Pool Drainage Question
January 18, 2017 11:15 AM   Subscribe

We have to drain our pool. We moved into a new place, and apparently the water is pretty old. I have a few unresolved issues about this, as I'm not especially handy when it comes to these kinds of things.

First, we've been told that it makes more sense to rent a pump than to let it drain out, as it's cheaper and quicker in the long run. Does this seem to be true?

Second, where does one pump all of the water, if we do? I've heard the street, but I'm a bit weary of the effect on the street and the neighbors. I can't find any open street drainage areas close by, and I can't tell whether flowing water would be disruptive to anything. (Also, I understand that some jurisdictions have restrictions on the amount you can pump in a certain amount of time.)

Third, we have a whole bunch of leaves in the pool that have sunk to the bottom with the change in seasons and recent rain. They are hard to get out with a full pool. Is it possible to run the pump or drain to get out a significant amount of water before taking care of the leaves?

Thanks for your help!
posted by SpacemanStix to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: It may even be cheaper to get a pool service to come in and do all this - they have the big pumps, the vacuums, the cleaning tools, and know what they can get away with w/r/t draining into the street.

We're about to have all that done to our in-ground spa in order to remove an obstruction in the air lines and replace the blower, and by the time the guy got done explaining the logistics I was exhausted. We've drained it with a shitty battery pump before, into the yard (it's a big spa, but the yard took it pretty well), and it took most of the day; the pool guy said it'd take a couple of minutes with their equipment. They're going to acid wash the pool after they drain and degunk (we can't run the filter because of the obstruction, and it's been 2 months, in high wind season next to an overloaded orange tree...it's grim in there) before they refill, and he says we'll be sitting in it the same night.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:22 AM on January 18, 2017 [5 favorites]

Best answer: We have a pool. When it needed a serious repair, the company that did it did pump the water out to the street, where it ran to the storm drain.

One thing to think about: we were repeatedly told not to do this work in the winter when the water table (in my area) is higher, as it could cause the pool to "pop out" of place. (I live in LA -- so, non-freezing winter.) YMMV depending on your area/climate.

Also depending on your area: you may need to contact the water co. re: the large amount of water you will shortly be using to refill your pool. You may want to schedule this for a time of year (say, winter) when you aren't using a lot of other water (perhaps: sprinklers and such) because using this large amount may move you into a higher usage tier and cost a bundle. It may also affect other charges that are tied to your water usage, like the sewer fee. Our water dept. waives the fees once per X amount of time, if you say it's for a large repair.
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:27 AM on January 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm not a pool expert, but I used to live in a house with a pool, and I don't know what "old water" is. Has a pool expert told you it's unsuitable for conditioning and filtration?
posted by a halcyon day at 12:15 PM on January 18, 2017

Response by poster: The water had been in there a sufficiently long time such that the chemicals cannot be appropriately balanced (so we have been told by a pool expert). Eleven or more years, I think?
posted by SpacemanStix at 12:54 PM on January 18, 2017

Best answer: Volunteer fire departments do this in some places, maybe ask? Ask your neighbors or someone in the township/municipality what the procedures are.
posted by fixedgear at 1:47 PM on January 18, 2017

Response by poster: Thanks for the very helpful advice, everyone. I ended up calling a local pool service, and it ends up that it is not prohibitively expensive to go that route (I was surprised), versus doing it ourselves. I'm glad to wash my hands of this and pass it off to the professionals. Also, I wasn't aware of the water table issue, which would definitely apply to us.
posted by SpacemanStix at 6:51 PM on January 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

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