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HomeFactsHow To Drain An Inground Pool Below Skimmer

How To Drain An Inground Pool Below Skimmer

How High Should The Pool Water Be In Winter

How to Drain Your Pool Using Your Filter System |

This will depend on whether you intend to use a pool cover with a mesh cover. If you are not going to be using a mesh cover, you can drain the pool 26 inches below the skimmer inlet.

On the other hand, if you were using a mesh cover, you could drain the pool down 12 to 18 inches below the skimmer inlet. This is because, over the winter, precipitation seeps through the cover and adds to the volume of the pool water.

How To Switch From A Skimmer To A Main Drain

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Swimming pool circulation pumps draw water from the pool utilizing suction plumbed to the skimmer inlets at water level and the main drain at the pool’s bottom. Water is pulled to the circulation pump under negative pressure, then pumped through the filter and back to the pool. In most pools, the pump suction can be diverted entirely to the skimmer, entirely to the main drain or divided between both.

How To Drain The Water Below The Skimmer

You can use the pools pump to lower the pools level below the skimmers but, in order to do so, you will have to ensure that you close the valve/s that control suction from the skimmers and open the valve that controls the suction from the main drain at the bottom of the pool.

If you didnt do this, and left the skimmer valve open, once the level in the pool reached the bottom of the skimmers opening then air would be drawn into the system and no further water would be expelled from the pool.

On some pools there may be just one diverter valve that controls where the suction comes from which is turned either towards the skimmer/s or the main pool drain.

With the valve/s selected to just use the main drain, turn the multiport valve of the pool filter to the waste position. This will make the water flow out of the system either into your drainage system or into your yard, depending on your particular setup.

If you were to leave the multiport valve in the filter position then you wouldnt drain water out of the pool as it would just be pumped straight back into the pool. The same would be true with the lever in the recirculate position.

Now switch on the pools pump and run it until the pools level lowers to the required point, probably a few inches below the skimmers opening.

You would also use this method to drain your pool completely or after heavy rain.

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Should I Run My Pool Pump In Freezing Weather

During the winter period, circulating, it is still advisable to keep your pump running. This you should do for six to eight hours each day. This act will help prevent your pool water from freezing over.

The pool pump keeps the water circulating. When water is circulating it is harder for it to freeze over. The only consideration you would have is the pool pumps running costs.

How To Lower Your Pool Water Level

Skimmer Plug for Lomart Above Ground Skimmers

You may need to lower your pool water level after a heavy rain or if you forgot to turn your hose off when filling the pool. To lower the level, you may be able to use the multiport valve on your pool pump or the drain if it has one. If not, you can use an external, submersible pump or siphon the water out with a hose.

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Pump Damaged Due To Water Level Below Skimmer

kichi said:I just bought a house with an inground pool and have been using BBB for pool maintenance. While that is working out well, I am having a host of problems with my equipment. My pumps are constantly leaking. The impeller on the booster pump just burnt out and the pool guy told me that was because the pump was running without water.I did notice that the water level was at the bottom of the skimmer basket. So it was probably not getting water from the skimmer. Shouldn’t the pump get water from the main drain in that case? Does that mean that my main drain is not working? How can I confirm that? Do I need to change the valve in the skimmer ?Apologies if I did not use the right terms. Still learning the terminology!!

If You Want To Paint The Pool

Some pool finishes are absolutely bare bones, simply having a coating of epoxy paint over their concrete shell.

Due to the amount of harsh chemicals and sunlight, the painted finish on these pools will eventually begin to fade and need a fresh coat.

Some people will even go so far as to repaint their plaster pool finishes, but resurfacing this type of finish is more cost-effective over the long term.

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How To Refill Your Above Ground Pool

If youre making repairs or adding fresh water, dont plan on leaving your pool empty or dry for too long. Sunlight and weather can damage the liner of an empty pool. So as soon as youve completed your repairs, start refilling your pool. Consider using multiple garden hoses to speed up the process.

Once the water reaches halfway up your skimmer, you can turn on your pool pump and filter again. Then retest and rebalance your water. If you need help figuring out the right chemistry levels for your pool, check out our guide on Basic Pool Chemistry 101.

How To Keep An Inground Pool From Popping

How To Winterize Your Inground Swimming Pool

If you live in an area that has a high water table, and you completely drain your inground pool, its possible the pool will pop. This means, without the weight of the water pressing on it, the pool may be pushed up and out of the groundliterally. The risk is even higher if you drain your pool after several days of heavy rain.

An inground pool can pop regardless of type. Concrete, gunite, vinyl, fiberglasstheyre all at risk of popping when drained.

If its time to drain your pool, and you want to keep it from popping, consider draining just half the water from the pool, and refilling it. The ability to do this will, of course, depend on your reason for draining it in the first place.

For example, if you need to repair the floor, youll have to completely drain the pool. If this is the case, you may want to consult a professional to avoid expensive damage to your pool.

If you decide to move forward yourself, take a few extra precautions to help prevent popping.

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Where To Drain A Swimming Pool

  • Clean and balanced water can be directed into the storm drain if you have a curb/gutter type of sewer on your street.
  • Pool water that has been chlorine neutralized and pH balanced can be pumped downhill from the pool, monitoring for erosion or over-saturation.
  • Pump Away from the pool, 50 to 100 or more. Too much water pumped beneath your pool can cause a problem!
  • Remember to move the hose often as needed, to avoid over-saturation, when pumping into large grassy areas or wooded areas. Avoid downhill courses that erode hillsides.

    For submersible pumps, run discharge hose out of the shallow end, to reduce resistance from a vertical lift over the deep end wall. Avoid flooding downhill neighbors!

    Remove Deck And Skimmer Equipment

    The first thing you want to do is remove the following:

    • Other equipment around the pool

    Once this is done, you can remove the eye ball fittings from your return lines and the skimmer baskets from your skimmers.

    NOTE: If you have a dedicated line for an automatic cleaner, remove the plastic adapter. All return lines should be large, threaded openings that fit the same sized rubber plug with a wing-nut.

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    Keeping Safe Pool Water Levels Year

    Between rain and evaporation, your swimming pool water level will never stay the same. The minute changes caused by outside forces are usually out of your hands, but what can you do to prevent extreme water-level changes? It all comes down to simply keeping an eye on it and knowing what to do based on what you see.

    Daily Checks

    Adding and Removing Water

    Youll rarely have to remove water from a swimming pool, but you may need to top it up from time-to-time.

    The effects of a low water level are much more disastrous than that of a high one so keeping your water filled is a vital step in pool upkeep.

    Just by using these two methods, you can greatly reduce the risk of a dangerous rise or drop in water level, saving you money and unnecessary headaches.

    Three: Remove The Drain Cover

    inground spa plumbing diagram

    Basically, after completing the above two steps, you will see that the water level has reached much below the skimmer. Some water will accumulate at the drain. This water contains dirt and is very filthy. At this point, the greenish deposits of algae at the bottom of your pool also become visible.

    Next, remove the drain cover and also the plug beneath it. Take the help of a plug wrench to pull the plug if you need. When released, the remaining water will pass through the main drain at a very high speed. In fact, you can see the water bubbling and hear it gushing through the drain.

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    If The Finish Needs To Be Cleaned

    If your swimming pool goes years without being thoroughly scrubbed, itll catch up with you eventually. Yes, you should still be following a maintenance schedule using your skimmer net, pool brush, and vacuum, but the presence of TDS in the water will compound as time goes on, staining the finish.

    Pool water can become high in metals or calcium, both of which will leave permanent reminders on the walls of the pool. In some cases, calcium deposits can even affect operation of your pool equipment. Thats a bill you can live without!

    To fully remove surface stains, youll need to do an acid wash that requires an empty pool.

    Preparation To Blow Out The Pool Lines:

  • Lower the water level 4-12 below skimmer, depending on your pool cover type.
  • Remove filter, pump, and heater drain plugs to drain water. Replace loosely.
  • Drain, hand pump, or scoop water out of the skimmer until almost empty.
  • Set the multiport valve to Recirculate, or to the Filter position for slide valves.
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    Inground Pool Winter Faqs

    Q1. Can Your Inground Pool Water Freeze?

    Yes, definitely. In fact, its almost impossible for a pool not to freeze over winter. The main reason your pool can freeze over winter is that the water in your pool is exposed to the elements, namely wind, and snow.

    Q2. Can Snow Get Inside Your Inground Pool?

    If youre not using a pool cover over winter, then snow can get in your pool. The same goes for rainwater that gets in through the skimmer basket or from any other opening on your pools surface area.

    Q3. What Is a Pool Pillow?

    Yes. Pool pillows create the extra space to accommodate the freezing ice in your pool when it expands. Without them, you will likely crack your liner or damage your pool structure as the ice expands and contracts over time.

    How To Drain Water From Your Inground Pool

    Drain your pool water

    On an inground pool, its best to drain water down into the skimmer line. This practice will ensure that no debris gets trapped in your filter or pump. In order to properly drain your pool, it is important to follow these steps:

    Step 1: Shut off the pump. You can do this by opening the main drain valves or turning off the power supply at the breaker box.

    Step 2: Turn on all of the pumps one last time to flush out any remaining water in the lines.

    Step 3: Open each skimmer and return line valve and let out any water left in them.

    Step 4: Use a pool vacuum or pressure washer to clean the pipes, fittings, and equipment before winterizing them with anti-corrosion chemicals.

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    Find Your Pools Ideal Level

    We already have you covered with the best robotic pool cleaner around. But we also have essential pool tips for you too. And a swimming pool water level is one to know all about. Finding the perfect water level is a simple process and can typically be judged from sight alone. You should aim to have your water sitting at the halfway point of your skimmer hatch .

    It is recommended you have your swimming pool water level between one-third and one-half up the pool skimmer box opening. If the level is higher than that, it may slow or even stop debris from being pulled into the skimmer box through the plate or valve. This means that there will be floating debris left on your pool water surface as a result.

    A pool skimmer box water level getting a bit too high.

    Inground Pool Skimmer Plumbing Diagrams

    When you look down into your pool skimmer, you may see two holes, one at 12 oclock and another opposite hole, at 6 oclock. This gives the pool builder some flexibility in how to connect the plumbing pipes underneath the skimmer.

    They can run a pipe from the main drain into the front hole of the skimmer, and then the back hole is the suction pipe that goes to the pool pump.This reduces costs, compared to running a separate main drain pipe, all the way back to the pump.

    Heres some common inground pool skimmer plumbing configurations that you may encounter. I have shown these skimmers connected with schedule 40 pvc, although on some pools you may encounter flex pipe, or black poly pipe being used, which is sub-standard to PVC.

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    What Happens If Your Swimming Pool Water Level Is Too Low

    If the water in your swimming pool is too low, the skimmer can bottom out and suck air into your filter system. And when that happens, youre at risk for burning out the motor on your pool pump. This could be a costly problem, which is why you should definitely keep an eye on the water level of your swimming pool.

    If youre especially concerned about the level in your swimming pool, consider adding an automatic swimming pool water leveling device. These devices, which are available in a range of price points, typically attach to a garden hose or other water source. They detect when your water gets critically low and automatically fill your pool until the water is back in the safe zone. Many pool owners appreciate the extra protection.

    Don’t forget the spa!

    Water levels matter whether you have a pool or spa. If your water level drops in your spa, youre at risk for burning out the motor and damaging the plumbing system.

    Why Drain An In Ground Pool

    How Do You Drain A Pool Below Skimmer

    Winterize the Pool: Some people prefer to drain their pool for the winter and refill it again in the spring rather than try to winterize it with chemicals and cover the pool water.

    Painting the Pool: Painted pool surfaces last between 5 and 15 years before requiring repainting. Some owners decide to paint over plaster to further enhance the look of their pool.

    Plaster Repair: Swimming pool plaster is made with fine crushed white marble and fine white cement that is smoothed over the rough concrete shell. The surface can be damaged by unbalanced pool water and does deteriorate over time. The average marble plaster pool can last up to 15 or 20 years before requiring renovation. If your pool surface only has minor cracks and etching you can repair that part of the surface with new plaster.

    Please read our article on How to Repair Pool Plaster

    Clean the Pool: Sometimes a pool requires more extensive cleaning, such as an acid wash, to the pool surface and this can only be achieved when you empty the pool.

    Renovate the Pool: If you have an older pool maybe its time to renovate the whole pool. This usually involves removing the old plaster, aggregate or whatever lining and replacing it with the latest pool lining technology. Usually at the same time you would replace the hydrostatic valve, skimmer box and filtration system.

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    Wasnt Too Draining Was It

    There you go: everything you could ever want to know about your pools main drain. Since this piece is essential to your pools circulation system, you know that much more about the overall needs and operations of your pool, too. And most importantly: you can swim even more safely. Thats what its all about. Enjoy.

    Siphoning Water From The Pool

    You can use your garden hose to create a simple siphon that is an effective means to drain water from your pool. This method relies on the siphon effect to transfer water from the pool without using a pump.

    The key requirement for siphoning is that the drain end of the hose must be lower than the hose at the pool, as this relies on gravity to do the work. This method will not work if you are trying to discharge water at a higher elevation than the pool.

    Siphoning will take more time than other methods that use a pump. However, this is the cheapest method and does not pose any risk of damaging your pump.

    To perform the siphoning, connect the hose to your outdoor water spigot. Place the other end of the hose in the pool.

    Turn on the spigot until a steady flow of water is observed at the end of the hose in the pool. Once a steady flow is achieved, quickly disconnect the hose from the spigot and kink the hose that had been previously connected to the spigot to keep water in the hose.

    Walk the kinked end of the hose to the discharge location. Release the kink and allow water to flow from the hose. Gravity will continue pulling water from the pool until the discharge end is at the same elevation as the hose in the pool.

    Once the water level has been drained down to the desired level, the hose can be removed from the pool.

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