Proper Pool Jet Positioning

We’re all guilty of repositioning our pool eyeball returns to use it as an impromptu water massage or maybe just even fiddling with it out of boredom. But what many of us don’t realize is that there is actually a correct and incorrect way to position our pool jets!

You might say to yourself, but they’re just there for circulation and moving water is moving water, right? Well, not really. The reason return jets are in the eyeball configuration is so that they can be directed to where the water flow is needed, and yeah, for a bit of fun when called for!

Improper Pool Jet Positioning

Here are some ways where improper pool jet positioning can affect not only your pool circulation, but in some cases your pool water chemistry as well!

Pointing the Pool Jets at the pool surface

While it looks terribly fun, pointing your pool jets up to create bubbles for that spa effect, it’s not advisable to do so for extended periods of time! The reason for this is that this causes aeration in the pool, which in turn increases the rate of outgassing in your pool which will raise the pH levels in your pool!

Another reason why this is a bad idea is that this will agitate the surface of the water, moving floating debris around. Some will say that this is a good way to push debris towards the skimmer, but unless you’re really precise and in a really controlled environment, this will just make it tougher for the skimmer to catch debris.

On a side note, this is also something that you can try if your jets are strong enough and you want to raise your pool’s pH levels without adding chemicals!

Pointing the Pool Jets towards each other

There’s really no reason to do this as the movement from both jets will cancel each other out and create dead spots (places with no water circulation) in areas away from the pool jets.

Pointing the Pool Jets away from each other

While this may provide some circulation in the far ends of your pool, this will create a bit of a dead spot in the middle of your pool, which isn’t really good as well.

The right way to position pool jets

The best way to position your pool jets is angled slightly downward and all pointing at the same direction or depending on the shape of your pool, that will create one “flow” or circular motion in your pool. The direction should be away from the skimmers. This will allow the water that isn’t normally getting pulled into the skimmers to be circulated properly (especially the deeper parts of the poo) and be given their chance to be drawn into the pool’s filtration system.

While it may not look like it, pointing the pool jets all in one direction will actually increase the power and circulation of the water. I’m sure there is some scientific explanation behind all of this, but all we really need to know is that as long as all of the water is moving in one circular direction then circulation should be on point. From the illustration above, even if the far end of the pool doesn't have a return jet, the flow of the water will still reach that area since all of the water is being pushed in one direction. Sort of like a giant vortex.

But my water looks so calm!

When positioned correctly, you the water should actually look calmer. Even though this doesn't sound logical, calmer water and better water circulation, it's actually true. See, what we want is for the deeper water to get circulated so that we greater water turnover, meaning greater water filtration, and at the end, cleaner water all around.

Other benefits of proper pool jet positioning

Aside from proper water circulation, there are other benefits that proper pool jet positioning can bring to the table!

  • Less heat loss - Since we have a calmer water surface, your pool loses heat much slower than one with an agitated surface.
  • Less evaporation - Directly connected with heat loss, a calmer water surface reduces the amount of evaporation in our pool.
  • Less chemical off-gassing - Your pool chemical levels will be more stable the calmer your water surface is.
  • Shorter skim time - Calmer water means less surface area for your pool so that means your pool skimmers can grabe floating debris much easier. Plus, the less agitated your water surface is, the better debris can be drawn into the skimmers.

Unavoidable Dead Areas

Here’s something to consider. No matter how good the circulation provided by proper pool jet positioning is, there will always be dead areas in your pool! These locations are: Tight corners in your pool, underneath your pool ladders, around the pool steps, and more surprisingly, the area underneath your pool skimmers!

The best way to deal with this is to manually scrub these locations occasionally. Since we’re supposed to be doing this already, it’s just important to keep it in mind as these locations are usually out of sight and tend to get overlooked whenever we do our pool maintenance. Funny isn’t it? The areas where we don’t get good circulation no matter how good we position our pool jets are also the spots where we often neglect to clean!


Depending on the pool builder, some pools may have return jets that aren’t adjustable so it might be a good idea to replace them when you have a chance. They’re a really affordable way to improve your pool’s circulation without breaking the bank!

If you have an older pool where the jets sit flush against your pool wall, try to contact your pool builder to see what special tools are needed to replace the eyeball.

Do you have any questions about this topic or the featured products? No worries, we're here to help! Drop us a question down below and we'll get back to you ASAP.

Happy swimming :)

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