We just received an inquiry from ‘Bekki’ who asked, “With (hurricane) Irma coming at us should we drain our inground pool before we evacuate for higher ground?”

Thank you for your inquiry, Bekki, and we hope you and everyone else potentially in Hurricane Irma’s way the best of luck and safe travels.

Should you drain your pool before the storm? No. You should NOT drain your pool.

  • If you have a concrete, plaster or fiberglass pool draining the pool will significantly reduce the pool’s weight and once the ground becomes saturated, as typically happens during hurricanes and continued torrential downpours, the pool could ‘float’ vertically out of the ground.
     
  • If you vinyl liner pool draining the pool will significantly reduce the amount of water weight in the pool and once the ground becomes saturated, as typically happens during hurricanes and continued torrential downpours, not having enough down force pushing down on the pliable liner will allow water to push upward creating pockets or blisters on the pool’s bottom and/or walls.
     
  • Draining pool water too far and allowing normally submerged surfaces to get exposed to the air may result in vinyl becoming brittle and other surfaces cracking or suffering other forms of damage — especially if exposed for periods of time greater than one would need to perform normal repairs or maintenance work.

In addition to the above, pool owners should also strongly consider:

  • Turn of the power to the pool area (including pumps, motors, lighting, etc.) from the circuit breaker.
     
  • Remove and safely store diving boards, slides and other exposed swimming pool hardware if possible.
     
  • If you have a gas heater on your pool, safely disconnect the gas line from the heater and see if you can have your gas company discontinue service until the storm passes.
     
  • Relocate or seal as best you can pool pumps and motors if flood waters could possibly reach them.
     
  • Store all patio and pool furniture indoors.
     
  • “Shock” your pool before leaving to discourage algae growth and deter insects from turning your pool into a breeding ground.