Pool cover pump doesn't work with a hose

ndakotaninja

Well-known member
Nov 26, 2013
90
Elkridge, MD
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: http://www.littlegiant.com/media/documents/998295.pdf
Cover: Ultra Loc solid cover
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,763
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.

little-giant-cover-pump-recall-t70552.html

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.
 

ndakotaninja

Well-known member
Nov 26, 2013
90
Elkridge, MD
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.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,763
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.
 

myrddin

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 11, 2012
229
Southern Indiana
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.
 

joe771

New member
Jan 12, 2020
1
North Carolina
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: Page not Found | Little Giant | Franklin Electric
Cover: Ultra Loc solid cover

This is the same problem I had. For future readers, there is a backflow sensor on the pump that will shut the pump off if you try to pump water "up hill". Start pumping water with the hose level, then move the hose out of the pool and the pump will continue functioning
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
11,283
Northern NJ
The ACP-1700 has a small air hole that lets it prime. When the hole gets clogged with dirt the pump will run with no flow. Open the pump and clean the air hole.

 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
11,283
Northern NJ
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.
I have never had my ACP-1700 damaged from freezes.

Bring your pump in before any big snow. If you let it get buried in the snow or frozen in place where you cannot remove it things inside will corrode and it will start tripping the GFCI.
 

Rocket J Squirrel

Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
571
Alamo, CA
I have the same pump. You might try repositioning the hose. I have a theory about the best way to do so, but then again, I don't live in a climate with freeze.

I don't center the pump. I place it about 1/4-1/3 of the way from the shallow end, because that is the taut end which might stretch and tear under water weight. The deep end, where the vault is, has loose vinyl which will be under less stress.

Then I run the hose all the way down the middle of the pool to the deep end, and then out onto the deck near a drain. My theory is that the weight of the water in the hose forms a channel in the cover which helps the water drain toward the pump, and that the water doesn't have to go uphill until the very end.

The alternative to a hose is a sprayer like this one.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,763
This is the same problem I had. For future readers, there is a backflow sensor on the pump that will shut the pump off if you try to pump water "up hill". Start pumping water with the hose level, then move the hose out of the pool and the pump will continue functioning
I don't think that there is any sort of backflow sensor. The pump should be able to pump uphill from the beginning with no problem.

Can you explain why you think there is a backflow preventer or sensor?
 
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bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
5,454
Central MD
As a data point, my pump (same one) pumps up from about 24" deep right from the get-go. I drop it onto my bench, where it is fully submerged, to pump out water to close and also to pump down over the winter. One thing that may be of benefit is that I use a 3/4" garden hose instead of a 5/8" hose. This creates less restriction and allows for a faster pump down of the water. It may also ease any priming issues I suppose due to less restriction. I wasn't using it at the beginning. I've been meaning to get an adapter to attach a 1 1/2" hose for even quicker pumping.

In it's early years (its 7 years old) there were a few times where it wouldn't pump properly. I think I followed the video above or some such task to remedy the situation, but that hasn't occurred in years.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,763
Ft head......gph
1' ...............1,700
5' ...............1,500
10' .............1,150
15' ................700
20' ................200
21.5'...................0

The 1700 GPH performance was obtained through a 1 inch I.D. tube, with friction losses neglected.

Using a 3/4" garden hose 50 foot long reduces this performance to approximately 500 gallons per hour due to friction losses in the hose.

If your area frequently has heavy rainfalls, (1"-2" per hour), it may be necessary to use 1" tubing.
Going from a 3/4" to a 1" hose can make a difference.

Going from 1" to 1.5" will probably be much less significant.

I think that 1" or 1.25" is the biggest size that will produce any significant benefits.

If the end of the hose is below the pump, significant benefits can occur with larger hose.