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Best Pool Cover Pumps 2020 – Reviews & Buying Guide

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a pool-cover pump

A great pool cover pump can be the difference between a pool cover that survives the winter, and a flooded pool. Getting the right model for your situation isn’t optional, and the consequences of getting a pool cover pump that gives out on you can be all too real.

Shopping online is supposed to make it easy to find the devices you need to keep everything running smoothly, but as we all know, that often isn’t the case. Misleading product descriptions written by ad executives do as much to obscure as they do to teach you about the product you’re interested in.

We believe that well-informed consumers make great decisions, and that’s why our reviews show you the good and the bad with each model. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide, so you can learn to evaluate these machines like a pro, even if you’ve never owned one before.

Comparison of our Favorites in 2020:

ModelPriceWarrantyEditor Rating
WAYNE WAPC250
WAYNE WAPC250 1/4 HP Automatic Pool Cover Pump
(Best Overall)

Check Price
3 Years4.9/5
Little Giant APCP-1700
Little Giant APCP-1700 Automatic Pool Cover Pump

Check Price
3 Years4.65/5
Fibropool Electric
Fibropool Electric Pool Cover Drain Pump
(Best Value)

Check Price
1 Year4.4/5
LITTLE GIANT PCP550 14942702
LITTLE GIANT PCP550 14942702 Pool Cover Pump

Check Price
2 Years4.2/5
Splash Pools 500 GPH
Splash Pools 500 GPH Universal Pool Cover Pump

Check Price
3.95/5

5 Best Pool Cover Pumps – Our Reviews:

1. WAYNE WAPC250 1/4 HP Pool Cover Pump – Best Overall

WAYNE WAPC250 1/4 HP Automatic Pool Cover Pump

The WAYNE WAPC250 1/4 HP Automatic Pool Cover Pump is one of the best pumps you’ll find on the market today and contains a lot of features that mean it’s low-maintenance and very efficient. This model comes with a wide base, which doesn’t sound that exciting, but it means that it won’t tip over in hig+17h winds, and you won’t have to prop it back up every day as you do with some cheaper models. It also comes with automatic activation. If the water rises over a certain height, it will turn on and start pumping until it has the water back under that mark.

It also comes with automatic freeze protection, which keeps this model from turning on if the temperature drops too low. The strainer base on this model does an okay job of filtering out debris. However, it’s not fine enough to get rid of pine needles or other narrow and thin objects. While you could jury-rig a solution with a fine-mesh bag, it would be nice if the manufacturer just included a better straining system. Still, if you’re looking for a low-maintenance, high-performance pool cover pump, this is the model for you.

Pros
  • Automatic activation
  • Strainer base
  • Automatic freeze protection
  • Stable
Cons
  • Vulnerable to debris

2. Little Giant APCP-1700 Automatic Pool Cover Pump

Little Giant APCP-1700 Automatic Pool Cover Pump

There’s a lot to like about the Little Giant APCP-1700 Automatic Pool Cover Pump. For starters, it will work in cold weather and will run all winter, especially if you take steps to keep the hose from freezing solid. That makes this model a good choice for those who live in a colder environment and expect months of very cold weather. It also provides excellent pumping power and can take care of most pool covers in just a few hours. It also uses the water as a coolant for the motor, which keeps it running cool during the summer months and extends the life of the pump.

We love this model’s toughness. It seems to last for a very long time without having any breakdowns or issues. Given that this model isn’t too expensive and that it performs so well in most circumstances, this would be a good model to buy if you don’t want to have to buy a new model anytime soon. What ultimately keeps this model out of the top spot is that it starts pumping at two inches of water, which is on the high side. Still, most people will be plenty happy with this model.

Pros
  • Good in cold weather
  • Good power
  • Water-cooled motor
  • Good durability
Cons
  • High starting water level

3. Fibropool Electric Pool Cover Drain Pump – Best Value

Fibropool Electric Pool Cover Drain Pump

The Fibropool Electric Pool Cover Drain Pump is the model to get if you’re looking to save some money on the purchase of your next pool cover pump. This model is lightweight, so it won’t weigh down your pool cover, preventing damage, and giving water less space in which to pool. It also doesn’t need to be upright in order to work, so if you’re using it to clear out an especially deep pit or pool cover, you won’t have to worry about keeping it perfectly aligned. You can also get it for a fraction of what you’d pay for our top two models, which makes this model the best value for the money on our list.

It also comes with a 16-foot hose. That’s a good thing since it’s not compatible with your standard 3/4-inch garden hoses. Ultimately, it would be nice to be able to extend the range of the hose or to get a higher flow rate. That’s what keeps this model from rising any higher on our list. Still, the hose provided is okay and will be enough to get the job done, making this a good buy for those looking for a deal.

Pros
  • Includes hose
  • Great price
  • Lightweight
  • Doesn’t need to be upright
Cons
  • Not compatible with standard hoses

4. LITTLE GIANT PCP550 Pool-Cover Pump

LITTLE GIANT PCP550 14942702 Pool Cover Pump

The LITTLE GIANT PCP550 14942702 Pool Cover Pump is an inexpensive pool cover pump which is compatible with 3/4-inch hoses, making it a decent overall choice. That gives you the option of using a hose you already own, or of getting one that’s just the right length from your pool to your disposal spot. The debris cover also easily comes off, which makes it easy to maintain this machine if any debris slips through and begins to clog things up. This machine is also remarkably durable, despite its low price. It should last you a few years and work well through a few winters.

However, it doesn’t turn on if there’s not at least 2.5-inches of standing water on top of the pool cover. That might be too much for some people’s taste, and if you’re trying to keep your pool cover drier, then you’ll need to get a different model. It also only has average power. It will take a day or two to clear a sufficiently-swamped pool cover. Overall, it’s not a terrible buy, but it will make sense for most people to spend a bit less or a bit more and get better value for their money.

Pros
  • Compatible with 3/4-inch hoses
  • Easy maintenance
  • Good durability
Cons
  • High starting water level
  • Average power

5. Splash Pools Universal Pool Cover Pump

Splash Pools 500 GPH Universal Pool Cover Pump

The Splash Pools 500 GPH Universal Pool Cover Pump is a poor choice for most users. It is submersible, so it can be used as a sump pump or to drain a pool or pond, though it would be incredibly slow in those situations. It’s also compatible with 3/4-inch hoses, so you should be able to use it with any standard hose which you have on hand. However, it has several downsides that make it a poor choice. It needs to be in a few inches of water before it starts draining, which makes it not that great for clearing pool covers.

It’s also very slow overall. While some slow pumps take days to clear off a pool cover, some users report that this model is so slow that it hasn’t finished the job by the time it rains again. It also clogs frequently, and it’s not very easy to do maintenance on this model. That may be a big part of why it has such poor durability, often wearing out within a single season of use. Most people will be best served by spending a bit more money and getting a model that will perform better.

Pros
  • Submersible
  • Compatible with 3/4-inch hoses
Cons
  • Slow
  • Frequent clogs
  • Poor durability

Buyer’s Guide

Our reviews may already have led you to the model which is right for you, but there’s a chance that you not sure which one that is, yet. If that’s you, make sure you check out this buyer’s guide. It’s packed full of great information about pool cover pumps so that you can learn to evaluate them, and you can find the model which is right for you. We’ve also included some tips on maximizing the value of your purchase, so if you’re looking to get a great deal, make sure you check out this guide.

Efficiency

One of the most important things to consider when buying a pool cover pump is its efficiency. While power draw is a concern, it’s unlikely to have a significant impact on your electric bill, unless it’s very powerful, very inefficient, and you live in especially wet areas which will require it to be running all the time.

Instead, the efficiency you should care about is the one related to speed. It’s important to get a pool cover pump which can drain your pool cover in less than a day, and optimally, in just a few hours. The water’s extra weight isn’t good for your pool cover, so getting it off quickly will help extend its life.

A few things affect how quickly a pool cover pump can drain a surface. The width of the drainage tube has a major impact. The larger it is in diameter, the more quickly it can clear an area. Additionally, different models have different water levels at which they turn themselves on, so getting one with a lower setting can lead to less water stress on your pool cover.

Convenience

Convenience is the other big factor that will greatly affect how much you enjoy using your pool cover pump. Many models now come with features that automatically detect water and pump it out without you having to turn it on or off. Of course, that will save you a lot of time, and if it rains in the middle of the night, you’ll no longer exit in the morning and see a flooded pool cover.

Some models turn on at a lower water level than others, and they use a variety of mechanisms to detect the water. The lower the water level at which they turn on, the less water will collect on your pool cover.

You’ll also likely want to invest in a model that can connect to standard hoses. While there are some models which come with proprietary hoses or can work with oversized hoses to increase flow rate, it makes sense to invest in a model that you can use with hoses you already own.

Which pool cover pump is right for you?

Since different people have different needs, there’s no one pump that’s going to be the right thing for all people. Unfortunately, many people try to get the best value for their money by buying the most or least expensive one they can find. That usually leads to them spending money on features they don’t need or getting a model that quickly breaks down and leaves them frustrated with their purchase.

It’s a better idea to start by figuring out the features you need your pool cover pump to have in order to have a good experience. Then, make a short list of pumps that meet those requirements. Make sure you eliminate those which have some, but not all of the features that you’ll need, as choosing one of those is a likely path to regret. Next, choose the cheapest model and buy it. It has all the features you need for a good experience, and provides them at the lowest price, making it the best overall value for the money.

Conclusion

The WAYNE WAPC250 1/4 HP Automatic Pool Cover Pump is our favorite model due to its automatic activation, strainer base, and great stability. In second is the Little Giant APCP-1700 Automatic Pool Cover Pump, which is good in cold weather, and provides excellent power, but only activates when the water is 2-1/2 inches high, or higher. The Fibropool Electric Pool Cover Drain Pump comes with a proprietary hose, a lightweight, and the ability to work while sideways, and since it comes at a great price, it’s the best overall pool cover pump for the money. The LITTLE GIANT PCP550 14942702 Pool Cover Pump doesn’t cost a lot and is easy to maintain, but its high starting water level and average power cost it a few places on our list. The Splash Pools 500 GPH Universal Pool Cover Pump is submersible and works with standard hoses, but it’s slow and suffers from frequent clogs and poor durability, dropping it to the bottom of our list.

We hope that our reviews and buyer’s guide have helped you better understand pool cover pumps. You should now be able to find the model which is right for you at a great price.