Install Center Drain

by Gwen

I am not sure if I submitted my question correctly last night. So, we have an above ground pool, it is in our business (indoors). It is an oval pool.

The foundation in our business is concrete. However, we are using it for teaching dive classes for certification as well as swim classes and other water related activities. To do this, we had to build a brick wall about 4 feet up from the concrete foundation and then pack our sand so that we would have a deep end.

When we applied for our permit, we were not informed of the new law that would or could go into effect. We did not install a drain in the bottom of the pool. A lot of people said they were dangerous. So we have no drain what so ever. It is just a big above ground pool with a pump and we vacuum it like any small above ground pool.

Now the Health Dept has told us we have to shut our doors to any pool related activities until we have the pool up to these specifications. Our business is not much more than a year old. How bad is this going to be? Can we put a drain into this pool without completely tearing it out? Please help! This has really been a blow for us since we are already struggling...and things have just started to pick up, mostly due to these classes.



Hi Gwen. I had almost the exact thing happen to me. I built a 32' x 48' foot in ground, vinyl lined pool with an 8' deep center. I built the pool completely from scratch and had a liner custom made to fit the pool. The pool was for a bungee jumping company, to be used as a safety net. A crane took the customers into the air and they jumped over the pools. The pools was really only used by the employees after business hours. The health department also shut us down until a drain was installed. Since the pool was not to be used for public swimming we never thought it would be an issue.

We completely drained the pool, pulled the liner back past the halfway point, and installed a center drain. We refilled the pool the same day and did not experience very much liner shrinkage. The biggest problem with draining deep end pools is the liner shrinkage and the wrinkles that might be caused when it is refilled. We did the deep end fill on a hot Arizona day the vinyl was easy to work with and the job turned out nice.

The only problem I can see you having is resetting the liner with the use of direct sunlight. You will want the temperature to be as warm as possible when trying to smooth the liner out when refilling.

When the liner is pulled back the drain can be set in the center and a trench dug out beyond the pool to further connect the pipe to the filter. On this page is a basic layout for hooking up a drain.

Center Drain Installation

If it is at all possible to get away without having to drain the water out of the deep area I would try it. See if they will let you mount a suction, drain type fitting, near the bottom of the sidewall. This fitting would be similar to the return fitting on the pool, except plumbed into the skimmer line. The second option would be if they would allow you to install the drain in the shallow end of the pool, preferably near the edge somewhere.

Having to install a drain in the deepest part of the pool will be the hardest, but still possible. Do what you have to do and get back to running your business.

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