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The Importance of Swimming Pool Circulation

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We developed a 3-step process to taking care of your swimming pool: The 3 C’s of Pool Care. They include, circulation, chemicals and cleaning.

The Importance of Swimming Pool Circulation

Circulation is the first step in the process. Circulation plays a major role in all parts of the process. Circulation of the pool water allows you to filter your water, which is cleaning. It also helps to spread the chemicals you add to the water, like stirring a cup of coffee after adding cream and sugar.

All three steps are necessary for proper pool care, but without circulation, the other two steps would be impossible.


What Makes Good Pool Circulation?

Every pool should be equipped with a pump and a filter, at the very least. Circulating the pool water is performed by your pump. The pump sucks in the water from the pool by the skimmer, or the rectangle hole in your pool with the failing door (sometimes).

Once the water is sucked out the pool by the pump, it passes through the pump and into your filter. The filter’s job is the clean the water by filtering out particles that are making your water dirty.

After it passes through the filter, it’s pushed back into your pool through a jet, which is a little round hole in your pool (some pools have multiple jets and multiple skimmers).

Your return jet should be multi-directional, if it’s not I would suggest getting a new jet fitting that will allow you to direction which water the water is pushed back into your pool. This whole process is circulation of the pool water.

How To Improve Pool’s Circulation

It’s good practice to point your return jet in a direction that will spin the water in your pool, hence, circulate.

If your pool only has one jet, it’s a good idea to point the jet to the opposite side of your skimmer and downwards. This will circulate the water and also mix the water on the bottom of your pool to the surface.

Dead Areas

Dead areas are spots in your pool that have poor circulation. Some commons spots include:

Sometimes these dead areas are unavoidable. You can do your best to point your return jets to improve these areas, but you may just have to take care of these areas manually. This is why it’s important to always have a pool brush handy.


This is a major part of pool circulation. Every pool is going to have a few dead spots, so practicing good circulation also includes brushing your pool. You should brush your pool often, at least once a week.


Brushing dead areas and other areas of your pool helps to break up debris or micro-organisms, like algae. It gets these inhabits into the water, instead of clinging to other parts of your pool, so that your filter will have an opportunity to filter them out.

Determine Your Pool’s Turnover Rate

The turnover rate is the amount of time it takes to circulate all the water in your pool through the filter system. It’s not necessary to know this number for a home swimming pool, but you can certainly do the math if you desire. If you don’t want to find out this number, a general rule of thumb: run your pump and filter 8 to 10 hours a day.

Circulation is very important in proper pool care. It’s easy to do since the pump is doing all the work for you. Just make sure you:

My 3 Cs of pool care include: cleaning, circulation and chemicals. I suggest you read these posts to understand how to keep your pool clean and healthy all season long:

I added The Anatomy of a Swimming Pool because you should know what you’re working with before you get started.

Happy Swimming!

The Importance of Swimming Pool Circulation

Recommended Reading

The Anatomy of a Swimming Pool
We dive into the anatomy of a swimming pool, including: the filter system and the water for both an inground and above ground swimming pool.
How to Fix Air Bubbles in Your Pool
Got air bubbles in pool coming out of the return jets? It's common, and we have some tips and tricks to help you solve this problem.
How Long Should I Run My Pool Pump?
Wondering how long to run pool pump each day? The best answer is 24 hours a day. However, that would cost too much. So here's a better answer...

The Art of Pool Care

Spend Less Time Cleaning and More Time Swimming

We cut out all the fluff and confusion of pool maintenance and stripped it down to the bare bones in this easy-to-read illustrated digital guide.

Click here to learn more

Last Updated: Sunday, July 28th, 2013