Do You Need a Main Drain In a Swimming Pool? (Explained)

The central drain of a swimming pool does more than take water out of the pool. But is that necessary to have a main drain? Do you need a main drain? Please stick with me, as I give you the answers you need in this article.

Are you new to the world of maintaining a swimming pool? And you get it entangled. Maybe you need a main drain in your swimming pool or not?

It’s common for new home users who get their swimming pool installed to ask this. Going straight to the point, the answer is, “It depends on your type of swimming pool, location, and water system you have.”

There are different settings and functionalities for each type of swimming pool, and this comes with another form of necessity or not. If your swimming pool needs the contributions of the main drain in a pool, you can go for it.

Do You Need a Main Drain In a Swimming Pool

Purpose Of the Main Drain In a Swimming Pool

The main drain doesn’t directly mean a medium that drains water from your pool, although it is capable of draining water too. The main drain is an engineered suction medium made to collect water from its outlet through a pipe attached to it, take the water through the filter system, then through the heat pump system, and finally pump it back into the pool.

With this, heavy particles which sink in the water are sucked off. For efficiency, the main drain is located at the bottom of the swimming pool. This enables adequate suction processes and filtration.

There will be skimmers and main drains for larger pools, but in smaller ones, there is just maybe one main drain and a skimmer depending on the owner’s preference. With those mentioned above, it can be deduced that the main drain functions as a filter system and circulation of water in the swimming pool. If you add any chemical to the swimming pool, its processes make the chemical fully circulated in the swimming pool.


Is The Main Drain Useful For My Type Of Swimming Pool?

No matter the swimming pool model you use, main drains will always be advantageous. While there are recommendations that there is no need for the main drain if the filter system of an in-ground swimming pool is functional, it’s advised to have a main drain installed.

If you have a large swimming pool, main drains are needed to coordinate with skimmers and your filter system to clean your water. If it is a commercial swimming pool or one exposed to many intruders, there will be a need for more than one main drain in the swimming pool.


How Do I Recognize If My Swimming Pool Has One Or Not?

If your swimming pool installation company didn’t give you a guide about it, you definitely wouldn’t have. Identifying the main drain isn’t hard; it is an outlet, and it’s located at the bottom of the pool. It has a bit of grill exposed, and pressure will feel whenever you near it.

It can even harm anyone near it when it’s fully turned on. It sucks off the dirt and particles in the bottom of the swimming pool, making it easily identifiable because materials will be absent near it.


How Do I Know If My Main Drain Is Working?

If you turn it on and notice particles moving towards it, it’s functional. In the absence of any dirt or particles in the pool, you can put a leaf across the leaf and see if it will suck it through. Skimmers also pull surface material to themselves so be sure of the suction direction.

Bubbles and a little suction sound can be heard when you move close to the location of the main drain. The suction level differs with the number of main drains in the swimming pool. If it’s many, you might not notice much activity, but you will find the pool effectively cleaned.


What Should I Do If My Main Drain Is Faulty?

You might want to attempt practicing DIYs on your main drain, but it’s advised that you call a repair expert to help you. If your attempts go wrong, they may worsen the other pool maintenance systems. Before coming to an end of its fault, be clear to check through at least three times.


Should My  Main Drain Be Opened All The Time?

Engaging your filtration system in your swimming pool is advised to be once in 24 hours. You should open it when your filtration system is working in your quest to have clear water. Other technicalities need to be known in the operation of the main drain.

Be aware that a slimmer filtration system works to achieve the same goal. You can open the skimmer and the main drain at once or the main drain and the cleaner valve of the filter system. Do not attempt to open the three at a time. Aside from optimizing your electrical bill, it’s considered uncalled for. You can also open the main drain flap in a ratio of 33% or 1/3 during the day. This will limit the pressure but will still be effective in suctioning particles.


Can I Use Skimmers Instead Of Main Drains?

The work of each mechanism is different. Skimmers are installed toward the surface of the swimming pool for it to suck off debris and oil samples on the water. The main drain is positioned at the bottom of the pool, and its function is for collecting dirt and particles which sink into the swimming pool.

Some swimming pool owners try to avoid the usage of main drains, but it’s extra work on their filtration and cleaning system.


Lifespan Of the Main Drain

The lifespan depends on the manufacturer and the level of product bought. On average, it lasts 5 – 10 years, depending on the maintenance put in place. Some manufacturers provide you with a guide on maintaining it and when to change the drain cover before it cracks and spoils other parts of the main drain.


Final Thoughts

Main drains are an essential part of a swimming pool, hence shouldn’t be avoided. You should follow manufacturers’ instructions, and you should seek the help of a swimming pool technician for installation.

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