Featured Pondering plumbing upgrades

sean.a.hyde

Member
Jun 5, 2018
20
Pittsburgh, PA
Hi Everyone,
I'm pondering some plumbing upgrades would like to solicit advice.
I've attached a pic of the current system.
Image from iOS (10).jpg
23k gallon pool, 2 skimmers, 1 floor drain (upper right), 1HP Pentair Pump (CFII-N1-1A/343233), 36 sq ft Pentair DE Filter (FLT FNS PLS 36), Pentair Heater, Chlorinator (empty), Autocover
All of the plumbing seems to be 1.5". The Pool is a good 5-10 feet below the equipment.
The pool is covered most of the time. This keeps a lot of debris out, keeps the sun off of it (except for heat), keeps rainwater out, and also little kids from drowning.

A few issues:
  • My pressure always seems high. A clean (beginning of the year after the pool company supposedly acid cleaned it) filter starts out showing about 18 PSI. After adding the DE this goes to 20 PSI. I used to have to backwash the filter every 3 weeks... but then I adjusted my chlorine level for my CYA level and switched to liquid chlorine and suddenly I don't need to backwash as often...
  • Once the pressure gets to about 28 PSI, my flow goes to near zero (not enough to skim)
  • The pump is very loud. It died 2 years ago (a month after we bought the house) and I replaced it with an identical model (because I didn't know better). The new one is loud too.
  • I leave the main drain return line mostly or all the way closed because with it wide open, the skimmers barely function

Some thoughts on what to change:
  • The Chlorinator: I'm 95% sure I am converting to SWG next season. I've been eyeing the RJ-60+
  • Pump/Motor: I could either replace the motor with an inyopools-sourced VS, or the whole pump assembly. Save $$ and noise.
  • Filter: I could replace the DE filter with a RP200 or Quad [number] cartridge filter and never acid wash, buy more DE, or backwash again
  • Plumbing: The plumbing looks silly. Three input 1.5" lines connecting (through a 'T'!?) to another 1.5" line and finishing with 1.5" returns. Should the combined lines be 2"? Should I be using a double-wye instead of a 'T'?

Obviously, I could do everything, but these changes aren't cheap, even if I install them myself. Thoughts?
Thanks!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
9,848
Northern NJ
I think your DE filter is fine. My De filter clean pressure is 18-20 PSI. TFP recommends backwashing when PSI rises 25%. That would be around 25 PSI. My flow slow to almost nothing as PSI approaches 30.

Agreed on converting to a Vs pump and a SWG. Those are good upgrades.

I don't think 1.5" vs. 2" lines will make any noticeable difference.
 
Last edited:

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,219
Bedford, TX
Sean,,

I have two DE filters at rent houses, and when they die, I'm removing the multiport valve and installing cartridge filters.. I've used both, and for me, there is no advantages to having a DE filter.

Just for reference, because I have VS pumps that run slowly, I don't every backwash my DE fitlers.. they get taken apart and cleaned twice a year.. And keep in mind, my pool stay open all year... Slow is the new Fast... :)

The whole point of having a VS pump is to run slow.. so the size of the plumbing (1.5' vs. 2") will have zero impact....

I would sure get rid of those valves and replace them with Jandy no lube valves. You could then plumb the whole pad for 2" pipe. It will have no impact on the water flow but it would make the plumbing easier to do..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Aug 10, 2017
1,273
Morris Cnty NJ
Agree to plumb the while pad in 2" the new pump will have 2" unions likely anyway. You would have to order those sched40 fittings online nobody Carrie's triple Ys and the like. I would see if you could just build a manifold out of regular Ts and elbows and come off the end to the pump just move it over a hair. That's how I prefer to do it both in and out
 

sean.a.hyde

Member
Jun 5, 2018
20
Pittsburgh, PA
I think your DE filter is fine. My De filter clean pressure is 18-20 PSI. TFP recommends backwashing when PSI rises 15%. That would be around 25 PSI. My flow slow to almost nothing as PSI approaches 30.

Agreed on converting to a Vs pump and a SWG. Those are good upgrades.

I don't think 1.5" vs. 2" lines will make any noticeable difference.
Thanks! Thoughts on just swapping the motor on the pump with the VGreen (or whatever inyopools calls it) vs the whole pump?
 

sean.a.hyde

Member
Jun 5, 2018
20
Pittsburgh, PA
Sean,,

I have two DE filters at rent houses, and when they die, I'm removing the multiport valve and installing cartridge filters.. I've used both, and for me, there is no advantages to having a DE filter.

Just for reference, because I have VS pumps that run slowly, I don't every backwash my DE fitlers.. they get taken apart and cleaned twice a year.. And keep in mind, my pool stay open all year... Slow is the new Fast... :)

The whole point of having a VS pump is to run slow.. so the size of the plumbing (1.5' vs. 2") will have zero impact....

I would sure get rid of those valves and replace them with Jandy no lube valves. You could then plumb the whole pad for 2" pipe. It will have no impact on the water flow but it would make the plumbing easier to do..

Thanks,

Jim R.
Thanks! Yeah, it is costing me $75 a year in acid wash and was costing me $50 a year in DE, though maybe that is less now. That could easily pay for itself if I get the Pentair CC RP200, but not really if I get the CCP480 or 520. Any idea which cartridge you would pick?

If I was going to bother replacing all of the plumbing (which I would do if I was replacing the filter), I was going to replace the gate valves, but if I'm just swapping the motor and the chlorinator, I'd probably leave them because I could swap in the SWG without touching anything upstream of the heater and without even cutting old pipe. Why do you say the 2" is easier?
 

sean.a.hyde

Member
Jun 5, 2018
20
Pittsburgh, PA
Agree to plumb the while pad in 2" the new pump will have 2" unions likely anyway. You would have to order those sched40 fittings online nobody Carrie's triple Ys and the like. I would see if you could just build a manifold out of regular Ts and elbows and come off the end to the pump just move it over a hair. That's how I prefer to do it both in and out
I wasn't sure if I was going to replace the whole pump or just swap the motor (inyopools has a VS that will fit). The triple Ys are crazy expensive ($200+). If it isn't a problem from a flow/water direction standpoint, then I will just leave it. It seems everyone just uses T's. Maybe wyes are more important for drain than intake.
I'm having trouble visualizing your manifold idea.
 

cfherrman

TFP Guide
May 10, 2017
2,354
Hays, Kansas
How are the gate valves? If they still are good if leave them, buy a new union, the same brand and thread if you can find it, install a new line from half of the union with a whole new pump, new line to filter. If you can't find the same union you might be stuck replacing the valves there not much room for a cut and collar install.

New stuff is great but if the above can be followed your looking like an hour of simple work. If you need to change the gate valves to some awesome and proper 3 way valves your looking at 4-8 hours and a whole replum is at least a while day or more depending on your skill and experience, and how much you practice.

Don't concern to much with wyes or sweeps, they help but typically have to be special ordered and the gain over a cheap 90 is very very low. Then if you end up practicing on your special ordered wye your stuck while home Depot is only 30 minutes away.

Depending on your area 2" has more availably on fittings and pipe, a lot of pool stuff is setup for 2". You could run the numbers and it will come out close enough because 10' of 2" and 10" of 1.5 flow about the same, it's when you have 50'+ of pipe when it really matters.
 

sean.a.hyde

Member
Jun 5, 2018
20
Pittsburgh, PA
How are the gate valves? If they still are good if leave them, buy a new union, the same brand and thread if you can find it, install a new line from half of the union with a whole new pump, new line to filter. If you can't find the same union you might be stuck replacing the valves there not much room for a cut and collar install.

New stuff is great but if the above can be followed your looking like an hour of simple work. If you need to change the gate valves to some awesome and proper 3 way valves your looking at 4-8 hours and a whole replum is at least a while day or more depending on your skill and experience, and how much you practice.

Don't concern to much with wyes or sweeps, they help but typically have to be special ordered and the gain over a cheap 90 is very very low. Then if you end up practicing on your special ordered wye your stuck while home Depot is only 30 minutes away.

Depending on your area 2" has more availably on fittings and pipe, a lot of pool stuff is setup for 2". You could run the numbers and it will come out close enough because 10' of 2" and 10" of 1.5 flow about the same, it's when you have 50'+ of pipe when it really matters.
The gate valves seem ok. I was worried they were the source of a suction side leak, but it turned out the be the union after the 'T' (yay for shaving cream!) where the o-ring had been mis-seated by the pool company when they opened (I opened this year -- no leaks).
Another thing I will get rid of is the backflow check valve right before the pump. It is missing its little flapper anyway, so it is just a flow restriction now (and I don't need it since I fixed the suction side leak and the pump stays primed when off).
Why 3-way valves? Just to reduce the number of valves from 3 to 2? Do 3-ways let you close both paths?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,219
Bedford, TX
Sean,

Plumbing the pad with all 2" is easier only because most new things have 2" fittings... like a new filter, or a new SWCG.. and if you go with a new pump, etc..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

cfherrman

TFP Guide
May 10, 2017
2,354
Hays, Kansas
3 way let's you divert flow easier between two things, like " I run 10% drain and 90% skimmer". If I was spending money I would put one between the skimmers and one between the outlet of that and the drain.

I think they let you close both but not sure
 

sean.a.hyde

Member
Jun 5, 2018
20
Pittsburgh, PA
3 way let's you divert flow easier between two things, like " I run 10% drain and 90% skimmer". If I was spending money I would put one between the skimmers and one between the outlet of that and the drain.

I think they let you close both but not sure
Thanks for the idea. I'll sketch up some options. Again, I think if I'm going to replace just the chlorinator with an SWG, then I will leave it since there are already unions around it. If I replace the filter, then the plumbing becomes all new.

Any other thoughts on swapping just the motor vs the whole pump?

Any other thoughts on the RP200 vs the CCP480?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,219
Bedford, TX
Sean,

The bigger the filter the less often you will have to clean it... I always recommend buying the biggest filter you can afford...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

sean.a.hyde

Member
Jun 5, 2018
20
Pittsburgh, PA
Sean,

The bigger the filter the less often you will have to clean it... I always recommend buying the biggest filter you can afford...

Thanks,

Jim R.
Yup, I've seen and understand this wisdom. On the other hand, the CCP480 is twice as much as the CC RP200. And right now I have a 36 sq ft filter. How much will I be able to tell going from 36 to 200 vs 36 to 480?
 

sean.a.hyde

Member
Jun 5, 2018
20
Pittsburgh, PA
3 way let's you divert flow easier between two things, like " I run 10% drain and 90% skimmer". If I was spending money I would put one between the skimmers and one between the outlet of that and the drain.

I think they let you close both but not sure
Here's a fun question: can you use a Jandy 3-way vertically? My skimmer lines are (of course) on the outside of my drain line
Image from iOS (10)_crop.jpg
So I could combine the outer two into a 3-way valve, and then bring the main drain under that into a 3-way that had the lever sideways so that one of the ports pointed down.

Alternately, I could replace the gate valves with high quality ball or 2-way valves. That should still give me proportional control, right?
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Aug 10, 2017
1,273
Morris Cnty NJ
In this case I would only use 2 way valves. Pentair are the same and usually cheaper than jandy. You would make sure they can fit next to eachother then just install with an elbow to start then to a T then to another T either sideways or to an elbow after. If sideways you would choke the last valve down a little as water would take that path easily and cheat the other skimmers flow
 

cfherrman

TFP Guide
May 10, 2017
2,354
Hays, Kansas
Is pretty tight. If you wanted to make the 3 ways work I would raise the drain line up, 3 way the skimmers kind of where the drain valve is now, the with the magic of 4 90s and a collar jack the drain line up then over one of the skimmer 90's then then down and around.

So what I am saying is you might want to just replace the valves.