How to Get Water Off Pool Cover Using Pool Cover Pumps

Got melted snow or rain water on the pool cover? In this article we’ll show you how to get water off the pool cover so you can use the pool.

Too much water on a pool cover can not only damage your pool cover, but can also prevent you from removing the pool cover so you can start using your pool again.

It is time to uncover your pool when spring arrives in Minnesota or anywhere else. Although showers in April will bring flowers in May, it also results in a lot of water being dumped on top of your pool cover.

If you are not sure how to get water off your pool cover, you’ve come to the right place.

The cheapest method to remove the water that is on your pool cover is to use a garden hose to siphon it off.

However, this method will not remove all the water and it will take a lot of effort and time. A better way to remove the water from your pool cover is to use a pool cover pump.

Woman holding a pool skimmer net is about to clean the pool.
Use a pool skimmer net  to remove leaves and juck from the pool cover. The pool cover is rolled up at the end of the pool.

Remove Leaves, Dirt, Debris, Etc.

First remove all objects that may clog up the pump to prevent wasting effort and time needing to clean the pump constantly.

The best way to do this is to use your pool skimmer net to collect everything that floats on the pool cover.

Another way to do this is to wait until the water is evaporated by the sun and wind and then use a leaf blower to clean the pool cover. If you live in a northern state, that might be a long wait. Also, this method will result in a lot of dirt being stuck to the cover. This dirt should ideally be cleaned off the cover before it is stored to prevent the cover from decaying.

Getting The Pool Cover Pump Ready

Although this step is pretty simple it is very important. Check that the power cord is safe to use. If you see any wires that are exposed, don’t use the pump! An electric shock can be fatal.

In this case, you should replace the pump or have it repaired professionally. Always plug electrical equipment into a GFCI outlet when it is used close to a pool.

Ensure that the pool cover pump is clean and that there are not any obstructions that will prevent the pump from sucking water. The final step is to attach a garden hose to the pump’s water outlet.

Shown below is the Little Giant Automatic Swimming Pool Cover Pump. Model 577301 APCP-1700. It operartes automatically so you don’t have to watch it.. It is very easy to use and clean.

Little Giant APCP-1700 115-Volt, 1/3 HP, 1745 GPH, Automatic, Submersible, Swimming Pool Cover Pump with 25-Ft. Cord, Light Blue, 577301
4,934 Reviews
Little Giant APCP-1700 115-Volt, 1/3 HP, 1745 GPH, Automatic, Submersible, Swimming Pool Cover Pump with 25-Ft. Cord, Light Blue, 577301
  • APPLICATIONS: designed for automatic removal of water from pool covers, boat covers or rooftops – pump activates in 2-inches of water and shuts off when water drops to 1-inch
  • EASY MAINTENANCE: access to pump float and air lock for cleaning; requires no tools or screws; see video for demonstration
  • WELL DESIGNED: ergonomically built-in handle for portability and ease of placement and removal; compact weighted design for stability
  • EASY SET-UP: 1-inch FNPT discharge with 3/4-inch garden hose adapter included to fit standard 3/4 garden hose; convenient 25-foot power cord ensures easy-reach of power source in most installations
  • SPECIFICATIONS: 115 Volts; 60 Hz; 2.2 Amps; 270 Watts; 1/3 HP; 1745 GPH at 1-ft. lift; 25-ft. shutoff; 1-inch FNPT discharge with 3/4-inch garden hose adapter; integrated float switch; 25-ft. cord

Placing the Pool Cover Pump

Put the pump in the spot with the deepest water on the pool cover. This will ensure that the maximum amount of water is sucked off.

Automatic pool cover pumps will generally switch on when the depth of the water is about 1.5-2.5” and will switch off at about 3/8” water level.

The deepest water is most often close to the pool cover’s center. To get the pool cover pump to where it needs to be, push it with something that has a long handle, like a broom.

Also, by attaching a rope to the cover pump, the rope can be used to position the pump.

Position the garden hose so that the water is drained to a safe location. Make sure the hose does not have any kinks, as this will slow the flow of water.

Shown below is the Wayne 57729-WYNP WAPC250 Pool Cover Pump. It comes with a pull cord to help position and remove the pump with ease.

Wayne 57729-WYNP WAPC250 Pool Cover Pump, Blue
4,395 Reviews
Wayne 57729-WYNP WAPC250 Pool Cover Pump, Blue
  • Pool Cover Maintenance – The WAYNE 1/4 HP Reinforced Thermoplastic Pool Cover Pump is a great addition to your pool maintenance. WAYNE model WAPC250 has iSwitch technology, which activates the pump once the water level is at, or above 2 1/8”. Auto Off deactivates the pump when water is at or below 3/4″
  • Automatic Pumping – Water level must be at least 2-1/8” for the pump to turn on, prime, and operate. Water levels less than 2-1/8” won’t activate the iSwitch to start the pump, so manual activation will be needed
  • Efficient Design – Energy efficient, high flow, oil-free pump. Easy on/off allows you to plug in and leave the pump unattended for worry-free water removal all winter long. Automatic freeze protection within the iSwitch technology helps prevent pump damage
  • Additional Features – The strainer base filters out debris to minimize clogging and keeps the pump from tipping over. 25-foot power cord and 25-foot “pull-to-shore” rope included to help position the pump on the pool cover. Includes a 3/4″ garden hose adapter and check valve to reduce repetitive cycling
  • Quality You Deserve – Proudly assembled in the USA for quality you can trust. Warrantied for 3 years for dependable, efficient, performance. This Auto Off pump will NOT run dry

Extension Cords

When you use an extension cord, the connection to the pump cord won’t be waterproof! You need to therefore ensure that it does not get wet. If it does, the GFCI circuit will trip and turn off the water pump.

However, as there is also the risk that you may be electrocuted, take extreme care that this does not happen.

How to Get Water Off Pool Cover Using Pool Cover Pumps

If you allow the pool cover pump to run dry it will result in the motor burning out. If the sump pump you use is manually turned on or off, monitor it continuously and switch off the pump before it sucks air.

However, if you use an automatic sump pump, it will switch off when the water level drops to around 3/8”.

Pool cover sump pumps have a GPH (gallons per hour) rating. Pumps with lower GPH ratings take longer to empty a pool cover.

This may be a problem if persistent rain results in too much water on pool cover, as the weight of the water may damage the cover. This means that you need to remove the water as soon and as fast as possible.

Shown below is the budget priced FibroPool Electric Swimming Pool Winter Cover Drain Pump. This very popular budget priced pump is manually turned on or off.

FibroPool Pool Cover Pump (600 GPH) - Submersible Electric Utility Water Pumps - 16 foot Heavy Drain Hose - For All Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs Black
5,715 Reviews
FibroPool Pool Cover Pump (600 GPH) – Submersible Electric Utility Water Pumps – 16 foot Heavy Drain Hose – For All Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs Black
  • COMPACT DESIGN: Durable, lightweight chassis will not weigh down pool covers, which can often cause tears, sag and other damage. Small form factor makes carrying and storage a breeze
  • GIANT PERFORMANCE: Pumps at a rate of up to 600 gallons per hour with a 75 watt motor. Quickly removes still water that can be a breeding ground for mosquitos and other pests
  • EASY TO USE: Just plug in to any standard, 120 volt wall outlet and you’re good to go-no switches to fuss with. Manual shut off by unplugging
  • FULL COMPATIBILITY: Included hose easily removes water from any pool depth without the hassle of using your own garden hose. Designed for in ground and above ground pools, as well as hot tubs and spas
  • Proudly Engineered and Designed in the USA by a team of pool professionals with decades of experience

Once the pump has started working, monitor its performance. Ensure the water is being pumped to where you want it to go. Once the garden hose has filled with water, it may move from where you placed it due to the water pressure.

A moving hose may also tip over the sump pump causing it to suck air and potentially burn out. Also, the water may not discharge where it was intended to go.

Once you have made sure everything is working the way it should, you may be able to leave a manual cover pump on its own for a while, especially for pumps with a low GPH rating. However, we always recommend that you rather stay with a manual pump until the job is done.
You can leave an automatic pool cover pump unattended as it does its job.

Can A Cover Pump Be left In Freezing Temperatures or The Rain?

We mentioned earlier that the connection between an extension cord and the pump won’t be waterproof. This means that the pump can’t be left running while it’s raining as this will cause a short and possibly ruin the pump motor.

However, it is likely that the GFCI breaker will be triggered and prevent harm to the pump.
Freezing weather is not good for the pump. Any water inside the pump will expand when freezing and this will damage the pump. Manufacturers’ warranties don’t cover damage caused by freezing.

Pool cover on an inground pool. How to get water off pool cover? Use this Little Giant pool cover pump.
Pool cover on an inground pool. How to get water off pool cover? Use this Little Giant pool cover pump. 

Removing The Pump

The last step in how to get water off the pool cover is to remove the cover pump, which is a simple process.

After unplugging the pump, use the garden hose to pull the pump towards you. If you opted to tie a rope onto the cover pump then you can use the rope instead of the hose.

Disconnect the hose and check the pump to see if it requires cleaning. It will be much easier to remove dirt immediately rather than leave it for later.

Final Thoughts

The question of how to get water off the pool cover has been answered in this article. Pool cover sump pumps come in manual and automatic models that have different ratings for Gallons per Hour (GPH) and horsepower.

If your budget allows for getting the higher-priced higher horsepower and automatic pumps, this would be your best option.

Automatic sump pumps allow you to do other things while the pump is doing its job. On the other hand, lower horsepower or manual pumps will mean you’ll have to wait longer before you can get into your pool.

However, budget-friendly manual pool cover sump pumps will allow you to get the job done.
Also. you won’t need to use a pool cover pump too often. So, buying a budget priced manual pool cover sump pump could be a good choice.

Shown below is the budget priced EDOU pool cover pump with a 16 foot kink-proof drainage hose.

EDOU DIRECT Submersible Pool Cover Pump | HEAVY DUTY | 850 GPH Max Flow | 75 W | Includes 16' Kink-proof Drainage Hose, 2 Adapters | Pool pump ideal for draining from above ground and inground pool
5,088 Reviews
EDOU DIRECT Submersible Pool Cover Pump | HEAVY DUTY | 850 GPH Max Flow | 75 W | Includes 16′ Kink-proof Drainage Hose, 2 Adapters | Pool pump ideal for draining from above ground and inground pool
  • Professional Drainage – Above ground pool cover pump is designed to be a convenient, easy to set up solution for accumulated water. Water pump for pool draining not intended for full submersion.
  • High Efficiency – The best pool cover pump that drains water 1.5X faster than the average above ground pool pump, up to 850 gallons per hour.
  • High Quality – Easily filter out dirt with customized ABS casing. Pool cover water removal pump features temperature control and manual shut-off switch.
  • Good Compatibility – Pool drain pump includes 2 adapters for 3/4 inch garden and drain hose and 25 feet power cord for 110V electrical wall outlet.
  • Excellent Value and Customer Service – Includes pool cover pump, hose and adapters. Also comes with lifetime professional customer support.

Related article:

How to Drain an Inground Pool Without Pool Popping or Collapse

Richard Quick author at Best Sump Pumps
Richard Quick
Author at Best Sump Pumps

The first time I helped to install a drain tile and basement sump pump system was 1978.

Since then I have worked for a city water utility where I worked with and maintained pumps.

My rental properties and personal homes all needed sump pumps.

As a modular home dealer/builder, those new homes needed sump pumps.

I put that experience to good use by providing reliable, useful, and practical advice on buying, using, and maintaining sump pumps.

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