Tricks for draining the last 5-6 inches of water...


Aug 1, 2017
Intex, 20 x 48, UF pool owner here...Intex 14 in Sand Pump
Background info at the end of post...

I need any hacks, tips, tricks for getting the remaining few inches of water out of the pool quickly. I currently have one hose going, with the hose/drain adapter thingy, and it has taken since Friday evening so far. We always struggle to get the rest of the water out when putting it away, but in this scenario, we are trying to avoid moving it, so I don't want to take it apart and try and maneuver the liner to push the rest of the water out like we have. We need to be able to lift sections asap to rake under (can anyone confirm whether it is "liftable" with a few inches of water?).

Do I buy a sump pump? I have never had or used one so I have no idea if that would work.
By the time I receive a 2nd Intex adapter for the other drain valve, it will be too late. The water will be below the drain valves.

Are there other pumps I can easily obtain at a local Lowe's or Home Depot that are suitable for the bottom of an Intex pool?

What other methods do Intex owners use to get the last of the water out in general? It's always been a pain for us.

BACKGROUND INFO: I posted the other day because our previously level pool is no longer level this year. (Combo of several factors including new puppy who dug up the area prior to the pool going back up this year, my husband and I trying to fix that ourselves without confirming it was level after 6 hours of raking it out, using pavers that weren't large enough, puppy digging near footing) It was off on one side by about 3 squares on the liner).

My dad believes we can fix it (for now) without taking it down for the rest of the season and then in the Spring, we will officially re-level it. He is also picking up new pavers for under the feet that are bigger and thicker. Our plan is to have several helpers lift sections at a time so we can get under the liner as far as possible, rake the higher side toward the lower side, switch out the pavers and set them so they are flush. I am trying to avoid taking it down and moving it halfway through the summer.

If I were to diagnose the original problem...pool wasn't level. Lower side was losing water over the edge after several days of kids in it. Ground under paver got super saturated. Puppy decided to dig like crazy near a foot before I could stop her. Paver was too small and the combined pressure on the lower side with the wet ground and digging puppy cause the paver to shift from under the foot. You get the idea.


Bronze Supporter
Jun 4, 2019
Versailles, Kentucky
A utility pump, like a small .33hp utilitech from Lowe’s is good to have around. It has fittings for attaching a garden hose. I use mine for hot tub water changes. Perfectly safe to use for an above ground pool as long as you don’t just throw it in a pool with little water. It will leave about 1/4 of water.


Bronze Supporter
Feb 18, 2018
Chattanooga, TN
I use a sump pump to drain my intex. Works fine. It will leave a little bit of water, so I usually get in a push it to the pump or lift sections of the line a bit to make the water move towards the pump. good luck.


Well-known member
Aug 30, 2017
Victoria, BC Canada
I have a 'submersible utility pump' that I got for about $70 CAD on sale. Works like a charm. They typically have some manner of standoff on the bottom so it won't suck itself to the bottom of the pool liner.


Aug 1, 2017
Thx so much! I was researching online as well and saw some videos of folks using this one and they just opened a Harbor Freight near us and I have a 20% off coupon. It would only be used for helping to drain the pool at the end of each season so hopefully, it will do the trick. 1/4 HP Submersible Sump Pump 3000 GPH
One guy also had his shop vac in the pool to get those last bits of water out before packing it away for winter and I really liked that idea too. Lifting it over the pool wall when it is full seems like a problem though so maybe the pump will fit inside the shop vac to empty it over the edge with a hose? We used lots of corn starch to try and keep damp spots from sticking, but I would love to dry and really dry it nice when it comes time to put it away in September.

Thx again for confirming a sump pump method to be sane. :)


Well-known member
Sep 10, 2013
El Cajon CA
The pump you linked to looks more like a permanent mount pump with 1 1/2' pvc outlet. I would suggest one that hooks up to a garden hose for ease of use. It also looks like that model has a float switch on it. Not sure how much water it will leave in the pool before it turns off.

I used a shop vac to get the last little bit of water out of my pool. I put the vac on a platform outside the pool so you don't have to lug it in and out of the pool. Or get a longer hose or extensions for the hose to make it easier.


Well-known member
May 6, 2018
If the pool is above ground there's no need for a pump. If you can get the hose down hill it'll work even better.

Put a garden hose in the pool, and have it well into the pool so it won't slide out. Connect it to your hose bib and fill the hose with water, get all of the air out. Now remove it from the hose bib and put it slightly downhill from the pool. It'll drain to the top of the hose opening in the pool.

The same works for draining pool covers in the winter.


Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
Marietta Ga
If I stop my in ground while draining when it gets to the last foot its almost impossible to reprime so i use a utility pump also. Good to keep around


Aug 1, 2017
So, I didn't end up needing the sump pump I had bought so I returned it. We thought we made a decent enough fix to get by for 6 weeks or so and then refilled the pool. It wasn't a decent enough fix and was about 2 inches off on one side still. But, today, I noticed a T joint was undone and when I checked it, the white pin was gone. So either the pressure from being off snapped the pin, the insane weather we have had since Saturday caused it, or it was just more crappy above ground pool's draining by hose right now, but the rain is coming down more than it is draining. I am going back to HF and buying the submersible pump and another hose.

Silly question...can this pump go in 3-4 feet of water? Is it that submersible?
1/3 HP Submersible Utility Pump 2000 GPH

I ordered a new T joint for my model # and it is coming Thursday. Going to try to do it closer to right this time and hope for no more issues.


Jun 29, 2019
Coastal, NC
if you dont want to buy a pump you can hook up a regular garden hose to your outdoor faucet. put the other end in the pool submerged under water. turn the water on full blast and give it a few seconds to let it start flowing into the pool. now at the end attached to the faucet, move down about two feet and kink the hose. now turn the water off and while still holding the kink, unscrew the hose from the faucet. take that end, still holding the kink to where you want to water to flow out. let go of the kink. it will start to draw the water out of the pool. it may take a bit longer but you wont need to buy a pump


Aug 1, 2017
I have the hose hooked up to the pool for the normal draining with the Intex adapter. I was looking for a fast way so we can start working on the ground under it faster. Turns out a neighbor has a pump they use for their pool so I just borrowed it and am going to get it doing shortly. Thx!


Active member
Aug 2, 2017
Duluth, MN
One guy also had his shop vac in the pool to get those last bits of water out before packing it away for winter and I really liked that idea too. Lifting it over the pool wall when it is full seems like a problem though so maybe the pump will fit inside the shop vac to empty it over the edge with a hose?
I have this pump that attaches to my shop vac for this purpose. I never thought of submersing my utility pump into the shop vac, though. That would be just as easy, I suppose!