First things first: don’t drain your pool completely unless you really need to do so. There are risks involved, so be sure that emptying your pool is necessary. What scenarios call for a complete pool drain?
- Your pool chemicals need to be rebalanced
- High levels of TDS (total dissolved solids) in your pool have resulted in poor water quality
- High levels of cyanuric acid in your pool have resulted in poor water quality
- Your pool has not been properly maintained and needs to be thoroughly cleaned
- Your pool is in need of repair or re-plastering
Draining your pool properly involves a bit of prep work. It’s important to check with your city or town to find out how to drain your pool into the sanitary sewer system. Water deposited into the sewer system is treated in a wastewater management facility, unlike rain water. In many areas, storm drains are designed only for rain water and as such, are not treated. These storm drains feed directly into area creeks and lakes, which provide our water supply. The majority of towns and cities have ordinances prohibiting the discharge of water into storm drains. You’ll want to make sure that the water does not flow off of your property and into a nearby storm drain, or onto your neighbor’s property. It’s essential to prevent the water from collecting on your property, as standing water provides an ideal environment for breeding mosquitos and also produces a stagnant water odor.
Check the groundwater levels in your area. Groundwater damage to an inground pool frequently occurs when a pool is empty or the pool water level is low. The groundwater pressure outside of your pool can exceed the internal pressure of the pool. High groundwater levels can even result in an empty in-ground pool to be lifted out of the ground.
Be sure to use the right equipment to drain your pool. Do not attempt to use your pool pump to try to drain it. You are very likely to damage or even burn up your pump by drawing air into your suction line. Arrange to rent or purchase a submersible pump to drain the pool.
When running the pump, if it loses prime, you may need to stop and move the pump to a dry area of the pool to get it closer to the water and regain prime. If your pool has a significant amount of algae and debris in it, it may be wiser to keep the pump on the surfaces and let the debris dry before attempting removal. Otherwise, you may end up with gooey residue in the deepest areas of the pool that is too think to run through the pump and this muck can be heavy and difficult to collect.
Refill your pool. It will generally take a day or two to fill an average-size pool. Filling it up with a garden hose (or two) connected to your outdoor faucets is the easiest way to fill your pool, but be aware of potential hidden costs. If your town or city is implementing drought rationing, you could end up paying more than you expected. Well water will be free, but it also comes with a couple of challenges and should be tested before you decide to use it. Hydrogen sulfide and other minerals are filtered out by city water treatment centers, but well water is not filtered. These compounds can make balancing your water a challenge. Sulphur compounds can inhibit your shock chemicals from working well. Your hardware can be damaged by minerals and metals, as well as stain your pool liner. You also could drain your well dry and be forced to drill a new one (a very expensive endeavor!)
Test your water immediately after refilling to balance and add start-up chemicals. Or, call Executive Blue Pools. We can test your water and recommend the appropriate services going forward to keep your pool clean and ready for use all year long.