PVC hard pipe question

JoeJob3

Member
May 23, 2019
8
Hey all,

Been lurking on the forum for about a year and this is my first post. My wife and I bought a new house 18 months ago and it came with a 24' above ground pool. This site has been very helpful so far, I have been able to get really great info without having to post, until now...

I am just about to embark on the Hard Pipe journey, replacing all the flex hoses with schedule 40 PVC. I will also be adding a return as my setup only has a single return with the 1HP power flow matrix pump. I have read that 1 HP and above should have more than 1 return and I'm hoping that this will improve circulation.

My question is how to run the extra return line: Should it be on the ground or should I support it up in the air? The return line from the filter starts about 2.5-3' above ground, and I would hate to turn it 90 and down to the ground, just to bring it back up to the jet height. I have thought about coming straight off of the filter and up to the first return, the use a tee to continue onto the new return. I could use a vertical piece of PVC as a support and potentially put a ball valve on it and use it as a drain to lower the water level, or can I drill into the uprights to install clips to hold the PVC against the pool? I can't find much info here or online to get any other ideas. Thanks in advance!
 
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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
My question is how to run the extra return line:
The sky's the limit. Welcome to TFP! :wave: FOlks have used the extra line in various ways. Below are a few examples I sasved. You can find many more here by searching the forum.

 

JoeJob3

Member
May 23, 2019
8
Thanks for the reply. I did see those two posts, but most of what I see are for Intex pools. I'm looking specifically to see if it is OK to directly attach the PVC to the vertical supports of a typical hard-sided ABG pool. I think that's the direction I would want to go in. I know some manufacturers make PVC/Vinyl fencing that attaches to the uprights, but the water running through the return lines will be significantly heavier I'm sure.
 

partsman

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2017
210
Westerly RI
Hey all,

Been lurking on the forum for about a year and this is my first post. My wife and I bought a new house 18 months ago and it came with a 24' above ground pool. This site has been very helpful so far, I have been able to get really great info without having to post, until now...
Welcome!...now let’s try to figure out what you want to do!
JoeJob3 said:
I am just about to embark on the Hard Pipe journey, replacing all the flex hoses with schedule 40 PVC. I will also be adding a return as my setup only has a single return with the 1HP power flow matrix pump. I have read that 1 HP and above should have more than 1 return and I'm hoping that this will improve circulation.
Does the manufacturer of your particular pump and filter actually recommend you plumbing two return lines?...is there an unused port on your filter housing for a 2nd return?
JoeJob3 said:
My question is how to run the extra return line: Should it be on the ground or should I support it up in the air? The return line from the filter starts about 2.5-3' above ground, and I would hate to turn it 90 and down to the ground, just to bring it back up to the jet height. I have thought about coming straight off of the filter and up to the first return, the use a tee to continue onto the new return. I could use a vertical piece of PVC as a support and potentially put a ball valve on it and use it as a drain to lower the water level, or can I drill into the uprights to install clips to hold the PVC against the pool? I can't find much info here or online to get any other ideas. Thanks in advance!
My answers to these questions are based on your answers to my questions.
 

mariane

LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2012
679
Southeast Michigan
We hard plumbed the lines using 1 1/2" plastic electrical conduit pipe and buried it to the back of the yard. We only have one return on 16 x 28 oval AGP, 1 HP pump, 150# sand filter and have no problems with the water flow. The pic with all the grass has the equipment way in the back, 15 ft from the pool, and is taken while standing next to the pool and looking back. The equipment is on the far end away from the house, deck and patio.
 

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JoeJob3

Member
May 23, 2019
8
Welcome!...now let’s try to figure out what you want to do!

Does the manufacturer of your particular pump and filter actually recommend you plumbing two return lines?...is there an unused port on your filter housing for a 2nd return?

My answers to these questions are based on your answers to my questions.
Thanks for the reply. I have not found any information on the pump about what is recommended, and my filter only has a single return port. I don't have any flow trouble, but I have tried experimenting with different return eye positions to push debris into the skimmer. I keep finding a trade-off between moving the debris (especially leaves at the bottom) to the skimmer and allowing my vacuum bot to move freely around the bottom. After reading a post here that 1hp and higher pumps should have a 2nd return, I figured it was worth a try and might help push debris back to the skimmer without affecting the path of the vacuum.

I'm running the Hayward 900 vacuum that just moves in concentric circles around the pool, but I find that the strong flow from the single return jet affects its path either by pushing the vacuum hose when pointed up or pushing the actual vac when pointed down.
 

JoeJob3

Member
May 23, 2019
8
We hard plumbed the lines using 1 1/2" plastic electrical conduit pipe and buried it to the back of the yard. We only have one return on 16 x 28 oval AGP, 1 HP pump, 150# sand filter and have no problems with the water flow. The pic with all the grass has the equipment way in the back, 15 ft from the pool, and is taken while standing next to the pool and looking back. The equipment is on the far end away from the house, deck and patio.
Looks great! I would love to move the actual filter/pump away from the pool, but I think that will be a task for the next homeowner. I'd have to trench and relocate the electrical as well. For now I'm just aiming to make the plumping look nicer, avoid having to replace the flex hoses if they crack this season, and add the 2nd return to see if it helps with circulation and my vacuum bot. I'm leaning toward mounting the PVC pipe for the 2nd return onto the vertical supports with PVC straps and stainless self-tapping screws.
 

RonsPlc

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 31, 2015
814
Gaylesville, AL
You are aware that when they say "Return", they mean TO the pump from the pool, right.
The reason for this is so small children can't get caught in the suction from the pump while it is running.
 

JoeJob3

Member
May 23, 2019
8
You are aware that when they say "Return", they mean TO the pump from the pool, right.
The reason for this is so small children can't get caught in the suction from the pump while it is running.
Hmm, I was not aware of that, I was talking about the return jet coming from the filter, returning water to the pool.
 

partsman

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2017
210
Westerly RI
Thanks for the reply. I have not found any information on the pump about what is recommended, and my filter only has a single return port. I don't have any flow trouble, but I have tried experimenting with different return eye positions to push debris into the skimmer. I keep finding a trade-off between moving the debris (especially leaves at the bottom) to the skimmer and allowing my vacuum bot to move freely around the bottom. After reading a post here that 1hp and higher pumps should have a 2nd return, I figured it was worth a try and might help push debris back to the skimmer without affecting the path of the vacuum.

I'm running the Hayward 900 vacuum that just moves in concentric circles around the pool, but I find that the strong flow from the single return jet affects its path either by pushing the vacuum hose when pointed up or pushing the actual vac when pointed down.
It seems you have a rather unique situation there...if you are going to experiment with a 2nd return, I would run it alongside the primary one so you don't have a pvc 'bridge' from the filter to the pool. Let us know how it works, and post some pics!
 

kefjens

Well-known member
Jul 25, 2011
70
Michigan
Do they make replacement fittings for AGP skimmers that will allow removing the barbed fitting for flex and replacing it with a glued PVC fitting? Same question for the return.

My previous house had a AGP. I twice came home to a fountain spraying 20 feet into the air. I eliminated some of the flex tubing but stopped at the connections to the skimmer and drain and used shorter flex tubing there.
 

JoeJob3

Member
May 23, 2019
8
It seems you have a rather unique situation there...if you are going to experiment with a 2nd return, I would run it alongside the primary one so you don't have a pvc 'bridge' from the filter to the pool. Let us know how it works, and post some pics!
What do you mean by "PVC bridge"? I was going to just tee off of the primary jet line and continue on to the new jet location. I was going to put a ball valve on each line (downstream from the tee) so I can manipulate flow independently for each jet.
 

JoeJob3

Member
May 23, 2019
8
Do they make replacement fittings for AGP skimmers that will allow removing the barbed fitting for flex and replacing it with a glued PVC fitting? Same question for the return.

My previous house had a AGP. I twice came home to a fountain spraying 20 feet into the air. I eliminated some of the flex tubing but stopped at the connections to the skimmer and drain and used shorter flex tubing there.
Most of the fittings are 1-1/2" standard thread. My Hayward skimmer has the barbed fitting threaded in, all I have to do is remove it and replace it with a PVC glue-on fitting (threaded into the skimmer end and then glue to the pipe toward the pump). The return jet fittings are 1-1/2" female threads on both sides, so same deal.
 

partsman

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2017
210
Westerly RI
You are aware that when they say "Return", they mean TO the pump from the pool, right.
The reason for this is so small children can't get caught in the suction from the pump while it is running.
I also was not aware of that...I figured that since the pool itself is the focal point, it would make sense to reference it as primary to everything else around it.
And why does the Pentair Aqualuminator I just ordered say it's a light and return fitting?
 

partsman

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2017
210
Westerly RI
The return line from the filter starts about 2.5-3' above ground, and I would hate to turn it 90 and down to the ground, just to bring it back up to the jet height.
If you don't turn it down to the ground and bring it back up, you will essentially be making a pvc 'bridge' from the filter to the pool.
 

JoeJob3

Member
May 23, 2019
8
If you don't turn it down to the ground and bring it back up, you will essentially be making a pvc 'bridge' from the filter to the pool.
Aha, I see what you're saying. This was what I was trying to avoid, adding extra resistance in the lines by running them down, across, then back up again. If this is the correct way to do it, then that is exactly how I will run them. Then I will just have to decide if I'm going to tee off at the return fitting height and run to the new fitting at that height, or if I'm going to tee off at the ground and just keep the new return's line down low. I may keep it on the ground just to avoid any potential issue with mounting to the vertical supports and I could even install another tee with ball valve to be used as a drain. It's nice to be able to drain the level down a bit after a hard rain without having to run the pump.

Just for my own curiosity, why is the PVC bridge a bad idea?
 

mariane

LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2012
679
Southeast Michigan
You are aware that when they say "Return", they mean TO the pump from the pool, right.
The reason for this is so small children can't get caught in the suction from the pump while it is running.
I think you're confusing 2 things together.
1. The "return" is the port and opening going from the filter back into the pool
2. The "suction" that children can get caught in is from pump drawing the water into the main drain at the bottom of the pool. That is why they now require 2 openings in the deep end if using a main drain.
Hope that clears things up.
 
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RonsPlc

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 31, 2015
814
Gaylesville, AL
I think you're confusing 2 things together.
1. The "return" is the port and opening going from pump back into the pool
2. The suction that children can get caught in is from the main drain at the bottom of the pool. That is why they now require 2 openings in the deep end if using a main drain.
Hope that clears things up.
I'm not confusing them... Intex calls the suction side the "Return", and the newer pools have 2 of them going to the pump.
 

partsman

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2017
210
Westerly RI
Aha, I see what you're saying. This was what I was trying to avoid, adding extra resistance in the lines by running them down, across, then back up again. If this is the correct way to do it, then that is exactly how I will run them. Then I will just have to decide if I'm going to tee off at the return fitting height and run to the new fitting at that height, or if I'm going to tee off at the ground and just keep the new return's line down low. I may keep it on the ground just to avoid any potential issue with mounting to the vertical supports and I could even install another tee with ball valve to be used as a drain. It's nice to be able to drain the level down a bit after a hard rain without having to run the pump.
I’m still trying to picture how you plan to do this...no matter how many times I read it, I still can’t picture it. My knowledge of water (and air) flow and how I would plumb a dual return is keeping me from understanding what’s in your head.
JoeJob3 said:
Just for my own curiosity, why is the PVC bridge a bad idea?
I’m not saying it’s a bad idea, but it is an unusual one. Supporting the pipe off the ground, and mounting it to your pool upright can be done...but how will it look? Maybe if it was painted, or use a clear piece...I think either would be more aesthetically pleasing than white pvc 3 feet off the ground.
 
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