Leaking From Pool Filter Drain

by Sara

I have a Hayward sandfilter and have a leak at the bottom drain. It started as a small drip now it is almost a stream.

I replaced the cap today, no luck and put some putty stuff around the threads and still no luck, maybe even worse.

I can't run the pool without more leakage and then the hose collapses. I have no clue what I am doing!!

Thanks for any help!

Thanks for the question Sara

This is a common issue with sand filters and you may not like where this is going, but it needs to be done.

Many bottom drains come with a small o-ring or gasket. This could be either broken, missing, cracked, or torn and will need to be replaced. The bottom drain and pretty straight forward. You should have the cap, maybe a smaller piece the size of a nickel going inside the cap, and the screen.

Be sure you turn the system and breaker box OFF when doing any kinds of repairs. I didn't turn the breaker box off when I did an electrical repair for a customer's pool and got a pretty good jolt.

Here's the fun part... You'll need to remove the cap and screen, allow the filter to drain, and then remove the sand from the filter. Clean the sand out of the threads in the filter, screw in the new cap/screen, then refill the filter with sand. Before you add the sand back in you'll want to fill the filter about 1/2 full of water. This will help disperse the energy of the sand going onto the laterals. Cover the standpipe with a towel so no sand can get in.

The cap may not go back in correctly or you may get sand in the threads if you try to simply take the plug out and put in new one in. A good time to check the laterals for cracks or breaks is when the sand is removed.

Once you have enough sand in the filter, fill the filter up all the way with water, then attach the lid. Check the o-ring around the lid as well and be sure the threads are clean. To keep the water in the filter you'll want to close the skimmer and bottom drain valve (if applicable). Be sure there's water in the pump pot. If not you can use a hose to fill it.

Open one valve then immediately start the pump and release the air pressure on top of the filter.

If you need immediate assistance (within 24 hrs) or for emergency personal assistance, you can make a donation of your choice and I'll answer your questions by phone.

Contact Me


Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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Do You Need A Pool Main Drain?

by Lisa

We have a 15000 gal pool, don't know the dimensions but it is 74' perimeter and goes to 8ft deep.

We are replastering and thinking of redoing the old copper plumbing.

We were quoted on 3 return lines (we currently have 2) an autofill, a poolsweep line, skimmer, and split the main drain. We are kind of weary of cuttting through the gunite for the main drain.

Won't it weaken the shell? One pool contracter said we dont even need a main drain, that the vaccum and skimmer would be enough circulation.

What are your opinions of the main drain.

Should we just close it off?

Thank you.

Thanks for the question Lisa

This is one of those questions in the pool realm that is likened to "Are there UFOs" in the secular world. There are so many opinions about whether a pool should have a main drain or not.

But first we need to understand what drains are.

Most people don't use them to drain their pools. It's used for circulation.

Some pool experts and builders say it's necessary for circulation. If you don't have a drain, the skimmers do most of the work and only filter the top part of the water, leaving the bottom stagnant.

My opinion is this:

If you have a pool cleaner, such as a Polaris and a good skimmer, along with 3 returns lines, and good gallons per minute (GPM) I personally wouldn't put in a bottom drain. No need to cause a problem later on.

I read an article about this very issue. It's dated, back in 2006, but still relevant. You can find it here:


Again, this is just my opinion, but that's what you asked for.

Hope it helps and have a great Summer.


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Pool Contamination From Sewer

by Teddy Comrie
(Baldwin, NY)

The pool was overflowed with water from the canal and the under ground sewage water.

Is there any chemical that you recommend to put in there or do I have to empty the pool?

Thanks for the question Teddy

I know it can be frustrating when a pool gets contaminated with canal and sewer water.

Here's a link that is very similar to your issue:

Silt And Mud In Pool

The real issue here is water quality and safety. There are so many micro-organisms that live in canal and sewer water, many of them can be lethal when introduced to a swimming pool.

There is bacteria and other pathogens that are often spread by untreated waste.

You could repeatedly shock the pool and possibly get away without draining it, but that would be risky.

Also, there's no way to tell on my end just how badly your pool has been contaminated. The pool water would need to be run through a battery of tests to confirm any signs of contamination and pathogens. That would probably by cost prohibitive.

If you're the least bit unsure, I'd recommend draining, cleaning, and refilling the pool. This is not what you wanted to hear and I understand. From a quality and safety point, it's your best route.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Waterborne Illness" category.

Check back to this post for updates or answers.

If you need immediate assistance (within 24 hrs) or for emergency personal assistance, you can make a donation of your choice and I'll answer your questions by phone.

Contact Me


Hope this helps.


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We Need To Purchase An Overflow Drain Cover

by Marilee
(Peach City, GA)

We just purchased a home with a backyard swimming pool. On the edge (about 2 feet from the side of the pool) is a drain - my neighbor said it's called an overflow drain.

There are 2 and one has a cover and one not - I would like to purchase a drain caver, it's 3 1/2 inches diameter. Do you sell such a product, if not, where could I purchase one?

Thanks for the question Marilee

Yes, some pools do have a drain. They can be situated at the water level, similar to the skimmer, and act like an overflow drain in a bathroom sink. You know, the little hole in the front.

Or they can be on the deck. This is so water doesn't accumulate in the deck and become slippery.

I don't sell them but there are many places online that you can try. Horizon Pool Supply, Best Deal.com, Bizrate under the pool and supplies category, and Leslie's Swimming Pool Supplies.

You can also try a local pool supply company.

If you need immediate assistance (within 24 hrs) or for emergency personal assistance, you can make a donation of $35 for one hour and I'll answer your questions by phone.

If you've found this site helpful please consider making a donation. Thank you.

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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Main Drain Leak

by Joanne

My pool was opened two weeks ago and my technician realized we have a leak in the main drain. Water level is now well below the skimmers, just above the light fixture. In order to get the plumbing lines tested, I have to ensure the water is clear for the diver to see the drain. We have algae, and of course I can't use the cleaner line for the Polaris, as the cleaner line also has a leak. My question is, can you suggest ways for me to remove the dead algae from the bottom of the pool without using the skimmers/cleaner line so that the diver will be able to see? Many thanks!

Thanks for the question Joanne

If you have algae you can pour liquid chlorine in the water and maintain a FC level of 12ppm to kill it. The water will become cloudy and white with dead algae. This is where the filtration system comes in. It captures the dead algae and that gets backwashed out. You can also use a PolyQuat 60 algaecide to help with the process.

If you don't have a properly working filter then the cloudiness will remain because the algae cannot get filtered out. I'm not aware of a way to effectively remove the dead algae without a proper filtration system. You can kill the algae but it would be very difficult to remove it and clear up the water. Sorry I couldn't be more help with your situation.

If you feel your situation is more complex than this, I do phone consultations. It makes things go much faster and many people have found it extremely beneficial, saving them time and money in the long run. All your questions will be answered. I have nothing to sell you so you know I'm not bias.

Pool Consultation

Swimming Pool Care eBook

How To Clear Up A Green Pool eBook

Swimming Pool Resources

Have a great Summer.


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