Each pool return inlet plays an important role in the pool’s operation, whether it be wall-mounted or fitted to the pool bottom. By providing adequate water circulation, pool inlets contribute to the effective distribution of filtration and treatment products in the water. Although these small parts may seem insignificant, they have a significant impact on the quality of pool water. 

Therefore, understanding the different types of pool fittings and their uses is essential.

Identify The Function And Use Of Each Type Of Pool Inlet

The return inlet is a pool shell equipment that returns filtered water to the pool. It is usually wall-mounted and connected to a filtration system via pipes. To achieve efficient water circulation, it is essential that each pool return inlet be positioned to minimize dead zones where stagnant water can promote algae growth. The inlet’s exact placement is crucial for the effective functioning of the pool, emphasizing its importance.

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An Overview Of The Different Types Of Pool Return Inlet

The type of pool inlet can greatly impact the overall performance of the pool, and should be chosen with care.

The basic return inlet

These are the most commonly used inlets, also known as jets. They have a simple design and are generally made of durable materials such as ABS plastic or stainless steel. In addition to their durability, these return inlets offer convenience and versatility, allowing you to easily adjust the flow and direction of the water. Furthermore, their ease of installation and maintenance make them an ideal choice for many pool applications.

The venturi pool inlet

There are two main ways in which these return inlets create a “venturi” effect. Either they combine air with water before returning it to the pool, or they narrow the water outlet into the pool. In either case, this creates a more powerful water current. This type of discharge nozzle creates a hydro-massaging effect in a dedicated pool area, such as a massage bench.

The pool floor return inlet

These return inlets are specially designed for infinity edge pools and zero-edge pools. They are fitted to the bottom of the pool so that water returns at floor level, preventing dirt from settling by carrying it to the surface. They are used to creating reverse hydraulics, which allows the water to be recirculated back up to the top of the pool, creating a continuous flow of water and providing a visually stunning appearance. This principle is the main technical feature of this kind of pool.

The multipurpose pool return fitting

Recent innovations in the pool industry include Net’N’Clean inlets for in-floor cleaning systems. The inlets are connected to the filtration system and use water pressure to sweep the pool bottom. Therefore, they allow debris to be suspended in the water, and then “flushed out” by skimmers or vanishing edges. They also allow heated and treated water to return to the pool.

Return Inlets And Their Role In pool Safety

Because of their role in mixing the water, return inlets play an important role in pool safety. These pool fittings mix and circulate the water in the pool, preventing it from becoming stagnant and creating an environment where bacteria and other contaminants can grow.

Surfaces such as walls and floors of pools are made slippery by algae. It is especially dangerous for children and the elderly to enter a pool through a slippery entrance.

How the pool return inlets will be used in the future

With pool technology advancements, we can expect new types of pool inlets that provide even more advanced features. For example, water inlets could be equipped with sensors that automatically adjust the flow rate of water according to the pool’s conditions.

Whatever the future may hold, one thing is certain: pool return inlets will continue to play an important role in maintaining the safety and efficiency of our swimming pools.

Choose The Right return Inlet For Your Pool

Making sure the return inlet is the best for the specific pool type, filtration system, and desired water flow is a crucial part of maximizing a pool’s efficiency. Careful consideration should be taken when selecting the pool return fitting, as it will influence the overall performance of the pool and the swimming experience. For the best performance, the inlets, and pump should be in harmony; otherwise, the system will not run efficiently.

Firstly, the size of the pool return inlet, or more precisely the amount of water entering the pool, must be considered. Inlet sizes and numbers must match the capacity of your pool’s filtration pump, as well as the volume of water to be treated. Too much water entering the pool will cause the filter to struggle, resulting in poor filtration. Too little water entering the pool will not provide the necessary water circulation needed to properly filter and sanitize the pool. It is important to find the right balance.

Secondly, it’s imperative to consider the type of pool return inlet. For example, some pool return fittings are designed to direct water in a specific way. This can ensure the water is evenly circulated throughout the pool. Other pool inlets like rotary jets are a popular choice for spas and balneotherapy benches, as they create a relaxing and massaging effect in the water.

Thirdly, the pool return inlet material must be considered. It should not only be durable, but also resistant to corrosion and chemical damage. Pool inlets are generally made of PVC or stainless steel. PVC material is more affordable and stands up well to pool chemicals. Stainless-steel jets are more durable and look better, but they can be pricier.

Moreover, keep in mind that some return inlets may offer additional connections. Among these are lighted pool inlets that add an attractive visual aspect to your pool, or air-jets that provide a relaxing massage effect.

Choosing The Appropriate Number Of Return Inlets

Choosing the number of return inlets for a swimming pool is a crucial decision. The number of return inlets can affect the circulation and filtration of the water, so careful consideration should be taken when selecting the appropriate number. There is generally a connection between this number and the flow rate of the filtration pump. This, in turn, is determined by the size and volume of the pool as well as the filtration system.

For optimum water circulation, it is usually recommended to install one return inlet for every 160 sq ft (ca. 15 m²) of water surface. For example, for a medium-sized pool (approx. 350 sq ft (ca. 33 m²)), two to three inlets would normally be recommended. Although these recommendations may vary depending on the type of inlet used, as adjustable or high-flow models are available. Pool shapes and features such as stairs or submerged decks can create stagnant water areas, requiring additional jets.

In addition to the pool size and shape, the filtration pump flow rate must also be considered. In particular, high-flow pumps require more return inlets to ensure even water distribution, whereas lower-flow pumps require fewer jets for the same effect. As a result, the selection of the pump flow rate should be carefully considered when designing a pool and its associated plumbing system. 

It is important to keep in mind that the goal is not simply to have too many return inlets in a pool. Rather, they should be placed strategically so that water can circulate efficiently, thereby maintaining the quality of the pool water.

In the end, the number and placement of these jets should be determined by a pool professional, who can evaluate your pool’s specific needs. Finally, this professional assists you in making the right choice for a healthy pool and a pleasurable swimming experience.

Installing And Maintaining pool Return Inlets

Installing and maintaining your pool’s return inlets is a crucial task that requires careful planning and precision. To ensure the safe and efficient functioning of your pool, it is critical to establish a comprehensive drawing for the installation of your pool’s return inlets. Mistakes can lead to costly repairs or even structural damage.

When installing return inlets, every step must be carefully taken to ensure seamless integration into your pool system. Return inlets must be installed at the proper water level to maximize circulation efficiency. Furthermore, it is essential to connect each pool inlet to the pool piping and make sure they are securely sealed. This is to avoid water loss.

Furthermore, it is important to check the condition of the components of the return inlet regularly, since worn out or damaged components can cause circulation issues and increase the risk of leaks. Thus, you can ensure that the system operates smoothly, and unexpected problems are minimized

It’s imperative to note that installing pool inlets is not a task to be taken lightly. It is necessary to have a thorough understanding of plumbing and fluid mechanics principles to successfully connect a pool. If in doubt, consult a qualified professional to ensure that the work is carried out correctly and in compliance with all regulations.


In summary, discharge nozzles are essential parts of any pool system. Although they may seem like a minor detail, they play a crucial role. Without them, pool owners would not be able to effectively control water flow and circulation, resulting in poor water quality. Understanding each pool inlet type, and its use, can help you make the right choice for your pool. This will ensure its long-term smooth operation.

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