When To Consult A Professional
If you are not 100 percent certain that your pool needs to be drained, you should consult a professional. Many pool repairs can be done underwater, and many problems with the water can be treated rather than requiring replacement. If you do not know what the water table is in your area, or you are not completely certain that you know how to drain your pool, talk with a pool pro that can help out.
When you need to fill your pool back up, head over to my article on pool water delivery and other options.
Questions about draining your pool? Let me know and Iâll be glad to help.
Time To Clean The Swimming Pool But Where To Drain The Water
MEDIA RELEASE: For Immediate Release 14 May 2020
Time to clean the swimming pool but where to drain the water?
Its that time of year when you are likely thinking about getting the pool or hot tub ready for the summer season. Its a good idea to prepare by first checking with your local town or city to find out what you should do with the water when you drain the pool. Beware, that releasing pool or hot tub water containing chlorine or salt directly into the street or a storm drain could bring a very heavy fine. Thats because those chemicals would then flow untreated into a local stream, river or lake and could result in a fish die-off or be very harmful to aquatic life, said Linda Heron, Chair of the Ontario Rivers Alliance .
Your City or Town will have a sewer use by-law that outlines the requirements for the draining of hot tubs and pools. For instance, the City of Guelph provides the details of how to do this and are available on their website.
Pools and hot tubs need to be left uncovered to dechlorinate and then should be drained into a laundry tub or another drain connected to the Citys sanitary sewer system where it will be treated. If that isnt possible, pools should be slowly drained onto the owners lawn or garden so the ground can absorb it, but ensure it doesnt flow onto your neighbours property.
The ORA recommends that you call your local City or Town to find out what they recommend, said Linda Heron.
Can You Backwash Into The Street Or Storm Drain
Whether you can direct pool water into the street depends on where you live. It may be permitted in some areas but not in others.
For example, the City of Phoenix state Do not drain water into the street, alleyway or other city of Phoenix right of way under City Code, Section 31-8 and Section 23-33. Instead, they state that the water should be discharged onto a lawn or other part of the landscaping unless it will be a substantial amount in which case it could go down the homes sewer clean-out and into the citys sewer line.
The main reason for not being able to discharge into the street, storm drains, curbs, gutters, channels etc is that, without the water being treated first, they lead to creeks, rivers and lakes. Pool water contains chemicals such as chlorine which could severely impact the ecology of the waterways. Pool water that goes into the sewer system is treated before ending up in rivers, reservoirs etc so it will not impact negatively on the ecology of the waterways.
Check you local areas regulations to see what they allow as fines for discharging water into the drainage system, where not permitted can carry hefty fines.
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How To Drain Water From Your Swimming Pool
When Should I Drain My Swimming Pool?
- In cases where your water has a high level of Total Dissolved Solids , a Pinch A Penny expert may recommend that you drain some water from your pool and add fresh water.
- If you know that a large tropical storm or hurricane is approaching, you may also want to drain some water to prevent overflow.
- In the event you need a repair or resurfacing, the techs will take care of this process.
Regardless, consult with an expert first before deciding to take water out. These steps apply to inground and above ground pools, as well as saltwater and chlorine-treated pools. If you decide this is a necessary step, this article will show you how to drain water out of your swimming pool, regardless of what type of filter you have.
Warning: We do not recommend you drain a pool past the skimmer line. Doing this may cause your pump to run dry, damaging or destroying it.
How to Drain A Pool with a Cartridge Filter
For those pools that have a cartridge filter, there are two ways to achieve this.
1. Using the Drain Plug
- Shut off the pump.
- Go to the back of the filter and unscrew the drain plug.
- Turn the pump back on and let the water run until it reaches the point where you want to drain the water out.
- Turn the pump back off and put the plug back into the drain plug.
2. Using the Drain Valve- If your system has a valve in between the pump and the filter.
How to Drain a Pool with a Sand Filter
How to Drain a Pool with a DE Filter
Power Off And Remove The Submersible Pump
Once the water is so low that the submersible pump is no longer pushing it out of your pool, turn it off and remove the pump. Dont worry, this puddle is totally normal. Its rare that a pool owner needs to drain every inch of water. If youre draining your pool to fix your chemical balance, the small amount of water still on your pools floor wont affect your balance going forward.
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When You Have The Time
Again, you dont want to let your empty pool six for more than a week, max. But youll also need a significant amount of time during the draining process, because its never a good idea to run errands while youre moving thousands of gallons of water. My guess is that itll take upwards of eight hours to drain completelyand can last up to sixteen. And filling it? Thatll take just as long. Womp womp.
After Your Chemical Levels Are Down
Finally, you can take a break on treating your water. Bet you never thought youd hear me say that! The truth is, its probably required by your city that the water you drain doesnt have high concentrations of pool chemicals. Before draining your pool, use test strips to make sure that your water is chlorine neutral, has a neutral pH, and doesnt have high traces of other chemicals. For the exact levels required, contact your local water authority.
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How To Drain A Pool Connected To A Sewer
Draining your swimming pool onto the street, into storm drains and near waterways is illegal in many townships and municipalities across the country. You may be able to dechlorinate your pool water and use it to irrigate your lawn or garden, but you may only do so if it can be done without flooding your neighbors property or causing other problems, reports Chandler, Arizona. The best way to drain the pool is to empty it directly into the sanitary sewer line outside your home. The process is simple but can be time-consuming, depending on how fast you are able to pump the water.
Test your pool water by hiring a professional or using a home test kit. Unless you need to drain the pool for repairs or winter shutdown, you generally don’t need to drain it unless your total dissolved solids exceeds 1,500 parts per million, or your calcium hardness is greater than 350 ppm, says INCOMMUNITY Magazine.
Stop adding chlorine to the pool and allow the water to sit in the sun for five to 10 days to dechlorinate before draining. You can also use a chemical dechlorinator if you prefer. Test the water before draining to make sure the chlorine is gone.
Turn off the pools filtration system at the circuit breaker and shut off the automatic water fill.
Remove the pump and hoses when you are through draining the pool. Remember to put the cover back on the sewer line. Turn the filter and automatic fill valves back on.
Draining Water From A Hot Tub
Hot tubs and inground spa pools are easy to drain.
The safest and fastest way is to use a submersible pump to a storm water drain. This should only take 30 minutes.
Some hot tubs have a valve at the bottom of the tub that opens to empty the water. But you better have a hose connected to the drain first.
Many people use a siphon hose to a drain and leave it overnight.
The reasons to drain a spa pool are the same as for an inground pool. It could be for repairs, maintenance or renovation.
Please read our article on How Often Should You Change Your Hot Tub Water
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Store The Liner And Pool Frame
Once the liner is dry, have a friend help you lay it out on a soft surface of your yard, such as grass. Stay away from hard surfaces like concrete or sharp rocks. Then, gently fold the liner into a neat and storable square. Keep it indoors in a large container with a lid, so it stays dry and protected throughout the winter.
When it comes to dismantling the pool frame, that process can vary big time. The best I can tell you is to follow the manufacturers instructions for yours, and then store it in a dry, clean area indoors.
If youre opting to leave the frame set up, cover it with a tarp and secure it down so it doesnt blow onto its side. It might not exactly be a looker, but itll do.
Potential Legal Implications Involved In Draining A Pool
Draining your swimming pool in the street, storm drains, around waterways, or on public property is illegal widely. Unless you specifically know the laws of your region and draining pools publicly is permitted, you risk legal repercussions and fines for doing so.
Anytime that you drain a pool, you run the risk of flooding your property, as well as your neighbors. Pay heed to proper draining techniques and use the sanitary sewer line outside your home to be safe. While it takes a bit longer to drain properly, it ensures you dont incur fines or costly damage in the process.
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Secure Your Submersible Pump
If youre going to make it a habit to drain your above-ground pool for storage every year, youd better buy a submersible pumpyoull save more over time than if you continue to rent one. Make sure that the power cord is long enough to reach from the bottom of your pool to your outlet. Avoid using an extension cord. Since were dealing with water and electricity, wed better play it safe.
Youll want to place the submersible pump on the floor in the center of your pool. The submersible pump will have a hose connected to it. Place the other end of that hose to where youve decided to drain your water. Make sure it reaches all the way, or youll have a flood to deal with.
Risks Of Improperly Draining Your Pool
There are a few risks:
- The pool can heave out of the ground
- Sun and exposure can damage your pool
- You can damage or burn out your filter pump
- You can back up the sewer system into your home
Your pool heaving out of the ground is a serious problem that may occur if the groundwater level in your area is high. This might be the case all of the time, or only after several days of heavy rain. The problem occurs when your empty pool starts to float on the groundwater and be lifted out of the ground.
Empty pools are also susceptible to damage from exposure. Vinyl pools tend to contract when emptied, which can result in damage when they are refilled. Gunite or fiberglass pools can crack, and fiberglass pools may suffer bulging or splitting if drained. It may also void your warranty to drain your fiberglass pool.
If you do not adjust your filter, pool pipes, and waste lines properly, you run the risk of damaging or burning out your poolâs motor. This can happen if the gallons per minute of your pump exceeds the ability of your waste line to handle. It can also happen if the filter sucks in air and ends up running dry.
Most municipalities do not allow you to dump pool water just anywhere. The approved location is usually your sewer system. However, putting too much water into your sewer system all at once can result in it backing up into your home.
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If Certain Parts Of The Pool Need Repairing
Just like any other area in your home, repairs to the pool are inevitable. But when theyre necessary is another matter altogether.
If your pool has a vinyl liner, you may start to notice it bulging and fading over the years. You may even pick up a tear or two. These can be patched up using an underwater patch kit, but eventually youll need to replace the liner.
Damages on the pool finish can also occur in the form of chipping or flaking . Pools that are made from gunite or shotcrete can also develop cracks and leaks which can lead to serious issues if left unfixed.
Dispose Of The Water Correctly
This is important when you drain any pool, but even more so for an inground pool. If your drainage hose isnt long enough to reach the sewer cleanout in your yard, buy a longer hose.
Letting those thousands of gallons of water spill out onto the ground around your pool will have the same effect of heavy rainfall. The ground will absorb the water, and the pressure on your pool will increase.
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Plan Where The Water Will Go
Dumping thousands of gallons of water can obviously take a toll on the landscape around your pool, so its important to consider where exactly that water will be channeled and pooled .
Most people tend to let the water out into their own yard, and thats fine as long as you can be sure the water chemicals wont damage your plants.
If youre planning on using gutters or storm drains, however, youll want to check whether they can handle large volumes of water, and whether or not using them for this purpose violates local regulations.
How To Drain A Pool Of Any Kind
Every time you jump into your pool, its a sensation of being immersed in cool, clean water. But how clean is the water, really? Sure, you use sanitizer the way youre supposed to and you clean the pool. But if its been a few years since your pool was filled, it may be time to drain it and start fresh.
And no matter how well you take care of your pool, there will come a time when it needs repairs, from minor touch-ups on a vinyl liner to plastering cracks in the cement. And its pretty hard to fix those spots on the floor of the deep end without removing the water first. So take a little time to learn how to drain a pool so youre ready for anything.
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When You Have Pool Maintenance To Do
Most of the maintenance we do for our pools can be done with water still in it. Can you imagine having to drain your pool every time you brush down your walls and floors? Thats the parallel universe of my nightmares. But sometimes, special maintenance requires an empty, or mostly empty, pool. If you have to fix the base of your pools frame or liner, for instance, youll need to displace your water to get that work done. Thats just how it is.
Turn Off And Remove The Submersible Pump
Youll reach a point where the water level is so low, the pump can no longer pull any water out of the pool, and youre left with a smallish puddle. This is normal, and acceptable. The amount of TDS in that little puddle isnt going to be enough to interfere with your chemical balance once you refill the pool.
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You Have A Plan For Where That Water Will Go
Again, this is thousands of gallons of water youre about to moveand its got to go somewhere. Your game plan really, really matters. If your water is chemically neutral, you can use it in your sprinkler system, and pat yourself on the back for helping out the environment. If your water still has traces of chemicals, your yard is the last place youd want to put it.
So where should all that water go? Again, this is a time when you should consult your local water authority. The usual process is to direct the water into one of your homes sewer cleanouts, but some cities allow you to drain right into the street. Others have tight restrictions. It all depends on where you live.
If you are draining into your sewer, make sure the drainage hose connected to your submersible pump is directed downhill. You never quite know if your sewer cleanout is significantly clogged until youre trying to push thousands of gallons of water through it. If something goes wrong, you want to keep that water as far from your yard as possibleespecially if you have beautiful green foilage.
From here on out, make sure your maintenance is spot on. That includes getting those tough-to-reach cornerswithout hurting yourself in the process. Try the patented 360-Degree Bristles Blue Torrent Pool Brush, developed by long-term pool professionals. As customer Scott Hinds notes, Definitely the best pool brush I have ever owned. Far superior to other brushes.