Pool Filter Hook Up

by Karin
(Macomb, MI, USA)

I have a 30 foot round above ground pool with two center drains. We are having trouble with remembering how to connect everything since we didn't get to open the pool last season. We are not using the heater or the auto chlorinator as they are both broken.

We have a Pentair sand filter that we just cleaned out and replaced the sand with new. I understand the skimmer bottom connects to the front of the pump and that the pool wall is connected to the 'pool return', what gets connected to the pvc drain pipes? It has two valve shut offs and do we have to go through the heater?

Thank in advance...

Sincerely Confused Karin

Hi Karin.

This page shows a diagram of a typical center drain installation on an above ground pool.

Center Drain Installation

The drain pipes connect with the skimmer at a T and from there one pipe should go into the pump. The center drains and the skimmer are all suction devices and need to hook up to the pump. They should all have valves so that the suction can be regulated. It is possible that at times you may want to shut off the drains and let all of the suction go to the skimmer. If you are brushing the pool you may want to close off the skimmer and just open the drain where you are pushing the dirt towards.

Heaters and chlorinators should be installed on the return line. Leaving them out is not a problem. It is probably the best thing to do if you are not using them.

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Pool Filter Hookup

We have a Hayward cartridge filter and a main drain for our 24 foot above ground pool. I seem to have forgotten what goes where with the hoses. Do you have any advise?


This page Center Drain Installation shows as illustration of how a center drain gets plumbed into an above ground pool. The hose coming off the front of the pump needs to connect to valve assembly, or a pipe coming off it, and the skimmer hose connects to the other side of the valve.

The hose coming out of the filter should go straight to the pool return, unless an inline chlorinator, or heater is being used.

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Hose Placement for Above Ground Pools

by Billie Lindsey

Can you please tell me the hose placement for the above ground pump and filter. I have the hose going from the skimmer to the pump front and the pump top going to the sand filter and the sand filter going to the pool intake. Do I have the correct?

I forgot to write it down last year when I took the off of the pool. I have tried to backflush and it seems like I do not have enough pressure. I think I might have the hoses hooked up wrong. Can you help?

Many Thanks, Billie Lindsey

Hi Billie.

It sounds like you have it hooked up correctly. You said you have the filter going to the pool intake, I assume you mean the pool return, the place where the water goes back into the pool.

Your pressure problem could be from a couple of different reasons. It may just need a good long backflush to get the sand loosened up and ready for another swimming season. It is also possible that you have air leaks either in your hose connections or the hair and lint pot lid.

With the filter running look into the lint pot lid and see if there are any air bubbles. You should only be able to see water, nothing else. You could also check the pool return water and see if air bubbles are coming out into the pool. Air leaks can easily cause a loss in filter pressure.

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Hooking Up Hayward Filter Hoses

by Nancy

Could you give me a drawing of how the pump and hoses are hooked up on an above ground filter Hayward filter system? Nancy

Hi Nancy.

The tip I usually give for remembering the hose placement on above ground pool pumps is "basket to basket".

Most above ground pools have a skimmer that would have a basket in them for catching the leafs. Most above ground pool pumps have a hair and lint pot, this also has a basket inside of it. This basket catches finer debris that the skimmer basket misses. Any dirt and debris that pass through the two baskets goes on to the filter.

So if you have your skimmer hooked up to your hair and lint pot the rest is easy. The water is pumped in through the hair and lint pot and pushed out through the other pump opening, usually going out the top, or maybe the side, of the pump. The water then goes to the filter, through the cleaning element and back to the pool.

The filter should be clearly labeled "pump" and "pool". Water from the pump goes into the port labeled pump and the clean water comes out of the port labeled pool. You may also have a backwash port that is used only when cleaning the filter, it should also be labeled.

You should have three hoses, the long ones are the intake and return hoses. The short hose connects the pump to the filter.

above ground pool filter hoses

This is a Doughboy filter system but they are basically all the same.

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Intex Filter Installation

by Leslie
(North Branch, MI)

I have had my first pool for just one month, and I have searched for the answer to my question and believe it's out there but the replies are likely over my not-so-handy head. If you are kind enough to reply, please answer as if you're explaining to a kindergartner so that I can fully understand. Thanks so much.

I have a metal frame Intex 12' x 30" pool, with no skimmer. I just purchased an Intex 14" Sand Filter Pump (2900 Gallons). I could have sworn that, upon reading the reviews on Amazon, someone posted that they purchased this sand filter to use with their 12x30 Intex pool. Now I'm concerned that I can't use this with my pool. So, I have (at least) 4 problems/questions:

1. The pool, nor the new sand filter, came with a plunger valve. Is the plunger valve necessary?

2. The pool inlet is just a 1.25" plastic neck coming out from the liner (no threading). The instructions in the sand filter manual show a threaded connector that comes out of the liner at the pool inlet. Not included, nor do I have it.

3. The threaded end of the pump/filter hose is much larger than the pool inlet.

4. Did I get the wrong Intex filter? Is there a way to construct an adapter so this filter will work?

Thanks SO MUCH for any help you can provide.

Hi Leslie

The plunger I think you are talking about is just a shut off valve, and no, it is not necessary.

The new filter you bought is a much needed upgrade from what you had and yes, it can be used on your pool. Intex uses two different size hoses on their pools, somewhat confusing I know. So now you need to adapt the filter hoses to fit the existing pool fittings. A couple of these adapters would do the job.

Intex hose adapter

Attach one of these to the pump basket and another to the sand filter and then you can use the smaller hoses that came with your pool.

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