The phone rang today, and the caller asked

asked how much it cost to service a pool. I asked what kind of service they needed. The caller replied that they drained the water from their pool, and they needed the debris cleaned out. This prompted the question “what kind of pool do you have?” is it a vinyl liner pool or a gunite pool? In this case the answer was gunite – and I think the caller could hear the urgency in my voice. (By the way, NEVER EVER drain your swimming pool, whether you have a vinyl liner pool, gunite pool, or fiberglass, unless you KNOW what you are doing. Even then, I don’t think you’d drain it because you’d know better!)

I began to explain to the caller that it’s never a good idea to drain your pool, especially a gunite pool. I recommended an acid wash, since the pool was empty anyway ($550-650) for the service, and that it occur today if at all possible. I also advised that if the pool wasn’t going to be acid washed that they begin refilling the pool immediately. Why would I do this? If you know anything about pools, especially gunite pools, you know that the weight of the water is what helps to hold the pool in place. You have ground water pushing up on the pool, and when the pool is full, the weight of the water in the pool keeps the ground water subdued in most cases. If you drain a gunite pool, and the force of the ground water is greater than the pool can handle, you can have what’s called a “pool pop out”, (there are various other terms for the same things), in other words, you are in trouble and your pool just got very, very expensive.

Did I mention that we’ve had a week of rain in Michigan?

The bottom line is that this customer didn’t want to spend real money on a service call to have the pool cleaned, so I advised getting some buckets, getting the debris out of the bottom of the pool, and getting water in it immediately.

If you are in the Detroit, MI area, and you hear about a pool popping out of the ground this week, it just might be this one. Then again, maybe it was filled up right away, and all is well.

If you are contemplating emptying your pool or any other do-it-yourself maintenance, and would like recommendations, or an opinion, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have. Just call our service hotline, and we’ll be happy to address your question!