We have been putting in an outdoor swimming pool ALL summer.  There have been many unexpected challenges in the process.  These have been partly due to features of our property, and partly due to it being a somewhat unique pool set-up.  Finally, in October, we filled it for the first time only to find…  we needed to empty it again before proceeding further!  The weight of the pool was not being distributed evenly.  Fortunately, I have my own personal engineer and he is GOOD at dealing with these sorts of things.

Pool Draining

Because my engineer had done the work of assembling all of the pool equipment, he was aware of the waste water bypass valve on the filter.  He just needed a few parts from D&B Supply.  I took the opportunity to go along and see how a knowledgeable person interacts with the PVC pipe parts aisle.  

Plumbing Parts at D&B

Since he already had some pieces left over from other projects, I will list what he used:

To suck water from the bottom of the pool:

– 1.5 inch PVC elbow

– about 6 feet of flexible PVC pipe

– at least 1.5 inch pipe clamp

– something to act as a weight to hold one end of the flex pipe at bottom of pool

To direct water away from the garage and pool equipment area:

– 1.5 inch PVC elbow

– a piece of 1.5 inch PVC pipe to connect to 1.5/2.0 inch adapter (because of supplies we had on hand)

– 1.5/2.0 inch PVC adapter (also to use what we had available)

– 2.0 inch PVC coupler

– enough 2.0 inch diameter PVC pipe to route water to the lawn

– rope and boxes to support pipes

The pump draws water through the skimmer to the filter, but the skimmer sits near the full water mark.  We needed something to get water from the bottom of the pool.  My engineer attached an old NON-sharp tool, as a weight, to one end of the flex pipe, using a pipe clamp. The other end of the flex pipe was pushed on to one of the PVC elbows.  He disconnected the skimmer from the pipe going to the filter, then replaced it with the flexible PVC pipe – PVC elbow assembly,  as seen in the photos below.  No glue was involved.

Flexible Pipe for Pool Draining

Weights for pipes in pool

Since we didn’t want water flooding the equipment or the back of the garage, he also needed to arrange some pipes to direct the water to the lawn.  He wanted all of these pipes to be easy to disassemble and store, but since there would be more force at this end of things, he used ropes and cardboard boxes to support it (instead of gluing it together).

Draining water out of a pool

The water was conducted to a section of lawn that had suffered neglect because of pool construction.  We monitored it for the hour or so that it took to empty the pool.  None of it flooded the garage or nearby shed.  There was no erosion of lawn or landscaping.  It didn’t even make it to the driveway.  Within a short time after it stopped draining, there was no sign of nearly 4000 gallons of water in our yard.  The first photo shows the water coming out at the beginning.  The second shows the lawn after it has all soaked in.

Water draining from a pool

Ground after draining pool

The last couple of inches of water were left in the pool.  The work could be done with that bit of water there, and we didn’t want to have to get all of the wrinkles out again.  🙂  A few days later, I swam in the pool for the first time.  Swimming outside in 80 degree water in October was even more fun than I thought it would be.  However, I got sea sick after 15 minutes…  but that’s another story and the ending hasn’t been written yet.

Swimmers in a pool


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>