pawsbrake

Member
Apr 27, 2022
22
Baltimore, MD
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool Core-55
I'm restoring a 20 year old install that looks like it's been through about 20 years of poorly done DIY.
Pictures uploaded to imgur due to size, I added some notes to them, flow directions, and other details.
First thing I noticed was the system was covered in duct tape and two cans of Flex Seal spray-on, the second was the large number of splices in the inflow below the Jandy valves.
The initial complaint was about the motor "making some noise", so I got the motor away from the pump housing and it was filled with pollen and red ants.
Things went downhill from there, if you can believe it. The owner wants me to "attempt" to rebuild the motor, which I think I've done a fair job of and saved them about 50% off buying a new one but the poor motor was filled to the brim with ants and eggs in the bell end. I ended up sandblasting to clean it up after getting it vacuumed out, the seals and gaskets had deteriorated to the point that they were crumbled dirt. I'm backordered on a couple pieces, the impeller and the gasket and seals.
While I'm waiting on that, I started to look into the plumbing and it's just as bad as the motor. I don't know where to start to be honest and could use some input on the plumbing. I'm seeing some 90's before and after the pump, which would explain why they say "it takes forever to prime" I'm guessing. I don't know what the purpose of the spigot is before the cartridge filter, it seems like a good loss of TDH is all to me and I'd like to remove it from the picture. Looking for recommendations here, but I'd like to put the whole thing on a cement slab to help keep ants away, organize their electrical a little better, and take some of the 90's out of the piping.

I'd like to cut the PVC below the dirt line, put in a single coupling instead of 4-8 like it currently is. I might have to quote new valves with them sprayed with flex seal, they operate and I could rebuild them and clean them up but it might not be worth it if I can find some non-Jandy cheaper ones without too much of a backorder wait. At the pump housing I want to create some distance, even if minimal, to remove the 90 from the pump to the filter, but I also want to remove the 90 from the inflow to the pump housing as it's a primary culprit with the priming issue.

I may have to raise and lower the pumps, filter, and motors to get the desired effect, but I think with a little concrete work and some pavers I can make it look pretty nice on a budget.

Some caveats here are, a SWG is replacing the in-line chlorinator and a Intelliph is being installed as well.

Thank you for your time!
 

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Poolbreh

In The Industry
Jul 31, 2021
862
San Diego
I do want to applaud you for your detailed layout, your description and reasoning for the things you want changed. But to be honest, I think the plumbing looks fine. Extra 90s will have little impact on the flow and unless there is a leak in the plumbing, The priming issue may be related to the pumps gaskets you said were falling apart.
The spigot is used to drain the pool if it gets too high. Yes there are a few extra couplers, but I wouldn’t change it unless there was a leak. I do think the pad is a good idea especially if you are adding a swg. By adding an intake heat union on the pump, you will be able to remove all the equipment, place the pad and finish the plumbing for the swg with minimal effort.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
35,304
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I'm seeing some 90's before and after the pump, which would explain why they say "it takes forever to prime" I'm guessing. I don't know what the purpose of the spigot is before the cartridge filter, it seems like a good loss of TDH is all to me and I'd like to remove it from the picture. Looking for recommendations here, but I'd like to put the whole thing on a cement slab to help keep ants away, organize their electrical a little better, and take some of the 90's out of the piping.

Welcome to TFP.

Your priming problems are likley caused by suction side air leaks and not by the 90's. Now simplifying the plumbing can be a quick way to fix whatever air leaks you have.

First place I would check is the seal on the pump lid, possibly replace it and give it a good coating of pool lube.

The manifold cross leading into the pump has a lot of joints and is the likely source of suction air leaks that affect the priming.


I'd like to cut the PVC below the dirt line, put in a single coupling instead of 4-8 like it currently is. I might have to quote new valves with them sprayed with flex seal, they operate and I could rebuild them and clean them up but it might not be worth it if I can find some non-Jandy cheaper ones without too much of a backorder wait.

Like I said above simplifying that manifold can fix any suction air leaks there.

Jandy, Pentair, CMP and Hayward all make diverter valves. Use whichever ones youc an find.


At the pump housing I want to create some distance, even if minimal, to remove the 90 from the pump to the filter, but I also want to remove the 90 from the inflow to the pump housing as it's a primary culprit with the priming issue.

That is really not a problem area. You can do it but I don;t think it is worth the effort.

I may have to raise and lower the pumps, filter, and motors to get the desired effect, but I think with a little concrete work and some pavers I can make it look pretty nice on a budget.

Go for it.

Some caveats here are, a SWG is replacing the in-line chlorinator and a Intelliph is being installed as well.

What SWG are you putting in? IntelliChlor to go with the IntellipH?

How many gallons in your pool?

@Dirk can advise about the IntellipH quirks.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
9,595
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I'll stay out of the plumbing fray, as I'm usually wrong about that sort of stuff, except for a couple notes.

1. I think I'm seeing several DWV PVC fittings which are not pressure rated for pool plumbing use. Those are for sink drains and things like that. Those all have to go. You can tell which they are by their short glue sockets (which is why they're not pressure rated).

2. The faucet over the pump is a typical install. It allows the filter pump to be used to drain water out of the pool (like after a heavy rain). If there is no overflow system in the pool itself, you might want to leave that faucet where it is.

3. There is clearly not enough couplers. I would add at least a dozen more! ;) (Geez, what is that all about?!?)

I just watched Die Hard again, for the millionth time, and I'm picturing the scene where the long-haired bad guy, carrying a chain saw, is whistling to himself while he approaches his brother frantically working on the alarm/phone system. He gets there before his brother is finished and just starts chain-sawing though all the PVC pipes that are carrying all the building's comm wires! It feels like that might be the right move for that pad!! Like you, I'd want to start from scratch and clean up everything all at the same time...

I'm a big fan of the IntellipH, but it does have some quirks, as Allen points out. We've identified that some versions of the IntelliChlor can cause over-current problems in the IntellipH. We're not sure if Pentair is addressing this or not (though we know they are aware of the problem). Some of us our working on the issue and have developed work-arounds. Basically, the IntelliChlor's current draw can overheat components in the IntellipH's controller, enough to melt stuff, leaving both units out of commission. I can point you to some other threads that describe all this in great detail, if you're interested. Otherwise, when everything is working correctly, I think both the IntellipH and the IntelliChlor are great.
 
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pawsbrake

Member
Apr 27, 2022
22
Baltimore, MD
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool Core-55
What SWG are you putting in? IntelliChlor to go with the IntellipH?
I've got an IC40 going in, and it's a 22k gallon pool. When you say clean up the manifold cross, are you referring to the 4-way leading into the pump, or the 90s between the pump and manifold (with the spigot). Thanks
 

pawsbrake

Member
Apr 27, 2022
22
Baltimore, MD
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool Core-55
I just watched Die Hard again, for the millionth time, and I'm picturing the scene where the long-haired bad guy, carrying a chain saw, is whistling to himself while he approaches his brother frantically working on the alarm/phone system. He gets there before his brother is finished and just starts chain-sawing though all the PVC pipes that are carrying all the building's comm wires! It feels like that might be the right move for that pad!! Like you, I'd want to start from scratch and clean up everything all at the same time...
😂 Yes, exactly!
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
9,595
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I've got an IC40 going in, and it's a 22k gallon pool. When you say clean up the manifold cross, are you referring to the 4-way leading into the pump, or the 90s between the pump and manifold (with the spigot). Thanks
Allen, I thought I just read somewhere here that the suction manifold is not supposed to be higher than the pump's inlet (for priming reasons). Do you know anything about that?
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
35,304
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I've got an IC40 going in, and it's a 22k gallon pool. When you say clean up the manifold cross, are you referring to the 4-way leading into the pump, or the 90s between the pump and manifold (with the spigot). Thanks

I was talking about the pipes from the three suction pipes coming out of the ground and into the pump. Although the way the 3 lines come out of the ground I don’t see a simpler way to tie them together. And the 90s going into the pump are not a big deal.

I do see the DWV fittings on the return pipes into the ground.
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
35,304
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
BTW, you have the flow on your booster pump backwards with your red lines. Water comes into the nose of the pump and out the top pipe and into the ground to the cleaner return.
 
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pawsbrake

Member
Apr 27, 2022
22
Baltimore, MD
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool Core-55
BTW, you have the flow on your booster pump backwards with your red lines. Water comes into the nose of the pump and out the top pipe and into the ground to the cleaner return.
Interesting, so it's pulling from return #8 on my picture? In that case shouldn't the nose of the pump be tied into the incoming suction side, and not a return?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
35,304
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Interesting, so it's pulling from return #8 on my picture?

Yup.

In that case shouldn't the nose of the pump be tied into the incoming suction side, and not a return?
That is why it is called a booster pump. It picks off water from another pump return and increases the water pressure for the cleaner.

You should only have one pump connected to a suction line. This eliminates the need for a dedicated suction for a cleaner pump, that most pools would not have.
 
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pawsbrake

Member
Apr 27, 2022
22
Baltimore, MD
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool Core-55
That is why it is called a booster pump. It picks off water from another pump return and increases the water pressure for the cleaner.
The issue they seem to be having is when the valve on #8 is closed, the vacuum port outputs a good pressure but when it's open, they get very little pressure from the vacuum port. Based on what you're saying, when #8 valve is closed this would make that return flow backwards and suction from the return. When the 8 valve is open and they're not getting much pressure to the vacuum port, it's because there's potentially not enough water flow coming through 8 for it to pick off?

It may need to be moved to a return valve to the left where more water flow is seen, or should I reconfigure the returns so they're all getting similar access to water?
 

pawsbrake

Member
Apr 27, 2022
22
Baltimore, MD
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool Core-55
I do want to applaud you for your detailed layout, your description and reasoning for the things you want changed. But to be honest, I think the plumbing looks fine. Extra 90s will have little impact on the flow and unless there is a leak in the plumbing, The priming issue may be related to the pumps gaskets you said were falling apart.
The spigot is used to drain the pool if it gets too high. Yes there are a few extra couplers, but I wouldn’t change it unless there was a leak. I do think the pad is a good idea especially if you are adding a swg. By adding an intake heat union on the pump, you will be able to remove all the equipment, place the pad and finish the plumbing for the swg with minimal effort.
Thanks, the program I'm using for the layout editing is called Greenshot. It's a screenshot program I've used for years, but it has a nice set of editing tools for pictures so you can easily add/remove and notate.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
35,304
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Where does pipe 8 lead to?

4 is the outflow to your pressure side cleaner? What model cleaner is connected to that?

You call 8 a vacuum port however pool vacuums connect to the suction side, not the return side.

Yes, the valve on 8 would need to be open for the booster pump to get water to feed the cleaner. Usually the line to the booster pump is left open all the time and when the booster pump is not running a bit of water continues to flow through it to the pool.

The PB4SQ Booster Pump manual is at https://www.polarispool.com/-/media/zodiac/global/downloads/h/h0544300.pdf It shows...

1651157380571.png
 

pawsbrake

Member
Apr 27, 2022
22
Baltimore, MD
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool Core-55
Where does pipe 8 lead to?
Pipe 8 leads to 2 returns on the south side of the pool.
4 is the outflow to your pressure side cleaner? What model cleaner is connected to that?
If the nose of the booster is the input, then 4 would be the outflow to the pressure side cleaner, yeah. The cleaner is a Polaris 3900 Sport.
You call 8 a vacuum port however pool vacuums connect to the suction side, not the return side.
Apologies, I did not mean vacuum I meant pressure cleaner.

It seems like some check valves would fix this. There should be one after the filter.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
35,304
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Pipe 8 leads to 2 returns on the south side of the pool.

You have pipe 8 labeled as "Outflow to Vacuum Cleaner"

If it is just 2 returns to on south side of pool then leave the valve always open.

It seems like some check valves would fix this. There should be one after the filter.

Fix what now that we have terminology and routing understood?
 

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