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Swimming Pool PVC Pipe Sizes

If you ask a pool owner what type of pool pump they have, or what color their safety cover is, they'll probably know the answer right off the bat. But if you ask them what size their plumbing pipes are, they may be stumped! Knowing the size of your pool PVC pipes is important information to have on hand, especially when buying new plumbing equipment, like a pump or filter. With this handy pool PVC pipe size chart, you can measure and identify what size your pool pipes are in no time.

Why Pool Pipe Size is Important

Pool PVC Pipes

When talking about pool water circulation, the first piece of equipment that comes to mind is usually the pool pump. As the heart of your pool's plumbing system, the pump is responsible for circulating water throughout your pool. And while the pump is indeed an integral part of effective water circulation and filtration, the pipes also play a crucial role.

For your pool to achieve proper water circulation, the pump and filter unions must match the connecting pool pipe size. Incorrectly-sized pool pipes can lead to a host of problems for your pool, including pump cavitation, poor water circulation, and inadequate filtration.

PRO TIP: It's important to note that when purchasing a new pump or filter, you should always match the equipment size to your existing pool pipe size, not the other way around. It's much easier — and typically less expensive — to purchase a new pump or filter in the correct size than to dig up and resize all your pool pipes.

Schedule 40 PVC Pool Pipe Dimensions

pool PVC pipes

The following descriptions and chart detail the dimensions and specifications for the most common pool PVC pipe sizes. Most pools have between 1" and 2" pipe fittings in the pump and filter system, and in the suction and return lines. Knowing the size of your pool pipes will help you accurately purchase new plumbing equipment, like a pump, filter, salt cell, or heater, and make it easier to repair damaged pipes.

Below are descriptions for each section of the pipe size chart.

Nominal size (Nom. size)

The nominal size of a pipe is the rough measurement of its inside diameter plus wall thickness. This number is used to identify the general size of the pipe in inches. Referencing the chart below, if a pipe has an inside diameter of 1.029" and a minimum wall thickness of 0.133", its nominal size is 1".

Outside diameter (O.D.)

Often abbreviated as "O.D.", the outside diameter refers to the external diameter of the pipe in inches.

Inside diameter (I.D.)

The average inside diameter, or "I.D.", is the internal diameter measurement of the pipe. Even though the pipe's nominal size determines how the pipe is labeled, the internal diameter measurement is technically the most accurate calculation of its size.

Minimum wall thickness (Min. wall)

A pipe's minimum wall thickness determines its "schedule". The majority of pool pipes are Schedule 40 PVC pipes and are less than a quarter of an inch thick.

Nominal weight per foot (Nom. Wt./Ft.)

A pipe's nominal weight indicates the weight of one foot of pipe. There are many resources available online to help you accurately determine the weight of your pool PVC pipe.

Maximum water pressure (Max. W.P.)

Measured in pounds per square inch (PSI), the maximum water pressure rating indicates how powerful the flow of water is through the pipe. As the chart below indicates, the smaller the pipe, the higher the water pressure.

Schedule 40 Pool PVC Pipe Sizes

Nom. Size O.D. I.D. Min. Wall Nom. Wt./Ft. Max. W.P.
1/8" 0.405" 0.249" 0.068" 0.051 810 PSI
1/4" 0.540" 0.344" 0.088" 0.086 780 PSI
3/8 0.675" 0.473" 0.091" 0.115 620 PSI
1/2" 0.840" 0.602" 0.109" 0.170 600 PSI
3/4" 1.050" 0.804" 0.113" 0.226 480 PSI
1" 1.315" 1.029" 0.133" 0.333 450 PSI
1 1/4" 1.660" 1.360" 0.140" 0.450 370 PSI
1 1/2" 1.900" 1.590" 0.145" 0.537 330 PSI
2" 2.375" 2.047" 0.154" 0.720 280 PSI
2 1/2" 2.875" 2.455" 0.203" 1.136 300 PSI
3" 3.500" 3.042" 0.216" 1.488 260 PSI
3 1/2" 4.000" 3.521" 0.226" 1.789 240 PSI

Pool pumps often get all the credit when it comes to keeping your pool water circulated and filtered. But without the right size pool PVC pipes, your pump would have a hard time doing its vital job. The size and dimensions of your pool pipes is important information to know, and can save you a great deal of frustration when it comes to purchasing new plumbing equipment.

In The Swim makes every effort to provide accurate recommendations based upon current ANSI/APSP/ICC-5 2011 (R2022) standards, but codes and regulations change, and In The Swim assumes no liability for any omissions or errors in this article or the outcome of any project. You must always exercise reasonable caution, carefully read the label on all products, follow all product directions, follow any current codes and regulations that may apply, and consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. In The Swim assumes no legal responsibility for your reliance or interpretation of the data contained herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the quality, safety, or suitability of the information, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.