How High Should You Fill a Swimming Pool?

Where you are simply maintaining your water level or filling your pool from scratch, the water level of your pool needs to be kept in check. Having the water level too high or too low both have problems. With that in mind, how high should you fill your swimming pool?

Your pool should be filled so that the water level is at the midpoint of the pool skimmer opening. If your water is too low, the skimmer won’t be able to draw enough water into the pump and your pump may end up losing prime and running dry.

Filling your pool too high comes with its own problems too. Let’s look at that next.

What Happens If My Pool Water Level is too High?

If your water level is too high, leaves and debris floating in your pool won’t be pulled into the skimmer and will start to accumulate. As this excess debris decays, phosphates will be released into your pool water and this will increase the rate of algae growth, along with other microorganisms.

Filling your pool to high can also cause accidental overflowing and water damage that may occur to any surrounding structures including decks or paving.

How to Raise Your Pool Water Level

The best way to raise your pool water level is to simply fill it with a garden hose. You can also use well water, however, this water may need to be treated because well or borehole water usually contains contaminants such as iron or hydrogen sulfide, which can make your water cloudy or smell funny.

Here is an in-depth article I wrote about using well water to fill your pool.

Read: Is it OK to Use Well Water to Fill a Pool?

Low to Lower Your Pool Water Level

Lowering your pool water level will happen naturally as the water evaporates over time as well as when you are performing general maintenance tasks such as backwashing.

However, if your pool is on the verge of overflowing, you may decide to empty it quickly by doing it manually.

Lowering the water level using your pool pump.

You can empty your pool using the pump by setting the multiport valve to waste and leaving the pump to running for a few hours.

If your pool has a main drain, be sure to set the valves to draw water from there instead of the skimmer. This is just a safety precaution in case you forget to stop the pump in time, and the water level drops below the skimmer.

Be careful to monitor the level constantly because the water level will start to lower very quickly and you might end up emptying your pool below the skimmer. When your water level drops below the skimmer, the pump will start drawing air and this will eventually burn out your pump.

Read: What Happens If My Pool Pump Runs Dry?

Lowering your water level by siphoning with a garden hose.

We’ve all seen it in the movies, bad guy siphoning fuel from a cop car. Now you get to imitate your favorite action movie, only, more boring. Haha

Siphoning fuel, same same, but different

The easiest way to siphon water out of your pool is the old-school sucking method. Place one end of an empty hose a few feet into the swimming pool, but not too deep because this end needs to be at a higher level than the outlet of the hose.

Place the other end where you would like the swimming pool to water to drain. ideally, you want your swimming pool water to drain into a stormwater drain or onto a street. Now use your mouth to suck as hard as you can until water starts to drain.

If it is too difficult to suck water through the pipe using your mouth, try filling the hose with water using a tap, prior to placing it into the pool. The weight of the water pulling down will create suction at the pool end of the hose.

As with the previous method of lowering your water level, be sure to monitor the pool level every 15 minutes or so. I have personally completely emptied my pool overnight when I forget to remove the hose in time.

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