There is no question that swimming pools often need various types of repair.  Not only do we need to take care of the water by balancing the chemistry weekly, we have our equipment, decking and our swimming pool’s surface.  Let’s talk about things we can do without having to empty the swimming pool.


Most of us probably see a crack or a chip and assume the worst.  You probably most commonly see them start on the most used area, like the steps or bottom of a spa.  Luckily, there are several products available that actually cure under water.  Although keep in mind it may be more difficult as some products require you to actually chip away a bit at the crack or chip so that it has flat edges and enough depth to hold the product and allow it to set.  Some cracks are impossible to access without draining your pool.  If it is to difficult for you to do the work with the water in it, it may be easier on you to drain some or all of the water.  But you certainly don’t have to.

Main Drains

This can be tricky to do in a swimming pool with water in it, but it can be done.  Some companies offer diving services, but this can get pricey.  I have a lot of customers that dive down themselves, holding some kind of weight, and unscrew, remove and replace the drains.  If you are replacing a drain in your spa, they are easier to access and there isn’t really a need to drain the water


Unless your light cannot be reached from the pool deck’s surface, you actually don’t need to drain your pool to replace a bulb and gasket, or even the whole fixture.  When a light is properly installed, they leave you with enough cord to be able to unscrew the light, take it out and set it on the deck.  The canisters should be water-tight (unless this is the reason you are replacing it because it is not.  Just make sure the power is off at the breaker before ever attempting any electrical work.


You may have algae stains, metal stains or other various stains on your swimming pool’s surface.  An acid wash may  be for you, but that does require a complete drain.  There are tons of products out there that work in the water to tackle surface stains.  They also make pumice stones and tile brushes that affix to your standard, telescopic pole to allow you to scrub away at unsightly stains.


You usually don’t have to drain your swimming pool to change out your pool equipment.  The main reason a drain would be required is if your equipment is lower than the swimming pool.  Either a partial or full drain may be required.  Whether it is the heater, filter, salt system or pump, you can replace these without having to drain your pool.

We suggest replacing your old single speed pump with a variable speed pool pump, even if your current pump is still working.  This is because of the high energy costs associated with a single speed pool pump.  They only run on 3,450 RPMS all the time.  This leads to green pools from not running it long enough or a very high electric bill

If you are thinking you can’t afford a quality pump without spending a fortune I have good news!  The American made, name brand pump of BLACK + DECKER can be purchased for about half of what your local swimming pool supply store is selling variable speed pumps for.  They also come with an unprecedented FIVE year warranty.  They are simple for you or your pool professional to install and come with a detailed instruction manual.  With a variety of horsepowers available, you can start raking in those energy savings sooner rather than later.  Check them out here

A lot of things require a complete drain.  If your water is older than five years it needs to be drained.  If you are having it resurfaced, acid or chlorine washed, you will need a complete drain.  Some things we can successfully do with the water still in it.  See you poolside!

Related articles:

Sand in Your Pool? Here’s Why—And How to Fix It

Chlorinate Your Pool in Three Easy Steps

How to Get Rid of Mustard Algae in Your Pool—The Right Way