When to Drain a Swimming Pool

Draining swimming pool water can be a painful task. It takes a lot of energy and time, and probably money too if you don’t have the skill, energy nor time.

However, as tiring as it is, drain pool water is necessary, and you can’t just let it be for decades.

You also probably think your filter system can do all the cleaning, but that is wrong. Changing the water manually by drain and refill is needed for several reasons.

If you are new to this, then the question is not only why but also how often should you drain swimming pool water. However, first thing first we need to cover the basic:

Why Should You Drain Swimming Pool Water?

To keep the water fresh

Keeping pool water fresh is really important

Just like any maintenance should be, there are benefits if you are regularly drain-clean-and refill your swimming pool. The reasoning is basically the same as your bathtub at home.

Whenever you finished taking a bath, of course you would drain the water, right? Using the same water for the next bath is not only gross but very unhygienic, unhealthy nor safe. There are going to be a lot of germs and bacteria.

The same logic applies to a swimming pool. After using it, the water in your pool is obviously not the same freshwater as the one you have when you first fill your swimming pool. However, most pools are big and constantly draining it can be strenuous.

Especially when you don’t actually need it because every time the water reduced and you fill it up, you are technically renewing the water quality.

For example, when your pool water is reduced through evaporation or when you use it, and the water splashed everywhere.

In those scenarios, the water will be reduced. When you will top the water, the process automatically cleans the water—even though it’s only partially.

So, under normal conditions, you probably do not really need to drain and refill your pool. However, when the water in your pool is difficult to balance, and the filters don’t work as good as it was, then you might need to test your water.

You can test your pool water by using the TDS level (Total Dissolved Solids). If the TDS level showing a high number then you have no option but to drain your pool and refill it again.

To prevent damage to the pool

You do not wan’t this to happen to your swimming pool

Water, as we know, has the ability to break hard surfaces like a rock by pushing apart the mineral deposits inside it, causing it to fracture. The material used in a swimming pool is part of stones too and can be broken apart the same way.

That is why maintaining your pool by changing the water is way simpler and cheaper than to repair damaged pool tiles and walls.

It’s true that if you install a filter, then you will have constant clean water in your pool. However, using a swimming pool will leave residual bacteria, and there is also dirt from other object surrounding the pools.

The more you use your pool, the dirtier the water is, and over time, it will be accumulated. Imagine leaving it for 10 years. If you do nothing to it, the accumulated residue bacteria will be too big that your filter will fail to handle.

Dirty water can also indirectly damage the pool as it will make algae grow. The organism, just like water, can pressure the tiles and walls and make them brittle. Combined with the dirty water and its possible microorganism, the damaging process will be accelerated. To prevent serious damage, you should constantly drain and refill your swimming pool.

How Often Should You Drain Swimming Pool Water?

You need to drain your pool water regularly
You need to drain your pool water regularly

Most pool industry experts will say it’s better to replace your swimming pool water for every two to three years. It is because pool water can contain harsh chemical (like chlorine), and harsh environment.

For example, when there is a sudden change in weather like when it’s raining season or winter, the swimming pool can be polluted, and you will need to drain it. Another example is that there might be biological remains that produce ammonia that will pollute the pool water and leaves stains.

With weather in your area as a consideration, draining swimming pool should be done when it is in mild seasons. Although as mentioned above, most of the times, you don’t need to drain the water to clean the pool since you can do it underwater.

The exact tell-tale on when pools should be drained is by answering these five questions:

  1. Is the pool floor visible from the surface? As long as you can see the floor of your pool then your water is clean and safe—you don’t really need to drain it. But when you can’t see the shallow end, then it’s time to clean it up.
  2. Can you remove debris manually? If there is heavy neglected debris that you can’t remove easily, then it is time to change the water. Like, for example, leaves that covered the pool one foot deep. You should see for yourself whether you can pick it easily or it’s hard for you to remove it.
  3. Is your pool filter working? Can it run 24/7? After years, pool filter might break or not working properly due to the accumulated dirt. When it looks work but it actually not because some water is left unfiltered, then that is the time when you need to drain your pool water.
  4. Are there any stains? Stains in the pool can be concerning because water mostly washes away stains. If it can’t be easily brushed off, then it needs deep cleaning. Pool stains can be originated from debris and algae that is why you need to drain it and clean it thoroughly.
  5. Is there any regulation related to draining pool water? This is important to note because water is a limited resource in some places. If you are in a place like that then water might be under strict regulation. So, in that case, you can’t drain your pool water as often as you like and follow up the local’s schedule.

So, in general, you don’t need to drain pool water that often. However, you still have to do extra maintenance to keep the water fresh even without draining and refilling it.

Normally, you need to test the pH levels as a part of your weekly maintenance. If it has pH levels 7.4 to 7.6 then your swimming pool water is considered as good. If it doesn’t show the correct number then you need to adjust the chemicals used in the swimming pool. You also need to test the chlorine levels because too much chlorine is not good for your pool. The chlorine level should be between 1.0 and 3.0 parts per million (PPM).

Another thing that you need to do weekly is checking your pool for insects, fallen leaves from nearby trees, and random debris.

After that, you should empty your skimmer basket and then vacuum your pool at least once a week. Vacuuming the pool makes it easier to control the pH level. So to avoid debris decay on the bottom of the pool, you should vacuum it frequently.

To keep it nice and shiny, you can use algae preventative, but don’t use too much of it. Another thing to remember is you should gather water samples so you can test it to professional testing and pool chemical analysis for every time you think it’s necessary (based on the five questions).

How do You Drain Swimming Pool Water?

Can you drain your pool by your self?

The first lesson to drain a pool is… do not use pool pump. If you use it, all you’re doing is just sucking air into the suction line, while the pump will lose its prime, burned up and eventually damaged.

For maximum result, rent or purchase a submersible pump instead if you want to drain it yourself. Keep in mind that you need to turn off the electricity to your pump and pool light. After draining it, you can use the closest hose to refill the pool.

So if you ask, how often should you clean a pool? The correct answer would be “every day” because there is always new dirt to clean every day either from body’s bacteria, leaves or debris.

However, if you ask how often should you drain pool water? Then the answer is “it depends”.

Each place and situation will require a different draining period, so cleaning the pool should be when it is needed.

The professional might recommend 5 years, but if it is dirty in less than that, or not meeting the five questions criteria, then you should drain and refill it immediately.