How to Get Water Off Your Pool Cover

Written by Michael Dean
June 8, 2023

getting water off a pool cover

A pool cover is a valuable and arguably necessary addition to safeguard your pool and all associated pool equipment. But unless you have an automated system that removes all collected water on top of the cover, you’re likely to run into issues with a sagging cover.

Removing water from your pool cover is necessary, especially if you’re opening your pool for the season or live in cold or wet regions with heavy rain or snowfall. So, how do you drain the excess water from your pool cover?

In this article, I will cover two simple and quick ways to get water off your cover.

Main Takeaways

  • Excess pool cover sagging is not ideal, and it is vital to prevent too much water from collecting on your cover, even during periods when it is not in use.
  • Using a submersible pump to siphon off the water is less labor-intensive than manually removing it via a garden hose and is also the preferred option among pool owners for water removal.
  • The most pressing concerns caused by too much water collection are mildew or algae bloom infestations and a shortening of the lifespan of the pool cover itself.
  • Debris, such as leaves and twigs, add to the weight, so you should also remove them regularly.

Step-By-Step: How to Remove Water From Your Pool Cover

You have various options for removing the water, such as manually scooping it up using a bucket, siphoning it off with a simple garden hose, or using a pool cover pump

The last one is the most effective method, so let’s review it step-by-step.

Pool Cover Pump (Sump Pump)

Step one: Connect your hose to the pump

When connecting your hose to the pump, make sure the hose is in good working condition and firmly attached with no bends in the pipe. It also pays off to check that there aren’t any blockages like ice or debris build-up, or it may pop off underwater!

Step two: Find a good location to drain the water from the other end of the hose 

Angle the other end in an area where the excess water can drain away safely. You could drain it into a bucket or a pot and reuse the water if you’re keen on recycling and saving money.

Step three: Put the pump on top of the pool cover

Place the pump under the water on top of the pool cover, and plug it into a grounded electrical outlet. If you have a semi-mesh pool cover, place the pump on top of a lid, so it doesn’t drain your pool water.

Step four: Turn on the pump

When you turn on your pump, monitor it to ensure the pool water is properly draining. This might seem unnecessary, but it is important because your pump could burn out if the water is not getting drained or there is a blockage in your garden pipe.

Step five: Remove the pump

Once the water has drained, remove the pump, wipe it down as best as you can, and store it safely. Your pool cover is now drained and ready to be rolled back for the pool season.

Siphon with a Garden Hose

Siphoning away the excess pool water manually takes a bit longer and might be challenging for some. However, it is helpful for those that may not have a pump to remove the excess water.

Step one: Attach your hose

Attach one end of your garden hose to your outside faucet. Make sure it is in good working order with no kinks or bends anywhere.

Step two: Submerge the other end under the water completely

If necessary, weigh it down with something but do not block the throat of the pipe entirely.

Step three: Turn on your tap

Pump water onto the pool cover to completely eradicate all the air bubbles inside the hose to ensure the water flows properly.

Step four: Turn off the tap

Once you can see that no more air bubbles are forming on the cover, the hose is ready.

Step five: Remove the hose from the tap and put it on level or lower ground

Now, carefully remove the hose from the faucet and place that end on the ground or a level lower than the cover. The water should start to drain out in the opposite direction. 

One thing to remember when manually siphoning off the water using a garden pipe is that hoses tend to wriggle around a bit. Keep an eye on the hose while it’s draining so it doesn’t pop above the water, or you’ll have to start from scratch.

How to Prevent Water From Collecting On Your Pool Cover

While removing water might seem like a task you do at the beginning of every pool season, it’s in your best interests to supervise your pool cover regularly (every week, ideally, if you live in a wet region). You should keep an eye out for sagging due to excess water collection and clean your pool cover regularly all year.

A dead giveaway of sagging in your pool cover is the formation of a dip in the center of the pool cover. Dips in pool covers are not a good sign as they can damage pool walls or lead to molding and the formation of mildew. Since sagging takes place because of water weight, it is good practice to make sure as much water stays off the cover as possible to extend the lifespan of your cover.

Here are my top tips to follow to prevent water from collecting on your pool cover:

Weigh the edges down. Heavy water bags or pool pillows placed at the edges of your pool cover will help prevent it from sagging. Place the bags or another type of weight along the edges of your pool evenly for best weight distribution. For more on securing the edges of your pool cover, check out my article on how to secure your pool cover the right way.

Fix and adjust as soon as possible. Give your cover a check now and then whenever you pass by it, and adjust the corners immediately if you notice even a little sag. This is especially vital after a big storm.

Ensure proper installation. Make sure the pool cover is securely and efficiently tightened in place during the installation process. If you’re doubtful whether this has been done, have a professional look it over. For more, check out my article on how to properly install a pool cover.

Keep the pool center higher than the sides. By adjusting your cover to a sloping dome where the center of the cover is higher than the sides, you’re letting gravity do half the work for you. If done right, water should slide off and collect on the sides, keeping the center safe from the dreaded sag. If you want to get creative, you could toss a bunch of inflated beach balls or some rubber tires into the pool to distribute weight away from the center.

If you want to know more about pool cover sagging issues, why it occurs, more useful tips on what else you can do about it, and more, I’ve covered it all in my article on how to keep your pool cover from sagging.

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Bottom Line

Removing all the excess water might seem like a cumbersome chore, especially when you’re de-winterizing your household for the summer, but it’s not as difficult as it may seem! If possible, I recommend using a pool cover pump because it does most of the work for you.

If you have any further doubts or questions, please feel free to reach out. I’d be happy to help out. Also, be sure to check out my other research on pool covers below.

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