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How to Set Up Hard-Plumbed Above Ground Pools

By George Peters ; Updated September 21, 2017
Moving your pool filter and pump will not effect water quality.

For many above-ground pool owners, there's nothing more annoying than the placement of the filter and pump. Manufacturers' schematics often show placement of this equipment next to the pool. Pool toys are drawn to the equipment like moths to lights, and playing children bump against the filter and pump, which sometimes causes leaks. Mowing and keeping the weeds down involves moving the hoses and disconnecting the power cord. The noise of the pump is another distraction. Some pool owners solve these problems by moving the pump and filter away from the pool by hard plumbing the connections.

Choose a convenient location that is in line with the pool skimmer, has access to an electrical outlet and is level.

Dig a 1-foot-deep trench starting just below the pool inlet to the chosen location of the pool pump and filter. The PVC pipes to and from the pool will lie in this trench.

Glue pipes and fittings together. The pool inlet port and the outlet port on the skimmer are threaded and will need a threaded adapter fitting for each. Brush a liberal amount of the pipe thread compound onto the threads of both ports. Screw the threaded adapter fitting onto the threads and tighten securely by hand. Repeat for the other port.

Measure, cut and glue a 5-inch length of pipe to the slip side of the threaded adapter. Always apply the PVC primer to the outside of the pipe and the inside of the fitting to be glued. Allow the primer to work for at least 30 seconds before applying the PVC glue to the pipe and fitting. Quickly push the pipe into the fitting and rotate the pipe a quarter turn within the fitting to complete the gluing process. Repeat for other adapter.

Glue a 90 degree elbow onto each pipe coming from the ports and aim the open end of the fitting to the trench. On two separate lengths of pipe, glue 90 degree elbows onto one end of each. Lay these two pipes in the trench with the open end of the elbow directly below and facing a port elbow. Measure, cut and glue a pipe to connect the port elbow to the trench pipe elbow. When gluing this pipe, prime and apply glue to both ends of the pipe and both fittings to be joined. Slip the pipe into both fittings and then rotate a quarter turn. Repeat for the other port and trench pipe.

Complete the pipes running in the trench to the pump and filter area by gluing pipes together using slip couplings. Glue a 90 degree elbow onto each pipe end and aim the open end up. Determine which pipe goes to the skimmer and measure, cut and glue a pipe to the height filter connection. Measure, cut and glue a pipe to the height of the pump outlet port onto the other pipe.

Back fill trench and pack dirt in place. Level the filter and pump area. Follow the manufacturer's specifications for completing installation of the pump and filter.


Things You Will Need

  • PVC pipe
  • PVC fittings
  • PVC primer
  • PVC glue
  • Pipe thread compound
  • Hacksaw


  • Using PVC pipe that is 1/2-inch larger in diameter on the skimmer side will increase pump performance and life.
  • Use universal couplings before the filter and after the pump to avoid having to cut the pipes for unforeseen equipment maintenance.

About the Author


George Peters has been writing for professional organizations since 1988 when his "Volunteering for the City of Lompoc" pamphlet and "Commission Member Handbook" were published. Other works followed his career in human resources and teaching. Peters has expertise in writing employee policy manuals and procedure guides. He holds a bachelor's degree in social studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.