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How to Drain a Pool Properly in 2020: The Complete Guide

What you should know about draining your pool

Draining your pool water is an essential part of swimming pool maintenance. You might need to drain your pool water if there is an overgrowth of algae, excess dirt or any other contaminants. Draining pool water should be done periodically, however, there might be certain times when you have to do it more than you usually would, for example after a rainstorm or prior to a tropical storm, you might need to drain most of the water out of your pool and cover it to prepare for the storm. 

In this article, you will learn how to correctly and safely drain your swimming pool. 

draining your pool

When Would You Need to Drain Your Pool? 

  • If your swimming pool water has too many Total Dissolved Solids, in this case, you would need to flush out some of the water and replace it with clean water 
  • If there is a severe weather warning such as a storm, you might need to remove some of the water. 
  • For tile repairs or any other repairs, you might need to drain the water. This is where you should really call in the professionals. 

Note: If you are unsure, hire an expert to drain your swimming pool water for you. 

You will need to use a different method of draining your pool water depending on the type of filter you have. 

How To Drain a Pool With a Cartridge Filter 

There are a couple of ways to drain your pool water when using a cartridge filter: 

Utilize the Drain Plug 

  • Switch the pump off 
  • Remove the drain plug by unscrewing it 
  • Switch the pump on again and allow the water to flow, let it flow until you can start draining the water. 
  • Switch the pump off and replace the plug.

Utilize the Drain Valve

  • Switch the pump off and turn the valve to prevent the water from flowing into the filter 
  • Switch the pump on and let the water flow 
  • When you have removed enough water you can switch the pump off. 
  • Rotate the valve to the original point and let the water flow from the pump to the filter. 

Draining a Pool With a Sand Filter 

  •  Shut the pump down 
  • Pull the backwash hose away from the pool to where you plan on draining the water 
  • Turn the multiport valve clockwise to where it says “waste” 
  • Switch the pump on 
  • Monitor the amount of water coming out of the pool 
  • When it is enough, switch the pump off again 
  • Turn the valve to the filter point 
  • Put the backwash hose back 

Draining a Pool With a DE Filter 

  • Turn the pump off 
  • Rotate the multiport valve until it points to “waste” 
  • Switch the pump on again 
  • Let the water flow and switch the pump off when you have removed an adequate amount of water. 
  • Turn the valve to the filter position again 
  • Switch the pump back on 

What Time of The Year Should You Drain Your Pool ? 

Draining your pool should be done at a certain time of the year, yes there are times when you have to drain your pool for urgent repairs, however, typically the best time to drain a pool is when the weather is not too hot, or not too cold. Spring or autumn time is the most suitable time to drain your pool, mild weather conditions are optimum for pool drainage. Throughout the wintertime, you should leave some water in your pool to avoid drying out the filters. 

Why Is it Important To Drain Your Pool? 

Draining swimming pool water is a vital part of pool maintenance and one of the most important reasons for draining a swimming pool is to solve the problem of high TDS levels (Total dissolved solids) TDS levels should never get too high because if they do, they can actually reduce the rate in which the chemicals in the water do their job. For example, chlorine is supposed to sanitize the pool and destroy harmful chemicals that can lead to skin problems and other issues. When TDS levels reach a certain point, the chemicals in the pool do not work effectively and efficiently. Therefore, it is important to drain the pool water to reduce the total dissolved solids in the water. 

The Importance of Draining Your Pool Properly 

Draining your pool is a serious business and it should be done properly. If it is not done properly, you could seriously risk damaging your pool. Here are some of the reasons why it is vital that you drain your pool properly: 

  • Exposing the pool to the sun can be damaging 
  • You can destroy the filter pump 
  • You can destroy the pool floor 
  • You might overload the sewage system 

Damaging the pool floor could cause very serious issues, you might have this issue if you are totally unaware of the groundwater level. Also, if there has been lots of severe rain in the past few days this will certainly have an impact on the groundwater level. 

Draining your pool wrongly could drastically affect the overall structure of your pool, which could result in cracks, splits or other serious damage. Handling the pump, filter and other components improperly could cause long term damage therefore if you are unsure, it might be best to call in the experts to drain your pool for you. 

You must also bear in mind that in most places, it is not legal for you to drain your pool water anywhere you wish to. The best place to drain your pool water is into your own sewage system nonetheless, this can also cause problems especially if you pump too much water into the system. 

Things To Consider Before Draining Your Pool 

There are a few things that you need to consider when draining your pool. Here are some of the things that you should consider prior to draining your swimming pool: 

  • You need to take into account the groundwater level 
  • Consider shocking your pool instead if it needs a serious cleaning 
  • Contact an expert if you are in doubt about whether or not you should drain your pool 
  • Consider hiring an expert to drain your pool 

When To Talk to an Expert 

You should speak to an expert if you are in doubt about whether or not your pool should be drained. If there are repairs that need to be carried out, your pool might not need to be drained as some repairs can be undertaken without draining the pool. You should probably talk to an expert if you have no idea about the groundwater level in your local town. If you are generally unsure, talk to a professional. 


To conclude, draining your pool is an essential part of swimming pool maintenance, however, it is vital that you are fully aware of how to drain your pool and what to consider prior to draining your pool. You should definitely think carefully about draining your pool before you do it when in doubt, you should always talk to someone who is a swimming pool expert. The best port of call is usually the company that fitted the swimming pool for you in the first place. The world of swimming pool maintenance can be mind-boggling, with the swimming pool language being like a foreign language to most. Yes, you can learn how to drain your pool and how to maintain your pool in general, however, sometimes to get the job done properly, it is best to call an expert to get it done. 

You should never drain your swimming pool too often, there are other ways of solving problems without going to the extent of draining your swimming pool. The main reason why you should consider draining your swimming pool is if the total dissolved solids are simply too high. If this is the case, then a drain might be a good idea however, sometimes draining is not necessary. You can also consider shocking and giving your pool a general clean to see if that solves the problem. One thing you don’t want to do is drain your pool and make a mistake, you could easily back up your sewage system, or you could destroy your filter or other components. Prematurely draining your pool could have a detrimental effect on your pool in the long run. Also, you need to think about the time of year, draining your pool when it is too cold is not a good idea, and draining your pool when it is too hot is also not a good idea. The best time to consider draining your swimming pool is when it is either spring or autumn (fall) 

Finally, draining your swimming pool is something that you will have to consider at some point however, as mentioned above if you are in doubt, get a professional to do it for you. 

Posted in pool maintenance

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