How to Remove Water from a Pool Cover

Sooner or later, if you use a pool cover, you’ll need to remove standing water from it, whether after a storm or when opening the pool for the season. Allowing water to stand may damage the cover. At the same time, removing it incorrectly may damage the pool water since it sends debris, such as leaves and dirt, into the pool. Keep reading to discover best practices to remove water from a pool cover.

The Importance of Removing the Water

On the surface, an inch or two of water on your pool cover doesn’t seem like a lot, but an inch or two of water across the surface of a pool can add up to several gallons. You may think that you can ball up the cover and just lift it off with the water still inside, but a single gallon of water weighs over 8.3 pounds.

We recommend removing water and melted snow from your pool cover periodically throughout the winter rather than waiting until you open your pool for the season. This way, you remove small amounts of buildup from time to time, as opposed to spending hours pumping out excess water.

Using a Pump to Remove Water

While not the fastest procedure, a pump is the most effective of the traditional water removal methods. However, it is also the most expensive method, since you need to purchase the specially designed pump. In addition, you need hoses to redirect the water and a route for that water to take (the pump has to send the water somewhere). There is also the cost of running the pump, which may take several hours depending on the depth of the water on the cover.

Be careful of any debris that may have gathered on the cover, as it can clog the pump and cause issues; make sure to clean the pump after use to ensure it will work in the future.

To use a pump, place it in the lowest point of the pool cover and simply turn it on. The majority of the water will be removed easily, but you will most likely have some small puddles left on the cover. These areas can be tricky for the pump and may require another method of removal.

Using a Siphon to Remove Standing Water

Siphoning is one of the most common ways people end up removing water from their pool cover, since it is effective and produces results quickly. There are two ways to start the siphon: sucking on the hose or getting the siphon to start itself. If a mouthful of stagnant water doesn’t sound appealing, then you can submerge the hose in the water that has gathered on the cover (it may be gross to touch, but it’s better than tasting it). Once the hose is filled, leave one end submerged and swing the other end quickly towards the ground. The momentum of the swing should be enough to get things flowing.

When the water starts flowing, it won’t stop until the source is nearly drained, but you can restart the siphon once you have gathered any remaining water into one area. One of the benefits of siphoning the water out is that debris is not as big of an issue as it would be for a pump. You’ll want to remove as many of the large pieces as possible, but a few small leaves and some dirt won’t be an issue.

Can You Remove the Water with a Bucket?

The bucket method of removal isn’t very practical for large amounts of water and may be the most frustrating technique. If you gather all the water on the pool cover into one area, you can dip the bucket in to remove it from the cover. It requires a lot of effort and will most likely result in you moving all around your pool to fully remove all the water. As far as debris goes, it is the best method to remove that, since you can’t exactly clog a bucket, but you’ll also come into contact with the collected water more than with any other method.

Removing Debris

To prevent your pump or siphon from clogging, it can be a good idea to remove as much of the debris from the water as possible. The best way to do this is with the net attachment for your vacuum pole. Attach the net to the pole and rake it towards you to gather anything that has accumulated in the water. Once you’ve cleared out anything that’s gathered in the water, you’ll be all set to clear the water from your cover.

If you want to make sure the water in your pool or hot tub is always balanced, consider pHin. It constantly monitors your
water and tells your smartphone what you need to do to keep the water in your pool and hot tub healthy. Use it with your own chemicals for flexibility or get our single-dose, pre-measured chemicals delivered to your door. If you need someone to service your equipment, Pool Service on Demand connects you to local, qualified pool techs.