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To ensure an enjoyable and safe swimming experience, it is important to stay up to date on pool maintenance and have a good understanding of the different components that make up a pool. The pool piping is one of the most indispensable elements of the pool system. Without it, pool water circulation would not occur, making the pool useless. Pool piping is like veins in our body; it transports the necessary water to the different parts of the pool, allowing it to be functional. While each type of pool piping system has its advantages and disadvantages, choosing the right one for your needs is essential for proper pool operation and longevity.

In this article, we will explain the different types of pool piping and provide tips to selecting them.

What type of piping is used for pools?

It is important to understand that the pool piping is among the most significant elements in the building and maintenance of your pool. The three main types of piping are rigid PVC, flexible PVC, and polyethylene. Therefore, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons of each option, to make an informed decision about the type of piping that best suits your particular needs.

Rigid PVC is very durable and can withstand high pressure. However, it can be harder to install due to its rigid nature. PVC pipe must be cut and connected with fittings and elbows to turn corners or change directions. This can be difficult to do in tight spaces, as it requires more precision and time. In addition, rigid PVC is pricier than other options.

Flexible PVC, as its name implies, is bendable, which makes it easier to install in tight spaces. Moreover, elbows are not change directions or turn corners. It can handle freezing temperatures because of its capacity to accommodate the expansion caused by ice. Even if it is cheaper than PVC rigid, it is not always the right choice. Indeed, flexiblePVC is less resistant to pressure.

Black poly pipe, also called HDPE pipe, is a type of plastic flexible piping that is highly resistant to pressure and chemicals, making it an excellent choice for pool filtration systems. It is also an ideal material for underground pipes, due to its ability to resist corrosion and deterioration. IIt offers the same benefits as flex PVC pipe, without appealing to underground bugs.  It is, however, more difficult to install, since it requires the use of special fittings to connect the pipes.

PVC rigid pool piping

One of the most popular swimming pool piping options is rigid PVC pipe. Strong, durable, and chemically resistant, it is an excellent choice for swimming pools. Even though rigid PVC pipes are more expensive than the other options, its strength is an advantage when installing a pool plumbing.

PVC rigid piping should be selected with an appropriate diameter. Larger diameter pipes allow for better water circulation, which improves your filtration system. Smaller diameter pipes are more affordable, but can lead to clogging or reduce the effectiveness of filtration. It is important to consider both cost and performance when selecting pipes for your pool.

Flexible PVC pipe

Flexible PVC piping is another common option for pools. Compared to rigid PVC piping, flexible PVC piping is much more lightweight, which makes it easier to work with and install. Furthermore, it can often be bent to fit any angle or shape needed and requires fewer fittings and less time to complete.

On the other hand, due to its flexible nature, it may be more susceptible to bending or crushing under pressure, which can impede water flow. To avoid these problems, choose high-quality flexible PVC piping.

For those who want the strength of rigid PVC and ease of installation, you can test the flexible PVC reinforced with a steel spiral, known as PVC spiral hose.

Black poly pipe

Black poly pipe was the immediate predecessor of PVC pipe; it is also known as high-density polyethylene pipe or HDPE pipe. Polyethylene piping is highly resistant to corrosion or chemical degradation, and its flexibility allows it to withstand fluctuations in temperature or pressure as well as movement in the ground. Additionally, it has excellent strength, making it an ideal option for pool piping.

It is often used for pool main lines because of its pressure resistance. However, HDPE pipe is harder to cut and connect than other types of pipe, such as PVC. For these reasons, it is critical to hire a professional plumber to install HDPE pipe correctly.

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    Installation and maintenance of your pool piping

    Once you’ve chosen the piping for your pool, it is essential that the piping is laid correctly, as incorrect installation could lead to significant inefficiencies in your filtration system. Moreover, taking the extra time to ensure elbows, fittings, and other components are installed correctly is crucial.

    After installation, regular maintenance of the pool piping is essential to ensure its optimal performance and long-term durability. Doing so will help prevent leaks, structural damage, and inefficiencies that can be costly to repair. It is always advisable to hire a professional for regular maintenance of the pool piping, as they have the expertise to perform the job correctly and safely.

    Safety and regulations

    When installing and maintaining pool piping, consider safety and regulations. For instance, some local codes may require that the piping be installed at least 8 inches (ca. 20 cm) below the ground surface to reduce freezing risk. Additionally, it is critical to use the right materials for the job, as some materials are not suitable for pool piping installation.

    It is also imperative to consider the environmental impact of your pool piping. For instance, some pipes may release chemicals into the surrounding environment, so it is important to research the material you are using to ensure minimal environmental impact.

    How to choose the right pool piping

    It is important to consider several factors when selecting piping for your pool.

    • Pool size : For large pools, it is important to install pipes of a larger diameter to ensure efficient water circulation.
    • Your budget : Pipes vary in price. Quality should not be compromised to stay within budget, as this could lead to an inefficient water circulation.
    • Piping location : For example, flexible pipe is often the best choice for accessing otherwise difficult-to-reach areas.
    • Climate conditions : For instance, it is critical to be aware of any potential risks associated with freezing temperatures, such as water pipe damage, and take appropriate precautions.


    Different types of pool piping can be used for different purposes, such as pool circulation, filtration systems, spas, water features, etc. Knowing which type of pipe is best suited to each purpose can help you make the right choice for your pool. As such, proper installation is key for pools, so expert help is invaluable when selecting the right pipe type.

    Each type of piping has its advantages and disadvantages, and the right choice depends on the situation and the connection to be made. Rigid PVC is a durable and strong option, but more expensive and difficult to install in some cases. However, flexible PVC is easier to install and can be cheaper, but it is not as durable and may not be suitable for all applications. Polyethylene is forceful and pressure resistant, but installation can be more difficult.

    Ultimately, the decision of which type of piping to use in a given situation is a matter of considering factors such as durability, compatibility, and installation costs. Taking these considerations into account will help you find the right piping solution for your pool. This will guarantee that you get the most out of your pool and its water circulation system.

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