Pumps / Valves
Pumps / Valves
Here's where I spent a lot of time. Not that I had to, but
I really wanted to learn how pool plumbing works. The reason for this is
because I wanted the waterfalls to work a certain way. There were certain
scenarios that I wanted to make sure would work. Specifically:
The waterfall should have two independent paths - one to the
pool and one into the spa.
When spa is NOT being used, the waterfall path that goes
into the spa should overflow into the pool through the spa damwall.
This gives a nice cascading effect.
When spa IS being used, the waterfall should still be
operational. It should have the option of going EITHER into the pool
ONLY (cold water) or the spa ONLY (heated water). I don't think I can
have have both on at the same time (heated waterfall into spa and cold
waterfall into pool) without having a separate pump.
The waterfall into pool/spa should be able to still work
while the pool filtration/VAC is working.
The waterfall, lights, spa control should be able to be
operated via a remote control switch inside the house. I would like a
spa-side remote as well for the spa functions.
I would like to do this on a single powerful pump (not
including blower pump) if possible.
So as a rough first cut, I envisioned this for my valve system:
The circles with the letters in them denote Jandy
3-port NeverLube Valves. Here is the schematic
The way they work is that water comes through one of the ports and can be
diverted to either of the remaining two ports. It can be diverted to one
or both of the other ports, or any combination thereof.
I should mention that typically the
pool plumber handles all the details of planning out the valves. As the GC, I
didn't need to know how to design the valve scheme. I don't need to know
the details of how a Jandy valve works or what a Jandy Actuator does. I
should be able to just tell the plumber how I want things to work (like
described in the scenarios on the top of the page), and they should be able to
make a recommendation. They should be able to tell me what I can and
cannot do. But me being an engineer and
wanting to understand everything, I WANTED to take a first crack at it. More the fool I.
Anyways, getting back to the story, there were a few problems with this setup:
The plumber said that there's no way that one pump is
powerful enough to drive all this stuff. (NOTE: see
what I mean about not having to know everything. You can be sure the
subs will tell you how stupid you are. And believe me, thats a GOOD
thing. When you are a GC, don't let pride get in the way of having
something done right. After all, you're going to have to live with the
finished product when you're done.)
I forgot to include the Therapy jets for the spa.
I had the skimmer and drain on separate lines. The
plumber corrected me, saying that the drain is typically tied to the bottom
of the skimmer. He said he could plumb it so that the drain is totally
separate from the skimmer line, but that its not necessary. He said
that the pool vac will be more than adequate to suck up all the debris on
the bottom of the pool and that having a drain work independently from the
skimmer cost more $$$ and doesn't really help you any.
So I asked him to send me over what he the revised valve
schematic should look like. This is what he sent me:
plumber said that he understood my desire to minimize the number of pumps, but
that one 2HP pump would not be sufficient to drive everything I wanted.
He said that there should be a separate booster pump to drive the
waterfalls. Notice that the waterfall booster pump allows water to go to
either the spa or to the pool. I can actually have heated water coming
down into the waterfall while the spa is in use. Or if I don't want that,
and other people are in the pool, I could turn the valve so that the waterfall
is working only on the pool side. And when the spa is not in use, the
Jandy valve can be turned 50% to each port so that the waterfall is nicely split
in half (half of the water goes into the spa and half into the pool).
the filtration pump side, he added the therapy jets. While this was a
better scenario, and would definitely would work, he mentioned that there were a
few drawbacks to this scenario:
Spa jets typically blast water at a fairly high pressure in
order to create the therapeutic action (blower pump not shown). He
said that with the sand filtration system in-line, I was not going to get
the optimal amount of pressure coming out of the jets as I would if I had
gone with a separate pump for the jets.
The 2.0HP pump is overkill for the filtration system and
being that it runs 8 hours a day, it will waste electricity
needlessly. The need for the 2.0HP pump is really for the jets.
For the filtration part of the circuit, a 1.5HP pump is sufficient, but
since I have the jets in the same circuit, I need to put a pump that will be
strong enough for both functions. In order to optimize it, I could get
a separate pump just for the jets and put a 1.5HP pump in place for
After much thought, I decided to get the third pump. My
reasoning was simple. I was already going to save $15,000 from doing the
pool myself. I could afford to splurge an extra $350 for a pump to
optimize things. I liked that tradeoff. So at the end of it, this is
what we agreed to:
Its interesting that what looks good on paper rarely works in the real world
without being tweaked a little bit. When the plumber finally arrived and
started assembling the valves, he noticed there were a few more problems.
Not big problems - He was just trying to optimize things at that point.
Here's what he found:
For the filtration pump/valve scheme, he noticed that on the
return side, if I accidentally turned valve (C) to close off the Spa return
and valve (D) to close off the Pool return, the only water that would be
flowing would be to the aerator, which is a tiny 3/4" PVC pipe.
That would be a bad day for the 1.5HP Hayward pump. He said that its
not likely it would happen, but if it did, I would burn out my pump in no
time. I said Ok. So he proceeded to get rid of valve (D) so that
there was just a plain "T" directing water to the pool return and
the aerator. He put a small turn valve on the aerator side so that I
could just walk over and turn the aerator on manually whenever I wanted to
use it. Pretty simple.
For the waterfall pump/valve scheme, he said that he
typically likes to put a bleeder valve on the return side so that the
waterfall water volume can be adjusted. If the waterfall is blasting
too much water out to the pool/spa, I can slowly turn it down by adjusting
the newly added valve (F) to bleed off some of the water pressure. The bleeder valve just runs
out to the pool like any other return.
For the therapy jet booster pump, he said that the blower is
not attached like shown in the picture. Its attached separately.
So after all the tweaking and fiddling, here's how my FINAL
pump/valve scheme looks:
So at the end of it, this is what my equipment looks like:
Hayward SuperII Pump (Filtration System)
2 HP Hayward SuperII (Therapy Jets)
2 HP Hayward SuperII (Waterfall booster pump)
2 HP Blower Pump (Spa Jets - air)
Triton TR 100 4.9 Sand Filter
Hayward H-Series Natural Draft 400,000 BTU natural gas heater
Hayward Ultra Pool Vac
Jandy Never-Lube 3-port valves (6)
Jandy JVA 2440 Actuators (3)
Clear Water Salt Chlorinator