How to get your pool ready for colder weather

Most pool owners will have to drain their pool at some stage; many require their pool to be drained when taking out resurfacing and repairs. Draining an In-ground pool is not necessary when cleaning as most cleaning tasks can be performed underwater. On the contrary, it may be required to drain an above-ground pool especially in cases where algae have overtaken the pool, and you can longer see the bottom, and it’s more than likely the pump will not cope with the algae build up. It’s much easier and safer to drain an above-ground pool, however, in both cases care to prevent damage to the pool liners and walls.

Can I Do It Myself?

Yes. Should you, this is a different question. You need to weigh up how confident you are, and if it will be safe to do so. This article will give a step-by-step guide on how to drain a pool for both an in-ground and aboveground pool; you can assess your individual situation at the conclusion whether you will drain the pool yourself or require a pool maintenance worker.

What You Need.

The first thing you need to have planned is where you will release the water? Is it practical and legal to pour it down the street into a drain? Usually, pool owners are directed to pump pool water into the sewer where the water can be treated.

  • Pump (ideally submersible)​
  • Hoses (for an aboveground pool a garden hose will suffice)

How You Do It.

The steps to drain an in-ground pool and drain an aboveground pool differ, don’t worry I’ll list the steps separately to be relevant for your pool. Aboveground pools are easier to empty due to the size (usually smaller than in-ground and the absence of large hoses, pumps, and filters.

How To Drain An In-ground Pool

Close The Return Lines.

Once you have identified where you want to release your pool water, it is time to close the return lines, unless it is in filter mode and no extra water will enter the pool. If you are using a garden hose to drain your pool, you may have to leave the return line open to deal with the pressure of the pump.

Open The WASTE Line (Emphasis On Waste!)

Straightforward, open the waste line to give the water access to leave the pool and drain. If you have a filter, you will need to open the ball valve that leads to the waste line. Your pool manual provided by the pool manufacturer should include a diagram and instructions on how to open/close the Waste line.

Close The Suction Line

Once your pool is half way down the skimmer opening close the suction line, if your pool has a suction port installed for a suction cleaner you may want to close this too. The purpose of this step is to ensure no air can enter via the suction line that heads towards the pump that will destroy its motor.

Check The Main Drain

Double check that the main drain is open and has not been blocked by solids and dirt, the diverter valve which leads to the main drain is completely open. Depending on the size of your in-ground pool it may take between 4-8 hours to drain. You should frequently check the main drain during the entirety of the draining process.

How To Drain An Above-ground Pool


An aboveground pool has far fewer steps to complete while draining your pool. It will usually have only one hose coming from the pool and another line for returns. And there is no main drain in most aboveground pools, which will make the process of draining your pool more simplistic.

I have found a useful article from Aboveground pool guru with directions on how to drain an Aboveground pool.
The link is here

Reduce Water Intake

Instead of closing return lines and opening waste lines, with an aboveground pool which lacks both those features you will simply have to decrease the water at the bottom of the pool before you utilize your pump. You can attach a garden house to small submersible pump to drain your pool, ensure you remove the water around the edges first to ensure the soil below your pool does not become waterlogged compromising the pool structure.

Check Drainage

Frequently monitor the progress of draining to ensure the hose is not blocked, and the pump is continuing to move water. An aboveground pool will usually take between 6-12 hours when using a small submersible pump.

Residual Water

With any aboveground pool, you will most likely need to do some manual draining once the water level gets below knee-level. You may need to remove water with a bucket or may use a broom to sweep remaining water towards the hose. Many choose to vacuum sand, and other debris while the pool is draining.

Things To Consider

Whether you have an in-ground or aboveground pool, the process of draining a pool can cause damage to the pool. Potential damage to your pool will be dependent on the material which your pool has as a lining.

Fiberglass Pools

Have the danger of lifting once drained, as they are lighter than pools made out of concrete and gunite unless your pool comes with a built-in system to decrease underground water pressure.

Concrete Pools

You will encounter the same problem with groundwater as you do with a fiberglass pool, concrete pools are designed to withstand the weight of dirt against the pool, however, if the groundwater is high enough the shell of the pool may float upwards away from its structure.

Above-ground Pools

Due to the simplicity and vulnerability of the lining in an aboveground pool, the liner of the pool can be prone to shrink and tear especially if drainer for extended periods of time.

Overall to limit damage occurring once your pool has drained try and refill the pool within the same day to prevent soil pressure and sunlight damaging your pool.

To read more on potential damages while draining an in-ground or aboveground pool visit direct pool supplies page


Before you answer who should drain your pool, you should be able to answer the more important question of do you need to drain your pool. You will need to assess this yourself, are you going to resurface repair or have a large algae population then the answer will be yes. With proper care and maintenance of your pool you can avoid or may reduce the frequency of the draining your pool.

This is for you to decide.

If you are still unsure on the procedure on how to drain an in-ground or how to drain an aboveground pool you may be best to visit your local pool shop or contact your pool manufacturer for a service.

Good luck and safe draining.

Some link to useful pool care and pool draining tips articles

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