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How to Drain a Pool Properly – Step by Step Guide

Pool maintenance is an arduous task, not to mention that it can be costly too. Since you can’t do away with pool maintenance, some pool owners choose to do the maintenance work themselves to save money. If you choose to do the same, make sure you know what you are doing, including how to drain the pool properly.

Pool draining is not a task done frequently. However, it is still sometimes necessary to do it every three to five years, partially or completely, even if you have kept up with all proper and regular pool maintenance tasks.

Inground pool draining requires both knowledge and skills. One wrong move, and you’ll find yourself with a damaged pool or a flooded yard. So, be sure to read this step-by-step guide on how to drain the pool properly.

Things to Consider Before Draining a Pool

There are various things you need to think about before you proceed with draining your swimming pool. You want to complete the process in one go and not stop in the middle of it.

Here are some considerations to keep in mind: 

Do I have the money for it?

Budget is always a consideration in everything we do, and pool draining is no exception. You may have to use a submersible pump, which can greatly add to your electricity bill. You also have to purchase the pool chemicals needed to neutralize the swimming pool water before drainage. And to top it off, you have to replace the water you drain from your swimming pool with fresh water, causing your water bills to skyrocket.

Is it a nice day for draining?

You should avoid draining your pool when it is raining or just after a hurricane! The soil around the pool swells after rainfall and causes an imbalance in the pressure, which can damage your pool’s foundation. You should also avoid draining the pool when the weather is too hot also. That is because the scorching sun can damage your pool.

Am I busy?

Do not drain the pool when you lack time to do so. Pool draining requires your attention and supervision. You cannot leave the house for an errand without someone at home to look after the draining process. For example, your submersible pump may stop working mid-way. You also have to check the level of the pool water frequently. 

Before Draining the Pool

Pick a time. Do it on a day when you are at home. Pool draining is a long process, which can take up the entire day. People who know how to drain the pool properly often begin the work early in the day to ensure that they can finish draining it before the day ends.

Know the rules. Localities have various rules set for draining the pool. When you drain the pool, there is a tendency that the water drained can cause havoc to your property and nearby property.

Therefore, municipalities and cities have set specific guidelines for how, when, and where todrain your pool. You should also follow any chemical composition regulations before draining.Make sure to learn and understand these guidelines first before looking into how to drain the pool.

Figure out your drain point. Unfortunately, you cannot drain pool water to any area you want. Some localities suggest that you drain it through the sewer cleanout line of your home, while others may allow drainage through the storm drain on your street.

How to Drain Water from Your Pool

Inground Pool

An inground pool can prove complex to drain, so you need to be well-versed and skilled on howto drain them properly.1. Turn off all equipment like automatic timers and pool pumps. If you fail to do so, your equipment can overheat as you drain the swimming pool2. Now you need a hose that is long enough to connect from your submersible pump to where you will be draining out the water, whether it is the main drain or sewer drain. 3. Connect the discharge hose to the submersible pump and place the pump in the center of the deep end of your pool. Next, turn on the pump by plugging it into the GFCI outlet by the pool. Never use extension cords as they may pose an electrical hazard. Instead, make sure the power cord is long enough to reach.4. See if the hose is draining the swimming pool water properly5. Check the pool water level and drainage regularly throughout the process. The submersible pump stops working once the water level is low. At this point, you need to break the plaster covering off the hydrostatic valve or plugs using a hammer and a chisel. Typically, there are two to three plugs in a swimming pool. If you can’t remove all of them, then at least remove the hydrostatic plug at the deepest end of the pool. If you have a hydrostatic pressure relief valve, make sure to open the valve to keep the pool from popping up and out of the ground.

Note: Do not open a hydrostatic valve until the pool is mostly drained. When it gets to the point of almost being empty, you will really only have to open one valve to relieve the built-up pressure. It is best to choose the valve at the center of the deep end. However, if you have a high-water table in your area, you may want to consider opening at least two of these valves.

Once you have drained all the water from the pool, perform the maintenance or repairs needed so you can refill the pool as quickly as possible to avoid any damage. 

Above-Ground Pools

Above-ground pools are easier to drain than in-ground pools. You only need two things to drain an above-ground pool: a hose and a submersible pump. 1. Turn off all electrical components, including the pool pump, and unplug them.2. Siphon the water from the pool by attaching a garden hose to a submersible pump. Ensure the hose is long enough to get from the pool to where you want to draw the water out.3. Lower the submersible pump into the pool. Turn it on by following the brand’s manual. It is best to use the pool’s GFCI outlet rather than extension cords. Extension cords may sometimes separate and can cause electrical dangers, especially since we are dealing with water.4. Once the submersible pump has been turned on, check the end of the hose to see if the water is draining properly.

How Long Does It Take to Drain a Pool?

A traditional-sized inground swimming pool may require between 8 and 14 hours of drain time. Overall, the size of the pool affects the drainage time. Therefore, it is best to check the pool from time to time to ensure that the draining process is still going smoothly, and you aren’t looking at a flooded yard or house.

Final Thoughts

Remember, your swimming pool only needs to be drained every few years on average, unless you need to drain it to make repairs or do other maintenance. You also shouldn’t let your inground swimming pool sit empty for too long, or it can cause damage. Most issues that require you to drain a pool can usually be resolved in less than a few days. 

To refill your swimming pool, replace the relief valves, refill your pool with fresh water, turn on the pump, and balance your water. While this may seem like an arduous and time-consuming process, learning how to drain the pool properly and taking the right steps when refilling it will result in a clean and sparkling pool once more.

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