Knowing the Main Pool Parts: An All-In-One Guide

Do you know what the main parts of a pool are? If not, you should take a look at our detailed guide!

If you’ve ever been curious about how pools work but didn’t know where to start, we can help! 

We’ll be going to cover the essential pool parts, their functions, and why they are crucial. 

Knowing the Parts of a Pool Is Essential

Swimming pool parts near the pool

Knowing the parts of a pool is essential for many different reasons.

First and foremost, knowing these pool parts will help you understand your swimming pool better because you’ll know exactly what is going on there.

Secondly, it will also be easier to maintain your swimming pool once you’ve understood all the parts that make a pool work. 

Essential Pool Parts

Besides the additional pool attachments, and extras, every pool has seven main essential parts:

  • Return Jets
  • Filter
  • Pump
  • Suction line(s)
  • Return lines
  • Main drain
  • Skimmer

You can find some of these pool parts on the suction side of the pool, while you can locate some components on the pressure side. Once you get familiar with what each part of the pool does, the location of the pool parts will start to make sense.

The Suction Side

Pool suction sides and lid

As the name implies, the pool’s suction side is the one responsible for sucking in water then straight to the filtration system, which starts the circulation process.


Also known as the vacuum cleaners of the swimming pool, skimmers are essential to keep pools clean. This part of the pool works in pulling in leaves and debris inside the pool. Skimmers also help in keeping your pump clean by preventing grime buildup.

You can find skimmers in all types of pools – whether it’s above-ground, semi-in-ground, or inground pools.

These are plastic buckets built into the edge of the pool and are used to hold skimmer baskets. The baskets capture larger material such as leaves, twigs, bugs, and anything too large to pass through your filter.

Main Drain 

The main drain hole located at the side of the pool

This is the part of the pool where the water drains out. Most pools have a main drain and a return drain. The main drain is located above the waterline and sinks into the ground. The return line starts at the outside edge of your pool and ends at your return jet.

Main drain pumps are fitted with fine screens that allow you to remove debris such as leaves, twigs, bugs, debris, etc.

Note: Most modern in-ground pools offer two main drains. The function of these safety measures is to reduce the suction force in case something or someone blocks one of the drains. Older pools aren't built like this, making pool safety practices more important. - Matt, Founder of Swim University

Suction Lines

These are lines that start at your skimmer and end at the suction side. Besides connecting the main drain to the suction side, these are vital pool parts in making your pool function.

This pool part is responsible for transferring water, chemicals, debris, and other things into your pool filter. 

Filtration System

Although it serves different vital functions, the pool filter and pool pump make up the filtration system.

The Pool Pump

Pool pump. valvels, filters in a hut

The water in the pool does not just fall into the skimmers. The pool pump has an impeller that spins quickly enough to generate a vacuum that draws water straight to the filtration system.

Because a motor powers the impeller, horsepower is used to identify pool pumps. They typically vary from 3/4 and 3 horsepower. The size of your pool determines the size of the pump you need. The larger the pool, the more horsepower you need to move a higher volume of water. 

The skimmers don’t only collect pool water. With its impeller spinning at high speed, the pump draws water into the filtration system, where it’s filtered.

As the water travels through the pump, its force shifts from pulling to pushing, indicating that the pump is working. The pump then transfers the water into the pool filter.

The Filter

In addition to killing viruses and bacteria, sanitizers such as chlorine also clean water, but this is just half of the work. The filter takes care of the remainder, eliminating small debris, microscopic particles, and, in some circumstances, germs that may have gotten past the sanitizer but not the filtration system.

A pool filter may be found in three different varieties: sand, diatomaceous earth (or D.E.), and a cartridge filter. They each have their sets of advantages and disadvantages, but they are all practical and simple to maintain.

The Pressure Side

The pressure side of the pool transfers water from the filtration system back to the pool, finishing the circulation pool process. 

Return Lines

A return line is the pool part that carries water back to your pool. Return lines are usually made of PVC piping. They’re covered by your liner and end with a return jet at the outer edge of your pool.

Return Jets

The purpose of the return jets in the water is to bring back water into circulation. Return jets also provide a spot for chemicals to be injected into the water. 

Additional Pool Equipment

Pool Chlorinator in the swimming pool

Besides the main equipment you already know, here are some other components found in a pool.

Debris Drain Lines

If you have a pool, it means that you have debris drain lines. They’re responsible for draining debris from your sand or D.E. filter to a collection area or skimmer basket.

Pool Heater

A pool heater is an appliance designed to heat pools. The heater typically consists of a heating device that uses either natural gas or propane or may be powered by electricity, solar energy, or a built-in propane tank.

Although some pool heaters require installation by a professional, most can be set up by anyone with basic knowledge of plumbing and electricity. 

Chemical Feeder

Chemical feeders are designed to make adding chemicals easy and safe. These devices inject chemicals directly into the pool’s return line, ensuring that they get distributed evenly throughout the pool. A chemical feeder can be used to dispense liquid chlorine or other pool chemicals. 

Bottom Line

These are the essential parts of a pool that you should be familiar with if you want to repair your own. They are all essential for your swimming pool to function correctly. We hope you’ve enjoyed this article, and we wish you happy pool ownership!

Here are some more pool-related articles that you’ll definitely find useful. Check them out!

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About the author

Brian Anderson

The rather dry pool world out there is in need of some passion to make it shine. With the help of my son Ruben and his wife Maria our mission is to help you create the favorite spot of your house - your pool.

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