Question on pool Skupper waterfall

scottsams

Bronze Supporter
May 28, 2016
225
Arlington, TX
#1
With our pool renovation we are going to get a waterfall. Our contractor said if we do a Skupper (20") we won''t need a pump for it and we can tie into the main. Is that common? If we do that I'd need to put a valve actuator on the line so I can control it.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,956
Bedford, TX
#2
Scott,

I have a waterfall wall with three "Rockport" waterfalls.. They have the skipper look, so I assume they are the same basic thing.

I only have one pump and an actuator controlled valve turns the waterfall on and off.

I have the 3 HP IntelliFlo variable speed pump. If I had a single speed pump, I would not want the waterfall to be on the main circulation system.

I say this because when I run normally, the pump runs at 1,200 RPM and uses very little electricity. But to run the waterfall takes a bunch more power and I have to ramp the pump up to 2,900 RPM and of course it uses more electricity.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,703
Tucson, AZ
#3
Get a separate waterfall pump. They are designed to move large volumes of water (80-120GPM) at low head. Pool pumps generate too much head on the discharge side for an open-ended water feature.

My waterfall is in a separate plumbing loop and I am very happy it is as I would hate to have to constantly adjust speeds to get things working right.


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scottsams

Bronze Supporter
May 28, 2016
225
Arlington, TX
#4
Thanks Jim and Matt, sounds like differing opinions. Our contractor steered us away from a Sheered Ascent? waterfall due to the need for a pump. I have the same pump as Jim but I almost would rather have a seperate pump. My pad is tight but I plan to ditch my polaris for a robot so I have a spot/plumbing (return side) for a pump.

- - - Updated - - -

i really need to read up on "head" it obviously isn't what I am used to getting.... ;)
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,956
Bedford, TX
#5
Scott,

Not really two different opinions...

I was just trying to say that a single VS would work, and Matt is saying that a dedicated pump is better.

Another advantage to a dedicated pump it that it can be plumbed to bypass the filter. So where I have to increase my speed, and get a subsequent filter pressure increase, if I had a separate waterfall pump, I would not have that problem.

The good news for me it that I don't run my waterfall but a few minutes a day, to keep the lines chlorinated and whenever I want to show off for any guests... :cool:

Oh!!! And good call on ditching your pressure side cleaner... See Matt's review of his new robot... https://www.troublefreepool.com/threads/135013-So-this-just-happened

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,703
Tucson, AZ
#6
Jim,

You're too kind...really, you can use adult language when referring to me, almost everyone does :laughblue:

Scott,

My opinion is just that, an opinion. Sorry if I came off sounding like know-it-all. My opinion about water features is this (and it's not based on any in-depth, hydraulic knowledge) - If it's a high head (high pressure) water feature like a bubbler, then it's ok to tie that into the pool's main filtration system. If it's a low head, high volume feature, like scuppers and waterfalls, then you're better off with a separate plumbing loop that doesn't involve a filter. Pool pumps can use a lot of power to move a moderate amount of water BUT waterfall pumps are designed to move LOTS of water with as little power as possible. So, as far as I see it, it saves you energy costs to use a pump that is appropriate for the application even if that means the build complexity is a little higher.

Sadly, most PB's don't understand hydraulics even to that rudimentary degree....my certainly did not because he put a 3HP Pentair WhisperFlo pump on my waterfall ... a total waste of pump energy....