Every spring season, millions of Americans are faced with the dilemma of opening up their swimming pool. Possibly the most dreaded step of the process is removing the pool cover.
Before you can remove the cover, you have to remove the water that's on top of the cover. While you can try siphoning the water off with a garden hose or scooping it with a bucket, a much more effective method is to use a pool cover pump.
Skim Out Debris
Chances are since you own a pool, you have a pool skimmer as well. If you don't, you can wait until your cover is dry and blow off the debris with a leaf blower.
The best option is to skim the leaves, grass clippings, dead bugs, etc. out before pumping off the water. This way, there's less concern about clogging the pump. Once you've got everything skimmed out, you're ready to prepare your pump.
Preparing Your Pump
Preparing your pump is not very complicated, but there are a few things to keep in mind. The first step is to attach the outlet hose.
Make sure your pump is clean and clear of debris, and ensure the power cord is free of abrasions. If there is any exposed wiring, replace the unit to avoid electrocution. For safety purposes, make sure you plug your pump into a GFCI protected outlet.
Placing Your Pump
As you place your pump on the pool cover, you want it to be submerged in the deepest spot. This way your pump will stay submerged longer and remove the most water.
Carefully place your pump upright on the pool cover and use a long-handled squeegee or push broom to slide the pump into position. Straighten out your hose and place the open end away from the pool on the lawn or near a drain.
Make sure there aren't any kinks in the hose that could prevent the pump from doing its job. If you're using an extension cord, be sure to position the cords so that the point where the power cord plug and extension cord are joined is not submerged in water. These plugs are not waterproof, so they should not be left in water due to the risk of electrocution.
Running Your Pump
Once you're finished prepping and placing your pump, you're ready to plug in and start pumping some water. How you use your pump will depend on the style you chose.
Some have auto-off switches and can be left unattended. If the pool cover pump does not have an auto-off switch it must be monitored and unplugged once the pump starts sucking air.
Another factor to consider is how many gallons per minute (GPM) the pump moves. If your pump is designed to handle more GPM, you may want to keep a closer eye on it, as it'll finish the job sooner. If your pump is designed to handle very few GPM, you may be able to step away and check back.
When you first start using your pump, you may want to monitor things more closely until you're more familiar with how it operates. And be certain not to leave your pump out during extremely cold weather. Freezing water can damage the pump, and damage due to freezing is never covered under manufacturer warranties.