In this review I want to talk about a pool cover pump that is a mid-range size pump that is specifically made for small to medium size pool covers. The Little Giant PCP550 Pool Cover Pump is the perfect pump for these situations because it’s small, powerful and is probably the best priced pump in this category. It’s the total package for someone who doesn’t want all the bells and whistles and simply needs water removed from their cover in a reasonable amount of time.
The Little Giant PCP550 Pool Cover Pump is a great pump if you have an above ground pool that is between 12’ and 24’ round or if your pool has a cover square footage of 450’ or less. Why is it perfect for small or medium size pool covers? With a flow rate of 550 Gph (Gallons Per Hour), the Little Giant does a great job with removing water from smaller areas where non-electric manual pumps simply cannot keep up. If you have a pool larger then you will probably want to bump up to the next level of pool cover pumps that can remove over 1000 Gph (see the WAYNE WAPC250 review here.)
HOW TO USE IT
As with most pool cover pumps, this one is easy to set up. Just attach a standard garden hose to the ¾” connection on top of the pump (see picture below) and extend the garden hose out to where you would like to drain the water (preferably away from the pool itself and other areas that could flood.)
Then, simply place the pump into the middle of the area of the pool cover that tends to have the most water accumulation. (Note, it is ok to submerge the pump as it is completely water proof.) Finally, run the 25-foot electric cord to an outlet and it will automatically turn on and begin pumping the water off the pool cover.
That’s all there is to it. Super simple and really anyone could set this up in minutes.
WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE LITTLE GIANT POOL COVER PUMPS?
One of the comments we heard most about the Little Giant PCP550 was that it was great for pool covers that tend to attract a lot of leaves and debris. There is a removable intake screen that does a great job of eliminating clogs, a common issue with pool cover pumps. Most owners of this pump mentioned it was better at avoiding getting clogged by leaves than other pumps they have previously owned.
Another positive about the Little Giant PCP550 Pool Cover Pump is that it is much quieter than other pool cover pumps on the market. If you feel like a freight train is running through your backyard each time the pump turns on, you might want to consider going with the Little Giant. Although not a huge selling point, it’s nice to know you won’t be waking the neighbors when you have to pump water off of the cover after every rain storm.
Some of the other positives about the Little Giant PCP550 include:
- Very affordable: This is probably the best value for a pool cover pump, at least in this size (550 Gph.) If your situation calls for a pump that doesn’t have to remove a ton of water at a time, this Little Giant does the job admirably without breaking the bank.
- Multipurpose: A number of reviews have mentioned using the Little Giant PCP550 for other uses, most notably pumping water out of flooded basements. If you own a home that gets a lot of water in the basement every time it rains, it’s nice to have this pump around to help remove the water. If you own a sump pump, this Little Giant is a great backup in case the sump pump breaks down or can’t handle the amount in your basement.
- Popular brand name – Little Giant has been making water pumps for a long time and they are probably the most recognized name in the industry. That says something about the quality of the pump you’ll be receiving.
- 2-Year Warranty – Every Little Giant pool cover pump comes with a 2-year limited warranty. This is twice as long as the industry standard warranty you will find on most pumps which is 1-year. Little Giant definitely stands behind their pumps and we’ve seen very few if any issues with warranties or contacting Little Giant for warranty issues.
- MADE IN THE USA – Need I say more?
One thing we’ve mentioned before in other reviews is that EVERY pool cover pump we have seen has some negative reviews. It’s the nature of the beast when it comes to an electrical product that sits out in the elements and deals with water. Some of the negatives we saw for the Little Giant included:
- Lack of water level sensing capability – The Little Giant PCP550 Pool Cover Pump is really a ‘manual’ pump meaning you turn it on and off my plugging it into an electrical outlet and it does the job. It doesn’t sense the amount of water on the pool cover (like the Rule 1800) and turn on and off automatically when water reaches a certain level. The Little Giant is meant to pump the water off the cover on demand and do it quickly. Most will leave the pump on the cover and plug in when the water reaches a certain level and in this situation it does do a good job.
- A few mentioned issues about how much water has to accumulate on the pool cover before the pump will be able to remove the water (about 1” before it is able to suction.) The Little Giant PCP550 doesn’t sit flat with its intake on the bottom like other pumps. It’s intake is on the side of the pump (see below) which tends to be the reason behind there needing to be about an inch of water before it is able to suction.
NOTE: It is ok to have some water accumulation on the pool cover all the time. In fact, my pool cover on my 24-foot above ground pool probably has some water or snow on it every day during the off season. I find that having some water on the cover tends to help it lay flat which is extremely helpful when the winds are blowing up here in the cold Northeast USA. So in this case, having an inch of water in a small area is not that big of a deal for me and it’s actually a positive.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
Overall the Little Giant PCP550 had good reviews with a rating of 4-stars (which is REALLY good when you compare it to other pool cover pumps!) Some of the positive things people said included:
- “Excellent pump for pool covers”
- “Little guy really works”
- “A real bargain and pleasant surprise”
- “So far I am very satisfied with it”
- “Never clogs and removes the water with good flow”
- “It drained about 5″ of water in no time flat”
- “I am overall very pleased and would recommend it”
- “Great little pump!!!”
When it comes to pool cover pumps, you’ll find that there is one made for just about any unique situation. Depending on how large your pool cover is, you will want to find the right pool cover pump to fit your specific needs. If you buy a pump that is too small, it will work all day and all night and never be able to pump all the water off the cover. If you purchase one that is too large, it will be overkill and you’ll have an industrial size pump that costs too much, is really loud and isn’t efficient.
The Little Giant PCP550 Pool Cover Pump is perfect for most pool covers that get accumulations of water after a rain storm and where the owner doesn’t mind plugging in the pump manually to start the removal of the water. Some like to “set-it-and-forget-it” but when it comes to electrical things that deal with water, there is something to be said about plugging in the pump when you need it and unplugging it when not in use. It’s a great brand name with a good warranty and overall I think it deserves to be considered by anyone needing a pool cover pump on a budget. Again, it’s probably the best pump in it’s price range.