Welcome, pool owners, to our comprehensive guide on how to successfully drain a pool. From time to time, whether you own an above-ground or an in-ground pool, there comes a moment when you’ll need to perform a complete pool draining. But what triggers this need? Whatever the reason, this guide aims to provide you with the knowledge and tools necessary to complete this task effectively.
Draining a pool isn’t something to be taken lightly. It requires careful planning, an understanding of the correct procedures, and respect for environmental regulations. The complexity of this task could vary depending on whether you have an in-ground pool or an above-ground one, but this guide is here to illuminate the way, no matter what type of pool you have.
In the forthcoming sections, we’ll navigate through the reasons and the appropriate time to drain your pool, followed by the considerations and regulations you need to be aware of. Subsequently, we’ll dive into the specific steps you need to follow to drain an above-ground pool and an in-ground pool.
Throughout this journey, we hope to make the process of draining your pool less intimidating, even for those who are doing it for the first time. As you follow this guide, you’ll discover that with a bit of patience, the right equipment, and an understanding of the steps involved, you can successfully drain a pool, ensuring its longevity and your enjoyment. Let’s embark on this pool draining adventure together!
Reasons and When to Drain a Pool
Draining a pool is no simple task. Whether you’re dealing with an above-ground or an in-ground pool, it’s important to understand why this process is necessary. Some reasons stand out more prominently than others. For example, the pool might require deep cleaning or critical repairs that can’t be performed underwater.
Pool draining becomes essential when the water quality decreases significantly and is no longer suitable for swimmers. In other instances, the pool’s water hasn’t been refreshed for more than five years, leading to the accumulation of total dissolved solids (TDS). Draining and replacing the water will restore the pool to its original sparkling blue glory.
Diving deeper into the topic of TDS, it’s crucial to understand what this term means in the context of your pool. As you maintain your pool, you use various chemicals to keep the water clean and clear. Over time, these chemicals can accumulate, leading to an increased level of TDS.
The presence of TDS in your pool can be detected using a specialized TDS meter. If the meter reading surpasses 2,500 parts per million, this is a clear sign that your pool may require draining. High TDS levels mean you would need to use excessive amounts of chemicals to balance the pH, which isn’t ideal for maintaining a healthy pool environment.
When to Drain a Pool
Timely pool draining is as crucial as understanding why you should drain a pool. Each season brings with it certain considerations for pool owners. For instance, draining your pool in the scorching heat of the summer might damage your pool liner due to excessive exposure to sunlight. On the other hand, the freezing winter temperatures could cause “pool pop” if you drain your pool then.
The perfect time to drain a pool tends to be during the mild and dry weather of spring or fall. During these periods, the water table is low, and the daytime temperatures won’t exceed 85 degrees. These conditions are ideal for ensuring the longevity of your pool liner. If you live in a region where temperatures drop below 41 degrees during the winter, it is advisable to drain some water from the pool to prevent freeze damage to the structure, pipes, and equipment.
Considerations and Regulations for Pool Draining
Getting ready to drain a pool isn’t as straightforward as one might think. A flurry of considerations surrounds this task. Before embarking on this journey, you should be aware of the local rules and regulations that govern pool draining. Your local municipality likely has a set of guidelines, so get in touch with them to familiarize yourself with the dos and don’ts of pool drainage.
Before you kickstart your pool draining process, it’s crucial to understand the environmental ramifications. Directly releasing the pool water into your yard isn’t a green choice. The chemicals used to maintain the water balance in your pool might be detrimental to your lawn, nearby plants, and even groundwater.
This is where your local sewer systems come into play. Provided there are no restrictions during heavy rain, they can act as a conduit for your pool water. Those with a septic system on their property can use it to manage the pool water.
Given that draining a pool often involves the use of chemicals, your local municipality may also dictate the chemical composition of the drained pool water. A common requirement is to ensure the chlorine neutrality of the water.
Depending on your circumstances, you might need to halt the chemical treatment of your water about a week prior to draining. In a pinch, chlorine neutralizers can expedite this process. Always refer to your local municipality’s guidelines on the required water chemistry before proceeding.
Pool Draining Timings and Weather Considerations
Timing is another crucial factor when planning to drain a pool. You don’t want to unintentionally flood your local streets or sewers during the rainy season, which is why specific time windows for pool draining might be in place. Similarly, you want to avoid doing this task when the heat of summer is at its peak to prevent possible damage to your pool liner.
The ideal time to undertake pool draining is during the dry weather in the spring or fall. In these seasons, the water table is usually low, and daytime temperatures won’t breach the 85-degree mark. In addition, both in-ground and above-ground pools have their unique considerations.
For instance, in-ground pools require a careful balance as they rely on the weight of the water to remain firmly in place. Therefore, draining these pools in moderate temperatures and dry weather conditions is the best practice.
Not all pools are made the same. Certain pool types, like those made of fiberglass and vinyl, require extra care during the draining process. In fact, these might not be designed to be drained at all, making professional consultation an absolute must.
How to Drain an Above-Ground Pool
The process of draining an above-ground pool might seem daunting initially, but with a bit of guidance, you’ll navigate it with ease. Let’s delve into the nitty-gritty of how to drain a pool that’s above ground. Be sure to always consult your local regulations and consider the environmental implications as we’ve previously discussed.
Step 1: Set up a Submersible Pump
In the center of your pool, place a submersible pump. This pump can either be rented or purchased from a local hardware store or online. It’s worth noting that the longer the pump’s cord and hose, the better, as you’ll need to move the drained water a considerable distance from the pool and your house.
Step 2: Direct Water Away
The next step in the pool draining process involves directing the drained water to a suitable location. Depending on local guidelines, this might be a storm drain or sewer system. Do remember, the location should be a good distance away from your house and your neighbor’s property to prevent any water damage.
Step 3: Monitor the Pump
Keep an eye on the submersible pump, especially if you’ve never used one before. It might take several hours to drain the pool completely, depending on the pump’s capacity. While you might be tempted to leave it unattended, monitoring is essential to prevent any mishaps.
Step 4: Stop at a Few Inches
Once you’ve drained the majority of the water, stop when there are only a few inches of water left. This last bit of water can contain debris and sediment. Manual removal is often the safest way to deal with this water to avoid clogging your pump or hose.
Step 5: Clean the Pool
Now that you’ve successfully drained your above-ground pool, it’s time to clean it. With the remaining water and debris removed, you can scrub away any algae or stains on the pool surface. This is also a great time to inspect your pool for any potential damage or needed repairs.
Step 6: Refilling Your Pool
Before refilling your pool, ensure that all plugs and valves are secured. Gradually refill your pool while keeping an eye on the water level. Once filled, balance the pool water chemistry as per your pool’s specific requirements.
How to Drain an In-ground Pool
If you own an in-ground pool, the process of draining it varies slightly compared to an above-ground pool. However, fear not, this guide will help you understand how to effectively drain an in-ground pool while maintaining its structural integrity. It’s important to note that the same considerations about local regulations and environmental impact, as previously discussed, also apply to in-ground pool draining.
Step 1: Locate Your Pool Drain
The first step to drain a pool of the in-ground variety is to identify where the main drain is situated. It’s typically found at the pool’s deepest point. Familiarizing yourself with the pool’s construction will go a long way in making this process smoother.
Step 2: Setup a Submersible Pump
Just like with an above-ground pool, you’ll need a submersible pump for an in-ground pool as well. Once you’ve gotten hold of a pump, position it near the pool’s main drain. Remember to keep the pump’s cord and hose lengthy enough to guide the water far from your pool and house.
Step 3: Direct the Drained Water
In this pool draining phase, your task is to guide the water being drained to an appropriate location. This could be a storm drain or a sewer system, but it depends on your local regulations. Don’t forget, you should direct this water away from your home and the neighbor’s premises to prevent any potential water damage.
Step 4: Keep an Eye on the Pump
Once the pump is operating, be sure to supervise it throughout the draining process. Depending on the size of your pool and the pump’s capacity, this could take a considerable amount of time. Regular monitoring can help prevent any mishaps and ensure the process is proceeding smoothly.
Step 5: Stop Pumping When a Few Inches are Left
As the pool nears empty, leave a few inches of water at the bottom. This remaining water typically contains debris and sediment, and it’s often best to remove this manually. This practice protects your pump and hose from potential damage caused by clogging.
Step 6: Time for a Cleanup
With the pool now empty, it’s the ideal time to clean the pool thoroughly. Scrub the surfaces to remove any stubborn algae or stains, and check the pool’s structure for any signs of damage that may require repair.
Step 7: Refill the Pool
Before you start refilling, ensure that all the valves and plugs are securely closed. Slowly refill your pool while carefully monitoring the water level. When the pool is filled, balance the water chemistry according to your specific pool requirements.