How to Drain Water From Pool


How to Drain Water From Pool ~ It’s a common ritual for us to start out with a clean slate come every new year. But guess what? Swimming pools can hop in on that trend, too—and it’s called pool draining. 

A Must-Read: Best Pool Accessories

Here’s the lowdown on how to drain pool water. 

What Is Pool Draining? 

Draining your pool water is literally what it is. You take out the water, partially or completely, from your swimming pool and then replace it with a new one. 

There are many ways you can go about it since draining your pool water is a straightforward task. However, take note that you should only do the task when absolutely necessary. 

Now, the question is this. 

Why Is Draining Your Pool Necessary? 

Let’s say day in and day out, you’ve been using your swimming pool. Now, imagine that same set of water you’ve submerged yourself into for the past few years. It’s gotten through a lot, hasn’t it?

It’s easy to take for granted a clean pool. After all, you have filtration systems and chemical checks every now and then to maintain your pool. 

But what about the water itself? It’s definitely not self-cleaning. On top of that, machines and chemicals are not perfect and can only do so much for your water. 

Simply put, standard pool water treatment and maintenance will eventually become obsolete forms of treatment after a few years or so. Pool water reaches a tipping point wherein normal cleaning methods are insufficient. 

This is where draining your pool comes in. It makes sure that it eliminates particles that were never swept up through normal cleaning. 

Apart from that, there can be other countless reasons why you should drain your pool. Let’s look into some of them below. 

For Thorough Cleansing

Don’t mistake this for normal pool maintenance. Pool draining for cleaning is a whole other topic. 

There’s such a thing as calcium buildup caused by fluctuating pH balance. What happens next is that the calcium will leave deposits that will cling to anything that has a surface. 

When this happens, you will have to perform an acid wash. And in order to successfully do that, you will have to partially drain your pool. 

For Pool Repairs 

You may not realize it, but pools carry a massive weight of water—literally tens and thousands of gallons. 

Containing a weight this burdensome will take a toll on the structure of your pool. Hence, you will need to do some repairs and give your pool some TLC. 

Doing repairs also means having to drain your pool. 

For Simply Changing The Water 

Imagine swimming in your pool water that has been there for years. That alone already sounds gross. 

The thing is, you have every right to feel that way because it is indeed gross! Science can explain why. 

A lot of things enter the pool day in and day out. You have people splashing around, chemicals added on a daily basis, and bacteria. 

Take into account the build-up of biological remains such as natural body oil, hair, and dead skin as well. 

Add them all together, and you’ll have what is called total dissolved solids (TDS). 

Dissolved components, while you may not see them with the naked eye, do not magically disappear. Some of them become a part of your pool’s chemical party. 

Eventually, these dissolved components will pile up, also known as high TDS count. When your TDS count reaches the 2,500 ppm mark, you’ll encounter all sorts of problems. 

What kind of problems, you ask? First off, having too much-dissolved particles will throw off your pool chemistry. This will force you to adjust the chemicals you add to your pool, and they will only go higher. 

Second, once you keep increasing your chemical count, this will damage the linings of your pool. And mind you, repairs cost a ton that draining becomes the better option. 

When Should You Drain Your Pool? 

There’s only so much your pool filtration system can do. Remaining dirt and bacteria will eventually build up and make everything worse if you fail to replace your water as needed. 

It’s recommended you drain your pool every 5-7 years and only when strictly necessary. 

The topic is still debatable, though. Some even recommend homeowners to drain their pool as early as every 2-3 years. At the end of the day, it all highly depends on many factors. See below.

Daily Maintenance Routine 

Always check your pool chemistry. Make sure everything is balanced. Chlorine levels should never drop below 1.0 ppm while the pH level should be between 7.2 – 7.6. 

Invest in a test kit so you can properly check where your chemical levels fall. Maintaining steady levels with ease means you won’t have to change your pool water as often. 

On the other hand, having difficulty finding the sweet spot for your chemical levels most likely means that you might have to drain your pool water and replace it with a new one. 

Type of Water You Use

Do you use soft or hard water for your pool? 

Soft water is gentler overall while hard water has more minerals which can leave deposits on the sides and bottom of your pool. 

In other words, you are more prone to staining if you have hard water. That said, simply having hard water may require you to drain your pool water more frequently. 

TDS Levels 

Total dissolved solids (TDS) are components that eventually become a part of your pool water’s composition. These may include minerals from your pool chemicals or even biological remains like hair, natural body oils, and dead skin cells. 

You may not see them, but they are definitely present in a different form. The higher your TDS levels, the more pool chemicals you need to douse it off. 

Once you reach 1,550 ppm for your TDS levels, it may be time to partially drain your pool. 

Draining Above-Ground Pool Water

You have two options for draining an above-ground swimming pool: 

  • Electric pool pump
  • Garden hose siphon 

Electric Pool Pump 

  1. Place one end of the pool pump’s hose submerged in water. 
  2. Strategically put the outlet hose in a leveled area to avoid flooding. 
  3. With clean dry hands, switch the electric pump on. 
  4. Monitor the drainage process.

Garden House Siphon 

  1. The more garden hose you use, the faster the drainage process. 
  2. Place one end of the garden hose in the pool. 
  3. Take out the other end of the house and place it on level ground to avoid flooding.
  4. Monitor the drainage process.

Note that your pool liner will shrink once the water is out. When you start refilling it with water again, check the liner to make sure it doesn’t break or burst. 

That said, never drain your pool in cold weather. This will decrease the elasticity of your liner. 

Keep in mind that these two methods will not completely drain your pool. It may leave out about 6-12 inches left in the pool. 

In order to completely empty out your pool, you can do the following: 

  • Use a wet vacuum to suck up the excess
  • Manually sweep them all off 
  • Flip the liner over to let all the water tumble

Draining In-Ground Pool Water 

There are preferred methods for draining water depending on your pool finish. Since vinyl and fiberglass are delicate finishes, it’s best to seek help from a professional unless you are confident and experienced with pool draining. 

Nevertheless, take notes on the following guidelines. 

  1. Find the hydro-static valve, which is located in the main drain, then open it. 
  2. Connect the hose of your sump pump to your yard’s sewer drainage pipe.
  3. Place the other end of your sump pump’s hose to the center of the pool then turn it on. 

Potential Problems While Draining 

Draining your pool may seem like a simple task, but it actually involves a lot of physics! 

One crucial thing to remember is that your pool, for the longest time, has been accustomed to the weight. And mind you—a thousand gallons is massive. Once you take that hefty weight out, do not expect things to stay still. 

Hydrostatic Pressure 

In-ground pools have shells that have been weighed down by the water long enough. Remove the water, the shell might pop out. And a lot of times, they do really happen and it can cause severe damage to your pool. 

This is called hydrostatic pressure and for this reason, it’s important you visit a professional and seek advice. Ask them if your pool really needs draining or whatnot. 

Pool Exposure To The Elements 

Another potential risk is exposing your pool to the airborne elements. 

Remember that your pool materials are meant for water. Draining your pool means you’re taking that away from them. 

Once that happens, your materials may dry out and crack. They can be very fragile when exposed to just air. 

Hence, you should always refill quickly. 

A Few Notes 

Draining your pool is not an option—it’s a necessity. And frankly, you have no reason to avoid it. Aside from having a cleaner pool, you’ll save more money by dodging expensive repairs. 

But always remember to seek help from a professional, especially if your pool is very fragile like a vinyl or fiberglass one. 

Most importantly, always drain your pool only when there is no other choice. It’s good to consult a professional in making this decision.

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