How to drain a pool with garden hose and pump by yourself

Ned Kampmann

There are times when you will need to drain your pool – to prepare it for the winter season, maintenance or simply to change the water after several years of use. Every pool owner at a certain point in time faces the question of how to drain a pool. Over the course of time, the TDS* level will reach a point, when you will notice mineral stains on the walls and floor of your pool. If left untouched, this high TDS level will cause surface deterioration. It is very unlikely that the level will reduce if you don’t drain the water from your pool. In many regions, pool owners also have to drain water from their pools to keep them as clean as possible for the next season and due to cold winter temperatures, which cause water to freeze and damage the pool surface and pipes. This article will show you a way of draining your pool with a pool pump and garden hose.
*Total Dissolved Solids

How to drain a pool

How to drain a pool

how to drain pool with garden hose

Here is a brief guide to how to drain a pool:

Be cautious. In certain situations professional help may be required:

1. If you are live in an area with high ground water.
2. If you are uncertain about what type of pool you have.
3. If you are unsure as to what equipment is installed in your pool.

(Remember, there is no golden rule for everyone. This article gives a general approach to how to drain your pool).

How to drain pool using pool pump

how to drain a pool using pool pump

A concrete pool is the easiest to drain. In most cases you can do it by yourself (probably you won`t even need a friend’s help). You will need a regular garden sump pump, or if you don’t have one at your disposal you can rent a submersible one. First of all, locate your sewer drainage pipe and use a garden hose to connect it to the pump. Then, check that the hydro-static valve is open. The next step is to lower the pump hose into the deepest part of the pool. After all these preparations, you can start draining the water. Monitor the whole process and be ready to terminate the operation if you see any unexpected results. WARNING – check your municipality’s laws concerning the discharge rate. The discharge rate may vary and usually is capped quite low at about 12 gal/min. Most pumps are capable of significantly exceeding this level and reaching about 50 gal/min, so please ensure that you don’t flood your street. That’s how to drain a pool using a pool pump.

A video-review on how to pump water out of the pool

However, you should remember that there are many types of pools, and this method cannot be applied to all of them.
Vinyl lined pools are trickier than concrete pools. Drainage them is a more complex task due to the fragility of the liner. Additionally, pool walls with a vinyl liner are sometimes not robust enough to withstand the mass of soil pushing in from the sides, making it more likely to fracture.

WARNING – NEVER try to drain a Fiberglass pool by yourself. Fiberglass pools are designed to be filled with water constantly, and improper drainage can cause fractures. Always call a specialist with a license to drain your fiberglass pool.

A photo review on how to drain a fiberglass pool

How to drain a pool without pump

If you get yourself in a situation where you cannot use a submersible pump, there are still solutions for that tricky situation when you ask yourself how to drain a pool without a pump. The first and most impractical method is to simply use friends’ help and buckets. If you own a rather small or moderate sized pool this won’t be a problem, but remember that you can’t go just dumping water in the street. You’ll have to find an appropriate site to dispose of it.

The most common option is to siphon the water with garden hose. Here is a guide as to how to drain a pool with a hose: tie one end of a garden hose to something heavy, to ensure it won’t be dragged out of the pool and will stay in place. Drop the heavy end in the deepest part of the pool. Once this is done, ensure that there are no knots or twists anywhere throughout its length and if there are, straighten them out. The water siphon method requires an absolutely clear passage for the water because there is no force except gravity drawing the water out (such as pump). To start draining the water, position your lips around the free end of the hose and suck air until you feel water in your mouth. Spit out the water and place the hose on a ground. The water will continue to flow until water bubbles or air gets in the hose, and then the remaining water can be removed manually. That’s how to drain a pool with a garden hose.

Another way is to rent a trash pump. If your pool is large in size and you can’t get hold of a regular submersible pump, a trash pump is always an option. It works on the same principle, but the level of power is quite different. Remember to check local regulations concerning the water discharge rate (more information is given in this article under the heading “How to drain your pool using a pool pump”).

A substitute for a submersible or even trash pump can be a vacuum pump. In order to make it work, you will need to join the vacuum pole and the vacuum head. And by using a discharge hose and a vacuum pump you can easily drain a pool.

How to drain pool after rain

Rain is of course a common weather condition and it can adversely affect your weekend relaxation in the pool. Heavy rain can easily cause your pool to overflow or it can alter the concentration of chemicals, thus making the water acidic. So, after rain you may want to rebalance certain chemical properties of your pool such as pH, sanitizer level and alkalinity. If your pool has overflown, you can drain your pool using a garden hose or a pump (a guide to how to drain your pool with a garden hose or a pump is given earlier in this article). Checking your pool equipment for water damage is a good idea too. Rain is often accompanied by wind, so there is always a risk that debris can find its way into your pool if you haven’t put a cover over it in advance. This can be removed with a skimmer.

how to drain a pool after rain


How to drain a pool for winter

There are certain steps which every pool owner must take in order to winterize it. Firstly, you should check and adjust the pool water chemistry by adding winterizing chemicals, with attention being paid to pH, alkalinity and calcium levels. This is necessary in order to prevent algae growth and water stain. Then you need to rid the water surface of any remaining insects as well as any debris. After that you may want to reduce the water level due to the possibility of water expanding, which can cause damage to your pool walls. You can use our guide on how to drain your pool using an ordinary submersible pump. Any pool equipment that you have should be unplugged, so that water doesn’t get in and crack it. The last step here is to get your winter pool cover in place.

how to drain a pool for winter


How to drain inground pool

The method for draining an inground pool does not differ significantly from the method for an above ground pool. The whole process is the same as for how to drain a swimming pool, with just a few exceptions. Draining an inground pool is a slightly more complex task due to the larger amount of equipment involved, such as pipes, hoses or filters. Above ground pools commonly have only one in- and out- pipe (hose) and no main drain. What is much more important is the type of pool you have, whether it is installed inground or above ground. Our article will help you answer the question of how to drain inground or above ground pools.

Useful Tips

  • Always use sewer drainage pipes for water disposal, so the water can be treated and reused. Water waste is a violation and will be dealt with accordingly to the law.
  • Do not leave your pool without water longer than is necessary. Direct sunlight can damage the surface of your pool.
  • Groundwater can cause serious damage to your pool. Avoid any actions if uncertain.
  • Always empty your pool and fill it up on the same day, so that soil pressure or sunlight don’t damage your pool.

how to drain a pool with pump

  • Avoid swimming in your pool for at least a day after changing the chemical setup.
  • Control chemical levels in your pool either by taking water samples to your local pool equipment vendor, or by using special chemical checking strips yourself.
  • If you know that a heavy storm is expected in your area, start preparing your pool for it beforehand.
  • If you want to use pool water for your lawn or garden, ensure that the water chemicals won`t damage your plants.
  • If your pool is getting messy every day, consider cutting the surrounding trees.

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