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Thread: How to safely drain a pool?

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    How to safely drain a pool?

    My house and pool flooded on August 12th. This killed my pump of course. Here it is now Sept 17th. The water is black as night and has been sitting now for over a month and counting. I have replaced the pool pump, but since I have a cartridge filter I think I may be best off to drain the pool and refill it instead of trying to filter and chemical it clean.

    The fear of course is that the pool could be damaged by draining it.

    One guy is telling me no worries on the water table. It "should be down by now" plus he says his insurance would cover any damage. He says no need to do anything special, just drain the water out.

    Another guy says he would drill holes in the bottom of the pool as it drains starting at the shallow end and more towards the deep end as it is being drained allowing ground water to enter the pool while it is being drained and that is the way to be certain you won't have a problem. After the pool is drained he would fill the holes. I do wonder though how this will look on my pool floor and how well these "filled" holes would hold up over time.

    Any ideas on these two opinions?

    Is there a surefire way to know I can drain the pool without it being damaged? If so, I would just drain it myself.

    Thanks in advance for all of the great advice.

    Darren
    Darren - South Louisiana
    Installed Feb 2009, 34k gal, IG Gunite, Cartridge Filter
    1.5 HP Hayward 2 speed pump
    SWG, SmartPure Ozone Generator
    Tiger Shark cleaner

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: How to safely drain a pool?

    There is NO way I would drain all of the way! You are in Louisiana! The home of LOTS of water!

    I would NOT punch holes in the bottom of your pool........ugly. How will they ever match the old plaster?

    IF you want to drain down some you can. Make sure to leave one foot of water in the shallow end. You can rent a pump to drain it or you can get a cheap one at Harbor Freight.

    Before you drain stock up on chlorine/bleach (same stuff just different %). Have at least 20 gals to start.

    Do you have a test kit? If so please add it to your siggy. If not look in my siggy for the one I think is the best bang for the buck. With you clearing a pool you should also get the XL so you will have enough regents to do the SLAM.

    We are here and ready to help you no matter what you end up doing.

    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: How to safely drain a pool?

    If I were you, I would call the county agriculture extension. Those guys have much better info on local water tables than anyone does.

    I've seen quite a few videos on YouTube about drilling holes in plaster pools because of hydrostatic pressure. If done with a core drill and careful attention to repair, its not ugly, but it doesnt exactly match.

    If you decide not to drain, then replacing 1/2 the volume at a time - 2 or 3 times could help get you to a place where doing a slam might not be all that bad.
    It might cost a bit of money for the water bill (probably the equivelent of 2 or 3 complete refills), but that might be better than than any other alternatives offered.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: How to safely drain a pool?

    I don't think Home Owners insurance would pay if you floated the pool. Just an FYI.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
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    Re: How to safely drain a pool?

    Do you know whether you already have a hydrostatic valve under the main drain cover to allow ground water to equalize?
    16X32 AB, Pentair SD filter, 3/4hp Pentair Optiflo, CircuPool RJ30+ swg, TF 100

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    Re: How to safely drain a pool?

    I believe that I do have hydro static valves in the bottom of the pool. I believe this only because there are 3 drain covers down there. I presume only one is the actual drain and the other 2 are hydro valves? However, many people say that they can fail to open if they have never been opened before. The pool is about 8 - 9 years old.
    Darren - South Louisiana
    Installed Feb 2009, 34k gal, IG Gunite, Cartridge Filter
    1.5 HP Hayward 2 speed pump
    SWG, SmartPure Ozone Generator
    Tiger Shark cleaner

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    Re: How to safely drain a pool?

    True. I am sure homeowners would not pay. The contractor who said his insurance would cover if it floated was talking about his business liability insurance.
    Darren - South Louisiana
    Installed Feb 2009, 34k gal, IG Gunite, Cartridge Filter
    1.5 HP Hayward 2 speed pump
    SWG, SmartPure Ozone Generator
    Tiger Shark cleaner

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    Re: How to safely drain a pool?

    I wouldn't rely on liability insurance covering damage to the pool. My policy is already insanely high and I can't imagine what verbiage like that would add to the premium.
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: How to safely drain a pool?

    It is likely that two of the covers are for the main drain and the other is for a hydrostatic valve. Dive down and remove the covers to see what is under the covers.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: How to safely drain a pool?

    how deep is your deep end? When I drained my pool I could not find anyone that had any knowledge on the water table. I bought a post digger from Home Depot and dug down to the depth of my deep end, which is 5' 6". Lucky for me I have a small retaining wall which is about a 1' 6" high so I actually only had to dig about 4'. I let the hole sit overnight to see if it would fill up with any water. The next day it was still dry so I drained to the street and monitored the hole just to be sure. If you do drain, do no drain it to your yard.
    25,000 gallon in ground white plaster- 1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump - 60 sqft FNS DE filter (with FiberClear), 1999 Sundance Optima 850 hot tub.
    Manassas Park, VA

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: How to safely drain a pool?

    TFP Moderator
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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