Pool Bubblers: What Are They & How They Work

Backyard pools are usually quite an expensive luxury, and most of the equipment required for their efficient operation is also not cheap and not an option that can be ignored. Not so with pool bubblers – they’re cheap, they’re not essential, but they’re great fun and add to the ambiance of an otherwise ordinary pool. So, what are pool bubblers, and how do they work?

Pool bubblers are devices that create small “gushers,” typically in the shallow tanning shelf, which are largely for fun and visual effect, but possibly also improve water quality. Bubblers work with an electric pump pushing water through various nozzles to create bubbling fountains in the pool.

While pool bubblers are more about fun than function, they still provide excellent value for money. For young children, bubblers offer hours of safe fun in the pool. They provide a unique visual aspect during the day, but also, with LED lighting, a night-time spectacle. And yes, they may improve the water quality in your pool. Let me tell you more – you’ll be installing bubblers as soon as you finish reading!

What Are Pool Bubblers And How Do They Work?

After a quick explanation of what pool bubblers are in terms of their components and how they work, I’ll look at why you should consider incorporating them into your pool design and why you might choose not to have them.

The Typical Pool Bubbler – A Brief Description

Most bubblers comprise a series of housings that incorporate an inlet and outlet nozzles. These are fitted under the water level, typically on the tanning step or Baja shelf, and connected via concealed piping to a dedicated pump that circulates water from the pool via the inlets through the nozzles, creating small fountains that then feed back into the pool.

These fountains can be combined with wall- or deck-mounted spigots and LED lighting to create a complex and spectacular water feature of fountains and sprays to enhance the aesthetic value of your pool.

The bubbler might be connected to the main pool pump if it has sufficient capacity, but you will then need to add diverter valves to each nozzle to control the flow of water. The bubblers can also be controlled by a separate timer so that they only run at specific times and not all day.

The Benefits Of Bubblers

While bubblers are never essential to the efficient operation of your pool and can be left off the design if you’re on a tight budget, they do offer several benefits.

Bubblers Are Fun For Kid Of All Ages

Moving water is always more fun, whether it’s a waterfall, spray, or bubbling fountain, and if the bubblers are in the shallow section of your pool, it becomes a playground for the kids and a great place to stay cool.

Bubblers Add Aesthetically To Your Pool Area

A pool can be plain and practical and still be a valuable asset, but if you want it to be the focal point in your garden, pool bubblers are a relatively inexpensive way to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary, with your imagination the only limitation to what can be achieved.

The cost of incorporating bubblers into your pool design will pay off handsomely if you ever want to market your home, as it will definitely add more value than its initial cost.

Bubblers Can Create Calm

The sound of moving water and bubbling fountains can not only create a relaxed atmosphere around the pool but also form a barrier against outside disturbances such as traffic if you’re situated on a busy road or if you’re unfortunate to have noisy neighbors.

Bubblers May Improve Water Quality

By circulating the water in your pool and increasing the amount of contact with the air, bubblers help to oxygenate the water and also keep it cool. When they are placed on the tanning shelf where the water tends to heat up, this is a welcome benefit.

It’s difficult to measure just how much the bubblers assist in improving the quality of the water, and they shouldn’t be considered part of the normal sterilization process, but even a small contribution to a sparkling pool is welcome.

Possible Drawbacks Of Pool Bubblers

To balance the discussion, let’s look at some possible negatives to consider before deciding to install pool bubblers.

Bubblers Are Difficult To Retro-fit

If you are designing a new pool, fitting bubblers is relatively simple. They require piping and electrical connections, as well as a pump, and a professional needs to be brought in to do the fitting to ensure that you have complied with local regulations.

If you already have a pool, the installation will require some excavation, disturbance of the pool surface, and rebuilding to install the pipes and nozzles, and electrical connections, at a considerable cost.

Bubblers Need Regular Maintenance

The bubbler nozzles can become clogged with debris and chemical deposits over time, requiring cleaning and periodic inspection. Electrical connections, too, may corrode over time and add to repair and maintenance costs.

Bubblers Cause Increased Evaporation

Depending on the height of the bubbler fountains, and the number of nozzles and other outlets, there will be an unavoidable increase in evaporation which necessitates more frequent topping up of the pool, particularly in hot, windy conditions.

The additional evaporation caused by the bubblers has an effect on the chemistry of the water, so you may find that you are spending more time and money on maintaining chlorine and other chemicals at the required levels. Evaporation also causes a drop in water temperature, which may not always be welcomed.

The Noise Factor May Be Too Much

While I’ve mentioned the sound of the bubblers as a calming “white” noise, it might also be too loud for those who enjoy the peaceful, quiet atmosphere of a near-silent pool. Adjusting the height of the “gushers” may be the answer to this problem.


Pool bubblers are simple but highly effective devices that use a pump and a variety of nozzles to create decorative fountains in and around the pool. While they are not essential to the functioning of the pool, they are worth far more than the cost of installing them by adding to the visual appeal and the fun for all those using the pool and also increasing the value and marketability of your home.