Easily one of the most recognized names when it comes to pool cover pumps and water pumps in general is the Little Giant brand. These versatile pumps are made to do one thing and that is pump water off pool covers as quickly as possible to prolong the life of your above ground or in-ground pool cover. In this case, we’re going to talk about one of the work horses of the Little Giant line and that is the Little Giant 5-APCP Automatic Pool Cover Pump.
Little Giant is one of the better pool cover pumps on the market and the 5-APCP is a popular model that actually goes by a few different names. For those looking to buy one online, you’ll see this pump called by the model which is 5-APCP or sometimes by the item number which is 505600. The bottom line is they’re the same pool cover pump and for our purposes we’ll refer to it as the Little Giant 5-APCP. So let’s talk a little about the 5-APCP and see why it’s a really good option for just about any size or type of pool cover on the market.
LITTLE GIANT 5-APCP FEATURES
The Little Giant 5-APCP is a 1/6HP pump that is able to remove water from pool covers and other areas at a flow rate of about 1200 gallons per hour (gph.) This is comparable to other pumps on the market where the range is 1000-1500gph with the top in the category (the Rule 1800) coming in at about 1800gph. However, when it comes to removing rain water and melting snow and ice, the Little Giant 5-APCP does an excellent job and does the job just as good, if not better, than others in this category.
The 5-APCP also has a handy feature that I absolutely think is a must have on a pool cover pump and that is the auto on/off feature. The Little Giant 5-APCP will automatically activate the pump action in about 2.3″ of water and turn off at around 1/2″ to 1.5″ of water. This feature is something you will most definitely want to have as you will definitely grow tired of running out to the pool in the rain to manually start a pump that doesn’t have the automatic on/off feature. And for a pump that costs over $100, it’s a must have feature.
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In addition, the Little Giant 5-APCP also includes a detachable stabilizing plate which is extremely handy when it comes to above ground pool covers. If you live in an area like mine that is prone to heavy winds, you’ll know that the cover on an above ground pool will flop and roll like a parachute sometimes as the air gets underneath and this means your pump may tip over and not be able to pump off the rain water. The stabilizing plate on the Little Giant helps the pump stay in one position on the cover so you don’t have to run out and adjust it all season. Trust me, this will save you a lot of trouble and you’ll be happy you have this little extra feature.
As with most other pool cover pumps, the Little Giant 5-APCP has a bottom inlet with a screen that keeps out leaves, debris and other gunk which can accumulate on the cover which helps the pump more efficiently remove the puddling water. The screen is also easily removed for cleaning as it snaps in place and requires no tools. This makes it easy not only for Dad to clean the pump but the kids or Mom can help as well since no tools are required.
WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE THE LITTLE GIANT 5-APCP POOL COVER PUMP?
Little Giant is a big name in the water pump business and, because most people tend to select products first by brand name, this pump has become one of the more popular choices. The Little Giant 5-APCP is a fairly good pool cover pump, albeit a little more expensive than the others which tends to scare people off a bit. But for the price you’re getting a proven pump with some must have features (automatic on/off, high capacity flow, best in class 2yr warranty, etc) so you do get a lot of bang for the buck.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE LITTLE GIANT 5-APCP
Reviewers are split on the 5-APCP pump with some loving the pump and others not being too happy with their purchase. Here’s some of the good and not-so-good reviews:
“I tried 2 out of 3 $50 brands and they did not come close to the suction as this baby…”
“14 Years and still pumping…”
“5 Years and still kicking…”
“After ten years of swimming pool ownership I have found this brand and model of pump to be the most reliable…”
“Sturdy and good for the job…”
“Received Product Broken…”
“Think twice before buying this pump, if your pool cover encounters freezing conditions…”
“The auto-shut off leaves to much water on pool cover…”
“the cord entering the housing became brittle and broke allowing water into the motor…”
“Bought this to replace a Rule pool cover pump thinking that it would probably exceed the lifetime of those. I sure was wrong…”
Most of the bad reviews had similar issues revolving around the construction of the pump. More than one owner had talked about the power cord becoming brittle after being left out in the elements which eventually led to a broken pump. Also, there was a common theme among owners whose pumps lasted many years and that was they never left the pump out in the elements and freezing temperatures. Those that removed the pumps and only used during less colder seasons saw their Little Giant 5-APCP last many more years than others.
Overall Little Giant does make a very respectable pool cover pump that has a great warranty (2yrs) and that will last a very long time as long as you take care of it. Some pool cover pumps are OK to be left out in the snow, ice and rain and although Little Giant says it will be OK, the overall conclusion appears to say otherwise. If you live in milder climates in the South, the Little Giant 5-APCP is definitely a pump you will want to consider and will probably give you many good years of service. However, if you live up North and want an automatic shut off pump that will survive the harsh winters, you may want to look at other options (i.e. Rule 1800 or Wayne WAPC250.)