If your pool pump broke -- or if it never had a pump in the first place -- you can still drain the pool without emptying the water one bucket at a time. Instead, siphon the water out with a garden hose. Water from an outdoor faucet helps create the siphon. In order for the siphon to work, the drainage location -- where the water exits the hose -- must be lower than the end of the hose taking water out of the pool; a siphon won't work properly traveling uphill. The hose method works for both in-ground and above-ground pools.
Do not drain the pool water into a storm sewer, the street or an open drain outdoors. Storm sewers usually empty out into nearby natural water sources such as lakes and rivers, so the chlorine and chemicals in the pool water can harm the ecosystem. Many communities have specific regulations regarding pool and hot tub water; visit your community government's website or call the water or sewer department to make sure you drain the pool into an area allowed by local laws.
Simple Spigot Method
This method works for a garden hose long enough to have one end completely submerged in the pool while the other end is attached to an outdoor faucet.
Attach one end of the hose to the faucet. Place the other end of the hose in the pool, completely submerged.
Keep the end of the hose submerged by pushing it down beneath the bottom rung of a ladder, or by tying a string loosely around the hose, attaching the other end to a smoothed brick or weighted object that sinks. Keep the string loose enough so it does not create a kink in the hose.
Turn on the faucet to allow a full stream of water -- rather than a trickle -- to travel through the hose. Turn off the water 30 seconds or so after you notice water exiting the submerged end of the hose, indicating the hose is full.
If the hose isn't long enough to submerge, kink the exit end once water flows through the hose, then turn off the water, detach the hose from the faucet and carry the kinked hose to the pool area with the help of a friend.
Remove the hose from the faucet quickly and kink the hose near the end previously attached to the faucet. The kink helps keep the water in the hose, much like placing your thumb over one end of a straw while the straw contains liquid.
Carry the kinked end of the hose to the drainage location, holding the hose end higher than the level of the water in the pool as you walk. Release the kink in the hose and set the hose end down once you reach the designated drainage area.
Do not leave the pool unattended while draining water. This ensures the hose stays where you intend it to and that the water doesn't overfill the drainage area.
Pause the siphoning water by kinking the hose securely or by lifting up the drainage end so it is higher than the level of pool water.
If you plan to drain the pool with a garden hose regularly, purchase a specialty pump/siphon device that attaches onto the hose. This allows you to siphon water out of the pool without the faucet and serves as a pump for the last remaining puddles that are difficult to remove by siphon.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, SFGate, Landlordology and others.