Where To Drain Pool Water? Everything You Need To Know

Last Updated on October 18, 2021

Whether you’re planning to open your pool after a long winter season, replace old pool water, or close it for a few months, you’ll probably need to drain some of the water in your swimming pool at some point.

If so, then this is going to be an important article for you. We are going to discuss how and where to drain pool water so it doesn’t end up damaging your lawn or other parts of your property.

Why Do You Need To Drain a Pool?

Another pool owner may have probably told you or you’ve read somewhere that you shouldn’t drain your pool unless necessary. This is especially true for those with inground pools because they are a lot more difficult and expensive to clean out than the other types of swimming pools.

While completely draining your swimming pool is frowned upon by many pool experts as it may damage your pool structure. However, there are still many reasons to drain a pool.

Pool Repairs

Some owners find that draining their pool is a pain, but it’s the only way to get things done. If you need to patch or replace your vinyl liner or do pool plaster repair on your concrete pool, you will need to drain your pool first.

Pool Cleaning

To clean your pool, you can vacuum it while the water is in there. But if you’ve got high levels of metal or have an issue with calcium hardening over time, then stains and deposits may start to form that are unattractive as well as detrimental for your pool equipment.

You’ll want to drain the pool so you can scrub them away completely or acid wash the pool if they’re not removed by other means.

Replacing Old Pool Water

You’ve been taking good care of your pool, but eventually, even regular pool maintenance won’t be enough to have clean water in your swimming pool.

The total dissolved solids or TDS in your water will get so high that you can no longer filter it out and maintain proper water chemistry. That means one thing: time to change the water!

Total dissolved solids is a measure of the number of minerals in your pool that includes all the chemicals you’ve used to clean it and dirt, pollen, algae, etc.

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The higher the number, the more likely it is that you have problems with staining and scaling on your pool surfaces. You’ll also have difficulty balancing your pool water to the right levels so it’ll be best to replace the old pool water with fresh water.

Pool Painting

To keep your pool looking good, it needs to be repainted every few years. However, this process must happen when the water is out of the swimming pool because you cannot paint with water in there.

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The first thing to do is to find a suitable place where you can drain your pool water. Many places will work, but some are better than others. We will discuss the pros and cons of each option so that you know what you’re getting into before draining any water.

Things To Do Before You Drain Your Pool

Before you start draining your pool, some things should be done first.

Meet The Required Chemical Levels

The water quality in your pool should be at a neutral pH and chlorine levels, which are required by most cities. To reduce the level of chemicals from high to safe ranges, stop adding any more chemicals into the water for at least a few days.

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Another alternative would be using chlorine neutralizers to speed up how quickly they will reach the necessary levels for you to safely drain your pool water.

If you don’t have any idea about the required chemical levels where you live, it’s best to reach out to the local water authority in your area.

Turn Off Automatic Timers

We all know the value of timers. We can’t live without them! But for some reason, people often neglect to turn off their automatic timer before draining a pool; this is not only bad news for you but also for your equipment.

Turning off the timers for your pool pump and lights can help you avoid dealing with major damage and safety risks while you remove water out of your swimming pool.

Have Everything Ready

It’s always better to be prepared for the unexpected, especially when it comes to your pool. Whether you get an unexpected rain or a thunderstorm, having every supply you will be needing ready will make it easier for you to complete your task.

This will also allow you to fill your pool back up as soon as you’ve finished painting, cleaning, or repairing your swimming pool.

Time Your Pool Draining

Wait for the right weather before you drain your pool and leave it exposed to the sun rays. Your efforts are wasted if you start with a dry liner that is vulnerable to damage from high heat exposure during sunny days.

To ensure your pool liner does not crack or blister, you should only try to drain your pool when the outside temperature is 85°F (29°C) or lower. However, if it is still the summer season and temperatures remain high for an extended period, it might be best for you to wait until autumn or winter before draining a swimming pool.

Where To Drain Pool Water

It’s a common misconception that draining pool water can be done anywhere. It should only be drained in the following places:

  • A place where it will not contaminate any other bodies of water (such as rivers, streams, lakes) or cause an environmental hazard.
  • Near your home, if you are going to use it for irrigation purposes on your lawn and plants.
  • Anywhere else you have been permitted by local authorities to drain from.

Sanitary Sewer

Swimming pool water is usually discharged into the sanitary sewer or combined sewer system, but this depends on several factors. These include where you live and what regulations they have in place for pool owners.

Sewer lines may not be able to handle huge quantities of water all at once, so the outflow should be kept to approximately 12 gallons per minute or less. Large volumes will overwhelm the system and cause water to overflow.

Now, if you don’t have easy access to the sanitary sewer, consider using other connections in or around your home that can help you drain the water in your pool to the sewer outlet on your property.

Your Backyard

An alternative to using the sanity sewer in your property is draining the pool water in your backyard. Just make sure you drain it far away from where your pool is currently located.

This is a great way to use that excess water. Especially if you have plants or need the soil dampened for any reason, it’s much more environmentally friendly than simply sending your pool chemicals down the sewer.

The one thing you have to make sure of before draining your pool water to your yard is if the water is neutral. Test the water before you start draining.

Places Pool Water Should Not Go To

If you’re lucky enough to have a pool, make sure not to drain the water in the following places:

Storm Drains

Storm drains play a critical role in reducing the risk of flooding and water damage by quickly removing rainwater from city streets. Water that goes the storm drains usually heads directly to local streams in your area.

Your swimming pool contains pollutants such as chlorine, salt, chloramines, or other chemicals that can degrade local water quality if it gets into the storm drains. This could pose an environmental threat and a public safety risk.

Septic Tanks

Chlorine and other pool chemicals can be damaging to the microorganisms that break down wastewater. For this simple reason, you should never drain your pool into your septic tank.

Tools Needed When Draining Pool Water

Submersible Pumps

TDS Meter

Pool Testing Kit

Garden Hoses

Expert Tips For Draining Pool Water

One of the most dreaded chores for pool owners is draining pool water. It can be a time-consuming and back-breaking undertaking if you don’t know what you’re doing, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here are some important things you should know to make this task a little bit easier and make sure you avoid spending time and money on unnecessary fines and repairs.

  1. The removal of your pool water should be done responsibly by checking with the local authority when and where it is most suitable to drain your swimming pool.
  2. When draining your pool, it is important to consider the groundwater levels in that area. If water levels are high enough, they can cause an empty pool to pop out of the ground.
  3. For those who need to practice partial drains for fiberglass or in-ground vinyl pools, always complete the process by removing 1/3 of the water at a time.
  4. Never use your pool pump to remove water from your swimming pool. As soon as the water level falls below your pool skimmer, it will begin pulling in air. This can damage the equipment and require you to buy a new pool pump.
  5. When it’s time to drain a pool, make sure you rent or purchase an appropriate submersible pump.
  6. Drain the pool in intervals if you’re moving the water into your yard to avoid flooding.
  7. Don’t let your pool sit there empty for days. Empty swimming pools are prone to damage from exposure. 
  8. To refill the pool quicker, use two or more hoses if you have them available.

It is important to consult a pool professional if you are uncertain about draining your swimming pool. Some problems with the water can be treated without needing replacement, and many other repairs do not require removing all of the water from the pool.

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