Pool Valves: Ultimate Guide with Best Installation Tips

Do you want to learn about pool valves? Pool valves are the most important part of the filtration system in the pool. They control the flow of water in and out of the pool. Learn more about swimming pool valves and how they work here.

Whether you are just getting started or are a seasoned pool owner, this guide will give you information that will help take off all the guesswork about pool valves so you can make sure that yours are working properly all year round. 

We will teach you things like what are pool valves? How do they work? And why your valve must be installed appropriately.

Everything from the type of valves available to installation tips is covered in this guide. You’ll also learn how to know if your pool valves need replacement. Excited? Read on.  

What Are Pool Valves?

Water Valve and Pipe in Swimming Pool

Pool valves are the most common internal pool components. They are used to regulate pool water flow, prevent costly repairs, and protect your swimming pool from damage. Pool valves are also used to connect the pool plumbing system to your home’s plumbing system. 

How Do They Work?

Pool valves do not alter water pressure or apply any force on the water entering or exiting the pool; they simply control how much water actually enters or leaves the swimming pool. As such, the flow of water through the pool plumbing system is achieved by adjusting water pressure.

Pool valves come in a variety of configurations, each with its particular function. A ball valve and a gate valve are the most frequent internal components of pool valves for residential pools (the latter is utilized when an anti-siphon isn’t necessary).

Differences Between a Gate Valve and a Ball Valve

Ball Valve and Gate Valve

A gate valve features one moveable gate that may restrict or unblock water flow from open to closed positions and vice versa. Typically, the gate valve is installed perpendicular to the pipe.

A ball valve is a type of valve that has a ball that can spin to block or unblock water flow when spun from an open to a closed position and vice versa.

Understanding the Different Types of Pool Valves

Understanding the many types of pool valves available will help you determine which valve is ideal for your pool. We cover the different types of valves that will help keep the water in your pool flowing the right way below.

Multiport Valves

Multiport valves are versatile in that they can supply water in various directions. They are usually used with the site of a variety of pool shapes but are best when supplying water to one end of the pool. Multiport valves often work best in conjunction with an outlet fitting. When installed correctly, multiport valves could keep your water circulating smoothly. 

Multiport valves are also convenient while vacuuming your pool. You may also directly circulate the water without utilizing filtration or a booster pump.

Note: “Never turn the handle of the multiport valve while the pool filter is running. This may cause the rubber diverter gasket within the valve to come loose or break, allowing water to flow out of the wrong ports.” – Matt Giovanisci, founder of Swim University®

Diverter Pool Valves

Exactly as its name implies, a pool diverter valve allows you to direct water flow to one to two locations. This is beneficial for pool owners who wish to control the flow of water in a specific area.

The two types of diverter pool valves available are two-way valves and three-way valves.

Two-way valves regulate the flow of water to and from a single port. And because most of these two-way valves have an adjustable handle, you can easily switch on or off the water flow. 

Three-way valves regulate the flow of water between three ports. Pool owners often use three-way valves to switch on or off a skimmer or drain. These types of valves are often called pool suction valves.

Valve Actuators

We have automatic chlorinators, automatic timers, and all sorts of other automation going on with a pool, right? So why not automate the valves as well? That is exactly what valve actuators are designed to achieve.

Instead of walking over to your pool’s equipment area and physically turning diverter valve handles to regulate water flow, you can install valve actuators on top of the diverter valves and connect the actuators to your pool’s control box.

Then, if you wish to reroute water flow for whatever reason, you simply press a button, and the actuator moves the valve handle automatically. Valve actuators will also enable you to activate your linked hot tub or water features with the press of a button. Isn’t it amazing?

Check Valves

Check valves prevent water from flowing backward once you turn off your pump. Pool check valves are made to prevent pressure from one side of the valve (often high pressure) from reversing and returning to a lower-pressure area. Here are some of its uses:

Automatic Chlorinators

When using an automated pool chlorinator or a salt-chlorine generator, you should have a check valve. This stops water from back flowing, ensuring that concentrated chlorine is not dumped into your other pool equipment, which might cause harm.

Hot Tubs

If your pool and hot tub are interconnected; you will notice that your hot tub has a greater water level than your pool. Check valves prevent water from flowing back into the pool once you turn off the pump.

Water Features

A check valve works best for fountains and other water features. When the feature is switched off, it enables water to pass through, stopping it from returning.

Solar Pool Heaters

If you use a solar pool heater or are planning to switch to one, you’ll need to have a check valve on the pipe leading to the solar panels. This is because the panels must always contain water in them.

How Do You Know if It’s Time to Replace Your Pool Valve?

Open Water Valve

If you have a leak and the plastic on the valve is clearly broken, it may be necessary to replace it. Also, you might accidentally pump out your pool into your yard if one of these parts fails badly.

You should generally replace any damaged seal of any pool equipment, including valves, rather than attempting repairs. 

Bottom Line

It’s remarkable how such little swimming pool components can have such a huge influence on your pool’s health and operation. Now that you’ve gained more knowledge about pool valves, you can confidently manage your swimming pool and save the expense of costly repairs.

We hope you have found this article to be both interesting and useful. Also, below you will find articles that will provide pool owners with tips and tricks. I’m sure you’ll find them useful! Visit this page to view more pool guides. Happy Swimming!

Leave a Comment