Draining in wet northern California

joshearl

Well-known member
Apr 5, 2011
61
Northern California
#1
Attempting to get my pool in order. It's very dirty (although I have bleached it back from worse) and draining it at least half way would be a fast way to get a jumpstart on spring. My concern is the water table right now. With all the rain we've been getting in Northern California I'm concerned about a high water table, and if this pool floats upon draining there's no way I'd be able to fix it.

Should I just skip draining all together?

Wait for a bit warmer weather?

How concerned about floating should I be and what are my realistic options?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
#2
The water table in your area should be a strong concern. What would help us is to know why are you draining? Did you experience overflow/flooding into the pool (dirt)? Were there some other chemical concerns (high CYA or CH)? You certainly don't want to jeopardize the shell of the pool. Besides water clarity, a full set of test results from your TF-100 or Taylor K-2006C may help us give you some advise on how best to proceed.
 

joshearl

Well-known member
Apr 5, 2011
61
Northern California
#3
I suppose the main reason is to get to get better leverage for debris/leaf scraping out of the deep end. Using the vacuum in the past has taken forever, as it clogs up quickly. Was just trying to get the pool back to clean as fast as possible! I haven't even taken a full reading yet, but if it's anything like the years past I should be able to get the levels back in order quickly. The CYA has never risen too high on me. When I've tried to bring this one back just by shock, it's taken a ton of liquid chlorine, which would cost more than a sump pump rental and the water bill to refill.
 

LI poolguy

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 16, 2013
184
Long Island, NY
#4
Maybe pull the grids out of the filter, then vacuum with the backwash valve open, while having the garden hose on. You'll be draining, cleaning and re-filling at the same time.
 

joshearl

Well-known member
Apr 5, 2011
61
Northern California
#5
I've never considered this option before! My hose wouldn't be able to keep up withe the rate of expelling water. Anything to watch out for if I give this a shot? Also, won't this clog up the other little filter? I may have to take a picture as I'm not sure what it's called.
 

LI poolguy

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 16, 2013
184
Long Island, NY
#6

jmastron

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2014
254
Sacramento, CA
#8
Why not just use a leaf rake? You can clear out a pool in less than an hour.
I'll second that -- our Polaris 280 does a good job cleaning up in general, but when the late fall leaves fall in bulk, or after some of the crazy NorCal windstorms we've had, it fills up too quickly; similar to the vacuum problem. In 20-30 minutes I can scoop out the bulk piles (I don't worry about getting every leaf), and then the Polaris cleans up the rest.

The key is a cheapie rake like this: Economy Deep Leaf Rake on a pole long enough to reach to the opposite side bottom of the deep end. I drop it down at the far side and drag it back across. The fancier leaf rakes with the scooped fronts don't work as well for dragging across the bottom.
 

jmastron

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2014
254
Sacramento, CA
#10
These just never seems to do the trick with the depth of my pool. It goes down to about 10ft so I lose a lot of leverage, and if I extend the pole to reach the other side it makes it even worse.
Following on post above -- what kind of leaf rake are you using and what length pole? My pool is ~16 feet wide and 8' deep, so a 20' long pole reaches the far edge. I just drop the rake upside down to the far corner and slowly pull it back, letting it drag along the bottom pulling in leaves as it comes toward me. It doesn't get every last leaf and piece of debris, but I get enough that the Polaris can clean up the rest emptying the bag once or twice, and should cut down on the vacuum clogging in your case.

The key is a rake with a deep net (not one of those tennis racket looking ones), a coarser mesh that lets water flow through easily (the fine filter ones are too hard to push/pull through), and a thin lip on the front (not a scoop designed to be pushed across the surface).
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,174
Pleasanton, CA
#11
josh, does your leaf rake look something like this:



I push mine forward to collect the leaves and when you pull back, the bag flips to seal it so nothing comes out. It really doesn't require any leverage. Just push and then pull.

This video shows the technique:
 

jmastron

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2014
254
Sacramento, CA
#12
josh, does your leaf rake look something like this:



I push mine forward to collect the leaves and when you pull back, the bag flips to seal it so nothing comes out. It really doesn't require any leverage. Just push and then pull.
Yes, basically, although mine has a metal lip. I find it easier to pull it backward (with the mouth facing down, and the bag up behind it) than to push forward, especially when it's farther from me and at a shallower angle, because the leaves float up into the bag in the disturbed water instead of up and beyond it. And the bag doesn't get as torn up from dragging on the bottom. I'm not trying to scrape every bit of debris off the bottom, just to pull out the bulk of the pile so the Polaris can do it's magic.

But I do a lot of things weirdly (you should see me bowl :eek:), so I'm sure there are other ways that work well too. I agree that it doesn't need much leverage with either of these techniques.