Rough Plumbing for Returns, Lights and Pipe Size

jalapenopopper

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
57
Austin, TX
Pool Size
02
I am about to start the dig for my pool, owner build, and will be providing all the material except pipe and basic fittings to my plumber. My questions is what is needed for the rough plumbing for the wall penetrations with the returns and lights? Pool is planned to be 2 in. pipe. Will the pipe stub out through the gunite, or do the returns or a certain fitting needed to be on hand for this rough plumbing?

I will purchase microbrite and intellibrite lights and niches prior so that part I assume will be installed.

Lastly, I plan to use all 2 in. pvc pipe. Is this sufficient and standard or a good idea? Does the pool's main drain suction line need to be bigger? I will be using a Sand Dollar 80 with 2 in. port.

Any advice is greatly appreciated, thank you all!
 

HermanTX

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May 20, 2020
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Minimum 2inch PVC is common to use for suction but you really need to do some calculations because that can change based on distance pool is from equipment pad, elevation of equipment pad compared to pool, do you have filter and heater to flow through, etc.

You may want to review following
For pipe, you can figure out the head loss using charts or a calculator like below.
Hazen-Williams Equation - calculating Head Loss in Water Pipes
Friction head loss (<i>ft<sub>H2O</sub> per 100 ft pipe</i>) in water pipes can be estimated with the empirical Hazen-Williams equation
www.engineeringtoolbox.com

Also, see below - I copied from another post by @JamesW who is designated a TFP Expert (James - hope OK to post your info)
======================================
For suction, you want to keep the water velocity below 6 ft/sec. For returns, you want to keep the water velocity below 8 ft/sec.

Size.......6 ft/sec......8 ft/sec.
1.5"...........38...............51 gpm
2"..............63...............84 gpm
2.5............90.............119 gpm
3.0".........138.............184 gpm

As long as the length is less than 100 feet and you follow the above rules, the system should be fine.

Over 100 feet, go up one pipe size.

To be conservative, you can use 6 feet per second for the return instead of 8 feet per second.

For returns close to 100 feet, I would suggest the following maximum flow rates.

Size.......Suction......Return
1.5"...........38...............45 gpm
2"..............63...............75 gpm
2.5............90.............105 gpm
3.0".........138.............160 gpm
=================================
Hope this helps and maybe others will chime in on additional info.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
22,117
We would need full details of the pool and equipment to advise on anything.

The 6 feet per second limit for suction and 8 feet per second for returns limit is usually sufficient for most regular jobs.
 
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jalapenopopper

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
57
Austin, TX
Pool Size
02
Here is a quick and dirty view of the pool. I didn't have time to polish this, but it's roughly what I am looking to build. Another thought/question - does anyone install a third skimmer for opposing wind? In Austin, wind is from the south most of the year. The plans below are flipped with south at top. During the winter when leaves drop it is a northern wind.

There is little fall to the pumps, less than a foot. Yard is flat. And length to pool is about 40-80 ft. (near to far end).

I found the Pentair head calculator useful and seems like I'd be good with the 3 HP VSP and 2 in. pipe, but I've never done this. My biggest concern is getting the holes in the gunite correct, where skimmers, returns and lights will be, since that's set in stone.

Let me know if this illustrates the set up, and if it looks good. Thanks again.



1611201223869.png
 

jalapenopopper

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
57
Austin, TX
Pool Size
02
I think I understand better now what is needed. I’ll add up the lengths and each type of pipe. I think for the main drain return I am going with 3 in. But I can upsize other parts of it makes sense. I’ll have to draw out the plumbing better when I have some time.

I based the equipment and design off of my brothers pool that was recently built by a reputable builder. The pools are the same size. I could t get anyone interested to build me a pool so it’s what I’m stuck with.

20K free form shallow pool. 19x30x4.25(avg)

feet.
400 K master temp heater. Valve to during summer.
Pentair rainbow 320 online chlorinator
3 hp cap/f intelliflo pump.
1 hp whisperflo pump for water feature. 3 way valve. Leads to small rock waterfall. Another lines to other TBD port. Maybe water for slide or a return. This way I can control flow if needed. Not sure if that’s a good idea or not.
100d tagelus sand filter. Multi port valve.
2 skimmers. 2” suction line (should this increase?) north wall of pool for predominant sputh
Drain. Likely 2 circle drains at proper compliant distance. 3” suction line. Sweep bends. (
Possibly a deck debris leaf canister but uncertain.
5 returns. Looped around pool. 2”. (3-4)90s (1-2) 45s
All pipes likely will have (2)90s at equipment. They all have to bend around the tree’s critical root zone, and can’t be more direct.
The equipment has 2” ports.
What are the standard sizes for wall returns and skimmers(if there are skimmer options)?

I think that’s it for the most part but may be missing some key details.
Thank you all.
 
Last edited:

OrlandoBull

Well-known member
Jul 30, 2015
119
Winter Garden , FL
I don't have a direct answer to your question, but, I would highly recommend having the plumber supply all of the piping and fittings. There will be pressure tests and if something were to fail, you don't want to end up in a battle over who supplied the part that failed. Let them control that so that there isn't any gray area over who owns the problem. Just my opinion.
 
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jalapenopopper

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
57
Austin, TX
Pool Size
02
The plumbers cost is $3.3/ft for 2” pipe and $6.74/ft for 3”. I was hoping there would be some general sizing people have used with a similar pool. I may just go 3” pipe for the main drain and another for the skimmer suction.
 

jalapenopopper

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
57
Austin, TX
Pool Size
02
to anyone with knowledge on this subject, your feedback is very appreciated as I am a bit in the dark.

I sketched out the plumbing and equipment layout that I will have the plumbing sub install. I wanted to get some feedback from anyone willing on if this looks good or am I missing something that I should adjust? I will order all of the white goods and such, hopefully buying the right stuff. I’m going to order 2” wall return eyes, Hayward drains and skimmers, likely pentair valves - I have no idea if these brands make a difference for these parts. The pentair stuff is pricier but I assume top quality.
Thanks again for your input.
 

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JJ_Tex

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Jul 17, 2019
2,199
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
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Here is my feedback/questions:

- The 2 skimmers are essentially covering the same corner of the pool. Is that where the wind always blows? If not, I would space them out a bit, I'm thinking even you should move one of them to the top right section.
- Your lights look good, just curious why you added 2 stubs for future microbrights? One of them appears to be facing the house which we typically do not recommend.
- Your automation is an Easy Touch, good system, but have you looked at Pentair's more recent automation system, the Intellicenter? It is usually about the same price as an Easy Touch + Screen Logic.
- Sand filters are fine, but just wanted to make sure you have explored cartridge or DE filters too, which can filter out smaller particles.
- What is your plan for chlorinating you pool? We generally like salt or liquid chlorine. I see you have an inline chlorinator and want to make sure that is not your plan for regular chlorine additions as that will cause CYA and/or Calcium to rise over time with regular use of those products.
- If you do the inline chlorinator, the check valve should be between the chlorinator and heater to prevent the acidic puck water from going into your heater when the pump is off. Its hard to tell on the drawing, but I wanted to mention.

Hope that helps.
 

jalapenopopper

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
57
Austin, TX
Pool Size
02
Does the intellicenter not require the screenlogic and adapter? I found shopping for this pet very confusing and now I have buyers remorse. Dang.
 

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JJ_Tex

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Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,199
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Does the intellicenter not require the screenlogic and adapter? I found shopping for this pet very confusing and now I have buyers remorse. Dang.
Correct, Intellicenter replaces Easy Touch + Screenlogic.

If you havent bought the equipment yet, I would go with the Intellicenter. If you just bought Easy Touch, you would need Screen Logic to be able to control it from your phone/app/web.
 

jalapenopopper

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
57
Austin, TX
Pool Size
02
I ordered and received easy touch and screen logic bundle. Total about $1500-1600. Looks like intellicenter is around $2100.
I would have to mail it back and pay 15% restocking fee. Arghh. I’ll probably keep what I have.
thanks again.
 

JJ_Tex

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Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,199
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
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Plaster
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Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Nothing wrong with easy touch and screen logic and that is probably the most widely used automation system out there. If Intellicenter vs Easy Touch is the biggest worry so far, I would call that a very successful build.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,305
Bedford, TX
Popper,

I am glad I am not your plumber... :mrgreen:

I find your diagram pretty hard to understand... I would suggest that you make a drawing of just the equipment pad.. and another drawing of the pool layout..

It could just be me, it appears that you only have one line coming back from your two skimmers.. :scratch: Each skimmer will need its own line all the way back to the pad.

The key, in my mind, is to layout the pad and valves needed to make the equipment work the way you want. It does not have to be pretty, it just needs to show how many valves and exactly how they are connected to the equipment.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

jalapenopopper

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
57
Austin, TX
Pool Size
02
Thanks Jim. I know it’s not the neatest plan, but I’ve spent more time on this than I wish. I was hoping the plumber could just buy all the parts but they don’t provide that. I’ll clean it up some more soon. I am trying to find a consultant to help me with the plumbing layout as I’m not sure what I’m doing.

I will make the skimmer suction lines go all the way to the pad.

A couple more questions if you guys wouldn’t mind:
Should the main drain be two drains* with a 2” pipe back to the pad? Is 3” necessary? Seems not as common and my pool isn’t large. 2” is much cheaper even if I run multiple lines back to pad so unless the 3” suction drain line is crucial I’ll avoid that.

Or would the rectangular type like the A&A hydrostatic relief dual suction channel drain? I will have lots of debris from my trees to deal with.

returns and WF suction: should I get five 2” pipe eyeball returns?
Does the waterfall need a drain or some type of wall suction port?


this is a bit overwhelming.
Thanks.
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
22,295
Northern NJ
Pool Size
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Should the main drain be two drains* with a 2” pipe back to the pad? Is 3” necessary? Seems not as common and my pool isn’t large. 2” is much cheaper even if I run multiple lines back to pad so unless the 3” suction drain line is crucial I’ll avoid that.

Or would the rectangular type like the A&A hydrostatic relief dual suction channel drain? I will have lots of debris from my trees to deal with.

All drains must be VGBA compliant. What looks like two drains is one VGBA compliant drain.

I don't know what the depth of your pool is. Pool cleaners can hang up on raised drain covers. Flat drain covers don;t have that problem.


returns and WF suction: should I get five 2” pipe eyeball returns?

I don't understand why you are asking about returns and suction in the same question. Returns usually get eyeballs smaller then the pipes to increase the pressure at the outlet.


Does the waterfall need a drain or some type of wall suction port?

How are you powering your waterfall? If a separate pump then it needs a dedicated suction port.

 

jalapenopopper

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
57
Austin, TX
Pool Size
02
Thank you AJ.

WF has dedicated pump. Is suction port the trade name for this item? I can’t find anything that looks like it is it.

My question about the two drains vs one channel drain is if there are preferences or reviews about them. The channel style looks like it may handle debris better but is more expensive. I don’t think they have 3” ports on the channel style. Some regular style drains have 3” but that seems less common and likely not applicable to my pool. Whichever one is chosen will comply with code.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
22,295
Northern NJ
Pool Size
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Plaster
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Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
WF has dedicated pump. Is suction port the trade name for this item? I can’t find anything that looks like it is it.

They are the same drains you are looking at for your main drain. For a WF it can be mounted on the floor on a deep end wall. The two port raised drain is often used as a suction port mounted on a deep end wall.

My question about the two drains vs one channel drain is if there are preferences or reviews about them. The channel style looks like it may handle debris better but is more expensive. I don’t think they have 3” ports on the channel style. Some regular style drains have 3” but that seems less common and likely not applicable to my pool. Whichever one is chosen will comply with code.

The differences are obvious. You are overthinking it.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,305
Bedford, TX
Popper,

Just to be clear, main drains do not really have much effect on cleaning the pool floor of debris, unless you have an In-Floor Cleaning System (IFCS), designed specifically for your pool. I never recommend adding an IFCS..

The reason for a main drain has nothing to do with "draining" a Pool, but rather a deep supply of water just in case the water level falls below the bottom of the skimmer. Main drains are really not needed at all, for most pools. I would think about using a single channel drain as the input to your waterfall and not have a main drain at all..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
22,117
1 hp whisperflo pump for water feature.
A whisperflo is a horrible pump for a water feature.

Depending on the flow, you can use a water feature pump or a variable speed pump or just use the return from the regular pump with no extra pump.

The suction line sizing depends on the flow rate.

Follow the chart given earlier.

For suction, you want to keep the water velocity below 6 ft/sec. For returns, you want to keep the water velocity below 8 ft/sec.

Size.......6 ft/sec......8 ft/sec.

1.5"...........38...............51 gpm

2"..............63...............84 gpm

2.5............90.............119 gpm

3.0".........138.............184 gpm

4”...........234.............313 gpm
 
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