Does this exist?

jscozzAugust 3, 2012

I am looking for a prefab hydrostatic tube/cap/valve system for gunite (stand alone, not in main drain). A perforated tube to go into gravel under the pool, and fitting on top to get set flush with pool surface that will accept either a screw in automatic hydrostatic valve or a plain old plug with gasket.

I see a bunch of parts... tubes... caps... valves... on the web, but I can't figure out what works with what. The hayward tube looks in pictures like it has male thread on top... and it appears that manual caps and automatic caps are all called valves in web site descriptions. I can't figure out what is what. And whether some are only for main drain use or stand alone.

I am hoping those of you that use these every day can tell me exactly what I need. My PB just uses a 1-1/2 PVC pipe into the dirt with female adapter on top and male threaded plug. I would prefer to do it better... and have perforated tube into gravel... and option for automatic or manual plug on top. I would prefer 2" also.

Does what I am looking for exist?

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robiff

We make our own. Cut a small length (8-12") of 2' PVC and glue a cap on one end. Drill holes in the pipe for the perforations. Glue an FIP on the other end. Wrap the tube with filter fabric and set in gravel.

Rob

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 5:40PM
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golfgeek

jscozz,
It's best to use a prefab sump for the hydrostatic valve. The valve is spring loaded and if it is accessable in the pool, it's possible for prying little fingers to open the valve. If dirt gets under the o-ring these valves do not reseal very well. The sumps come with a couple threaded openings and usually one plug. They are very easy to install. All the valves I've seen are "automatic" in the respect that they are spring loaded.
The threaded inlet in the sump is available in 1 1/2" and 2" and it's easy to make a perforated tube with pvc. The cover that comes with the sump pot will keep the valve from being accidently opened.
The hydrostatic tube should always be installed in pea gravel, crushed rock, or other appropriate stone. If not, there is no way to use this inlet if you need to pump water out from under the pool.
Your PB should know how to do this. It's easy to do and not very costly. Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 5:56PM
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jscozz

Thanks!

Robiff, what do you use on the pool side? A regular plug? Do the plastic threads without any gasket provide a good seal? Is there any fitting for the pool side that can be glued to the 2" PVC and provide a threaded cap with gasket on pool side? I have seen parts like the aqua star HV102, but can't tell if it is manual or automatic. And the tabs on top must be tough on a foot hitting it.

Golf geek, is the sump you are talking about part of the main drain or separate piece? Can you provide a link to one on a web site?

I'd like to have two in my deep end, one on incline and at least one more in the shallow end. I think one of the ones in the deep end should be a pot with automatic valve in it... And the others should be ok with being manual plugs on 2" PVC tubes. Probably overkill, but it's so cheap, I don,t know why it is not standard for all PB.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 8:05PM
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robiff

jscozz:

On the pool side we use a spring loaded valve like golfgeeek refers to. Hayward makes one. I agree with the previous comment that its best to install the perforated tubing by gluing into the bottom port of a sump pot. Inside the pot you need to make the conversion from 2" threads to the 1.5" MIP spring loaded valve using reducer fittings.

I like Waterway sumps as they are made of PVC and not ABS. You can use the same glue and primer used to plumb the rest of the pool; no need for ABS glue. A cover over the sump provides the finishing touch.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 3:00AM
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jscozz

robiff,

does the bottom of the sump port have threadded fitting on bottom for tube AND inside for valve? I am not clear on what part you are recommending to glue other than the tube into a remale adapter. I assume the sump threads are 2"? And to use 1-1/2 I need reducer? Do all main drains have these ports, or do I need to make sure my PB has the right ones?

I am going to have 5 hydrostatic plugs... I will make sure the two in the main drains are the automatic type as you described. But the one on the incline and the two in the shallow end I will just use 1-1/2" PVC, perforated with a FIP fitting on pool side and a flush plug like the Waterway 400-4147. That way I am covered for automatic (in case I spring a leak at the pad and drain my pool while at work!) and the manual caps are not as intrusive on the bottom for the other 3.

You said 8-12" tubes... I assume you have it extend below the shell 8-12... so it would be a bit longer for the 6-8" gunite thickness?

Do the automatic valves have a manual mode? ie. twist to keep it up, like a bathtub drain?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 1:01PM
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poolguynj

Generally speaking, there is gravel under the shell.

There is no manual mode for the valves. If you wanted to dump water, the Waste setting on a multiport or a 3 way valve is placed above the pump and the skimmers are shut off.

Scott

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 2:51PM
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robiff

Yes, make the tubes longer to account for the thickness of the pool shell. All main drains have ports on the bottom; some are threaded and some are slip fit to glue the perf. pipe into.

On the pool side the ports are either 2" or 1.5" threads. If 2", you need to reduce somehow so that you can use the 1.5" valve.

-R

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 3:41PM
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jscozz

Any thread sealant used on the inside threads where the valve is installed? If so, what do you recommend? is the same that would be used when threading an electrical PVC mail adapter into a light niche?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 12:45AM
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robiff

Use a thread sealant that you might find in the plumbing section of your local hardware store. It should be non-hardening and compatible with plastic. RectorSeal makes threaded pipe sealants that are compatible with PVC, for example.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 3:50AM
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jscozz

Excellent! Thanks to everyone's feedback here I now have 4 drains in my deep end with home fabricated 2" perforated pvc tubes in the bottom port. When we fill the pool I will probably put an automatic valve in one or two of them and plugs in the other two. I will be adding 1-1/2 tubes to shallow end also... probably 3 or 4. Thank you all for your feedback!

While fabricating these, the engineer part of me was thinking that it would be pretty cool to run a low voltage line below the rebar, with a water sensor on it, putting it into one of the perforations in a tube so I can access it from inside the pool later on... then be able to detect when any ground water exists in the tube. Or I could just look in my well that is 30 feet from the pool and judge the level... :) Water sensor would be cooler! On the pratical side, it would also be good to detect any leak from the automatic hydrostatic valve or elsewhere!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 2:08PM
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robiff

What a cool idea...

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 4:43PM
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renovxpt

Thats a lot of overkill. All you need is one dedicated drain pot with a collection tube and hydrostatic relief valve in the deep end. I have never seen one fail to open. The only time you might need 2 is if the pool is so large it has an expansion joint in the shell.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 7:01PM
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jscozz

Yeah, but I look at it this way... the pots have the threaded fitting there already... the PB would have just plugged it... it cost me about $9 to make 4 tubes, caps, male adapters... and drill some holes. I will keep at least two of them plugged also... but at least I have the option to use more than 2 if i want to or need to... and no additional clutter on the pool floor. I did have standing water about 1 foot below the deep end level right now before it was filled with gravel... and this is a relatively dry time.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 8:46PM
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