There are some things that as the customer, you may not know about your pool. The more bells and whistles you have on the pool the more there is that you will likely not know. I think that it is important for a customer to know as much as possible about their pool and how it works. Today I am going to go into detail about how a pool professional would go about plumbing a Paramount Swing Sweep in floor cleaning system. However before I get into that I think I should first give you some general pool plumbing information to start from.
A basic pool will have a skimmer, main drain, and returns. The skimmer is what removes debris that are floating on the pool surface. It has a basket inside of it that can be removed and emptied. The plumbing line for the skimmer goes to the pump and hooked up to a valve. The main drain is the drain that is located on the floor of the pool. If you have a newer pool then you will likely have two main drains on the floor. The reason for having two main drains is for safety. Both drains are plumbed into one line which goes to the pump and hooked to the same valve as the skimmer. This valve will allow you to turn on either the skimmer, the main drain, or both at the same time. This type of valve is ideal for vacuuming the pool as it allows you to isolate the skimmer, which will give you better suction for vacuuming. From the valve, the water goes through the pump, into the filter, and then either through a heater or heat pump if you have one, or through a chlorinator or salt cell before going back to the pool. The water goes back into the pool through the returns.
Returns are the jet like fittings on the walls of the pool. You will likely have two or more in your pool. When you have more than one they will likely be plumbed together into one line.
That is just a basic explanation of how swimming pool plumbing works. When you get into using a Paramount Swing Sweep system things will get a bit more complex. First you will notice that the main drain, and returns are different than that of standard returns and main drains. This is because these are specially designed for the Paramount system.
The MDX-R3 is the main drain that will get used for this system. It is designed to receive large amounts of debris and remove it from your pool. Another thing you will notice is that there is only one of them. That is because this system uses a secondary drain called an SDX. This allows there to be only one drain on the floor of the pool if desired.
The SDX can be installed on the wall of the pool, or the floor if needed. This is again a safety precaution. If the MDX-R3 gets blocked off then the SDX is fully capable of taking on the full suction of the pump. This allows whatever is blocking the MDX-R3 to be easily removed. Like standard main drains, these two are plumbed together underground.
More often than not you will also have a Debris Canister as well. This is a device much like a skimmer that takes all of the debris removed by the main drain and stores it until it is ready to be emptied. Also, like a skimmer, you can gain access to the debris canister through the deck of the pool. You simply have to remove the lid and pull out the full net and dump it out. Without the debris canister, all of the debris removed by the MDX-R3 will go all the way to the pump and get trapped in the pump basket. This is not necessarily a bad thing, you will just have the inconvenience of having to shut the pump off every time the basket gets full, which would be more often than when using the debris canister.
You will also notice that the returns are very different than a standard return. This is because they are specially designed to Move back and fourth in a 90 degree pattern. This is what moves all of the debris to the main drain for removal. These are very unique returns and very effective. They function in zones. There will be a few going at a time for around 30 seconds or so. Then they will switch to a different zone where a few more will kick on. Every time they turn off they change positions, so that when they come on again they are aiming a different direction. They do this by being plumbed into a water valve.
The water valve acts like the brains of this whole operation. It uses a system of gears to open and close different ports and actuate the different SwingJets. To give you a better idea let’s pretend that you have a pool that has 9 SwingJets on it. That many jets would require a 3 port valve. That is because you can have 3 jets on one port. The water flowing through the valve turns the gears and opens the ports individually. Every time a port is opened you will have three jets working. As the gears continue to turn that port will close, the jets will change position, and another port will open. It continues cycling in that way the entire time the pump is on. So how does all this get plumbed together to make it all work?
I always start at the pool. I will get the MDX-R3 set where it needs to be and then determine where I want the SDX. A lot of the time I will choose to put the SDX on the wall of the pool but toward the bottom. From there I will start to plumb. With the MDX, there will be a 4″ section of PVC, and a reducer bushing to reduce the 4″ down to 2 1/2″. The 4″ pipe must be used for the system to work properly. However you can again reduce the 2 1/2″ down to 2″. After that I will Tee in the SDX line and run the plumbing up the wall of the pool to the debris canister. See the image below.
The line will go in one side of the canister and out the bottom. From there it will go all the way to the pump to be hooked into a valve. At this point I can switch to 1 1/2″ pipe if I choose, however with hydraulics, the bigger the pipe the better. Here the system will be plumbed into the equipment like normal. It will go into the pump, then filter, then heater/ heat pump, and then through a salt cell or chlorinator. Coming out of the salt cell or chlorinator is where it gets different again.
This is where the water valve comes into play. The center of the valve is where the water comes in. In the example above there will be three other openings in the bottom of the valve that represent the different ports. Each opening will get a line plumbed into it. From there the lines will make their way back to the pool. Being that there are 9 jets to deal with I will have already planned out what zone each jet will be on, keeping in mind that each port will get 3 jets. Once I have that figured out I can take the lines from each jet and plumb them into the appropriate port.
To do this I will create a branch from each port of the valve. Basically I will make it so each of the 3 lines coming out of the valve plumb into the three lines coming from the pre determined jets for that port. This may sound more confusing than it really is. Once you have all of the lines in the appropriate ports you are finished. From there the system is ready to go once the water is in the pool.
For more information on Paramount please check out their website at www.paramountpoolproducts.com or take a look at my 3 part blog posts on how to have your vinyl liner in ground pool clean itself.