You can’t have a pool without fittings. In the plumbing world, fittings connect various pieces of pipe and equipment. So, what type of pool fittings are best for your job? In this article, you will learn all things fittings, from fitting types to tips and tricks of the trade.
What Are Pool Fittings?
Pool fittings are a component that can attach or be used to attach two or more parts together. You may use a variety of pool fittings depending on the design, shape, and size of your pool. As a result, there is a wide range of options available. Even accessories such as pipes, ladders, diving boards, water slides, heaters, lights, filters, and more rely on fittings to function appropriately and efficiently.
What Is the Best Pool Fitting?
When you’re shopping for a fitting, you’ll find dozens of options — all of which claim to be the best choice. But those claims can be misleading. It’s essential to think about the fitting quality you will buy. If something is cheap but breaks within a couple of uses, it is not worth the investment. Spending some time researching different brands and finding one with good quality reviews will benefit.
So what makes a fitting the best? The answer depends on what you need it to do and how you plan to use it.
There are three basic types: threaded, slip, and push-on. Slip fittings are a great fitting option on the market today. They’re easy to install and remove but aren’t as durable as threaded or push-on fittings.
Threaded fittings are just as durable as slip fittings, but installing them does require some elbow grease. Also, because you need to screw them onto your pipe, they tend to be more difficult to install over long distances.
Still, slip fittings would be a great pick. For example, this Genova PVC Slip Coupling, 2-1/2″, has a 2 1/2 inch opening, making it ideal for Using PVC pipe. It has both male and female threaded ends, making it simple to connect two pipe sections. The PVC fitting also features an O-ring that helps seal the connection between the two pipes. It is ideal for your next pool project.
Swimming Pool Fitting Types
The swimming pool industry has many different types of aboveground pool fittings. However, they all have their specialty and function. Here is a look at some of the most commonly used pool fittings.
Repair fittings repair leaks in PVC or galvanized pipes. Repair fittings are quick and easy to install. You remove the old fitting, slip on the new one, apply a bit of PVC cement adhesive to the fitting and pipe, and then tighten it down with a wrench.
There are different types of repair fittings for different types of pipes. The piping system in your home or business comprises several different types of pipe, including PVC, steel, copper, and cast iron. Repair fittings can be purchased online or at your local hardware store. Before you make a purchase, be sure to check with your local building codes to ensure that the fittings you choose are suitable for use in your area.
V-fittings are a great way to improve circulation in your pool by lowering the surface pool water to the bottom of your pool. They also maximize the solar heater or covers on your system by vacuum suction, pulling in, and distributing water throughout the entire pool.
V-fittings also improve chemical distribution, reducing the amount of Chlorine and Bromine used in your pool. Additionally, V-fittings don’t have any moving parts like traditional fittings and save energy since they don’t require a pump to circulate the water.
- Inlet Fitting, Infusion Venturi, 1-1/2"mpt, White.
Pool Adapter Fittings
Adaptors allow you to convert one kind of gear into another so that you can easily install accessories on your pool. Pool adapter fittings are handy when installing accessories with multiple parts, such as vacuum cleaners, connecting a pipe, and other pool equipment. For example, the adapter screws onto the end of a hose or skimmer fitting and allows the other piece of equipment to be attached.
Additionally, they have male and female ends. The female end screws onto the hose or skimmer, while the male end screws onto whatever accessory you are attaching.
Pool Plumbing Fittings
Pool plumbing fittings connect various types of piping in your pool’s plumbing system. They include elbows, tees, valves, clamps, unions, and gaskets. Each fitting serves a specific function that determines how water flows through the plumbing system. In addition, they come in different sizes to accommodate pipe diameters and lengths.
They’re available at pool supply stores and from other specialty plumbing suppliers. When choosing equipment, you need to know whether to use a PVC pipe, a copper pipe, the pipe diameter, and what kind of joint you’ll be making. In addition, it’s essential to use the correct type of fitting for the application since improper use can lead to leaks or damage to the pool or new equipment.
Pool Pump Fittings
Pool pump fittings are responsible for circulating water through the filtration and heating systems to keep the pool clean, comfortable, and safe. Its operation also ensures that chemicals are balanced and removes debris from the skimmers located along the sides of most pools. Pool pumps consist of four main components: the motor, the impeller, the shaft, and the casing. Each of these must be connected using fittings.
The housing/casing is the structure that holds all of the other parts in place and provides a location for the pump’s electrical connections. It also provides a reservoir for the water, which allows the pump to function as a pressure-relief device. On the other hand, the impeller creates water flow through the system. The motor sits outside the casing and drives the impeller with a belt or chain. Then the shaft runs through the center of both impeller and motor, connecting them bearing assembly supports. So the function of this connection is to allow the shaft to spin within the casing.
Pool Hose Fittings
A pool hose is a long, flexible rubber tube that transfers water from the pool’s filtration and pumping system to the pool. It comprises three main components: the inside hose, the outside hose, and the fittings.
Tubing: The inner lining of a hose is made from rubber. Its purpose is to guard against small leaks in the system. The outside lining is a durable material that’s tear-resistant and retains its shape even when empty.
Fittings: Pool hoses connect via fittings. These include adapters for attaching to different valves and threaded connections for attaching to valves or other hoses. They are typically from metal and plastic.
Valves allow water to flow into and out of a device or location using a hose. For example, they help keep water from leaking out of pools excessively because they open and close automatically as water flows through them.
- Securely connects to most standard size pumps and tubing. Fits 3/4", 1", 1-1/4", 1-3/8", and 1-1/2" ID hoses.
- Attaches to 3/4", 1", 1-1/4", and 1-/2" Female NPT threads, common on most pumps. Fits 1.5" and 2" male NPT connections with included adapters.
- Eliminates need to search for one, hard-to-find adapter. Compatible with Intex, Bestway, Hayward, and many more.
Pool Pipe Fittings
The most common pipe fittings are elbows, which make changes of direction in a plumbing system and heater. The second is the Tee fitting, a right-angle connector with three openings instead of one.
Other pipe fittings include:
- Cross fittings, generally used to connect two straight pipe lengths.
- Reducers that increase the cross-sectional area of a tube.
- Tees with long extensions called nipples or spurs, typical for scaffolding.
Some pipes pipe have an integrated flange on one or both ends; these may allow for multiple fittings to connect without needing additional flanges on each end.
Pool Filter Fittings
Pool filter fittings adapt to the pool’s plumbing for filtration. These fittings connect to a valve or the pump’s suction line at one end and the filter system at the other. For example, here are some fittings you will find in a pool cartridge filter:
Pressure head. A pressure head controls the flow of water through your filter. It’s essentially a check valve with a spring inside it. The spring opens to allow water to flow into the filter and closes to prevent water from flowing out of the filter.
Air relief valve. As the name suggests, pressure heads are the equipment responsible for putting pressure on water that passes through the filter. The tension in the pool comes from your pump and passes through this fitting. In addition, This fitting usually contains a valve and can be adjusted to change the pressure into the filter.
Cartridge. The cartridge is a canister filled with layers of material designed to trap dirt, debris, and other particles in your pool water.
Sand pool filters have fittings like a sand shield, gasket, filter skirt, hose adapter, lateral assembly with the center pipe. These are the accessories that help you connect your pool filter to the water pipes and pump.
The sand shield is an essential part of any sand filter as it has many functions and keeps your pool water clean and clear. It also prevents the sand from being washed out. A gasket seals the top of the shell or base of the filter. Finally, a filter skirt prevents dirt and mud from entering the pool via the suction side of your swimming pool.
A hose adapter connects the skimmer to a garden hose which will help you drain away all the gunk collected at the bottom of your swimming pool after each use. The lateral assembly with a center pipe helps hold all other accessories together and strengthens your entire swimming pool filtration system.
Finally, the fittings in dimethicone filters include inlet pipe, filter grids, bottom spreader plate, o-rings, and a lot more. They are made of different materials like stainless steel and aluminum. The inlet pipe spreads the flow of water evenly to the filter grids. The filter grids mount on the pool base with an o-ring seal. The bottom spreader plate plays a vital role in holding the grids together and also helps them float at the correct level in the pool water to remain above water when the pump is off.
- Hydro stream return jet fitting replace Hayward SP1419C
- Allows to control the velocity and flow
- 1/2" opening and 1-1/2" MIP thread
Pool Outlet Fittings
Pool outlet fittings help you transport the water from one point to another without having any leaks or wasting much water through evaporation or seepage. Others like the ladder also make it easy for swimmers to access the pool safely.
PVC Pool Fittings
Pool fittings can also be made out of PVC (polyvinyl chloride). These fittings include but are not limited to: elbows, flanges, nipples, crosses, bushings, adapters, tees, caps and plugs, and couplings and unions. Again, it is essential to measure the outside diameter of the pipe accurately to select the correct PVC fitting size.
Pool Fitting Tips
There are so many types of fittings and materials, and it is important to pick the correct one. Follow our tips
Do Not Over Tighten
Fittings used for plumbing and water flow don’t need to be overtightened. You want the fittings to stop the water from passing through. Make them too tight, and it could lead to stripped fittings, and no one wants that!
If you see a water leak, don’t try to repair it with products such as putty, tape, or glue. Instead, replace the broken fitting with a new one.
Be aware of the fittings you are using and how they can affect water flow. Think about running a mile down a straight pathway. Now imagine running the same distance but making multiple turns and redirections. Sharp and frequent turns will slow you down. The same holds true with water. Avoid using multiple elbow fittings, as the friction will negatively affect the water’s pressure in your pool.
Swimming Pool Fittings FAQ
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding pool fittings.
How Do I Loosen a Pool Fitting?
The process of loosening a a pool fitting depends on the type of fitting. For example, some fittings are anchored with a nut and bolt. Others require the use of a wrench.
A wrench, pliers, or adjustable pliers can loosen a fitting that uses nuts and bolts. The wrench should fit snugly around the nut.
First, loosen the nut by rotating it counterclockwise until it is no longer tight against the fitting. Next, tighten it gently by turning it clockwise until it fits snugly against the fitting. When loosening or tightening fittings attached with bolts, first use an adjustable wrench to loosen or tighten the bolt on the fitting.
After that, slip a pair of pliers over the bolt head to further tighten or loosen it as needed. Place the pliers close to where they meet the bolt to avoid slipping off and getting damaged while working on them.
What Size Are Pool Pump Fittings?
If you already have fittings in your pool and they came with your pump (or if they were there when the pool was built), they probably use 1.5″ or 2″ pipe, which is pretty standard stuff. You can find these fittings at any hardware store where they sell pool equipment or even at large retailers like Home Depot. First, you need to find the right thread size for your connectors.
Can I Use Regular PVC Pipe for Pool Plumbing?
You can use regular PVC pipes for your pool plumbing. However, it is not advisable for permanent plumbing due to its long-term durability and you will have a hard time getting it out as it will have set up with the water pressure. As long as you choose the correct type of pipe for your application and follow general pool plumbing guidelines, you should be fine.
How Do You Replace a Pool System Fitting?
The most crucial step in replacing a pool fitting is to shut off the power supply to your filtration and pumping systems. If you don’t do this, you run the risk of electrocution if there is damage to electrical lines.
To remove existing fittings, use either a wrench or a pair of pliers. First, loosen all nuts holding each fitting in place by hand or using an adjustable wrench (a.k.a. crescent wrench) or a pair of pliers. If the nuts are rusted or stuck, use a file or sandpaper to remove any rust from the nut and try again. Once all of the fittings are loose, you can remove them with pliers.
The Bottom Line
There are hundreds of different types of pool fittings available, but they all serve the same function: to help you connect your plumbing system. Above all else, it is vital to consider the size of your pool when choosing fittings. While some products and materials are more durable than others, smaller fittings and accessories are typically more economical to replace if they break during installation compared to their larger counterparts. If you have a big enough pool that mechanics aren’t necessary, be careful not to choose something so large that it overwhelms the area or is extremely difficult to clean.
For over 15 years, Sean Moore has been sharing his love and enthusiasm for swimming pools and hot tubs with everyone he knows. His goal is to help everyday people DIY their maintenance to save money by teaching how to properly take care of your equipment, safely and correctly balance chemicals, and extend the life of your water oasis.
Pricing on this page was last updated on 2023-12-04