How to Completely Drain Water From an Above Ground Pool

Last Updated 9/22/2021

First, we need to start by saying that you should very rarely have to completely drain your pool. In fact, doing so may cause damage to your pool liner. While uncommon, there may come a point that you have to completely drain your above ground swimming pool. We recommend working with a pool professional, but draining your above ground pool is something many pool owners can safely do on their own with a little time and elbow grease!

Why Should I Drain My Above Ground Pool?

As noted, typical maintenance or winterizing your pool shouldn’t require you to completely drain the water. You risk damaging your pool liner and the structure of your above ground pool. Here are a few times when you would likely have to drain all the water.

Choose Your Pool Draining Method

If it is time to empty your pool, there are two main options that pool owners typically choose from when getting ready to drain their above ground pool; an electric pump or a garden hose siphon. Either choice will work to drain your pool water. It’s a matter of preference, time, and equipment on-hand. Here is a round-up of each drain method and the steps needed to complete the process:

Option 1 – Pump to Drain Water:

For this option, you’ll need an electric water pump.

  1. Submerge the pool pump’s intake hose under the water, as close to the center of the swimming pool as possible.
  2. Choose a space on your property for the pump’s outlet hose to drain. This area should be away from the pool and the ground should be level to avoid flooding.
  3. Turn the electric pump on with clean, dry hands.
  4. As the pump begins to run, make sure that your swimming pool’s water level is decreasing before you leave the equipment unattended as it drains.
  5. Frequently check on the swimming pool to avoid any flooding or equipment malfunctions.
  6. An electric pump will not drain out every inch of water from your swimming pool. Turn the pump off once the water level is too low for it to drain any further (6-12 inches deep).

Option 2 – Use a Garden Hose Siphon:

This pool draining process can be completed with one garden hose, but the more you use, the faster your water will drain. Here’s how to siphon water out of a pool:

  1. Submerge each hose completely so it fills with your above ground pool’s water.
  2. Take one end of the garden hose out of the pool and place it in an area with level ground, where it won’t flood.
  3. Keep the other end of the hose submerged in the water and make sure the liquid begins to siphon out of the pool.
  4. Frequently check the siphon to ensure the water level continues to decrease and there is no flooding. This method drains at a slower rate compared to an electric pump.
  5. Garden hose siphons will not drain all of your pool’s water. Remove the hoses once the water level remains stagnant (around 6-12 inches deep).

How to Remove the Remaining Water from Your Above Ground Swimming Pool

Both methods of draining will not completely remove all the water. There will be anywhere from 6-12 inches of standing water left at the bottom of your pool, as noted in the steps above. You can remove the extra liquid using a variety of methods and tools, including:

  • Sucking up the excess water with a Wet Vac
  • Sweeping the remaining water into the pool’s drain
  • Removing the liner from the pool’s frame and flipping it over to (cautiously) dump the extra water onto your property

Risks When Draining Your Pool Completely

Although the process of emptying your swimming pool is straightforward, there are some risks associated with this maintenance process, specifically with the pool liner. If you are not draining your above ground pool to replace its liner, there are some important factors to consider prior to starting in order to protect the integrity of your pool, which include:

  • Loss of Shape: Above ground swimming pools hold their shape due to water. When about 75% of the liquid is drained, your pool will experience some loss of shape. It’s important to protect your pool from collapsing by draining it on a day where there are no high winds or bad weather that could cause the empty pool to become damaged.
  • Damage from the Sun: The water in your swimming pool helps protect your liner from UV ray damage. Once the water is completely removed, your pool liner is at risk to warping and fading from the sun. LinerWorld’s pool experts recommend draining your above ground pool when it’s overcast outside.
  • Development of Mold: If you’re removing the water to relocate your pool, it’s important that you take extra steps to prevent mold build-up on your pool’s liner. Packing up your liner before it’s completely dry is a common cause of mold in these scenarios. Make sure to use towels or a wet vac to thoroughly dry the vinyl prior to storing it.

Prior to beginning this process, it’s important to plan out which drain method you want to use, make sure you have the proper equipment on-hand, and look at the weather forecast to minimize the risk of damage. LinerWorld always recommends contacting a pool professional if you have any questions or concerns prior to starting this process!

If you’re removing the water from your pool because you need to replace your liner, save even more money by shopping LinerWorld’s wide selection of colorful and eye-catching swimming pool liners!

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One response to “How to Completely Drain Water From an Above Ground Pool”

  1. […] page, knows what steps are to be followed, and in what order. The first step should always include removing the water in a way that’s safe and keeps it away from the […]

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