How to Remove the Bottom Drain Cover From a Pool

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Things You'll Need

  • Swimming face mask or goggles

  • Swim fins

  • Phillips or flat-head screwdriver


According to, the December 2008 Virginia Graeme-Baker Act is a federal mandate for swimming pool and spa entrapment avoidance in public pools


Hire a professional pool company if you don't feel qualified to remove the cover. Do not use the pool until the cover has been replaced.

Never remove a bottom drain cover when children are swimming.

Remove your pool's bottom drain cover for cleaning and repairs. Professional pool service companies can do this for you, but if you don't mind getting wet; you can do it yourself. A pool drain cover should be replaced if worn or broken. Anti-vortex, Virginia Graeme-Baker (VGB) Act-approved drain covers must be used to protect swimmers from being pulled by suction to the drain. A number of pool drain covers are manufactured and sold to the public, but only two fastening methods exist. Some drains are twisted down and others are screwed.


Step 1

Turn the pool filtration pump off.

Step 2

Put on a face mask or pair of swimming goggles. Pull on a pair of swimming fins. Grab a Phillips or flat-head screwdriver. You'll discover which kind you'll need, if any, when you reach the drain.

Step 3

Swim down to the drain cover and inspect it for fasteners. If the screws are visible, then screws hold it down. If you don't see any screws, then the cover twists on and off.

Step 4

Undo the screws, if it's screw-fastened. Twist the cover counterclockwise if no screws hold it down. You may have to swim up for air and then swim back down several times until you get it removed. Lift the cover up out of the drain hole when it has been unfastened.


Cody Sorensen

Cody Sorensen has been writing professionally since 2009. His online articles focus on his experience with painting, horticulture, construction, plumbing, home improvement and agriculture. Sorensen is a licensed truck driver, certified forklift operator and a journeyman painter. He studied organizational communications at Brigham Young University.