How Far Away Can Pool Equipment Be?

pool equipment in a white shed within desert backyard

One of the hardest parts about building a pool can be locating the pool itself. As a pool designer for over 20 years, I’ve encountered this problem thousands of times. There are endless possibilities and questions to ask. Do you want it centered on your back windows?  Do you want to see the water feature from your master bedroom sliding doors?  Once you locate your pool, you may think it’s all figured out.  However, there is still the location of the heart of the pool system, the pool equipment, which needs to be figured out.  You may find yourself wondering, how far away can pool equipment be?

How Far Away Can Pool Equipment Be?

Usually you can locate the pool equipment within the industry standard of 50’ from the pool. Generally speaking, you can locate the pool equipment up to 50’ away from the pool without too much trouble.  However, whenever you are designing the mechanical system of a swimming pool there are some aspects which must be considered.  

2 Things That Determine How Far Away Can Pool Equipment Be

If you’re a homeowner, here are the technical pieces surrounding the standard of 50 feet from a pool. The cliff notes of pushing pool equipment far away from the pool is that is causes many plumbing issues. Later on we’ll explain the problems that can arise if these things are neglected.

Water Velocity In Plumbing

First, the velocity of the water in the pipes must be kept below 6 feet per second on suction piping, and below 8 feet per second on return (pressure) piping.  This is the first parameter to become aware of.  This may be lower depending on your municipality or state code, always check your local codes as they sometimes will exceed the national code requirements.  

Total Head Pressure

For functional reasons, you also must consider the feet of head pressure, friction of the pipe, fittings of the piping, and the elevation of the equipment relative to the pool will add to the total head pressure of the system. This head pressure must be considered when you consult the pump curve to determine what pump your system will need to use, and what size piping you will need to use.  Obviously, this is a good time to consult a professional to design the system.

backyard pool and brown fence hiding nearby pool equipment showing how far away can pool equipment be as about 50 feet

Furthest Away We’ve Placed Pool Equipment

We have successfully installed pool equipment on projects located up to 160 feet away from the pool.  You could go farther away, but keep in mind the further you go away from the pool, the more friction loss you will have, and the more energy you will use to circulate the water.  It’s best to keep the equipment as close to the pool as you can without affecting the experience of swimming or hanging out on the pool patio.

Problems When Pool Equipment Is Too Far Away

Sometimes it just isn’t practical to keep the pool equipment close to the pool. Perhaps you want to hide your pool equipment in a certain way that’s nowhere near the pool. So how far away can pool equipment be?  If you design it right, you will have limited issues with 100’ or more of pool piping

There are some problems you can create by moving the pool equipment too far from the pool however.  You can have problems with the pool pump priming if your pool equipment is too far above the water level of the pool. You can have trouble with the pump running at too high pressure if the pipe sizes are too small. This can lead to the pool pump burning out prematurely and being far louder than need be.

How Far Away Can Pool Equipment Be?

When finding the answer to how far away can pool equipment be, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  If you’re not absolutely certain about what you are doing and why, it’s best to consult a professional. They can help assess the design criteria and put the right system together for you.