Re-plumbing Equipment Pad for Efficiency and VS Pump

MMTech24

Member
Aug 20, 2019
12
Detroit Michigan
Hello All,

Hoping this encourages people to look at their set-up and replumb if necessary.

Purchased my 1966 home with 1966 pool in Fall of 2019. Spent Summer of 2020 with pool equipment as-is. After a summer of high electricity bills and getting annoyed listening to my old 1hp pump groaning, I educating myself on VS pumps and efficient plumbing. I used the Pool Pump Tools spreadsheet to estimate my current plumbing situation compared to a re-plumbed equipment pad. It showed I could make significant improvements to my current plumbing set-up while switching to a VS pump. I decided with the Intelliflo VSF due to its ability to show flow without another meter. I also liked that it was Pentair brand to go along with my existing sand filter and heater and future ability to automate. Some info online said my underground plumbing was too small (1.5") for a 3hp pump. Understanding I could limit the RPM and Flow of the Intelliflo VSF, I decided to go that route anyways (instead of a 1.5hp Superflow VS or 1.85hp Tristar VS). I may be missing out on minor efficiency with this "oversized" pump.... BUT I think that's debatable.

Underground, under good condition stamped concrete, I have a 1.5" Flex PVC for all Suction and Return Lines
- (1) Main Drain: 1.5" pipe from main drain to pad. It was copper at some point but I think they partially converted to 1.5" Flex PVC in 2005.
- (2) Skimmers: 1.5" pipe that goes to both skimmers. They are on the same pipe. Again this was done in 2005.
- (1) Return pipe to (4) different locations in pool.

Pre-re-plumb. All 1.5" rigid on pad. TONS of 90's and inefficient routing to heater. Behind filter there is exposed 1.5" flex that is very discolored and seemingly brittle from UV.
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After re-plumb:
- Converted all to 2". Used all sweeping 90s. (CMP brand carried at local pool store)
- Added heater bypass (for efficiency)
- Purchased new 2" Praher Multiport valve (for efficiency)
- Re-routed suction lines to front of pad (seemed more typical and allowed for better layout)
- Re-routed return line to front of pad - found a Tee underground that split the existing single 1.5" return line to (2) 1.5" lines- each line only services (2) pool return eyeballs. So I re-piped this to 2" rigid up the Tee. - Efficiency bonus
- Purchased new Quattro Sport P40 Cleaner (Leslies). Re-used existing 3/4hp Booster pump. Should be able to get down to 1hr per day of run time.
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It took about 16hours of hard work. 6hrs of research, planning and purchasing
1. Digging/exploration (2hrs)
2. Cutting/dismantling (1hr)
3. Organizing pad and planning (1hr)
4. Purchasing (online and Lowes, Leslies, local pool store)
5. Plumbing (8hrs)
6. Opening Pool (1.5hrs)
7. Running overnight and checking for leaks
8. Burying, re-placing grass and stones (2.5hrs)

First time doing major plumbing. Lightly sanded every joint and used clear Primer and Cement. Teflon taped unions into Pump and fittings into new Multiport. What a weekend!

Ill follow up with some energy usage/flow numbers. Very excited for this and encourage others too consider this. Looking back, heater bypass was probably overkill. Again, ill post some efficiency numbers with and without bypass.
 

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DeanP66

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2014
1,230
San Jose, CA
Very nice work. Are those sweeps you used rated for pressure installations? Some are but others aren't. The ones I've seen run anywhere from $6 to $10 each? Does that sound right?

I did a re-plumb myself back in 2017. My equipment pad was an abomination with, I'm sure, still a lot of original equipment from the early 70s when the pool was built. Once I started researching VSP's and the large electrical savings I'd see, I decided to go all in with a new VSP, a new filter and some new Jandy valves, plus a Flo vis flow meter.

Original pad::scratch:







Re-plumb in 2017:





And last year, I added a Circupool SWG:


 

MMTech24

Member
Aug 20, 2019
12
Detroit Michigan
Excellent work there! I debated swapping some other equipment but it was very hard to justify. Michigan Nat Gas prices are so low it doesn’t payoff to go heat pump yet. I SWG but read some things online that scared me. I don’t know how well my pool is bonded and got worried about corrosion.

Seems like there are two popular injection molders of sweeping 90s. CMP and Waterway. They are both pressure rated. Paid about $5 per. Could have paid less from getpoolparts.com (excellent company) but wanted to get this done over weekend. I did spend some time at Lowe’s looking at all the pvc. DWV (non-pressure) would be perfect for pool systems if it was pressure rated and longer slip fittings. I own and operate an injection molding company so other plastic products always interest me. A 2” sweeping 90 would cost about $0.90ea to mold after up front mold costs.
 

MMTech24

Member
Aug 20, 2019
12
Detroit Michigan
Some efficiency numbers:

Old 1ph Pump consistently ran 24psi with clean filter all suction valves open. Based on memory of strength of flow from pool return, I'm guessing it was around 50gpm.

IntelliFlow VSF. All readings from pump, all suction valves open, clean filter:
1600rpm heater bypassed6psi44gpm278watts6.3w/g
1600rpm thru heater7psi22gpm211watts9.6w/g
2300rpm heater bypassed14psi63gpm770watts12.2w/g
2300rpm thru heater15psi49gpm681watts13.9w/g

Heater bypass shows to be very effective. 12%-35% more efficient from those two RPM samples.
 
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jonpcar

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2016
595
Gilbert, AZ
Hey MM, these kinds of numbers always interest me. Heater bypasses definitely improve pump efficiency in most cases...a question for most: is doing it worth the savings? An experiment you might want to try: minimizing your pump rpm to optimize “skim time”.

I don’t know if you have one or two skimmers but i have seen reports that a single skimmer can work effectively with 15-25gpm (mine seems to take closer to 25). You can probably turn down your rpm (and your wattage) to something like 800-1000 rpm (probably less than 100 watts) and still skim effectively...but only with your new heater bypass ON. It might be worth a look because that would effectively enable longer, yet cheaper, skim times.

One question..did you notice how the reported gpm numbers compare between the FlowVis and from the Intelliflow?
 

MMTech24

Member
Aug 20, 2019
12
Detroit Michigan
Hi Jonpcar,

I have two Hayward skimmers with floating weir doors. I agree they need somewhere between 15-25gpm each to be effective. I’m still playing around with my optimum settings but currently running my pump 24hrs at 1600rpm and having main drain mostly closed gets me 36 gpm. I’ll post some more numbers with and without bypass so we can look at expected electricity savings.

I ended up returning the flovis check valve due to higher head loss compared to a Jandy. I was curious to do that experiment as well! Sorry :/
 
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