Help with equipment specs

dshlawJanuary 23, 2011

Help! I am trying to evaluate several pool construction proposals, and they all have different equipment specified. My pool will be L-shaped, with the long part of the L being 14.5' x 32'. It will be a play pool with the depth going from 3.5' to 4.5' to 3.5'. The short part of the L will be 16' x 8', with half of it being an 8' x 8' in-pool spa.

The equipment spec'd in my proposals (if I am understanding the proposals correctly) are:

1.) pool pump 1 hp, spa pump 1.5 hp;

2.) pool pump 2 hp 2 speed, spa pump 1.5 hp 2 speed; or

3.) one pool pump 1.5 hp will run both pool and spa.

All 3 propose a 400k btu heater (either Master Temp, Hayward, or Rheem)

All call for a polaris cleaner. 1 proposes a 3/4 hp pump on the polaris.

1 proposes a 1 hp Air Supply blower for the spa. Another just specifies a Galaxy blower.

The salt generators spec'd are Intellichlor or GoldLine.

Any opinions on these equipment proposals would be greatly appreciated (especially on the pump sizes needed). Thanks!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For a pool your size, a 1 hp is overkill IMO.
The trend is moving toward 2-speed and variable speed pumps. Some states, like CA, require 2-speed or variable speed pumps if the horsepower is over 3/4hp for a pool.
If you're running the pool and spa on a single pump, I would suggest using a variable speed pump with a spa controller. If you are using a two pump system, then you could use a 3/4hp for the pool and a 1.5hp for the jets.
Smaller pumps run at longer intervals are more efficient and provide better filtration than larger pumps running shorter intervals.
Polaris produces several different cleaners. 280,380,480 models require a booster pump. Suction models do not require a separate pump. Just make sure your PB's are offering the same model for pricing purposes.
No mention of filter size or type? Brands? How many jets in the spa? Spa/pool controller?
Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 12:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks, golfgeek, for the great response. Do you prefer the 1 variable speed pump with spa controller setup or the 3/4hp pool / 1.5hp spa pump setup? What size variable speed pump in the first option? Is there much difference in cost in the 2 setup options?

What is your recommendation on the highest value Polaris model? Do you prefer suction models?

Regarding filter, my options seem to be cartridge or sand type. I am leaning toward sand because my neighbors say they require less cleaning time. Do you have a recommendation on brand/size of sand filter?

I haven't thought about number of jets? How many do I need in my 8x8 spa? How should I specify where they are to be placed?

On the controller, I want an EasyTouch4 with remote. Is that a solid choice?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 12:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Rack Etear

As far as the filter goes, I would use a Pentair TR-100 if you have room.

If you use a VS pump that is on a filter, and heater for jets, 7-8 seems to be the magic number. I would draw a map of the spa and show them measurements from the top of the spa down. I wouldn't put any jets lower than 4" to the bottom of the jet from the top of the bench.

EasyTouch4 is a great controller but with a pool/spa combo. I prefer the wired remote because it doesn't work off of batteries and you always know where it is.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 11:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like a single variable speed pump. I just put in a Jandy 2HP variable speed pump and it takes care of everything. It is powerful enough to support 8 Waterway Jets as well as a decent size waterfall at the same time in a spa. In cleaning mode I have it programmed to run at 75% speed for a couple hours to run the ozone and chlorinator (they need decent flow to work) and then drop down to 750rpm for general filtering. It is amazingly quiet. At the lower speeds you have to go over and look in the filter basket to see if it is running. Even at top speed it is fairly quiet.

I was concerned about the loss of power running the pump in spa mode through the filter and put in a JVA to bypass the filter. We have a large 4 cartridge filter and you can barely tell the difference so this was somewhat of a waste.

We have a 1.5 HP Air Supply blower that is tied into the various waterway jets and it creates a very nice combo. We have 4 different type of jets and like the ability to move from jet to jet for a different feel. We finally picked the Poly Storm jets. Eyeball, rotating, gentle massage, pulsing massage. For Jet placement I would sit down on a chair and measure where you want the jet to hit. Normally the small of your back is around 7 to 9 inches. Anything approaching 4 inches will be a bidet. We also have seats are various heights so you also get a jet at your shoulder blade. A nice addition is to have jets a few inches off the bottom of the spa to hit the middle of your calf. You can also use these to hit the bottom of your foot....ahhhhhh.

We have the Jandy PDA P8 and it works fairly well. We are having a few minor programming issues right now but I'm sure we will figure it out.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 10:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Looks like you got some good input. Other things to consider are electric rates, will the pump run 24/7? and is the pool going to be shut down for the winter. I'm a little surprised that a variable speed pump wasn't offered as an option, at least.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 12:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks, all, for the great advice. I sincerely appreciate it and have learned so much already through this process. I am leaning toward selecting the builder who specified a 1hp Hayward pool pump, a 2hp Hayward spa pump (8 jets), a 1hp, 120V spa blower, Polaris pressure side cleaner with booster pump, Intellichlor chlorine generator, Rheem 400k BTU heater, 24" sand filter, and an EasyTouch 4 remote control system.

I am still unclear about what to ask for on plumbing size. The equipment pad will be 40 - 50 feet from the spa. Pool builder says 2" plumbing is sufficient. Do you agree? Or should I use something larger, especially for flow from the 2hp pump to the spa?

Regarding the spa, diyspa, thanks for your recommendation of Waterway Poly Sorm spa jets. I tried to find them but there seems to be several options. Do you know which particular jets you have?

Also, my spa will be an in-pool type, with the 2 interior spa walls rising just a couple of inches above the main pool waterline. Does anyone have experience on the best way to filter the spa through the pool? I have heard both (1) that the spa can simply spill over its interior walls and (2) that one spa wall should be "notched" to allow flow of water from spa to pool.

What about lights? One "standard pool light and one standard light in spa" is specified. After reading about them in this forum, I think I want to upgrade to Intellibrite LED for about $300 per light. What size/model LED should I specify? Will my EasyTouch 4 system control the Intellibrite features?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 12:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The sand filter has 1.5" internals. The 30" has 2" internals.

That being said, when laying out a new equipment pad, I try to stay with a single vendor to take advantage of the extended warranty from the manufacturers.

I avoid Hayward when possible.

I use Rheem/RayPak as a solitary replacement or augmentation item.

New sites, I prefer Pentair.

As to whether the EasyTouch will control the IntelliBrites, yes, it will.

Go with 2.5" suction for anything over 1.5 HP and 2" on the return loops.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 6:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Rack Etear

For the price of both "1hp Hayward pool pump, a 2hp Hayward spa pump" you can buy one variable speed pump (or maybe come very close to it).

Your builder needs to get on the bus.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 9:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

To Scott(poolguynj)-- Having read many of your posts on this forum, I have been anxiously awaiting your feedback. Thank you so much. Please provide any additional feedback that you can. Regarding the 24" vs. 30" sand filter, what is your point regarding the 1.5" or 2" internals? Would one or the other be better in my proposed system?

On the plumbing size, am I correct that you are recommending for my 2hp spa pump to use 2.5" plumbing for the suction and 2" returning the water to the spa? For my 1hp pool pump, would the 2" plumbing be appropriate for both suction and return? DO you have a recommendation on number and brand/model of spa jets to use.

To racket-- Thank you also for your feedback. I was leaning toward a 1-pump, Intelliflo VS setup but frankly was scared off by a rep of a large local pool installer/service company who sells a lot of Pentair products. He said they have had too many circuit boards "burning up" (his words) that cant' be repaired without replacing the whole pump, and they will not recommend the Intelliflo until the problem is resolved.

However, I am trying to get the same efficiency effect of a variable speed by having a 1hp pump for the pool and a 2hp for the spa.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 10:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

dshlaw...if you are concerned with the complexity and realiability of variable speed pumps...I would recommend a 2 speed pump. In my opinion, 2 speeds provide a simple means to quiet and efficient pool circulation.

They are also more easily repairable and less costly to repair down the road.

When trying to use 1 pump for multiple features, the system complexity goes up also...all the electronic valving that needs to occur to allow the one pump to power different features.

My 2 cents for what it's worth.

We have two 2 speed pumps, one .75 HP pump and a 1 HP pump that provides all our needs simply and reliably.

In the case of our 2 speed pumps, they do a majority of the work for our pool quietly and efficiently.

For sizing of the pipes, follow poolguynj's recommendations above.

There is also a handy cheat sheet I used when building our pool that specified piping size depending on pump size and piping run lengths....if interested, I can provide a link to that document when I get to a computer.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 12:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The insides of the filters have 1.5" plumbing. That is a significant bottle neck.

Big pipes slow the water velocity. Since suction is riskier, the larger pipes are safer. For the pool pump, if you go with a the 1 HP, 2" plumbing is fine. The spa should have 2.5" on the suction and 2" on the returns.

For the jets, Waterway Plastics Poly-Storm series has the best selection. There is a nice selection of interchangeable jet inserts that are easy to change.

If your power grid is subject to spikes, drops and outages, I could see the builder might have a case. Might. I haven't seen this though and suspect that something else may be afoot. If you take a lot of lightning hits, you would have installed arresters or other things in the house would go too, like the fridge, tv, radios, computers... and so I say Might.

If a board burnt, it would only require swapping the controller, not the whole pump, unless Pentair wanted the entire unit. Properly unionized, it might take 30 minutes to swap the pump and power connection vs 10 minutes for the controller.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 3:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Rack Etear

."He said they have had too many circuit boards "burning up" (his words) that cant' be repaired without replacing the whole pump, and they will not recommend the Intelliflo until the problem is resolved."

I install them on everything from Water Features, to swimming pools, to museum exhibits. I have had a less that 3% failure rate on the pump drives or " circuit boards" and many I factor into that 3% were some of the first ones released.

As to the motor themselves I have yet to need to replace one.

The problem is with 2 speeds, is they are not very dynamic. You only get 2 speeds. Many systems with controllers I can have 8-10 speeds set up for performing different functions.

I woudlnt be scared of them, I know many builders are intimidated by them, but its a really good product.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 6:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have 8 jets total. We couldn't decide on just one so we went with 4 different Poly Storm jets with the DSG / Gray trim and are happy with them. The nice thing is you can just twist them and pull them out and relocate them to a different area. We have seats at different heights as well as two jets to are at calf level so we moved them around to where we liked them best.

Eyeball jet "Directional"
2-jet rotating "Power Storm II"
Soft steady multi jet "Galaxy"
Multi jet massage "Galaxy Massage"

A 2HP jandy epump is enough to drive all 8 jets and a decent size waterfall at the same time. With no water feature you could easily drive 10 jets.

The pipe schedule can be seen on my spa build thread. Search DIYSPA and look for "New Spa Build, Charlotte NC"

Don't forget to put in LED lights. You can choose the color and they even do light shows or cycle through different colors.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 7:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Without getting too technical...there's an area of the drive design that is susceptible to high voltage surges.

If this area of the design is not adequate to sustain a high voltage surge, the drive will likley fail.

High voltage spikes are dissipated by arcing upstream of the drive. The voltage level at which this upstream arcing occurs is consistent and reliable due to construction techniques of US home electrical systems. The drive will never see a voltage excursion beyond this voltage threshold as a result of this dissipation.

If the drive is designed to a lower voltage threshold it will likley fail during a voltage surge in the grid.

To the consumer, none of this matters...what only matters is does it continue to work under these abnormal conditions that occur in the field.

I'm curious to know if dshlaw lives in a high lightning strike area of the US, such as any of the gulf states....this may lend some credibility to the PB's comments related to drive failures.

As an added assurance measure, I've heard others on this forum install whole house surge arrestors for their variable speed pumps to keep the voltage surge lower than the level at which the house will naturally dissipate the voltage. As long as the surge arrestor voltage is lower than the voltage that the drive was designed then it should protect the drive.

The type of surge arrestor referred to here is not one of the garden variety that you pick up at your local hardware store. It is one that should be professionally installed by local folks who know which ones have been most successful for your area.

By the way, most consumer electronics and applicances directly on the grid in the home naturally dissipate these surges due to the inductive behavior of the transformers in the appliance including pool controllers. Inductive motors on the grid also dissipate this surge naturally due to the inductive and capacitive behavior of the motor.

Digital high power switching devices that are directly on the grid, such as variable frequency drives and some computer power supplies do not have this natural way of dissipating the energy and provisions have to be made accordingly...either through external means such as surge arrestors or design of the drive/power supply itself.

Hope this helps...sorry for getting too technical anyway.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 12:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Uh Oh, Going laterally to the topic.

Lightning strikes can eat anything and everything. They are difficult to reliably defend against.

If one hits a transformer outside the house, lots of stuff goes poof. I can hardly wait for electric cars to get wacked, what Detroit, the insurance industry and "IBM's" responses will be when someone's Chevy Volt gets wacked.

While somewhat facetious, I included IBM because they want to build a smarter planet. Great marketing tag line and they keep talking about the power grid.

Lots of other things can cause transient spikes. It is what it is. Is there something Pentair or a homeowner can/should do to help reduce the risk to a controller? I don't know. But I will ask both them and a couple electricians I hold in high regard and respect. That will likely go up in a separate thread.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 4:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Interesting discussion re spikes and lightening. Lightening certainly is prevalent here in Mississippi. Not sure about power grid spikes.

For whatever it's worth, the local PB who warned me off of Intelliflo seemed more concerned about the pump's operation in Mississippi heat. He said Florida users are having similar problems.

Scott, regarding the bottleneck created by the 1.5" internals on 24" salt filter, are you suggesting that I should upsize?

Diyspa, thanks for the great info on spa jets. I am definitely going with Poly Storm.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 5:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, even though Hayward makes a 2" multiport for it, the up pipe inside is only 1.5" pipe. It's also have a very thin wall that after a few years may dry out. Anything that blocks the flow will cause it to collapse. As far as the material is concerned, this can happen to an S310 but at least it is a 2" pipe. The Pentair sand filters use pressure rated schedule 40 pipe so it can't happen.

The heat? It's desert rated. Bring it on. Unlike typical induction motors, the three phase motor doesn't create the waste heat. A single phase motor only uses about 50% of the current it draws. The rest turns into heat. Put your hands on a standard pump motor that's been on for several hours and then put your hand on an Intelliflow that's been running. Then tell me which is hotter. Heat kills motors. Dirt kills motors. Both the Pentair and the Jandy use sealed permanent magnet motors because they last longer than the Energizer bunny, even under the most extreme conditions.

The controller is what feed the motor and limits it to a 3 HP rating. Put a different controller on that motor and it's actually rated to over 6 HP. Limiting it as they do extends it's bear life substantially. I may be mistaken but I believe the motor for both the Pentair and Jandy is the same except for the controller connections and controller used.

I suspect that the dealer education could stand to use some extra rep training time.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 9:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Rack Etear

"Scott, regarding the bottleneck created by the 1.5" internals on 24" salt filter, are you suggesting that I should upsize?"

For your size of pool, and potential flow rates, I dont consider a 30" tank an "up size"

"For whatever it's worth, the local PB who warned me off of Intelliflo seemed more concerned about the pump's operation in Mississippi heat. He said Florida users are having similar problems. "

California, Hawaii, and Arizona, are other states where many builders are primarily using these pumps I haven't heard anything from builders in these areas about massive failures.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 9:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

dshlaw....Thanks for sharing your probably is not heat causing the failures as most drives are adequately cooled...heat is the number one enemy but most of today's modern drives are designed for high ambient operation with adequate cooling...either passive via heat sinks or active via fans.'re is impossible to entirely eliminate component failure due to surges. Surges will damage insulation between motor windings and laminations of transformers with repeated cycles and eventually cause failure. Maybe not the first few surges but repeated surges accumulate damage even on devices that naturally dissipate them...that is also why surge protectors should also be replaced regularly.

Clearly each surge event is unique and has it's own root is usually the primary cause followed by power company switching both intentional and unintentional.

In the case of tranformers outside the house, that is a result of a nearby lighting strike and anything further downstream of the transformer has been protected because the transformer dissipated the energy. It is the length of time of the surge (energy) and location of that energy surge on the grid that will affect which components fail on the grid or open by design to provide protection downstream.

In the case of home failures, nothing on the grid dissipated the surge fast enough and the energy makes it into the home. Once in the home, the only thing that will arrest the surge naturally is arcing across electrical outlets in the home. Devices plugged into other outlets naturally dissipate the energy and usually survive but do get damaged...they may still work OK but they have been damaged. Cumulative damage eventually causes failure.

In the case of power drives connected directly to the grid, there is no natural dissipation of this energy like you have with induction motors.

Yes, there are things homeowners can do to reduce risk...whole house arrestors and for ultimate protection whole house power conditioners.

Yes, there are things component manufactuers can do to reduce failures due to surges...abnormal testing and design provisions.

With all that said, components will eventually fail after repeated surges...some just earlier than others and in the case of drives, they tend to be more expensive. The whole house arrestor installation that some on this forum have done is a smart assurance measure...not just for drives but for other components on the grid.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 9:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

24 vs 30

1421 sq in vs 2220. That's an U/G, for a Hayward anyway.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 11:01AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Exceptional Pool Builders who build in Cleveland, OH area?
My wife and I are beginning the design stage of our...
AquaShield pool enclosure
I have AquaShield pool enclosure for less than two...
Please recommend a good pool builder in Southern California?
Hello, We have had a hard time finding a trust worthy...
Swimming laps- Design help
My wife wants to swim laps. Short of building an olympic...
J.L. Blodgett abandons pool project
I wanted to send along a note of caution to all members...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™