Plumbing - Flexible vs Hard piping


Active member
May 14, 2020
Erie, PA
I currently have all the pieces to hard plumb our pool with 1 1/2" pvc piping, complete with unions and jandy valves. However, I'm concerned at how to winterize when using hard pvc pipes that will be buried. I am planning on using a cartridge filter, which I read doesn't support back washing from my understanding. I am trying to understand how I would blow out the lines, pump, and filter in order to withstand the winter freezing. I live in Northwest PA and our winters can get bad!

My wifes cousins (who live a block away) have an above ground that they just use flexible 1 1/2" tubing to go from the pool to the pump, pump to filter, and filter back to the return. Before winter, they just unclamp the tube from the filter and let water drain out of the return tubing. Once done, they unclamp the tubing from the skimmer, pump, and filter, wrap the tubing up and store in the garage. They then cover the pump/filter with a homemade wooden box.

Honestly, I'd rather use the hard pvc piping I already have and bury it so tubing doesn't just hang through the yard. But the ease of the tubing has me wanting to do just that... Any ideas?


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LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
Fletcher, OK
Hard pipe all the way :)

I would recommend 2 inch pipe but 1.5 inch has worked for years... Also use all Jandy neverlube valves and unions on your pump This gives you the ability to take your pump out and leave the pipe there.. Also use a 3 way jandy valve to put a "backwash" ability to drain water in case its needed, mine is directly connected to my pump union... Check out how I did my Plumbing on my build below... You can put a union anywhere you want to separate pipes to blow out, if you use 2 with a 12 inch piece of pipe between you can take that section out completely.. :)

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TFP Guide
Winterize by using unions in appropriate places. This will allow you to use a blower/ shop vac / compressor to push the water out. You don’t need every drop, just most of it. I then put heavy plastic bags (ziplock) over the open ends and rubber banded them on to keep critters and water out.
I feel 1-1/2” pipe is fine and not much is gained by going to 2”.
If you are able, I would recommend bringing the pump and filter into a weather protected place.

Check out myHard pipe conversion thread.
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LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
Pacific NW
I'm no expert but I cringe whenever I see a build with flex pvc in the ground.

Too many stories of cavitation. No issue with hard pvc.


Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
On an above ground, you'll only need to blow out a few feet if pipe. It will be super easy and well worth the trouble to install it.


Active member
May 14, 2020
Erie, PA
Thanks for all the replies. I guess I'll get a few more unions then. I currently planned 3 unions, 1 under each of the skimmer and return, and 1 between the pump and filter. Sounds like it's better to have more than too few. So basically just separate the unions and blow out what's possible via a shop vac?

They don't have their flexible stuff buried, it just lays on the ground under their deck. It's out of sight, but I still know :).