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Blog | Pool Plumbing and How it Works!

Swimming pool plumbing is probably the most important aspect of building a pool. Many builders want to satisfy customers who mistakenly believe more horsepower in a pump is always better than less. Also, smaller plumbing pipe and fittings cuts upfront costs. An example of this is go to a home improvement store and check the price of a 1.5" fitting vs. a 3" fitting. The three inch fitting is around five times the cost. Now multiply that times all the fittings it takes to plumb a pool. Now take into account the extra cost for the larger pipe you need. You will see a huge difference in costs.

Improper size pipe is one of the most common mistakes made by many pool builders. Often times when a pool does not have proper circulation. It is due to plumbing pipes being too small. After your pool is built is not the time to discover your pool has this problem. Some pool builders that have faced this issue have tried to overcome it by installing a larger pool pump. This does not work. A pump can only move as much water as it can draw and return through the plumbing pipes. What happens when the pipes are too small is the pump will get loud and cavitate. This will cause the pump to be inefficient and fail prematurely.

Also never, I mean never use flex pipe in underground pool construction. Flex pipe comes on a roll and you roll it out cut it to length  and glue on your fittings. It is a very good time saver therefore money saver, but it is not designed for in-ground pool plumbing. Because of how it is manufactured it can collapse, it can contract and pull out of the fittings it's glued too. If this pipe has been used on your pool it is not a matter of if but when you will have a catastrophic failure. This is the type of pipe used on manufactured above ground fiberglass spas. If a problems occur their you just dig through the insulation and fix the problem. If you have a problem with flex pipe in an in ground pool or spa, you will be doing some demolition on a major scale. Here is a picture (not an Atlantis project) of what flex pipe looks like in a spa, notice the ridges around the pipe.

The photo below shows one of our pools with a spa being plumbed. I know this looks like a lot of pipe but for the system to operate properly this is what is required.  Notice all pipe is ridged Schedule 40 PVC not flex pipe.

Here is an example of how much volume a 2" pipe carries vs. a 4" pipe. Most people would assume that two 2" pipes carry the same volume as one 4" pipe. That is not the case. Actually a 4" pipe carries almost four times the volume as one 2" pipe. Also each 90 degree elbow added to a plumbing run equals about 10' of pipe to the overall run. So you can see it is imperative that your pool builder has a good understanding of Hydraulics.

*The pipes that curve in the top picture of this article are not flex pipe. They have been heated and bent to shape. This is the plumbing for the huge boulder pool in our portfolio with the ten water falls!

Topics: all , Pool Plumbing and How it Works!

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