How To Easily Drain A Pond (With Or Without A Pump)

How to Easily Drain a Pond (With or Without a Pump)

Anthony Barnes

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Draining your pond may seem daunting and a mammoth task, however it doesn’t have to be hard work!

There are many ways for you to drain your pond that are quite easy to do and hassle-free.

All you need is the right equipment and to follow some instructions and you will have a drained pond in no time! In fact, it should only take you roughly an hour or so. 

In this article, we will guide you through a range of options on how you can drain your pond. So, what are we waiting for, let’s get started!

Should You Drain Your Pond?

Before we discuss the many ways to drain your pond, the first question you need to ask yourself is whether you should drain your pond.

The only reason you should be draining your pond is if it is absolutely necessary and you have no other choice.

Draining your pond can be very damaging to your pond’s ecosystem and leave a lasting and devastating effect.

Pond ecosystems are very complex in nature. They contain a range of different life forms all working and living together in harmony.

By draining your pond you will disrupt this ecosystem and risk destroying it all together.

These ecosystems are made up of life forms such as insects, pond plants, microorganisms, and good bacteria. If you drain your pond and then refill it after, it may take a very long time for the pond to restore its ecosystem.

Another reason you need to strongly consider whether draining your pond is essential is if you have fish stocked inside.

Pond fish need bacteria to build their immune system and to fight things that are hazardous to them such as ammonia and nitrites.

When you drain your pond, you are damaging the ecosystem that provides these bacteria for your fish. This means your fish may find it very hard to survive in a freshly filled pond. 

There are some cases however where draining your pond is necessary and the only option.

For example, you should always drain your pond if your pond liner is damaged and needs replacement or to be repaired. Additionally, a pond will need draining in order to reseal the liner so the pond is not leaking.

If you happen to be changing, moving, or redesigning your pond or good, then you may also need to drain your pond in order to move it to fit in with your new design. 

If the reason you think you should drain your pond is that it needs cleaning, then worry not. You do not need to drain your pond in order for it to be cleaned.

Cleaning a pond can be very easy, provided you have the right tools and essentials. You will need a pond filter, pond skimmer, and a pond net and you should be able to keep your pond clean yourself!

As we have mentioned above, draining your pond can cause damage and destruction to your pond’s ecosystem and kill off beneficial bacteria that your pond needs to thrive and survive.

How to Drain a Pond With a Pump

The easiest and simplest way to drain your pond is by using a pond. This is especially true if you have a large-sized pond.

There are many pond pumps available today on the market, and there are even different types that you can use that are all slightly different.

For example, there are hand pumps, submersible pumps, and solar pumps – each of which we will be talking about and going through later in this article.

The pump that you purchase and use to drain your pond will depend on two factors: the size of your pond, and how quickly you want to drain it. 

Draining a Pond Using Submersible Pump

The first type of pump that you can use to drain your pond that we will be discussing is the submersible pump.

This type of pump is the most recommended choice of the pump when it comes to draining ponds. They are much more efficient and make the job much faster and easier than most other methods of drainage.

The most simple way of draining your pond is if you already have a pond pump running. All you will need to do is move the outtake hose to the location where you desire the water to be drained.

A good place to drain your pond is a garden because pond water is a fantastic natural fertilizer however we will talk more on this subject later.

However, if you don’t already have a pond pump placed, or rather you want to replace the one you have already, you will need to put the pump at the deepest part of your pond.

The deeper your pond is the more powerful your pump is going to need to be in order for the best results. This is because it must have enough power to lift the water from your pond and into the area you want it to go.

The maximum value of the ‘head height’ of your pump is the maximum height of water the pump can lift from the pond. You will find this information in your owner’s manual.

The higher the head height value is, the deeper the submersible pump can be placed into the water, and the further away it can drain.

The pump you use doesn’t have to be subversive, but for best results, it is recommended that you use one. You can, however, use an external pump, it will just be a little more tricky.

The pump will need to be installed precisely and correctly in order to work and be able to drain your pond.

It is more difficult to drain the water from your pond this way so it is recommended that you do use a submersible pump for both efficiency and ease.

Draining a Pond Using a Solar Power Pump

The next type of pump that we are going to talk about is a solar power pump. These pumps work better for smaller ponds as they aren’t as powerful, but are still effective under the right conditions.

Solar power pumps are much slower and weaker than electric pumps but it is much more economical. These are best if you do not have a lot of water to drain.

These pumps work best during sunny months as the UV rays are more intense and will power the solar pump much better than in the cold months when the sun isn’t out as much.

Many solar pumps are fitted with a fountain feature which is especially useful for lifting water in order to drain the pond.

Although they aren’t particularly powerful pumps they are highly recommended for shallow ponds. This is because it doesn’t take a large amount of power in order to remove the water from the pond. 

If you are looking to purchase a solar power pump then it is in your best interest to choose a model that has a large capacity.

This is because it is going to be much more beneficial to you in the long run.

In addition to this, you should also be looking for a pump with a flow rate of around 200 GPH to 500 GPH. Most solar power pumps have a head height of a couple of meters, however the higher the GPH, the higher the head height the pump typically will have.

One of the best parts of a solar power pump is the fact that it does not need an electrical source of power.

This is an advantage when it comes to positioning your pump as there are no cords or connections to the mains needed, meaning that you can place it anywhere and it will still work as it is powered by the sun.

They can be placed very remotely and in places where traditional pumps wouldn’t be able to go.

Most of the time the correct hose piping that you need for these pumps will come included when you buy the product, however, there are certain brands where you need to have the pipes separate from the pump itself.

You may also need to buy extended piping if you want to drain the water further away.

These pumps are recommended for small ponds because there isn’t as much water to drain, so though the drainage process is slower, there is less to remove.

Larger ponds will take a much longer time to drain with one of these pumps, however, it is still possible to drain large ponds with a solar-powered pump.

Solar power pumps are very beneficial, especially in the long run. This is because they do not need electricity to run and so you will save money when you need to use it.

They are also usually cheaper than electric pumps. Additionally, when you aren’t using it to drain your pond, the fountain-like feature will make a wonderful display for your pond, without using electricity!

Draining a Pond Using a Hand Pump

The last type of pump we are going to discuss is a hand pump. This pump involves the most amount of manual labor – hence the name. If you don’t mind an intense upper body workout, then this may be the pump for you!

Hand pumps are very effective at draining pongs and are also very cost-efficient and will save you the pennies!

You just need to have patience and be strong enough to pump. They are especially good for smaller ponds, where there is less water to get rid of. 

To make it easier and more simple for you you will need a lengthy hose in order to extract the water.

Most hoses are made to transfer water at a speed of 2 to 10 gallons of water per minute and a good hand pump has a flow of 5 to 10 gallons per minute.

If you do the maths, this means that to drain around 100 gallons of water, it will take you between 10 and 20 minutes!

If that same water was being drained without a pump, it would take up to 10 times longer, so investing in a good hand pump and a good workout is definitely in your best favor!

If you are looking to have control over how much water is drained from your pond, then a hand pump and siphon hose is the best option for you.

You will of course need a lot of patience and body strength to drain your entire pond dry!

How to Drain a Pond Using a Pond Vacuum Cleaner

How to Easily Drain a Pond (With or Without a Pump) (1)

Pond vacuums are typically used to clean ponds and are quite good at doing so! They are highly recommended for keeping your pond free from any sludge, removing organic debris, and are useful in controlling pond algae. 

If your pond vacuum cleaner has a good and solid discharge system, then it is possible that you can use it to drain your pond as well!

If you want to purchase a new vacuum cleaner then you should consider getting one that has a discharge system so that it can double as a pond drainer. This is going to save you a lot of time and money in the long run. 

You are even able to find pond vacuums that can clean and drain your pond simultaneously which is very useful in saving on time and handy-work.

Although pond vacuums can be used to drain your pond, a pump is always recommended over a vacuum.

This is because it is the most simple and effective way and pond pumps are built specifically for the purpose. Pond vacuums are however super useful tools to have to help you keep your pond clear, clean, and healthy!

How to Drain a Pond Without a Pump

If you do not have access to a pond pump, nor do you want to purchase any pumps then worry not. It is actually possible to drain your pond without any pump at all.

Of course, this means that the task is much longer and more complicated but it isn’t however impossible.

This is a great option if you don’t have access to a pond pump and you need to drain your pond as soon as possible. 

The Bernoulli Equation is a scientific principle that talks about how various fluids flow.

Although the specifics aren’t needed, that is the basic principle behind how you can drain your pond without using any type of pump.

In fact, to drain your pond with no pump, it has much to do with science and how water flows and gravity works.

So how exactly does it work? How is it possible to drain a pond with no pump? Well, all you need are a few basic tools and accessories. These include:

  • Nozzle
  • Brick or Rock or Heavy Object
  • Syphon Hose or Garden Hose – Syphon hoses are much faster than garden hoses.

And that is it! Those are the only items that you are going to need in order to drain your pond. 

Using Hose Siphoning – Water Removal

Once you have the above objects it is time to start draining your pool. Here are some step-by-step instructions that you may find helpful to follow.

  1. The first thing you should do is connect your garden hose to a spigot. The longer your hose the better, as it will need to extend between the pond and where the water is being released. If the hose that you have is not long enough then you will need to use an additional hose and/or some hose extensions.
  2. After this, take the free end of the hose and connect it to a nozzle.
  3. Activate the spigot and water should enter the hose – you want the hose to be completely filled with the water.
  4. Twist the nozzle until there is no water coming out of the hose. At this point, you should also turn off the spigot.
  5. Once you have done this, simply disconnect the garden hose from the spigot. Hold it vertically to prevent any more water from exiting the hose pipe.
  6. Using your free hand, grab the nozzle and bring both ends to a place that is lower than the level of the pong. This is a place to send the water. Now place the nozzle on the ground.
  7. Take the open end of the hose and place it in the deepest area of the pond. Submerge the end with a rock/brick/heavy object. The end needs to stay submerged beneath the water in order for the siphoning to work.
  8. Keeping the nozzle end of the hose close to the ground, remove the nozzle. The water should very quickly rush out.

Where Should You Drain Pond Water?

One of the most common questions to do with pond drainage is where should the water go?

The best place to release pond water is in a garden. Pond water is a natural fertilizer that is actually beneficial to the garden. The microorganisms and nutrients found in the water are fantastic fertilizers.

If you don’t have a garden then you can use the pond water to water trees or landscape plants and bushes.

You could even just spread it throughout your lawn. You should never drain your pond into a sewer.  

How to Refill Your Pond After Draining

So, now your pond has completely drained and you have fixed whatever your issue was, you need to fill it back up again. But how can you do that? 

You can use regular tap water to refill your pond however you will have to treat it.

This will help to provide a healthier ecosystem for any wildlife that may be living within your ponds such as fish or insects or other organisms.

Tap water contains extremely high levels of chloramine and chlorine which are very harmful to pond life.

These chemicals can destroy the good bacteria in your pond water and destroy the ecosystems and even hurt the fish in your pond. For this reason, you must treat the water.

This means dechlorinating it before adding any fish or other wildlife you may have to place into your pond.

Usually, after you have drained your pond of water, most of the good bacteria will have died.

In order to promote a healthy environment for your pond life and help to rebuild its ecosystem, then it is recommended that you add pond bacteria.

It is not a necessary step but it will certainly help with your pond’s ecosystem and how fast it is rebuilt. 

You should also carry out pond water quality tests to ensure that the pond water is safe enough for your fish to live in. If the water still has too many chemicals inside then it may harm and even kill your fish.

You should check for KH, pH, ammonia, and nitrite levels.

Water drainage can affect the levels of each of those and so it is important that you note down the levels before draining the water, and after you have refilled it.

This way it is much easier to compare and see any differences and whether you need to further treat the water in order to keep your fish and pond life alive and thriving. 

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it. A range of different ways that you can drain your pond!

From the different types of pond pumps to draining using only a hose – there are so many ways that it is possible for you to entirely drain the water from your pond.

It is important to stress that you should only be draining your pond water if absolutely necessary.

Ponds create their own eco-systems and are full of insects and other microorganisms that will only live in that specific water. By removing that water and replacing it you will destroy said organisms.

Ponds need bacteria in order to be healthy and survive.

Again, if you have fish or other wildlife in your pond, it is extremely important that you treat the new water you put into the pond, as well as test the levels for different chemicals to ensure it is safe for any wildlife and living organisms.

Only drain your pond if absolutely necessary.

Hopefully, this article has been helpful in telling you how you can drain your pond with or without a pond pump and your pond will continue to be happy and healthy in the future! 

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By Anthony Barnes

Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age