One pump; worth it to add a second one?

tampatommy

Well-known member
May 2, 2017
236
Tampa, FL
We just completed a new pool build. 14,300 gallons, pool, spa, 2” plumbing, spa overflow, two non-laminar deck jets and two bubblers with 3 pool returns.

As of now we are trouble shooting all of the water features. I have the Intelliflo pump at speed 4, 3100 rpm I think. One bubbler works well, the other is pretty sad. The deck jets barely shoot into the pool and we removed the eyeball on the spa returns for added volume to the spillover. I’m fearing I may have to go back and add a second pump.

The plumber came back and said that he can add a second pump pretty easily and use the vac line as a suction point and tie into the spa. So one pump will run the spa and spa returns/spillover, and the Intelliflo will run the two bubblers, two deck jets, and 3 pool returns.

As of now I’m at 3450rpm and I barely have any spillover and the bubblers are pretty weak.

Any recommendations for a feature pump that may be a bit lighter on the electrical load as well? The Intelliflo pump is great but I don’t need a 3hp pump and I’m having a hard time figuring out pentair’s product line for variable speed pumps that are around 2hp.

Thank you all for the input
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
2,809
Damascus, MD
My concern with what you wrote was that he was going to use the vac line as a source for the 2nd pump. This sounds very dangerous especially if that is the only point of suction for the 2nd pump. It is one thing to run a vac line while a vacuum is attached it is another to run it open. It may also be against code. Pool pumps create an enormous amount of suction and should not be used on a open pool port.
 

tampatommy

Well-known member
May 2, 2017
236
Tampa, FL
Yea that was my concern too. He said he would put a round wall suction cover over it but I think it would be pretty ugly. In my head I’m not sure two pumps would be able to be tied into the existing suction lines with it only being 2” plumbing.
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
2,809
Damascus, MD
I think a booster pump would work but should be plumbed in a different way. Can you post a picture of your pool and equipment pad? Can you shut off other returns to the pool and direct more water to your water features? Also your pump should have a higher level they usually go to 3600RPMs. Was your pool owner built or through a pool builder?

Also please fill out your sigline (link here) with you pool specs.
 

tampatommy

Well-known member
May 2, 2017
236
Tampa, FL
We did an owner builder pool. Currently we can shut the pool returns and water features off and the spa has an incredible spillover at a reasonably low 2800 rpm, with pool returns on. I think it’s the fact that it is a 4’ spillover which is probably 50gpm and takes up a good portion of the water supply.

I’m just not sure I want to add a wall return grate onto a wall as it will be an eye sore and way more work to just add a few things that nobody else will notice.

I am still annoyed that my bubblers and and deck jets were not plumbed in a loop, so one bubbler and deck jet shoots higher than the other but whatever. Take notes for next pool.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
11,361
Bedford, TX
Tommy,

I suggest that if you add a 2nd pump that you have your current pump draw water from the Skimmers and your new pump draw water from your main drain. I would never suggest that you use the vacuum port. It sounds to me like you want all your water features on all at the same time, which is just not reasonable with just one pump.

I suggest that you buy a tanker full of Muriatic Acid to keep your pH down... :)

Sorry, but I am not really qualified to recommend a specific pump in your case...

Jim R.
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
Aug 10, 2017
659
Morris Cnty NJ
Theres no reason to run the returns while using water features. They are your returns while operating. Add a valve or configure what you have now to shut them off. 2" pipe is fine for everything plenty on flow. It is not great for a spa tho. Most use 3" pipe and not at the same time as water features when on a single pump. Post pics of your equipment pad so I can see what's going on and we will come up with a solution. You cannot add a cover to the vacuum port and pull off of that. Dont do it whatever you do
 

tampatommy

Well-known member
May 2, 2017
236
Tampa, FL
Yea I was not very fond of that idea especially since the vacuum port is over a bench.

I will see how everything does tomorrow with the 3 pool returns turned off. I also don’t see why we couldn’t dig by the pad and just re route the main drain to the other pump and then tie it into the water features. I’m thinking it would be messy or the manifold would have to be completely rebuilt, and with a ton of Jandy valves that will probably get pricey. Here’s to hoping both do OK without the pool returns on. Thanks for that suggestion and info that the water will be churned up enough with no returns on.
 

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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
37,466
Tallahassee, FL
@jimmythegreek I think you nailed it!!! There is really no reason to run all of them at the same time!! The bubblers & jets are for when you want to do "party" tricks with your pool. The returns are for everyday cleaning and mixing. Here is hoping this solves it!

Kim:kim:
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
Aug 10, 2017
659
Morris Cnty NJ
On my phone but will review pics 2moro. The pad is very nice the plumber knew what he was doing. You dont need to churn the water up at all. All you need is enough run time for your swg to make the chlorine you need for sanitizing and the skimmer to clean surface. It's a myth you need to turn the water over in a pool. You can also partially close valves to the water features to boost or throttle them down in conjunction to the speed of your VS pump. Usually the best setup for water features is 2 valves. One like a 3 way opens the branch and a second one throttles it down to make it look/work it's best. If you di this with multiple features at the same time you will find a speed and setting you like and you program it or make note of it and try to make it easy to replicate. Powered valves make this a breeze with automation
 

tampatommy

Well-known member
May 2, 2017
236
Tampa, FL
I do not have automation and so far things are greatly improved with closing the pool returns. I still have flow issues with the bubblers, one shoots up quite nicely and the other not so much, I may disassemble the housing tomorrow and make sure nothing is clogged. There is only a few more feet of pipe between the weaker one, but i do not see that much friction loss in such a short run that would reduce the flow so much. I can also drop a 1/2" eyeball into the farther one and the 3/4" eyeball in the closer one to try and even them.

Another user may have the easiest suggestion that i cannot believe i even missed.

Currently i have the original Intelliflo VS (011018). The performance curves comparing my pump with the Intelliflo XF VS was posted and there was almost a 50gpm upgrade.

My only concern is that the XF comes with 2.5" unions, which to me make it sound like the pump should be plumbed with 2.5" suction lines, where as all of my plumbing is 2". I am assuming it can still be done, but i may not be able to get the 220 or so GPM that it is rated for, but would still be an upgrade over what i have now if i use a reduced size union. Sound about right?
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
Aug 10, 2017
659
Morris Cnty NJ
you will never get even flow out of the bubblers if they share the same line with no valve. you need to decide how you want them setup as far as flow speed and if they run with deck jets or other features. once you do you install the eyeballs with a smaller one to the first bubbler and try to get them pretty even. you can then shave/file the eyeball larger to get the flow perfect at that set speed. each bubbler should have had a valve and its own line then back to a main 3way valve. the other way is to make a loop back to the source so the water flows both directions and evens the flow. thats the proper way according to the book instructions for deck jets and multiple water features