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How to Drain Your Above-Ground Pool Using the Pool Filter

By Nicholas Briano ; Updated September 21, 2017

Your swimming pool's filter pump can provide a quicker way to drain your pool. Using a standard garden hose can take days to drain a pool, depending on its size. The filter pump provides more pressure using its standard filter hoses, which are much wider in diameter than a garden hose. When the pool's water level is above the skimmer, the filter pump will drain the pool like a vacuum. However, when the water level falls below the skimmer, you'll need to take additional steps to drain the pool correctly.

Turn off the filter and pump the handle located near the top of the filter three to five times. Attach a hose leading from the release valve at the bottom of the filter to a drain in your yard.

Turn the filter on and turn the release valve. With the release valve turned, the water will be channeled through the valve rather than through the filter's return jet located on the pool wall. The filter will pump the water and release it through the hose into the drain until the water falls below the skimmer.

Turn the filter off as the water level starts to near the bottom of the skimmer. Keep the release valve open and let it continue to drain until the water stop flowing from the valve.

Disconnect the hose from the base of the skimmer and the filter. Replace it with a longer hose and connect one end to the filter pump. Use a hose long enough to reach the bottom of your pool. A 6-foot hose should be fine for a 4-foot pool. Drop the other end of the hose into the pool. Place something heavy on the railing to hold the hose in place or wrap it around your pool ladder.

Pump the filter again three to five times to build up pressure. You may have to do this a few times as the water level drops, which might cause the filter to lose pressure. After you pump the filter, turn it on. The water should suck through the skimmer hose and release through the valve. Monitor the pressure of the pump periodically as it drains.


Things You Will Need

  • Two 6-foot pool hoses

About the Author


Living in New York City, Nicholas Briano has been a professional journalist since 2002. He writes for "The Wave," a community weekly covering the borough of Queens. Briano holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brooklyn College.