With the bikini season behind us for this year, many homeowners are getting ready to winterize their pools and cozy up inside for the holiday season.
If you are looking to prepare for your above-ground pool for the winter, one of the questions that have inevitably crossed your mind was if you should drain your pool. To drain or not to drain?
You will have a chance to learn how to drain an above ground pool, but also gain valuable insight into best practices!
Let’s take a look!
When Should You Drain Your Pool?
Most people will argue that you shouldn’t drain it unless absolutely necessary. Draining the pool before winter can cause the harsh weather conditions to damage or completely destroy your pool liner.
Remember, most of the above-ground pools aren’t exactly built to withstand low temperatures. This could easily lead to small cracks and tears on the pool liner. Cracks and tears can be patched up fairly easily. Replacing a pool liner, on the other hand, can be quite expensive.
Let’s take a look at why you would ever need to drain the water from your Above Ground Pool to begin with.
1. If you need to replace, remove, or re-locate your pool:
Obviously, anything that would require you to physically move the pool would also require you to drain it beforehand.
2. If you need to replace the pool liner:
Quality pool liners generally have a long life span. They can last anywhere from 5 to 12 years, assuming that they are properly taken care of for the duration. Depending on the material, but also the thickness of the pool liner, they may last shorter or longer than advertised.
If you inspect the pool liner periodically, you can actually see a few signs that your pool liner is about to give way and needs to be replaced. Whether it is because of significant damage, or because it simply wore down throughout the years, replacing the pool liner will require you to drain your pool.
3. If your pool water is affected by what is known as “chlorine lock”:
Having your own swimming pool is convenient and fun. However, its maintenance will determine how long the water will remain clean and safe to be exposed to.
Most homeowners will occasionally add chlorine to the pool water, to make sure the water is properly cleansed. Just tossing chemicals into the pool doesn’t always help.
Remember, the more is not the merrier in this case. If you are using plain chlorine tablets or powder, you might need an additional chemical to ensure the chlorine is stabilized. Exposure to sunlight and UV rays can weaken the effects of chlorine over time, making it less efficient. You would most likely need to use a pool stabilizer, usually made out of Cyanuric Acid.
Chlorine lock occurs when too much stabilizer is added to the pool water. The only way to stabilize your pool’s pH levels would be to partially drain your pool and re-fill it with fresh water.
To avoid chorine lock, the best practice is to make sure you always add the optimal amounts of chemicals. You can use this handy calculator to find out exactly how much.
How To Dispose Of Pool Water?
Before you learn how to drain an above ground pool, you’ll need to know how to safely dispose of the pool water.
Your first instinct may be to simply let your yard soak it in. This could be more dangerous than you think. Remember, this is no longer ordinary water. As it was treated with chemicals, it could easily do damage to your plants and even pose a threat to pets.
Regulations used to declare proper disposal methods vary from state to state, so be sure you are familiar with them before proceeding. Most states prohibit dumping chlorinated water into the storm drains.
Storm drains often lead directly to streams, rivers or other nearby drainage waterways. By pouring the chlorinated water into storm drains, you may be contaminating nearby water sources. Please refer to your state-specific guidelines to avoid getting in trouble.
What Are The Different Ways To Drain The Pool?
There are only two options when it comes to draining your pool. You can either use a water or a vacuum pump, or siphon the pool water with a garden hose. Between the two, using a pump is generally considered faster and more efficient.
However, owning an electric pump is quite an investment, not to mention that its use will add to your electricity bill. The garden hose approach is much cheaper in that regard, but also considerably slower. If you don’t happen to have a water pump on hand, a garden hose will do in a pinch!
Option One: Drain A Pool Using a Garden Hose
As we said earlier, this method will take a significant amount of time to completely drain your above ground pool. For instance, if you own a 24 foot round pool, it will take a good 4 days for your water to siphon out just using a single garden hose.
However, if your garden hose has a larger diameter, it will be able to drain the pool faster. Alternatively, you can use multiple hoses to make draining faster.
Ultimately, keep in mind that the garden hose won’t be able to drain all of the water. You’re sure to have at least a few inches left. Here’s the step-by-step process on how to drain a pool without a pump:
What You’ll Need:
- Garden hose.
Step By step Process:
- Connect one end of the garden hose to a nearby faucet.
2. The other end will be submerged inside of the pool, near the center.
4. After a few seconds, you can take the hose off of the faucet.
5. The water flow will reverse and the pool will begin to drain.
Option Two: Drain A pool Using a Sump Pump
Draining your pool with a water pump is, by far, the most efficient method. This method will allows you to completely drain your swimming pool water. You’ll probably need a medium sized pump. There is a huge range of these pumps on the market, but even the lower end of the scale will get the job done faster than the garden hose.
Here is how you should drain your pool with a pump:
What You’ll Need:
- Sump Pump
- Extension Electric Cord
Step By step Process:
2. The outlet hose should be placed away from your house and the general pool area.
3. Plug the electric cord into an outlet (you may need an extension cable) and turn on the pump.
4. Occasionally check back to monitor the progress and make sure the pump is running as intended.
5. Wait until the water levels decrease to the point where the pump can’t drain them.
6. Turn off the pump and store it away.
You can watch the following video for more insight into how to drain an above ground pool:
Pro Tips: How To Drain Last Bit Of Water From Your Pool?
Its a big concern of many pool owners to drain last few inches of water from above ground pool. Because, weather you use garden hose, a sump pump it's not going to drain the pool completely down.
So, in this section we'll give you few pro tips to drain a pool completely:
Pro Tip 1: By Using A Quality Wet Vac
You can use a wet vac to suck up the remaining water from the bottom of your pool.The wet vac is a super handy tool that can move large quantities of water from anywhere.
Pro Tip 2: Sweeping water via main drain
If your pool has a built in drain , you can use it to drain the remaining water.
Pro Tip 3: Removing The Water Via Trench
N.B: This tip should be followed when you're going to replace your old pool liner with a new one.
Step 1: Dig a trench under your above ground pool so that the water can run out of the pool down through your yard.
Step 2: Once you drag the trench , pop a hole in the liner and it's going to allow the water to run out of pool and down into the yard.
By following these rules, you are going to ensure you are disposing of the pool water safely and quickly. After draining the pool, if you are planning to store your pool away for the season, make sure you dry it thoroughly. If you aren’t unsure of doing something like this on your own, you may want to look into hiring a professional.