NJ Owner Builder, Plumbing Design, Help Please

NJDave1315

New member
Feb 3, 2019
4
New Jersey
Hello All,
Joined this forum after my dad made the recommendation. He's been on here for years and always speaks so highly of it. Naturally, when I came to him with my plan to build a pool, this was the first place he said I should go. I've been coming here for information for the past month now and realize why my dad speaks so highly of it.

I am planning to start my own pool build in the next few weeks once this cold weather breaks and I would like to share my plumbing design for some advice. I have plenty of guys in the industry planning to help me with this build, however, I don't seem to have any one person who could design the whole plumbing system, so I took it upon myself. I've attached some photos of the diagrams I've come up with so far. I plan to have a free form gunite pool approximately 18' x 42', with a deep end around 6', and an 8' spillover spa. I also plan to include 2 bubblers, 8 deck jets, and a stone waterfall on the deep end side. Below is a list of equipment I plan to use, I welcome any insight anyone can share.

Hayward Omnilogic Automation with Salt generator
3- Hayward Ecostar 3HP Variable Speed Pumps
2- Universal Colorlogic Pool Lights
1- Universal Colorlogic Spa Light
8- Hayward Deck Jets
2- Hayward Colorlogic Bubblers
Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter
Hayward Natural Gas 400K BTU Heater

4 Main drains in the pool (one set for filter system, one independent for water features)
2 in the spa (may need 4 though, one set for filtration and heating, one for jets)
2 pool returns
2 spa returns
2 pool skimmers
rough in line for possible future pressure cleaner (planning on going robotic for now)

One of the big reasons for my post is because Im trying to find the most efficient way to plumb this system while keeping it simple enough for automation to run it. I'd like to be able to use each water feature independently, or all together. Spa spillover, spa jets, deck jets, waterfall, and bubblers. They why I figured I would need at least 3 pumps, and I also figured it would be easiest to get each feature to work and be able to control flow if they were all VS pumps. I'm planning on plumbing the whole system with 2" PVC.

Thankyou all,
Dave
 

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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
43,377
Tallahassee, FL
8 deck jets?????? That is a lot of deck jets. They will be very nosily. Why do you want so many? Most people find they are more of a "party trick" that get turned on to show off then quickly turned off due to noise and pH rise they cause.

Only 2 returns? You need more than that to help circulate the water so you don't have any dead spots in the pool.

I do like that you are planning on full control of everything. That will be nice to have.

@Jimrahbe do you have any input on his ideas? I am also thinking he will not need 3 pumps.

Kim:kim:
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,884
Bedford, TX
Dave,

I had the same thoughts as Kim above.. You need at least 4 returns, somewhat equally spaced around the pool.

While I don't believe you 'need' three pumps, it does make control simpler..

I don't believe that you understand how automated three way valves work.. You don't have three positions, only two.. You can't have a 40/80 split. You can with a manual valve, but not with a current automated valve.

Before you go to crazy with water features, you need to understand that the 'fun' soon wears off, be it a waterfall or deck jets.

What are the extra flow switches for???

What automation system do you plan to use? Standard automation normally only controls two VS pumps and four valves.. You will need an upgrade to control your design.

I would use the waterfall pump to run the deck jets and the main pump to run the bubblers.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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NJDave1315

New member
Feb 3, 2019
4
New Jersey
Kim, thank you, after really thinking about it I think you're both right, 8 deck jets probably is too many. I hadn't thought of the noise. I think just 4 over towards the deep end is probably more appropriate.

Kim and Jim, thank you, I will defiantly add some returns. Do you think a total of 4 is sufficient?

Jim, I plan to use the Hayward omnilotic system. From what I've gathered it sounds like it can control up to 16 vs pumps. I know I may need the expansion board to control everything. Hoping to get by with just four valve actuators, but yes I thought 3 pumps would make I easier to control everything independently.

The Omni logic system has a setting to help protect the pumps from damage in the event of a blockage or priming problem, but to utilize it, I need a flow switch at each pump. Unnecessary? I thought it was an added layer of protection but it could always be added later.

My rationale behind including the bubblers vs the deck jets into the filtration pump system was that the deck jets all together only require 30-40 gpm, while it looked like the bubblers each require that. But if the concern is weather enough I'll have enough flow to supply the waterfall, then putting the deck jets on the water fall system would make more sense.

Regarding the three way valves, I was afraid that there was no way to control 3 positions. Is there a better way to control these features? Perhaps the pump goes into a tee, each leg of which has a 2 port valve? Certainly adds cost. Or I could use the three way valves, I would only be able to turn feature B on if feature A is already running though.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,884
Bedford, TX
Dave,

Actuator's today only turn things on or off.. So with a 2-way valve the valve is either open or closed.. With a 3-way valve it is either all port A or all port B.. With a manual valve, you can adjust anything in-between, but not with an actuator attached. You can mechanically adjust the stops, but then you end up with one port you can never close.

I have thought again about the deck jets.. You need to check the specs, as I believe that you want filtered water for them or they will clog up quickly.

I see nothing wrong with the extra flow switches, I just did not know what they were for...

Jim R.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
43,377
Tallahassee, FL
What you can do is add the manual valves with unions on either side for when they give out. That way you are all set to remove and replace if/when they go without having to cut pipe. Getting real fancy you could put the automated valves before them. My thinking is this, the manual valves will allow you to tweak how big/far the jets go while the automated vales are open or shut depending on what you want at the time.

4 returns should be good for that size and shape pool.

Kim:kim:
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
23,697
Laughlin, NV
What Kim describes above is how we have our Deck Jets plumbed.

Of course, they are completely turned off now. Way to noisy. Used them a couple times and decided that was a mistake.
 

NJDave1315

New member
Feb 3, 2019
4
New Jersey
I appreciate everyone letting me know about the deck jets. We're a big fan of water features and the background noise of water on the pool because even when were not in it, our patio and gazebo space is directly adjacent to the pool and it will be nice to see and hear the water features. But I'm sold on bringing the deck jets down to 4 instead of 8.

As far as returns go, going to go with four of them, should all four be run independently all the way back to the pump area? Or can I run all on the same 2" feed, or perhaps two 2" feed lines branch off into two returns each? Thoughts?

As far as valving goes, I understand there will be some things I just have to do manually, for instance, I plan to use two 3 port valves from the pool return line back through the main drains to circulate warmer water, I don't plan to automate this. But, I would like to be able to control as many of the water features, filtering schedules and lighting with the Omni logic as much a possible. The money saved on deck jets should offset the expansion pack and extra actuators to give each feature their own valve and actuator, now that I know I can't use the 3 port valves as 3 position valves with actuators.

Am I on the right track with the spa plumbing? I figured closing the pool returns and only feeding water to the spa returns was a way to raise the spa water level and create the spillover effect. I also planned on feeding filtered, heated, water through two spa returns for general filtering and heating. The spa jets ar essentially an entirely independent system, a dedicated pump attached to dedicated main drains and jets all in the spa. This seemed like the simplistic way to get the control, without extra pressure on the filter and heaters. I read somewhere it's not a great idea to runs the spa jets through the filter and heater. I imagine I could get away with a simpler pump for the spa pump, it probably doesn't need to be a VS.

Thanks for everyone's contributions, you're all clearing up a bunch of concerns and questions I've had.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,884
Bedford, TX
Dave,

Automation systems control the mode of operation by moving the Intake and Return valves.. You can't program them for anything else..

Pool mode... water is sucked from the Pool, filtered and returns to the Pool.

Spa mode... water is sucked from the Spa, filtered and returns to the Spa.

Spillover mode... water is sucked from the Pool, filtered and returns to the Spa... More water in than comes out and you have a spillover.

All these water features will drive your pH though the roof.. You want might want to look at an Acid delivery system..

Jim R.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
1,719
Morris Cnty NJ
I'm in NJ and built my own pool. some things I went thru. Mind u finish work isn't all the way done on mine cold got me first.
When planning the pool u overthink it all at first and plan for everything which is good and bad. W a pool that big u want 4 returns minimum and 2 skimmers. I ran 1.5" home runs to all returns w jandy valves on everything off 2" manifolds. Skimmers and waterfall all 2". I can isolate any return or function in case of failure. In ur case I would split two 1.5 lines off a 2" line and do 6 returns. 3 on a line and seperate around pool so if failed in future u have good flow. I have 4 returns on a 14x30 its just enough. Depth is good mine is 6 ft too I wouldn't change a thing w it. Here in NJ realize u wont be using ur spa half the year. We get more use of standalone spas they can make it thru the winter if heated 24/7. Built in spas look nice but aren't practical. I would have added a play area for little kids like a sun shelf if i had the room i dont. U dont need 4 main drains I have my 2 on the wall I am tall dont want to step on them or have cannonball kids jump on them but w gunite u can get flush mounts. The only real way to automate is w manual valves setting the flow on certain features and then an auto valve behind it w a vs pump on right speed. Less pumps is better 2 will do fine. U qont have it all running the deckers are party tricks for ppl being over the waterfall is all u will rly use often for sound and ambience. Seperate the planning for suction and return and spa and pool and then are what u need as u blend the systems. Problem w it all is there is 9 ways to skin the same cat we would each plumb it differently slightly
 

Nectarologist

Well-known member
Apr 3, 2015
547
New York
I would put one return line to the loveseat and have it split into 2 returns at the wall (about mid way up the water, think mid/lower back). You'll love sitting on the loveseat with the warm water coming out of the returns on those cloudy, breezy days when you want to swim but it's not hot out. I have a 16x32 pool and I have 5 return (2 in my roman end bench, one on each side of the stairs and one on a side wall). My stairs are one 2" pipe that splits to provide the 2 returns. The single wall return is it's own run. The kids often play near the stairs so the returns are great there b/c it's a warm spot (compared to the deeper end). Best of luck!

On the skimmers (I couldn't see from the diagram (my eyes, not you lol) so this may be taken into account): put them on dedicated runs. I worked for a pool company where the owner had one skimmer and the line collapsed. They had to repair it asap (no main drain either). It's highly unlikely, but if they are separate and one goes down you can still skim the surface water. Since you'll have main drains you'd be able to circulate the water too. But to ensure you can skim if one goes down is worth the little bit of extra work now.
 

Srqpoolguy

In The Industry
Feb 6, 2019
27
Sarasota fl
I will say a pool is like a boat. Fun at first then comes the repairs. Try to keep as simple as possible. The more features and equipment the more headache down the road. Of course this is just a speaking from experience point of view. I 100 percent agree about the above post as far as skimmers and the benefits of having dedicated lines. Either way enjoy and have fun. Also those colorlogic lights are prone to premature failure as are most modern color lights. If you can live without the colors go with a normal or halogen. I replace these every day here in Florida and most are just shy of over a year old.... all brands. Although hayward colorlogics aren’t as common as some others.