How To Drain A Pool – Empty (Pump Out) Water From Inground Pools (2020)

There are various instances where you will have to drain your pool.

Whether it is an inground or above ground pool.

What are the instances how to drain a pool?

Well, if the algae in the swimming pool have become untreatable, or the total dissolved solids (TDS) have affected the water chemistry which cannot be balanced, then your last option is to drain your swimming pool.

Yes, draining the pool will immediately help you get rid of these issues.

Moreover, it is highly recommended to drain your pool once a year.

It doesn’t matter if it’s an in-ground or above ground pool, you should still do it.

By draining the pool, you start with fresh water with no issues.

However, draining swimming pool water is a challenging task.

If it is not done properly, then it can damage the pool.

It can even lead to issues like the popping of the pool.

Thus, you must know the correct procedure to drain your pool.

Do not worry.

In this blog, we will discuss the right method to drain your pool.

By following these steps, you will be able to prevent any damage to the pool.

How To Drain A Pool

The Pool Drain Basics

In this section, we will discuss some steps that you must follow before draining the pool.

Clean the empty pool

Before you clean the pool, turn off the power to the pool equipment.

You must always clean the pool before draining it.

Yes, by that we mean that you have to remove all the debris from the pool.

Why is that important?

Well, by doing so, you will be able to prevent clogging of the pool drain.

There are instances where people drain a pool of water without doing this step, but they end up with clogged pipes, main drain, pool hose, or pool pump.

Thus, you must ensure that the water has been cleaned properly before draining a pool.

You can use a skimmer basket and pool filter to clean the water.

Ensure that you remove everything that can affect the water draining process.

Neutralize the pool

The next step is to neutralize the swimming pool.

Usually, swimming pool water is full of various chemicals.

These chemicals are harmful to soil and other living organisms like plants.

Thus, before the pool draining process, you need to neutralize it, otherwise, there are high chances that the plants around the pool will get damaged.

How can you neutralize the pool?

Well, you will have to leave the water untreated for a few days.

Do not add any new chemicals to the pool.

Moreover, you can use pool neutralizers to balance the chemicals.

Ensure that you choose high-quality pool neutralizers.

You must also use a pool testing kit before draining the pool.

PH and other factors must be balanced.


Well, let us say that the water is a little acidic before draining, it can damage the pool, as well as plants around it.

Plan everything

You have to plan everything before starting with the procedure.

Where will the water go once drained? The main drain?

Do your city laws allow drainage of the pool on the street?

Do the laws allow drainage in the sewer?

This is the most important thing that you must keep in mind.

You do not want to get in trouble with the authorities.

Let us say that the laws allow you to drain water on the street, but how much?

You also need to ensure that you get legal permission before draining the pool.

There are some cities where you have to pay a little extra for draining the water.

You must also ensure that draining the pool does not affect the lives of your neighbors.

Ensure that the drained swimming pool water does not affect the environment around you.

You should gather the equipment that will be handy while draining the pool.

What kind of equipment?

Well, we will discuss that in the upcoming sections.

You can summon help

If you’re not sure how to drain a pool, it is not necessary to do it by yourself.

Let us say that you do not have enough time to empty the pool.

In that case, you can always summon a professional to do the task.

Ensure you choose one of the highly reputable services available locally.

You must also ensure that the services fit in your budget.

After drainage

It is obvious that after draining the pool you will re-fill it.

However, from what source will you take the water?

This is an important question that you must ask before draining the pool.

You do not want a situation where the pool is drained, but you do not have a source to re-fill it.

Usually, there are three sources to fill the pool.

Wells, municipal water, and water delivery services.

Choose as per the number of gallons you require and your budget.

Don’t forget to turn on the power after filling it. And then turn on the pump and filter for the pool.

Techniques/Tips to Improve how to drain water from pool

What type of pool do you have?

Yes, you read that correctly.

As per the type of pool you have, the procedure changes.

Some of the types of pools are vinyl liner, fiberglass, and concrete.

You will have to be extremely cautious with vinyl and fiberglass pool care.

These two are the most sensitive pools while draining.

Why are they sensitive?

Well, let us say that you drain these two pools completely.

What will happen?

The pool will develop some cracks due to sunlight.

There are instances, where it can even pop up or down.

How To Drain A Pool without damaging it?

There are two basic methods to drain these pools without damaging them.

The first method is to drain the pool during sunset.

This will prevent direct sunlight on the vinyl or fiberglass.

The second method is to drain half of the pool.

You must not empty the pool completely.

Instead, you should start re-filling it once the water level has reached half of its capacity.

Yes, during that time, you will have to continue the draining process.

When do you stop it then?

You must stop the pool draining once the water in the pool is clean.

This method requires a larger amount of water compared to other methods.

Prevent damage from emptying the pool

The most common damage during draining of the pool is popping.

Popping usually happens if you empty the pool after heavy rain.


Imagine that there is heavy rain in your area.

The rainwater goes into the ground.

Some of it even stores under the pool.

The pool remains unaffected as it has water in it.

The weight of the water in the pool balances the pressure of underground water.

Now, just after the rain, you drain the pool.

What will happen?

Yes, there will be a force imbalance, and groundwater will create a large upward force.

This forces the pool to pop upward.

There are two ways to prevent this situation.

First, do not drain your pool after heavy rain.

Wait for at least a few days after rain.

Second, use hydrostatic technology in-built in the pool.

Wash the empty pool

After draining the pool, you must always do some basic pool care, like washing the walls with acid.

This will remove the remaining dirt and algae on the walls, and in turn, give you a spotless surface.

Drained pools common problem

Can you use a pump to drain the pool?

Yes, you can use a pump to drain the pool. It’s best to use a submersible pump.

However, you must make sure that you install the pump at the bottom of the pool.

This will ensure that the pump can suck out all the water.

Moreover, choose a pump with a high-powered motor.

A good quality pump should have the capacity to pump out at least 10% more than the original amount of water in the pool.

Some sources recommend you to not use a pump.

However, we would recommend you to use a pump as the last option.

Just turn it on, and monitor the process while it drains the pool.

Remember to turn off the electricity to the pool before you begin emptying it.

Draining pools – Frequently Asked Questions

How do I drain the water from an inground pool?

There are various methods to drain a pool.

You can use a pump to drain pool water. Just turn it on and wait for the pool to empty.

You can even use the in-built draining system of the pool.

You just need to make sure that the water gets drained out properly.

It is also important to clean the pool before draining.

You do not want the pump or drain to get clogged by debris in the pool.

How do you drain the pool without a pump?

You do not have a water pump?

Looking for a method to drain your pool without a pump?

Well, it is easy.a

You can use a garden hose.

Put one end of the hose in the pool.

Now, suck air from the other end of the hose.

Keep doing this, until the water comes out.

To drain the pool quickly, you will need more than one garden hose.

You must also make sure that the water draining outflows into the main drain that is lower than the water level in the pool.

Can you drain a pool by backwashing?

No, it is not recommended to use the backwash valve to drain a pool.


Well, by doing so, you can damage the filter.

How much does it cost to drain a pool?

Let us assume that you have an ideal pool, then the whole process will cost you around 150-200 dollars.

Draining an inground pool – best practices

  • Remove the debris before draining
  • Check total dissolved solids and other pool properties
  • Neutralize the water
  • Plan everything before draining
  • Do not drain after heavy rain

How to drain pool – tools you can use