February 25

How Does Inground Pool Plumbing Work?

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Pools are a staple of homes all over Brisbane. When the weather is hot and humid for nine months of the year, it’s hard to beat the convenience of a backyard pool for staying cool. Inground pools are the gold standard for most homes, offering a more permanent and elegant way to enjoy swimming year-round. The secret to owning and maintaining a pool lies in the plumbing that goes on behind the scenes. Inground pool plumbing is a simple system that keeps your pool looking beautiful and blue, even when you don’t have time to swim in it.

Why Do Pools Need Plumbing?

If you’ve ever seen what happens to a puddle of water that stands still for too long, you know why pools need plumbing. To avoid having a large body of water in your backyard turn into a breeding ground for mosquitoes, most pools come with chemical additives that keep the water in good condition. Generally speaking, Australian pools have two different chemical makeups:

  1. Chlorine Pools. These pools use chlorine as a water additive that prevents the growth of bacteria. Chlorine pools circulate the water from the pool through a plumbing system that filters and keeps it clean.
  2. Saltwater Pools. Rather than adding chlorine directly to the pool, saltwater pools produce their own chlorine from salt that is added to the water. In saltwater pools, the plumbing system contains an additional piece: an electrolytic pump. This pump electrolyses the salt in the water, causing a chemical change that produces chlorine.

Inground Pool Plumbing Components

The plumbing system attached to an inground pool continuously circulates water in and out of the pool. Water is carried away by the pool pump for filtering, cleaning and, in the case of saltwater pools, for electrolysis. Pool plumbing systems are relatively straightforward, only having a few components:

  • Pump. The pump draws water from the pool, through the plumbing system, and then returns it to the pool once it has been filtered. Pool pumps can be run continuously, but most homeowners choose to put them on a timer and only run them for a few hours per day. 
  • Skimmer. The skimmer is located in the pool itself and is the point where water is drawn from the pool. The skimmer contains a simple basket or some other method of coarse filtering that’s designed to get the largest debris out of the water before it reaches the pool pump. The pump sucks water down through the skimmer basket, catching things like leaves and twigs. Skimmer baskets need to be periodically emptied to keep the pool flowing.
  • Filter. After passing through the skimmer, pool water heads for the filter. Filters are usually disposable and made of a fine fabric that filters out small components like dirt and sand that you don’t want in the pool. Like the skimmer, filters need to be cleaned regularly.
  • Piping. You guessed it! The water in your pool is pumped out and returned through pipes that run under the ground. Suction and return lines are normally made from simple PVC. Return lines run to small jets in the side of the pool that is positioned to encourage water circulation while the pump is running.

Best Practice Inground Pool Plumbing

Pools are filled with harsh chemicals and salts that build up in pipes over time. And, since your inground pool plumbing runs under the ground where it’s hard to get at, it’s super important that your pool plumbing is installed by a professional team. Inground pools should always make use of pipes that are rated for use with chlorinated and salt water, and all lines should be designed with serviceability in mind. There’s nothing worse than having a small blockage turn into a major repair because the plumbing was installed incorrectly. If you’re installing a pool, ask to see examples of the plumber’s previous work and make sure the piping looks tidy and accessible.

Looking for Expert Plumbing Services? Contact S&J Plumbing and Gasfitting Today!

The plumbing around your home keeps you safe and healthy, so it’s important to stay on top of any maintenance and repairs you need. Constant contact with water and minerals means that plumbing work should always be carried out by qualified professionals.

S&J Plumbing and Gasfitting are Brisbane’s master plumbers, and we are equipped to do everything from major installations to minor repairs around your home or business. Get in touch with us today to find out more about the services we provide or to make an appointment!


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