Draining your inground pool will take some time, patience, and specific knowledge. It’s important to know what you’re up against before you get into it.
This article will break it down for you, from start to finish (well, almost). You’ll get a full understanding of the process of how to drain a pool and what’s necessary for best results; we’ll also provide expert advice to ensure your experience goes smoothly. Excited? Let’s dive in.
Why Is It Necessary to Drain a Pool?
Emptying an inground pool is required every few years, and only a few circumstances might require it. If the things listed below don’t apply to you, you should rethink whether or not draining your inground pool is something you need to do.
Resetting the Water
Let’s assume the chemical balance of your water has gone out of hand to the point that you’re ready to throw in the towel and start again.
That makes sense, and it occurs to every pool owner at some point. Yes, your water has most likely been sitting in your pool for quite some time—but that’s why we add pool sanitizers such as chlorine and other chemicals to keep it clean.
However, there’s one chemical that could take some real effort to destroy; the remnants of your sanitizer, dirt, debris, and other contaminants. These are referred to as total dissolved solids (TDS), and once they accumulate over the years, they can significantly impact your water’s chemistry.
A digital meter or test strips can be used to measure the total dissolved solids (TDS). Once it reaches around 2,500 parts per million (ppm), it’s time to empty your pool and start again with clean water.
If you do not regularly take the time to maintain your pool, your water will eventually get stained, cloudy, and the water temperature will slowly continue to drop. If left untreated, this could lead to even bigger problems; algae growth can destroy an inground pool’s aesthetics in no time. Also, if the water temperature gets too low, it could cause structural damage to your pool throughout the life of your investment.
Sometimes, draining your inground pool is the answer to the problems that irritate the hell out of you. This might include everything from removing intense metal stains and calcium deposits, fixing the broken floor, to repainting the pool’s floor.
Five-Step Checklist: When to Drain a Pool
Whether it’s just for everyday maintenance or due to a more severe issue, it’s important to know when to drain a pool. Below we’ll provide you with a five-step checklist that you can use as a general guide for this process:
Step 1: When You Have the Money to Pay a Huge Water Bill
Sorry to say, but this is not going to be cheap—after all, you might be draining and refilling up to 25,000 gallons of water. Eek! You’d be wise to plan for that month’s water bill as well.
Step 2: When You’re Ready for a Time-Consuming Task
You don’t want to leave your pool empty for more than a week. And you’ll need to set a time when you’re draining your inground pool because it’s not a good move to leave your pool while you’re moving hundreds of gallons of water. Approximately, it could take about eight hours and can last up to sixteen hours to completely drain a pool. The filling could also take just as long.
Step 3: When the Water Outside Is Fine – But Not When It’s Scorching Hot
You don’t want to drain a pool when it’s pouring rain outside and don’t think you’d be fine when the sun is scorching hot. Blazing hot sunshine can seriously damage your swimming pool. Draining it during a heatwave could wreck your pool liner, pool walls, and pool floors. Don’t leave your pool sitting in the heat of about 85 degrees Fahrenheit or 29 degrees celsius.
Step 4: When Your Chemical Levels Are Too Low
In some cities, pool owners are required to adhere to specific requirements for pool chemicals concentration. Before you start draining your inground pool, use a test strip and gauge the water to make certain chlorine and pH levels are neutral.
Step 5: When Your Circulation System Is Ready
You also need to check the circulation system and the pump’s filter for damage, clogs, and foreign objects.
The circulation system should be ready before you start draining because if it’s not working correctly and the water starts flowing out of your pool, it can be hazardous.
The water level in the pool must be below the safety vacuum release system. Otherwise, if you turn off your circulation system without opening a safety vacuum release system, it can cause problems to your pool’s structure.
Steps to Drain a Pool
Once you’ve chosen the right time for you to drain a pool, you’ll need to adhere to these simple steps for a simple process:
Step 1: Install a Submersible Pump
Your regular pool pump isn’t enough to drain a pool. One reason is that it’s built for sucking out water, and once the pool drains enough water, it will instead suck air, which isn’t exactly what you want and could do some permanent damage. You can always buy or rent a submersible pump. Although not too cheap, it won’t break the bank account.
Start by placing the submersible pump on the bottom of the pool’s floor, and ensure that the power cord length can reach the deep end. For additional safety, make sure not to use an extension cord.
Besides, the submersible pump has a hose connected, and you’ll want to place the other side of the hose to where you’re draining out all the water. Make sure it reaches all the way, or you’ll end up with a thousand gallons flood.
“Note: If you're concerned about a blocked sewer cleanout and it's been a long time since you cleaned your home's main drain, you might consider applying a drain treatment before draining your pool.” -Matt Giovanisci, founder of Swim University®
Step 2: Start Draining
Turn on your submersible pump and watch the water drain into the other side of the hose. You’ll want to monitor your pool for this part, no matter how many hours it takes. Keep a close look at the cords and hose to make sure it’s going according to the plan.
Additionally, make sure all pipes run cleanly and that no debris or chemicals have collected in any one line or pipe.
Step 3: Take Out the Submersible Pump
At some time, the water level in your pool will go so low that the submersible pump can no longer remove any of it from the pool. That’s normal; you rarely need to drain every inch of water. Besides, what’s left won’t interfere with the chemical balance of your pool in the future. Turn off and remove your submersible pump after you’re through using it.
Step 4: Take Off the Relief Valves
Now, blow off the pressure of that underground water. Open up the pressure relief valves to prevent your pool from popping up.
Step 5: Do What You Got to Do
If you emptied the pool to restore the chemical balance, then proceed in these next steps. If you have maintenance to do, like repairing or painting, go ahead and start doing that right away.
A lot of people think that draining a pool is too much work. Who has the time and money to do such things, right?
With these basic approaches, you can find your way to draining your pool without any worries about the cost or time. It will take work on your side, but using this simple guide will make sure all of your bases are covered. We hope you enjoyed this article!
When did you drain your pool? If you’ve emptied your inground swimming pool before, please share your experience and tips with us below. We’d really like to hear from you! Also, you can find articles about swimming pool safety and maintenance on our website. Here are a few to get you started.