I have been trying to figure out my pool pump problem with a possible
skimmer line or main drain line leak...and finally found a leak detection
expert and had to open up the concrete deck to access the broken PVC pipe
and got it fixed. Everything seems to be fine, until last yesterday...
It rained a few inches two days ago, so the pool water is now several inches
higher than the skimmer opening. So I decided to open the drain line valve
to drain off a few inches...big mistake.
About twenty feet from the pump and filter assembly on the other side of the
house suddenly a pool of water began to seep up quickly (do you remember the
movie Meet My Parents where Robert Dinero was walking on a wet lawn? Yeah
that's it). I immediately went to close off the drain valve and the water
So it appears even the house (which I bought a few months ago and now doing
repairs and finding a lot of surprises) is on city sewer, at one point in
time the house must have been on septic tank and the pool drain is draining
to the septic tank and I bet the septic tank is under the puddle of water.
So now what do I do? Do I need to re-route that pool drain line to the
This is not a pleasant surprise! I don't know if this is something a normal
inspector would have checked, but mine sure did not. This is going to be
Given that your diagnosis is correct:
Does the local code require or permit draining to the sanitary sewer?
Does the local code permit draining to your lawn or storm drain? (The
SFWMD is actually *requiring* this during the drought in Miami/Broward/Palm
For what it's worth, my pool filter drains out a hose. You unroll
it out to wherever you want the water to drain. I wouldn't worry
about it if I were you. An unused septic tank sounds like a great
place for the water to go, even then it's a lot of water to handle all
Ask at your local pool place, they'll know what's the norm for where
you live. Don't lose any sleep over it.
I just ran some pvc underground from my filter backwash outlet to the
side of the drive way. I cut it off flush at ground level so you can
mow right over it and it just blows onto the drive and down it into
the storm sewer. Easy, neat, unobtrusive. Those rollup things I found
to be a pain....
Make sure that dumping pool water into the storm drain is allowed first.
Around here, storm drains may run into natural streams which are also
the home of live fish, particularly during spawning season. Pumping a
pool full of chlorinated water into the storm drain may kill all the
fish in the stream - something that actually happened a year or so ago.
The pool owner was in trouble, because pools were required to drain into
the sanitary sewer.
More likely it's a dry well, or perhaps another broken pipe. I would
vote for a dry well. There is no way a septic could handle having a
whole pool full of water pumped through it. If the soil was saturated
after a big rain, a dry well might not have disposed of the water fast
enough. Try draining in dry conditions, or a little slower, and it may
function just fine. If not, just pipe the discharge to the sanitary
You might dig up the wet spot and see what is going on down there.
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with my first name and last initial.
Yes this will be my next project to dig it up and find out what is going on.
It does not make sense at all.
The pool is 30' x 20' and varying depths from 5' to 9' so it's over 25000
gallons. When I opened the drain valve to drain the water, I count
1001-1002-1003 and I see the puddle show up at 1030. So if I have a big
storm and 4 inches in order to drain 4 inches of water so the level return
to the proper skimmer opening location, I will never be able to drain that
volume of water.
But then again, why would someone drain pool water into the septic tank to
begin with, that makes no sense. So perhaps it is a dry well. There is a
32" diameter ound stone tablet about 5" thick on top of this thing.
There is no near by storm drain inlet. The closest one is at about 190'
MIami, lets step back for a sec. I am a certified pool contractor.
First, in MIami, you never need to drain the whole pool (if you did,
it would likely pop out of the ground, buoyed up by the surrounding
groundwater!!!) , so lets forget about 1000s of gallons in the
neighbors yard or your tank or whatever.. Also, dont drain the pool
immediately after a rain! In Miami, you're going to lose a fair amount
of water to evaporation pretty quick, so don't feel compelled to rush
out and level out the water....it will be fine until your yard has a
chance to recover.
Next, what kind of filter do you have for the pool? A sand or
diotomaceous earth filter (DE filter) require periodic backwashing.
You're gonna have to pump some water out of the pool at SOME point.
(As does every other pool owner in our lovely state). So check the
code to see if you HAVE to pump it to the sewer (I'm not in Miami, so
I don't know), and then check your chemicals.
as a side note I'm willing to bet that the person that killed the
fish had just "shocked" the pool (a process of adding large amounts of
chlorine (10x the normal amt) to a pool "burn off" the Chloramides,
which are the leftovers of chlorine after it neutralizes the bad stuff
in the pool. Note: when a pool smells like chlorine, its not too much
chlorine, its too little! That smell is the "used" chlorine!). So be
aware of your pool chemical balance.
If all else fails, have the neighborhood kids over for a "cannonball"
contest, and you're water will be back down in no time!!!
I was not trying to drain the pool completely. We had a rain storm last
week and it increase the pool water by about 4 inches overnight. With the
size of my pool bein like 30'x20', to drain off 4 inches we are talking
about 1500 gallons.
The reason I have to drain it is (1) I am trying to figure out why my pump
is not priming 100% in the skimmer line but will prime 100% in the main
drain line. I had an expert here and he said there is no leak in the
skimmer line so now I am looking at where there may be air being sucked in
(via valves etc...) and I was trying to get the water to the proper skimmer
opening level for it to work optimumly. Right now it is totally submerged.
Second, another 6 inches and the pool will overflow. My house is a
"wrap-around", meaning the pool is in a central courtyard with paver deck
and the rooms are all around it, so once it overflows it goes onto the deck
then into the rooms. There are four small grate inlets on the deck that
drains outside but the capacity of those inlets were only designed to drain
fast enough for pouring rain directly onto the deck, not overflowing pool
water. I am worry about the day we get 12" of water in one day, I have to
drain the pool down a bit before hand to compensate for these events, and
with the septic/drywall/whatever that comes up after 10 seconds of draining,
I see a big problem.
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