How To Empty an Above Ground Pool

You love your above ground pool and can't imagine going even one day without swimming in it. But there are times when it's necessary to drain the water from it. Let's first talk about why you would need to empty an above ground pool, and then we'll take you step-by-step through the process.

Why Empty an Above Ground Pool?

Unfortunately, there may come a time when you need to drain the water from your pool — but don't worry, it's only temporary, and you can refill it quickly! Here are some of the reasons why you may need to empty your pool.

Above Ground Pool
  • You're moving and want to take the pool with you to your new home.
  • It's time to replace the pool liner.
  • The liner has developed a leak that needs to be repaired.
  • The water has become stale or stagnant, and you want to replace it.
  • You want to store the pool over the winter rather than winterizing it.

How to Empty an Above Ground Pool

Now that you understand the whys, let's get to the hows. Here's an easy 5-step process you can use to drain the water from your above ground pool.

Step 1: Plan the Water Route

Your pool holds a lot of water, and all that water has to go someplace as you drain it. That's why the number one step in the process is to determine where you will route the pool water as it's draining. Many people empty the water into a drainage system or gutter, but it's important to check with your local authorities to find out if this is legal in your area. If you're not allowed to do this, alternatives are draining the water into your home's sewer clean out, directly into the street, or if you have a large lawn, draining the water into various parts of it.

Step 2: Disconnect the Equipment

Your next step in the process is to disconnect the pool pump in your pool. The job of the pump is to move the water through the system, but if you are draining the pool and the pump accidentally turns on, you'll wind up pumping air instead of water. This can destroy the pump and burden you with unnecessary expenses. Many pumps operate on timers, and that's why it makes more sense to disconnect the pump from the power source rather than simply turning it off.

Did you know?

Another quick and easy way to drain your pool is to use a garden hose to siphon the water. Insert one end of the hose into the pool and use your mouth to suction out the water on the other end. Once it starts flowing, lay the hose at your planned exit route, and watch the water drain from your pool.

Step 3: Set Up the Pumping Device

The best way to empty an above ground pool is to use a garden hose, a submersible pump, and a backwash hose. To do this, clamp the hose to the pump and then use electrical tape to secure it. Next, set up the reverse water flow by stretching the hose to the place where want the water to exit. For instance, if you're draining the water into the gutter, lay the other end of the hose near it.

Step 4: Position and Start the Pump

Now it's time to place the pump in the water. If your pool has a shallow end, that's the ideal spot for it. If not, set it in the center of the pool.

Step 5: Wait and Watch

This is the most time-consuming step in the process, but you should stay focused during it to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Watch as the water pumps through the hose, and make sure it goes where you intend it to. The last thing you want is a flooded yard.

Once you see that the water is so low that the pump is no longer pushing it out and through the hose, turn off the pump. There will be a small puddle of water at the bottom of the pool. Depending on why you drained your pool, you can either leave it or use a wet/dry vac to rid the pool of any remaining water.

Refill and Enjoy Your Pool!

If you drained your pool for temporary purposes such as a chemical balance issue or a leak repair, refill it as quickly as you can. Leaving the liner and equipment exposed to the sun for long periods can damage it. If you drained the pool to store it for the winter, be sure to completely dry the liner and parts before tucking them away for the next season.