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Let’s face it, you own a pool so that you can relax, enjoy fun and games, and provide entertainment and hours of activity for your family.
However, sometimes pool ownership means needing to drain the pool for maintenance.
Draining your swimming pool might be a necessary task for a variety of reasons. Before draining your pool, read this article to understand the reasons for draining as well as to decide if draining your pool is necessary.
Draining your swimming pool comes with an increased cost in your water bill when you fill it back up with water. Having a legitimate reason for draining your pool is necessary. Here are the top reasons to drain a swimming pool.
Why do I need to drain my pool?
You must drain your pool for a variety of reasons:
- Dry climate
- Routine heavy pool cleaning
- Calcium buildup and staining
- Pool repair or painting
- Unsafe stabilizer readings
The following will explain more details about these reasons for draining your swimming pool, as well as how to prevent the need to drain your pool frequently.
Reasons to drain a swimming pool
There are a variety of reasons for draining a swimming pool. Be sure about your reasoning for swimming pool draining, because a pool drain does come with added water costs when you must refill it. In some cases, the cost of draining your swimming pool will be necessary because the benefits will outweigh the possibility of future extreme pool maintenance and repair.
Various locations have drier climates than others, and these dry climates can cause more water to evaporate than you’d like in your pool. The hotter and drier the climate is, the more water will evaporate and cause your pool to lose water.
When this happens, you will need to fill your pool with water more often. If you don’t fill your pool and the water level drops too low, it can cause the water to become “hard.” This causes the chemical balance of the pool to be more challenging to balance. In some cases, you can add water to the pool and add your chemicals to adjust the pool back to a safe balance. However, once you do this enough times, draining the swimming pool and filling it up with fresh water might be easier and sometimes less expensive than continuing to add chemicals.
Routine heavy pool cleaning
Experts recommend a complete pool drain every five to seven years to give it a full clean. Even pool water that has been treated with chemicals regularly can become impossible to clean with chemicals after years of use. To fix this, you will have to drain your pool and refill it to give it a fresh start.
Pool water is exposed to harsh chemicals over the years, which over time, can cause pool water to be more challenging to clean. If you and others use your pool often, there are also biological remains like oils from people’s skin and hair, and dead skin cells. On top of pure biological remains, there can also be chemical remains like hair spray, sunscreen, makeup, nail polish, and tanning lotion, among others. Sometimes you can drain and refill the water only, while other times, you may have to clean the floor and walls of your pool.
Calcium buildup and staining
Calcium buildup and staining are other results that occur when your pool water loses its ability to stay at safe chemical levels. The two types of calcium buildup that can occur are calcium carbonate and calcium silicate. Calcium carbonate is easier to clean than calcium silicate, but both may require draining the pool. While both of these types of calcium can cause your pool to become chemically imbalanced, it is calcium silicate that causes most of the staining on the surface area of the pool walls. You can use a chemical treatment to help remove the stains, but this takes months to remove and would be better served by draining the pool to clean the stains.
Another type of stain that occurs is copper staining, which has more than one cause. Copper ions might be introduced into your pool from low-quality pool salt or copper-based algaecides. This may also occur if you have copper piping in your pool heater. When leftover copper isn’t removed from the pool, especially if the water pH is high, this can cause the copper ions to stick to the walls and floor of the pool. This causes your pool surface to stain and leaves a green or brown tint. Shocking your pool with chlorine shock treatments will only make this stain darker. Even if you remove the residual copper ions from the pool water, the only way to remove the stain is to drain the pool and clean the stains from the surface.
Whether you have calcium staining or copper staining, a proven way to thoroughly clean the area is to acid wash your pool surface. Any acid washing or tile cleaning will require you to drain your pool.
Pool repair or painting
When you need to repair parts of your pool, a complete pool drain is necessary. This might happen because of a crack in the pool or unknown leaking. If your pool is leaking, it might be required to drain the pool altogether to avoid water leaking into the ground under and around your pool.
If you need to paint or repaint your pool surface, you will need to drain the pool. It is best to drain your pool on a hot, dry day, and you should let the pool dry entirely for a couple of days before painting.
Unsafe stabilizer readings
Pool owners use pool stabilizer to stabilize the chlorine in their pool to make the sanitizing quality of their chlorine last longer. However, using too much stabilizer can be detrimental to the water quality of your pool.
Too much stabilizer in a pool will lock chlorine molecules, which makes them useless in sanitizing your pool. When algae builds up within your pool, adding chlorine or using a chlorine shock usually helps to remove the algae and bacteria. However, with too much stabilizer, the chlorine won’t sanitize your water or remove the algae. This is how your pool water becomes unsafe.
The only way to add chlorine that can be used effectively, remove the algae, and remove the excess stabilizer from the pool is to add fresh water. The only way you can add enough fresh water to dilute the pool is to remove most of the water that is in the pool. When unsafe stabilizer readings occur, it is best handled by draining the pool entirely and refilling the pool with fresh water to start a clean, chemically balanced pool.
When NOT to drain your pool
Aside from all the reasons to drain your pool, there are a few reasons for not draining your pool.
- To avoid pool popping or cracking: Pool popping or cracking can happen when you drain your pool. This popping or cracking sometimes occurs because the thousands of gallons of water that the pool contained kept downward pressure on the pool surface. Draining removes that pressure and allows hydrostatic pressure from the ground around and under your pool to become heavier than the empty pool, which can cause your pool to crack or pop.
- If you don’t have a place to drain the water: Never drain your pool into the ground around your pool. The area around your pool will absorb the water and lead to the sides and beneath your pool. This can cause pool “floating,” which leads to popping or cracks in the bottom of your pool. This can lead to costly repairs.
- If you have a fiberglass pool: For fiberglass pools, contact your pool manufacturer for information regarding your specific pool. When you drain water from a fiberglass pool, the walls can bulge out, and the floor can split. Many times this can lead to expensive repair costs.
- If you don’t know exactly what you are doing: To avoid costly repairs from cracks, pops, floats, and extreme damage to your pool, it is recommended to call your trusted pool repair company to assess your situation. The last thing you want is to incorrectly drain your pool without knowing what you are doing.
There are reasons to drain your pool and reasons not to. Before you drain your pool, make sure you understand what you are doing. If your pool is under a manufacturer’s warranty, many times, the manufacturer won’t cover repair costs because of the negligence of draining your pool. It’s better to be on the safe side and contact your pool manufacturer. A trusted pool repair company may also give you advice about your situation.
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