It would be best if you had adequate drainage around your pool area for safety reasons. If you do not have a pool deck drain, water will collect on your decks, steps, and nearby surrounding areas. Hence, you, your family members, and the people who visit your home are at risk for slips and falls. So, to avoid any potential injury, installing a pool deck drain is a top priority.
However, an adequate drain system around your pool is never enough. It would help if you cleaned these pool drains regularly. Maintenance is a must to deter the build-up of debris that could block the water flow. Once that happens, water will stay stagnant in the area, causing accidents and inviting bacteria. If you want to know how to clean your deck drain and find out why this system is a must if you have a pool, continue reading this short primer.
The Purpose of a Pool Deck Drain
This installation fits into your deck’s flooring. Think of it as a specially crafted channel used to siphon off water drippings from those going in and out of the pool. It can also take in splashes and rainwater. A drain system is often in flooring that does not have good drainage. For example, concrete or tile decks and patios often have this system ensconced underneath.
Typically, a drain system is not installed on a wooden pool deck. However, those who opt to have the wooden slats come close together for aesthetic purposes can opt to have this installed, too. All it takes is the help of a professional plumbing company to get the job done. In general, having a pool deck is highly beneficial even for those with natural drainage nearby.
You will find that pool drains come shaped like a rectangle. Several slats of these surround the perimeter of your pool. Most of the time, the drain installation angles to a certain degree. It is specifically recessed to allow gravity to work and assure good water flow. So, this means your water will naturally go down the drain channel instead of staying stagnant and collecting on the deck’s surface.
The Problems of Having a Clogged Drain System
You may think rainwater or a small amount of splashed-out water from swimming on your deck is not a problem because it will eventually dry out through evaporation. In some cases, it does dry out. However, water can be sneaky and overwhelm your patio. Apart from slips and falls with a clogged drain, you can experience the following problems:
1. Overwhelming the Natural Drainage System
With a poor deck drain, you can encounter annoying puddles of water that can overwhelm the natural drain system you have. If it goes to the nearby landscape, it can get saturated with water. To preserve what you have, you must create an efficient drain system to accommodate all that excess water. If you do not, you can end up drowning plants, causing the soil to erode, or even allowing dirty water to flow back into your pool.
1. Contaminating Clean Pool Water
Another issue is stagnant water can also get into the pool, which is not sanitary. Even water from your raised plant box or downspout can get into the pool. Remember, water collected for a long time in the ground carries a lot of debris, dirt, germs, and bacteria. If they do not have a place to go, they can get into your pool.
1. Experiencing Ugly Mold
Everyone knows that pooled water is the perfect breeding ground for molds and mildew. Sadly, these yucky microbes cause staining, making your deck look unsightly. However, what is even worse is they can become slippery. The last thing you need as you unwind in your pool is a fracture.
The Reasons Why a Pool Deck Drain Gets Clogged
Deck drains are known for ferrying out excess water away from the surface. However, debris inevitably comes with the liquid, so if you do not clean your drain, it will get clogged. Normally, your deck drain gets naturally flushed out during a heavy rain shower. However, if it stays warm and dry for long, you will find the debris sticking to the sides. This will eventually harden in time and impede the proper flow of water. If you are wondering what can clog your drain, look at the following reasons:
- Small pool toys
- Small stones
- Accumulated shed off skin
Remember, if you do not properly maintain your deck drain, it will get clogged for sure. Without proper drainage, your pool area becomes a magnet for nasty slips. On top of that, you may need to do more work by breaking up the clog. Some deck drain designs are fortunately so much easier to clean than others. Commonly, a one-piece drain is more predisposed to clogging than its counterparts.
The Proper Way to Clean the Pool Deck Drain
If you regularly maintain your deck drain, keeping it spic and span will not be a problem. It will not be so complicated, and you can do it swiftly. However, if you constantly delay cleaning, it may become a complicated task that requires professional help. If you do not want to deal with this, stay on top of your game and always find time to clean your deck drain. You can get it done easily by following these tips:
Step 1: Locate the Drain
To begin the cleanup process, you must first locate the deck drain. This should be somewhere on top of the deck surrounding your pool’s perimeter. Once you find it, pull up the grate covering it. You may need to open the top and bottom covers of the drain. Some cap coverings pop off immediately with the aid of a flat screwdriver. Insert this into a small groove and gently pry the lid upwards.
However, some coverings come with a screw, so you may need to use your screwdriver to take out the cover. Try both methods to see which one will work for you. If you are unsuccessful or feel confused about what to do, you can read the drain manual or consult your drain manufacturer for advice.
Step 2: Remove Garbage
After popping the cover off, remove any large debris you see like leaves, dirt, gunk, and other waste inside the drain. Do not forget to use gloves and a mask so you can target the debris sitting in the bottom of the drain. Be sure to have a garbage bag nearby to collect all the large dirt that you can readily grab. Whatever gets left behind is not an issue because the tap water you will use to flush the drain will do the trick.
Step 3: Prep the Bucket
Begin digging a hole beneath the drain that can fit a 5-gallon pail if the area does not have enough slope for fast drainage. You can save all the soil you gathered for covering up the hole you made once you finish. Be sure to place the bucket into the hole, assuring that the mouth of the pail is below the bottom of the drain.
Step 4: Get the Sump Pump Ready
The next step includes placing your sump pump into the bucket. For best results, read the instruction manual of your device. Be careful and adhere to all the manufacturer’s advice to assure you get things right. Fill the bucket with water to submerge the pump. Turn the pump on and note that it will not begin pumping until the water in the bucket reaches the right height to dislodge the float mechanism.
Step 4: Think of the Hose Placements
The pump’s intake hose goes into the deck drain, while the output hose goes where you want the water to flow. Remember, you need to connect the discharge tube and put the drain end far away from your deck, so the dirt does not rebound. Ideally, you should assure the hose is on the longest slope away from the drain.
Step 5: Screw the Garden Hose
You must screw a 1/2-inch hose to your outdoor water line. Ascertain that everything is tight, so nothing leaks from the faucet. Take out any nozzle attachments on the end of the house if there are any. Then you can turn on the water using only half the pressure flow. You can then insert this hose into your drain and keep it there until all the debris loosens. You will notice that the debris will flow over the drain thanks to the gushing water. Do this until the drain is clear. As this process goes on, you will see debris falling into the bucket.
Step 6: Continue Flushing
Continue the flow of water until everything becomes clear. There is no harm done with continuous flushing. Be sure to keep a watchful eye on the process so you do not waste your water. Once water can freely flow, you can remove the hose. Do not forget to turn off the outdoor tap.
Step 7: Disconnecting the Pump
You can leave your sump pump continuously running even if the tap is turned off. Notably, your sump pump will shut itself off when the float mechanism lowers and finds its original resting position. You can then disconnect the drain tube. Then you can take the pump from the bucket.
Step 8: Put Back the Drain Covers
From there, you can now reinstall the drain covers that you removed. You can gently tap the covers in place if you only popped them off. However, if they are the screw-on kind, put it back into place using the screws. Remember, keep the screws properly as you conduct the drain cleaning to make sure you do not have a hard time finding them at this stage.
Step 9: Pick a Regular Cleaning Schedule
As you can see, cleaning your pool drain is not that complicated. With the right tools, a little bit of time, and some energy, you can get the job done in no time at all. Be sure to pick a regular maintenance schedule. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to clean because the debris can get stuck.
Step 10: Assess If You Need Help
Sometimes, it would be best to pay for convenience. If you don’t have the time or inclination to work on your pool deck drain, calling the pros is your best bet. You will be amazed to realize that professional fees from a reliable and well-respected plumbing company are not as exorbitant as you may think. So, go ahead and ask them the rates. It is worth a shot, especially if you want to use your precious weekends or holidays for that much-needed relaxation.
The Guys to Call When You Need Help
If you do not have a pool deck drain, it is time to call in a professional plumbing company like our team at San Diego Plumbing and Pipelining to discuss your many options. A deck drain is a crucial part of ensuring safety within your pool area. Truly, swimming pools provide so much enjoyment during the warmer months. Thus, it is essential to ensure that it functions properly.
Providing regular cleaning and maintenance must include clearing your deck drain. It bears the brunt of all the excess water and debris, so it tends to get clogged. Thorough cleaning with the help of our team assures everything in your pool is in good condition. Give us a call today, and our experienced staff will be happy to discuss options with you. If you need help installing a drainage system, we can find one that best fits your needs and budget considerations.