What size pipes do I need?

Rbelrod

Member
Aug 16, 2020
5
Memphis, TN
My pool is under construction and plumbing will be done next week. I don’t have a lot of confidence in my pool builder so I would like some expert advice here.
The pool is 26k gallons. It will have 8 deck jets and a heat pump. It has two returns and one drain.
The pool has a pentair ultra temp heat pump
The deck jets are pentair deck jets 2

The spa is completely separate with separate equipment. It has 6 jets and a gas heater.
The heater is a pentair master temp

Both systems have a pentair intelliflo 3hp variable speed and flow pump

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

TampaKathy

Gold Supporter
Oct 2, 2020
131
Tampa, FL
I am no expert, still working on getting my first pool, but 2 returns and 1 drain for a 26k pool sounds insufficient. If you don't get responses here, try the "Under Construction" forum...experts can weigh in on the equipment too.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
13,821
Pleasanton, CA
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
No skimmers?

Pipe size does depend on how the PB is planning to plumb each feature. But without knowing a bit more, here would be my recommendations:

2.5" from each skimmer and MD all the way back to the equipment pad (i.e. home runs). Should have at least one skimmer and MD is optional (not necessary).
2" to deck jets assuming a single line split at the pool. If multiple lines pump to jet, you can go a lot smaller (8x1"). Flow equalization is very important so the configuration can make a big difference.
2" to pool returns single line. You should have a minimum of 4 returns. 1.5" if you want separate lines pump to pool for full flow control.

3" for the spa suction and MD. You may be able to go with smaller pipe depending on the type of jet used.
 

Rbelrod

Member
Aug 16, 2020
5
Memphis, TN
No skimmers?

Pipe size does depend on how the PB is planning to plumb each feature. But without knowing a bit more, here would be my recommendations:

2.5" from each skimmer and MD all the way back to the equipment pad (i.e. home runs). Should have at least one skimmer and MD is optional (not necessary).
2" to deck jets assuming a single line split at the pool. If multiple lines pump to jet, you can go a lot smaller (8x1"). Flow equalization is very important so the configuration can make a big difference.
2" to pool returns single line. You should have a minimum of 4 returns. 1.5" if you want separate lines pump to pool for full flow control.

3" for the spa suction and MD. You may be able to go with smaller pipe depending on the type of jet used.
Thank you for your advice. I am confident the pool builder has no clue how to plumb the features which is why I’m here. What would you recommend?
Sorry, I misspoke, I have five returns and two skimmers. Does this change anything? What problems would I encounter if he uses 2” for everything? 1.5 has already been used for returns.
 

Rbelrod

Member
Aug 16, 2020
5
Memphis, TN
RB, I'll tag @mas985 and @JamesW since they have a great deal of hydraulics experience. In the meantime, can you tell us:
- Any unusual elevation changes from pad to pool/spa?
- Distance from pad to pool?
- Do you have an illustration perhaps?
- Besides the heat pump and 3HP VSP, any other equipment we should know about?
Thank you for the tags! The pool and spa are level with each other. I wish I had a drawing. This is just one of the ways this builder has been a complete disappointment😡
 
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mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
13,821
Pleasanton, CA
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
2" is much too small for spa. That is a red flag. The result will be very weak jets. Minimum 2.5" but again, it depends on the type of jets.

2" is adequate for the pool suction ONLY if separate lines run pool to pad. But if it were my pool, I would only go with 2.5" on suction lines minimum.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
1,589
Spring Valley, NY
Just one more mention, have the pb home run the skimmers separately to the equipment pad so in the event you have a problem with one it won't impact the other.