How Often Should You Drain Your Pool


 

Keeping the water in your pool clean over the winter and covered up keeps the amount of work and money you will spend in the spring down considerably. Sooner or later, though, you’ll need to empty your inground pool for one reason or another. Some Inground Pool owners recommend certain times and reasons. How often should you drain your pool?

A good time to drain the water in your Inground pool is every 3-5 yrs. in Spring when there are no draught restrictions, for reasons that the pool needs painting, structural maintenance, inspecting or replacing items that are done when the pool is empty.

Emptying your pool can give you the opportunity to see things that aren’t possible when the pool is full of water.

 

Inground Pool Wall Repair

 

When your pool is on a scheduled time where you will drain maintenance and refill the water, you need to take the time and check everything while the water is out of the pool. Make a Punchlist where everything inside the pool that is underwater and you can’t get to will be exposed and can be examined.

If you are painting always give it enough time for the pool to dry and the paint to cure. The paint manufacturers specify exactly how long to you need to do this. I made the mistake of refilling my pool too early. Do the research and follow instructions for the specific paint.

Don’t empty the pool during hot summer months or when there are draught restrictions. Don’t try and empty the pool when the grounds are saturated after days of rain. If you schedule the maintenance you’ll have plenty of time to inspect and the inside and get everything done that needs to get done.

Make a Pool Punchlist:

  • Clean & Scrub Stains on the Pool-Use Muriatic Acid to etch walls and floors-Rinse Clean
  • Check your Pool Light 
  • Wiring Chord & Housing 
  • Replace your Drain Cover-If your pool has a missing, broken, or just old drain cover, have it replaced with one that is up-to-date and compliant with the new ANSI/ASME test standard. Replacing your cover will provide Anti-entrapment protection for your pool. I wrote an article called What is Circulation Entrapment in Pools & Spas recently in MyWaterEarth& Sky that will tell you what you need for a safe Inground  Swimming Pool.
  • Check Screws for Drain Cover-Discharge Adapters
  • Plan to Paint- Give yourself a solid week depending on how big your Inground Pool is. Check the fade in your pool paint whenever you paint your pool keep a piece of the label or a little left over in a can to compare with down the road. Plan to paint every 5 years or so. Chlorine and other chemical beat up and fade pool paint. There is a Chlorinated Rubber Paint and an Epoxy Based Paint for Inground Pools. Try and use the same type of paint when painting over top of each other. Some pool paints use a primer and some Rubber based don’t. Make sure the pool is cleaned and acid washed before you paint.
    I use a Chlorinated Rubber Based that doesn’t need a primer on my concrete pool. Make sure the pool is dry and cured before refilling.
  •  Inspect walls and floor for cracks and holes and repair them. This is the only time you will be able to get at them so inspect the structure of the wall and floor thoroughly. If you have steps that come down into the pool check them for stress cracks, tiles and under the coping stones for loose bricks stones or whatever you can patch or resurface.
  •  Determined the Main drain with a hydrostatic valve is functioning at the main drain in your swimming pool is working.  A hydrostatic valve is a pressure relief device installed on the bottom of a swimming pool underneath the pool drain cover at the deepest end of the pool.  It prevents groundwater pressure beneath the pool damaging the liner or even raising it out of the ground. The hydrostatic valve achieves this by allowing groundwater to flow into the pool thereby relieving the pressure on the liner or concrete shell. The Hydrostatic Valve is a 20.00 PVC fitting you can buy any Pool Supply Store. It’s good practice to replace it when you take your pool water down. Considering what kind of damage it can do if sticks and doesn’t do its job while you got the pool down a painting or making some structural repairs.

 

Structural Pool Crack Repair

Concrete Pools – Concrete pool shells are hydrostatically balanced in the ground via a relief valve that is installed in the floor of the pool. This allows groundwater from under the pool to come through the floor of the concrete and into the shell should the pressure from below the pool be greater than the pressure of the water pushing down from inside the pool.

Fiberglass pools are the same as concrete pools in that a fiberglass pool is hydrostatically balanced in the ground. A hydrostatic relief valve needs to be operating in the floor main drains to allow the pool to balance the hydrostatic pressure of the groundwater surrounding the pool. 

This is even more practical in a fiberglass pool than a concrete pool because a concrete pool weighs so much more than fiberglass material making easier to experience a floating pool with a fiberglass pool than a concrete one under similar conditions. These valves ensure that the pool can stand empty at least until the maintenance work is completed. They are very important and easy to check on.

How Often to Change Pool Water

Changing the water in Public Swimming Pools should be more frequent than changing the water in your a private inground pool. It’s just not feasible for a private pool owner to be emptying their pools every year for whatever reason.

Inground Pools need to be emptied for painting and maintenance that comes up scheduled and unscheduled. City, Township and County Pools use potable water to fill up at a reduced rate or even free.

Whereas private pool owners are subjected to normal and surplus rates. Meaning that if you go over a certain amount of water usage during a quarter you will have to pay a premium rate over the top what the normal rate is.

If you have a swimming pool especially an inground swimming pool, and you fill it in the Spring-Summer, you are going to use
Public pools are subject to large amounts of people and normally exposed to sun and weather from being located outside.

These things, along with insurance purposes and County Inspections puts them at another level. They normally will go 2 seasons before taking the pools down, resurfacing and painting them on a schedule. The bigger Public Pools have larger the crews that can everything has done a lot faster than what you can do in the backyard.

If your regular maintenance program for your pool is done properly and the number of people that use it, is normal then draining it every 3-5 years should be fine. Schedule the Inground Pool to be emptied for painting and maintenance when it’s down. Implement large group orientations, particularly for young children, and bathroom break policies to promote healthy swimming.

They run a higher risk of RWI’s and other hazards that you normally won’t see in a private inground pool in your backyard. There are just a lot more things that can happen in a Public Pool.

How much does it cost to empty a pool

Your water rates are normally calculated by the Quarter and priced per 1000 gals. The Sewer quarterly charges where I am are almost 2x what the Water rates are. Water costs are different in all parts of the country. There sometimes is a penalty for over Consumption or use of Water/Sewer in most parts of the country that help contribute to keeping usage down. which is a few dollars higher. The prices can add up especially during their summer months Filling your swimming pool takes a big bite especially Inground Pools like mine that holds over 45,000 gallons.

Plus the fact that you are running the garden and washing cars besides topping your pool over the season. As you already know, it can get very expensive. Just filling our pool gets me into the higher penalty for water consumption. My guess this is the same on the East coast and a lot worse on the West Coast. The prices in California and the Southwest is probably nuts. If you are able to fill your pool at all. Most people get through 4-5 seasons without emptying their pool. This can save a huge amount of money.

 As an example say your pool is 10 by 25 by 6 feet.

 Anyone with a swimming pool should know the dimensions of it. When you know the dimensions it’s easy to figure out the amount of water it holds. You’ll know exactly how much chemicals to buy and to use to treat your pool so you can budget.

If your pool is 10 ft. wide and 25 ft. long with an average depth of 6 ft. deep/height  4ft. at the low end and 8 ft. at the deep end- is 4+ 8 = 12 ft. divided by 2 = 6 ft. average depth.

My Rate is $ 55.28 for  10,000/gals Water per quarter

My Rate is $75.40 for 10,000/gals  Sewer per quarter

10 x 6 x 25 = 1500 cubic ft.

There are 7.5 gallons of water in 1 cu ft. 

1500 Cu ft. multiplied by 7.5 gals.

=11,250 gallons in the pool.

At my rates, where I live that uses  a surcharge for going over 10,000 gallons in the Quarter,  the ballpark cost would be approximately $150.00-$200.00 to fill your pool.

My pool is 7 ft. by 18 ft. by 33 ft.

=31,185 gallons of water

My Rate is $55.28 per 10,000 gals.

The Sewer Rate is $75.40 per 10,000 gals.

The pool water is going to be in the ballpark of $500.00 to fill the pool including the Surcharge for going over the specific amount for the Quarter.

So you can see filling your pool can be quite expensive even where water is not a huge problem like where I am in the Northeast. It just doesn’t make sense not to use your pool water over the course of as many seasons as you can.

The price of water has risen so much over the last 10 years mainly because of the problem of aging infrastructure and lack of groundwater used for drinking water in the Southwest where residents of San Jose and Los Angeles have 15 to 17 percent increases in Public Water service.

This is something that won’t get better anytime soon. In the case of an earthquake on ongoing drought can make filling your swimming pool the last thing on peoples minds. These cities water rates continued to rise over the last few years from 2015 because of the serious water issues that water scarcity and drought have brought to the West Coast.

After the cost of the water, you’ll need to stabilize the water in the pool which will be drinking quality water. Adust the Alkalinity then PH then Shock. Reset the timer on the Filter, prime the lines and start filtering. This will cost a minimal amount of your chemical inventory that you should already have.

 

How Much is Pool water Delivery

 

The convenience of having water delivered to your home and filling your pool is one that could be quite expensive especially depending on what area of the country you are in. With an average 30,000 gallon pool. a 6,000 truck which is the normal size would have to make 5 trips. The price could be up as much as $1250 to $2000 dollars. The best part is that the trucks can unload a lot faster than a garden hose with 40 lbs. water pressure could.

These potable water haulers normally fill new pools, fountains or ponds and top off swimming pools at the start of the season. They also deal with Emergency deliveries. Loss of water supply can happen for many reasons, including natural disasters such as: hurricanes and floods, city water main breaks, and water contamination.

On average, a professional water delivery service will charge anywhere from $175 to $380 per truckload. and the average truck will hold 6,000 gallons. With this formula, you may need three to six truckloads to fill your pool, effectively paying $525 to $2,000 total. This price, of course, will depend on the size of your pool. Most inground pools in the United States hold 15,000 to 30,000 gallons.

Other companies may charge by the gallon, which may range from $0.03 to $0.06 per gallon. If the water only has to be topped off, it could be as little as $100. Regardless of how much you are getting, there will always be a minimum travel fee that usually starts around which is an addon of up to 100 dollars.

If you are going to schedule to empty the water out of your pool or if you need to take the water out because of an emergency procedure that needs to be done. Take advantage of that time when the pool is exposed and remove stains on the walls and floor.

Use a Muriatic acid once the pool is rinsed clean. Etch the walls and floor clean even if you have no plans for painting. Stains on the walls can stay on for a while and the longer they stay on the harder they are to get off. Scrubbing with muriatic acid doesn’t cost any money just some time and muscle.

Then when you are ready to paint, maybe the next time you take the water out, there will be fewer stains to cover and less paint you’ll have to use. With fresh potable water in the pool, you’ll need fewer chemicals to stabilize the water’s chemistry and will be back in business in no time. Water is getting more expensive every day. If you take care of the gallons in the pool you can go for quite a while without changing it.

Taking care of it in the Fall and using closing chemicals along with your Pool Cover properly will ensure the water is capable for the upcoming Summer season. 

Jim has worked in the Water/Wastewater and Water Filtration Business for more than 30 years. He has written over 300 articles on the Worldwide Water Situation. He owns and operates a 45,000 gal. Inground Concrete Swimming Pool that 40 years old.

JimGalloway

Author/Editor, MyWaterEarth&Sky

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