Install Pool Return Fitting

by Scott
(cub run ky)

How do I cut the jet hole on my new pool liner without it ripping?

Hi Scott.

I assume we are talking about the return fitting on an above ground pool. There are many different kinds of return fittings so I will go over a couple of the more common ones for you.

A Hayward return is the most common. There are a few other brands that have the same basic configuration as the Hayward so this would apply to all of these. This type of return fitting would have one large round hole in the sidewall about 2 1/2" wide somewhere close to the skimmer location.

Before installing the skimmer and return the water level should be almost up to these openings. That way you know the liner is set the way you want it to be and no further adjustments will need to be made. I use a razor knife on the outside of the pool to make the return hole cut. If you use the side wall as a guide, with the blade on the outside of the pool, it is impossible to cut the liner incorrectly. You are simply cutting a hole in the liner to match the hole in the wall.

The return fitting can then be installed and the outside nut tightened up.

Doughboy and Lomart returns are installed much the same way, it's just a smaller hole. Cut the hole from outside the pool, insert the inside portion of the fitting from inside the pool and thread on the outside fitting.

It is possible to still find a return that is

held in place with screws, similar to the skimmer screws. With these I start by poking two holes through the liner where two of the screws will go. I then cut the round opening just like the other types of returns. The rest of the return installation is just like a skimmer installation.

The PVC or hose adapter fittings that go into the threaded opening on the outside of the returns should never be glued in place. These fittings should be prepared with Teflon tape before installing. You should be able to remove them if the liner ever needs changed or the pool needs moved. I have, on rare occasions, seen return fittings that were hard plumbed and glued into place in such a way that they could not be removed from the pool.

If you have a return fitting sticking through the wall you should first try and remove it. If that is not possible, be very careful with this method of cutting the liner. The nut on the outside of the return fitting should be loosened up allowing the face of the return to be pushed into the pool an inch or so.

The cut needs to be made from inside the pool. Using the faceplate as a guide I very carefully cut a circle in the liner. This circle needs to be a good 3/4" smaller than the faceplate. The liner can then be worked over the top of the return and fit snuggly over the threaded portion of the return. The outside nut can then be tightened and you should be OK to breathe again.

This page might also be helpful.

Above Ground Pool Skimmer Installation

Comments for Install Pool Return Fitting

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Jun 29, 2010
On the fitting installation ...
by: Anonymous

I noticed there was no mention of how the gaskets were to be installed or if silicon sealer should be used to prevent leakage between the liner and pool wall !

Hi. No silicon should be used. The gaskets go from the inside of the pool out, return fitting, rubber gasket, liner, wall, rubber gasket, cork gasket and outer nut.

Oct 03, 2010
by: Jerry

Thanks for the gasket order ... I wasn't sure

May 07, 2012
by: Anonymous

I have an above ground pool. I have side wall padding. I have an installer who for the past two weeks is to busy to stop by an finish the job of installing skimmer and return. I am thinking of doing it myself as I am a DIY type of guy. but I don't see anywhere about what to do about the side wall padding. I don't think I am supposed to sandwich it in with the mix of gaskets. I suppose I should be cutting it back slightly bigger than the pool side faceplates. right now I am a deer in the headlights. any direction would be appreciated!!

Hi. You are very correct, you need to cut back the padding out beyond the faceplate. I would give it plenty of room, like about an inch.

May 20, 2012
Gasket Placement
by: BOB

You would think the Mfg would print a sketch on the plastic package of the order of the installation. Showing the install would make looking it up unnecessary.

Nov 23, 2012
Hydrotool return
by: Jim

I did not know the gasket order, either. The package comes with the cork gasket in the middle, probably for shipping safety. A rubber gasket on either side of the wall makes sense.

May 24, 2015
Cork Gasket ?
by: Anonymous

Where does the cork gasket go?

Hi It goes over the outside rubber gasket just before the big nut.

Aug 26, 2015
Cork Gasket
by: Dan

The kit has 2 cork gasket's.

Hi Some models will have only two cork gaskets and nothing else. If you have two rubber ones then just use one cork.

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