How To Drain A Swimming Pool

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Importance of Draining a Swimming Pool

Draining a swimming pool is an essential maintenance task that should not be overlooked. Whether you have an above-ground or in-ground pool, regular draining is necessary to maintain water quality, prevent structural damage, and ensure the longevity of your pool.

There are several potential reasons why you may need to drain your swimming pool. These include:

  1. Water Quality: Over time, the chemical balance in your pool can become imbalanced due to factors such as evaporation, rainwater runoff, and swimmers’ body oils and sweat. Draining the old water allows for a fresh start with properly balanced chemicals.

  2. Structural Issues: If you notice cracks or other signs of damage on your pool’s walls or floor, it may be necessary to drain the water to assess and repair any underlying issues.

  3. Excessive Debris or Contamination: In some cases, pools can accumulate excessive debris like leaves or algae growth that cannot be effectively cleaned without emptying the water first.

  4. Pool Renovation or Remodeling: If you’re planning on making significant changes to your pool’s structure or design elements like tiles or liners, draining the water will make these renovations easier and more efficient.

Now that we understand why draining a swimming pool is important let’s delve into how one should prepare before starting this process.

Preparations Before Draining a Swimming Pool

Before initiating any maintenance procedure on your swimming pool—particularly one as involved as draining—it is crucial to take certain preparatory steps:

Check Local Regulations and Permits

Different municipalities may have specific rules regarding when and how pools can be drained due to environmental concerns like conserving local water resources and preventing contaminants from entering storm sewers. Contact local authorities for guidance on obtaining permits if required.

Gather Necessary Equipment and Tools

To efficiently drain a swimming pool yourself without encountering any setbacks along the way it’s important to have all the necessary equipment and tools at your disposal. Here are some of the items you may need:

  • A garden hose: Depending on the size of your pool, you may require a long hose or an extension cord to reach the drainage area.
  • Drainage hose: This specialized hose will be connected to the main drain valve and directed towards an appropriate location for water disposal.
  • Pool pump: Ensure that your pool pump is turned off before beginning any draining process.

Notify Pool Maintenance Professionals

If you rely on professional services for regular pool maintenance, it’s advisable to notify them before draining your swimming pool. They can offer guidance or even handle this task for you if needed.

Ensure Safety Measures Are in Place

Safety should always be a priority when working around pools. Before starting any maintenance procedure, take these precautions:

  1. Secure the Pool Area: Close off access to the pool area by locking gates or using safety barriers like fences to prevent accidents during draining.

  2. Ventilation: Since chemicals can release potentially harmful fumes during drainage, ensure there is proper ventilation in place by opening windows or doors nearby.

  3. Electrical Safety: Make sure all electrical equipment near the pool—such as pumps or lighting—is disconnected from power sources before initiating any work involving water.

With these preparations complete, we can move on to determining whether it is indeed necessary to drain a swimming pool based on certain factors such as water quality and structural issues.

Determining The Need To Drain A Swimming Pool

Before proceeding with draining a swimming pool completely, it’s essential first identify whether this step is truly necessary depending upon specific conditions associated with your own unique circumstances:

Assess Water Quality And Chemical Balance

Maintaining optimal water chemistry levels in a swimming
pool involves regularly testing various chemical concentrations like chlorine level (for sanitation), pH level (for acidity/alkalinity balance), cyanuric acid level (to stabilize chlorine), and dissolved solids level. If these levels are consistently outside the recommended range, it may be time to consider draining your pool water.

Identifying Structural Issues Or Damage

Over time, swimming pools can develop cracks or other structural issues due to various factors like ground movement or aging. While minor surface cracks can often be repaired without draining the pool completely, significant damage may require emptying the water for thorough assessment and repair.

Evaluating Excessive Debris Or Contamination

If your swimming pool is filled with excessive debris like leaves, twigs, dirt, or algae growth that cannot be adequately cleaned using standard maintenance procedures such as skimming or vacuuming,
draining the pool will provide an opportunity for a fresh start with cleaner water.

Considering Pool Renovation Or Remodeling

If you plan on making major changes to your swimming
pool’s structure—such as adding new tiles or replacing the liner—it’s advisable to drain it beforehand. Doing so will facilitate renovation work by providing a clean slate upon which modifications can occur more efficiently.

Now that we have determined if it is necessary to drain a swimming pool let us dive into understanding how this process should be carried out.

Steps To Drain A Swimming Pool

When you’ve established that draining your swimming pool is indeed necessary based on factors discussed earlier; here are step-by-step instructions on how you can successfully carry out this task:

  1. Turn Off All Pool Equipment
    Before beginning any drainage process, ensure all equipment including pumps and filters are turned off. This prevents potential damage from running dry during drainage.

  2. Locate And Open The Main Drain Valve
    The main drain valve is typically situated at the deepest part of your pool’s floor—the lowest point where water collects naturally.
    Locate this valve (often near the filter pump) and open it fully by turning counterclockwise using a wrench if needed.

  3. Connect A Drainage Hose To The Valve
    Attach one end of a drainage hose to the main drain valve by screwing it onto the threaded port. Ensure a secure connection to avoid leaks during the process.

  4. Direct The Hose To An Appropriate Drainage Area
    The other end of the drainage hose should be positioned in an appropriate location for water disposal, such as a sewer cleanout or storm sewer system. It’s important not to release pool water directly into storm drains or natural bodies of water without proper treatment.

  5. Monitor The Draining Process And Adjust As Needed
    As gravity takes over and water begins flowing out through the hose, monitor the draining process closely.
    Make any necessary adjustments along with way like repositioning hoses if needed or closing valves partially if you want to slow down drainage speed.

  6. Clean The Pool During The Draining Process (If Desired)
    If your pool has accumulated significant debris like leaves or algae growth, consider cleaning it using brushes and nets while simultaneously draining.
    This will save time and effort later when refilling.

Safety Precautions During The Draining Process

It’s crucial that safety measures are observed throughout every step involved in draining your swimming pool:

Ensure Proper Ventilation To Prevent Harmful Fumes

During this process, chemicals used in pools can potentially produce hazardous fumes that could cause respiratory issues if not properly ventilated.
To prevent this, ensure adequate airflow around your work area by opening doors and windows near the pool.

Use Caution When Handling Electrical Equipment

Electricity and water don’t mix well; therefore, extreme caution is advised when working with electrical equipment close to pools.
Disconnect power sources from all pumps, lighting fixtures, heaters,
or any other electrical components before initiating any maintenance procedure involving contact with water.

Prevent Accidents By Securing The Pool Area

Safety precautions must be taken at all times when dealing with swimming pools—especially during maintenance tasks like draining where hazards can be present.
To prevent accidents, secure the pool area by locking gates or installing safety barriers like fences to restrict access.

Follow Guidelines For Handling And Disposing Of Pool Water

When draining a swimming pool, it’s essential to follow guidelines provided by local authorities regarding handling and disposing of the water.
In many cases, it is not acceptable to discharge untreated pool water directly into storm drains or natural bodies of water. Instead,
consider using sewer cleanout ports or contacting municipal authorities for proper disposal procedures.

Now that we understand how to drain a swimming pool safely let us discuss maintenance steps that should be taken during this process.

Maintaining The Pool During The Draining Process

Draining a swimming pool presents an opportunity to perform some much-needed maintenance tasks before refilling the pool with fresh water. Here are some crucial steps you can take:

Remove Debris And Clean The Pool Walls And Floor

As the water level decreases during drainage, take advantage of easy access to remove debris from your swimming
pool using nets or skimmers. Additionally, consider scrubbing the walls and floor with brushes designed specifically for pools.

Inspect And Repair Any Visible Damage Or Leaks

With the interior surfaces exposed due to lowered water levels,
thoroughly inspect your entire swimming
pool—both above-ground and in-ground—for any signs of damage such as cracks in concrete pools or tears in liners.
Addressing these issues promptly will help prevent further damage down the line.

Test And Adjust Water Chemistry If Necessary

While draining your swimming
pool allows for a fresh start with clean water,
it’s still important to test its chemical balance once refilled.
Consider taking samples during drainage so you have baseline readings when testing after filling.

Consider Additional Maintenance Tasks Such As Tile Cleaning

Since tiles may also accumulate dirt and grime over time,
drainage provides an excellent opportunity for tile cleaning as well.
Using appropriate cleaners and techniques, scrub the tiles and grout to restore their original shine.

Refilling And Reestablishing The Pool

Once your swimming pool has been drained and maintenance tasks have been completed, it’s time to refill the pool and reestablish normal operations. Follow these steps:

Determine The Appropriate Water Source For Refilling

When choosing a water source for refilling your swimming
pool, consider factors such as cost,
availability, and quality.
Common sources include municipal water supplies or private wells.

Monitor Water Quality And Chemical Balance During Refilling

As the pool fills with fresh water,
regularly monitor its chemical balance using test kits specifically designed for pools.
This will ensure that chlorine levels, pH levels,
and other key parameters are within recommended ranges.

Reinstall And Test Pool Equipment

After refilling is complete,
reconnect all equipment such as pumps, filters,
and heaters that were previously disconnected.
Test each component to ensure proper functioning before resuming regular use.

Consider Professional Assistance For Complex Pool Systems

If you have a complex pool system with advanced features like automatic timers or multiport valves,
consider seeking professional assistance in re-establishing normal operation after draining.
Experienced technicians can help calibrate settings correctly.

Now let us discuss what should be done post-drainage in terms of maintenance and care for your swimming

Post-Drainage Maintenance And Care

Regular maintenance is crucial after draining a swimming
pool to prevent future issues from arising. Here are some essential steps to follow:

Regularly Clean And Maintain The Pool To Prevent Future Issues

Continue regular cleaning practices such as skimming debris off the surface of the water daily or vacuuming on a weekly basis. This will help keep your pool clean between major drainings.

Monitor Water Chemistry And Balance

Maintaining consistent chemical levels in your swimming
pool ensures optimal water quality. Test regularly using appropriate kits—following manufacturer instructions—and adjust as needed.

Schedule Routine Inspections And Maintenance Checks

Periodic inspections of your pool’s equipment, structures,
and surfaces will help identify and address potential issues early on.
Additionally, scheduling routine maintenance checks with professionals can prevent major problems down the line.

Consider Preventive Measures To Prolong The Pool’s Lifespan

To extend the lifespan of your swimming
pool and minimize the need for frequent draining or repairs, consider taking preventive measures such as installing a pool cover when not in use to protect against debris and evaporation.


Draining a swimming
pool is an important task that should not be overlooked. It helps maintain water quality, prevents structural damage,
and ensures the longevity of your pool. By following the steps outlined in this article and observing proper safety precautions,
you can successfully drain your swimming
pool while also conducting necessary maintenance tasks. Remember to always seek professional assistance if you are unsure about any aspect of this process or have complex pool systems that require specialized knowledge.

Maintaining a healthy and functional swimming
pool requires regular care and attention. By incorporating these tips into your routine maintenance practices—both during drainage processes and throughout regular use—you can enjoy clean, clear water all season long.

FAQ Section:

Q: How often should I drain my swimming pool?

A: The frequency at which you should drain your swimming
pool depends on various factors including usage patterns, water quality levels, environmental conditions (such as heavy rain), etc. Generally speaking:

  • For most pools with average usage levels under normal weather conditions; draining once every 3-5 years is sufficient.
  • In areas experiencing heavy rainfall or high bather loads; more frequent drainage may be required to maintain optimal water quality.

    It’s recommended to regularly test chemical concentrations like chlorine level (for sanitation) using appropriate kits designed specifically for pools.

Q: How long does it take to drain a swimming pool?

A: The time required to drain a swimming
pool can vary depending on factors such as the size of the pool, flow rate through the hose,
and water level. On average, it may take anywhere from several hours to one or two days to fully empty a standard-sized residential pool.

Q: Can I use an ordinary garden hose for draining my swimming pool?

A: While an ordinary garden hose can be used in some cases,
keep in mind that its capacity is limited compared to specialized drainage hoses designed for pools. If you have a large or deep pool, using a dedicated drainage hose is recommended for faster and more efficient draining.

Q: Can I discharge drained water into storm drains or natural bodies of water?

A: Discharging untreated drained water directly into storm drains or natural bodies of water without proper treatment is generally not allowed due to environmental concerns.

It’s important always follow guidelines provided by local authorities regarding handling and disposing of the drained water properly—such as using sewer cleanout ports or contacting municipal authorities for guidance.

Q: Do I need professional assistance when draining my swimmingpool?

A: While many homeowners are capable of successfully draining their own pools with proper knowledge and precautions, certain complex systems may require professional assistance.
If you have any doubts about your ability t


Water table: The level at which the ground is saturated with water. It can affect the drainage of a swimming pool if it is too high.

Ground pools: Pools that are installed directly in the ground, as opposed to above-ground pools.

Pressure: The force exerted on an object or surface. In draining a pool, pressure may be used to help move water through pipes and hoses.

Plug: A device used to seal an opening or hole in order to prevent water from flowing through it. In draining a pool, plugs may be used to block off certain areas or openings.

Pool liner: A protective layer that covers the inside walls and floor of a swimming pool. It helps keep water contained and provides a smooth surface for swimmers.

Above-ground pools: Pools that are installed above ground level rather than being built into the ground. They typically have separate frames or structures supporting them.

Pool cover pump: A pump specifically designed for removing water from pool covers after rain or other precipitation events.

Pool drain: An opening in the bottom of a swimming pool that allows for draining out water when needed. It is usually connected to pipes and hoses for proper disposal.

Pool owner: The person responsible for maintaining and managing a swimming pool’s upkeep, including drainage processes.

Pool repairs: Any necessary fixes or maintenance tasks performed on a swimming pool structure, equipment, plumbing system, etc., often including drainage-related issues such as fixing leaks or replacing faulty drains/plugs.

Pool walls:The vertical sides of a swimming pool structure made up of various materials like concrete, fiberglass, etc., forming its enclosure

Drain hose:A flexible tube-like component connecting different parts of the drainage system (such as pumps) allowing efficient flow-out of drained water

Climates:The prevailing weather patterns experienced over an extended period in specific regions which influence factors such as evaporation rates

Hydrostatic plugs:A specialized type of plug inserted into underwater drains/pipes to prevent water from rising up and causing damage due to hydrostatic pressure.

Heavy rain: A significant amount of precipitation falling within a short period, which may require additional drainage measures for pools to prevent overflow or structural issues.

Thousands of gallons: A unit of measurement used to quantify large volumes of water, often referring to the capacity or amount being drained from a swimming pool.

Chlorine neutralizer:A chemical substance that helps reduce chlorine levels in pool water, making it safe for disposal without harming the environment

Pool pop:A sudden upward movement or displacement of a pool structure caused by hydrostatic pressure, often resulting in severe damage if not properly addressed.

Pool floor:The bottom surface area of a swimming pool where swimmers walk or stand; it needs regular cleaning and maintenance as part of proper drainage practices.

Pool professional: An experienced individual with expertise in various aspects related to swimming pools, including draining procedures and maintenance techniques.

Inground pools: Pools built into the ground rather than installed above ground level. They are typically more permanent structures with deeper depths compared to above-ground pools.

Pool light:An underwater light fixture designed specifically for illuminating the interior space of a swimming pool during nighttime use

Swimming pool water:The liquid content filling up a swimming pool that requires regular management and treatment processes like filtration and sanitation.

Pool equipment:Any machinery or devices used for operating and maintaining a swimming pool effectively such as pumps, filters, heaters etc., including those involved in draining operations

Pool frame:The supporting structure surrounding an above-ground swimming pool made typically from metal materials like steel providing stability & strength

Pool season:The time period when outdoor pools are open for recreational use based on regional weather conditions which influences activities like draining & refilling

Pool structure:The overall physical composition forming the shape & enclosure around a specific type/size/category/classificationof accessible bodywater

Backwash hose:A specialized hose connectedto filter systems allowing efficient removal of waste water from the system during backwashing operations

Ground level:The natural surface level or elevation of the ground where a pool is situated, influencing drainage processes and potential issues.

Cartridge filter: A type of swimming pool filtration system that uses replaceable cartridges to trap debris and impurities in the water. It requires periodic cleaning or replacement for proper functioning.

Municipal sewer:A public underground network specifically designed to carry wastewater away from residential areas, including disposal outlets for drained pool water

Volume:The amount of space occupied by an object or substance, often used to measure the capacity or quantity of liquid being drained from a swimming pool

Power cords:Electrical cables providing power supply required for operating various equipment like pumps, heaters etc., involved in draining procedures

Flow of water: The movement or circulation path taken by water within a drainage system when it is being removed from a swimming pool.

Cold climate:A region characterized by low temperatures over extended periods which can impact both regular maintenance practices and seasonal tasks like winterizing pools

Period of time:A specific duration considered as partof carrying out any given task; relevant when discussing expected durationsfor draining pools based on factors such as size,volume&environmental conditions

Drain plug:A device inserted into drain openings to prevent further ingress/egress of liquids & facilitate controlled release/removal/movement (in this context – excess water) through designated channels/pipes

Filtration: The process used to remove impurities and contaminants from swimming pool water, ensuring cleanliness before/during draining activities

Water authority:An official organization responsible for overseeing regulations concerning usage/treatment/disposalofwater sources including guidelines regarding drainedpoolwater

Hot weather: Periods marked by high temperatures that can increase evaporation rates affecting overall management & care requirements for maintaining appropriate levels

Severe damage:Catastrophic harm occurring due to uncontrolled forces causing significant loss/deterioration/violation of the intended structure, surfaces or components like pool collapse

Degrees Celsius: A unit of measurement used to quantify temperature in the metric system. It may be relevant when discussing ideal temperatures for draining or maintaining swimming pools.

Elbow grease:Figurative term referring to physical effort and hard work required to accomplish a task such as cleaning/maintaining a swimming pool during drainage procedures

Pair of pliers:A tool consisting of two handles connected by a pivot and used for gripping, turning, or manipulating objects; it can assist with tasks involving loosening/tightening drain plugs, hoses etc.

Gallons of water:A unit used to measure liquid volume often referred when calculating quantities drained from swimming pools given its widespread use worldwide

Water backup:The accumulation/reverse flowof water into an undesired location (such as a basement) caused by blockages/failures in drainage systems leadingto overflow & potential damage

Water clean:The state/condition characterized by being free from dirt/debris/impurities/solids ensuring clarity&sanitation standards including that achieved before/during draining processes

Floor drain:An opening/grate situated on the floor near/a partofa swimming pool designedto remove excess surfacewater that has accumulatedor infiltratedthrough various sources

Chlorine neutralizer:A chemical substance specifically formulatedfor reducing/changingthe chlorine contentin water making it safe for disposal without causing environmental harm.

Regular maintenance:Routine activities performed on an ongoing basis aimed at preventing issues/problems while keeping all aspects related to maintaining functionality/integrity at optimal levels

Winter months:Colder seasons associated with low temperatures typically requiring specific preparation/maintenance measures such as winterizing/swimmingpoolshutdowns

Rainy season:A period characterizedby higher-than-normal precipitation levels,such astorrential rainsand storms,resulting in increased likelihoodof needing additionaldrainage stepsfor managing poolingrainwater

Fiberglass pool:A type of pre-formed swimming pool constructed using fiberglass material, usually requiring specialized draining and maintenance techniques.

Ground swimming pool:A general term used to refer to pools installed at ground level, regardless of the materials used or construction method.

Dreaded pool pop: A sudden occurrence where hydrostatic pressure causes a swimming pool’s structure to rise or “pop” out of the ground due to improper drainage or other factors

Major pool:Refers to larger-sized pools with significant water capacity often exceeding standard residential sizes (e.g., 20,000-gallon pools) typically requiring extra attention during draining processes

Pool collapse:The catastrophic failure/structural breakdownof a swimmingpool resulting in it collapsing inward/outward often associated with inadequate support/maintenanceand excessive external forces

ABCs of Pool Care:A comprehensive guide covering essential aspects relatedto maintaininga healthy & well-functioningswimmingpoolincludingdrainageprocedures

Anti-Vortex Pool Drain:A specialized type of drain designedto preventvortexes(or swirlingwater movements) from formingwhich can be hazardous for swimmers

Arsenal of Pool Chemicals:Refers collectivelyto an arrayof differentchemical productsused in treating andmaintaining proper chemistrybalance/sanitationinthe water throughoutthedraining process

Bristles Black&DeckerPool Brush:A specific brand/productoffering high-qualitycleaningtools like brushesdesignedfor efficientremovalof dirt/debrisfromvariouspartsofthepoolstructure

Cement pool :A typeofs wimmingpoo lconstructedusingcementspecifically mixedwith sand/orother aggregatesoften necessitating appropriatecare/techniquesduringdrainageactivities

Cement poo l deck:The surrounding surface area around a cement pooldesigned specifically for walkingonwhile providingstabilityaroundits perimeter

Chemistryof Po olWater:The studyand management ofs ubstancespresentinpo olwater including chemicals/balancesimpactingo verall waterquality,safety,and hygiene

Chlorine-treated pools:Swimmingpoolswhere chlorineis used as apowerfuldisinfectant to killharmful bacteriaandmaintainproper sanitation levels;relevantwhen addressingchlorineremoval in drainedwater

Clean pool water:Describes the state of po olwater that isfree from impurities,particles,dirt orother contaminants resultingina clear and inviting environment for swimming.

Clean swimming pool: A well-maintainedswimmingpoolwith clean walls,floorsand clear, balanced watersuitableforswimmers & visually appealing.

Complete pool draining guide:A comprehensive resourceprovidingstep-by-step instructions and tips coveringthe entire processof effectively draininga swimmingpool

Concentrations of Pool Chemicals:The levels of differentchemical productsused in treating a swimmings wimming poo lneededfor achievingdesiredresults/standards

Confusion of Pool Maintenance:The complexnatureof variousmaintenanceaspectsrelatedto managing&caring fora swimmings wimming poo lstemmingfrommultiple factors&processesrequired

Dirty pool:Apo olinfestedwith dirt/grime/sediments/algaeorother contaminantsdue to inadequate maintenance;requires prompt cleaning &draining

Disgusting pool water:Refers to extremely dirty or contaminatedpo olsuspended withdirt/debris/algaewhich are unhygienic,&unappealingrequiringurgentcleaning&drainage

Entire poo l :The entiretyofs winkling p oi ncludingwalls,floor,equipment,and surroundingstructuresoften taken into accountwhen considering drainage processes

Entire pooll surface slants:T he irregularitywherethefloor/wallsurface ofs winkling p oo ls slantsaway from desiredlevelsoftencausing drainag eissues

FantasticPool Designs:E xemplaryandinventivedesignoptionsavailablefor constructing visuallyappealing&functionals winkling poo lswithuniquefeatures

Fiberglass pool liners:Th inlayerof fiberglassmaterial used to coverthe wallsand floor of a fiberglasspo olsurfaceproviding additional protection&s moothness

Garden with po ol water: Utilizing drainedswimmingpoolwaterfor watering gardensorplants,often after neutralization and proper treatment ensuringit does notcause harm

Green pool chock:A special chemical formulation specificallydesignedto address or correctgreen algae problemsin swimming pools; can be relevantduringdrainage process

Hose clamp:A deviceused to secure hoses firmlyonto fittings,to preventleakageorslippageduring drainageoperations

Discharge hose: A type of hose designed for directing water flow away from the draining location,such as toward a suitable disposal area during draining operations

Entirehose:The complete lengthortotalportionofahoseneededfor effective drainageactivities includingattachmentsto pumps/plugs/drains etc.

Hoseseparates:The unintentional disconnection/ separationofs ectionsofahoseduring its usage suchas whenmoving it,causingwater leakage/disruptionin drainage activities

Entire garden hose underwater:A situation where an entire garden hose is submergedunderwaterwhile connected to drains/pumps allowing efficient siphoning/movementofliquid

Entire hos e underwater:Situations wherethe entiretyo fa drainagesysteminc ludingthe associatedhosesis submergedcompletelybeneaththewater surfaceoften neededfordifferent types ofdebris/drainagemovements

Gardenhose siphon :A methodused for efficiently removing liquids/waterfrom oneparticulararea(a pool) using vacuum/suctionforceby manipulatingposition &properties ofg ardenho ses

Surface level :The elevation or height of a liquid (such as water ina swimmings wimming pool)relative toa given reference point, which affects drainage processesand water movement

Consistent levels:Ensuring uniformityor steadinessinwaterheight/elevation, oftenimportantfor efficientdrainageoperationsandmaintenance

Cyanuric acid levels: The concentrationof cyanuric acid (commonly used as a stabilizer in chlorine-treated pools)presen

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Mike Hunter

Mike is the owner of the local pool shop. He's been in the business for over 20 years and knows everything there is to know about pools. He's always happy to help his customers with whatever they need, whether it's advice on pool maintenance or choosing the right chemicals. He's also a bit of a pool expert, and is always happy to share his knowledge with anyone who's interested.

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