Michael LaCouture / Author – Owner

Pool Equipment Placed Approximately 60 Feet Above The Pool Spells Disaster

An inexperienced pool builder, located the pool equipment, approximately 60 feet above the pool. This catastrophe gave the homeowner nothing but headaches throughout the years. The pump being located at such a height, had to pump the water up the pipes to the pool equipment through the filter and heater. Only one check valve was installed to try to hold the water at the 60 feet level. The homeowner could not catch Prime in the pool and For years had to prime it from the pool skimmer using a hose and a bladder to force water up the pipe to the 60 foot level. I recommended moving all the equipment down to the pool level and re-piping the pool

When swimming pool equipment (such as pumps, filters, and heaters) is positioned 60 feet away and considerably higher than the swimming pool itself, several factors come into play that can impact the system’s efficiency and effectiveness. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of what happens and why each factor is important:

1. Increased Hydraulic Resistance

  • Why it matters: Hydraulic resistance or head loss increases with the distance and height difference between the pool and the equipment. This is because water has to travel a longer path and overcome gravity to reach the equipment, requiring more energy.
  • Impact: The pump needs to work harder to maintain the necessary flow rate for filtration and circulation. This can lead to increased energy consumption and potentially higher operational costs.

2. Requirement for a More Powerful Pump

  • Why it matters: To compensate for the increased resistance, a more powerful pump may be needed. Pumps are rated by their ability to overcome head (height) and provide a certain flow rate (measured in gallons per minute or GPM).
  • Impact: A pump with a higher horsepower (HP) will be required to ensure that water can be efficiently circulated and filtered. This not only affects initial setup costs but can also increase electricity usage.

3. Potential for Reduced Efficiency

  • Why it matters: The further and higher the equipment is, the more likely it is that heat loss could occur in heated pools, especially through the pipes. Also, the effectiveness of the filtration might be slightly compromised due to the longer time it takes for water to circulate back to the pool.
  • Impact: You might experience higher heating costs and a need for more frequent maintenance or cleaning of the filter, as the system has to operate longer to achieve the same level of water quality.

4. Increased Wear and Tear

  • Why it matters: Equipment that has to work harder to overcome distance and elevation will typically experience more wear and tear over time than equipment operating under less strain.
  • Impact: This can lead to more frequent repairs or replacements, affecting the long-term maintenance budget for the pool.

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