Pump Failing

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
23,104
What I would probably do is use a regular Intelliflo VS without SVRS.

I would plug the main drain from in the skimmer most of the time and only occasionally open it to flush out the line so that the water doesn't get biofilm.

Or, install a reducer in the main drain line to limit the amount of water going through the line. Maybe reduce the opening to about 3/4" so that you get a slow but steady flow.

I would make sure that the drain covers meet current code.

I would immediately set a maximum speed limit in the pump control of about 2,400 rpm.

I would get an Intelliconnect to control everything.

Note: Follow all applicable codes for your jurisdiction. If any of the above conflicts with local code, defer to the local codes.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
23,104
In my opinion, if the main drain is connected to the bottom of the skimmer, then it qualifies as a multiple suction with the skimmer as the second suction.

If you have a control valve at the bottom of the skimmer that allows you to close the skimmer and only pull from the main drain, you would need to remove the control valve.

If the main drain were on its own line, then it would not be compliant.
 
Last edited:

RDspaguy

In The Industry
Mar 21, 2020
1,174
Cabool, Mo
if the main drain is connected to the bottom of the skimmer, then it qualifies as a multiple suction with the skimmer as the second suction.
From my research I was under the impression that the skimmer does not qualify as a second drain because it is essentially designed to clog up with floating debris. Lack of routine maintenence can create what is effectively a single drain condition. Unlikely, but that seems to be the interpretation from every source I could find.
But again, that is only enforced on commercial pools, and seems to be a gray area open to interpretation.
But we are seriously sidetracking this thread with an industry topic. I just sought to clear up a small misunderstanding about drain covers and svrs pumps. I suggest we return the focus to the OP's issue and move our compliance discussion to a more appropriate format. Perhaps the "deep end"?
To the OP, you have much more information than you expected to get, I am sure. The final choice is yours. There were no bad options offered here, just a bunch of know-it-alls arguing amongst ourselves. Let us know how it goes. We'll probably argue about that, too. But at least you have heard all sides of the arguement and can make an informed decision.
Best of luck.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
23,104
From my research I was under the impression that the skimmer does not qualify as a second drain because it is essentially designed to clog up with floating debris.
Ok. Hopefully, the OP has sufficient information to make the right decision.

Back to the original issue. Here is some more information about the Intelliconnect.


 

eco-help

Bronze Supporter
Apr 4, 2014
142
Tampa, Florida
For new or existing pools undergoing renovation, I believe that Florida requires submerged outlets be protected by outlet covers that comply with the most current version of ASME/ANSI A112.19.8.

I believe that Florida also requires either multiple outlets or an unblockable outlet. Multiple outlets must be spaced three feet apart or on different planes so as to ensure that a single bather cannot block both outlets.

Unblockable outlets must exceed 18”x 23” or be in the form of a channel drain.

Where a single outlet is present, one must do one of the following: disable the drain, convert the outlet to a return, add a properly spaced second outlet, use a Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS), vent line, gravity system, or any other method that would comply with ASME/ANSI A112.19.17- 2002, the standard for Manufactured Safety Vacuum Release Systems (SVRS) for Residential and Commercial Swimming Pool, Spa, Hot Tub, and Wading Pool Suction Systems.
I understand that the "main drain" (the one in the floor of the pool) connects to 1 of the 2 skimmers in the pool (it is the old Baker Hydro setup(is that the name?)) -- is that considered one of the "where a single outlet is present, one must do one of the following..."?
I have no idea if that main drain has a new or old cover.
 

eco-help

Bronze Supporter
Apr 4, 2014
142
Tampa, Florida
Ok. Hopefully, the OP has sufficient information to make the right decision.

Back to the original issue. Here is some more information about the Intelliconnect.


Very helpful thank you.
I already asked a followup about the main drain. Not sure.. and I doubt any of the installers will pull a permit for a pump so no inspection..
 

eco-help

Bronze Supporter
Apr 4, 2014
142
Tampa, Florida
Jim, you are absolutely right about that. Odds of falling and smacking your head on the deck exceed entrapment risk by about a bazillion to one.
James, I sense you own a pool business like myself. Liability is often my primary concern, especially on public or commercial pools and spas. But I also always put safety above convenience, and am a strong supporter of VGB compliance, as well as other safety measures, in all pools and spas.
I feel safety is most if not very important, I would not like to live with knowing that an action I took or did not take caused something as horrible as entrapment (or anything else).
On the other hand also - Thank you (whoever commented) that the SVRS is incredibly sensitive to obstruction and will stop working causing more nuisance than anything.
Hopefully the main drain being connected to a skimmer is sufficient.. I might have to make a few phone calls.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
35,898
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
The other option is to abandon the main drain. They are not needed.
 

eco-help

Bronze Supporter
Apr 4, 2014
142
Tampa, Florida
Note that VGB originally applied only to commercial/public pools other than the requirement that drain covers meet the current standard.

Residential pools did not have to replace the cover, but if they did, it had to be a current one.

Each state or jurisdiction sets their own residential building codes.

For new construction, I believe most or all have adopted or incorporated one or more of the entrapment protections, such as multiple or unblockable drains if drains are going to be used.

Regardless of the law, any builder would be foolish to not follow the multiple or unblockable drain rule.

Renovations sometimes require an upgrade to the new standards and professional service companies will have to follow the code, especially if they need a building permit and inspection.

Even if the code doesn't require an upgrade during a renovation, builders might want to for safety and liability reasons.

Exactly what constitutes work that triggers the need for an upgrade can be confusing and unclear.

Does replacing a pump require upgrading to the new standard? It depends on the local codes and the inspectors or service providers interpretation.
Really super helpful thank you. In my part of the woods I doubt the word permit will come up unless I absolutely force it on the company. Hopefully some simple remediation can be done (rather than stepping up to the $$$ pump to do it which doesn't sound like a good idea from a functional standpoint.)
 

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eco-help

Bronze Supporter
Apr 4, 2014
142
Tampa, Florida
Intelliconnect is only about $270 and should do everything you want.


Brilliant! I was going to postpone this but at that price I might as well get it done at the same time (likely save cost of re-do/"service call")
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
23,104
I suspect that you can just plug the main drain from the skimmer.

Until you actually plaster over the main drain, just periodically remove the plug and let some water circulate through the plumbing so that it doesn't become a breeding ground for bacteria and algae.
 

RDspaguy

In The Industry
Mar 21, 2020
1,174
Cabool, Mo
suspect that you can just plug the main drain from the skimmer.

In this situation I feel that is a fantastic solution. That would certainly eliminate any concerns. As would ensuring the skimmer stays clean, as the main drain only poses a hazard if the skimmer is blocked.
I am sorry we got sidetracked on all that technical stuff, that was more information than you wanted or needed. But I am glad you are aware of the safety concerns and interested in a solution. ?
And no running on the deck! ;)
 

eco-help

Bronze Supporter
Apr 4, 2014
142
Tampa, Florida
In this situation I feel that is a fantastic solution. That would certainly eliminate any concerns. As would ensuring the skimmer stays clean, as the main drain only poses a hazard if the skimmer is blocked.
I am sorry we got sidetracked on all that technical stuff, that was more information than you wanted or needed. But I am glad you are aware of the safety concerns and interested in a solution. ?
And no running on the deck! ;)
Actually the opposite I much appreciate the detail, I think education is the most important and rather have now than later. :) I say bring it on!
My only concern is If it should be in “the deep end” forum to comply with forum rules, but I don’t know where the grey line is between regular conversations and “deep” ones.. I am an IT guy so technical conversations tend to happen.
Thanks again! :)
 

eco-help

Bronze Supporter
Apr 4, 2014
142
Tampa, Florida
I suspect that you can just plug the main drain from the skimmer.

Until you actually plaster over the main drain, just periodically remove the plug and let some water circulate through the plumbing so that it doesn't become a breeding ground for bacteria and algae.
Thank you. How often would you recommend to avoid algae? I have a bit too much experience with algae - don’t want to go through it again. (Right now keeping chlorine up for over a week/brushing till I get my test kit... Saturday 8pm can’t come soon enough)
 

eco-help

Bronze Supporter
Apr 4, 2014
142
Tampa, Florida
I found a deal on the Intellipro VSF
I talked to an authorized warranty service company (I asked after I flat out told them I am not buying from them because they are a week out-so I know advice wasn’t due to them trying to sell me their product) and another that has been working in industry 30 yrs installing/repairing.
Both stated the Pro has better seals
Also my pump is a Sta-rite max-e-pro- doesn’t that make it easier to install as far as pipes lining up?
Talking of pipes Pentair said for reducing pump noise the sweet spot for vertical pipe length is 18”... 12” minimum........
And... Aquacal told me to install an h pipe/red valve so if the pump is running with too high a pressure it can be partially diverted (manually :( and also if the heater ever leaks I can still be running... he did also say there are protections in the heater if too low or high pressure and (for too high ) the circuit breaker will need to be reset.
 

eco-help

Bronze Supporter
Apr 4, 2014
142
Tampa, Florida
Is there supposed to be a special breaker for these pumps? My current pump just connects to the sub-panel
 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
2,878
Atlanta Ga
I asked pool tech about surge protection (for VS pump) and was told this will work.. Ditek 120/240V Single Phase Surge Arrester (
DTK-120/240CMPLUS) .. anyone have any thoughts if this thing works.. $80 including install

I live in Atlanta and thought about adding an arrester. Like you said zapping a VS pump can be expensive.
We have had a few string storms roll through lately and I unplugged my SWG and Dolphin power supply to be safe
 
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rpaldrich

Member
Apr 7, 2019
5
Virginia
Hey -- I have a two speed pump. AquaPlus is my automation system and it runs the pump at high speed for two minutes or so to get prime, then back to low speed as desired. It also automatically increases speed for when my heater turns on. Finally, my understanding of Surge protectors is that they are not good for lightning. I don't know how many things can protect equipment from a few million volts
 

RDspaguy

In The Industry
Mar 21, 2020
1,174
Cabool, Mo
I am not sure how to protect from lightning coming in through the ground or bond. I have seen many spas damaged by it, though. It's the only thing that takes out everything electronic. I have seen it covered by insurance almost every time, and there are usually electronics in the house damaged as well.
 

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