Once the last leaves of autumn have fallen, it already signals that the cold season is upon us. All pool owners know this and realize that it is time to lock up shop for the year.
But questions can begin to persist with regards to how far one should go in draining one’s pool for the winter.
This article explains all that in detail, answering all your questions along the way.
Where do you drain the water in an above-ground pool?
As a pool owner, the draining of your pool is actually one of your most important moments. Whether you intend to drain it partially or completely, there are so many things to consider. And the question of where to drain it is up there among others.
With regards to where the water will go, there are things to consider in preparing to drain your pool.
Pool water contains a lot of chemicals. As a result, there must be a proper plan to ensure that this water doesn’t just run off into any place. These chemicals can cause some damage to the structural materials of the deck.
The chlorine in the water can react with wood and metal parts. The water, if not drained properly, can also cause rot in the wood. The metallic parts are also susceptible to rust.
In addition to this, the pool water, if drained into your lawn or where vegetation is, can cause issues. It could increase the pH of the soil and damage crops too. Apart from the problems that pool water can cause to your garden and vegetation, it could be a problem for itself too.
If it floods and doesn’t run off effectively, the pool water can wash back into the pool. And this, while carrying back dirt, garbage and debris. If you are using fertilizer, this can mess up your pool very badly.
With all this listed, it’s why it’s so important that you drain your pool properly. Below I will list some options to consider with regards to where to drain your pool water.
- French drains: These are also called French ditches. They are essentially trenches that you build on your land to collect water and channel it elsewhere.
Building a French drain isn’t so complicated. It consists of a simple trench or trough dug around the pool. Perforated pipes are now laid in these trenches. These pipes are covered with a water permeable material. Gravel stones are now laid upon the pipes to fill up the trenches.
The set up is simple. Water from your pool flows down naturally through the gravel stones and into the hollow pipes. From there, it can be channeled into a community drain or rain barrel. Any other suitable location works. The benefit is that your precious vegetation and crops are free from harm.
- Creek beds: Creek beds are another option for draining your pool water. They are also called arroyos. These are shallow gullies lined by stones and gravel of various sizes. It also contains weed fabric and cobble. The creek beds help you channel water to a choice collection or exit point. In addition to their primary purpose, they have an aesthetic appeal. You can decide to add plants to its borders and give your landscape a much more “soft” look.
How do I winterize my above-ground pool?
Below are the steps to take when you want to winterize your pool:
- Check for chemical balance: Before you close your pool for the winter, ensure that the chemical balance is okay. Check for pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness.
- Clean the pool: Give your pool one last clean. Vacuum the entire pool. Scrub the walls till your arms ache. Ensure it is spick and span. Use a skimming net on the surface to remove all debris. Cleaning the pool will save you stress when spring comes. Also, dirt and debris in the pool can end up using your winterizing chemicals you will be adding.
- Stash accessory items: items such as your pool ladder, skimmer basket, return fittings, toys, and solar blankets should be stashed safely. This is important because you don’t want them to get damaged over the winter. The metal parts could start to rust and rain could carry the rust into the pool contaminating the water.
- Shock the pool: Ensure to shock the pool properly. Add about 1 bag of shock to 10,000 gallons of water.
- Lower water levels: Though it is an above-ground pool, you don’t necessarily have to drain it completely. You can drain it is below the skimmer.
- Drain your pool pipes and plug them: The expansion of ice can harm your pipes. Ensure that you drain them completely. If you are not sure. You can add an antifreeze. Also use a plug to keep water out form your pipes. If u use PVC pipes, ensure that they are completely dried. PVC pipes can crack in temperatures under 32° F.
- Add winter closing chemicals: Winter-closing chemicals include: non-chlorine shock, algaecides, scale remover and oil absorbing sponge. They ensure that your pool stays clear and clean during the winter.
- Protect your skimmer: You can decide to completely remove your skimmer basket and store it in a safe place. You can also decide to get a cover for the skimmer basket. This way you ensure that it is watertight. This will prevent any water from getting in and freezing over. The freezing can . causes no damage to the skimmer.
Should I drain my above-ground pool for winter?
This question depends on the conditions around the skimmer basket. If the skimmer basket is one that has a seal, then there is no need to drain the pool. Just ensure the skimmer is dry and free from moisture. If, on the other hand, you don’t have a seal, drain the water to a level below the skimmer.
What is the easiest way to drain an above ground pool?
If you don’t have a pump, a siphon can come into play. You don’t need any electricity for this. All you need is your good old garden hose and some siphon pressure.
Can I use a sump pump to drain my pool?
Submersible pumps, also called sump pumps, are a go-to for draining a pool. Seeing as they have a high horsepower rating, sump pumps generate a high output. As a result of this, they can drain your pool in a minimal amount of time. They even give you an advantage over the siphon method because it is machine powered.
If you are a very busy person and don’t want to spend the whole day draining your pool, sump pumps are a very good option.
They come in different ratings. So, just go for the one that satisfies your pool needs. Larger pools might require you to go for ones with a higher horsepower rating. This will ensure quick turnover time.
When should I drain my above-ground pool?
There are many conditions that can make one consider draining one’s pool.
- After a heavy rainstorm
- When you want to change the liner.
- After an incidence of chlorine lock:
How do you drain an above-ground pool after it rains?
Follow these steps below.
- Skim the top of the pool for any debris.
- Stop adding chemicals.
- Turn on your pool pump. Now set it to “WASTE”. This way, you can drain the water while bypassing the filter.
- Ensure the water level does not go past the halfway line of the skimmer.
How do you partially drain an above-ground pool?
Follow these steps below:
- Stop adding any chemicals.
- Insert your submersible pump.
- Attach a hose to the submersible pump to carry the water out of the pool.
- Pump out the water to an acceptable level, i.e., halfway the height of the skimmer opening.
Will above ground pool collapse without water?
An above ground pool might not be so susceptible to the same hydrostatic pressure experienced by an unground pool. But it’s still never advisable to drain it completely. The water in the pool acts as a weight to keep the walls upright and stable. Without that water, the walls could collapse inwards.
What happens if you don’t winterize your above ground pool?
Winter is never a good time for swimming pools. If you don’t make adequate preparations for this season, you might regret it. The major danger faced is the freezing of water in the pools. This can lead to cracking of pipes when the water expands.
Also rain and sleet if it enters the pool can disrupt the chemical balance. Hence you must be intentional about winterizing your pool. Else you might be in for a nasty surprise, when the spring time comes again.
How do I drain my above ground pool without flooding my yard?
To prevent flooding, ensure you have a good drainage system in place. You can make use of any of the drainage systems already mentioned. The French drains or creek beds can be built for this purpose.
How much water should my pool have in the winter?
The water in the pool should be at a level just below the skimmer. A few inches below the skimmer is enough.