How To Drain An Above Ground Pool

Written by Michael Dean
February 14, 2024

draining an above ground pool

Draining an above ground pool is not one of a part of your typical maintenance routine. This is why it is important to do it correctly when it needs to be done.

In this article, I have compiled everything you need to know as a pool owner on how to properly drain your above ground pool with ease, what supplies you will need, and what methods you should use.

Main Takeaways

  • Some reasons to drain an above ground pool include: moving the pool to a new location, a really dirty liner, maintenance issues, storing the pool over the winter, or replacing the pool liner.
  • To drain an above ground pool, you can either use a pump or a hose siphon.
  • If you want to drain the pool directly into your yard, make sure the pH is neutral and the ground is level and double-check your local regulations.

Reasons to Drain an Above Ground Pool

I’ve spent all that time and money filling the pool, so why on earth would I want to drain it? Some causes for draining the swimming pool include: moving the pool to a new location, excessively dirty liners, maintenance issues, or replacing pool liners that are torn or damaged.

Another common reason people drain their above ground pools is to store them away during the icy winter months (especially for brands like Intex), as frozen water can damage pool motors and liners. You can winterize the pool and keep it up during the winter months, but some pool owners choose to take it down instead.

If the pool water becomes murky due to improper chemical balance, it is sometimes easier to just drain the water and start again. If that’s the case for you, head over to my article on how to clean your drained above ground pool.

Step-By-Step Guide: How to Drain an Above Ground Pool

You can use two methods when draining your pool, both equally effective and easy to do. I will outline and explain both ways so you can decide what works best for you.

Option 1: Using A Pump To Drain Water

Supplies needed:

  • Water pump
  • Wet vacuum or broom
  • Pump hose

Step one: Make a plan for where to drain the water

The first action is essentially just ensuring you know where you’re draining the water, so you can avoid damaging the pool’s surroundings. Some people drain the water directly into their sewer, or if your pH level is neutral, you can drain it in the garden.

Step two: Submerge the intake hose

To begin the process of draining, you should unroll the pool pump’s intake hose. Once completely unrolled, submerge the entire hose into the pool water. Place the hose in the center of the pool for faster results.

Step three: Connect the outtake hose

The outtake hose, which is connected to the other end of the pool water pump, needs to be connected and placed in the desired area you want the water to drain to. Remember that the ground should be level to avoid flooding or seeping into your neighbor’s yard.

Step four: Turn on the pump

Dry your hands and turn the pump on. The water should make its way through the drainage hose.

Step five: Check water levels

Now that your pump is turned on, wait a couple of minutes and observe that the pump is working correctly and the water drains properly. When all is in order, you may step away as the pool drains, which can take up to several hours.

Step six: Check on the progress

It is a good idea to check up on the draining process. This way, you can avoid any accidental flooding or pump malfunctions. Never leave the pool unattended for long periods while it is draining.

Step seven: Turn off the pump

Your pool pump is ready to be turned off when water no longer flows out of the outtake hose and the water level remains stagnant. There will be about 6-12 inches of water remaining; this will need to be manually removed.

Step eight: Remove the remaining water

The last 6-12 inches of water can be removed using a wet vacuum, removing the pool lining and flipping it over to remove the water, or you could simply use a broom to sweep out the remaining water into the pool drain.

Option 2: Using a Hose Siphon to Drain Water

Supplies needed:

  • Garden hose/s
  • Broom

Step one: Submerge the hose

Depending on the size of your pool and how quickly you want your pool to drain, unroll and submerge all the hoses you own into the pool water. Make sure they are all completely submerged. These don’t have to be fancy specialized hoses; a simple garden hose will work.

Step two: Remove the end of the hose(s)

You will now need to remove one end from each hose and place them directly into the sewer line or outside in an area that will not flood.

Step three: Start the siphon process

The siphon process will start independently with one end of the hose submerged and the other outside. There is no need to use your mouth. Before leaving the pool to drain, check and ensure the pool water is draining.

Step four: Check on the progress

The pool water will take much longer to drain using this method than a pump, but you still need to check the progress frequently. This will help prevent any accidental flooding.

Step five: Remove the hose

When the water level becomes stagnant, remove the hose from the pool.

Step six: Remove the remaining water

The hose siphon will not be able to remove all of the water. There should be around 12 inches of water left. You can remove the rest by sweeping it into a drain, opening a drain plug, or removing the pool liner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I drain my above ground pool into my yard?

Pool water from your above ground pool can be drained into your yard. However, there are a couple of things to note before draining the water.

pH level: Pools can be drained into your yard as long as the water is chemically neutral. Water with a high pH level can harm your plants and the surrounding environment.

Level ground: I recommend that your yard be level before draining to absorb the water into the soil without flooding.

Local regulations: Some cities state that pool water can only be drained into the yard as long as it does not run or seep through the neighbor’s yard. Always check your local regulations.

How do I drain my above ground pool without a pump?

Draining an above ground pool without a pump is easy and doable. It may not be as fast as a pump, but it is undoubtedly cheaper. You can use the hose siphon method to drain your pool without a pump.

How do you drain a pool with a garden hose?

Draining your above ground pool using a garden hose is super easy. A handy tip is to use multiple hoses to increase draining time. I have outlined a detailed step-by-step guide in this article, but simply submerge the hose into the water. Remove one end and place it outside the pool, and then the siphon process will start on its own. It’s as easy as that.

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Bottom Line

Draining your above ground pool doesn’t have to be an overly expensive and complicated task. There’s no need for fancy tools: a garden hose and broom can go a long way! Both the pool pump method and simple garden hose method are excellent choices, and your pool will be drained in no time without the time or expense of using a professional.

So grab a lawn chair, relax, and soak up some rays while you wait for the water to drain. Just don’t leave your pool empty for too long!

If you want to learn more about above ground pools, check out my articles below.

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