Should main drains be installed during the construction of an inground pool?

Main drains are an essential component for water circulation within an inground swimming pool. Drains provide circulation in the deep end of the swimming pool, ensuring water clarity, proper distribution of water chemistry as well as maintaining a constant water temperature throughout the swimming pool. Another benefit of bottom drains in a swimming pool, is they help in the cleaning of debris thus minimizing vacuuming and bottom drains are exceptional for lowering pool water when it comes time to winterize your swimming pool.

Are bottoms drains a concern for swimmer safety?

If not properly installed like anything else there could be a potential danger, however if properly installed they are completely safe and have proven to increase in the ease of swimming pool maintenance. For proper installation you should have two bottom drains installed three feet apart and connected together with a T fitting along with proper anti vortex drain covers securely fastened to the drain bodies and plumbed directly to the swimming pool pump. If plumbed directly to the swimming pool pump this would provide you with the option to actually turn the suction of the bottom drains completely off. If you are concerned about a swimmer’s safety while in the swimming pool you could eliminate 100% any possibility of entrapment from the bottom drains by simply turning a ball valve installed on the intake of the swimming pool pump to off making the pool unquestionably safe as if the drains were not even installed.

Why should you not install main drains in an inground pool?

Because it will save the swimming pool installer a lot time and money to not have to install them, as it would require less labour and materials.

Because you like to spend your money on separate submersible pumps to lower the swimming pool water level each fall prior to winterizing.

Because you like warm and cold water pockets in your swimming pool.

Because you like to see cloudy water at the bottom of the pool.

Because you like to spend your time vacuuming and cleaning your pool.

Because someone has told you they were a danger to swimmers.

Because someone told you that a central skimmer system was better and was advanced in technology so there was no need for main drains. Have you ever heard the term “water is lazy”? Water always finds the lowest point and if you do not have bottom drains it will take more effort to circulate, treat and heat water in the deep end.


The more strategic points of intake and discharge you have in an inground swimming pool, provided you have a properly sized swimming pool pump, the better circulation you will get. This will make your inground swimming pool more cost efficient and easy to maintain.