While there are many myths about fiberglass pools, the one thing you should NEVER EVER do is DRAIN your fiberglass pool without professional help. Let me say that again, NEVER drain your fiberglass pool for any reason. In fact, we recommend NEVER letting the water level drop more than 2-3 inches below the skimmer!
Big disclaimer: only authorized fiberglass pool professionals should drain a pool. Never drain a pool without professional assistance. For most (if not all) pool manufacturers, an authorized dealer must drain the pool, or you may void your warranty.
If high groundwater is present in your area, it is best to only partially empty your pool. Never completely drain a fiberglass or in-ground vinyl liner pool; doing so can damage the integrity of the pool surface or liner in the form of bowing or cracking. The best practice is to partially drain these types of pools.
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.
In most cases, you will want to drain the pool to be at least 4 to 6 inches below the top of the skimmer. This allows adequate space for expansion of the water throughout the winter without risking damage to the pool.
Draining a pool can take up to 14 hours, depending on the size, so be sure to drain it on a day when you have sufficient free time. You need to be home to check on the pool, the hoses, and the pump frequently.
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.
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.
Fiberglass pools have a gel coating that can develop hairline cracks over time. These cracks typically only penetrate the gel coat and do not affect the pool's structural integrity, nor do they indicate leaks. If you see blisters as well as cracks, this is a sign that the gel coating was applied too thinly.
If the pool overflows, now only will the pool chemicals be diluted, but they may contaminate the pool deck and surrounding landscape. Removing excess water quickly is important to prevent this.
Epoxy pool paint is the only suitable material to paint a fiberglass pool. Buy enough to paint two coats for a long lasting finish. Measure your pool carefully to add up all the surface area of the floor, walls and steps, then buy more than enough Epoxy pool paint to cover the surface, twice.
The best way to drain the pool is to empty it directly into the sanitary sewer line outside your home.
But did you know there's an easy way to reuse the water that's already in the pool? All you have to do is recycle it! Meet reverse osmosis — the best way to purify your swimming pool water. It works by pushing the existing water through semipermeable membranes that hold off any impurities, particles, and buildup.
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.
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.
Drain the Pool
This will prevent the water from coming out immediately when you remove the drain cap. Because it's only gravity draining, you can't drain it too far uphill. It will take a few hours for small Intex pools and more than 12 hours for larger pools.
A common question asked is, “Can above ground pools stay up year round?” And although the easy answer is that “Yes, they can,” whether you want to leave them up year-round really depends on the type of pool you have. Dismantling some above ground pools for the winter may be more hassle than it's worth.
Pool Collapse – An above ground pool collapse is often caused by the results of ice damage, but it can also happen when there is too much snow accumulated on top of the pool and the frame cannot handle the weight.
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.