I am almost NEVER asked how we plumb our pools. Most customers just don’t know enough to even ask this question. But this is important stuff. A skillful plumber using the RIGHT MATERIALS can greatly reduce your risk of future leaks.
But what are the right plumbing materials for an Indiana Swimming Pool? The choices are FLEXIBLE PVC "PIPE"
................................................................ or you can use SCHEDULE 40 HARDPIPE.
THE WINNER- HARDPIPE YOUR INDIANA INGROUND POOL! The new winner and BEST CHOICE for piping an Indiana inground pool is Schedule 40 Hardpipe. Many, many builders right here in Central Indiana are still using flex pipe but I think it is time to stop and make the switch to hard pipe.
THE FLEX PIPE ADVANTAGE. We at Perma Pools recognize that flexible pipe is easier to use and get around turns and corners and results in less fittings as it comes in 100 foot rolls. It saves time. Proponents of flexible PVC Pipe claim that it has less chance for leaks because it has less fittings and glue joints.
TIMES HAVE CHANGED; FLEX PIPE DISCREDITED. However, our leak detection service informed us a couple of year ago that they were now seeing a higher incidence in Indiana of termites eating Flexible PVC Pipe than in the past. They were thus suggesting the use of hardpipe (this was a change from past advice we had received). Their observations, of course, are limited to Indiana. That same year we went to the national pool show in Atlantic City and we saw that one manufacturer of flex pipe was now stamping his flex pipe “not for underground use” (a clear CYA move)in response to the insect issue. Well, that was new.
So here’s the case against flex pipe:
TERMITES IN INDIANA. Flexible pipe contains cellulose and is not resistant to insects, in particular, termites (if present) eat it. The annedotal pool evidence is that Indiana now has more termites than it used to have. If flexible pvc is placed in between a termite and a food source, or if the termites like to eat cellulose, termites can eat their way through flex pipe. Manufacturers and installers are generally not responsible for flex pipe failure due to insect damage as it is an act of nature.
FLEX PIPE IS NOT PIPE. Oh, and when is "schedule 40" not schedule 40? Flexible PVC is treated as a hose by the building industry, not a pipe. Thus, while flex pipe fits Schedule 40 fittings (dimensionally) and can be used in place of schedule 40 pipe for many applications, it does not meet the requirements for schedule 40 pipe. (the pressure ratings are not the same as schedule 40 pipe.) So, while we call it "flexible pvc pipe" in reality it's a hose that fits into schedule 40 fittings.
Schedule 40 Hardpipe takes more time to install and requires greater skill to use correctly. It also requires the use of an expensive pipe bender to use correctly. But termites do not penetrate hardpipe and hardpipe is REAL PIPE.
So hardpipe is the better choice in Indiana. And 2" pipe is better than 1 1/2" pipe as it carries more water and makes for much better hydraulics. Rest assured that we at Perma Pools always spec 2" hardpipe for our pools.