It’s that time of year when you have to cover your pool, and you know that the winter snow and rain will start to bog down your cover, so what do you do?
Well, you can either stand outside once a week like a snowman and siphon off the water, or you can invest a few bucks (not a lot) an install a pool cover water pump.
Essentially there are two types, the automatic pumps that turn on when the water level reaches a preset defined height or the manual, which you control.
This is not rocket science, it’s a simple pump that you put on a water cover when to stop rain and snow accumulate till the cover either gets sucked into the pool, or a crack in the cover fills the pool to overflowing with rainwater. So don’t expect me to go into all the hydraulics and electro-mechanical details, I am going to give you the basics and my take.
Here is a list of the best pool cover pumps I tested and found to be great solutions. I have included automatic and manual as well as two hand pumps, just for those that like the extra action of keeping warm with excursive outdoors.
Have fun Y’all.
My Top of the best pool cover pumps:
The WAPC250 has a maximum flow rate of 3000 gallons per hour and uses a 1-1/4” drain hose. Its features include their iSwitch technology that turns the pump on and off by sensing the presence of water.
The unit comes with a 3/4-inch garden hose adapter and a check valve, as well as a 25-foot power cord. The iSwtich technology includes an automatic freeze protection mechanism.
My Take: If you are looking for a powerful hands-free automatic system with additional manual controls than you have it here. This is one of the more powerful pumps on the market, and the flow rate shows how powerful this beast really is.
Its time to talk serious and that means you live in an area where your pool cover is gonna become a small pool all by itself. Heck, you’ve got a double-decker pool in your yard. So you chuck in this submersible machine and let it suck-out the water from your upper pool.
This amazing beast comes in an epoxy coated die-cast aluminum housing and can pump out 170 gallons per hour, which is all you need for most pools. The basic specs are 1/4 MNPT outlet that accepts 1/2 I.D. tubing and comes with a 90° elbow accessory,
My Take: what I like about this unit is that you just put it on the cover and go hibernate for the winter. When you wake up and leave your lair in spring, you will find a dry pool cover shining under the spring sun for you.
They were correct in calling this the little giant; it’s a powerhouse of a pump that churns out 1,745 gallons per hour. Now honestly, I don’t know many pools that need this kind of power for their cover unless they happen to be semi Olympic in size and have over 10” of rainfall and snow every week. So, if you live all the way up in snowman land, this is the beast you want.
Let’s look at this pump; it has a 3/4” garden hose connection, a 25’ power cord and gets to work in 2” of water and delivers a 1″ FNPT Discharge. The integrated float switch automates its activation.
It can handle hot water too, reaching 1200F, not that I would expect your pool to be at that temporaries in December, but heck, who knows anything these days.
What can I add that hasn’t already been said about this pump? Its compact, automatic and can handle 1,200 gallons per hour. The automatic switch activates when the water reaches 3 1/4″ and deactivates when the level drops under 1 3/4″.
This model comes with the industry standard 25’ cable and can pump the 1,200 gallons per hour at 1’, making this a very versatile and useful pump.
Rule pumps have produced a whopping 1,800 gallons per hour pump using only 100 watts.
This automatic pump lies on the pool cover, and when it becomes submerged in water, it will automatically activate until the surface no longer triggers the internal switch.
It’s actually used to drain pools and delivers massive 2,000 gallons per hour capacity of flow. However, when placed over the pool cover in winter it will work wonders too.
The unit comes with a 1-1/2″ 25′ Drain Hose and Hose Clamp, and you also get a removable, adjustable spigot.
My take: If its absolute darning power you are seeking, and don’t want two units, which means you don’t want a pool draining unit and a pool cover draining unit, then just get this one. It will do the job admirably.
When it comes to automatic and great, then you will want to consider the 350 gallons per hour cover pump. This is a standard model with automatic on and off based on the level of water.
What I like about this unit is that its simple, no-frills, compact and does the job to ¾” of the surface. The speed and capacity are ample; you really don’t need those pool cover pumps that can clean out a pool never mind the cover. It comes with the standard 25’ foot cable and is submersible.
There are pumps, and there are pumps, and guess what, they are both pumps. It doesn’t matter if it’s big and blue or small and black, so long as it does the work, that’s all that matters. I am not transferring rocket fuel to the next generation XSpace explorer; I am draining off water from my pool cover.
This is a standard small plastic manual immersible pool cover pump that does a great job at an even greater price tag. Its value for money and works just as well as any monster pump you might try to show off with.
So here goes, its a whopping 550 gallons per hour, has a 25-foot cord and has enough power to be used for more than just draining pool covers. This unit has a ¾” garden hose connection, and if you give it a 3’ lift, it will still pull 400 gallons per hour.
This is another great manual pump that provides a good flow rate of 350 gallons per hour. Honestly, I don’t know why I bother checking the big ones, but service is a service.
This cute puppy comes with 25’ cord (obviously, they all do) and is totally submersible. Just remember to turn it on, and it will do the trick in no time.
Some small pumps look simple, and honestly, you wouldn’t give them a second glance, and then when you turn them on, dammit…they are beasts. This is one of those hidden beasts. It looks so simple, but it forces out 600 gallons per hour, and that’s a force to be reckoned with.
The only downside I have is that the power cord is not the standard 25’, it’s only 16’, with all that power in such a small casing, you’d think they would try to keep it as far away from safety as possible.
It’s time to introduce the Goliath of pumps; this lil’ beast can pump up to 2,100 gallons per hour, which is the equivalent of 30 gallons per minute. It uses ¼” HP and comes with a standard 25’ cable. Its submersible and can also push the water up 90o’s for 25’ which means you can pump water from your pool cover up a tree and use it as a shower for watering plants, but then why do that? It’s raining anyway.
Actually, this is a utility pump that is used as a pool cover pump; you can use this to drain anything anywhere anytime.
This is another super powerful pump, and this one pumps up to 2,400 gallons per hour. It’s a utility pump that converts to a pool cover pump and comes with the usual 25’ cable and a large 1-1/4″ top discharge that will also suck up 1/8” solids too.
This unit comes with a split capacity motor and makes for better thermal protection. In layman’s terms, this baby won’t overheat and has a shut off when the line is blocked. It is powered by a 1/3 HP motor.
13. Pumps Away Giant Superior 800 GPH Winter Swimming Pool Cover Pump Above Ground or Inground Pools 1/4 HP
This small item comes in two versions of the automatic and manual. This is the manual version, a fully controllable pump that pushes 800 gallons per hour. It comes with the standard 25’ power cord as well as a 7″ stabilizing base platform.
The submersible 500 GPH is basically a 500 gallon per hour manual pump that you throw onto the pool cover and activate to remove water. There is no hidden science behind her, just straightforward electro-mechanics.
This is a heavy-duty pump, its designed for pool draining and filtering. So basically, this is a great unit to have all year round. In the winter, when you cover your pool, disconnect this from the pool pump vents and just throw the tubing onto the surface cover.
Since it provides 1.5 HP, it can handle 2,580 gallons per hour rate, which is exceptional for any pool. As a pool cover pump, well let’s just say that if you stand outside for 3 minutes, you’ll get the job done.
This is a basic model for standard pool use. Not a pump for uphill struggles or very messy water. It pumps out 250 gallons per hour, which is perfectly fine, and so long as there are no large pieces of debris, it will work till the job is done.
My take: This is a classic budget friendly pump for average pool use. You don’t need to go overboard with a massive pump, and you don’t need to undersell yourself with a handheld. This is the basic model that provides great service.
It’s simple handpump time. No cords, no gallons per hour, just good old hand pumping, sweating, swearing and get the job done.
If you can maintain a constant motion, you will drain 5 gallons per hour, which is all you really need for small to medium sized pools. I wouldn’t cheap out and buy this if you own a big pool. This is great for those outdoor Jacuzzis and extra-large kiddie/family pools that you don’t feel like draining.
This is another hand-held pump, and it’s basically identical to the Swimline product in fact when it comes to pumps, especially hand held pumps, you are not going to get much variety. It all boils down to personal preference in color and brand.
Everything else is the same. Oh, and if someone is going to BS you about the quality of material, just tell them to stop BS’ng, all these units are made in some sweatshop in China out of the same plastics. This one comes with 13’ of hose, which makes it easier to reach over larger surfaces, but why you would want to hand pump a larger surface is beyond me.
Pool Cover Pump Tips
Before jumping in and buying a pool cover pump, first of all, understand what a pool cover demands. When you buy a pool, you need to cover it every night to make sure the water doesn’t get full of flying and floating debris. If you do keep your pool open at night, then you need to clean your pool water daily before use.
When winter comes, and you want to close your pool, you have two choices, empty it, which is preferred. Or cover it for winter. If you decide to cover your pool for winter, you will need a good pool cover, not some flimsy material. You must first invest in a good, reliable and sturdy pool cover that will not crack nor crumple under a little weight strain.
During winter, come rain and snow, your pool cover gets filled. Now, this is not all it fills up with. The dust and debris that are floating around also accumulate, and when they mix with water, produce bacteria, and in 32o areas will act as a breeding ground for mosquitos. The bacteria will attack the surface of the cover; the mosquitos will bite and potentially spread disease.
So it is important to pump off the water and maintain both a shiny clean cover as well as a water and bacteria free environment.
How to Choose a Pool Cover Pump
Essentially, there are only three types of pool cover pumps, as mentioned above. Automatic, manual and hand operated.
The size of your pools surface will determine the pump you want, also, in some remote instances, where the pool is located can be a factor.
If your pool is on the top of a building, or over 50 meters from your home, you might consider an automatic pump no matter the size.
If your pool is large, a full-sized pool, you should only get an automatic version.
If you have a small pool, one of those soft walled versions, get a manual one and save on the investment.
In all events, keep a hand-held pack by your side in case of power cuts, and yes, they can happen whenever you really need power, or when your electro-mechanical pump has fried itself.
Automatic Pool Cover Pumps
Automatic pool cover pumps are automatic; this means you plug it in, place it on the cover the way the manufacturer designates and leave it. The automatic pump will activate whenever it detects water; detection methods are similar. They also cut off when the optimum water level has been reached.
You will find automatic pumps pumping anywhere from 250 gallons an hour to 2,500 GPH. Essentially you don’t need more than 500 GPH, anything above that is overkill. What you should make sure is that your pump can handle leaves and such.
Advantages of Automatic Pumps
- Best for large pools.
- They provide higher capacity and faster pumping
- They prevent build up of water in the first place.
Manual Pool Cover Pumps
Manual pumps require you turn them on and off to activate them. They also tend to be smaller and deliver around 200 GPH to 400 GPH. These are great units for smaller pools, and since they are manual are not preventative. They require you take action by vesting the pool on a regular basis, and especially after rain and snow.
Advantages of Manual Pumps:
- Cheaper to buy than automatic
- Lighter, more compact and portable than the automatics
Pool Cover Maintenance Tips
Apart from pumping water off your pool cover, try to take the following steps to maintain your pool covers integrity:
Trim any close trees and bushes, so that when fall comes, the leaves and other bits don’t fly onto the cover. Do visit the pool at least once a week and clean the surface of large leaves and bits.
Check for tears, sometimes cats and birds walk over the pool covers, and they can scratch the surface. Most covers are thick, but you can never be 100% sure.