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Above ground pools are a cheaper alternative to in-ground pools, but they still require some maintenance. Sometimes, no matter what you do, you can’t get the water quality where it needs to be.
In this case, draining it and starting over may be the best approach. Or if you live in a very cold climate, the process of winterizing your above ground pool may include draining it.
Here we’ll dive into how to empty above ground pool.
If you’re wondering how to empty above ground pool, there are a few things to keep in mind before you actually get started on the process.
Before you begin
First, you should check with your municipality as to where you are permitted to drain the water. Some places ban draining pools into storm drains, as they can very quickly get overwhelmed.
Take the amount of groundwater into consideration. If you live in an area with high groundwater levels, draining your pool may cause flooding and draining issues.
A better option might be to only partially drain your swimming pool.
How to empty above ground pool: two methods
There are two simple ways to empty an above ground pool. One requires getting some equipment. The other uses things you probably already have at home.
Method 1: using a vacuum pump
The easier of the two methods uses a vacuum pump, like this great one from Superior Pump. This makes the job a whole lot easier and a pump like this one works with your garden hose which makes it a little easier to set up.
First, set up the intake hose on the pump until it reaches the middle of the pool or as close to it as you can get then submerse it into the pool.
Next, move to the outlet hose. Make sure it drains away from the pool so it doesn’t flood your yard or end up causing damage to any retaining walls or other landscaping.
At this point, make sure your hands are dry and plug the pump in. Watch the output hose to make sure the pump is doing what it’s supposed to do and water is actually coming out of the pool. Then, let it do its thing.
Don’t walk away!
It’s important to check on the process periodically to make sure everything is still proceeding as planned.
Depending on the size of your swimming pool, the capacity of the pump, and how much water you’re draining, the process can take hours. When the water reaches the right level, turn the pump off and you’re done.
Method 2: using a hose siphon
This is a simple method for how to empty above ground pool, but it can take a little longer. You need at least one garden hose but the more hoses you use, the faster the pool will empty.
Start by taking the garden hose and submerge it completely underwater in the pool, making sure that both ends are submerged. The idea is to fill the hose entirely with water.
Once this happens, take one end of the hose and place it on the ground keeping the other end submerged underwater. The water should freely flow if the hose was full.
What size hose to use
A long hose is a good choice if you have to direct the water far away from the pool itself but it can be difficult to get a siphon started with a long hose.
A one-inch garden hose will empty a pool much faster than a standard garden hose.
Once you get the siphon going on the first hose, using a second, third, or even fourth hose can cut the draining time down significantly.
One problem with this method is that, at a certain point, the siphon will stop working. This usually happens when there is only a few inches of remaining water left at the bottom of the pool.
If you’re only partially emptying your pool, this isn’t a big deal, but if you need to drain the pool completely, you’ll probably need to invest in an electric pump to get rid of the last few inches.
In this case, you might as well just use the electric pump in the first place.
What can you do with pool water?
As we mentioned, it’s important to contact your local municipality to ask if you can drain the pool water into the city drainage system.
Some places allow this and, if that’s the case where you live, all you have to do is let the water run down the street and into the sewer.
Be warned that before you can do so, a lot of places require you to stop adding chemicals to the pool a few weeks beforehand so there’s less risk of causing any damage.
There are a lot of places where this isn’t going to be a possibility. In that case, you’ll need to come up with another way to dispose of the water.
One approach is to stop adding chemicals to the water for a few weeks. Then slowly drain the water and use it to water your lawn. You can also leave the solar cover off the above ground pool for a few weeks.
This will allow some of the water to evaporate naturally. This might not remove a lot of water from the pool but any little bit helps.
Don’t forget to dry it out
If you’re storing your pool for winter or replacing the liner, allow the pool to dry completely. This is the only way to avoid mold and algae from growing until you fill the pool back up again.
You can either get a wet/dry vacuum to suck up the little bits of the remaining water or allow the pool to air dry. If you choose to allow the pool to air dry, make sure there’s no rain in the forecast.
Ready to install an above ground pool?
Now you know how to empty above ground pool, are you ready to invest in an above ground pool for your home? We’ve rounded up the top picks for the best above ground pools available right now.
Then, once the ground has been leveled and the above ground pool is installed and properly filled with water, check out our selections for the best above ground pool lights to accessorize your new pool.
You may also want to invest in a solar-powered pool heater to heat your above ground pool if winters are cold in your area.
Or if cold weather swimming doesn’t interest you, find out how to winterize your above ground pool to keep it in good shape for next season.
Learn more about above ground pools
If you’re researching above ground pools and need to know how to install an above ground pool liner or what size above ground pool pump you need, we’ve got all the necessary information to help.
Or perhaps you’re wondering if above ground pools can have different depths (they do!) or if above ground pools can be converted to saltwater (they can!). Happy swimming!