How to create Dragon Pool Spitters by tapping into your lawn irrigation system. Why settle for a standard hose when you can have Dragons?!?!
I touched on this project in my review of Cool DIY Backyard Projects, and I got so many questions about it that I decided to do a full write up on how my Dragon Pool Spitters came to be.
To be honest, this entire project was an accident. Mostly.
I was having an irrigation system installed and wanted to include a line for adding water to the pool. That was it. Basic, simple, and utilitarian.
It’s not a fancy pool, just a 15 x 30 above ground that I inherited when I bought the house, but it comes in very handy on a hot summer’s day.
However – more than once – I have made the mistake of throwing the hose in the pool to add some water and then forgetting about it. Which led to an overflowed pool, a soggy lawn, and a lot of wasted water.
To help correct that situation, I bought one of those little water times that lets you set how long to keep the hose on. That way I could throw the hose in the pull, set the timer to run for 30 minutes, and not have to worry about remembering to go back and turn it off.
That helped solve the overflowing problem, but I still had to unroll the hose, stick one end in the pool, turn on the timer, and then put it all away again once the pool was back up to the desired level.
Sometimes, I can be lazy, so when I was having the sprinkler system installed for the lawn, I decided to have them add a zone (I learned that’s what they call each of the watering “sets” in the irrigation business 🙂 ) specifically for the pool.
That Was Step 1 on the Dragon Pool Spitter Project. But Step 1 Was BORING!
They installed the line – a plain blue pipe with a 90 degree elbow on it that shot water so hard and so fast that it filled the pool up 4 times as fast as my standard hose.
That was amazing, but I didn’t love the look of the utilitarian pipe sticking up from the pool deck. I kept staring at that lame blue pipe thinking to myself, “I wish I could have done better.”
And that’s when I had a strike of brilliance.
I was walking through my local garden center and I spotted the collection of pond spitters, the kind that you hook up to your pond to add a bit of additional visual interest. It occurred to me that I should be able to use one of those to turn my watering system into something a bit more attractive and fun.
And That’s When I Found the Dragons.
As I browsed the available options at the garden center, I saw the standard turtles, fishes, frogs, and little boys peeing (which I thought would be funny for a pool). But as soon as I saw the dragons, I knew they were the obvious choice.
Maybe Game of Thrones had gotten to me, who knows! But it definitely had to be dragons!
And you’ll notice the plural. One spitter turned into two spitters… one for each end of the pool.
I did have to call in a bit of help from my irrigation specialist, which cost me a little bit more money, but it was worth it in the end.
They had to replace and extend the plain black line, with something that would reach the top of the deck posts. Plus, they split it out and ran a second line to the other end of the pool.
The important part was that the line itself needed to be the flexible pipe or hose that could properly clamp the fittings. So they needed a clamp to change from the hard plastic blue hose to the soft and flexible black one.
I know this doesn’t look pretty, but it’s all tucked between the pool and the deck, so you really don’t see it unless you have contorted yourself into a really awkward position (which I did to take the picture for this article… you’re welcome!!).
I then picked up a couple of hose repair kits to get the male ends and attached them to the end of the irrigation pipe.
Next, I took a deck board and cut it into two pieces that would run flat across the top of the deck posts on either end to give something for the dragons to rest upon, and drilled a hole in the middle to run the hose through. This also helped tuck the hose connections out of sight.
To attach the dragons to the board, I used durable outdoor Velcro, because I knew there was a chance that I would need to remove and adjust them at some point in the future (which I already have).
Then, all I had to do was screw the pond spitters onto the ends of the irrigation pipe and VOILA… Dragon Pool Spitters!
Functional and Fun Dragon Pool Spitters
I can schedule the system to add just a little bit of water every day during the summer so that it rarely runs low. And when it does, I simply turn these on using the remote for the sprinkler system.
And sometimes I turn them on just to show off. I get the biggest Ews and Ahs whenever I turn these on.
So much so that – soon after – I adapted the project so that the dragons could run constantly if I wanted them to.
This meant tapping into the pool water filtration piping so that the water could circulate through these pool spitters any time I wanted (without adding any more water to the pool).
To do this, all I had to do was to install a diverter switch, which was placed in the water return line. When it’s turned on, some of the water sprays back into the pool through the dragons instead of through the spout in the pool.
And I can adjust how much of the water is diverted depending on how much I turned on or off the diverter switch.
A heavier spray means turning it all the way on. Although they don’t shoot quite as much water as the irrigation version does, even at full strength. A gentle trickle is about the halfway mark. And if I don’t want the sound of running water, I just turn them all the way off.
And even when they are turned off, they still look cool!
And That’s How I Got Dragons Guarding My Pool
I chose dragons as my pool spitters because I thought they were cool. You can do this project with almost any pond spitter, as long as the trajectory of the stream will reach your pool.
If you don’t have an in-ground sprinkler system to tap into, these can easily be made with standard garden hoses as well, but then you’d need to turn them on and off manually.