What is there to be said about hydraulics that hasn’t already been said a million times? Who cares! I can pull up a chair and listen to anyone talk about hydraulics any time of day. If you build WaterShape’s for a living and you don’t obsess over hydraulics, it’s okay, you’ll get there. We all eventually get there…

The first rule of the Hydraulics Club is, you always talk about Hydraulics! One of the first applications in the building/ development stages and the life blood of your WaterShape for its entirety. Why not focus a majority of your planning time on what keeps this creation alive? Your hydraulics and equipment set will make or break the life of your WaterShape so always make hydraulic decisions with the utmost integrity. Never settle on line sizes because of budgets or mark ups. Design and install your hydraulics to meet the most stringent code requirements with a minimum 20% buffer to ensure you are protecting your clients as well as your company’s livelihood.

Back to my opening statement regarding what isn’t talked about enough in hydraulics. How about concealing visual pipe penetrations, pipe colors and their applications and equipment sets that demand the photographer stop shooting the pool and start shooting it! Look at that, looks like I just created an outline for my article.

I cannot express to you how important it is to conceal your pipe penetrations! Be creative but be smart! I have seen people go to great lengths to try and conceal a fitting when in turn all they did was draw more attention to it. Think about the lines of your vessel, the view of the project from the client’s perspective, inside the home and out, the interior finish in the vessel and the desired water surface agitation. Do you want good surface agitation or a sheet of glass? The costs to do one or the other is massively different in comparison.

Find and utilize what is best for each application. This is just as important as their pebble sheen finish or glass tile spa, and you know it will end up being seen in both. Well, that’s only if you didn’t plan accordingly. Toe kicks, plaster drains and fittings, colored PVC and false floors are just a few ways to hide or conceal fittings in your WaterShape. There is always an option so make sure you exhaust all resources before settling on an unattractive fitting location. Remember, redesign is always an option. Never rule out a redesign! We do it all of the time, and every time we push ourselves to design a detail better than the concept before it.

“LMAO! It’s all buried underground dummy!” No not all of it. There are a couple of reasons I like to use multiple shades of color when it comes to PVC. Therapy jets, pool returns and overflow lines are just a few of the plumbing lines that we
utilize colored PVC with.

Although I am partial to a select few manufacturers and vendors, I do not use any therapy jet or return fittings currently on the market. They are unnecessary in almost every spa application I have ever designed or built. If anything, they are a hindrance and an eyesore. Instead, we utilize PVC that matches the interior finish. If it sounds simple, that is because it is. Simple and clean! The eye will not gravitate towards the fittings, instead it will allow your mind to enjoy the water reflection and organic nature of your perfectly designed WaterShape.

EQUIPMENT SETSThis is my favorite place to design after the project is contracted. This area needs to be sized correctly for the equipment, serviceability and storage. Our firm will easily spend 75% of our plan development time on the equipment pad and hydraulics. We consider all of the following pertinent information:
1) Equipment service space needs.2) Code clearance requirements.
3) Under pad utility sleeving for equipment and low voltage boxes.
4) Drainage
5) Underground multiple water feature valve boxes.
These help to minimize congested equipment sets.
6) Chemical storage.
7) Miscellaneous storage.
8) Hose bibbs.
9) Misting systems.
These are just a few considerations and doesn’t begin to touch on overflowing vessels and enclosed room equipment sets. This is truly the heart of your vessel and it needs to be designed perfectly for the body of  water it will be keeping alive. The only money you need
to be concerned with saving on an equipment set is the money your saving your client because you’re designing them a hydraulically efficient WaterShape.

Now please excuse me, we just got a shipment of IntelliFlo XF’s that I’m going to go stare at…
Jeromey Naugle
Premier Paradise, Inc