Pipe sizing question for new pool to be built

Hi everyone,

I would greatly appreciate some feedback as I haven't been able to come to a conclusion from doing my own research. note that i'm a complete rookie never having had a pool before.

I'm going to be installing the Leisure Pools 26' Elegance model, I calculate that it holds approx. 13,000 gallons, so on the smaller side. Not sure if this is also relevant, but I plan to install the 'spa nook' jets and am possibly going to install a water feature wall with one 4' wide waterfall. I will be getting a variable speed pump.

The installer said they install 2" pipe on the suction side and 1.5" on the return. from trying to read as much as I could find, it seems that it's good to go at least 2" for both suction and return, but at the same time I've read that the size of the pool also factors into pipe size. So i'm wondering, on a pool this size, and with the spa nook jets and possible water feature, is the 2" suction and 1.5" return a good choice? hopefully I provided enough information for some feedback.

thanks in advance for any feedback.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
Sebring, Florida
The 2" suction and 1.5" pressure is just about right. You can go bigger but the efficiency you gain is very minimal.

Importantly, match the filter and pump to the pool (and piping) a 1.5HP VS or 2-speed pump would fit the pool size nicely. Get the largest filter that fits in the budget.....a 30" sand filter, while huge, is not too big for that pool and pump.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
Tucson, AZ
Is there a floor drain? If so, have it plumbed separate from the skimmer with both lines running from the pool to the pump with 2".

On the return side, I would imagine that you would have 3 separate lines going back to the pool: wall returns, spa jets, and water feature. Each of those could likely be 1.5", maybe 2" on the spa and water feature to help get higher flow rates.

Pipe sizing is not so much based on the size of the pool as it is on the flow rate needs. Bigger the pipes (especially the suction side), the lower the head loss and the higher the flow rate for a given pump/ rpm.

Fyi, my 18k pool had a single 1.5" suction line and single 1.5" return line to the walls.
Thanks for the quick replies.

Jason - no floor drain. I believe you're right about 3 separate lines, but I need to finalize the decisions and then have another meeting with pool builder. I guess I will ask him about 2" and 2" to see what his thoughts are but sounds like his current suggestion is good.