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Thread: Draining covered pool

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    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Greensboro, NC
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    Draining covered pool

    I've already closed my pool (for the first time - moved in mid-season). Before covering with mesh safety cover, drained several inches below skimmer. We have already had enough rain that water level is back above skimmer lip. What is the best way to drain it back down now? Seems like my options are to pry off a corner of safety cover and start a siphon, or buy/rent some kind of external electric pump and thread the intake tube through skimmer into pool. Is there any other good option that I'm missing?

    I'm in Greensboro, NC.

    Thanks for the advice.

    - Steve
    16x32 vinyl IGP, approx. 20,000 gallons. Sand filter. Pump. Water. TF-100.

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    Re: Draining covered pool

    If you have a liner pool, don't bother.

    If you pool has waterline tile, then set a pump on the 1st step or, if you have one, on the step at the deep end swimm out. That step is usually a couple inches lower.

    I often suggest to my customers that they use an automatic pump. I recommend the Little Giant APCP500 . Run the hose's discharge away from the pool , the house and any walkways and driveways.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Draining covered pool

    Are you saying that in a vinyl liner pool, you don't have to lower the water level below skimmer when closing? I thought that was gospel.
    16x32 vinyl IGP, approx. 20,000 gallons. Sand filter. Pump. Water. TF-100.

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    Re: Draining covered pool

    Stever, welcome to TFP!!

    I can't speak for Scott, so I'll speak only from my own experience

    How far you drain a pool depends on a few things - 1) how much rain/ snow you can reasonably expect while the pool is closed, 2) how high the water table is around your pool (and how well your yard drains) and 3) the material your pool is made of (i.e., like Scott mentioned, if you have tile at the waterline, the ice could well pop it off). (there are probably others that I haven't mentioned)

    Depending on your combination of these, 'how far to lower' any given pool changes. This is why it's important to know your pool and winterize accordingly
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: Draining covered pool

    Ted, focusing on your first factor -- With a vinyl liner pool, in a perfect world, is the goal to drain far enough that waterline stays below skimmer all the time, or is the goal to drain enough that pool won't overflow at some point?
    16x32 vinyl IGP, approx. 20,000 gallons. Sand filter. Pump. Water. TF-100.

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    Re: Draining covered pool

    With a vinyl pool and no tile, just keep it a little lower than you would normally in the summer. In your location, you wont have much of a snow load. I keep my water level between 12 and 15 inches below the top of the pool. But i get a big snow load in Massachusetts (4 feet at one point last year). I pumped out about 6 to 7 inches of water last week to get it back down to 12 inches. Once it freezes in January, I cant pump water out until March. I have a little giant pump, but its not automatic. You cant use them up here, they will freeze solid.
    Dont over think it. If it looks like it's getting too full, pump a little out. Worse comes to worse, a little excess water will run out the skimmer body. I have to watch mine a little closer because of the potential snow load, but in your case, it's not that critical.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Draining covered pool

    Let it get full. The extension collar used over the skimmer body is not glues. Water will slowly seep down. You want as much water in there as possible! When the Spring rains come, the water table will rise. If the water table gets more than an inch above the pool water's level, the liner will float and may not settle where it was originally set, causing wrinkles and stress in the liner.

    Use a skimmer gizmo to protect the skimmer from ice expansion. It also seals the skimmer's suction port. I use the blow through variety, either Alden Leeds or Ultra Gizmo for in ground pools.

    For above ground pools, I either use a stainless plate with a gasket or drain it below the skimmer and leave the skimmer's hose on but pointed away from the pool.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Draining covered pool

    I drain mine a few times over the winter because I have high TA fill water. I want as much rain water in the pool as possible.

    I just pick a warm day and put a hose in the skimmer all the way to the bottom, turn it on and let the hose fill, unhook from the faucet and let it siphon out. It will automatically stop when the water level in the pool gets to the bottom of the skimmer mouth. If you don't have a down slope to make the siphon work, you could do the same thing with a pump.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Draining covered pool

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    Let it get full. The extension collar used over the skimmer body is not glues. Water will slowly seep down. You want as much water in there as possible!
    I cant agree with this at all. You dont want water "seeping" anywhere, especially under the deck. If you cant lower the water level to just below or right at the bottom of the skimmer because of the water table, then you probably have a well point anyway, or should have one. Like i said before, dont over think it. But you definately do not want the pool to just "fill up". But it's thats my opinion
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Draining covered pool

    Then we'll have to agree that we disagree.

    Skimmers should be backfilled with either washed in sand or 3/8" gravel for either F/G or liner pools so that the seepage that does come out, doesn't wash away what's under the decking, but rather simply drains away. There should also be a layer of gravel under the decking to allow for drainage, plus any extra drainage in place for run off and splash out. This is how most of the PBs in my area work.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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