Please review my plumbing schematic

Foosman

Bronze Supporter
Jul 21, 2016
361
Austin, TX
In planning phase now for geometric pool ~15x32' with spa. I would appreciate any feedback. I'm planning to run this all off 1 pump and okay with trade-off of not being able to run water feature and spa simultaneously.
LATEST SCHEMATIC (REV. 2)
plumbing rev. 5.jpg



ORIGINAL SCHEMATIC (REV 1)
plubing rev. 1.jpg
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,832
Bedford, TX
Foos,

The first thing that I see is that you want to be able to select or control the input from each individual skimmer. This allows you to shut one off if you want, as well as balance the flow between the two of them.

Other than that, nothing pops out, but I'm sure others may have other ideas,

Jim R.
 

Foosman

Bronze Supporter
Jul 21, 2016
361
Austin, TX
Foos,

The first thing that I see is that you want to be able to select or control the input from each individual skimmer. This allows you to shut one off if you want, as well as balance the flow between the two of them.

Other than that, nothing pops out, but I'm sure others may have other ideas,

Jim R.
plubing rev. 2.jpg

Jim: something like shown above in red?
 

Isaac-1

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2010
6,711
SW Louisiana
I assume this is a spill over spa, if so you may need a check valve in there to keep water from back draining through the returns when the pump is off. Also I don't see a way to have both pool return and spa return working at once. In addition I would home run all the pool returns and add individual cut off valves, that way if you ever do have an underground leak you can isolate it by plugging the the eyeball and shutting off the valve. This would allow you to postpone repair until the off season. It also makes locating suspected leaks a lot easier if you can systematically isolate different sections of plumbing.

Ike

p.s. why the vacuum port?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,832
Bedford, TX
Foos,

While the two "red" valves would work, those types of valve tend to stick and have the handles break after a few years. And they can't be rebuilt, they have to be replaced. If I had a choice, I'd just add another Jandy style 3-way valve.

I noticed you added "actuators" to your original drawing, or I just missed that the first time around.... What automation system do you plan to use? If the EasyTouch, keep in mind that you can only control a maximum of 4 valves.

Jim R.
 

Foosman

Bronze Supporter
Jul 21, 2016
361
Austin, TX
I assume this is a spill over spa, if so you may need a check valve in there to keep water from back draining through the returns when the pump is off. Also I don't see a way to have both pool return and spa return working at once. In addition I would home run all the pool returns and add individual cut off valves, that way if you ever do have an underground leak you can isolate it by plugging the the eyeball and shutting off the valve. This would allow you to postpone repair until the off season. It also makes locating suspected leaks a lot easier if you can systematically isolate different sections of plumbing.

Ike

p.s. why the vacuum port?
Thanks for the feedback. Please check my understating as I have a different understanding of how the 3-way valves work:
1) This is a spill over spa, but when the pump is off the right most valve should also be off. I will be using Jandy 3-way valves and my understanding is they have an off position where water will not flow thru either outlet. There could be a failure situation where the system thinks it is on, but the pump is off (say it loses power) and in this case I could see where the spa might empty.
2) The 3-way valve can allow water to both outlets simultaneously and also adjust/restrict flow to an outlet. So the right most valve in pool only mode would be set to have say 90% flow to the outlet for the pool and 10% to the outlet for the spa.
3) In terms of home running the returns, I completely agree. My only concern is I've also heard it's best to use a loop around the pool for the returns so you achieve equal flow out all the returns. I believe these 2 things contradict themselves. I've also read you can change eyeball sizes to adjust the flow at each return. I'm thinking I home run the returns and then adjust the flow based on eyeball sizes...can someone confirm this is possible?
4) I threw in the vacuum port for a cleaner. I will likely buy a robot, so I may remove it.

- - - Updated - - -

Foos,

While the two "red" valves would work, those types of valve tend to stick and have the handles break after a few years. And they can't be rebuilt, they have to be replaced. If I had a choice, I'd just add another Jandy style 3-way valve.

I noticed you added "actuators" to your original drawing, or I just missed that the first time around.... What automation system do you plan to use? If the EasyTouch, keep in mind that you can only control a maximum of 4 valves.

Jim R.
Is the maximum of 4 valves true for both the EasyTouch 4 and EayTouch 8?
I think I've gotten lucky with my sprinkler system which has a "red" ball valve for the shutoff and is 11 years old :) but no need to push my luck...I'll plan on something more robust, thanks!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,832
Bedford, TX
Foos,

The difference between the ET4 and ET8 is the number of external control relays the system has . The ET4 has 4 relays and the ET8 has, of course, 8 relays.

Valves are not controlled by relays, but by valve circuits. On both the ET4 and ET8 there is a maximum of 4 valves that can be controlled. Two of them are dedicated to the Intake Valve and Return Valve for switching between the Pool Mode and the Spa Mode. These two valves also control the Spillover function. The remaining two valves are user programmable.

Using the red ball valves is not a bad plan if the valve is accessible, so that it can be replaced. The problem comes when they are installed in such a way as to make replacement almost impossible, like in control box in the deck. I have three of them that feed my waterfall wall. (I was young and stupid at the time... ok, maybe just stupid...) But, if they needed to be replaced, I'd have to cut the deck up to do it.. :(

Jim R.
 

Isaac-1

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2010
6,711
SW Louisiana
Thanks for the feedback. Please check my understating as I have a different understanding of how the 3-way valves work:
1) This is a spill over spa, but when the pump is off the right most valve should also be off. I will be using Jandy 3-way valves and my understanding is they have an off position where water will not flow thru either outlet. There could be a failure situation where the system thinks it is on, but the pump is off (say it loses power) and in this case I could see where the spa might empty.
2) The 3-way valve can allow water to both outlets simultaneously and also adjust/restrict flow to an outlet. So the right most valve in pool only mode would be set to have say 90% flow to the outlet for the pool and 10% to the outlet for the spa.
3) In terms of home running the returns, I completely agree. My only concern is I've also heard it's best to use a loop around the pool for the returns so you achieve equal flow out all the returns. I believe these 2 things contradict themselves. I've also read you can change eyeball sizes to adjust the flow at each return. I'm thinking I home run the returns and then adjust the flow based on eyeball sizes...can someone confirm this is possible?
4) I threw in the vacuum port for a cleaner. I will likely buy a robot, so I may remove it.
Sorry for the delay responding,

1, Power outages were the first issue that came to mind, you would not want the plaster in your spa to dry out during some random summer power outage while you were away from home.

2, That is fine with a manually adjusted valve, but valve actuators move until they hit a stop, which can be a pre-set point, but then things can get complicated taking the actuators apart and moving stops, when say you may want to change that from 90/10 to 80/20 or 100/0 for whatever reason, a manifold style distribution may work out better here. Here is a link to the process of adjusting actuator cam stops How to Set the Cams on an Intermatic Pool Valve Actuator - INYOPools.com


3, If you home run the return lines you can adjust flow on the lines by partly closing the manual valves (on this topic if you don't want to spring for the good Jandy Neverlubes, Hayward and perhaps others offer serviceable ball valves which are made to a higher quality than the cheap red handled hardware store valves. Hayward makes 3 or 4 different models (threaded, glue in, etc.), some have unions built in, one thing I like about them is they have removable handles, so if you have something you want to tweak a certain way and don't want anyone messing with it you can just pull the handle off. You can also adjust flow by changing out eyeballs, either inline valve or eyeball, both work by restricting flow.

4, It can be handy for traditional manual pool vacs, but plugging into a skimmer socket is not that hard to do either, also with liability what it is these days and the entrapment hazard (even if remote) I would not install one.
 

Foosman

Bronze Supporter
Jul 21, 2016
361
Austin, TX
Sorry for the delay responding,
2, That is fine with a manually adjusted valve, but valve actuators move until they hit a stop, which can be a pre-set point, but then things can get complicated taking the actuators apart and moving stops, when say you may want to change that from 90/10 to 80/20 or 100/0 for whatever reason, a manifold style distribution may work out better here. Here is a link to the process of adjusting actuator cam stops How to Set the Cams on an Intermatic Pool Valve Actuator - INYOPools.com
.
That is definitely annoying having to change the cam points to adjust the flow/stops. Interesting, I found a Pentair IntelliValve that avoids opening it up...it has LEDs and let's you change the stops externally: http://www.pentairpool.com/products/automation-intellivalve-valve-actuator-478.htm

I'll put up a modified schematic based on feedback. Also, I think I misunderstood how valve actuators work. It looks like a valve actuator can be setups for only 2 positions. I don't think it's capable of handling all 3-positions of a 3-way valve. So if I want to control the spa spill-over (be able to turn it on/off independently of pool circulation) then I believe I need another valve/valve actuator...this officially put me at the Easytouch limit of 4 (as Jim pointed out).
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,445
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I'll just make the personal opinion/comment that I don't think the IntelliValve is worth the additional cost - it is really easy to adjust the cams in a standard CVA. Literally, it takes more time to unscrew the cover and put it back on than to do the adjustments. Also, with any "digital device" you've just got more things that can break in funny and undetectable ways. I'll also add that these valve actuators are NOT forever, especially if they are programmed to move frequently throughout the day. The intake/return valves will move once per day (if that much) assuming a person uses their spa daily. If you have lots of water features that you want to turn on and off, you could be running the valves many times per day. I had one of the standard CVA's die on me within the first 6 months and I have replaced (on my own dime) at least one other. The cost is roughly around $120 per CVA plus the time it takes to re-run wiring into and out of the panel. If you have a lot of these valves, you may find yourself replacing them at a pretty good interval.

I also agree with the previous poster that your spa has a lot of jets in it (9). I think they typically need about 15GPM each to operate properly. You may be reaching the limit of what your pump can supply flow-wise and you might need a booster pump on the spa to run that many jets at once.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,832
Bedford, TX
Foos,

The EasyTouch has a mode called "spillover". Basically sets the Intake valve to suck water from the pool and sets the Return valve to send the water to the Spa. Obviously, the Spa then fills up and overflows back into the pool.

You really don't need an additional valve to do it.

Jim R.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,445
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Also, not sure if you were going to show this on your plumbing diagram, but you should have a bypass loop plumbed around your heater (needs another 3-way valve and a check valve). This way, if you ever need to take your heater out of service, you can still run everything. It's also good for getting better flow rates when the heater is not in use by partially diverting most of the water. Most heaters have an internal bypass but they often have much higher head loss than just doing the bypass externally at the pad. Adds cost, but many members have their setups this way (mine is not) and appreciate the convenience.
 

Isaac-1

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2010
6,711
SW Louisiana
Matt, it does sound like you have had a bad experience with actuators. I guess I should be thankful I only have one (Hayward brand actuator), it is connected to my solar controller and typically switches positions multiple times per day year round (operating in freeze protection mode in the winter) it is going on 3.5 years in service.

Ike
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,445
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Matt, it does sound like you have had a bad experience with actuators. I guess I should be thankful I only have one (Hayward brand actuator), it is connected to my solar controller and typically switches positions multiple times per day year round (operating in freeze protection mode in the winter) it is going on 3.5 years in service.

Ike
I think it's just typical manufacturing variance plus frequency of use. I have one CVA (on the return side plumbing, I think) that's been going strong 3+ years now. I was thinking I might actuate my valve that controls the suction-side cleaner on the wall vacuum port, but I think it would actuate too frequently (and accelerate failure) AND I someday hope to own a robot and ditch the suction cleaner altogether.
 

Isaac-1

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2010
6,711
SW Louisiana
Skimmer position should be based on prevailing wind patterns, not so much size of pool. In my region we tend to get wind from the south for about 6 months and then wind from the northwest for about 6 months
 

Foosman

Bronze Supporter
Jul 21, 2016
361
Austin, TX
Foos,

The EasyTouch has a mode called "spillover". Basically sets the Intake valve to suck water from the pool and sets the Return valve to send the water to the Spa. Obviously, the Spa then fills up and overflows back into the pool.

You really don't need an additional valve to do it.

Jim R.
Thanks. I was thinking I would have a "pool+spill over" mode where water is sucked from the pool (intake valve going to pool) and return valve going to BOTH pool and spa. Unfortunately the return valve actuator can only select 2 modes, so I can divert the return back to the pool or back to the spa, but can't split to both. It's not really needed, I just thought it would be nice and it seems like it might be more common to have a pool mode and spillover mode, but no pool+spill over.

- - - Updated - - -

Why two skimmers? For this size, I would just do one and not worry to balance the system. I second the comment about adding a blower for the spa.
Blower is in the design (A.B. = Air Booster), so I agree. In terms of the skimmers, I've had a couple people with 1 skimmer tell me they wish they had 2.
 

Foosman

Bronze Supporter
Jul 21, 2016
361
Austin, TX
I updated the original post, but am also placing the latest revision here with multiple changes due to inputs. Two things I'm not clear on:
1) Check valve just before the motor. This is the location on a friends pool. It seems if the input valve failed you could have the spa drains connected to the pool skimmer/drains and the spa would drain. I'm wondering if this check valve should be moved back directly on the spa drains.
2) I added a bubbler for the tanning ledge and it will be on any time the pump is in circulation mode. Any concerns this will increase the PH level due to aeration?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6ksdt28ba4yqnc0/plumbing rev. 5.png?dl=0

plumbing rev. 5.jpg
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,445
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Yeah, you don't want a bubbler running all the time. It will drive your pH up. Put a valve on it and only turn it on for parties or if you want to show off to the neighbor's.