So you own a swimming pool, but do you really know how all of its different pieces work or even what they are called? Today, we are going to break down the main pool components that you should know in order to properly care for and maintain them. 

As a professional Vancouver swimming pool contractor, it is our responsibility to properly educate our clients so that they can enjoy their pools for years to come!


8 essential pool components


1. Pump and motor

The most important part of your pool is its pump. Without it, your pool’s water would be stagnant and dirty. The pump consists of an electric motor, housing, and a strainer basket that protects the filter from large debris. The motor spins, drawing water into the suction lines, through the pump, and into the pool filter. 

This size of your pump is determined by the size of your pool. The larger the pool, the more horsepower the pump will need to move the higher volume of water. 


2. Suction Line

These pipes are usually made out of PVC and the job is to carry the pool water from the skimmer to the pump.


3. Filter

The second most important part of your swimming pool is the filter. Without the filter, dirty water would be circulated over and over again while becoming more cloudy over time. Filters remove fine debris, tiny particles, and even some types of bacteria. 

There are 3 main types of filters:

  • Sand filters
  • Cartridge filters
  • D.E. (Diatomaceous Earth) filters

Each type of filter comes with its own pros and cons. 


4. Skimmers

Skimmers are built into the side of the pool and they pull larger debris, such as leaves and sticks, from the water’s surface. The debris is collected inside of the skimmer basket which should be emptied weekly or as needed. This is where the water begins its journey to the pump.


5. Main Drain

This is usually located in the floor of your pool’s deep end. Even though it sounds like it is there to help drain your pool, that is not its main purpose. The drain’s normal role is to act as a different type of skimmer. 

The main drain helps with your pool’s circulation as water is pulled in at the top by the skimmers and sucked in at the bottom by the drain. 

Older pools may only feature one main drain while newer pools usually have two. Having two drains is a preventative safety measure to help reduce the suction force in case something – or someone – blocks one of the drains. 


6. Return Lines 

These pipes fulfil the opposite of suction lines, they carry the pool water away from the filter to the return jets. They are also made out of PVC. 


7. Return Jets 

Once the filtered water passes through the return lines, it is re-introduced to the main swimming pool via the return jets. 

Return jets also assist in water circulation as their secondary function is to push water around the pool and into the skimmers. 

These jets can take many forms including:

  • side jets
  • pop-up heads
  • spa spill-over
  • waterfall
  • aerator
  • water feature
  • and more!


8. Heater

While a heater is not necessarily an essential part of most swimming pools, many homeowners in Vancouver opt to have one installed since our summers do not experience many hot and humid days. 

Pool heaters also come in a variety of types including:

  • natural gas
  • propane
  • electric
  • solar


Now that you know your main pool components better, you will have an easier job identifying when things go wrong