There are a number of factors that can contribute to a need to drain your backyard pool (see Part 1). These include algae outbreaks, liner repair and replacement, surface cleaning, and a high level of total dissolved solids (TDS). If you’re a pool owner and you think your pool needs to be drained, it’s crucial to use the right method for your type of pool. In this second article of our series, we’ll highlight which methods work best for different types of pools.
Safely Draining a Concrete Pool
If you have a concrete pool, draining shouldn’t be a problem. Concrete pools usually maintain stability even when they have no water in them at all. To be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to open the main drain’s hydrostatic valve as well as the hydrostatic relief plug. In case you’re not aware, that’s the white ring on the floor of the pool. Its purpose is to let groundwater into the pool instead of allowing it to put pressure on the pool’s base and end up causing damage.
If you have a high-end luxury pool with the latest amenities, you may actually have an automatic hydrostatic relief valve. If so, it should already be spring loaded in order to let in water when you drain the pool. If your hydrostatic relief valve opens and closes manually, make sure it’s opened up before draining your concrete pool.
Though it’s allowable, if need be, to drain all the water out of a concrete pool, it’s not an ideal state to leave your pool in for very long. You should refill your pool as quickly as possible after draining it. The older and less sturdy your in-ground concrete pool is, the worse damage it may incur when you leave it empty. Pools are built in such a way that they function best when filled with water. If they’re left empty for a significant amount of time, the bottom and sides can incur damage due to the weight and pressure of the ground surrounding them.
Safely Draining a Fiberglass Pool
It’s fine to drain a fiberglass pool under most conditions. If, however, you’re in an area with soils that are known to expand or with a water table that’s unusually high, you may run into problems. In these instances, the floor of the pool may pop loose and actually get water underneath it when you refill it. This type of problem can occur within a few short hours of draining the pool. Other factors to keep in mind when it comes to draining fiberglass pools are the effects of heavy rainfalls, topographical conditions, and land elevation in the immediate area. Bracing your fiberglass pool before draining is a smart move.
Safely Draining a Vinyl Pool
If you own a vinyl pool, completely draining the water out should only be done as a last resort. If possible, never completely drain your vinyl pool. Doing so can cause wrinkles or shrinkage due to relaxation of the empty liner. Using a liner vac to push the liner back into the proper place when adding fresh pool water can help to mitigate these potential problems.
In our final article in this series, we’ll take a look at some more general tips and pointers for draining your in-ground pool.
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