The post by the guy with the low drainpipe attached to his Sears washer
(which would cause the washer to not fill up properly) reminded me of a
siphoning tip that might come in handy for those out there with
above-ground swimming pools. Spring's not far off, which means a bunch
of us will have a ton of standing nasty-ass snowmelt and rain water
standing on our pool covers that needs to be removed before the cover's
able to be lifted off -- or for the lazier types, before the skeeters
come out and start using all that standing water for a breeding ground.
A lot of people try to siphon off the water by tossing in one end of a
garden hose and then sucking like mad on the other end. Usually
resulting in either just a mess of sucking and getting no water (hard on
the mouth, but a visual thrill for the neighbors when women do it), or a
mouthful of vile muck water. Or you just end up saying screw it and
start bailing it all out with a bucket, creating yet another
time-consuming yard project.
Here's an easier way to do it that works for me.
1) Completely clear out any crap laying in the water, like layers of
leaves and maple tree whirlygigs from last fall. A leaf rake with wooden
tines (fingers) works great for this and far less likely to poke a hole
in your cover than a metal leaf rake. Doing this prevents crap from
blocking the opening of your siphon hose.
2) Take a garden hose and attach one end to your outside yard faucet and
toss the other end so the end of the hose lies in the deepest water.
3) Turn on the water on your yard faucet. Doesn't need to be full blast
-- just enough for a good flow of water. Now watch your pool cover water
and wait to see it moving around, which indicates that the faucet water
is flowing into it.
4) Once that happens, go back to your faucet and shut it off. Unscrew
the hose from the faucet and once it comes off, shove your finger into
or over the hose opening so as little air as possible gets sucked into
5) Find the lowest spot in your yard, lay down the hose, and take your
finger out of the hose. The muck water from your pool cover should start
flowing almost immediately. If it doesn't, it means there's air in the
hose somewhere, or you've moved/yanked on the hose enough to have the
siphon end come out of the water one way or another. Repeat the whole
process until you get the muck water flowing from the pool end. If you
don't after a few attempts (and making sure you jam your finger into the
hose fast *immediately*
upon unscrewing it from the faucet), try jamming
the hose tight as you can against the faucet instead of screwing it on
and letting the water run for a few seconds -- but don't turn on the
much, since you'll get a lot of spray. You only need a
consistent flow, not a fast flow -- altho fast flow does a better job of
pushing air out of the hose. If that still doesn't work, chances are
that your ground level of the yard isn't low enough for the principles
of siphoning to work and you'll have to start bailing with a bucket.
6) Once you establish a flow of muck water, go inside, make yourself
some breakfast or a nice stiff cocktail, and do something else while
nature does it's business of draining your pool cover for you. Once
there's no more muck water coming out of the hose, the job's done as
much as it's gonna get done. There will probably be a little water left
on the cover to deal with when you go to remove the cover, but at least
you saved yourself a mess of personal time and effort.