How Much Water to Drain When Closing a Pool?

Living in seasonal climates means that at the end of a long summer, it's time to winterize your pool. The air gets colder, and you can no longer enjoy the pool the way you did in the summer. One of the many steps in closing your pool is draining the water. The amount of water you drain from the pool will depend on the type of pool you own.

Reasoning

Partially draining the water from your swimming pool allows you to disconnect the filter from the pool without the water spilling from the filter connections. The water must also be partially drained to protect components such as the skimmer and return jet from freezing and expanding in winter's frozen temperatures. Once you've drained the water, place an airtight rubber plug in the return jet and attach a skimmer plate inside the pool on the skimmer opening.

Above-Ground Pools

According to the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, the amount of water you drain from your pool will depend on a few things. If you have an above-ground pool with a vinyl pool liner, drain the pool 1 inch below the bottom of the skimmer mouth. It's acceptable to drain the pool a few more inches for areas that get heavy precipitation during the winter months. Some pool professionals even suggest draining the water as much as 6 inches below the skimmer, which would most likely reach the bottom of the pool's return jet. The return jet is usually installed a few inches below the pool skimmer.

In-Ground Pools

In-ground pool draining requirements are similar to those of their above-ground counterparts. Drain the water no more than 6 inches from the bottom of the skimmer if you plan to use standard floating winter covers. Use your pool filter, and switch it to the "Drain" setting to empty the pool filter. Attach a pool hose to the end of the filter opening that leads to your yard's drain to avoid flooding. This will allow you to turn off the filter and drain the pool slowly through the filter.

Draining and Winter Covers

One exception exists when it comes to draining your pool for the winter. Drain your pool 12 to 18 inches when you plan on using a mesh pool cover. Mesh pool covers are most commonly used on in-ground pools, but they are manufactured for above-ground pools as well. A mesh cover is a porous cover that keeps out dirt and debris while slowly filling up your pool with precipitation. The mesh covers helps fight evaporation during a long winter, but it requires you to drain more water from the pool, since during the winter months water will be slowly added to the pool.