18ft AG pool instal

You can use the same size valve as the rest of your plumbing. Valves are variable so you can set it to what ever bypass the heater requires.

However, I would not buy the valves from HD or Lowes, those won't last very long. Get a Jandy 2-way valve. Jandy for the check valve too.