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How to Drain a Swimming Pool

As a pool owner, there’s no doubt you are concerned about keeping your pool clean and fresh looking. And, of course, you want to ensure it remains in good condition so you can continue enjoying it year-round. Cleaning it is a way to do this, as is maintaining a proper chemical balance. However, cleaning and chemical equilibrium have their limits and – especially in older pools – can take a toll on the water quality. As a result, you may wish to drain and refill your . However, you should only drain every 5-7 years or as often as required for repairs.

If drainage is unavoidable, whether for repairs, refurbishment, or just plain riddance, you should hire professionals to handle the work for you. Draining a pool – especially an in-ground one – is a risky business as, when drained, it’s open to damage from hydrostatic pressure and the elements, among others. If you’re willing to take the risk, read on for step-by-step instructions on how to go about it.

Before you Drain, What do you need to do?

Get clearance from your local water authority

Most municipalities have instructions on just how, when, and where the drainage of a pool should be carried out. These can range from general guidelines to very specific instructions – sometimes even specifying a precise time or date.

It’s best to obey these rules so you don’t get flak from the government.

Neutralize the chemicals in the water

If you’re draining your pool, you need to neutralize the chemicals in it as they’re harmful to the environment. You can use chlorine neutralizer which you can find in almost all pool supply shops.

Watch for the perfect weather

Surely by perfect weather we mean bright and sunny outside, right? Wrong.

The pool is meant to be wet and filled with water at all times. When it gets dry, there’s a high chance that some components, such as the liner will be damaged due to sun exposure. For that reason, it’s advisable to only drain the pool when temperatures are below 85°F (29°C) to minimize the chances of damage. It doesn’t mean you should do it in the dead of winter, though.

Turn off all automatic timers

Pool equipment is usually water-cooled. If a piece of equipment with an automatic timer, like the pool lights, is left enabled, it will probably turn on while the pool is being drained. If the equipment isn’t below the water surface, it will heat up and get spoiled.

Have the needed equipment and tools

As with all technical work, there are tools required to complete this job safely. So, before you begin this process, ensure you have all the necessary equipment on hand.

  • A fully-submersible pump with at least 20 feet (6.1 m) long power cord (you can rent or buy one)
  • Garden hose long enough to stretch from the pool to the disposal point
  • An adapter for connecting a sump pump to a garden hose
  • A hammer
  • A pair of pliers
  • A screwdriver or chisel
  • Extra hydrostatic plugs

If you have an in-ground pool, you can skip ahead.

How to Drain an Above-Ground

  1. Disconnect all the pool’s electrical components before you begin
  2. Attach the garden hose to the submersible pump’s water outlet using the adapter and stretch it out to the disposal point.
  3. Place the pump into the deepest part of the pool, connect it to a power outlet (preferably the pool’s GFCI outlet), and turn it on.
  4. Keep track of the draining process and ensure the hoses remain connected.
  5. When the water level is too low for the pump to pull out any more, turn it off and remove it from the pool.
  6. There will be a small puddle left over. You can sweep it out through the pool drain or use a wet vacuum cleaner. If you want to dry the liner, use a leaf blower or a lot of towels. It’s not advisable to let it dry in the sun. 
  7. Do the work you came to do, whether it be repairs or refurbishment. If you’re draining the pool to repurpose the land, this is where you alight our bus.

To prevent any accidents, it’s a much better idea to call in professionals swimming pool maintenance to do the work for you. They will ensure that the work is done quickly and properly, leaving you to enjoy your pool in no time at all. If you would like some help, make sure to contact Specialty Aquatic Tile Cleaner today.

How to drain an in-ground pool

First, check the bottom of your pool for the hydrostatic plugs. Their presence is practically guaranteed, but better safe than sorry.

NOTE: If your pool doesn’t have them, this is where your journey ends. Call the professionals to handle things from here on out.

If your pool has them, ensure you have an equal number of replacement hydrostatic plugs available before you begin.

  1. Remember to turn off and disconnect all electrical pool appliances before you begin.
  2. Attach the garden hose to the pump’s water outlet and stretch it out to wherever you’re cleared to dispose of the water (could be the sewer, the streets, etc.).
  3. Place the submersible pump in the deepest section or end of your pool. Plug it into your pool’s GCFI power outlet and turn it on.
  4. Confirm the water is draining through the hose.
  5. Throughout the day, keep an eye on the pool. Keep checking to make sure it’s still draining and there are no leaks.
  6. When the pump cannot evacuate any more water, turn it off.
  7. Use the hammer and chisel or screwdriver to break the plastic coat on the hydrostatic plugs.
  8. From there, use the pliers to unscrew and remove the plugs. This will create a way for the groundwater to enter the pool and relieve hydrostatic pressure on the walls of the pool.
  9. Turn the pump back on and siphon out the groundwater.
  10. When the pump is done, there will likely be a puddle left. You can use a wet vacuum cleaner to remove this or get ready to mop.
  11. Conduct the activity that you need to. 

When you’re done, replace the hydrostatic plugs before you refill the pool.

If you don’t want to take the risk of damaging your pool walls or equipment and want the assurance and accountability of professional work, reach out to us at Specialty Aquatic Tile Cleaner for the solution. We’re more than capable of putting your mind at ease.

You can always reach us on the phone any time you need to.