Installation Of Drain In The Bottom Of The Pool With Skimmer and 2 Jets

by Michelle

I am having an in ground pool straight back kidney 12*16*32 installed and it has come to my attention now that they want to install a drain in the bottom of the pool. I have not heard of this being done recently and I am a bit concerned about this. None of my friends have this in their pools so is this necessary and does it make the pool better with it?

Hi Michelle. Installing a bottom drain is a HUGE debate among pool guys and builders. I can promise that during your research you'll find that 1/2 will say you must get a bottom drain, the other 1/2 will say not needed. So what to do? Here's my take but we first need to define and describe what a bottom drain is and does.

The drain is part of the suction side of the filtration system. However, it can only suck debris from a few inches away, espcially now that anti-vortex drains are required. It is also used to drain the pool in the case of acid washes, reducing the CYA, and repairs of the surface. But you can always get a submersible pump to drain.

Then there's circulation for chemical mixing, but a good brushing will distribute the chemicals. Some people will argue that main drains are needed for the removal of debris but the dirt must be right on top of the drain for it to be effective for the reasons already stated. If you're going to have an in-floor pop-up cleaning system then a drain is needed. Any dirt that settles on the bottom of the pool will be there, regardless of whether you have a bottom drain or not. A good cleaner, when used properly, should take care of 90% of the dirt.

I would ask your friends how their pools are. Ask
about chemical use and ease of cleaning. I take care of a pool that doesn't have a cleaner. She's a single mom without much money. Last Summer I had to vacuum her pool at minimum twice per week and brush 4 - 5 times per week, just to keep it clean. All that with a bottom drain.

Others will say the bottom water becomes stagnant for the lack of a bottom drain. You can aim the returns downward.

The question is why do we have bottom/main drains to begin with? Think about that. Why is it called a drain when 99.9% of the time it doesn't? Over 100 years ago, before filtration and sanitation as we know it, rich people with pools would fill the pools, use them, then drain them. And beyond that, the majority of above ground pools have 1 skimmer.

I would encourage you to be sure to have the contractor get the Total Dynamic Head correct. Here's a link to that:

I calculated you pool at about 13,000 gallons. You're probably on the metric system but I think my calculations are accurate. I would say with the proper skimmer suction, probably 2 at minimum, and your smaller size pool, there would be no need for a bottom drain. Get a good suction cleaner such as a Kreepy or a booster cleaner like a Polaris to clean the bottom. You're in Canada so your swimming season is only about 3 - 4 months. Is that correct? Run your filter and cleaner for 10 - 12 hours per day. Be sure to have an extra inlet in the skimmer to hook up the Kreepy so one line will work for that while the other will keep the skimmer open.

Please know this is only my opinion and the final choice is yours.

Hope this helps.


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Apr 23, 2016
by: wms

I have something similar, 4 drains, two in the side walls and 2 in the deep end, also 3 rotating returns that change direction every 15 min or so. I works great and turns over the water fast,and even flow, also Had it built by one of the largest builds around. Look it up also have a suction side line to hook up a cleaner if need be. Check out Jandy web site.

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