Show me your hard plumbing for AG pool and solar -

NWMNMom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 8, 2007
1,582
Waaay NW MN
#1
Every year for SOOOO many years we struggle with hoses and connectors. Opening each spring always includes at least a few episodes of blowing a hose or connector and losing a LOT of water. You would think that after all these years I would have learned to either accept it or do something about it. If any of you remember last year, I pitched a fit on the site because I had this issue again. Well, deja vu - I went through it all again yesterday - 500 gallons into the yard, but the worst part was it happened at the same time my horses were both out of the fence ON the highway!!! My life was the pits yesterday.

I need to hard plumb - I'm sick and tired of this. Remember, we live where EVERYTHING is a block of ice potentially for 7-8 months of the year so I have to be able to drain those lines out easily. Suggestions??? Plans, diagrams, anything???? We have some pvc incorporated into the system right now but then all go to hoses with connectors. Frankly its one HUGE cluster of hoses over on that side right now - a real maze to traverse when weed wacking and mowing. I'll try to get a picture of the setup. We cannot move the solar and obviously the filter and pump are stationary on a pad near the skimmer. We have ball valves at the skimmer and return, but they are temperamental and do not always close all the way. I want to get everything set up as much as possible before opening lines. Help??
 

bobnamy

Well-known member
May 3, 2008
45
rock springs, wi
#2
I don't have my AGP set up yet, so I am no expert on pools. However. I considered hard plumbing my setup and have decided to go with flex hose for now, for two reasons. First, it will be easier to set up at first, which is no longer a concern for you. But, second, in our area of the country (I am in Wisconsin) I have concerns about the effect of frost heave on the hard plumbing set-up. Certainly it can be done, but you will need to make sure that the pool, filter/pump, and solar panels are all going to heave the same amounts at the same time. Even if the separate components all end up at the same level of heave once the ground is frozen solid, they may not get there, or leave there as the ground thaws, at the same time. (The ground under the pool will probably freeze and thaw much later than the ground under the pump/filter pad.) If any one of those components rises or settles at a significantly different rate from any of the others, you could stress the PVC to a point where it cracks. Maybe the pipe system will have enough flex to avoid that, but the pipe from the pool to the pump is probably a short run that may not have much room to flex.

I could be wrong on all this, but it is at least something to consider when planning your pipe set-up.
 

NWMNMom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 8, 2007
1,582
Waaay NW MN
#3
I'm thinking hard plumb with connectors for each component. So it will not all be hard plumbed, still some of the dratted connectors but that can't be helped here in the Great North. It should eliminate the fittings that blow off on the diverter and the solar panels - so I'm thinking hard plumbed right up to the SWG (which has to be removed and taken in for the winter) as well as hard plumbing from that to the filter with a connector there? The flex from the pool to the pump has never been an issue. Its always right at the SWG, the diverter and the panels that we have our headaches.
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
31,268
Sebring, Florida
#4
Mom,

Have ya'll considered unions? They're very neat looking and make great connections but are a PITA to install. I'll post a pic if you're not familiar.

Little pricey, too...about $8-10 each for a 2"....aound $6 for the 1.5" if I remember right.
 

The Mermaid Queen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
2,522
Northern KY
#5
duraleigh,

so they are pricey, but considering the replaced blown hoses and connectors, plus the water and extra chems, it sounds like they may pay off over a season or two...

jmho... I don't even know what a union is!! :D

ETA just googled it.... is it like a pressure-fitting? If so, I was thinking that would be a good idea for Mom... all the benefits of being hard-plumbed with the 'removability' of the flexies and connectors!
 

tphaggerty

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 27, 2007
218
Poughquag, NY
#7
Mine is IG but I have lots of unions (or you can buy union threaded ball joints). BUT, buy good quality ones. I bought some off the net that are clearly inferior in terms of thread depth and the threaded collars are smaller and less robust. I would gladly go back and spend a few more bucks to get better quality.
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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Sebring, Florida
#8
The connectors (white) connecting to the black pump body are called 1/2 unions....the pump body is already threaded.

The other picture is a full union made to join two pieces of PVC. Again, they're tedious to install but, once done, they look neat and you can frequently disconnect them simply by turning them by hand.
 

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bf1967

Active member
May 23, 2007
25
SE WI
#9
I have my AG all hard plumbed (with unions). You definately want a way to take things apart. I'll try to take a photo of it tonight. I'm in WI so we got nailed with a lot of rain and it's a little wet back there. The only place I have flex pipe is where it connects to the solar panels. I haven't found a better way yet.

Bob
 

NWMNMom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 8, 2007
1,582
Waaay NW MN
#10
Oh thank you everyone! Enlighten me!!! I need to find a better way and this is looking like the right way to go. After ALL these years of hose headaches, I'm so done with that if I can.
 

Likesspace

Active member
May 10, 2008
26
Illinois
#12
Okay, someone will have to help me with posting a pic as a part of the message body. In the meantime, here's a couple of links of my PVC set up on photobucket.
Link #1: http://s304.photobucket.com/albums/nn19 ... ageditmany
Link #2: http://s304.photobucket.com/albums/nn19 ... ageditmany

I use tigerflex PVC from the skimmer to the pump suction. From the pump outlet to the filter I use Sch40 ridgid PVC. From the filter I also use Sch40 ridgid pvc with a glue in check valve.
All throughout the system I have either glue in ball valves or gate style slice valves to isolate the system when needed. I also have a glue in check valve on the outlet of the solar panels. As you can see I have both the intex SWG and a solar controller plumbed in which made the plumbing a little more challenging. Hopefully you can see from the photos the design of the entire system.
As other posters have recommended, I use unions liberally to ease storage in the winter months. I have had the basic system in operation for the past 5 years without a single problem.
I know that I am not a photographer so if you have any questions, please feel free to email me at: dlcoughlin@gmail.com. with any question. I will be more than happy to do my best to describe the setup in more detail. I spent several hours drawing this all out before gluing together the first fitting. With solar and a SWG things become a little bit complicated.
I sincerely hope this helps you out but again, feel free to ask any questions. You won't be sorry for switching to hard plumbing. From the first I was afriad of the hoses and hard plumbed my system.
Dave
 
G
#13
I'll post mine -- just bought house with pool. It seems to me that there should be some shut-off valves so that you can clean out filter basket without a flood of water. Pool guy said no, too easy to forget to turn flow back on before turning pump on. I can not circumvent DE filter either with the way it's done. So I'm interested also in how folks have done their plumbing.

Also, it's wet under the filter basket, so I need to figure out how to stop that.

 

98xc600

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 8, 2007
148
Southern MN
#15
Here's my setup. I used a few of the unions so I could take it apart a lot easier. If you use one of them rubber fittings to connect the PVC to the solar heater make sure you use some sand paper and rough up the PVC or the pressure will slowly push the rubber fitting off the end of the pipe.(yes I learned the hard way) hope this helps. If you have any questions just let me know!
 

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launboy

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2008
582
S.E. Wisconsin
#16
I guess I'll post my crazy snakework of piping. I'm in Wisconsin also, and my underground PVC is only under about 4 inches on the pool end and 1 foot on the filter end(due to clay and gravel from train tracks that were there 60 years ago).

Yes, I still have flex pipe in there and had to replace 2 of them this year, and the one running from the suction PVC to the pump inlet will probably need to be replaced next year, but it's suction so it won't blow out.

The Valves on the pool are Union Ball valves and they are connected to the "Proprietary" Intex pool fittings via little rubber clamps.

The pool and where the PVC goes underground, all bends except diverter(because I made it before the rest of this) are 2-45* bends together and everything is 2" PVC to reduce friction losses). Pool is soft side, so obviously, soft lines are needed.


The Filter end, still has flex line because the pump likes to move a little.


Solar panels from the ground...


The pipework up on the garage. I will paint it black eventually.


I did a lot of planning, here are a few of my drawings made in paint. Those were mainly to illustrate to my parents how it would work and why it was going to cost nearly $200.00 in PVC, glue and fittings. :x
Top View...


Side view(although it makes the ground look flat).


Solar Roof...


Adam