Draining Pool without Power

PoolGate

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TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
5,445
Damascus, MD
Pool Size
29000
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Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Don't worry, all is well with me. My pool is fully winterized. But normally I keep the pool drained below the returns. I have just been so busy and we've had so much precipitation I haven't had a change to get to any of it this year. Not to mention the sump pump is down in the shed. Well I had an epiphany! My pool sits up on a hill and I have an old hose. Why not cut that hose, stick it in the water to the level I want drained, throw the other end down the hill, and start the siphon. Well it appears to be working! Siphon is going strong and I can totally ignore it as it will naturally stop where I put the end in the pool.

The pool is totally full basically to the top of the coping so I really want to get some water out.



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PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
5,445
Damascus, MD
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
It is slow slow slow though. It will be draining all night. Not like I have anywhere to go. Overnight forecast is down to 19 so probably it'll freeze and stop at some point. I'll start it again tomorrow if I can highs are only like 32.
 

PoolGate

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TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
5,445
Damascus, MD
Pool Size
29000
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Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
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Jandy Aquapure 1400
It is still running (the siphon) as of this morning but the level is coming close to my "set" point. I am actually surprised it did not freeze. Probably due to the running water and salinity. This is a slowly but surely method!

Water is down about a foot and well off the tile line, which is good.

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Last edited:

Apsuhead

Bronze Supporter
Apr 27, 2020
254
Clarksville TN
Pool Size
19250
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-9)
My new fiberglass pool install was complete in Dec. I didn’t hook up the equipment yet to keep the pipes dry during the winter. We had lots of rain and I have drained some water out of the pool using the old school hose a few times. I have a big drain behind my privacy fence in my yard that is lower than the pool. I run the hose back there and give it a good suck, then let it drain overnight. Been working like a charm 👍
 

Dirk

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TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
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Plaster
Chlorine
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SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Exactly how I first drained my pool down a foot to work on the tile!

Maybe for next time: the lower down the hill you can get the faster it'll drain. The way you have it humped over the fence and the loop all slow things down. Not a lot, but every bit counts. If you connected another hose and got even farther down the hill you'd see some improvement.

If you have an old 1-1/4" pool vac hose laying around and use that, then you'll really see some flow.
 
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CrystalRiver

Well-known member
Jun 19, 2020
470
Massachusetts
Exactly how I first drained my pool down a foot to work on the tile!

Maybe for next time: the lower down the hill you can get the faster it'll drain. The way you have it humped over the fence and the loop all slow things down. Not a lot, but every bit counts. If you connected another hose and got even farther down the hill you'd see some improvement.

If you have an old 1-1/4" pool vac hose laying around and use that, then you'll really see some flow.
Adding another garden hose to this one would slow things down, as there would be additional friction resistance (head). You'd be much better off sticking it in the pool and running the two hoses in parallel.
 

Dirk

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Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Adding another garden hose to this one would slow things down, as there would be additional friction resistance (head). You'd be much better off sticking it in the pool and running the two hoses in parallel.
I'm gonna disagree, sort of. A second hose would slow down the process only if the end of the second one was no lower than the end of the first. But if the end of the second hose is lower, then the weight of the water in the second hose is going to more than make up for the additional friction. Same principal as water at depth has more pressure than water at the surface: weight = pressure, more pressure = more flow.

Now a second, independent hose running parallel might be better, so you might have me there. I bet it'd be close, depending on the slope of the yard.
 

PoolGate

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TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
5,445
Damascus, MD
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
All good suggestions. It took over 2 days to drain 2 feet of water. Part of the issue is that hill behind the pool was a sheet of ice so I was restricted to working on the pool side. I do have a vacuum hose I never thought of using that. Issue there would be getting the siphon to start. I suppose I could have submerged the hose to fill it and then found a way to plug the opening until I had it on the hill. The water was probably as close to 32 as you can get though I wasn't looking to get wet! The important thing is I emptied my skimmers which was my concern since they had filled to the top. Even with the empty just I was concerned about that.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I suppose I could have submerged the hose to fill it and then found a way to plug the opening until I had it on the hill.
That would have worked. Or you could have filled the vac hose with water from a garden hose (from a hose bib, not from the pool). Filled it from either end. A second set of hands would help, or tie the downhill end up a foot or two on your black fence, to hold the water in until full. Lots of ways to skin that cat.
 

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CrystalRiver

Well-known member
Jun 19, 2020
470
Massachusetts
I'm gonna disagree, sort of. A second hose would slow down the process only if the end of the second one was no lower than the end of the first. But if the end of the second hose is lower, then the weight of the water in the second hose is going to more than make up for the additional friction. Same principal as water at depth has more pressure than water at the surface: weight = pressure, more pressure = more flow.

Now a second, independent hose running parallel might be better, so you might have me there. I bet it'd be close, depending on the slope of the yard.
Playing with this calculator, I entered 0.5 inch diameter, 50' length (typical garden hose). At 6 foot drop for 50', the flow rate is a bit over 2 gal/minute. To achieve that flow rate when doubling the length of the hose you need 13' drop. To achieve the same flow rate as two 50' hoses with 6 foot drop running in parallel (two hoses siphoning side by side), you would need about 45 foot drop with 100' of hose, which isn't realistic unless you have an actual cliff.

TLDR; Two hoses in parallel is almost always vastly superior to a single, double length hose, and a single length of hose is probably a better siphon than double length unless you can at least double the drop.
 

Dirk

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TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
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Chlorine
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SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
CR has shown us how two hoses in parallel would have helped (as would a bigger hose). I suspect it took as long as it did because the water was dropping. The flow rate is determined (in part) by the difference between the level of the pool water relative to the exit end of the hose. Not between the two hose ends. So as the pool level dropped, the distance between the water level and the exit of the hose lessened, along with the flow rate. In other words, the lower the pool got, the slower the water was being siphoned.
 
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