A comprehensive guide to deciding on where to place your filtration system when considering a new above ground pool.
Background: Filtration System Pad
Before you decide on where to place your filtration system, a good starting point is understanding what material your system will sit on top of. Filtration systems require a sturdy and level base for proper operation. Unsecure and unlevel bases can lead to early failure of pumps and other pool equipment. Although pumps and filters can sit on a variety of base styles, heaters require a concrete base by code. This can be in the form of precast concrete slabs, or by a poured concrete slab. Precast is the more convenient and economic format.
All our filtration pads are installed on 24”x24” Cladlite concrete slabs, that are 3” thick. These slabs are concrete with a foam inner core. These slabs give a level and clean surface for the pool equipment to rest on that is code compliant, all while reducing vibration noise. They are simple to install and can be easily moved later if required due to their low weight and design. These are the same slabs often used by the HVAC industry.
Option #1: Beside the Pool
(+) Easy access for vacuuming + servicing + cleaning, better water flow (less strain on pump), cheaper (if you don’t plan on adding a heater/salt system), winterize easily, less permit considerations.
(-) Usually more expensive to add items later (heaters, salt systems, etc.) as you must bring the gas/electrical to the pool or must move the entire system later. Some consider the filtration system an eyesore.
Option #2: Beside Utilities (The House)
(+) Closer to utilities (gas, electrical), so cheaper for utility hookups if you opt for heaters/salt systems. Less noticeable in the backyard, more visually appealing. Easier to add on additional items later at lower cost. Sheltered from the elements better.
(-) Pool Lines must be trenched from the pool to the house, additional pool pipe must be purchased, so additional cost is involved. Less pressure from the pump due to the great distance from pump to pool. Damage to grass or turf from the trenching process. Building code and permit considerations (minimum distance from lot lines, windows, doors, vents, etc.).
Option #3: Inside A Shed or Enclosure
(+) Filtration system is inside, stored away from the elements. Easy to store for winterization as they are already inside. Clean
Aesthetically pleasing and organized, making the most of yard space. Easy to add more equipment later as long as adequate utilities are in place and shed is large enough. If a heater is not part of the filtration pad, plastic floored pre-fabricated shed is acceptable for easy installation.
(-) Expensive and requires a lot of pre-planning. If the pool owner wishes to place their heater inside, poured concrete floors with the shed framed overtop will be required by code. All heaters must be vented by gas technician to prevent buildup of toxic exhaust inside the shed. Additional permit considerations for placement of shed depending on location and size.
Using the guide above, any prospective pool owner will have the information needed to plan their above ground pool properly. For most pool owners that will only be utilizing a pump, filter, and chlorinator, placing the system close to the pool will be the cheapest and easiest plan of action. For customers looking for a more comprehensive filtration system that includes a heater and/or salt system, moving your filtration system closer to the utility source (typically against the house) will offer better savings than running utilities to the pool. For the potential pool owner planning an entire backyard transformation with the space and budget to create a filter room, the cleanliness and organization is tough to beat as long as it has been adequately planned and budgeted for.