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Draining A Swimming Pool

Draining a swimming pool is the most recommended option when your Calcium Hardness and Total Dissolved Solids levels rise. With that said, we have come up with 5 things you need to know before draining your pool!

  1. A swimming pool is a large vessel, similar to a boat.  It is structural in design; made of steel and concrete, and designed to withstand the outward pressure of the water in the vessel.  In many areas where pools are installed a high water table exists, and the removal of the water weight in the pool shell, once removed, can allow the pool to float out of the ground, just like a boat.  Once a pool pops out of the ground it is very difficult, if not impossible, to get back into the original footprint (and inviting 30 of your closest friends over for pizza and beer and then jumping up and down to try to get the pool shell back into the hole will not work!). While this may not be extremely common, it does happen every year and is definitely something to consider prior to deciding to drain a swimming pool.
  2. A pools interior finish (plaster or plaster based) is designed to retain the majority of the water in the pool (it is not a 100% watertight finish, and all pools leak somewhat), and cures underwater after the plaster company finishes troweling the finish. This cure occurs in the first 28 days of application, and the finish remains wet until a pool is drained.  Once a pool has been drained and exposed to the air, this finish contracts, and when refilled the finish expands.  This contraction and expansion can cause the plaster finish to delaminate, creating the need for a costly re-plaster (it is recommended to only drain a swimming pool when the air temperature is 70-75 degrees maximum, and even then to limit the exposure of the plaster before rehydrating).  While waiting to drain a pool until the cooler months makes sense, the chance for increased water below the pools surface and the pool floating out of the ground increases.
  3. Draining a swimming pool and refilling can take several days to achieve, not only creating the opportunity for the pool to float out of the ground or the plaster to delaminate, and is also dangerous. While full pools require attention to keep swimmers safe, falling into an empty pool carries its own hazards.  In Southern California, not only do we have to worry about uninvited guests falling into empty pools, there have been more than a few reports of people coming home to skateboarders in their pool!  While none of us would ever admit to skating in an empty pool(!), we know it happens!
  4. Depending on how “bad” your fill water is that you receive from your water provider, a drain and refill may not get you much better water than what you just drained out! High salt, calcium, silica and other minerals routinely come in your water without you even asking for them, and then build up to higher and higher levels as your pool evaporates and you top it off.  And we have often heard of folks doing a partial drain and refill (we think that is like draining part of the oil in your car instead of doing a full oil change, or changing half of the bath water after your brother just took a bath before you-yuck!).  While this will obviously make the water a bit better than what you started with, it certainly will not address all of the issues that you are dealing with.
  5. The last item is just the pure waste associated with a drain and refill of a swimming pool. Since you already have the water in the pool, why not keep what you have?  We also have to ask why you are draining your pool: did you add too much salt (if you are a salt pool) or conditioner?  Have you added something else that you just cannot get rid of any other way than by draining?  Many items and pool water issues are self-induced (adding too much salt or conditioner, for example), while others are unavoidable and build up based on the supply water.  It is important to understand that you can prolong addressing your swimming pool water if you are careful about the items that you introduce into the water.

Obviously, as the Reverse Osmosis guys, we never advocate draining and refilling a swimming pool (an exception would be when it is time for a re-plaster), but we know that some people will still opt for this.  We understand this but also wanted to provide some knowledge as to what surely can occur if you are not careful during a drain and refill.  While a Reverse Osmosis (Puripool Process) purification will almost always provide a superior water than what can be purchased, with no risk of the above scenarios, it is also hassle-free and risk-free.  So when you consider taking the time and effort, as well as worrying about what can go wrong during a drain and refill, you may want to ask yourself why you really wouldn’t call us and schedule a Puripool Process; we know you will be happy you did!