If you’re considering building a swimming pool, you may have heard of pool bubblers, which are becoming a popular feature in many pools of today.
But what exactly are they? Is a pool bubbler right for your new pool? Should you contact your pool builder and tell them to put a pool builder in your pool design?
If you are on the fence about adding a pool bubbler (or several bubblers) to your pool, then read on below to find out if these are right for your pool!
When you are done reading below, come back and check out:
👉 If you are considering a pool bubbler to your tanning ledge, then you should consider if you should have umbrella holes on your tanning ledge too.
👉 Still on the fence about a tanning ledge in your pool? Read more about the reasons your pool needs a tanning ledge.
Table of Contents
To give you a complete overview of all you need to know about pool bubblers, I answer 5 Frequently Asked Questions with a mix of 14 pros, cons, and tips in the sections below
What is a Pool Bubbler?
A pool bubbler is one of several pool water features that you can add to a pool. It is a type of water jet that releases streams of water vertically into the pool, creating a gentle column of water and bubbles above the water’s surface.
Not to be confused with deck jets, pool bubblers are installed within a pool and create small fountains of water within the pool. A deck jet is installed outside the pool and shoots water into the pool.
The bubblers can be installed in both above-ground and in-ground pools and are commonly used in shallow areas of a swimming pool or spa. They are usually adjustable, and the stream of water can top out at 2 or 3 feet above the water’s surface, replicating the bubbling that occurs in a natural hot spring.
How Does a Pool Bubbler Work?
Bubbler fountains work by pushing water through a small return nozzle in the pool, creating a stream of bubbles that rise to the surface. The water is typically pumped through the nozzle using the main pool pump or a separate small pump. The pump is usually installed in a nearby equipment pad and is connected to the bubbler using a small pipe.
The size and intensity of the bubbles or water stream can be adjusted by controlling the flow rate of water or air from the pump, as well as by adjusting the nozzle or jet design.
Bubblers are typically installed during the initial design of a pool, which includes the shelf and installation of the bubbler fixtures into the shelf. They can also be added to an existing pool, but this requires additional construction and installation work.
Bubblers are a popular water feature for many pool owners, especially for folks with a spa addition to their pool. They are relatively easy to install and maintain, and they add a fun and playful element to the pool that can be enjoyed by both kids and adults.
Does Your Pool Need a Bubbler?
Not all pools need a bubbler, but they can be a great addition to any pool if your pool has the right area for a pool bubbler.
If your pool has a shallow area like a tanning ledge (also called a sun shelf or Baja shelf) or beach entry, you will likely need a pool bubbler to help move water across this area. If not, you will need some type of water return to make sure water moves across the shallow area.
Besides this need to move water in shallow areas of a pool, adding a bubbler comes down to personal tastes of the style and appeal that you want in your pool.
How Much Does a Pool Bubbler Cost?
The cost of a pool bubbler varies depending on the type of bubbler, the number of bubblers you want, the extra equipment required, and installation needs.
At a minimum, you should expect that adding a pool bubbler can add $200 to the cost of your pool. When the overall cost of a pool today can easily be $60,000, this pool bubbler cost can be relatively minimal.
If you want a bubbler with a built-in LED light, these can easily cost $800 each. If you want your bubblers on a separate pump, then the cost can increase by another $1,000 or more.
It’s important to keep in mind that the cost of a pool bubbler will depend on several factors, including the size of the pool, the type of bubbler, and the complexity of the installation. It’s always a good idea to get pricing information from your pool builder to get an accurate estimate of the cost.
Is a Pool Bubbler Worth It?
Pool bubblers are a popular water feature for many pool owners, but are they worth the investment?
As stated above, the cost of a pool bubbler is very minimal when compared to the overall cost of a pool. So, it really isn’t that big of an investment to make.
In some cases, a pool bubbler is absolutely necessary to make sure water is circulated on the tanning ledge of a pool, so there isn’t much of a decision to make to have one or not.
In my view, a pool bubbler is worth it because it serves a needed function, doesn’t cost much, and adds a nice aesthetic to the pool.
5 Pros of a Pool Bubbler
#1. Aesthetic Appeal
One of the main benefits of having a pool bubbler is its aesthetic appeal. Bubblers create a water effect and can add a fun and playful element to your pool, creating a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere. The constantly churning water keeps some movement in the pool, which helps break up dead space and adds a sense of life to the pool and your backyard.
#2. Water Circulation
The bubbler helps to circulate the water, which is important for maintaining good water quality. By keeping a good water flow in shallow areas, the bubbler helps prevent stagnant water, algae growth, and the build-up of debris and dirt on sun decks. They can also help to distribute chemicals more evenly throughout the pool, which can help to keep your pool clean and healthy.
#3. Keeps Water Cool
Bubblers and many other water features are also great for cooling down your pool water. The vertical stream of water aerates the water, and the constantly moving water helps to distribute the cool water throughout the pool, which can help reduce the overall temperature of the pool. This is especially important during hot summer months when the pool can become too warm for comfortable swimming.
#5. Enjoyment for Kids
Pool bubblers can provide endless entertainment for kids. They love to play in the water and with the bubbles that are created (our kids are constantly playing with the pool bubbler!). The bubbler can also be used as a fun water feature during pool parties or other social gatherings.
#6. Can Help Drown Out Background Noise
The sound of the water from the bubbler can help drown out background noise, which is especially important if you live in a busy area or near a noisy street. The calming sound of rushing water can help create a peaceful and relaxing environment.
3 Cons of a Pool Bubbler
#1. It can get in the way of pool furniture
One of the cons of having a pool bubbler is that it can get in the way of pool furniture. Since the bubbler shoots water up above the pool’s waterline, it can create a splash zone that may interfere with the placement of pool furniture, especially in-pool chairs. This can be an issue if you have a small pool area or want to maximize your outdoor living space.
#2. Extra noise can be annoying to some people
Another drawback of having a pool bubbler is the extra noise it can create. While the sound of rushing water can be calming for some, it can be annoying for others. If you have neighbors or live in a busy area, the additional noise from the bubbler may not be desirable. Additionally, if you’re trying to enjoy a quiet day by the pool, the noise from the bubbler may be a distraction.
#3. You may need separate equipment for your bubbler
Finally, it’s important to note that you may need separate equipment for your pool bubbler. Depending on the type of bubbler you choose and the placement of your bubbler (or bubblers), you may need a separate pump, filter, and plumbing system. This can add to the cost and complexity of installing a pool bubbler. It’s important to factor in these additional costs and considerations with your pool builder before deciding whether or not to install a pool bubbler.
Design and Placement Tips for a Pool Bubbler
When designing a pool with a bubbler, there are several factors to consider for optimal placement and functionality. Here are some tips:
#1. Place in Tanning Ledges, Beach Entries, or any Shallow Area of a Pool
Pool bubblers are typically installed in shallow water, such as a tanning ledge or beach entry. This allows for an optimal bubbling effect, as the depth of the water in these areas should be between 6 and 18 inches.
#2. You Can Have More Than One Bubbler
For larger shallow areas in your pool, consider installing more than one bubbler for a more dramatic effect. Multiple bubblers can create a unique and visually appealing water feature.
#3. Center and Symmetrically Place Bubblers
When installing multiple bubblers, placing them symmetrically and centered is important for a cohesive and balanced look.
If you are only installing one bubbler, make sure you position the bubbler in a central position in the shallow area of your pool
#4. Factor in the Placement of Pool Furniture and Umbrella Holes
Although a pool bubbler has a small footprint by itself, the cascading column of water coming out of the bubbler can create a limitation on the useable space of your pool.
When determining the placement of your pool bubbler, consider the location of pool furniture and umbrella holes. You want to ensure that the bubbler will not be installed in a place where you want to place in-pool chairs, tables, or umbrellas.
#5. Consider Using a Bubbler Solely as a Water Feature
While bubblers can be a necessary part of your pool to move water in a pool, they can also be used as a standalone water feature. A single bubbler can create a calming and peaceful atmosphere in your pool area.
Additionally, you can combine pool bubblers with additional pool features like a pool waterfall or your pool lights to make a stunning design and custom water feature.
#6. Consider a Pool Bubbler with a Built-in Light
Adding a built-in light to your pool bubbler can create a stunning visual effect at night. This can also increase the safety of your pool area by providing additional lighting.
✨ Pool bubblers with built-in lights are becoming a very popular option for new pool designs. See some options below.
#7. Consider Placing Your Bubbler(s) on a Separate Pump
If you want to turn off your bubbler while still running the main pool pump, you will likely need a separate pump or control valve to turn the bubbler on or off when you want. Make sure you talk about this with your pool builder if this is something you want for your pool bubbler.
Pool Bubbler Alternative
If your pool is already built and you don’t want to go through the expensive process of adding a pool bubbler to your pool, you can add several add-on water features or floating bubblers like the options below to give you a similar aesthetic and functionality.