Common problems with pool cover pumps

One of the most common problems pool owners face is clogged pumps. Leaves, debris, and even insects can cause blockages in the pump's intake or impeller, reducing its effectiveness. When the pump is clogged, it can't remove water from the pool cover efficiently, leading to water accumulation and potential damage to the cover itself. Additionally, a clogged pump can put unnecessary strain on the motor, reducing its lifespan.

Another prevalent issue arises when the pool cover pump lacks the necessary power to manage the volume of water present on your cover.

This can happen if you have a large pool or your area experiences heavy rainfall. A weak pump may struggle to remove water quickly, resulting in slow draining or overflow. This can lead to water seeping into your pool, causing contamination and potentially damaging the surrounding area.

Lastly, improper maintenance can also cause problems with your pool cover pump. Over time, the accumulation of debris and dirt inside the pump can result in corrosion and damage.

Overlooking regular maintenance tasks like cleaning the pump and checking for blockages can lead to lower production and a shorter lifespan for your pump.

To prevent these issues, it's essential to understand how to troubleshoot common pool cover pump problems and establish a regular maintenance routine.

Troubleshooting pool cover pump issues

If you're experiencing problems with your pool cover pump, it's important to troubleshoot the issue before it escalates. Here are a few steps you can take to identify and resolve common pump problems:

Check for blockages: Inspect the pump's intake and impeller for debris or clogs. Clear away obstructions and ensure the intake is free from leaves or insects.

Verify power supply: Make sure that your pump is receiving adequate power. Check the power source, circuit breaker, and connections to ensure everything is intact.

Inspect hoses and connections: Examine the hoses and connections for leaks or damage. Tighten any loose connections or replace damaged hoses to ensure proper water flow.

Clean the pump: Regularly clean the pump to prevent debris buildup. Remove the pump's cover and clean the impeller, intake, and housing using a soft brush and mild detergent. Rinse thoroughly and reassemble the pump.

Test the pump: Once you've completed the above steps, test the pump to ensure it's functioning properly. If the problem persists, it's advisable to contact a professional for further assistance.

Pump Cycle Trips On and Off Intermittently

If your pump cycle is sporadically tripping on and off, there are a few approaches to take. First, make sure that the unit is plugged in properly to your power source. A partially-plugged in unit might be the simplest explanation.

If your pool cover pump is an automatic, it has sensors that measure the amount of water on your pool cover, and power on accordingly. Make sure that the pump is balanced and in the center of the cover. If your unit is leaning sideways, the automatic sensor could be receiving mixed signals.

Neither of these issues apply? Try the most old fashioned trick in the book: clean out your cover pump volute—that is, the funnel-like section that does the sucking. Although many cover pumps are designed to keep out debris like leaves and twigs, some might force their way into your pump over time, and clog your pump so that it’s no longer efficient.

Seeking the most powerful and durable unit on the market? The Sunnora Swimming Pool Cover Pump displaces 1,500 gallons per hour with automatic detection. It also features an extra large built in cover guard, so you probably won’t even need the one year warranty included.

Pump Doesn’t Come On at All

So you’ve plugged in your pump and powered it on—to zero results. If your pump isn’t coming on at all, it might not be the pump’s fault. Check your power source. Many outdoor outlets have their own power breakers—it’s possible yours needs to be tripped.

Otherwise, try cleaning out your cover pump volute—just like you would if the pump cycle was tripping on and off intermittently. If seriously clogged, a cover pump might flatline.

Pump Comes On but Doesn’t Remove Water

Okay, so your pump does come on—but does nothing but rack up your energy bill. And to make matters worse, your motor is now at risk of wearing out.

In most cases, this denotes a clogged pump. You’ll want to check every part of the pump you can access: the volute (including the weep hole, which is a tiny eraser-sized hole on its inner brim), the strainer, and the hose.

Pump Keeps Running for Too Long

Untreated, this issue can also rack up your energy costs and overheat your cover pump motor. First, check your cover pump switch to make sure it isn’t clogged. One good way to do this is to unplug the pump, wash the switch with clean water, and plug it in again.

If that doesn’t work, it’s possible that the catalyst for this problem is something called a back flow. If your hose leads to a point higher than the cover pump itself, especially to a significant degree, the water could be traveling back to the pump—thus creating a never ending cycle. Move the other end of your hose—the one that isn’t attached to the cover pump—to an ejection location that’s a little lower. Still running long hours? A hose adaptor and check valve might be needed.

If you already have these two parts, make sure they’re clean. If all checks out and the pump shows no improvement, you might need to buy a new check valve.

Maintenance Tips for Pool Cover Pumps

Regular maintenance is essential to maintaining your pool cover pump in optimal condition. Here are some maintenance tips to help you avoid common pump problems:

Clean the pump regularly: As mentioned earlier, cleaning the pump is essential to prevent debris buildup. Aim to clean the pump at least once a month, or more frequently if your pool area is prone to heavy debris.

Check for blockages: Make it a habit to inspect the pump's intake and impeller for any blockages. Clear away any debris or leaves that may obstruct the flow of water.

Ensure proper drainage: To avoid overworking the pump, your pool cover is properly sloped to allow water to drain effectively. This will prevent unnecessary strain on the pump and help it operate efficiently.

Protect the pump during winter: If you live in an area with freezing temperatures, it's important to protect your pool cover pump during the winter months. Remove the pump, clean it thoroughly, and store it in a dry and temperature-controlled environment until the next pool season.

Schedule professional maintenance: Consider scheduling an annual maintenance check-up with a professional pool technician. They can inspect the pump, perform necessary repairs or replacements, and provide expert advice on maintaining your pool cover pump.

Choosing the Right Pool Cover Pump for Your Needs

When it comes to pool cover pumps, choosing the right one for your needs is crucial. Here are a few factors to consider when selecting a pool cover pump:

Pump capacity: Determine the volume of water that needs to be removed from your pool cover. Opt for a pump with a capacity that matches or surpasses this volume to ensure efficient drainage.

Power source: Decide whether you prefer a pump that operates on electricity or battery power. Electric pumps are typically more powerful and consistent, while battery-powered pumps offer portability and ease of use.

Automatic vs. manual: Consider whether you want a pump that operates automatically or requires manual activation. Automatic pumps have built-in sensors that detect water accumulation and start pumping, while manual pumps require you to turn them on and off as needed.

Durability and quality: Invest in a high-quality pump built to withstand the elements and heavy use. Look for pumps made from corrosion-resistant materials and backed by a reliable warranty.

Top Brands and Models of Manual Pool Cover Pumps

Regarding manual pool cover pumps, there are several top brands and models to choose from. Here are some popular options:

Sunora Manual Pool Cover Pumps:

 Black&Decker Manual Pool Cover Pumps


Top Brands and Models of Automatic Pool Cover Pumps

If you're leaning towards an automatic pool cover pump, here are some top brands and models to consider:

Sunora Automatic Pool Cover Pumps:

Black & Decker Automatic Pool Cover Pumps: