Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Drain Swimming Pools

By Lisa Wampler
Drain your pool for maintenance or for winter.

If you own an in-ground cement pool with no liner, you can drain it for maintenance or for the winter without any issues. Pools with built-in drains are obviously simpler to drain, but if your pool does not have a built-in drain, you must pump the water out.

Place a waste pump outside the pool in an area where it will stay relatively dry. If possible, use a gas-powered waste pump instead of an electric pump to avoid possible shock.

Connect the input hose to the input valve on the waste pump and place the hose into the pool. Position the hose so it runs across the bottom of the pool. This will ensure you get the most water out of the pool.

Connect the output hose to the output valve on the waste pump and then extend the hose away from the pool and pump. If you have a septic system in your yard, position the hose away from it. The chlorine in the water could damage the enzymes in the septic system.

Turn on the pump and pump the water out. Keep an eye on the inlet hose to ensure it does not create suction on the vinyl liner. This could cause a tear in the liner. If the hose works its way close to the sidewall of your pool, position it back into the center of the pool.


Things You Will Need

  • Waste pump


  • If you own an above-ground pool or an in-ground pool with a latex liner, you should never drain your pool for more than a few hours. Above-ground pools use the weight of the water to keep the walls upright. In addition, pool liners dry out quickly and will crack and shrink. For these reasons, never drain your pool for the winter. Only drain it if for maintenance.