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Thread: Pool cover pump doesn't work with a hose

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Pool cover pump doesn't work with a hose

    I searched all over the internet for help and looked up the manual to the pump but nothing helped. I've used this forum for other information so hopefully someone can help me with my problem. I'm a new pool owner (in ground, solid cover) and just closed for the winter. The first time it rained I connected my pool cover pump up to a hose and plugged it in and it pumped the water right off with no problem.

    This last week I noticed that it was no longer draining water off. I tried to fix it and noticed that because of the cold (I'm in Maryland), there was apparently water still in the hose that had frozen, which I thought was maybe why it was not working, i.e. the hose was clogged with ice.

    I pulled the pump out of the puddle on the cover and unplugged it. I got the ice out of the hose and it's no longer frozen. Today it's raining harder and there is a large pool of water on the pump. I put the pump in the water without the hose and it immediately kicked on and started pumping water out through the hose hookup, so I know the pump works, the float is fine, the holes are clean (not clogged), and the electricity works. I reconnected the hose to it and put it back in the water, and it refuses to turn on.

    So the only possible thing I can think of is (and considering the first time it worked fine, I don't know why it'd be a problem now), does the elevation of the hose have anything to do with it? By this I mean will it not turn on if it has to pump uphill? My pool is surrounded by a deck, and since the cover is sagging a good 8", it has to first send the water up about 12" high, across about 8 feet of deck, then back downhill to our drainage ditch on the side of the house. Do I need to somehow position the hose so that it does not have to go that far, or position it where it does not go uphill (unfortunately not possible at my house)?

    I couldn't find any specifications saying it wouldn't work with my setup, and it already worked fine the first day I used it. It works fine without the hose, so why is it having problems when I reconnect the hose?

    Thanks for any help you can provide to a new home/pool owner.

    Further information:
    Pump Type: little giant model apcp-1700
    Manual pdf:
    Cover: Ultra Loc solid cover
    42,000 gallon gunite pool and Spa (in ground), SWG
    Sta-Rite System 3 Modular Media Filter (300 Sq. Foot cartridge filter)
    Jandy Lite2 Natural Gas Pool and Spa Heater

    Maryland, USA

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: Pool cover pump doesn't work with a hose

    It might be a sticky float switch. You might want to contact Little Giant to see if the pump is part of a recall or if they have had other similar complaints.


    Another idea is to rinse the pump in case the float switch is stuck due to debris.

    Sometimes you can get an air bubble trapped inside the pump where the impeller is. This can sometimes lead to the pump running without moving water. If the water level is high enough to trigger the float switch, reach out to feel if the pump is on, or off. Try jiggling the hose to see if that loosens the float switch or possibly dislodges the air bubble.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Pool cover pump doesn't work with a hose

    The pump itself works 'fine', as using it without a hose had it pumping out with no problem. I opened it and it was clean inside and the float moves around with no problem. The outside holes are unimpeded. After realizing that I had to wait for my post to be posted, I continued to work with it since it was only raining harder and filling up faster. I managed to get it to work just by unplugging it and replugging it in repeatedly.

    Somewhere I read online (didn't make total sense to me, but since it fixed it, who am I to argue) mentioned that if you get air stuck in the hose (trapped air, i.e. water on both sides of it, so think air bubble), usually due to the hose bending/looping or not lying completely flat on the ground, it may not work. They said that by starting it up repeatedly, it would push the air through a little each time until it clears it out. Again, this maybe makes sense, but I would think the pressure from the pump would be able to get past this on the first try.

    So the problem is fixed, but 2 questions arose from this experience:
    1. Does the positioning of the hose matter when setting up the pump? Some places online said you shouldn't have the hose go 'uphill' (but that's virtually impossible since the pump is going to be in a sagging cover), that it has to lie completely flat (to prevent my problem i guess). Are there other rules for this?
    2. Since the pump has a float sensor to trigger when to turn on, can I leave it out and hooked in all the time, or should I unhook it and only put it out when it rains? The reason I ask this is because I left it out last week and the water remaining in the hose froze. I certainly do not want to damage the pump, hose, or connector from ice, but I also want to minimize the hassle of taking the pump on and off.
    42,000 gallon gunite pool and Spa (in ground), SWG
    Sta-Rite System 3 Modular Media Filter (300 Sq. Foot cartridge filter)
    Jandy Lite2 Natural Gas Pool and Spa Heater

    Maryland, USA

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Pool cover pump doesn't work with a hose

    The position of the hose can make a difference. However, you might not have much choice. Try different configurations to see what works best. You can leave it out and plugged in. If you can get the end of the hose as low as possible, it might help by siphoning the hose dry at the end of each pump run.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Southern Indiana

    Re: Pool cover pump doesn't work with a hose

    Just wanted to say thanks... I had same exact problem.. and unplugging and re plugging it in several times kicked it into gear.. thanks for this... and for anyone else... this did work for me.
    Pool 16 x 33.5 Foxx Pool with rounded corners 3.5 at each end and 5+ in the middle (16000 GAL)

    Equipment - 300 LB Hayward filter with a Pentair SuperFlo pump (3/4 HP). Also Hayward H series Heater and a dedicated jet for a Polaris 280 with a booster pump (3/4HP). Hayward Chlorinator CL200.

    Pool has Main Drain, 2 return Jets with 1 inch eyeballs, a skimmer with floating weir, and the dedicated Polaris jet. Also has a valve for the Waterslide.

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