How To Drain A Pool

Swimming pool water can get contaminated with time, and pool chemicals lose potency. Periodic pool maintenance is undoubtedly on the timetable of every pool owner. Every maintenance measure must be conducted regularly, from offsetting the water’s chemicals to vacuuming the pool’s surface.

Yes, it can be exhausting. It’s a lot of work to empty all the water and refill it, so let’s get down to business.

Is It Safe To Drain My Pool?

Many pool owners often ask if it is safe to drain the pool or not.

Most experts agree that you can risk damaging your pool if it’s done at the wrong time or under bad conditions. But there will come a time when you’ll have to do it regardless, so it is better to do it accurately.

The extreme danger you face when emptying a pool is hydrostatic pressure. It’s a term used when the water inside the pool starts pushing against your pool’s walls and floor and damaging them.

You must never drain the water from your fibreglass or vinyl liner pool. Fibreglass can pop up and float, but you can drain them less frequently. Meanwhile, vinyl liners usually expand when exposed to direct sunlight. Once you refill a vinyl liner, it will have creases and never look the same.

But draining shouldn’t be a problem if it’s made from solid material like concrete. You take all responsibility for emptying your swimming pool, so always ask your dealer first.

Consult Your Local Water Authority

First, you have to know where your pool’s water will go when you drain it. Properly disposing of the water is vital. Many municipalities have regulations about how, when, and where it is approved to drain a pool, and you must follow those regulations.

For example, most municipalities will instruct you to channel your pool water through your home’s sewer cleanouts so it will rush to a water treatment plant. Some let you discharge water from chlorine pools into the storm drains or a storm sewer.

Municipalities may even put on water chemical composition rules. They may mandate the water to be chlorine neutral, requiring a chlorine neutralizer. Besides, it must be free from other chemicals applied to maintain the pool. Before removing the water, call your local authority for the prescribed chemical levels and check your water’s chemistry.

Refrain from adding chemicals within ten days before you drain the pool, and keep testing the water until it reaches the required chemical levels.

How To Drain An Inground Pool?

A backyard with a swimming pool that needs to be drained.
It would help to consider the groundwater level before draining the in-ground pool. If water levels in the space are high enough, they can lead to pool pop-ups. It means that without the pressure of the water pushing on it, the pool may be driven up and out of the ground. The risk is even more considerable if you drain a pool a few days after heavy rain.

Moreover, we all know that fibreglass and vinyl liner pools need specific treatment as they are generally not made to be drained completely. You’ll likewise have to switch off all the automatic timers of your pool equipment, which will also turn off the pool lights. Pool lights may overheat and crack when not underwater.

Don’t forget to scoop out large debris with a good leaf rake -a leaf skimmer is also fine. Inspect your main drains also for any stuck leaves or debris.

Now follow these procedures to drain a pool without risk.

Rent A Submersible Pump

The standard way to drain a pool is to run a submersible pump in place of the swimming pool circulation pump. The circulation pump can damage it because once your pool drains even a bit, it’ll be siphoning in the air instead.

You can rent or buy submersible pumps in home improvement stores or pool retailers. Shop for a 2500L per hour pump. The maximum recommended discharge rate is 2700L an hour.

Ensure the power cord is very long to reach from the bottom of the deep end to the nearest GFCI receptacle without being outstretched. Never use an extension cord.

Likewise, check if the drainage hose is long enough to reach the sewer or your drainage point. You never want to drain all that water somewhere in your yard since it can seep through the ground and likely lift the pool.

Drain The Pool Water

Lower the pump into the in-ground pool. Running the pump when not in water can cause the motor to overheat. Then plug it in.

Ensure the hose is connected securely and the other end of the hose is attached to the sewer clean-out to avoid flooding problems. Lay the hose as flat as possible to prevent clogs during draining.

Turn on the pump and begin siphoning. Monitor the draining process, irrespective of the time. The time needed to drain your pool will be based on the municipality regulations, the pump rate, and the overall size of the pool.

And if drainage problems occur, lead the drainage hose downhill from the pool.

Turn Off And Remove The Submersible Pump

You’ll arrive at a moment where the water level is so low that the pump cannot continue removing any water from the pool, and you’re left with a small puddle. Don’t worry – it is expected and acceptable. Proceed and switch off and pull out your submersible pump.

Open The Relief Valve

Open the hydrostatic pressure relief valve on the pool’s floor. You’ll allow any groundwater to flow into the pool, preventing a ‘pool pop’ from happening.

In some hydrostatic pressure relief valves, lids are fixed into a plaster. You will need a hammer and chisel to bust the plaster around the cover to unscrew and remove it.

Do Repair Work

Maximize the empty pool to finish what needs to be done.

If you emptied your pool to fix any damages or pool liner repairs, you must do it now. Note that time is crucial because you don’t like the flooring defenseless against the elements for an extended period where the finish can dry out and create cracks.

Clean The Pool

A man is draining a pool.
Now is also a great time to clean away calcium deposits or scale rings (if present in the pool). Calcium, Lime, Rust remover, or CLR typically works great. Remember not to damage the lining of the pool when cleaning.

Power wash or acid wash surfaces if necessary. If using muriatic acid, spray a 1:16 acid-to-water diluted solution on the drained surface of the pool, and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Use a pool brush to remove the stubborn spots, like algae buildup. Rinse thoroughly with plain water.

If your pool is already relatively clean or you are booked, you may skip this part.

Cover The Relief Valve

Ensure a new valve plug is ready if the original is damaged during removal. Tightly twist the plug into the valve using Teflon tape on the threads.

Refill With Fresh Water

To expedite the refill process, you may find it beneficial to use two garden hoses simultaneously. The average pool can take 12-24 hours to fill, only if you have a few hoses running. Monitor the rising water level.

Turn On The Pool Pump

Turn the spigot off when the water level reaches the middle of the skimmer. Remove the hoses and turn on the swimming pool pump. Prime your pump anytime your pool sits for 1-2 months to work properly.

Balance Your Water Chemicals

You’re going to balance your water from square one. It is the hardest step to refilling your pool, but ensuring a clean, safe, healthy swimming environment is necessary. Conduct a test to determine the current level of the water, then adjust the water’s alkalinity, pH, and calcium hardness properly before adding chlorine (sanitizers) and CYA (Cyanuric Acid). Then measure the water’s TDS.

How To Drain An Above-Ground Pool?

A backyard swimming pool that can be drained.
Draining an above-ground pool is pretty easy. Below are the steps:

  1. Unplug the pool pump and other electrical components.
  2. Submerge the pool pump’s hose under the water.
  3. A garden hose must be attached and placed in the desired area you want the water to drain to.
  4. Dry your hands thoroughly.
  5. Plug the pump directly into the pool’s GFCI outlet. The pump should be running.
  6. Check the end of the hose to ensure that the water is flowing well into the drain point.
  7. Check on the pool regularly.
Your pool pump is ready to be turned off when the water level gets so low that the pump can’t siphon it. Any remaining water can be removed with a wet/dry shop vacuum. Use a leaf blower to take the debris out of the pool’s surface.

Then, finish your restorations before refilling with water or dry it down, fold the liner, and store it safely and dry. The pool frame can be dismantled or covered until the next swimming season.

When To Drain Your Pool?

Emptying a pool is usually unnecessary and always the last resort, so be sure you’ve spent all courses on water balancing or restoring damaged areas of the pool.

Routine Maintenance

Drain only when a particular pool’s part or structure itself needs fixing. It could be mending a liner or repairing a rupture in a concrete design. Another event where total drainage may be necessary is if you must repaint your pool – a task that has to be done only once every few years.

Cleaning Debris

If you have so much debris at the bottom of the pool that it can’t be removed, or if your filter can deal with the flushing even with a hefty amount of chemicals, you will need to drain your pool. But remember that virtually any pool cleaning can be through with water in the pool.

Water Needs To Be Changed

Lastly, most pools must be emptied and refilled about every 3-5 years, or when the total dissolved solids (TDS) level is above 2500 ppm. The remains of the chemicals, plus dirt, waste, and other contaminants, if accumulated for a lengthy period, can enormously meddle with your water’s chemical balance.

When this occurs, it will become challenging to neutralize your pool water. You’ll need to add chemicals more frequently. Eventually, the chemicals you use to cleanse and shock your pool, environmental factors, and the mass of biological waste will be unreasonable for standard pool care.

Remember, do it quickly! You do not want a pool sitting empty for a long time. See to it that it will not exceed one week.

What Time of Year Is Best To Drain A Pool?

All type of construction of your pool is made to be filled with water. It can be easily damaged when exposed to daylight without water. Hence, the best time to drain your pool is a sunny day but not burning hot or when the weather is mild or during Spring.

It is best to reschedule when the temperature is above 85 degrees at any time during the task. In-ground pools can chip or crack when emptied in extreme temperatures. It also applies when temperatures are near or below zero. The groundwater around your pool during winter and after heavy rainfall puts more pressure on the pool’s walls and bottom.

When To Consult A Professional?

A man in a baseball cap and white pants sitting on the edge of a drained pool.
You should consult an expert when you’re uncertain that your pool must be drained. Many pool fixings can be carried out underwater, and most concerns with the water can be treated instead of demanding a replacement. If you are clueless about the water table in your neighbourhood or are not confident that you understand how to drain your pool, speak to a pool specialist who can assist.

Knowing how to drain your pool so you can make restorations or modifications will guarantee your above-ground or inground pool stays in serviceable condition for the coming years and looks exemplary.

Once you’ve gotten through it several times, it won’t seem too exhausting. Just follow all the steps and avoid any risks. Now take a deep plunge and relax.

Curb Wise