As a pool owner, there are certain circumstances when draining a swimming pool is the best course of action, which may include needing a pool acid wash, or if your pool is full of algae. In this brief how-to guide, I’ll demonstrate the basic steps for draining a pool.
First, you will need to select from a variety of swimming pool pumps. You can rent them from stores like Home Depot, or purchase one. They vary in price depending on how much water they can remove at a time, measured in gallons per minute (GPM). 60 gpm is a pretty good rate, but you can get one rated higher or lower, depending on how much you want to spend. You’ll also need a pool drain hose, and the kind required will again vary depending on the kind of pool drain pump you get. Some require special fittings and the heavy-duty gray fireman hoses, and others can use a simple pool vacuum hose, which of course would take longer to drain since they are smaller in diameter.
Second, you need to locate the drainage pipe connected to the sewer, often in front of the house close to the exterior wall. Ideally, it’s a 3” wide PVC pipe that is sticking out of the ground at least a couple inches with a cap on it, as in the picture below.
When draining pool water, the city requires that the water is returned to the city via the sewer. If for some reason you can’t locate this drain pipe, (sometimes they are in the back of the house, or even buried under some landscaping), you’ll need to call the city and ask them what they recommend you should do since draining pool water into the street can get you fined.
Next, you’ll want to shut off the auto-fill to the pool and turn off the breaker to the motor so it doesn’t turn on automatically. Some older pools don’t have an auto-fill, which simply maintains the correct water level in the pool instead of you having to add water manually with a hose. if you don’t have one, you don’t have to worry. Then simply drop the pump with hose attached into the deepest part of the pool, and run as many hoses as necessary to reach the drain and turn it on and let it drain, as shown in the pictures below.
This could take 4-5 hours or 12 hours; it depends on the size of the pool and how straight the hoses can be laid out. Once drained, unless you’re in need of an acid wash to remove some stains or a re-plaster job, turn off the pump, remove it and start refilling the pool. I’d recommend using a garden hose initially to get it to the ideal level. Then I’d turn on the auto-fill if you have one so it can maintain the proper level for you. Then turn on your breaker so you have power to the motor again. The last step is to add the initial start-up chemicals to your pool, like stabilizer,chlorine, and perhaps a stain removal product to help prevent calcium buildup or stains from metals, etc from forming.
Obviously, if you have a good pool service company, they should be able to do this for you, normally between $100 and $150 for a non-green pool. If you have green pool water, it will cost more depending on how severe the algae is. It’s certainly not difficult, but if you’d rather just let someone else take care of it for you, please call Alpha and Omega Pools at 702-560-7665, or simply submit your name and required information via the form on the website and we’ll be happy to help you!