The best way to drain the pool is to empty it directly into the sanitary sewer line outside your home. The process is simple but can be time-consuming, depending on how fast you are able to pump the water.
In simple terms, you cannot drain pool water into the streets, curbs, catch basins, gutters, ditches, channels, and ultimately, into storm drains (which flow directly into local streams)!
The first choice for draining swimming pool water should be to drain pool water into the sanitary sewer. In-ground pools typically have a sanitary sewer drainage inlet near the pool equipment. Pools and spas not plumbed with a sanitary sewer drainage inlet can be drained to a sanitary sewer line plumbed to the home.
The average outdoor spigot on a home can produce up to 12 gallons per minute. A small pool can be filled in a few hours, while a large one can take 14 hours.
If it is time to empty your pool, there are two main options that pool owners typically choose from when getting ready to drain their above ground pool; an electric pump or a garden hose siphon. Either choice will work to drain your pool water. It's a matter of preference, time, and equipment on-hand.
Put one end of your garden hose inside the port. Thread the hose to the back of your house. Attach the other end of the garden hose to a submersion pump and place the hose and pump in the deepest area of your pool, near the drain. The pool will begin to drain.
You may throw up your hands and decide the best course of action is to drain the pool and start over. In fact, draining a pool should be a last resort. Most in-ground pools will have to be drained and refilled at some point. But cleaning should not be the reason to do it.
Flooding Your Grass Is Not A Good Idea
The problem with draining your pool in the yard, if permitted by your local water regulatory laws, is that it will quickly reach its saturation level and increase the risk of flooding your lawn, drowning the roots of your grass, and attracting mosquitoes.
Pool water should never be drained to the street or the storm drain. Storm drains in the Bay Area typically run into local creeks, rivers and the bays.
Simply stop adding chlorine to your uncovered pool and wait. Sunlight will help to naturally dissipate the chlorine within 10 days. During that time, use a swimming pool test kit to measure chlorine. Chemically dechlorinate the pool water.
Because there is no main drain on most aboveground pools, you will only be able to lower the water to the bottom of the intake or skimmer, using your aboveground pool filter system. To drain an aboveground pools, either a). Use small submersible electric pump and garden hose, or b).
If you have an above-ground pool with a vinyl pool liner, drain the pool to about 1 inch below the bottom of the skimmer mouth. It's acceptable to drain the pool a few more inches below that if you live in an area that gets heavy precipitation during the winter months.
The water in the pool helps hold the liner into place. If you drain your pool you can cause your vinyl pool liner to shrink and upon refilling, if the liner has lost its elasticity it can cause the liner to rip or tear. The liner can also become hard and brittle.
An empty swimming pool can pop, or float out of the ground. This is due to possible hydrostatic pressure from unknown underground water.
If ground water is not a problem a pool can be left empty for weeks or even months as long the hydrostatic relief in the bottom of the pool is open and functioning. If the time frame of the pool being empty gets into freezing weather there is real risk of freeze-thaw damage to surface of the pool.
How long it will take to drain your pool will depend on the size of your pool, and how many gallons per minute the pump can move. But you're probably looking at somewhere between 8 and 14 hours for your pool to empty.
When one drains the pool and there happens to be water under the shell (like in the rainy spring when people want to clean up the pool) the entire pool shell can heave. This is because the water under the pool creates an upward hydrostatic force (through buoyancy) and the pool is lifted out of the ground.
In general, draining this type of pool is the trickiest. Inground pools made of concrete or gunite are susceptible to popping out of the ground if drainage is not done properly. If there has been a surplus of rain recently or your pool is located in a wet area, it is best not to try and drain the pool yourself at all.