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Thread: Can you empty pool using the pumps?

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    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Can you empty pool using the pumps?

    Hi,

    I have 2 Jandy Steath SHPF 1.0 Hp pumps for a 12x30 IG plaster pool that has in floor cleaning heads.

    I need to do a partial pool emptying. (CH is way too high.) Is there a way to empty below the skimmer line using the pumps, (or anything else I may have on-hand), or is the only choice to purchase a sump pump? I thought perhaps there was a way to make it pull water just from the in floor heads, but don't see anything regarding that in the manufacturer's instructions.

    (If I absolutely have to buy a sump pump, do you have any recommendations?)

    TIA.
    Built 3/08: 12x30 IG gunite/plaster play pool w/ in floor cleaning heads & auto water leveler, (10,584 gal), two Jandy Stealth SHPF 1.0 hp pumps, Jandy CL460 cartridge filter, Taylor K-2005 test kit.

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    Re: Can you empty pool using the pumps?

    I'd check a rental store for a sump pump. Can't answer your other question but I doubt it.
    Garden Leisure Voyager 12x24 AGP, 7500 Gallons, Hayward Power Flo Matrix 1 HP pump, dual speed, Hayward XStream Cartridge Filter, 120 GPM,

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Can you empty pool using the pumps?

    The floor heads are on the return side, they push water out, not draw it in, unfortunately.

    If you have a manual vacuum cleaner you can try putting the hose directly into the skimmer pipe. If you have a snug fit you should be able to leave the vacuum head at the bottom of the pool, however you would still need to divert the water out of the pool, which would involve rigging up a backwash hose to the return.

    The another way would be to open the drain on the bottom of the filter and attach a garden hose to direct the water away from the pool. Run the pump for a minute then turn it off. That should start siphoning the water out of the pool. (this is still using the manual vacuum on the bottom of the pool)

    The easiest thing to do would be to go rent a pump from the hardware store, and consider plumbing in a waste line so you don't have to go through this again! Good luck!
    TFP Moderator
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  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Can you empty pool using the pumps?

    Thank you for your prompt replies.

    My first thought while reading your post was, "Like a Hoover"? LOL! No, I don't have a manual vacuum.

    Excellent point re renting a pump vs. buying one. I hadn't thought of that and sure don't want to spend the $ to purchase one.

    Thanks!
    Built 3/08: 12x30 IG gunite/plaster play pool w/ in floor cleaning heads & auto water leveler, (10,584 gal), two Jandy Stealth SHPF 1.0 hp pumps, Jandy CL460 cartridge filter, Taylor K-2005 test kit.

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    Re: Can you empty pool using the pumps?

    harbor freight sells a bunch of different water/submersible pumps i less than 100 bucks don't run it flat out and give it some breaks and it bay last awhile too!! (yes there cheap!!)

    http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsea ... water+pump
    24' Round 54" Impulse Ovation AGP, 1.5 HP 2 Spd, 150 Sq Ft. Cartridge Filter, RayPak 130K BTU NG Heater, BBB in full effect!!
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Can you empty pool using the pumps?

    You can usually use the main pump and a main drain, or a vacuum hose to drain the pool at least several feet, though not always all the way to the bottom. You need to be able to route water to waste, which cartridge filters often can't do. If you have a main drain, you need to be able to switch suction to just the main drain. If you don't have a main drain, you need to either be able to switch suction to a single skimmer, or only have one skimmer to begin with. When using a vacuum hose with the skimmer it helps greatly to have a cover pump pumping water into the skimmer so no air gets in around the vacuum hose. Even a small amount of air will cause you to lose prime early.

    When trying this, it is crucial that you do not stop the pump in the middle. Once the water level is down a bit you will not be able to maintain or reestablish prime with the pump off. It is also a good idea to keep a fairly close eye on things. If the pump loses prime you need to turn it off before it overheats (you have at least several minutes, and it might shut off on it's own if you have prime protection).

    On the other hand, you can easily rent a pump that will drain water much more quickly than the pool pump can.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Can you empty pool using the pumps?

    I have done preceisely that, but my cartridge filter is set up in a way that allows me to route water to waste. As Jason said, many, if not most cartridge filter systems are not set up to do that. If yours is, you are lucky.

    The way I did it was I shut the skimmers off and routed the valves as such that they would pull water from the main drain in the floor. Then, I routed the return to my "waste" line instead of to the eyeball returns and waterfall. In doing so, I was able to empty my pool in about 30 minutes.

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    Johnl's Avatar
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    Re: Can you empty pool using the pumps?

    I did the same thing as Mode Squad. I shut off the skimmers and only pulled water out of the main drain and used the waste setting to pump the return water out. I do that each year when I close the pool and haven't had a problem yet.
    23K Gunite IG Pool
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    Re: Can you empty pool using the pumps?

    To follow up on the little saga...

    I was unable to pull water just from the main drain. *sigh*

    Nobody nearby had a sump pump to rent that would do the job and after reading the online reviews before making a purchase, I was sadly unimpressed. The less expensive models ($150 and under) seemed to work well once and then numerous people had impeller problems, leaky seals, etc. and everyone who used them more than once gave a negative review. (Of course, satisfied customers wouldn't be the ones to get online and "complain", but there were a lot of negative reviews for each pump nonetheless.)

    I opted to try it the cheap but painfully time consuming way first, because I really, really didn't want to spend the $ for a decent sump pump.

    I pumped down to the skimmer line, added water, recirculated the new water with the old and did it over and over and over again. (Thank goodness it was a gorgeous day yesterday, or else I wouldn't have had the patience to sit outside and babysit pumping down to the skimmer so many times.) I lost track of how many times I performed this process, but started at dawn and stopped at dusk.

    The final result was it brought the CH down from 810 to 550 ppm. (It also lowered the TDS from 4300 to 2400.) I'm doing another couple of "rounds" tonight and then again tomorrow night. (I only have nights & weekends available.) Then I should be good to go and get everything else leveled out.

    Thank you all for your great replies, (as always)!
    Built 3/08: 12x30 IG gunite/plaster play pool w/ in floor cleaning heads & auto water leveler, (10,584 gal), two Jandy Stealth SHPF 1.0 hp pumps, Jandy CL460 cartridge filter, Taylor K-2005 test kit.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Can you empty pool using the pumps?

    Glad it is working for you!
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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