What would you pay for a pool hydraulic design?

What would you be willing to pay for a pool hydraulic design?


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Titanium

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 26, 2007
441
SF Bay Area
Most pool builders seem to be weak on their design skills for pool hydraulics. Most builders seem to be relying far too heavily on "past practice" or "rules of thumb". What would you be willing to be for a professional pool hydraulic design such that the filter pump, filter, piping, solar, etc. was designed to the standards of mas985?

Titanium
 

From_Arizona

LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2007
212
Glendale, AZ
I would have paid $100, the smae as my engineering costs to have an accurate calculation of my needs. After living with the plumbing now, I question many things that were done and if we will have problems or just irritations down the road because of the "rule of thumb/experience method"

I do think there is a market for this, I would have been interested in it...but not sure how easy a sell it would be to bring pool builders up to snuff. May be an excellent market niche to work with some higher end builders?
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,846
Pleasanton, CA
And I have been giving advice away for free. I think I see a business model. 8)

Seriously though, you really don't need a hydraulic engineer to design pool plumbing. Although I took it to the extreme, (I can't help it, I'm an engineer) the pool owner doesn't really need to model all the plumbing but make some good choices in pipes and pumps (e.g. large pipes and small pumps). It really doesn't need to get much more complicated than that. Besides, predicting head loss for a new pool is nearly impossible. Believe me, I tried. Got close but there is too much uncertainty. Existing pools are much easier to model since you have some measurements (i.e. pool filter PSI).

The objective is to design the plumbing such that it is as low as possible which means, big pipes. You want more head loss on the pressure side vs vacuum side but that is taken care of by the filter and pad plumbing. Separate lines to skimmers and main drains helps too.

The pump should deliver no more GPM than necessary to fit the needs of the pool which usually means, small pumps. Higher HP pumps are needed for spa and water features but then two speed or double pumps are in order. Even assuming 60 feet of head will get close to the appropriate GPM.

Sticking with these simple principles, results in energy efficient pools. 100% optimized? Probably not but I'm not sure you could do that anyway.
 

Titanium

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 26, 2007
441
SF Bay Area
mas985,

Re: "you really don't need a hydraulic engineer to design pool plumbing".

Agreed. I also don't think you would need a full-fledged hydraulic engineer to design pool plumbing and spec pool equipment. But it sure would be nice to some sort of DESIGN happening before the pool building begins. All too often on this forum I am reading horror stories of new pools being built, by pool builders who should know better, with the following "features":

1. oversized pumps
2. undersized piping
3. undersized filters
4. inadequate equipment pad layout for future maintenance
5. missed opportunities for variable speed or two-speed pumps

I agree that the proper design of the above elements is not rocket science. But it DOES appear to beyond the ability of many of today's pool builders. Whether this is due to incompetence, apathy, or misguided design principles, I cannot say.

Titanium
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,846
Pleasanton, CA
Titanium said:
I agree that the proper design of the above elements is not rocket science. But it DOES appear to beyond the ability of many of today's pool builders. Whether this is due to incompetence, apathy, or misguided design principles, I cannot say.

Titanium
No arguement. I think the problem is that many pool builders know what works but not what is efficient. They probably really don't care if it is efficient or not. They put large pumps in because they don't really cost much more but it insures high flow rates for spas and other features. They probably undersize filters and pipes because of cost.

However, I will say that some builders are starting to become aware of energy efficiency. Probably because it is being forced upon them by cities and states. Most now use larger pipes but still will go with a single speed large HP pump for a pool with spa because it works.

I would say though that given the cost of the pool, a proper plumbing system design should be part of the cost.