Pool Plumbing Design and Review

Switched

Well-known member
Dec 25, 2019
64
Adelaide
All,

I am designing the plumbing on an existing pool that I need to refresh with new valves etc. I am building my own automation setup and not relying on any pool controllers as such.
I've drawn the below - can you please help to review and let me know if I have missed something or have designed it incorrect?

1) I'll adjust the Pool return/Spa Return actuator to allow for a spill over (I believe you can adjust the actuator stop points such that it moves only 150 degrees rather than 180) - this should allow some water to teh SPA for the spa spillover when its on the pool return.
2) Are my check valves in the best position?
3) For the pool/spa returns, I want either a Pool or Spa return, and when its pool return there will be a spa spillover as I will adjust the actuator as in point 1 above. I also then plan to have a separate Jandy actuator for the Spa Jets to enable them. My plan is to when I am in SPA mode with SPA JETS ON, I will program my future Pool VSP Pump for max power (eg 3 HP) - I have 5 spa 'therapy' jets. Do I need to direct ALL flow to only the SPA JETS here (rather than SPA JETS and SPA RETURN at the same time)?
4) I suspect in future as I replace my existing PV solar setup from 1.5kW to much bigger, I will go to a heat pump and remove the solar collector. Having the piping over that side allows for a future heat pump heater install but still assessing this.
5) I have spa blower jets in the spa seat, and spa floor - this is what the two blowers are for.

Any feedback - good or bad?


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Last edited:

mas985

TFP Expert
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May 3, 2007
13,925
Pleasanton, CA
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Just a couple of suggestions.

1) I would put the pool temperature sensor after the filter to avoid any debris getting caught up in the sensor.
2) If the solar temperature sensor is for a solar controller, that is to go up on the panels in direct sunlight. It is not meant to be installed into the plumbing.
3) You may want a three way valve between the spa jets and the spa return. When the jets are on, you will want the returns off for maximum jet action.
 

cowboycasey

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TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
5,236
Southern OK
You have 3 way valves and so do I.... But :) I have been learning and will be replacing them with 2 way.... this will give you the most control over every single connection.. Say you want your spa suction at 80% and your pool suction at 40% or 80/80, there is no way to do that with a 3 way valve... it is only 60/40, 50/50, 80/20... Just a suggestion.. :)
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
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Jul 7, 2014
20,825
Bedford, TX
S,

Without check valves in the spa return and spa jet lines, the water in the raised spa will drain back into the pool when the pump is shut off. This is because you plan to have the Return valve not 100% closed when in the pool mode, so that your spillover will work. This will also mean that you spillover will run anytime you are in the pool mode...

Offsetting the Return valve to have a spillover is what pool builders do when they don't know how to do it correctly.. :mrgreen:

I would suggest that you install a make up valve system, or better yet program your DIY automation for a spillover mode like most automation system have.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Switched

Well-known member
Dec 25, 2019
64
Adelaide
Just a couple of suggestions.

1) I would put the pool temperature sensor after the filter to avoid any debris getting caught up in the sensor.
2) If the solar temperature sensor is for a solar controller, that is to go up on the panels in direct sunlight. It is not meant to be installed into the plumbing.
3) You may want a three way valve between the spa jets and the spa return. When the jets are on, you will want the returns off for maximum jet action.
Thanks mas, noted on the temp sensor on point 1. Point 2, this is another sensor, it lets me know the temp coming back from the roof top solar. I plan to put a wireless bluetooth (Zigbee) on the roof to measure temp.
On point 3, got it, so the 'typical' setup is you normally only have SPA return OR SPA jets on, and never both? In the interest of space, where a 3 way needs more space for plumbing, maybe I will go a 2 way for both teh spa return and spa jets
 

Switched

Well-known member
Dec 25, 2019
64
Adelaide
You have 3 way valves and so do I.... But :) I have been learning and will be replacing them with 2 way.... this will give you the most control over every single connection.. Say you want your spa suction at 80% and your pool suction at 40% or 80/80, there is no way to do that with a 3 way valve... it is only 60/40, 50/50, 80/20... Just a suggestion.. :)
Thanks cowboycasey - a good point I havent considered to be honest. In my case, maybe because I am all new to pool ownership though I havent yet identified where this would be good. I'll certainly keep that in mind - thanks for the suggestion
 

Switched

Well-known member
Dec 25, 2019
64
Adelaide
S,
Without check valves in the spa return and spa jet lines, the water in the raised spa will drain back into the pool when the pump is shut off. This is because you plan to have the Return valve not 100% closed when in the pool mode, so that your spillover will work. This will also mean that you spillover will run anytime you are in the pool mode...
Offsetting the Return valve to have a spillover is what pool builders do when they don't know how to do it correctly.. :mrgreen:
I would suggest that you install a make up valve system, or better yet program your DIY automation for a spillover mode like most automation system have.
Thanks,
Jim R.
HI Jim - My spa water is below pool pump plumbing, wont this prevent the water also moving up and over to the pool return line? I must admit, I did see the spillover plumbing, but thought the same could be achieved with adjusting the jandy actuator to try and simplify the plumbing somewhat. Having the manual adjustment for spillover may be just easiest. Re the check valve, is this only a requirement if the SPA sits above the plumbing pipe?
Is my thoughts correct and a high rated pump (eg 2-3HP) then solely suited to run the 5 or 6 jets and not have a requirement for any booster pump whatsoever?

Im working on a diagram to incorporate the spillover design but its quite a busy design... I'll flick something through in the next day or so when I have what I think I can achieve.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
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Jul 7, 2014
20,825
Bedford, TX
S,

Most spillover spas are above the pool, so I just assumed yours was also... :rolleyes:

The check valves in the return and jet lines was to prevent gravity from draining the spa into the pool.. If your spa is not above the pool level, then you don't need the check valve.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Switched

Well-known member
Dec 25, 2019
64
Adelaide
S,

Most spillover spas are above the pool, so I just assumed yours was also... :rolleyes:

The check valves in the return and jet lines was to prevent gravity from draining the spa into the pool.. If your spa is not above the pool level, then you don't need the check valve.

Thanks,

Jim R.
THanks a million Jim - do you have any concerns around a VS pump that is rated 2-3HP to supply 5 or 6 spa jets?
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,825
Bedford, TX
S,

My gut says it would be no problem, but I am by far not a pump expert.. Let's see what @JamesW has to say about it.. I'm sure he will want to know the specific pump and its curve, pipe size for both the suction side and return side, etc.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
23,199
For powering spa jets, you want to go with the bigger VSP like an Intelliflo.

You also need to make sure that the filter and heater can handle the flow without creating too much stress on either.

You can put a check valve bypass on either if the flow will overstress either.