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Considering Pool Scuppers? (Pros, Cons, Ideas & Cost)

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Looking for a way to transform your pool from drab to fab? And to do it at a fairly reasonable price?

Well, pool scuppers might be exactly what you’re looking for.

These pool water features create flowing water, are low cost, and can add a sense of ambience and class to your backyard sanctuary.

What Are Pool Scuppers? 

Pool scuppers are essentially overflow ports that move water from one area to another.

In fact, they take their name from boat scuppers, which are drains located on the side of the boat. These drains help water escape if too much gets into the cockpit or on the deck.

A scupper as it applies to pools is a bit different, as it’s more of a visual feature that creates a cascading arched waterfall that lands in the pool.

Pool scuppers come in a variety of sizes, designs, and are composed using copper, stainless steel, bronze, or stone. The scupper is installed into a raised section of the pool, which can be a feature wall (most common), columns, or even a raised spa.

You can also customize the look of the waterfall depending on the scupper you choose, as water can come out thin, thick, wide, or sheet-like.

The Pros & Cons 

So what are the advantages vs. the disadvantages of installing water scuppers in your pool?

Pros

First things first, pool scuppers are visually incredible. While there’s other features you can add to your pool, nothing is quite as attractive (and attention-grabbing) as tiny waterfalls feeding it.

Secondly, the sound of waterfalls is incredibly therapeutic. There’s a reason why people flock to destinations with beaches, and jungle surroundings with swimming holes. The sound of water alone has healing power.

This sound will also help isolate you while in the pool. The waterfalls produced by scuppers can easily drown out any external noise in your neighbourhood, so you can enjoy your pool in peace.

As mentioned, scuppers move water from one area to another. This helps circulate the pool’s water, and also keeps its temperature cool. Cooler water is vital to the longevity of chlorine, as it protects it from being used up by the sun too quickly. 

In layman’s terms: cool water = less chlorine demand = you save more money.

Cons

The cons of pool scuppers are three-fold.

While the actual scupper itself is usually priced at only a few hundred dollars, the installation of them is where they can get expensive. This is because scuppers need to be in a structure, which has to be custom-built for your pool.

In addition, while the waterfalls may be soothing for you, they may not be as soothing for you neighbours. Although, if you invite them over regularly you can probably avoid disagreements.

Finally, keeping the scuppers clean can be a bit of a hassle (especially stone models), but as long as you follow a maintenance schedule, you can avoid potential damage from bacteria and algae.

A Cost Breakdown 

Anytime you’re redirecting water, you’ll need to ensure there’s enough flow to fully circulate it. For this reason, pool scuppers are recommended to be installed with their own separate pump.

This may cause a slight increase in your monthly bill, as more power is needed to run this feature.

The cost of a single scupper is usually only a few hundred dollars. But the creation of a feature wall, raised spa, or columns to house the scupper(s) is where your budget might balloon. 

If you want to add scuppers to an existing pool, you may be able to at a reasonable price, although this is largely situational.

Pool Scuppers Ideas (And 5 Examples) 

Scuppers can be designed in a multitude of ways, with endless creative possibilities. 

Some of the most popular designs are:

  • Feature Wall Scuppers
  • Sheet Flow Scuppers
  • Wide Scupper
  • Column Scuppers
  • Spa Scuppers

Let’s look at some real examples:

Example #1: Feature Wall Scuppers

Image by Aqua Blue Pools

Most scuppers that are installed on a wall such as this one usually come in threes. 

These bronze scuppers are perfectly juxtaposed to the custom rock wall, and release a mid-sized waterfall. 

A popular variation on this look doubles the amount of scuppers on the wall, with a one-up, one-down design for added serenity.

Example #2: Sheet Flow Scuppers

Image by Designing Idea

While this is a very contemporarily designed pool, sheet flow scuppers can work well with any pool decor.

These scuppers tailor the waterfall to be wide and thin, giving it more of a glassy and sheer look than a natural waterfall would have.

Example #3: Wide Scupper

Image by Pinterest

Essentially three sheet flow scuppers lined up side-by-side-by-side, it’s hard not to like this ultra-wide scupper design.

Again, it is more of a contemporary look, but you can definitely implement this on any pool. 

Feature walls that have a low profile can use this style to great effect.

Example #4: Column Scuppers

Image by Dreamscapes

Column scuppers aren’t quite as popular as scuppers on a wall, but they can give more of a regal look to your pool.

These stone scuppers release a slim 3 foot waterfall, and resemble something you might see back in ancient Rome.

Additionally, you may also see a twist on this design – which uses a scupper bowl on top of the column where the water pools and flows out from.

Example #5: Spa Scuppers

Image by Platinum Poolcare

Scuppers aren’t strictly reserved for pools. 

This luxury spa has a built-in wall feature with three, smaller, spout-like scuppers, resembling something you’d see at an exotic water temple.

While they do little to affect the operation of the spa, it adds a touch of zen to the space and will be a calming presence when the spa isn’t in use.

Ready to Jump In? 

It would be a rare occurrence if someone added scuppers and their pool wasn’t enhanced by them.

Pool scuppers add a touch of class and luxury, and are quickly becoming a must-have feature in today’s modern pools.

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