how to drain a pool with a garden hose

Learning how to drain a pool with a garden hose is crucial if you discover that your pool pump suddenly isn’t working as it should. The last thing you want is to have to empty an in-ground pool or above ground pool with a bucket, after all.

Fortunately for those with pool problems, there could be an easy option. Using your garden hose, you can siphon the water from your pool using a series of easy steps. Using a siphon to drain a swimming pool is often much simpler than you might think.

Here’s everything you need to know to empty your pool quickly with your garden hose.

Why Drain Water From Your Swimming Pool?

One thing to keep in mind is that the drainage location for your outlet hose or a garden hose must be lower than the end of the hose that’s drawing in the water (the intake hose). It can be a little tricky to manage when you’re handling an above ground pool, so be careful.

There are also different ways to siphon pool water from a pool. The most common option is to use a hose and faucet. A hose with a wide diameter is often a good choice if you’re removing a large amount of water from a location. Before you start experimenting with drainage options, however, you might wonder why you’re draining your pool in the first place.

The most common reason to drain a home pool is that you want to replace the pool liner. If you have a leak or a tear in the pool liner, quickly replacing it will be essential. There’s no way around draining the water in this case. Other reasons to drain a pool include:

  • To add freshwater: If you look after your pool chemicals and PH levels properly, you shouldn’t have to replace the water fully very often. However, you may decide that you want to start from scratch every once in a while. This can help to remove any underlying bacteria or other issues in the water.
  • To replace your pool: If you’re investing in a new pool, not just a new pool liner, then you’ll need to empty the water before you can move the pool.
  • To update your pool chemistry: Issues like chlorine lock are often very problematic for people who own a pool. When chlorine locksets in, you can’t just add more chemicals. Sometimes, the more chemicals you add to the water, the worse the problem often becomes. Fully replacing the water will be the only way forward.

How to Drain a Pool Above Ground

Draining an above ground pool can be a little tougher than draining an in-ground pool because of the water level. Generally, you’ll have two options when addressing the pool water here. You can use a pump designed for the job or quickly siphon the water with your garden hose. Siphoning the water with a garden hose is a lot faster than using a pump. However, you might need to consider using a pump for the last little bit of the water that the end of the hose can’t reach.

Siphoning a pool is much faster than using a standard drain valve or pump. You can get rid of the chemical imbalance in your pool quickly and start filling it back up again much faster. If you’re only draining some of the water to address a chemical imbalance, you don’t even need to use the pool pump at the end to remove the last bit of water.

Before you begin to drain your pool, remember to figure out where the water will go. The draining process can move quite quickly. If there’s not enough space in your drain, then you’ll need another way to get rid of the water. There may be some guidelines on how you can safely pump water out of your pool. Check with local guidelines before you begin the following steps.

It’s also worth thinking about the kind of pool care you do regularly. If you add chemicals as well as using a pool filter, you don’t want the stuff from the chemical water getting into your grass and killing your plants. Storm drains are usually the best option to get rid of a significant level of water quickly. However, you may need to wait until a point when the weather is right.

If there’s been a lot of rainfall before you start draining your pool, you risk overflowing the storm drains in your area.

How Do You Start a Siphon With a Garden Hose?

Starting a siphon with a garden hose is often the most complex part for many people and the reason why people use a submersible pump or utility pump for the process instead. Fortunately, once you’ve got the hang of this process, you should be able to do it pretty easily every time you drain your pool.

To siphon your pool, you can either cut a few feet off either end of a garden hose or use your entire hose. A hose around 6 to 8 feet long is usually enough for this draining method. However, pool owners with bigger pools might need more equipment.

The most common way to start the water draining is to simply position the siphon tube with one end in the pool and the other outside of the pool. You can use a weight to keep the end of the hose in the water. Ensure that the end where the water comes out is lower than the pool water level. You can suck on the end of the hose to start the water moving.

Remember to be careful not to get pool water into your mouth if you use the manual suction method, and ensure your garden hose is as clean as possible. You don’t need to rely entirely on your mouth, however, as it’s also possible to siphon from a pool with immersion, a drain valve, and various other strategies.

An immersion strategy is a good option for pool water when you don’t want to rely on sucking the end of a garden hose.

This siphoning process is simple enough. Immerse the entire hose in some water, then cover one end of the hose with your hand and quickly pull it out of the pool, pointing down below the water level. If you don’t cut the hose, you may need to attach the hose to your spigot and fill it with water.

Draining Water Level With Two Hoses

Another option is to use two hoses. Place one end of your hose in a container where your water will move out and the other end in your pool. Make sure that the hose doesn’t move as much as you can. Attach a shut-off valve to the bottom of the hose in the higher container, making sure that the valve is in the on position.

Next, attach your second hose, and screw one end onto the other mouth of the shut-off valve. Connect the remaining end of your second hose to a faucet. Double-check, all of your connections are properly secured. Fill the siphon hose by turning on your faucet until it begins to send water through both hoses.

Watch to see when the first hose is filled, then turn the shut-off valve into the off position. You can then disconnect the hose from both the valve and faucet to leave you with one hose full of water and connected to both the pool and container.

Open the valve, and then the water should rush out of the hose and into the final container or the storm drain if you prefer to use that. It could be an option if you need to deal with damage to a larger pool and you want to save some time. Wait until the air bubbles overwhelm the stream of water before you begin using a pump.

Draining Your Pool Water

Now you’re ready to simply drain the remainder of your pool water. You can drain the pool quite quickly following the steps above. If you’re using the severed hose siphon, remove your hand once you’ve let the unsubmerged end of your garden hoses fall to the ground. The immersion should be enough to generate movement in the water. There are various guidelines online for how to use garden hoses and other equipment to remove all the water from your pool without wrecking your yard. Waiting until the weather is right is crucial to reduce the risk here.

Although the siphoning method should drain the pool very quickly, some people will find that this only works to a certain level. If you have a bigger pool, then you may need to use another method to take some of the remaining water out of the bottom of the pool when the siphoning stops.

Follow the steps above to use the siphoning method when the conditions are right, then around the time when the water begins to slow, you can think about using a pump instead. This is often a good idea if you’re removing all the water in the pool because it’s time for you to remove excess chemicals or time to replace your pool.

If you’re using an electric pump, choose one with a thermoplastic construction from a name brand you can trust. You may need to check cord length on the power cord to ensure it reaches your pool too. Remember, no matter what method you use, there’s a good chance that some water will end up going everywhere. You’ll need to be prepared for this before you start using your pool pump or siphoning strategy.

Of course, if there’s damage to your pool or pool pump, this could be causing quite a mess already.

Make the Most Of Your Pool

Once you’re done draining the water, you can remove the liner, add a new liner, or even get rid of the old pool. Alternatively, use a water pump to refill the pool if you want to drain your pool for chemical reasons.

Following the steps above should save you some time and effort when you need to get rid of a liner that’s taken damage or replace your pool. The quicker you repair the damage after siphoning the pool and replace the water, the faster you’ll be able to enjoy your yard again.

Did you find this article helpful? Do you have other tips for draining a pool using a garden hose? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment box below!

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