Draining pool using pump?


Apr 16, 2008
Northern California

Just moving into a property and need to drain the pool to lower the CYA level (up about 150!). The pressure side piping has a hose spigot installed. Is it acceptable to use the main pump (1hp) to drain the pool through this spigot? The skimmer valve looks like it maintains a decent seal when the water level drops below the skimmer inlet. Worried about damaging the pump motor or impeller though...



LifeTime Supporter
Apr 2, 2008
Acton Maine
Personally I usually just use regular hoses and create suction and use gravity doesn't cost anything except maybe a mouth full of water. When I need to drain for closing though I used a sump pump to expedite more quickly. The experts will have to speak to the pump harming issue.


LifeTime Supporter
Mar 12, 2008
Hatfield, PA
I regularly hook a garden hose up to this bib to drain off overflow from rain. No water will flow out of this though without closing up one of the two returns entirely and the other return about 3/4 of the way. My pressure will go up to about 12 psi or so and then the water will start flowing through the garden hose. If you really want to drain a lot of water and get it done quick, the waste line is the way to go.


LifeTime Supporter
Jul 25, 2007
Alamo, CA
To drop the CYA in my pool, I connected a hose to that waste port and ran the pump. But, I also had another hose running fresh water into the shallow end of the pool at the same rate such that the pool's level didn't change. I likely wasted quite a bit of water, but I was concerned about sucking air into the pump and/or having the pool pop up out of the ground.


LifeTime Supporter
Platinum Supporter
TFP Expert
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
If you have a main drain and can turn off the skimmer and open the main drain line all the way then it is fine to use the main pump to drain the pool.

Keep in mind that unless you know the water table is below the bottom of the pool it can be dangerous to drain the pool completely.
Oct 12, 2007
I drained half the water in my pool this weekend. I thought my CYA was up over 160ppm but it was really only at about 100ppm, so I drained half of it. I rented a 4000gph pump from Home Depot for $36/day (or $24 for 4hrs). Took slightly under two hours, and they gave me two 50 foot lengths of hose to reach my sewer cut-out (draining your pool into the street is not allowed and water company hands out fines).