How To Set Up In Ground Pool Equipment - Part 1 - Circulation


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This guide is part 1 of a series on what pool equipment you would consider in building or expanding to a comprehensive pool system. This part addresses the components for the circulation function - the equipment required to just circulate and filter your pool water.

Step by Step


Step 1

The pool equipment required for circulating the pool and spa water through a filtering system is shown on the right side of this picture. This equipment consists of the circulation pump, a large filter and the valves and piping required to control the flow of water from and to the pool and spa.

Step 2

This picture provides a closer view of the circulation equipment. The circulation equipment is often broken into two sections: "From Pool" - the suction side of the pump that pulls water from the pool; and "To Pool" - the discharge side of the pump that pushes water back through the filter to the return ports of the pool. We'll discuss the "From Pool" equipment first.

Please click here to view diverter valves. 

Step 3

This is a picture of the main circulation pool pump - a Jandy 2HP variable speed E-Pump JPR 2.0. It operates at speeds of between 1725 and 3450 RPM to conserve energy. Water from the pool comes into the pump on the left side of the picture and is discharged to the filter through a port on the top of the pump. Click here for more information on "How a Pool Pump Works".

Please click here to view pumps. 

Step 4

For this large pool water is sucked into the pool pump from five different sources; the pool drain, the spa drain, skimmer 1, skimmer 2 and a port to the suction pool cleaner. Four valves are installed to allow the user to select which of these sources to pull from.

Step 5

Spa Drain - the long white strip on the bottom of the spa. This long drain is one of the newer products designed to avoid entrapment by suction.

Step 6

Pool Drains - the white strips at the bottom of the pool. Two were installed for this pool system: one for supplying water to the main circulation pump and one for supplying water to the feature's pump discussed in Part 2 - Features. Both of these drains collect debris off the bottom of the pool.

Please click here to view skimmers and main drains. 

Step 7

Skimmers - Two skimmers were installed around the circumference of this pool because of its size and style. Most pools only have one skimmer. Skimmers are used to collect debris off the surface of the pool.

Step 8

Suction Cleaner - Many pools including this one provide a suction port on the side of the pool to provide suction for a pool cleaner like a Navigator or a Poolvergnugen.

Please click here to view suction cleaners. 

Step 9

Valves can be installed for either manual operation or automated operation. For manual operation, you set the handle manually to open or close selected ports. In an automated operation, a valve actuator is mounted on top of the valve and the valve is controlled digitally through a control box. For more information on valves click here

Please click here to view valve actuators. 

Step 10

This picture shows a common valve setting for this pool. The yellow "T" lines placed over each valve show the position of the valve handles. If the handle is placed so that the top of the "T" is across a pipe, that port is closed - as is the case for the pool cleaner and the spa drain. If the handle is placed with the top of the "T" running in line with the pipe, all ports are open. If the "T" is at an angle to the pipe, the valve is allowing partial flow through the port - as is the case with the pool drain. In this particular valve configuration water is flowing to the pump from the two skimmers and partially from the pool drain. Water from the spa drain and the pool cleaner is blocked. When the suction cleaner is used, the skimmer ports are shut off to provide more suction to the cleaner.

Step 11

"To Pool" - The second half of this guide discusses the discharge side of the pump - water being pushed from the pump, through the filter, and back to the pool.

Step 12

Water is discharged from the pump into the pool filter. A large Jandy TL 580 Cartridge Filter with 4 cartridges was selected to filter this large of a pool.

Please click here to view filters. 

Step 13

After the water is filtered, it flows to a valve that diverts the water through a heater loop if desired. If not, the valve is set to have the water bypass the heaters and flow directly to the system's chemical treatment equipment. The yellow "T" superimposed on the valve shows that the valve is set to divert the water through the heater loop. See Part 3 for an expanded discussion of this pool's Heaters.

Please click here to view heaters. 

Step 14

This pool system uses a fully automated chemical system to control the chlorine and pH levels. See Part 4 for an expanded discussion of the Chemical equipment. Note that a check valve has been inserted just before the Chlorinator. This valve only allows the water to flow in one direction. Sometimes when the pumps is shut off, backpressure is created that may push the water backward. This valve keeps the undiluted chlorine water from backing up into and damaging the heater and filter systems.

Please click here to view check valves.

Please click here to view sanitizers.

Step 15

From the Chlorinator the water flows to a series of diverter valves that direct the water to the various return ports in the pool. Note the Flow Gauge inserted in the pipe just before the diverter valves.

Please click here to view diverter valves. 

Step 16

This Flow Gauge monitors the water pressure in the pipe to alert the user to a possible water flow problem like a partial blockage or the need to clean the filter. It is also used to help balance the line to provide optimum pressure in the line. These gauges come in different models according to the size of the pipe. In this case the gauge is calibrated for a 2 1/2" pipe and is currently reading at 135 GPM.

Please click here to view flow meters. 

Step 17

This pool system has a number of return ports to the pool and spa: 8 Spa jets around the side of the Spa wall, 5 Pool return jets around the pool wall and a Spa Bubbler at the base of the Spa floor.

Please click here to view returns.

Please click to view bubblers. 

Step 18

Pool Return Jets - This picture shows the location of two of the return jets in the side of the pool. the other 3 are positioned about equally spaced around the pool.

Step 19

Spa Return Jets - This picture shows the location of 3 of the 8 Spa jets that provide water to the Spa. The high pressure normally associated with these jets is created when air pressure is injected into the water streams by an air blower. This is discussed further in Part 2 - Features.

Step 20

Spa Bubbler - This port supplies water to the Spa to provide some fresh water circulating in the Spa when the Spa is shut off. When the Blower is turned on, it becomes a Bubbler.

Step 21

This picture shows a common configuration for return valves when the Spa is not in use. The yellow "T" lines placed over each valve show the position of the valve handles. Water to the Spa return ports is blocked and water is flowing to the 5 Pool Jets and the Spa Bubbler. Note that by the positioning of the handle more water is flowing to the Pool Jets than the Spa Bubbler.

Step 22

There is one port left in the discharge side that has to be addressed yet and that is the Waste line coming out at the bottom of the circulation filter. This port is opened by a Ball Valve to dump water from the pool after a heavy rain or to drain the pool for any other reason.

Please click here to view ball valves. 

Step 23

This concludes our guide on setting up equipment for in ground pool circulation. Click here to return to the Overview for other pool equipment options.


(1 to 7 of 7)

 Posted: 5/27/2019 

Great job of pointing everything out that you need to think about when doing your set up.

 Posted: 1/15/2018 

please advise i want a pool and spa together but the spa heated and the pool cool. do i need two filter, pump etc?

Anonymous  Posted: 11/16/2017 

you never said how to install the filter. You even said at the top that you were going to tell us the steps of INSTALLING THE FILTER!

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 12/2/2016 

M Barabi - I would consider the spa and pool as one body of water. Generally, the pool water flow through the spa as it circulates so the spa water isn't completely filtered until the pool water is filtered.

 Posted: 11/30/2016 

I think turn-over rate in pool and spa is different. How is it possible to consider one filter and pump for both of them? Please clarify for better understanding.

 Posted: 7/4/2015 

very nice info & helpful for me for my plan to have my own swimming pool in my backyard

 Posted: 9/26/2012 

This info was very detail and helpful