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Thread: Stupid question of the day: How to drain below skimmer

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    Stupid question of the day: How to drain below skimmer

    Ok - I am sure there is a very simple answer to this, especially since I didn't find the answer by searching.

    How do I drain my above ground pool 6 inches below the skimmer? I can't do it by backwashing since once the water is below the skimmer water won't be running through the filter.

    Thanks.

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    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Gloucester County, NJ
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    Re: Stupid question of the day: How to drain below skimmer

    how about putting your vacuum hose in the water (connected to your skimmer, of course) and then running your filter in backwash mode?
    28,000 gallon gunite/white plaster with 30ft RBB and 2ft sheer descent, 100 sq ft thermaledge, 50sq ft spa w/ 6 jets
    2HP Jandy pump, 60sq ft Jandy DE filter, 400,000 BTU Jandy LX Nat Gas Heater, 2 Jandy color lights + Jandy color spa light, Jandy Aqualink RS6, Jandy AquaPure 1400

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    Re: Stupid question of the day: How to drain below skimmer

    Welcome to TFP!!

    If 'waste' is an option, I'd use that over 'backwash'. The reason is obvious -- any debris that gets sucked in won't end up where debris doesn't belong in the filter (... and I am partial to 'waste' :P )

    Using the vacuum method is a good way to get below the skimmer if that's the only suction source, but it may try to draw air if it's not completely sealed. However, you can either pump some pool water into the skimmer to prevent this or have the garden hose trickle into the skimmer to keep the line free from air and preserve the prime on the pump

    Hope to see you here next season

    BTW - there's no such thing as a STUPID question! no one is born knowing this stuff and if you don't ask, how are you supposed to find out?
    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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    Guest

    Re: Stupid question of the day: How to drain below skimmer

    Just throw a hose or two into your pool and briefly suck on the end of each to start a siphon.

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    sammm's Avatar
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    Re: Stupid question of the day: How to drain below skimmer

    I have a small (1/4 HP) sump-pump that I used to use to drain our hot tub. Works great!
    WetEdge Satin Matrix, 16K gallon, Pentair NSP-60 DE filter, Pac Fab Challenger, 2HP pump, BBB, Polaris 360

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    Re: Stupid question of the day: How to drain below skimmer

    Thank you for the help. As to the utility pump suggestion, I have one but was worried the suction might be bad for the liner. I am unnecessarily worrying?

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    Re: Stupid question of the day: How to drain below skimmer

    Some shop vacs have the ability to pump water out through a hose. Put one end in the pool, the other end out and turn it on till you get the right level.
    25,000 gallon freeform inground gunite pool with 12" raised spa. 3.5'- 6.4' deep.
    2 skimmers, 6 returns and bubbler on sunshelf.
    Jandy 1.5 hp pump, Jandy valves, Jandy CL340 cart filter, Jandy Aquapure 1400 SWG, Polaris 280 w booster, Jandy LXI 4000 heater.
    White plaster, flagstone coping, custom tan tiles with decos on raised spa.
    Pentair lights.
    650 sq ft concrete deck.

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    Re: Stupid question of the day: How to drain below skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by curt222
    Thank you for the help. As to the utility pump suggestion, I have one but was worried the suction might be bad for the liner. I am unnecessarily worrying?
    Be sure the grate on the bottom is in place and doesn't have any holes in it!!!! I've seen liners get sucked up into the impellers and torn , but other than that they work well - or you can tie a rope to the handle and keep it up off the liner

    HTH
    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: Stupid question of the day: How to drain below skimmer

    I had the issue of low salt reading that ended up being due to a failing cell. When we got the new cell the salt level was 2000 points high. We drained using the backwash to the skimmer level. Then bought a battery operated sump pump which was a waste of money. We even used buckets to bail water. Finally we tried an old fashioned siphon using a garden hose and it worked great and was free! Here's how:

    1. Find the area around your pool that is flat or goes down hill. This will not work up hill but should work flat.
    2. With one person holding one end of the hose up, have a second person fill the hose at a spigot until water comes out the other end.
    3. Each person continues holding the ends of the hose up. One person takes one end on the hose to the pool and puts it in the water while the other person is still holding the opposite end up.
    4. Once one end is in the pool, the other end is laid on the ground. Water should start coming out, if not you may need to suck slightly on the end of the hose. Voila! You have a homemade pump that works better than one at the store.

    Ours drained about 6 inches in 24 hours. Slow yes, but works great! We added another hose to speed up the process after a day. Be careful where you have the hose pointing so you do not flood an area.

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    Re: Stupid question of the day: How to drain below skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by smuggs
    how about putting your vacuum hose in the water (connected to your skimmer, of course) and then running your filter in backwash mode?
    Does this actually work..? I'm assuming the suction would keep the hose from being disconnected. That along with using a rope to keep the hose off the floor sounds like a much easier way than using my transfer pump for 12 hours.

    Using hoses to siphon is very slow, but also a great technique.
    Aaron
    [ Vogue Vectra 24' AG | Hard plumb: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 1HP 2-speed, 27" sand filter & Pentair MiniMax 100 NG | Taylor K-2006 | Central IL ]
    Powered by: TFP, PoolMath & TFTestkits

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Stupid question of the day: How to drain below skimmer

    Just siphon with the vacuum hose. Attach it to the vacuum head for weight, feed it down slowly to let it fill, cap it with your hand, and quickly haul it out and over and below the water level inside.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Stupid question of the day: How to drain below skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    Just siphon with the vacuum hose. Attach it to the vacuum head for weight, feed it down slowly to let it fill, cap it with your hand, and quickly haul it out and over and below the water level inside.
    I don't have a sand filter with a waste option so I just remove my cartridge , disconnect the hose to the heater, put that out in the yard and let the pump go, meanwhile I connect a longer hose from the return jet and let that help lower it faster, eventually shutting off the pump as no more water is flowing.

    Then I do what Richard said and put my vacuum hose in the pool and siphon out the rest once the water is below the return jet.

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    Re: Stupid question of the day: How to drain below skimmer

    If you want to use a utility pump, just rig something to get it off the floor. I used a "milk crate" that I turned upside down and put the pump on top of it. That way no damage to the pool surface. Anything you could right that had holes in it would work. Heck you could put the pump in a 5 gallon bucket and lower the entire bucket in the water...the pump is in the bucket and there is plenty of flow into the top of the bucket.
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

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    Re: Stupid question of the day: How to drain below skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by toofast
    If you want to use a utility pump, just rig something to get it off the floor. I used a "milk crate" that I turned upside down and put the pump on top of it. That way no damage to the pool surface. Anything you could right that had holes in it would work. Heck you could put the pump in a 5 gallon bucket and lower the entire bucket in the water...the pump is in the bucket and there is plenty of flow into the top of the bucket.
    Good suggestion 5 years later :P but maybe he is still trying to drain the pool
    29,000 FreeForm Gunite Salt Water Pool with attached Hot Tub, Jandy DE60 Filter, Jandy Lite2 Heater, Polaris Vac Sweep 380.

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    Re: Stupid question of the day: How to drain below skimmer

    I just realized a few minutes ago that I could "automate" my partial drain during closing by using a pvc attachment (I made) on the return that would be about 2-3" lower and set the multi port on bypass to waste and let it drain overnight. This will definitely make things easier. Or I can always look in to the Aquador.
    Aaron
    [ Vogue Vectra 24' AG | Hard plumb: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 1HP 2-speed, 27" sand filter & Pentair MiniMax 100 NG | Taylor K-2006 | Central IL ]
    Powered by: TFP, PoolMath & TFTestkits

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