Hydrostatic Pressure and Inground Pools
Hydrostatic Pressure sounds like a highly complex concept that you have to have a degree in physics to understand, but it’s not as difficult as it sounds. If you’re a pool owner, then it’s important you understand the relationship between hydrostatic pressure and inground pools. Let’s start by taking a look at hydrostatic pressure.
Understanding Hydrostatic Pressure
Hydrostatic pressure is:
“The pressure exerted by a fluid at equilibrium at any point of time due to the force of gravity.”
Hydrostatic pressure is proportionate to the depth measured from your inground pool’s surface as the weight of the water increases when a downward force is applied.
The water pressure is caused by gravity. Think about your inground pool from its top. Pressure is exerted from the water acting on the sides of the pool. Moving down from the top of the pool to the bottom, the pressure exerted by the top layer of water becomes greater the deeper it goes. This phenomenon causes more pressure at the bottom of the pool. It also means that the water is pressing against the walls of your inground pool, which is significant. The force of the water on all sides of your pool can cause problems if not dealt with in the right way.
Why is Hydrostatic Pressure Good and Bad?
Hydrostatic pressure plays more than just a role inside your swimming pool. All inground pools have a pocket underneath them that will slowly expand over time. This pocket will fill with water when it rains, and if the ground is highly saturated, the water won’t drain for days or weeks; if the pool is deep enough, the pocket may never drain. The water inside the pocket is just like the water in your pool; it’s exerting pressure on all sides of the pocket and wants to move; that is the bad side of hydrostatic pressure in this scenario. If your pool is drained, the pressure in the pocket will have less above it and cause your pool to pop out of the ground and cause it to crack or bulge. When a pool is full, it keeps the hydrostatic pressure beneath it in check.
Let an Expert Drain Your Pool
If you are thinking about draining your pool to clean it or for any other reason, don’t. You are taking the risk of your pool being raised and damaged. Never attempt to drain a pool yourself; a professional pool expert should do it for you. They know how hydrostatic pressure works and how to keep it from lifting your inground pool out of the ground. There are devices in your pool called hydrostatic pressure relief valves, and an expert will know when to open them and when they should not. They will understand that it is not time to drain a pool after a heavy rain or a few rainy days. They will be able to inspect your pool for any potential problems and eliminate them before they happen.
Pool Works Can Drain and Inspect Your Pool
If you are going to drain your pool to clean it or get a better look at hairline cracks that may be developing, call us or fill out our quick contact form. A member of our staff will discuss if and why your pool needs to be drained. One of our pool experts will come to your home and inspect your pool to see if it needs to be drained for any reason. You can count on and trust Pool Works; we have over thirty years of experience, are licensed, and belong to the Florida Swimming Pool Association. So, don’t attempt to drain your pool on your own; let Pool Works do it for you.