Swimming Pool Tip #89

Stop! Don't Drain that Swimming Pool!

I've discovered that a surprising number of home pool owners haven't been told a basic fact: draining your swimming poolpool can be hazardous to its health!

Draining a pool is a potential risky business for even gunite or plastered pools, but it will USUALLY be a disaster on a vinyl liner pool. Your dealer or builder should have told their customer this, but sometimes they don't, and, of course, many people end up with a pool, when they buy the house!

Vinyl pool liners are made to fit, but are always smaller than the actual hole, and are stretched into place. If this was't done, you'd have liner wrinkles everywhere. In fact, it's a common quick and dirty trick to UNDERSIZE the liner which makes it really easy to avoid wrinkles, but also cuts way back on your liner's life expectancy!

Anyhow, when you drain the pool, the liner tries to return to it's original, unstretched condition -- and usually, it succeeds. Unfortunately, after the first or two year of life, most liners have lost their elasticity, so they can't be restretched into place.

Voila'! You need a new liner.

But I need to replace to water, you say! What can I do?

For liners that have NOT been originally overstretched it's usually safe to drain till there's only 8" of water at the shallowest point. But watch your pool as the water gets low. If the liner has been overstretched, it may begin to pull away from the corners where the floor meets the pool wall. If it does so, STOP! You've gone as far as you can.

I'll try to cover concrete pools later.

For now, I'll simply offer this warning: unless the ground around your pool is dry, or your pool is on the side of a hill, DON'T drain your pool, until your sure the ground water won't turn it into a boat, lifting it 6, 8 or even 18 inches out of the ground!


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