top of page

Essential Pool Care Knowledge - Pool Parts

Owning a pool is a lot of fun but it also requires a certain level of upkeep that some people might not be aware of. Just like you wouldn't try to fix your car engine without knowing how it works, you shouldn't try to maintain your pool without understanding its anatomy.

There are fewer moving parts in a pool than in a car, but it's still important to know what those parts are and how they work together. By understanding the different parts of your pool, you can more easily take care of it and spot problems when they arise.

Seven Essential Pool Parts

All pools, no matter how big or small, have the same seven essential parts. These are the foundation that make your pool work and if you understand how each part works, you can easily take care of your pool without any professional help. So, what are these seven parts?

  1. Skimmer

  2. Main drain

  3. Suction line(s)

  4. Pump

  5. Filter

  6. Return lines

  7. Return jets

The Suction Area

This is the side of the pool that draws in water to be filtered and begins the process of circulating clean water back into the pool.


The skimmer is a plastic bucket that is built into the side of the pool and contains a skimmer basket. The basket catches large debris such as leaves, twigs, bugs, and anything else that is too large to go through your filter.

Pool water enters the skimmer and begins its journey through the pool’s filtration system.

Main Drain

The main drain, which is usually located at the floor of the pool's deep end, may be a little misleadingly named. While it can be used to drain the pool, it's seldom used for that purpose. Normally, it performs the same function as the skimmers.

This allows for better circulation because water is pulled from the top by the skimmers and from the bottom by the main drain.

Suction Lines

The pipes that are typically made from PVC are what carry the pool water from the skimmer to the pump.

Pool Filtration System

The pool pump and filter work together to create the filtration system. Both serve different but essential purposes in order to maintain water quality and cleanliness.

The Pool Pump

Pool water is circulated through the skimmers and into the pool pump, which contains an impeller. The impeller spins quickly to create a vacuum that pulls the water into the filtration system. The impeller is powered by a motor, so pool pumps are identified by horsepower. They usually range from ¾ to 3 horsepower. The size of your pool determines the size of pump you need.

Pool Filters

There are three types of pool filters: sand, diatomaceous earth (D.E.), and cartridge. While sanitizers like chlorine kill viruses and bacteria, the filter does the rest by removing fine debris, tiny particles, and in some cases, bacteria that may have made it past the sanitizer. Each type of pool filter has its own pros and cons, but they are all effective and easy to maintain.

Pressure Areas

This side of the pool acts as a return for water that has been filtered and is no longer needed in the circulation process.

Return Lines

The return lines are the opposite of the suction lines, but they are made of the same PVC material. These lines carry pool water from the filter to the return jets.

Return Jets

The return jets are an important part of the pool filtration system. Not only do they allow filtered water to reenter the pool, but they also help circulate the water around the pool. This helps to ensure that water flows into the skimmers, as well as any debris that may be floating on the surface of the water.

For a pool with two or more return jets, angle some of them down towards the floor and in one direction to create a circular motion. This will help to kick debris off the bottom of the pool.


bottom of page