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Pool Plumbing Diagram & Layout Schematic Examples

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases.

Are you interested in swimming pools? If so, then chances are you want to know more about their construction and the materials you will need…

Swimming pools make for a wonderful addition to any outdoor space, as they can keep you cool during the summer months and look attractive in certain conditions.

However, swimming pools do require a complex plumbing network, which can be difficult to set up without previous experience. 

So if you want to learn more about swimming pools and their layouts, then you have come to the right place. 

In this article, we will take a look at pool plumbing diagrams and layout schematic examples, which are useful tools that will help you to understand the basics of swimming pool construction and maintenance. 

Why Do Pools Need Plumbing? 

While there are many elements to consider when owning a swimming pool, the plumbing is often overlooked in favor of chlorine levels and blocked filters.

However, this does not mean that the plumbing is unimportant, as it helps to keep the pool clean while also maintaining the sanitary conditions of the water. 

In most cases, the plumbing network helps to circulate the water through the filter, which removes unwanted dirt and debris from the pool.

Plumbing also helps to keep the water at an optimal level, which makes it suitable for swimming. If too much inadequate water enters the pool, it could damage the filtration system and cost a fortune in repairs.

The same can be said for corrupted plumbing, which will need to be replaced to ensure the maintained quality of the spa. 

Damaged plumbing networks can also increase the water and heating bills, which is another reason why you need to understand the basics of central pool maintenance.

What Kinds Of Pool Plumbing Diagrams Are There? 

Pool diagrams are used to showcase the various components of the pool’s plumbing system and how the contrasting parts come together.

In basic terms, it is a visual representation of how the pump, filter, and heating system works.

Because of this, it is possible to obtain diagrams for both above-ground and in-ground pools (see also ‘Average Costs Of Installing An In-Ground Pool – New Data!’), which means you will need to make sure that you have the right one. 

The main reason to use pool diagrams is to gain vital information concerning the filtration system, which will make it easier to fix and maintain.

However, this does not mean that the diagram covers all aspects of the pool, as it does not pinpoint the exact location of the pipes, which means you will need to spot them on your own. 

Nowadays, there are several kinds of pool diagrams available, which cover various elements from the pool’s filtration system to its hydraulic plan:

Filtration Diagram 

Filtration diagrams are used to depict the pool’s hydraulic layout, which means it showcases the route the water takes once it has left the pool and entered the filter.

It also shows a visual representation of the valve and non-return valve positions, which results in an accurate depiction of the pool’s filtration system.

The diagram will present the accurate positions of the pipes in the filtration system, while also demonstrating how the system is connected and how it works.

It will also present the locations of the filter, disinfection device, valves, and pool heater. However, this does mainly relate to in-ground pools. 

Pool Connection Schematic

Pool connection schematics are used to explain the water’s path through the pool’s filtration system, which helps to outline how the pool operates.

These schematic diagrams will often show the exact locations of the swimming pool’s various components, such as the filter, heater, and disinfection device.

However, it is important to note that pool schematics do not depict calibrated pool equipment and are commonly used in skimmers instead of overflow pools. 

These diagrams are useful to those who have no previous experience dealing with pools, as they present a clear picture of how the filtration setup works.

It also covers the basics of pool maintenance and the placement of certain components. For these reasons, pool connection schematics are useful in pool construction and maintenance. 

Hydraulic Plans 

Hydraulic plans are maps of the pump room, which detail the various pipes and components needed to ensure a safe swimming experience. In most cases, it is advisable to use PVC elements when renovating a private swimming pool. 

In most cases, a hydraulic circuit will consist of two interconnected plans, which include the following items: 

Layout Plan

This diagram depicts the layout of the pool’s sealed components, which include the bottom, lights, drains, and brush sockets.

Technical Room Plan

This diagram covers the exact measurements of the pool’s dimensions, such as its depth and width. When installing a pool plumbing system, these measurements have to be followed to the letter. 

Now that you understand the different diagrams available, let’s take a look at the various components that make up your plumbing system. 

What Makes Up The Plumbing Network? 

Swimming pools use various components to keep the water clean and flowing, with each element having its own unique function.

While it is common to prioritize the more expensive parts, all pool equipment is necessary to keep the pool safe and operational.

Pool Plumbing Diagram & Layout Schematic Examples

For the best results, we recommend using your swimming pool pump and filter diagram before securing any permanent fixtures:


Of course, water remains the central component of any swimming pool, as it keeps the other elements in working order. 

For this reason, it is important to maintain a sufficient water level, as this will help to protect the plumbing network.

In some cases, you will even need to add more water to the pool, as the level of water can reduce due to hot weather and evaporation. 

However, this also means that you will need to drain the pool if the water is covering the inlets or if it has recently rained. 

Main Drain

When it comes to in-ground pools, the network will consist of two main drains, which can be located at the bottom of the water. 

Because these drains are situated at the pool’s lowest point, the surface of the water will slant in the direction of the drain.

The drain also cleans the spa and helps to remove the unwanted debris from the pool’s bottom. In most cases, the drains will be covered with a protective grate, which ensures the owner’s safety. 

If the grate is ever removed from the drain, then you could be pulled into the current and drowned beneath the surface.


Returns are openings located on the walls of the pool, which allow the filtered water back into the main structure. 

Beyond this, the returns also help to circulate the clean water around the pool, which works to remove any accumulated debris. Circulation is an important part of any swimming pool, as it maintains the sanitary conditions of the pool water. 

Return Lines

Return lines are used to carry the filtered water back into the pool. In most cases, the lines will be attached to the return inlets. 


When it comes to plumbing an in-ground pool, you will have the option of three different filters – including sand, cartridge, and diatomaceous earth. 

Despite using the same basic methods, these filters can be purchased for various prices and are available from different brands and manufacturers.

In most cases, the main component will be operated by a pump, which uses force to filter the water and remove any unwanted debris from the pool. 

While most filters are capable of removing leaves and dead insects, it is also possible to purchase advanced models that remove hair and bacteria as well. 


Pool pumps have an important role in the filtration process, as they use force to clean the water and remove debris. 

In most cases, a common pool pump will feature an electric motor that produces negative pressure to remove the water from the pool.

Once the water has been drained, it is forced through the filter and returned via the water inlets. 

Suction Lines 

Suction lines are used to connect the skimmers to the main pump, which passes the water through the filters. 

The lines are commonly made from PVC and help to transport the water from the skimmers and back into the main spa. This is how the component earned its name, as it uses suction to move the water. 


The skimmer refers to a device on the inner walls of the pool, which is used to skim water from the pool’s surface. 

In most cases, the skimmer will consist of a small basket suspended just below the water, where it will catch unwanted debris such as leaves and dead insects.

Some skimmers also feature a weir, which is a small door that will open with the current. This helps to catch debris floating on the surface. 

Another benefit of the skimmer is that it uses natural elements to aid in its dirt collection.

For example, the device can use the wind to catch debris. To achieve the best results, a shared swimming pool should have three skimmers (see our guide on installing a thru wall skimmer), while a private swimming pool should have around two. 

Other Plumbing Components 

While the components mentioned above play an important role in pool maintenance, there are other pieces of equipment that can be used to improve the condition of your pool.

These include heaters and feeders, which can be purchased from various manufacturers. It is also important to note that these accessories are optional and won’t need to be installed in every swimming pool…

Pool Heaters 

Once you have installed a pool heater in your plumbing system, it should have little impact on the pool’s circulation. In fact, the addition of a pool heater should result in a welcoming and comfortable environment. 

Pool heaters are a must-have accessory if you suffer from health conditions or hate freezing cold water, as they maintain a decent temperature and keep the water warm. 

Because pool heaters are available in various shapes and sizes, they can also be purchased for a range of different prices. In most cases, common pool heaters will use propane or electricity to heat the pool.

However, it is also possible to purchase models that run on solar power. While these heaters are more affordable, they do require certain supplies to achieve the best results. 

If your swimming pool has been fitted with a spa combination, then you should be able to purchase a compatible pool heater from the same manufacturer. 

Chemical Feeders 

With a basic chemical feeder, you will be able to maintain one of the more complicated areas of pool maintenance – sanitization

These installations can be used to control the sanitization process, which allows chemicals such as chlorine and bromine to enter the pool.

In most cases, chemical feeders will need to be connected to the filtration line, which will allow the feeder to take over the various duties of sanitization. 

All you need to do is fill the feeder with your chosen chemical (chlorine, bromine, or mineral cartridge) and let it do all the work. 

However, it is important to note that chemical feeders should not be used in heated pools, as the chemicals could corrupt the heater and cost you a fortune. 

Frequently Asked Questions

If your swimming pool is still brand new, then chances are you have some questions about pool diagrams and schematics. 

In the section below, we have answered some of your burning questions, which cover all you need to know about drains and pool maintenance:

Why Are There Two Drains In The Pool? 

The reason you have two drains at the bottom of your pool is to prevent accidents and entrapment. In certain cases, the suction of the drain can be so powerful that it draws in swimmers and drowns them.

So to avoid this, the addition of a second drain can be used to lessen the force. 

Does Your Pool Need A Check Valve? 

If your pool has been fitted with a fountain or solar heater, then you will need a check valve to keep the water flowing in one direction.

The same can be said if your swimming pool has a chlorinator or overflow lines. While there are many check valves available, Jandy valves are considered some of the best. 

Final Thoughts 

Every swimming pool in the world uses its own complex plumbing system, which allows the water to remain clean and sanitary. In most cases, this network will consist of the same vital components.

Understanding how the system works can be extremely helpful, especially when faced with an unknown problem. For this reason, you should refer to pool plumbing diagrams for advice. 

author avatar
Charlie Hardcastle


On Key

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Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases. When it comes to dealing with clogged drains, many homeowners turn