What Direction Should My Return Jets Face?
Every spring we rustle up all the items that were taken off our in ground pool and stowed away for the winter: In-pool ladders, skimmer and strainer housing baskets, various plugs and lids for your filtration systems, and return jets (or as we call them: Eyeballs).
What is with all the different sizes?
The return jets Prestige Pools & Spas and most other builders in our area use are from Hayward Pool Products and are the most common in the industry. Composed of 3 simple pieces, the return jet is one of the most widely misused parts in all pools.
The eyeballs for water flow (SP1491B, SP1491C & SP1491D) are sized 3/8”, 1/2” & 3/4”, respectively. The smaller eyeball is used to generate more back-pressure on returns that are physically the farthest from the filter system. The larger and mid-sized eyeball is used on returns that are the closest to the filter system. Make sense?
But where should I point them?
Most people like to point the jets in a unified direction, clockwise or counterclockwise. On older pools, return jets might have been built on one side or end of the pool with the skimmer opposite the return jets.
Conventional wisdom dictates that most pool owners should point the jets up to create vigorous ripples in the water. After all: When we mix batter we whisk the bowl thoroughly in all manner of directions. This does not necessarily translate when it comes to your pool and how water is circulated.
Your skimmer(s) are designed to skim surface area. When there is tension on the surface you have created more surface area for your skimmer(s) to skim and lengthening the overall process of skimming. Tension in the surface will also encourage faster evaporation and greater chemical burn off.
If you were to point your jets in a downward manner not only will you not have the issues explained above but you will encourage greater water turnover/circulation. As shown below, over time the water flow will have more movement vertically. This allows for better temperature chemical and temperature distribution. And finally, this also will encourage faster better overall filtration as the dirtiest part of your water tends to be the top 4” of the surface.
What if I Can’t Keep the Surface Calm?
Do your best. A lot of vinyl liner in ground pools we build have jets in the step area. Due to the close proximity of the step(s) to the surface of the water, rippling is sometimes unavoidable. Bear with this to the best of your ability. On the plus side- The jets, if placed downward, will keep debris from settling too much on the steps, where automatic and manual vacuums have difficulty reaching.
We Have All Sorts of Tips.
For any questions you may have feel free to contact us. Or check on our website in the EDUCATION section located at the bottom of any webpage for easy to understand pool help and hints.
Happy swimming and good luck moving forward.