Monday, September 21, 2020 / by Vanessa Saunders
By Vanessa Saunders, MBA, MIMC , Broker Owner, Global Property Systems Real Estate.
With this summer’s tidal wave of home buyers clamoring for houses with swimming pools, all those first time pool owners will now be faced with shutting down their pools for winter. In snow belt states like New York, preparing an outdoor pool for winter is a must-do. Hiring a pool company to do it is one option, but can run into the four figures depending on the type and size of the pool. If you are planning to do a full pool winterizing yourself, you can find a more thorough do-it-yourself work-list on preparing swimming pools for winter HERE .https://www.intheswim.com/eGuides/winterClosings.
In some cases, it may be necessary to drain a swimming pool. The most common reasons to drain a pool are when water quality is low due to an overabundance of total dissolved solids, or if there are high levels of Cyanuric Acid (CyA). CyA builds up in the water and cannot be removed by the addition of chemicals. The most economical way to reduce it is to partially drain and add fresh water to your pool, which dilutes the remaining CyA in the water. Even with proper and regular pool maintenance, it is often necessary to drain your pool either completely or partially every three to five years.
Before you drain.
Prior to draining your pool, check with your local municipality (especially if you are new to the area) to find out where it is safe to drain your pool water. Some towns have regulations against discharging water into storm drains. And never let drained water wash onto a neighbor's property.
The best place for pool water to be drained is into a sanitary treatment sewer. These sewers are different from storm sewers in that storm drains are intended to get rid of rain water or snow melt and are drained into natural bodies of water such as ponds, lakes and rivers. When pool water is introduced to natural areas, it’s concentration of chemicals and contaminants can harm the environment. Sanitary sewers drain off the water we use from toilets, sinks, bathtubs and showers, which is sent to a treatment plant where contaminants are removed.
If using a sanitary sewer is not possible, water may be allowed to evaporate to a lower level for the winter, if desired, or disposed of on the ground or used to irrigate your property. Water should be released, however, only after the pool owner stops adding chlorine or other treatment chemicals, or shuts off the chlorination system and holds the water in the pool for at least one week while chlorine levels drop.
When disposing of pool water on the property or using it to irrigate your property, do so in a manner that water will not flow off your property or into a stream or storm sewer. Be sure it will not pool in depressions on your property which can cause bad odors and mosquito infestation.
If discharge to the ground will result in flow to a stream ditch or storm sewer, increase the holding time of water in the pool with no added chlorination to at least two weeks to allow chlorine to dissipate.
Check the groundwater levels in your area.
High groundwater levels can cause an empty in-ground pool to pop out of the ground. If high groundwater is present in your area, it is best to only partially drain your pool. Never completely drain a fiberglass or in-ground vinyl liner pool. It can damage the pool surface or liner causing bowing and cracking. Partially drain these types of pools and always complete partial drains by 1/3 of the water at a time.
Draining your pool.
Always rent or purchase a submersible pump to drain the pool. Never use your pool pump to try to drain the pool. Inevitably, you will pull air into your suction line, the pump will lose its prime, and you will damage or burn up your pump. Also remember to turn off the electricity to your pump and pool lights.
After draining, it’s a good idea to lubricate the O-rings on the valves and equipment for better sealing and weather/chemical resistance. Be sure to winterize plumbing and clear all water from the plumbing lines, including those going to and from the pool. Finally, cover the pool with a tight-fitting pool cover. Even drained pools need protection from the elements, and to prevent leaves and debris from entering the pool.
If you are interested in buying a home, (with or without a swimming pool), CONTACT US.