Sunday, April 8, 2012

How to drain a pool:

How to drain a pool:

Before starting, check with your local authorities on local laws pertaining to draining a pool.
Different counties and even cities have different laws when it comes to draining a pool. Start with code enforcement since they would be in charge of enforcing these laws or a local pool service professional as they would also know the local codes.

What you will need:
- A pool/spa submersible (sump) pump (This one is a Little Giant 6E-CIA-SFS)
- A pool hose (do not connect a discharge house directly to the pump)

What you might need in addition to the above items:
- Power extension cord (if the sump pump cord is not long enough to reach the power socket while in the pool)
- A discharge hose (length depends on how far you will need to extend the pool hose to move the water to an appropriate location)
- One or more clamps and hex head screw driver to tighten them (see picture)

Getting started:
Turn off the breakers for the pool, including all the pumps and lights.
Next, turn off the automatic water fill if your pool has one.
If you have a automatic fill like the one above the shut off should be somewhere near the pool in the backyard. It looks like a water line with a shut off valve.

Getting the sump pump ready:
The pump will have a power cord and should have a rope connected to the top of the pump. This rope is what you will use to pull the pump underwater and into position. This prevents damage to the power cord when lowering or raising the pump from the pool. If no rope comes attached, it is highly recommended that you attach your own, as this will greatly prolong the life of the pump.

Check to see if the power cord is long enough to reach from the bottom of the pool to the electrical socket. If not, use an extension cord to extend the line. Tie the extension cord to the power cord to prevent a disconnection.

Attach one end of the pool hose to the pump.

Use a clamp to secure the hose to the pump.

Placing the pump:
Using the rope, lower the pump down into the pool. The pump should sit in the lowest section of the pool surface. This is usually near the main drain(s).

Secure the end of the rope to something around the deck, as it will be needed to remove the pump from the pool once it is empty.

Leave some extra pool hose in the pool. As the water drops, the pool hose will also drop into the pool and if there is not enough slack in the hose, the pump will fall to its side, potentially stopping the pump.

Placing the hose:
Check with the local authorities before attempting to drain the water.
A discharge hose might be needed to extend the pool hose. Overlap the discharge hose over the pool hose as far as you can and then use a clamp to secure them. (One clamp is all that is needed)

The benefit of using a discharge hose is that this hose can be cut to the needed length.

The average pool contains 15,000 to 30,000 gallons of water.

Where to direct the water depends on your situation. The most common will be to run the hose around the house down the driveway to the curb.

The hose should extend all the way to the curb, if the water hits any grass or dirt, it can cause a large amount of erosion.

Sometimes, it is possible to drain the water into an open field if the property is large enough. If you are considering this, then first remove the free chlorine from the water before starting this method.

Ready to drain and what to expect:
You can now power on the pump. It is difficult to say how long it will take drain a pool. Assume that it may take as long 24 hours.

Immediately after turning on the pump, watch the water flow. See where it is going and if it is flowing out and away or stuck flooding in one area,  the hose may need to be moved.
Keep an eye pump and hose throughout the process. It is possible for the pump to fall over and stop pumping. In some cases, the hose can even burst or break loose from any connecting extenders, causing a massive amount of flooding. Having someone home to watch the pump is recommended.

After the pump stops:
No pump will remove 100% of the water. The pump will stop when its water level indicator tells the pump to stop. (This is commonly a float attached to an arm; when the water level drops, the arms drops as well, shutting of the pump to prevent over heating since these are water cooled.) This is different for each pump, and in some cases, after the pump has stopped, the pump can be manually started by holding the water level indicator in the up/on position to remove more water.

How much water you need to remove will depend on your reason for draining the pool. To remove all of the water, someone will need to get into the pool with a bucket and some towels and manually remove the remaining water that the pump would not.

Removing the pump:
Pull the pump out of the pool using the rope connected to the pump.  Do not pull by the power cord.
Once the pump is completely out, remove the clamp holding the hose to the pump. Then, pull off the hose.

You have now successfully drained your pool.