Don’t Drain Your Swimming Pool

When it comes to high levels of Calcium Hardness and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) draining a swimming pool is the most common suggestion. With that said, we have come up with five things to consider before draining your pool!

  1. A swimming pool is a large vessel.  It is structural in design; made of steel and concrete, and designed to withstand the outward pressure of the water in the vessel.  In many areas where pools are installed a high water table exists, and the removal of the water weight in the pool shell, once removed, can allow the pool to float out of the ground!  Once a pool pops out of the ground it is pretty much impossible to get back into the original footprint. While this may not be extremely common in the Southwest, it does happen every year and is definitely something to consider prior to deciding to drain a swimming pool.
  2. A pools interior finish is designed to retain the majority of the water in the pool (it is not a 100% watertight finish, and all pools leak somewhat), and cures underwater after the plaster company finishes troweling the finish. This cure occurs in the first 28 days of application, and the finish remains wet until a pool is drained.  Once a pool has been drained and exposed to the air, this finish contracts, and when refilled the finish expands.  This contraction and expansion can cause the plaster finish to delaminate, creating the need for a costly re-plaster (it is recommended to only drain a swimming pool when the air temperature is 70-75 degrees maximum, and even then to limit the exposure of the plaster before rehydrating).  While waiting to drain a pool until the cooler months makes sense, the chance for increased water below the pools surface and the pool floating out of the ground increases. That’s why recycling your swimming pool is the much better option because the interior finish is never exposed.
  3. Draining a swimming pool and refilling it can take several days to achieve, not only creating the opportunity for the pool to float out of the ground or the plaster to delaminate, but it is also dangerous. While full pools require attention to keep swimmers safe, falling into an empty pool carries its own hazards.
  4. Depending on how “bad” your fill water is that you receive from your water provider, a drain and refill may not get you much better water than what you just drained out! High salt, calcium, magnesium, silica, and other minerals are in your water, and then build up to higher and higher levels as your pool evaporates and you top it off with “fresh” tap water.  Typically, in our area, the Calcium Hardness coming out of the tap is usually 400 parts per million (ppm).
  5. The last item is just the pure waste associated with a drain and refill of a swimming pool. Since you already have the water in the pool, why not keep what you have?  On average draining a swimming pool not only wastes 20,000-gallons of water but also wastes another 20,000-gallons to fill it back up!

Obviously, as big Reverse Osmosis (RO) fans, we never advocate draining and refilling a swimming pool because it conserves up to 85% of the existing water. While a Reverse Osmosis (Pool Water Recycling) purification will almost always provide superior water than what can be purchased, with no risk of the above scenarios, it is also hassle-free and risk-free.  So when you consider taking the time and effort, as well as worrying about what can go wrong during a drain and refill, you may want to ask yourself why you really wouldn’t call us and schedule a Pool Water Recycling; we know you will be happy you did!