Two Return Fittings on Doughboy Pool

by Darlene
(Sutter Creek, CA)

You are so helpful. Thank you for the information you provided as far as us not having the interior of the pool higher than the bottom rail.

We bought a used 16X24 Whispers Doughboy pool. It's in great shape and it had a beaded liner in it. We were going to excavate a deep end but now we are just going to go with the 52" wall with another beaded liner.

The previous owner had two returns in the pool as well as a vacuum port and the skimmer as well.

I guess they liked the two returns because they said it created a current. I was curious if it makes sense to use two returns again or just cover one of them up. When I called Doughboy, they said they normally don't install individual vacuum ports cause there is a space on the skimmer for that. The previous owner had the pool installed by a Doughboy authorized dealer and really liked the set up they had.

If I do go with two returns, can I just put a Y fitting to split the returns. In the previous install, they glued everything so I am going to need to get new returns and possibly a new vacuum fitting. I was able to take care of the skimmer so I'm just going to get a new gasket for that.

Any suggestions? Thanks again. You are very kind to share your gift and knowledge.



Hi Darlene. These are very good questions with regards to a Doughboy filter system hookup and requirements. Since all the openings are already in the wall I would probably go ahead and use them.

If the pump is more than 1 HP it would benefit from two returns. That is one of the biggest design flaws in above ground pools over recent years, matching high output pumps to only one return. The filter needs the extra space to release water, so yes, I would keep the two returns. There is no valve needed here, equal flow to both is just fine.

The vacuum port is not a bad idea. To be effective it needs a three way valve before the hair and lint pot of the pump. You need to be able to close off the skimmer when vacuuming the pool. If you are using an automatic cleaner it is nice to be able to regulate the suction so that the skimmer still works but the cleaner has enough flow to perform effectively. With the skimmer plate in the skimmer method, it is all or nothing for the cleaner or the vacuum. That and it is just a bit cumbersome, there are better ways to hook up a vacuum or a cleaner. So yes, this port does make good sense.

Doughboy products are about the only ones that are not PVC compatible. This is probably the reason for pipes being glued to fittings. This should never be the case, you should always be able to remove the skimmer and return fittings without having to cut pipe. For the Doughboy fittings they make a PVC adapter. It slips over the fitting, the PVC pipe slips into the adapter and it all tightens down with a couple of hose clamps.

The added fittings, those that were not factory, were probably Hayward products. These would be PVC compatible. A 1 1/2" male adapter should be Teflon taped into the outside of these fittings, not glued. A quick release joint can then be added a short distance away from the fitting, making removal easy.

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