Pre-Excavation Advice: Raising pool pumps/filter, and diagnosing system leaks, etc.

Earthman Bob

Member
Mar 25, 2019
9
Long Island
I'm getting ready to tear up my landscape in order to change my pool surround, remove rocks from the lawn, lay some drainage pipe, grade and add topsoil. Before I do that, there are a couple of things I'd like to address. Currently, the pool has not been open for a couple of years, and I'm about to get quotes for resurfacing and finding leaks. If you have any advice on these, please let me know:

1. I want to raise my pumps and filter by approximately 6" to 1', since they are next to the house, and I need to add soil there so I can pitch the grade away from the house. I haven't worked on pool PVC before (have done regular plumbing drains/vents). I'm thinking all I'll need to do is cut dig around the various pvc coming from and going to the pool, cut the pipes, add a coupling on either end, and a few inches of PVC between. I'll first need to drain the pool first, low enough so there's no water in the pipes, since I think the pumps are currently a little lower than the skimmers. Is there anything I should know before taking that on?

2. I'd really like to have someone come out and test all the lines to and from the pool, before I do my final landscaping, etc... Just so in the event that something needs to be dug up, it's not a disaster. I'm thinking, first I'll raise the pumps, (as per #1 above), then I'll hook up the pumps and have a pool person come and test things. Any other suggestions on that?

Thanks for any feedback--
 

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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,049
Tallahassee, FL
Sounds like you have it all planned out. I will call in a couple of people who might have some ideas for you @ajw22 @Pool Clown to see if they have any ideas.

One thing that stands out to me is those ball valves. Those need to go IF they are even working now. They can get brittle and break. Look at something like these: https://www.amazon.com/JANDY-Positive-NeverLube-Plumbing-Zodiac/dp/B001F6NNC0/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?crid=1TWSO37URSNZ5&keywords=jandy+neverlube+2+port+pool+valves+1-1/2&qid=1553595375&s=gateway&sprefix=neverlube+pool+v,aps,237&sr=8-2-fkmr0 Know I just grabbed the first ones I saw. There are a few brands out there.

Testing your system-better a "real" plumber than "a pool guy". It is a VERY good idea to have it done! Better to fix now than after all of the work is done for sure! The above guys might even be able to help you do it on your own! They are smart with stuff like that!

Kim:kim:
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
5,966
Northern NJ
Rather then drain the pool put plugs in the returns and skimmers.

Talk to the contractor who will be testing the underground lines. It may be easier for them to test each line and isolate any problems if they test them after you cut them and before you reconnect any equipment to them.
 

Earthman Bob

Member
Mar 25, 2019
9
Long Island
Sounds like you have it all planned out. I will call in a couple of people who might have some ideas for you @ajw22 @Pool Clown to see if they have any ideas.

One thing that stands out to me is those ball valves. Those need to go IF they are even working now. They can get brittle and break. Look at something like these: https://www.amazon.com/JANDY-Positive-NeverLube-Plumbing-Zodiac/dp/B001F6NNC0/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?crid=1TWSO37URSNZ5&keywords=jandy+neverlube+2+port+pool+valves+1-1/2&qid=1553595375&s=gateway&sprefix=neverlube+pool+v,aps,237&sr=8-2-fkmr0 Know I just grabbed the first ones I saw. There are a few brands out there.

Testing your system-better a "real" plumber than "a pool guy". It is a VERY good idea to have it done! Better to fix now than after all of the work is done for sure! The above guys might even be able to help you do it on your own! They are smart with stuff like that!

Kim:kim:
Thanks so much for the reply. Yeah, those ball valves can be a dog to turn. I changed the handles a couple of years back, as the old ones broke. I'll look into the 2 port version of the one you linked to. They're not cheap, but that sure will make adjustments a whole lot easier! Glad you picked that up, as I had forgotten how difficult those were to use.

And thanks for calling in other help!
 

Earthman Bob

Member
Mar 25, 2019
9
Long Island
Rather then drain the pool put plugs in the returns and skimmers.

Talk to the contractor who will be testing the underground lines. It may be easier for them to test each line and isolate any problems if they test them after you cut them and before you reconnect any equipment to them.
That makes a lot of sense. Will do. I'll be checking with pool people or a plumber about testing the lines while I've got it pulled apart.

Thanks for the suggestion!
 

PoolguyinCT

In The Industry
Jul 21, 2014
3,061
Connecticut
Sounds like you have it all planned out. I will call in a couple of people who might have some ideas for you @ajw22 @Pool Clown to see if they have any ideas.

One thing that stands out to me is those ball valves. Those need to go IF they are even working now. They can get brittle and break. Look at something like these: https://www.amazon.com/JANDY-Positive-NeverLube-Plumbing-Zodiac/dp/B001F6NNC0/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?crid=1TWSO37URSNZ5&keywords=jandy+neverlube+2+port+pool+valves+1-1/2&qid=1553595375&s=gateway&sprefix=neverlube+pool+v,aps,237&sr=8-2-fkmr0 Know I just grabbed the first ones I saw. There are a few brands out there.

Testing your system-better a "real" plumber than "a pool guy". It is a VERY good idea to have it done! Better to fix now than after all of the work is done for sure! The above guys might even be able to help you do it on your own! They are smart with stuff like that!

Kim:kim:
Ahem...
Connecticut “pool guys” are plumbing & piping licensees.

Long Island also requires occupational licenses specific to pool/spa.
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
Aug 10, 2017
895
Morris Cnty NJ
Do you plan to add window wells and build up tha grade against the house? I cant see the rest of the yard but I deal with water issues all the time. May be smarter to install drainage and lightly grade the yard instead. Easy to install surface drains with grates and pitch to that if you have enough pitch elsewhere to run down hill. If you have gutters exposed, piping them underground to daylight is the biggest help a property can get in a rain event. If you do end up piping it over make sure you use all sch40 fittings and get a pad poured big enough for your equipment. If you have a compressor pressure testing lines isn't too hard to do
 

cfherrman

TFP Guide
May 10, 2017
2,213
Hays, Kansas
Plumbing is easy, just make sure for sch 40

What's your budget? I ask because I do not like the extension idea, it will add 4 connections per pipe that runs vertical, that is a lot of leak chance. Since you might change valves it might be better to do a huge repluming, sounds easy but it is a lot of work.

You also need pump unions

I would before you get a person your paying is to take a shop vac and blow out all the lines and use compressed air (maybe 30 psi or so) and check for leaks yourself. This way your ahead and can possibly fix things yourself and the paid Plummer is just checking and hopefully not fixing anything.
 

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