How Do You Empty A Pool?



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Saying goodbye to a pool for the season or draining it for essential maintenance can be an intimidating prospect. Luckily, with a bit of foreknowledge and preparation, emptying a pool doesn’t have to be so daunting after all! 

There are several options for draining a pool, but not all of them will work for every situation. For instance, submerging a pump into the water works best on concrete or gunite pools and should be avoided when dealing with vinyl liners as they are prone to damage. 

To assist in this operation, we’ll explore multiple ways to empty a pool and present tips on how each method should be handled safely and accurately.

Submersible Pump Method

Are looking to empty your pool quickly and efficiently? A submersible pump may be the perfect tool for you! It’s important to find one that has enough power and capacity to do the job. 

For optimal performance, ensure that all filter baskets and impellers are clean before each use, as well as check the hoses and connections for any damage or wear. 

You can avoid costly repairs by keeping up with routine maintenance and cleaning of the pump. Once you’ve got everything set up, it’s time to start draining your pool

Depending on what works best for you, there is another method called gravity drain which we will discuss next.

Gravity Drain Method

The gravity drain method is a simple way to empty your pool without the use of any equipment. This method involves opening the valve at the bottom of your pool and letting gravity do its work. 

The water will flow out through the hose attached to the valve, which can be directed to an appropriate drainage area.

Pros and Cons:

This technique is advantageous since it can be used to drain swimming pools without investing in any additional gear or equipment. But, since you have to rely exclusively on gravity, it could take longer than other ways. 

Additionally, if there are any blockages in the hose, it can slow down or even stop the flow of water.

Maintenance Tips:

To ensure that this process goes as smoothly as possible, make sure to check for any damage or clogs in the hose before starting. 

It’s also important to monitor the progress of the draining frequently so that you can address any issues promptly. Once your pool is fully drained, clean and inspect all areas thoroughly before refilling with fresh water.

While gravity drain is a viable option for some, others may prefer a faster approach when emptying their pool. 

In these cases, using a wet/dry vacuum could be more efficient and effective.

Using A Wet/Dry Vacuum

Using the wet/dry vacuum is another effective method to empty a pool. This involves using a powerful machine that can suck up all of the water in your pool and transfer it to a different location. 

The process may take longer compared to other methods, but it ensures that every drop of water is removed from the pool.


  • Less time-consuming than gravity draining
  • Can remove even small debris or dirt particles
  • Leaves the surface dry for immediate cleaning and maintenance


  • Requires renting or purchasing an expensive equipment
  • Needs frequent filter cleaning during operation
  • May not be suitable for larger pools due to its slower pace

Maintenance tips:

  • Always clean the filters before and after use.
  • Store the vacuum properly when not in use.
  • Check if there are any damages on the hoses or connectors before starting.

Using this method requires patience as you need to carefully maneuvering around deeper areas of your pool

However, with proper care and attention, you can successfully drain your entire swimming area without leaving behind any residue.

Next up is siphoning method, which only needs basic tools such as a hose pipe and gravity’s help.

Siphoning Method

One of the most efficient ways to empty a pool is through siphoning. This method utilizes gravity and atmospheric pressure to move water from one place to another without the need for electricity or pumps. The key to siphoning efficiency is creating a vacuum that allows water to flow continuously.

To start, you will need two hoses – one long enough to reach the bottom of your pool and the other short enough to allow you to control the flow of water

Place both ends of the hoses in the pool, making sure that there are no air pockets inside them. Once this is done, fill the longer hose with water until it reaches its end outside of the pool.

Next, pinch off any excess slack on the shorter hose and suck on it until you feel water coming through. Quickly place it into a bucket or drain so that water can begin flowing out of your pool. 

DIY siphoning tips include using duct tape or clamps to secure hoses together if they come apart easily during use. With patience and persistence, this method can effectively remove all the water from your pool without much effort at all.

While siphoning may be an effective way to empty small pools, larger ones might require more time-consuming methods such as manual bucketing.

Manual Bucket Method

To continue with the pool draining process, another option is the Manual Bucket Method. This method involves scooping out water from your pool using a bucket and emptying it elsewhere until the pool is completely drained.

The first thing to consider when using this method is the size of your buckets. The larger the bucket, the less time-consuming it will be to drain all the water in your pool. 

However, if you use smaller buckets, you may need to make more trips back and forth from your pool to where you are dumping the water.

Depending on how big your pool is, manually draining it can take anywhere from a few hours to an entire day or more. 

It’s important to keep in mind that this method requires physical effort and patience as it takes longer than other methods such as siphoning.

Moving forward with preparing your pool for draining, there are several steps that must be taken before starting any drainage process.

Preparing Your Pool For Draining

Before emptying your pool, it is important to properly prepare it for the process. This involves taking care of various aspects related to pool maintenance and water treatment. 

By doing so, you will ensure that the draining process goes smoothly and without any issues.

Firstly, be sure to remove all debris from the pool before starting the draining process. This includes leaves, twigs, insects or anything else that might have accumulated in the water.

Once this is done, give your pool a thorough cleaning by brushing its walls and floors with a suitable brush. This will help remove any algae or dirt buildup that may have occurred over time.

Next, check your pool’s chemical levels using an appropriate testing kit. Adjust these levels as needed to prevent damage to the lining or other components of your pool during the drainage process.

Proper pool care also ensures that no harmful chemicals are released into the environment when you empty your pool.

If you follow these directions, you won’t put yourself or anyone else in danger when draining your pool. Yet, it is still important to observe some safety measures while carrying it out. Keep reading to find out!

Safety Precautions When Emptying A Pool

Before you start emptying your pool, it’s important to take some safety precautions. 

While the process may seem straightforward, there are several hazards that come with draining a pool. You need to ensure that you and anyone else around the area stay safe during the procedure.

Firstly, make sure that all electrical connections to the pool equipment are turned off before starting to drain water from your pool. 

This is especially important if you have an electric pump or any other type of equipment running in the pool. Failing to do so can result in electrocution or serious injury.

Secondly, be careful not to slip on wet surfaces as you’re draining your pool. The deck surrounding your swimming pool will likely become slippery due to splashing and overflow of water. Therefore, wear non-slip shoes and avoid rushing while walking around the area.

Lastly, consider the environmental impact of emptying your pool into storm drains or backwashing them into natural bodies of water like rivers and streams. 

Chemicals used in pools such as chlorine can harm aquatic life and disrupt ecosystems when released into natural watersheds.

Here are three things you should keep in mind:

  1. Use proper Pool Draining Equipment: Make use of pumps specifically designed for this task as they have enough power to handle large volumes of water without breaking down.
  2. Consider Water Disposal Options: There are different methods available for disposing drained pool water safely including discharging through sewer lines or directing it towards irrigable land areas.
  3. Take Careful Note Of Environmental Regulations: If applicable, study local laws guiding where drained pool water can be directed and how much chemicals content is allowed within each volume discharged.

When done properly, emptying a swimming pool can be achieved without causing harm to people or harming our environment’s fragile balance above ground or below ground. By following these safety guidelines closely and taking care with disposal options, we can enjoy clean refreshing waters year-round whilst keeping our planet safe from avoidable harm.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How long does it take to empty a pool using a submersible pump?

A: The time it takes to empty a pool using a submersible pump depends on the volume of water in the pool and the pump’s capacity. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day to completely drain a pool.

Q: Can I use the gravity drain method on any type of pool?

A: The gravity drain method can be used on all types of pools, including concrete, vinyl, and fiberglass. However, it’s important to ensure that the valve at the bottom of the pool is in good condition before starting the process to avoid any leaks or damages.

Q: Can I use a wet/dry vacuum to remove debris from my pool?

A: Yes, a wet/dry vacuum can be used to remove small debris and dirt particles from your pool before draining. However, it’s important to note that this method is not suitable for removing larger objects or leaves.

Q: Is it necessary to clean the pool after draining it?

A: Yes, it’s essential to clean your pool thoroughly after draining it. This involves brushing the walls and floor to remove any algae or dirt buildup, as well as disinfecting the pool to prevent bacteria growth.

Q: What should I do with the water drained from my pool?

A: Depending on your local regulations, you may be able to discharge the water through sewer lines or direct it towards irrigable land areas. However, it’s important to avoid directing the water towards natural bodies of water like rivers and streams, as the chemicals used in pools can harm aquatic life and disrupt ecosystems.

As A Final Point..

Emptying a pool can be done using different methods depending on your preference and the size of your pool. 

The submersible pump method is ideal for larger pools while gravity draining is perfect for smaller ones. If you do not have access to any equipment, you may resort to manual bucket draining or siphoning.

Whatever method you choose, it is important to always prioritize safety precautions when dealing with water and electrical appliances. 

Additionally, make sure to prepare your pool properly before draining by removing any debris and chemicals that could harm the environment. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to successfully empty your pool without any hassle!