Any idea how to jury rig a dirty water pump to drain the last 3 inches?

Have you ever dealt with a dirty water pump that just wouldn't drain the last few inches? Is there a simple solution?
I bought a 1 HP Harbor Freight 69300 dirty water pump to drain a green pool but it won't turn on at low water levels:
https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5458/17045005639_a6ee73cc98_c.jpg
Even with the obnoxious float switch manually set to permanent on, the pump stops pumping with plenty of dirty water left to pump out:
https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7699/17230627861_6245741c9b_c.jpg
I'm currently shoveling the water into a garbage can and then pumping it out from the garbage can:
https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8811/17023759327_4ff798a613_c.jpg
But, pumping at 50 gallons per minute, I have to constantly run to the GCFI and pull the plug to shut it off before the garbage can runs dry:
https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7642/17043416128_f6c37715ab_c.jpg
Currently I have a 2-inch pool vacuum hose connected to the 1.5-inch outlet (female NPT thread) in the steel body of the pump:
https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8805/17023759957_35d602a39d_z.jpg
But, I'd like to see if I can jury rig *something* (a rubber hose perhaps?) to go on the *underside* unthreaded inlet of the pump:
https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5443/16610976993_e8ed88636b_z.jpg
What could I shove into that inlet which will allow the pump to go shallower than the three or four or even five inches it seems to currently stop at?
I have a few 1.5-inch NPT fittings which go on the *outlet* of the stainless steel body:
https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7644/17023759797_46bc0500f9_z.jpg
The specs for the pump "say" it drains down to 1-3/8 inches: http://www.harborfreight.com/1-hp-stainless-steel-submersible-dirty-water-pump-with-tethered-float-2910-gph-69300.html
But, the owners manual says it stops at 3 inches (which it seems to do): http://manuals.harborfreight.com/manuals/69000-69999/69300.pdf
Have you ever dealt with a dirty water pump that just wouldn't drain the last few inches? Is there a simple solution?
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Danny D. formulated the question :

Translate this from Australian Cheap Shop Vacuum cleaners often allow WET USE HF most likely sells them for less than $50
http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result?q=shop+vac
Only get a tankfull at a time. Maybe 5 gallons.
--
John G Sydney.

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I think I'd plug a power strip with switch into the long cord from the house, and then a short (like, 12') extension cord into the power strip, and then the pump into the short extension cord. This gives you a local switch so you don't have to run around. Yes, plugging extension cords into power strips into extension cords is against code.

First idea: Use a big hole saw to cut a round hole in the foot plate of that pump, concentric with the inlet. Then use something like a piece of radiator hose through the hole you just made and onto the inlet, secured with RTV maybe. Or, get a fitting with a long length of external thread and a big nut to fit that thread. Put the nut between the foot plate and the inlet, stick the fitting through the hole you cut, then thread the nut onto the fitting. Push the fitting up against the inlet and thread the nut down, so the nut forces the fitting up against the inlet. Then hook whatever hose you want to the free end of the fitting.
Second idea: Drill out the spot welds? that hold the "legs" onto the foot plate. Then you have a straight shot at the inlet. You might be able to get a giant rubber sewer pipe fitting (the thing that's a length of rubber and two worm gear clamps) over the whole OD of the motor housing, and then step down to a reasonable diameter with PVC from there. Replace the foot plate with small stainless steel screws and locknuts later.
Matt Roberds
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On 4/22/15 2:13 AM, Danny D. wrote:

For some people, the solution is to dig a sump for the pump.
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On 04/22/2015 02:13 AM, Danny D. wrote:

http://smile.amazon.com/Shop-Vac-9689400-5-5-Peak-Vacuum-14-Gallon/dp/B000VABYK4
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On 04/22/2015 01:13 AM, Danny D. wrote:

Since the pump stops even with the float switch "on" I'd try to figure out why? Is there an internal moisture sensor or photo "eye"?
If you can't figure that out, just put the entire assembly in a bucket of water to keep it running
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The pump probably works fine.
I'd make suspects out of those two salamanders, probably unplugging it before it's done running.
-bruce snipped-for-privacy@ripco.com
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On 4/22/2015 2:13 AM, Danny D. wrote:

I modified a HF fountain pump by taping off the sides, so it would draw closer to the floor of the wet area. Wonder if you can modify this pump?
The shovel routine sounds a bit like work. Others suggested a shop vac. When the shop vac is full, you can put the pump into the shop vac canister.
Instead of running for the GFCI unplug, just let the float down. Might want to put the pump in a Rubbermaid with enough room for the float to move, while you shovel water into the 18 gallon Rubbermaid.
--
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Christopher A. Young
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On 4/22/15 8:26 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

<(Amazon.com product link shortened)29875701&sr=8-10&keywords=trash+pump>
Needs only 1/8". 2500gph through a garden hose.
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On Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 2:14:40 AM UTC-4, Danny D. wrote:

Since it's a swimming pool, they typically have a drain at the lowest point. Instead of using a sump pump type pump, did you try using the regular pool pump? IDK what the max lift capability of a typical pool pump is, but maybe it can do it. I've never had to take one down all the way.
Or alternatively, maybe you can remove the cover from the bottom drain, then insert a hose a few inches into the drain pipe and connect it to a suitable portable pump. With the hose inside the drain pipe, it will be below the pool level.
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On Wed, 22 Apr 2015 06:13:33 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

There are simple solutions and cheap solutions. Pick one.
The simple solution is to rent a proper trash pump: <http://powerequipment.honda.com/pumps/trash-pumps Attach a suction hose (one that won't collapse) and most important, a strainer, <http://www.hondaenergy.com/product.php/286/water_pump_strainer_2_inch and pump away. It should clear your swamp in a few minutes. As the water level goes down, use a snow shovel to clear out the remaining debris and dead bodies. It's better to stop and shovel than to constantly unclog the strainer. Resist the temptation to remove the strainer as that's the only thing keeping your pump from eating a rock and jamming. It takes two people. One person to operate the hose and the other to shovel. Do not ask how I learned to do this.
The cheap way is a hand operated bilge pump borrowed from someone with a boat. <https://www.google.com/search?q=hand+operated+bilge+pump&tbm=isch I have several of this type. Same ritual as the rented pump as these things really don't like dirty water and debris. The down side is that water weighs 8.3 lbs/gallon and it could take forever. The good news is that you'll get plenty of exercise. Estimate the amount of water you have to pump and calculate the weight. That's how much weight lifting exercise you're about to experience.
If you don't mind some fabrication, you can build an Achemedes screw pump out of any kind of flex hose spiraled around a shaft with a crank. These can easily handle debris. <https://www.google.com/search?q=archimedes+screw&tbm=isch Unfortunately, it may take longer to build and debug than to continue bailing with buckets. It will also need a small pipe in order to work at 3" and below.
If you have a larger air bladder and some bricks, you can raise and displace the water to a higher water level, giving your Harbour Fright pump more depth with which to work. If that's too complicated, try a few boards to build a dam, and shove the water to one side of the pool for pumping.
Last resort is to find a rectangular trash can, and drag it along the bottom of the pool. Not the most efficient but at least you'll be picking up the trash along with the water.
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Jeff Liebermann snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
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wrote:

I just remembered how I cleared out the last of the debris and water. I used a plastic chicken or snow shovel to load it into a trash barrel. I couldn't find a photo of mine, but this is close: <
http://blogs.solidworks.com/teacher/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/6a00d83451706569e20162fe4c7aa2970d.jpg

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Jeff Liebermann snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
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wrote:
More of the same...
I just looked at my sump pump: <http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId 73396> (For sale, incidentally). I had to add a 1.5" pipe extension and an anti-backflow spring valve to make it work right. <http://www.poolsuppliescanada.ca/1-1-2-inch-pvc-check-valve-with-spring-female-threaded.html The problem was every time the pump began to suck air, the water in the vertical drain hose would flow backwards town the hose and try to leak out the intake. Turning off the power guaranteed a gallon or more of water going backwards. The spring valve solved that problem. Unfortunately, the valve didn't like getting fed rocks, so I was fairly careful when using the strainer.
Ummm.... duz this pool have a drain? If so, does your HF sump pump fit into the drain? If yes, then just lower the pump into the drain and you'll get more than 3" of of water level.
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wrote:

OK, no drain. One more idea. Find a blue tarp or equivalent and slide it UNDER the water and debris. You might need to shovel the debris onto the tarp, but the water should just flow over the tarp. Tie ropes to the sides and corners (usually through eyelets), and carefully lift straight up. You'll loose some water but you should be able to lift most of the yuck out of the mosquito hatchery. If you can't lift it all the way out of the pool, just dump it into the plastic trash can, and then try to lift the trash can[1].
[1] 8.3 lbs/gallon * 30 gallon trash can = 249 lbs. Have an engine hoist handy.
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ShopVac with a garden hose rigged to fit the vac hose; there are quite a few adapters available for ShopVacs.

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Have same pump.
How about Gorilla tape all around the bottom and a few slits at the very bottom. That seals the intake down to the last quarter of an inch or so. But to run this, you have to have enough water in the pool to prime the pump, > 3 inches.
Otherwise use a water driven syphon to suck the last water out of the pool. Uses some water for the syphon to suck and push. Run the output into a barrel if the pool is too deep for the syphon to lift it out (water supply pressure and syphon design). I made my own out of PCV pipe and a few brass fittings. With all properly sealed it works well.
Harbor Freight also has a clean water pump that will take the level way down. If your green water is just green, that will work and that pump is cheap. I use make-shift filter for the clean water filter to get large items out. That clean water pump will handle some nuggets. See the specs.
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sure, keep it up and you're cavitate the pump and I don't think you want to repeat that too often.
Rent yourself a Wet Vacuum with pump out for the final job, next time! A pond cleaning vac could also remove the slugged from the bottom :) Jamie
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