Some random questions regarding overflow lines, vacuum line, surge protection, solar vs heat pump

usfbull

Gold Supporter
May 11, 2020
217
Tampa FL
Surface
Plaster
We are getting close to zeroing in on hiring a builder.

Trying to work through a few questions:

The builder said with a sun shelf he doesn't usually add an overflow line as it sits at the back of the skimmer and will mess with the water level of the shelf. I let him know I'm concerned as there are times we get lots of rain here and dont want future issues.

his response below, any thoughts:
Overfills are tough, but always have set levels, we could run it out the back of the pool but will flood an area, could route towards street but that can get up there in cost. Can add automation and use a powered valve to empty pool. Also could hardpipe your discharge line from your pool equipment so at least then you are just opening valve and not having to roll out a hose ?

I had asked about the pool pump having a surge protector since we have lots of lightning in Tampa.
Is the GCFI enough to protect the pump?
The pool goes on a dedicated GFCI breaker so no issues there.

I mentioned we plan to buy a robot so we don't need the vacuum line he proposed.
The line is dedicated for vacuum, kind of built in to the project, we could remove if you really didn’t want the extra penetration in the pool, serves no other purpose.

Anyone have thoughts on solar for heat here in Tampa vs a heat pump? We will have a pool and no spa. The thought is to be able to keep the pool warmer in months like March and April when it might be in 70's to low 80's during the day.
Would solar work as well as a heat pump?
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
15,510
Evans, Georgia
I would personally go with a hard discharge line from the pool pad as we have that (it goes into a dry creekbed between the properties). I've never used it so often as we have this year to lower the water from all the rain we've had in Georgia. I find it very convenient.

As for the GCFI outlet.....well... we've lost one robot, a pump and a BOSE theater system to lightening in the past two years. We need more protection but haven't yet settled on what. The robot and the pump *were* in GCFI outlets.

We had a Polaris pressure sweeper outlet that we don't use since going robot. Now its just another return or the place we plug our fountain in to. Will your port be pressure or suction??

My folks had a solar system on their pool in The Villages and I *loved* it. I'd get the entire pool as warm as a hot tub! :laughblue:

Maddie
 
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Homebrewale

Well-known member
Apr 21, 2020
396
Apex, NC
I have an overflow line on my pool. It's in the wall of the pool in the deep end, not in the back of a skimmer. It empties in the back yard. I don't find it flooding my back yard.

For surge protection, I have surge protector on the incoming electrical line to protect the whole house.
 
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usfbull

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May 11, 2020
217
Tampa FL
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I have an overflow line on my pool. It's in the wall of the pool in the deep end, not in the back of a skimmer. It empties in the back yard. I don't find it flooding my back yard.

For surge protection, I have surge protector on the incoming electrical line to protect the whole house.
Thanks, how do I know if i have this? is it it the main panel box? house is only 4 years old so not sure if that is something that is standard?
 

Homebrewale

Well-known member
Apr 21, 2020
396
Apex, NC
Thanks, how do I know if i have this? is it it the main panel box? house is only 4 years old so not sure if that is something that is standard?

I'm glad you asked the question. I have a Sycom SYC 120/240-T2. It is visible below the main electrical box. It was installed by an electrician that was doing other work on my house. The reason I say I'm glad you asked is that UL issued a warning to stop using them due to fire hazard. It looks like I need to find a replacement.
 
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usfbull

Gold Supporter
May 11, 2020
217
Tampa FL
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Oh wow, in that case I'm glad I asked as well. When you find what replacement toy will use please share, thanks!
 

OrlandoBull

Well-known member
Jul 30, 2015
154
Winter Garden , FL
On the overflow, bear in mind that if you have a salt pool, drainage could cause issues. I have mine capped. Doesn't flood the yard, but, I lost a couple plants around it before I figured out it was the salt.

I think solar would work well for you. We have a spa and heat pump, but, I want solar on our next pool too. You'll debate if you want to spend the money for the heat pump whereas the solar is always ready to go. We do heat our current pool at times, but, I think we'd use it a lot more in off seasons if it was ready at a moment's notice and didn't cost $50 to heat for a weekend.

Oh, and... Go Bulls! Class of 2003 here.
 
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usfbull

Gold Supporter
May 11, 2020
217
Tampa FL
Surface
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Go Bulls! Class of '96 How is it living near all the ucf people....ugh

What do you mean by you have yours capped? Does this mean it does not drain into your yard? We do plan to have a salt pool as well.

Thanks for the thoughts on Solar, I am definitely going to look more into it.
 

OrlandoBull

Well-known member
Jul 30, 2015
154
Winter Garden , FL
Go Bulls! Class of '96 How is it living near all the ucf people....ugh

What do you mean by you have yours capped? Does this mean it does not drain into your yard? We do plan to have a salt pool as well.

Thanks for the thoughts on Solar, I am definitely going to look more into it.

It was great from 2003ish to 2009ish... now it's a little more difficult.

Yes, I did put a cap on the overflow, I could have re-routed it out of landscape areas, but, when I need to drain water out I just use the pump and a hose out to the street. My plumber left it half covered up when the pool was complete, then landscaping went in and I lost it for a while... pool got really full at some point and I remembered it was there, so, I found it and unplugged it letting all of the water out at once... if it just empties a little here and there it may not do any damage to your plants. For me, I lost 2-3 plants and some grass in the area.

We're moving to a new house and going to build a new pool, I'll take the time to route it to a better location this time around.
 

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usfbull

Gold Supporter
May 11, 2020
217
Tampa FL
Surface
Plaster
Yeah those were some great years! The Flowers years were nice as well other than the loss to the gnats and then Strong messing Q up...don’t get me started, ha.

Good luck on the move and new build!
 

bbqjosh

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
123
Orlando, FL
We are getting close to zeroing in on hiring a builder.

Trying to work through a few questions:

The builder said with a sun shelf he doesn't usually add an overflow line as it sits at the back of the skimmer and will mess with the water level of the shelf. I let him know I'm concerned as there are times we get lots of rain here and dont want future issues.

his response below, any thoughts:
Overfills are tough, but always have set levels, we could run it out the back of the pool but will flood an area, could route towards street but that can get up there in cost. Can add automation and use a powered valve to empty pool. Also could hardpipe your discharge line from your pool equipment so at least then you are just opening valve and not having to roll out a hose ?

I had asked about the pool pump having a surge protector since we have lots of lightning in Tampa.
Is the GCFI enough to protect the pump?
The pool goes on a dedicated GFCI breaker so no issues there.

I mentioned we plan to buy a robot so we don't need the vacuum line he proposed.
The line is dedicated for vacuum, kind of built in to the project, we could remove if you really didn’t want the extra penetration in the pool, serves no other purpose.

Anyone have thoughts on solar for heat here in Tampa vs a heat pump? We will have a pool and no spa. The thought is to be able to keep the pool warmer in months like March and April when it might be in 70's to low 80's during the day.
Would solar work as well as a heat pump?
For the overflow, I would say it would not mess with the water level of the shelf. Your waterline should be half way up your tile. The overflow on the back of the skimmer is at the top, so if you water level rises 3 inches then it should start spilling out of the overflow. My wife has irrational fears of snakes and lizards coming into the pipe and into the pool so we didn't do the overflow at the skimmer. I will just bust out the hose and empty it to the street.

The GFCI will not protect your pump from lightning. Surge protectors stop surges coming from the meter into the house. If your house gets hit with lightning, those surge protectors won't stop anything. Ask me because I know.... I made you a little diagram of how it works.
If your house get's hit, it will look for the closest wires in the attic or the walls to get to ground. As it is making its way through those wires, it is breaking all electronics in it's path on it's way to ground. So anything plugged in to those circuits get fried. The lightning is making it's way to your breaker panel where it can get to ground. Once it get's to the panel, it will jump to the ground bar and follow that nice silver cable:
20200828_235040.jpg
My cable goes into the outdoor box up to the larger ground cable and out through the meter ground to the ground rod in the dirt. All this by passing the surge protector.
20200828_235153.jpg
Now it the surge came in the proper way from the meter, then the surge protector will intercept it and send it right to ground without it going into your houses circuits and frying items.
20200828_235411.jpg
Hope you like my electrical diagrams LOL. I have the surge protectors, but I also have an equipment breakdown adder on my homeowners insurance that covers equipment that gets fried. It is $50 per year and covers up to 100k. Well worth it in my opinion.

I don't have a strong opinion on the vacuum line. It comes with a spring cover so it shouldn't be an issue, but you can also hook up a vacuum line right into your skimmer if needed. If you opt to not get it, tell him you want some type of discount.
 
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usfbull

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May 11, 2020
217
Tampa FL
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Thanks! That does help explain a lot and will be checking with my ins co on Monday!

Is that your panel? How come so many extra wires all over the place?

attached is a pic of my box.
 

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mlggator

Bronze Supporter
Jul 18, 2020
94
Carlsbad, CA
I love reading about all your Florida builds. Makes me really miss that state. I forgot about all problems lightning can cause, but boy do I miss those afternoon thunder storms. Loved to curl up and read or nap through them.
I'm in California now, almost no lightning out here. When I first moved here, husband and I were eating out at a restaurant on a hill with a wall of windows. We saw everyone stop eating and go the window. Curious, we went over to find some occasional lightning, LOL. Quite the novelty.

Also a USF grad here, but for my MS. I got my BS from UF.
 
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CrystalRiver

Well-known member
Jun 19, 2020
449
Massachusetts
He has the cover off his box. Yours has a lot more wires, you just can't see them under the cover.

GFCI is not in any way a surge suppressor. You now know your PB doesn't understand electricity. Don't take any advice from them on that topic.

A whole house surge protector will protect against lightning coming from outside the property. It might or might not protect sufficiently against a very near strike. They have a limited capacity, and lightning is incredibly powerful. But if the strike is down the street, the power should have dissipated enough that your whole house protector (if you have one) will protect. There's not much you can do about a direct strike - very high voltage is going to go pretty much everywhere, frying everything on its way.
 

bbqjosh

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
123
Orlando, FL
Thanks! That does help explain a lot and will be checking with my ins co on Monday!

Is that your panel? How come so many extra wires all over the place?

attached is a pic of my box.
If you remove that gray cover you will see the wires all over the place. I had my cover off in my picture.
 

Dirk

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Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
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If I was building a pool, I would use this approach for all sorts of considerations, based on the fact that whatever you install or neglect to, your decision is in stone, literally (man-made stone!). Once the gunite goes in and the deck goes down, you gotta live with it, or pay a LOT to rip out concrete to change it.

Even if I knew I wanted a robot (a wouldn't, but that's a much longer post!), I'd install the vacuum port. You could even leave it disconnected back at the pad and cap it at the pool, if you had no immediate use for it. Mine was converted from a pressure port to a vacuum port, so they can be easily swapped out later, one to the other, or it could even be valved that way (which is what I would do). You might change your mind about a robot, and want a vac instead, you might want to manually vacuum your pool (grab those five leaves right before guests arrive), you might want to aerate your pool water, for chemistry reasons, or just for fun for the kids, or use one of those roving fountains, or use it to cool the pool water off, whatever. You never know, and if you don't put it in now, you won't be able to add it later.

Same principle for your overflow, and I'd add an auto-filler, too. If your PB doesn't want to add an overflow, he'll have a fit about auto-fill!! But again, these systems are relatively inexpensive, and you can't add them later. I think auto-fill is more or less critical based on location (seasonal weather), and maybe a Tampa pool would never need one. So you just shut it off. It's there if you ever do need it. Taken a look outside lately? Weather patterns all over the planet are changing. Ya never know. But overflow, come on! You want to constantly worry about your pool overflowing?! Or have to go out to your pool pad to turn on a pump? And again to turn it off? Oh, and REMEMBER to turn it off? Then again, two more times, in the middle of the night? Don't forget, the sun won't be shining when you need to pump out your pool!! What about when you go away for a few days? Or weeks? And what the heck does overflow have to do with your shelf? An overflow (and auto-fill) will keep your pool at a constant level, which would make the depth of your shelf constant! Isn't that the idea? And not in the skimmer, and not in the edge tile. I like my PoolMiser (there are other brands, too). It's in it's own well and connects to the pool through an equalizer tube (which has some specific advantages), well below the surface. My pool is never too full, never too low. I never think about my water level, and I certainly do not have to go out to my pool pad in the pouring rain to empty my pool! Again, your use case in Tampa will be different than mine, so I think it's great that you're working this out beforehand, by collecting opinions.

However you add overflow protection, you need to send the water to an appropriate place. NOT into your garden. Your local municipality likely has guidelines, or even codes/laws, about where you can dump the water. That should guide the decision about the other end of the pipe. Allowing your pool to overflow over the deck is not an option, neither is pumping it dry when you fall back asleep before turning off the pump! You probably just fell asleep reading this post!! :sleep:
 

usfbull

Gold Supporter
May 11, 2020
217
Tampa FL
Surface
Plaster
I love reading about all your Florida builds. Makes me really miss that state. I forgot about all problems lightning can cause, but boy do I miss those afternoon thunder storms. Loved to curl up and read or nap through them.
I'm in California now, almost no lightning out here. When I first moved here, husband and I were eating out at a restaurant on a hill with a wall of windows. We saw everyone stop eating and go the window. Curious, we went over to find some occasional lightning, LOL. Quite the novelty.

Also a USF grad here, but for my MS. I got my BS from UF.
I love the San Diego area! Must be an amazing place to live. Nice, i got my BS from USF, MBA from UT and now my wife teaches at USF which brought us back to Tampa from Chicago.
 

usfbull

Gold Supporter
May 11, 2020
217
Tampa FL
Surface
Plaster
He has the cover off his box. Yours has a lot more wires, you just can't see them under the cover.

GFCI is not in any way a surge suppressor. You now know your PB doesn't understand electricity. Don't take any advice from them on that topic.

A whole house surge protector will protect against lightning coming from outside the property. It might or might not protect sufficiently against a very near strike. They have a limited capacity, and lightning is incredibly powerful. But if the strike is down the street, the power should have dissipated enough that your whole house protector (if you have one) will protect. There's not much you can do about a direct strike - very high voltage is going to go pretty much everywhere, frying everything on its way.
Ah, thanks. Yes I think its safe to say my PB nor I understand electricity. PB did tell me the company he uses and they seem to have a very good reputation after researching online. I am looking for something that will protect for near by strikes as summertime here we get tons of bolts. Hence the name of our hockey team :)
 

usfbull

Gold Supporter
May 11, 2020
217
Tampa FL
Surface
Plaster
@Dirk I agree, and have decided to keep the vacuum line. I think what he was saying about the overflow is if you wanted to make shelf a bit deeper you could have a bit more water in the pool, not really sure as it was over email.
I am definitely leaning towards having the overflow line just have to decide where it would/could drain to as our yard is very flat.
Can you tell me more about the PoolMiser?
 

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