Someone please explain this

acroberson

Active member
Jul 9, 2010
29
Woodway, TX
So I’m possibly having a new pool built by the end of the year since we are moving to the country and probably won’t buy a house with a pool already in it. My question is why would a pool builder put the pool pump higher than the the pool water? I see this all the time. This is what my house currently has. Wouldn’t it make sense to put the pump lower than the pools water is so the water would naturally drain back into the pump when the pump is off. I realize it’s probably harder on the pump but I’m having to have my pump rebuilt or buy a new one ever 2 years, and rebuilding it once a year. I’m going to possibly build my own pool next time around since I have a skid steer and am a pretty good electrician and plumber. I’m thinking fiberglass.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
23,856
As long as it's not more than about 3 feet above the pool, it's not going to make much difference either way.

You can do up to about 10 feet if you take special care to do it right. Mostly just use extra large pipe.

If you're replacing or rebuilding your pump every year or every other year, something is wrong.

Make sure that you use an "ozone/salt" rated seal when replacing the seal.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,619
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Your profile does not contain a location and the answer can be location specific.

Winterizing pool equipment is easier when the equipment is level or above the water level. Water naturally drains out of all the equipment.

When the equipment is below the water level you have to have valves to close before doing any maintenance on equipment to stop the natural draining.

Either location can work with proper design. Neither puts undue stress on pool equipment.

You have something else going on causing your pumps to fail prematurely.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
15,917
Evans, Georgia
My question is why would a pool builder put the pool pump higher than the the pool water? I see this all the time.

It may be as simple as aesthetics. Placing the equipment in a spot that is more "out of view" or out of the way of other activities in the yard/garden area.

Maddie :flower:
 

acroberson

Active member
Jul 9, 2010
29
Woodway, TX
My problem is trees. I have a stupid amount of trees including Crepe Mertyles on my property. So my skimmer fills up with leaves and flowers in under 4 hours during the fall. This inevitably causes restricted water flow therefore the pump loses prime. I can’t be there to clear the basket every 4 hours. My question is on my new pool build, if I put the pump below the skimmer line wouldn’t the water drain back into the pump. I’m just asking if putting the pump below the skimmer line make a difference on having to use check valves in order to keep the pump primed. Those check valves suck anyway and can literally be of no use if so much as a Crepe Mertyl flower get jammed in there. You can simply place one valve to shut off all water going to the pump for maintenance. That not hard but replacing check valve guts twice a year is a PITA.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,619
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
That is where a main drain is helpful to allow water to keep flowing to the pump if the skimmers get clogged. Put a good large piped main drain home run to your equipment pad in your new build.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
23,856
So my skimmer fills up with leaves and flowers in under 4 hours during the fall. This inevitably causes restricted water flow therefore the pump loses prime
Clogged baskets reduce flow but they should not affect the prime.

As long as the system is airtight, the pump should remain primed.

If the baskets are getting clogged, putting the pump lower isn't going to help.

As long as the pump is not more than about 2 feet above the water surface, you probably don't need a check valve.

If you do want to have a check valve, put it on the discharge of the pump instead of the suction to reduce its exposure to debris.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
23,856
For your new build, use 4 skimmers and make sure that each skimmer has an equalizer line.

A main drain can also help.

You can put the pump lower if you want, but it's probably not going to make much difference either way.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
13,008
Houston, Texas

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

OrlandoBull

Well-known member
Jul 30, 2015
188
Winter Garden , FL
Had a neighbor's crepe myrtle overhanging my first pool. That season was awful. The basket would fill up, then get sucked down into the skimmer and break. I would go through 2-3 baskets per season even emptying it every day after work. Those things have no business around a pool. My pool also did not have a functioning main drain.

As far as the pump location, shouldn't matter as long as the system is water-tight. I think you want to be a little above water level though... otherwise, when you go to empty the pump basket or clean the filter, you are battling water flow. A check valve can be used, but usually is not preferred on the suction side in my opinion. Good luck with a new build!