How to Drain an Above Ground Pool (With 2 Simple Methods)

How To Drain An Above Ground Pool


It is quite rare to have to empty your above-ground pool either fully or partially. This is because most of them rely on the weight of the water pressing down and outward to maintain their shape. However, some instances require you to drain them.

In this article, we will look at the reasons that require you to drain your above-ground pool and how to drain it correctly without destroying the walls or liners.

Reasons to Drain an Above-Ground Pool

1. Unbalanced and Uncontrollable Pool Chemicals

The most common culprit that will lead you to change your pool’s water is unbalanced pool chemistry. This will usually occur when the water pH is either too high or too low such that any chemical you pour in simply does not work.

For instance, if the pH is too high or the water is very alkaline, chlorine might not work even if you shock the pool. Instead of wasting too much chlorine (which might overtreat the water), it makes more sense to change the water.

Chlorine lock also requires the pool to be drained. This happens when too much stabilizer (cyanuric acid) is added to the pool, effectively making it impossible for any pool chemicals to fix the water.

Lastly, if the TDS level is too high, this may make the water too cloudy to clean while also interfering with any chemicals that you pour in. In such a case, the best solution is to drain the pool then fill using freshwater.  

2. To Move the Pool

If you have found a new spot in the compound that is better for your pool or if you want to move to a new house, there is no way you can move the pool when full or even halfway full. You must empty the water first.

You might also want to store the pool during winter or free up more space in your compound for another project. This requires complete draining.

3. To Replace the Liner

Wear-and-tear is expected after some time. Just like you would have to paint the walls of an underground pool, the liner of an above-ground pool might crack, leading to leaks. Liners cannot be mended so you have to empty the pool, fit in a new liner then refill it.

4. To Begin the Summer with Fresh Water

If you did not cover the pool properly during the cold winter months, leaves and other contaminants might make the water extremely dirty to the point where draining is the only viable option.

How to Drain an Above Ground Pool

Drain an Above Ground Pool

Before getting into the actual draining process, you need to figure out where the water will go because it is quite a lot. If the water is simply dirty, you can let it pour out in your yard and soak up the ground.

However, if the water was overtreated and is full of chemicals, it may damage your grass and plants, and pollute your soil. In this case, channel it to the gutter or storm drain. That said, you need to check if this is allowed via local regulations and if the drains can handle that much water.

Once this is sorted out, you can pick either of the two methods below to drain the pool.

1. Use a Garden Hose

This is the easiest and cheapest method to drain your pool because it relies on siphoning to empty the water. However, the process will be quite slow and is therefore recommended for smaller pools.

  • Begin by submerging the whole hose in water to prime it.
  • Cover one end of the hose using your hand then lift it from the water and direct it either to your yard or the drains.
  • Let it drain. The rate will depend on the number of hoses and the internal diameter of each hose. The more and wider they are, the faster the draining rate.

2. Use an Electric Pump 

Draining a pool using an electrical pump is faster but a bit more expensive. Therefore, this option should be used on large above ground pools. That said, there are two types of electric pumps that you can use: submersible and external.

  • If you have a submersible pump, connect the outlet hose then dip the pump to the deepest part of the pool.
  • Place the other end of the outlet hose at the appropriate place (the yard or the drains). Dry your hands before handling the switch, then power on the pump and let it do the work for you.
  • Once the water drops to a level where the pump can no longer draw it out, turn off the pump then remove it for storage.

With an external pump:

  • Connect the outlet hose then place the intake hose in the pool and submerge it for priming purposes. After this, connect it to the pump’s intake port.
  • Dry your hands to avoid electrical shocks then power on the pump by turning on the switch. Ensure the pump is working and if not, the issue is mostly to do with priming. Fill the intake hose with water again then repeat the steps that follow above.


There you go! Following these steps will ensure you drain your pool in the best way possible either for maintenance, storage or to move it to a new spot.