A question I have often heard from new automatic pool cover owners is, “Should I just open my auto cover when it rains so the water doesn’t build up on top…then I don’t have to pump any water off my cover?”
At first glance, that question seams quite harmless and valid. However, the main function of an automatic pool cover is to save lives. That is why you will commonly hear people refer to it as a safety cover. When automatic pool covers are utilized properly, they are a physical barrier between you, your children, pets, and neighbors’ children. So, to leave the cover open and unattended while it rains just for the convenience of not having to pump the water off before you swim is a dangerous idea. You are asking for a potential tragedy.
A pool cover pump is included with every automatic pool cover system we sell. Make sure that the pump you are using is rated for pool cover usage. There are many pumps out there but few are rated for use with a pool cover. As water flows to the pump, the weight of the water by the pump increases and causes a low spot. A standard pump could potentially fail to function properly because it would be inhibited by the pool cover itself. But a pump rated for use with a pool cover is designed and tested for this purpose.
When you know you are going to use your automatic pool cover, here are a couple of things you can do to help minimize wait time after a heavy rain.
- During the swim season, if you know a storm may be coming your way, plug in your pool cover pump and place it on top of the pool cover as close to the middle as possible. (The pump and cord are fully submersible – except the plug itself.) This way, if it rains while you are away or even at home doing other things, your automatic pool cover pump will automatically turn on and off as needed so your pool cover is ready to open when the storm passes.
- Many areas have wet or rainy seasons. During these times, you can leave your pool cover pump on your swimming pool cover and let the pump work for you. Every time it rains, the cover pump will automatically activate and evacuate the water when a certain amount collects by the pump and then shut itself off.
Depending on the size of your swimming pool, your automatic pool cover pump may not get quite all of the water if there isn’t a big enough impression in the cover from the pump to draw all of the water to it. After most of the water is evacuated, you can open your cover 1/2 to 2/3 of the way to gather any remaining water, put your cover pump back on for a couple of minutes to remove remaining water, and then you are ready to open the pool cover the rest of the way to swim.
by Andrew Leyer