How To Circulate Pool Water Without A Pump: 2 Methods

Not much comes close to the refreshing feeling from a dip in the pool on a hot summers’ day. Cooling off in some crystal clear water after soaking up some sun is the best, but the convenience of having a pool in your own back yard comes with some basic maintenance requirements. However, one of the questions is how to circulate pool water without a pump. Fear not. We have the answer for you!

Most importantly, you will want to make sure you maintain proper water quality and that the pool water stays clean and clear. Aside from adding disinfecting chemicals such as chlorine for killing any bacteria or other pathogens, a filter will be needed to collect any debris floating in the pool.

How To Circulate Pool Water Without A Pump

Circulation of the water is required to assist with both efforts – ensuring the disinfectant evenly spreads throughout the water and to push contaminants into the filter. Making sure the water keeps moving around also helps to maintain even temperature throughout the pool and prevents stagnant water which attracts mosquito breeding and algae growth.

A pool pump easily keeps the water circulating continuously and flowing through the filter. This precious piece of equipment can

You can always swim or use a pole-type object such as a broom or boating paddle to stir the water around after adding in any chemicals, or use buckets to empty the water and replace with fresh water, but these are quite demanding of your time and physical efforts. If your pump fails you, there are a couple recommended options for steps to take to keep your pool water clean – even when you are not around to tend to it.

METHOD 1: Siphoning to Drain the Water Out

Draining some of the water out and replenishing with fresh water is a helpful technique to help maintain the water quality if the pump is no longer forcing water through the filter and back into the pool.

Using a siphoning hose made specifically for the purpose of draining water or any flexible tubing is appropriate for this process which can work with in-ground pools but easiest with above-the-ground pools. First you will want to submerge the hose or tubing in the water with just a little bit of one end out of the water and make sure water fills the inside of the hose.

Then you will need to cap off that end and gradually pull that end out over the edge of the pool and down towards the ground while making sure the other end stays submerged in the water.  Now the cap can come off and the water will start to drain out of the pool through the hose. If gravity is not enough to start the water draining through the hose you may have to suck the remaining air out but once that process starts, the water will continue to drain on its own.

Pro Circulation Tips

  • Do not drain the pool fully to avoid issues of sidewalls popping or colapsing without the weight and pressure of the water.
  • Make sure the draining water is pointed away from the base of the pool so the ground surrounding and supporting the pool does not get too soggy.
  • Use a wider diameter hose for faster draining of larger quantities of water

METHOD 2: Shop Vacuum Water Removal

Using a shop vac to create a suction effect is an ideal option for sucking water out of a pool, however it does require monitoring and action even once the process is started as once the canister or bag of the vacuum is filled it will need to be emptied.

To initiate this method you will want to make sure the hose of the vacuum is long enough to reach from the pool water surface to the vacuum. If it is not, you can substitute or extend the hose with flexible tubing or a garden hose as long as it is sealed when attached.

Then you can switch on the shop vac which will use its suction to pull the water into its emptying container. You will have to then empty the collected water from the vacuum multiple times until the task is complete which can become quite time consuming.

Pro Circulation Tips

  • You can attach your pool vacuum as an extension as shop vacuum hoses are not typically long enough for most above ground pools

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