As the primary maintenance person for your swimming pool, you have a checklist of routine care that you have incorporated into your regular schedule. You know this upkeep protects your pool and keeps the water safe and healthy for your friends and family.
One task that you may not have done yet is to drain the pool. It’s a huge task and will increase your water bill when you refill the pool. You’re not sure if it’s even necessary. But, in some cases, yes, it will be necessary.
The first thing to know is you may not need to drain the pool completely, depending on your reason for removing the water. Also, draining a pool can cause additional problems if it isn’t done correctly.
This article will help you sort the issue out. Read on for a breakdown of why draining a pool may be necessary and when is the best time to do it.
Reasons For Draining a Pool As Routine Maintenance
It’s logical that fresh water in your swimming pool is a good thing. If you have an effective maintenance routine, you have probably added water already. So, what are the reasons for draining your pool and starting all over again? They can include:
To Repair the Pool
Some repairs simply can’t be done if there is water in the pool. It is inevitable that over time any pool’s surface will need repairs at some point. For example, cracks can form in concrete pools and lead to water leaks. The only way to fix them is to remove the water first.
If your pool has a vinyl lining, tears may happen that will require patching. You will need to remove the water to get a good look and then perform the necessary repairs.
To Resurface the Pool
The surface color of a pool will fade over time as it is exposed to the sun. You take pride in the beauty of your pool so it’s important to you that it remains that way. It may need painting or complete resurfacing, so the water will need to be removed to make that determination and then carry out the job.
To Remove Stains in the Pool
You already have a solid routine for cleaning your pool. You skim out debris and insects, brush down surfaces that you can reach, and vacuum on a regular basis. You add water as needed.
That added water, though, is sometimes high in calcium or metals and, if not properly balanced, can form stains on the pool’s surface. You manage those with additives to prevent as much staining as possible, but over time stains can still appear. Once that discoloration is noticeable, it’s time to drain the pool and remove the stains.
To Remove Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
You add chemicals to your pool’s water on a regular basis. Over time these chemicals, along with dirt and debris, result in rising levels of total dissolved solids (TDS). The effects of this rise in TDS are stains and scaling on surfaces of the pool, as well as cloudy water that becomes difficult to control.
In order to determine the levels of TDS, the electrical conductivity of the water has to be assessed. You may need the help of a professional to determine this measure, but experts agree that swimming pools should have a maximum TDS of 1,500 parts per million. A measure greater than that indicates the pool water is saturated with TDS, so draining the pool and refilling it will be necessary.
A preventative approach can help. You can partially drain the pool every winter to dilute the TDS levels. This will lengthen the time between complete water changes. Even with partial draining every winter, though, professionals recommend draining your pool every 3 to 5 years to control TDS levels.
To Totally Rebalance the Chemical Levels
Remember that chemistry class in school? As you try to maintain the proper pH levels in your pool water, it’s similar to some of those experiments where you had to balance chemicals to solve a problem. The levels of pH in your pool can’t be either too high or too low. If the pH is too high, the water will be cloudy and have scale on pool surfaces. If the pH is too low, pool equipment can corrode, causing more problems for you.
Chlorine levels in your pool also must be controlled. Too much chlorine will irritate the skin and eyes of swimmers, but too little allows algae to grow.
If these chemical levels can’t be controlled any longer, it might be time to drain the pool and start all over again.
So, if you have decided it is time to drain your pool, when should you do it? Read on!
When Is It Best to Drain a Pool?
You know draining your pool will be a major task, but let’s say that based on the reasons outlined above you have determined it’s necessary to do it. Make sure you plan to do everything that needs attention while the pool is empty. Check for cracks or tears (depending on what kind of pool you have) and any other cleaning and maintenance that needs to be done.
The best answer to the question of when to drain a pool is to do it when the weather in your area is mild. This means the temperature must be a few degrees above freezing and not over 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The general recommendation is to drain a pool in the spring because you can start out your swimming season with fresh water. Another option is in the fall but you can’t leave a pool empty over the winter, so you will need to refill it partially when the job is done.
Removing the water can take between 8 and 14 hours, based on how big your pool is as well as how fast the pool’s pump can get the water out. It’s best to plan for a day, maybe two, to get this part of the job done.
Once the water is emptied, finish the job right away. Don’t drain the pool and think you’ll take care of it later. A day or two without water is all that is safe for your pool. Longer than that and you are taking a chance that the ground around the pool may shift, causing the pool’s foundation to shift and possibly crack, too.
You Can Never Have Too Much Information!
Draining a pool is a complicated task and you may feel unsure if it’s even necessary to remove the water from your own pool. Yes, mistakes related to draining the water can result in bigger problems.
But, there are some reasons, as we have outlined above, that a pool may need to be drained. As long as it is done properly and during the best time to tackle the job, you’ll be ok. Make sure you plan ahead and it will pay off once you get started.
When you need to drain your pool (and properly maintain it afterward), our videos here at Pool School Videos are an invaluable source of information that you can’t go without!
This video series is masterminded by pool professional, Mike Steele, who has over 30 years of professional experience in swimming pool maintenance. His goal is to take the uncertainty out of pool care by providing step-by-step assistance for maintaining your pool all year, including the task of draining a pool. There are 20 self-paced videos that become available to you 24/7 once you purchase the series.
Plus, you will then have access to our private Facebook group, where you can post any questions you have as you carry out your pool maintenance work. If you have a question as you grapple with draining your pool–or not–just post your question and Mike will get back to you within 24 hours with an answer!
Pool School Videos can show you exactly how to keep your pool properly maintained, clean, and clear while saving both valuable time and money doing so. Then, you can just sit back and enjoy your pool as much as possible.