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Garden Hoses & Your Pool

Written by Dale Richardson - Updated: June 23, 2023

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How do you empty a pool with a water hose? Is there a proper way to do it, or is it kind of a wild-west situation? If you're asking these questions, you're in the right place. We gathered all of the most commonly asked questions on the web related to pools and hoses, and boy do we have some answers for you.

So what's on the docket today?

Today's Topics Include:

Now, without further ado, let's get going!

Pool Basics: Garden Hoses


Let's start with some of the basics of pool maintenance - specifically, finding out how long it takes to drain a pool. After that, we can talk about how to empty a pool with a water hose, the physics behind the process, and more. Let's dive in!

How Long Does It Take To Drain a Pool with a Garden Hose?

This is one of those fun times where I (a writer, not a maths person) get to do a bunch of math to answer your question. And I told Mrs. Duncan that I'd never need to learn maths with a calculator in my pocket... (Spoiler, I was right!)

We're going to make a few assumptions for an example, and then we'll give you a couple of resources to help make this easier.

We'll assume you have a 5,000-gallon pool that you're draining with a standard (3/4") garden hose. If you can pump roughly 30 gallons per minute, it would take you just under three hours (2.78 hours) to drain your pool.

If you had a 25,000-gallon pool, though, (and the same hose) it would take 13.88 hours to drain your pool.

Here are some resources to make sure you don't have to do too much math:

  • This will break down how garden hoses work in terms of water pressure, how much to use, and what to look for. Just trust me here.
  • Garden Hoses Sizing Basics
  • This will show you which hose is best for the task (spoiler, it's a large-diameter hose, preferably 3/4").

Can I Drain My Pool with a Garden Hose?


You can absolutely drain your pool with a garden hose! While it's certainly not the most time-efficient method, it is incredibly easy to do, takes very minimal involvement, and doesn't cost you anything for electricity like an automatic pool pump would.

It's worth noting that some hoses are absolutely better than others for this job. You can take a peek at the articles liked above, but the basics are as follows. You'll need a long enough hose to stretch from your tap to your pool with spare space , a large-diameter hose opening, and a pair of hands. (You have those, right?)

Skip on down to our " how-to " subsection below to see how exactly to drain your pool with a garden hose.

How Long Does It Take To Fill a 5000-Gallon Pool with a Garden Hose?

It takes roughly 45 minutes to fill a 5,000-gallon pool with a garden hose. In order to find this number for a different pool, use the following formula (or use the calculator liked above):

  • Find the length of your hose (usually in increments of 25 feet)
  • Find the total length of your pool (length * depth)
  • Multiply the length of your hose to the length of your pool – this is the total length.
    • We’ll call this X
  • Discover your hose’s PSI/flow rate, measured in Gallons Per Minute (GPM)
    • This is monitored on a meter near your water meter.
    • We’ll call this Y
  • Now, use the following formula: Length (X) / Flow rate (Y) = Fill time.

So a pool that's 20 feet long with 12 feet of hose would be 240 feet. If you have a PSI of 30, it would take you 8 minutes to fill the pool (240/30 = 8)

What Is the Best Way to Drain a Pool with a Garden Hose?


There are two ways to empty a pool without a pump - a bucket, or your garden hose.

The best way to drain a pool with a garden hose is coincidentally theonly way to drain a pool with a garden hose.

Skip to the next section for a walkthrough of how to drain a pool with your garden hose.

How Do You Empty a Pool with a Water Hose?

Now technically, I lied in the above section (whoops). There are two ways to drain a pool with a garden hose, but they're so similar that it's essentially the same process. Let's talk how to empty a pool with a water hose.

You can do this one of two ways, which will only differ in step two in the following list:

  1. Take your longest garden hose with the largest diameter and place it in your pool. Push it down far enough to nearly touch the bottom of your pool.
  2. Now here, you have two options:
    • Use your spigot:
    • Use your mouth:
  3. Bring the end of your hose not in the pool to the area in which you’d like the water to drain. Be sure to keep the second end of the hose above your pool, otherwise, this won’t work.
    • If using the spigot method, uncrimp the hose and the water will begin to flow out.
    • If using your mouth, begin sucking on the end of your hose. Keep sucking until water flows out, spit out the water (outside tap water is generally not safe to drink), and watch the water flow.
  4. Tie or secure the hose in place and wait. You’re done!

How Do Pool Vacuums Work with a Garden Hose?


Pool vacuums work with a garden hose through basic physics. They make use of the same process that we described above (siphoning), which uses the force of atmospheric pressure alongside gravity to push water in a direction it wouldn't normally go.

You can either purchase a pool vacuum to use with your garden hose, or you can build one from scratch with the following method (essentially siphoning still):

  1. Run your hose as you did above, with one end in your pool, and the other on your tap.
  2. Allow water to run, as you did above, until it fills the hose entirely. Turn off the water and crimp your hose.
  3. Attach a hose plug (can be litreally any piece of rubber that fits snugly) to stop the water from leaving.
  4. Bring the other end of the hose (unplugged) where you'd like it to drain - in an area lower than your pool . Unplug the hose and watch as it vacuums itself!

And that's that - a pool vacuum works almost identically to the siphoning process. Professional-grade vacuums just do it faster.


If you're trying to drain your pool, you came to the right place. Siphoning a pool can be intimidating, but with the above processes, you'll be doing it like a pro in no time. And having access to that handy-dandy little calculator will save you a boatload of headaches, so I guess you're welcome! All in all, pool maintenance really shouldn't be hard - and it isn't if you're doing it right!

Now go take a dip, you've earned it.

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