Why Would You Need To Drain A Swimming Pool
Since draining your pool is an event that should only really be necessary every few years, there are only a few situations that require it. If the below doesnt apply to you, think twice about whether this is really a task you need to do. Hey, Im all for saving you time and money whenever I canand hello, this is one of those cases.
Utilizing Your Sewer Cleanout
- If there are two, use the one closest to the home.
- Remove the cap and insert the drain hose a few inches into the pipe.
- Secure the drain hose to prevent it from moving when the flow begins.
- Turn on the pump.
- Immediately check to make sure no water is backing up into the house. Drains for showers and tubs are the first places to check.
- If the water backs up, turn off the pump immediately. You may have a blockage or need to lower the flow rate.
Diagrams courtesy of City of Phoenix
This method is for CLEAN de-chlorinated water only.
- Do not drain a saltwater pool in the street.
- Do not practice this method in lake communities.
- Do not practice this method if your street has issues with flooding.
- The discharge hose should reach the curb to prevent erosion of any soil or damage to landscaping.
- Monitor flow to ensure you are not causing flooding or other damages.
- Do not backwash into street. Water contaminated with sediment must go onto your yard or into the sewer cleanout.
Never plumb a permanent connection from your pool pump directly to the sewer cleanout or to the curb, as this is a violation of Town Code.
How To Plug A Main Drain
If you live in a place with freezing temperatures, its recommended that you plug your main drain before closing down your pool for the winter. Thats because the main drain could leak water into your system, even if your pump isnt on. If that water the freezes, it expands, and could potentially crack your plumbing. Since your pools circulation operates using a significant amount of suction, any crack in your plumbing is going to present some major problems, including a total burst.
To plug a main drain during the pool winterizing process, first make sure that your pump is off and disconnected from power. Next, use a screwdriver to unscrew the lip of the main drain lid and take the lid off. Locate the small hole at the bottom of the main drain, and plug it with an expandable rubber plug or, if the hole is threaded, a plastic threaded plug. If you can, replace the main drain lid again. Thats it!
If you do need to drain your pool, the main drain wont help you. Instead, you want a powerful, reliable, and heavy-duty cover pump like the BLACK+DECKER 1500 GPH Automatic Submersible Pump. Check out this user review to find out more.
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Expert Tips For Draining Pool Water
One of the most dreaded chores for pool owners is draining pool water. It can be a time-consuming and back-breaking undertaking if you dont know what youre doing, but it doesnt have to be that way.
Here are some important things you should know to make this task a little bit easier and make sure you avoid spending time and money on unnecessary fines and repairs.
Will Pool Water Kill Plants
Different plants will react differently to pool water. Some will tolerate it completely and at the other end of the scale some plants may die. As a very general rule, plants with thick leaves will probably be able to cope with chlorine the best.
Examples of those plants that can tolerate pool water are Oleander, Palms, Honeysuckle and some herbs such as Rosemary. Those that wont tolerate pool water include some fruit trees and roses.
When The Swampy Waters Gotta Go
Theres a reason why any serious DIY pool owner has an arsenal of chemicals on hand. Because chemical balance is so important and does it all, including keeping swimmers both comfortable with the right pH and safe with the right kind of sanitizer, it needs to be checked at least once a week. If your chemical balance has gone unchecked for a considerable amount of time, and has become murky beyond the point of return, then its time for a fresh start.
But even if youre diligent about chemical balance, theres a byproduct that even pool shock cant blast away. These are called the total dissolved solids , and theyre the remnants of the chemicals you add to your pool, combined with dirt, debris, and other contaminants. Once your TDS levels build up over a long period of time, they can seriously interfere with your waters chemistry.
If youve noticed that the chemicals youve been adding arent working like they used to, and youve already tried shocking your pool , then your issue might be a high TDS reading. You can monitor your TDS with test strips or a digital meter. Once its at about 2,500 parts per million , its time for a drain.
How To Fix A Clogged Main Drain
That leaf trick I showed you earlier indicating that your main drain is blocked? Debris is probably the culprit. Heres how to unclog a main drain:
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Wait For The Right Weather
You might think a bright, sunny day is the perfect time to drain your pool. And it isas long as its not too hot out.
Pools are meant to be full of water. When theyre drained, and the liner is dry and exposed to high heat, its vulnerable and can easily be damaged by the sun. An inground pool can even blister and crack if left dry in high temperatures.
To avoid this, drain your pool when the outside temperature is 85°F or lower. If your pool needs to be drained, but youre into the middle of summer when temperatures are going to remain high , wait until autumn or even winter if that season is mild enough where you live.
Know Where The Waters Going
One of the most important parts of draining your pool is deciding where the excess water is going. You dont want it flooding your property or a neighbors yard. Neither do you want to dump it illegallymany municipalities have regulations concerning water dumping. Find out whats allowed in your area and plan accordingly.
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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 An Above Ground Pool
Depending on the size of your pool, the draining process can take as little as an hour and as long as half a day while you wait for the water to empty.
With that being said, preparing your above-ground swimming pool for draining is still pretty straightforward and can be broken down into a series of simple, easy to follow steps.
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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.
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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Know Where Youre Going To Drain
Before you start draining your pool, you absolutely need to have a game plan. Remember, this is thousands of gallons of water youre about to moveand its got to go somewhere. Plus, your yard is not an option, and not just because you dont want chemically-treated water going into your grass. Pool pop ups happen most frequently when there is pressure underground around your pool. Introduce water to the ground near your pool and youre probably going to regret it.
So where should all that water go? Again, this is a time when you should consult with 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 into the streetand others have tight restrictions on when you can drain your pool. Go to your local dot gov to find out the regulations that apply for you.
To take extra measures to avoid the pool pop up, make sure your drainage hose is long enough to reach the sewer cleanout . And just in case any other drainage problems occur, direct the drainage hose downhill from the pool. You never quite know if your sewer cleanout is significantly clogged until youre trying to push thousands of gallons of water through. If something goes wrong and that water happens to come back toward you, you want to make sure its nowhere near your pool.
Do I Need A Permit From The City To Drain My Swimming Pool Or Spa To The Storm Drain System/street
No, the City does not require a permit for the draining of swimming pools and spas to the storm drain system/street. However, swimming pool and spa water drained to storm drain system/street needs to meet water quality requirements/conditions outlined above. The City requests home owner and/or responsible parties to complete and submit the Swimming Pool and Spa Draining to Storm Drain System Form to the Environmental Sustainability Division prior to draining. Failure to follow suggested steps and best management practices outlined above can result in the discharge of swimming pool and spa water above water quality requirements/conditions, which can be subject to enforcement action by the City.
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Why You Should Periodically Drain Your Pool
The single most important reason to drain your pool is to deal with TDS levels. When TDS levels get too high, they start to interfere with the chemicals at work keeping the water sanitary and clear. More and more chemicals are needed, which can be harsh on the skin and even damage the pool itself. Eventually, a point is reached where the water cannot be maintained properly no matter how many chemicals are used.
Most professionals recommend draining your pool every three to five years in order to keep TDS levels low, which I agree with. How often your pool needs to be drained depends on a number of factors, including overall use. If the pool is partially drained every winter, this dilutes TDS levels and will extend the interval between complete water changes.
Remove The Excess Water
As I mentioned in the last step, a garden hose drain will cease to work once the water reduces to a few inches in depth. In many cases, you probably wont need to drain further than this anyway.
Otherwise, its recommended that you use an electric pump to drain the rest of the water. If youre on a tight budget and have no way to get your hands on a pump, scooping the water out manually is another option, albeit slow and painful.
Of course, if youre using a submersible electric pump from the start, this step is irrelevant as a pump will be able to drain all the water.
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How Do I Clean My Above Ground Pool Drain
4.6/5All you need is a medium-size water or vacuum pump.
Also asked, can I drain my above ground pool to clean it?
You pretty much have two options when it comes to draining an above ground pool: you can use a submersible pump, or siphon the water out with a garden hose. If you’re only draining it partially to correct the chemistry, then a garden hose will do the trick without the extra expense.
One may also ask, what do I use to clean my above ground pool liner? Mix vinegar, baking soda and hot water in a bucket. Use a mop to clean the liner. This will kill mold and mildew and leave the liner clean and fresh smelling.
Herein, how do you drain a pool without a pump?
How to Empty a Pool Without a Pump
Does an above ground pool freeze solid?
Should You Dechlorinate Pool Water Before Draining
If you will be completely emptying your pool then it may be a good idea to dechlorinate the water in the pool before discharging the entire amount around your property. You can do this by:
- leaving the pool without adding chlorine for a while, perhaps up to a week, so that the sun breaks down the chlorine in the water
- Buy some chemicals from your local pool store that are designed to dechlorinate the water. One such chemical is sodium thiosulphate.
If you are just going to backwash or use the waste setting to lower the pool level after rain , or when vacuuming to waste, then the volume of water will be relatively small so dechlorinating should be unnecessary.
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Dont Drain In The Rain
A period of heavy rainfall is the absolute worst time to drain your pool. The ground will be heavy with water, which increases the risk of it pushing the pool up and out as you empty it.
Wait for dry weather. And not just a day or two of it. Give the ground time to dry out after its absorbed a lot of rain. Remember, just because the ground looks dry on the surface doesnt mean its not still saturated several feet down around the sides and bottom of your pool.