How to Bypass a Pool Heater: Quick & Simple Guide

Having a pool heater can be a wonderful way to extend your swimming season and enjoy a warm and comfortable pool even when the weather starts to cool down. However, there may be times when you need to bypass your pool heater for maintenance or repair purposes. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to bypass a pool heater effectively and safely.

How to Bypass a Pool Heater: Quick & Simple Guide


Why Bypass a Pool Heater?

There are several reasons why you may need to bypass your pool heater. One common reason is when the heater needs to be serviced or repaired. By bypassing the heater, you can isolate it from the rest of the pool system, allowing you to work on it without affecting the overall functionality of your pool.

Another reason for bypassing a pool heater is when the heater itself is not working correctly, and you want to continue using your pool while waiting for repairs or replacement. Bypassing the heater allows you to still circulate water through the pool system without heating it.

Materials Needed

Before you start the process of bypassing your pool heater, make sure you have the following materials on hand:

  • 2 PVC ball valves
  • PVC pipe (if needed)
  • PVC pipe cutter or hacksaw
  • PVC primer and cement
  • Teflon tape
  • Adjustable wrench

Step-by-Step Guide to Bypass a Pool Heater

Follow these steps to effectively bypass your pool heater:

Step 1: Turn Off The Pool Pump

Before you begin the bypass process, make sure to turn off your pool pump. This will prevent water from circulating through the system while you work on bypassing the heater.

Step 2: Identify The Inlet And Outlet Pipes

Locate the inlet and outlet pipes on your pool heater. The inlet pipe is where the water enters the heater, while the outlet pipe is where the heated water exits the heater.

Step 3: Install The First Ball Valve

Using the PVC pipe cutter or hacksaw, cut the pipe leading into the inlet side of the heater. Install one of the PVC ball valves on this cut section of the pipe. Make sure to use PVC primer and cement to secure the valve in place.

Step 4: Install The Second Ball Valve

Next, cut the pipe leading out of the outlet side of the heater and install the second PVC ball valve in the same manner as the first one. This will allow you to control the flow of water through the bypass line.

Step 5: Connect The Bypass Line

If there is no existing pipe connecting the two ball valves, you will need to install a new section of PVC pipe to create the bypass line. Make sure to use PVC primer and cement to securely connect the pipe to the two ball valves.

Step 6: Secure The Connections

Once you have installed the bypass line and both ball valves, use Teflon tape to secure the connections and prevent any leaks. Make sure all connections are tight and secure before proceeding.

Step 7: Turn On The Pool Pump

After you have completed the bypass setup, turn on the pool pump to circulate water through the system. Check for any leaks around the bypass line and ball valves. If there are no leaks, you have successfully bypassed your pool heater.

How to Bypass a Pool Heater: Quick & Simple Guide


Benefits of Bypassing a Pool Heater

Bypassing a pool heater can offer several benefits, including:

  • Allows for easy maintenance and repair of the heater
  • Ensures continuous pool circulation even when the heater is not in use
  • Prevents potential damage to the pool system if the heater malfunctions
  • Can help save energy costs by not running the heater when not needed


Bypassing a pool heater may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and instructions, it can be a straightforward process. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can effectively bypass your pool heater and ensure that your pool system continues to function smoothly. Remember to always exercise caution when working with PVC pipes and consult a professional if you are unsure about any steps in the process.

Now that you know how to bypass a pool heater, you can confidently tackle this task whenever the need arises. Enjoy your pool knowing that you have the knowledge to keep it running smoothly!

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