Water Circulation Theory (IG vs AG)

TomU

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 22, 2007
93
Wyoming, Michigan
I was looking at larger above ground pools recently and I was amazed that every one of them had one skimmer and one return coming though the same panel, not more than 2' from each other. I realize the logic for doing this has to do with the flexible hose lengths and having one stainless steel panel, but for the life of me I can not imagine how a 33' round pool or a 21' x 43' oval pool is ever going to get any kind of decent circulation with this setup. I'll bet you could run the pump all day and never really filter some of the water at the other end of the pool. :shock: I don't think anyone would dream of using one skimmer and one return on any in ground pool, so why is it acceptable for an above ground pool? Those of you who are installers out there, do you add additional return and/or skimmers to your AG installs? I've seen some sites that recommend instaling the returns on one side/end of the pool and placing the skimmer(s) on the other side/end of the pool. Logically this seems like it would be much more effective. What do you think?
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
It is no longer commonly done, but many inground pools only have a single skimmer and a single return. For reguarly shaped pools where the water can circulate in a single circle or oval one return is sufficient. Irregular shapes often require more complex flow patterns and require more skimmers/returns. All you really need to do is to aim the return to the side and slightly down and the water will mix fairly well (assuming your pump is large enough).

These days pipe is cheap compared to the cost of an inground pool so having several skimmers/returns has become standard practice.
 

Rangeball

Well-known member
May 25, 2007
785
My IG 21,200 16'x32' rectangle has one skimmer, one main drain and one return. The return is in the shallow end, paralleling hte 16' side. I get good circulation around the perimeter of the pool, to the skimmer located midway on the same 32' side the return comes out of.

My dad has a 24' AG round pool with the one skimmer one return set up in the same panel as you describe. He get's fantastic circulation.
 

NWMNMom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 8, 2007
1,582
Waaay NW MN
Mine are on separate panels but still not too far apart. Return eye is aimed down and sideways - I watch and even see good circulation at the steps on the other end of pool, which I was really concerned about for algae growth if there wasn't enough circulation. I don't worry - it moves pretty well.
 

TomU

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 22, 2007
93
Wyoming, Michigan
Kinguni said:
I guess you haven't seen the Aqua Genie Skimmer. The return is directly below the skimmer. I'm very tempted to use this when I redo my pool in a couple of years (but still use BBB).
I wonder how much of the benefit from Aqua Genie Skimmer is the negative pressure zone created at the skimmer vs simply getting as much of the return water as possible to the other side. Has anyone out there actually used one of these and want to comment on it? I wonder if it could be retrofit into an above ground pool?