Drain Out The Pool Water - Here Are Some Tips
Pick a nice sunny weekend or two day period to drain and store your pool. You will want it sunny so the pool can dry up. You will want it warm (over 60F) so you can fold up your pool without cracking or damaging it. If you depend on the pool drain plug, it can take days to drain your pool! This is especially true as the water level gets lower since the flow rate will then decrease. The way to quickly drain your pool without renting or buying some expensive pump is to use multiple siphoning hoses, as shown right. To get the water flowing, do not use your mouth as you can very easily get a mouthful of foul water that could make you ill if you swallowed it! Rather, submerge each hose with both ends held under the water as shown above to fill it up with water. Then leave one end of the filled hose in the pool and place the drain end where you want the pool to drain - the action of the residual water flowing out will cause the pool to then syphon and drain. Using 5 garden hoses, I drained the pool down over 5 inches in the first hour! If you can find some even bigger diameter hose, you can drain the pool even faster. (See Below)
Want to empty nearly all of it overnight? Rig up some pool pump hoses as I have shown below. You can get a "hose kit" at your local home or department store and add to your filter pump hoses with hose clamps (as I did) or buy a 1 1/2 " hose such as shown at This Link Immerse all of your hose and fill it with water and then toss one end out while the other stays in the pool so that you get the siphon effect going. You will empty about a foot an hour! Then, finish off the remaining few inches with a submersible pump. Note in the photo below how I used the pool ladder to keep the hose in place inside the pool. This hose rig-up is far faster than my pump!
I started emptying the pool with the big hose above in the evening, and by morning only a few inches were left! I then use a pump to finish it off (see below).
UPDATE: I have now invested in an inexpensive submersible pump that I got for about $50 as seen here. I use this in addition to the hoses and I can drain our 15 ft pool in about 6 hours. When I am almost all done draining, I will remove a bit of sand under the pool near the edge to create a depression and have the pump sit in this. Then, I will sweep the remaining water toward the pump.
When you get to about knee deep water, you can use one of the hoses to vacuum up sand or debri on the pool floor as shown on the right. If your hose outlet is low enough, there is enough suction to even vacuum up the sand! What I did was went around the outer edge and seams of the pool floor and cleaned under the seam flap where dirt and debris likes to collect. It is a lot easier to clean this junk out this way than waiting till the pool is drained!
As you get to the last few inches, the end of your drain hose will have to be at a significantly lower place than the inlet of the drain hose. So move your hoses or connect them together so you can find a very low place to drain. If draining into your storm sewer is allowed and one is available, place the end of the hose or hoses down the sewer grate 3 or 4 feet. To finish draining, use a hose connected to the pool drain plug. To get the last few inches of water drained out, you will need to disconnect some of the vertical pool supports near the drain and dig out a small area of sand under the drain, as shown on the right. This will allow you to create a low spot for the drain outlet. As you get to the last 1/2" of water, use a plastic kitchen broom to sweep the water toward the drain. Using this technique you can get nearly every bit of water out without resorting to bailing or sponging the water out. You are now ready to finish cleaning, drying, and then storing your pool, along with performing any needed maintenance. I finished all of this on the next day, and fortunately it was a nice warm sunny day.