Separate pump for water features

jk7228

Well-known member
Jun 3, 2012
97
Austin, TX
#1
My PB wants to give me 3 pumps for my pool. I'm wondering if they are all necessary. Info below.

95 perimeter ft in ground Gunite pool approx 17,000 gallons - 2 HP 2 speed pump
2, 18" water shears in a raised wall - 1 HP pump with wall switch
Polaris 280 - 3/4 HP booster pump

Are all of these necessary or will fewer pumps do the same jobs???
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
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LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
#2
The Polaris 280 needs a booster pump. There are other pool cleaners that will work without a booster pump, but the 280 is a really good cleaner.

It is possible to combine the other two pumps into one, but doing so will require a variable speed pump and it will probably be more trouble getting the plumbing right than the small up front savings will ever pay for.
 

jk7228

Well-known member
Jun 3, 2012
97
Austin, TX
#3
If they are already doing 2.5 inch plumbing do you think it would be worth it to get the variable speed instead of the 2 speed? Would that would eliminate the need for the extra 1 HP pump?
 

jk7228

Well-known member
Jun 3, 2012
97
Austin, TX
#4
OK...I talked to my PB and he said the variable speed would not work for my water features and that the 2 water shears need their own separate pump. Is this true?

I really appreciate any help!
 

HouTex

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 7, 2011
413
Houston, Texas
#5
Not sure what water shears are, but I have two fountains on my tanning ledge (which I rarely use) and I do not have a separate pump. I put an automatic valve actuator on the returns that go to the water features and with my 2 hp pump they can hit 4+ feet high if I let them. However, I do have a spa and I can't run the spa and the water features at the same time because all of the water is returned to the spa when I'm in spa mode. If you have a spa and wanted to run it and the water features at the same time my guess is that you would need a separate pump.

My pool was designed with separate pumps, one for the pool/water features, and a larger pump for the spa. But when my pool builder quit and I had to finish the pool myself, the plumber told me I could get by with one pump so I returned the other pump. I don't care that I can't run my water feature when the spa is on.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
22,894
SouthWest Alabama
#6
Why did he say the variable speed pump wouldn't work for the water features?

The variable speed pump is a 3 hp pump and will put out a lot of water. Unless the wall with the shears is raised awfully high I can't imagine it not working. How much head do the shears create? High head & high flow requirement is the only thing I can think of that would rule out the VS pump.

The Pentair Intelliflo VS will do 100 gpm at 80 feet of head.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
#7
jk7228 said:
OK...I talked to my PB and he said the variable speed would not work for my water features and that the 2 water shears need their own separate pump. Is this true?
No, that is not literally true. It is certainly possible to share the main pool pump. That doesn't mean that combining the two pumps is a good idea. There are some significant advantages to having separate pumps.

Why do you want to combine the pumps?
 

jk7228

Well-known member
Jun 3, 2012
97
Austin, TX
#8
I don't necessarily want to combine the pumps...I just want to make sure I'm getting the best system for the pool.

Of all the bids I've gotten, this PB is the only one telling me I need two pumps so it gets a little confusing for a newbie like me :)
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
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LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
#9
When you have two separate pumps you need a separate water source for the water feature pump, typically a second set of main drains. Other than that, the pumping is much simpler with separate pumps with the water feature pump sourcing from it's own drain and going straight to the water feature.

When you combine the pumps there is only one set of drains/skimmer(s) and one pump but everything else gets a little more complicated. Typically the filter needs to be much larger, to handle the extra water flow, and you have to have a valve to determine of water goes back to the pool, or both back to the pool and to the water feature.
 

jk7228

Well-known member
Jun 3, 2012
97
Austin, TX
#10
Thank you to everyone for all of your advice!

Jason - I checked my bid, and it only has one set of main drains, 2 skimmers, and 4 returns. Is that a problem when you have 2 pumps?
 

pooltech4u

New member
Sep 21, 2012
1
#11
As is see from the date of your question,your pool is finished, and now you can see why a separate pump for the sheet falls was needed.. Keeping other appliances out of the loop let the water feature always perform as it should.
Enjoy your pool(when it warms up)