Automatic vs. Manual
Pool cover pumps come in both automatic and manual styles, with the automatic usually running a little higher in price. Automatic pool cover pumps feature an automatic float switch that turns to pump on when the water level rises over a certain height. This is nice because it allows you to set up the pump and forget about it for an extended period of time. Manual pool cover pumps, on the other hand, don’t have this feature, and require you to set up the pump each time you want to use it.
Pool cover pumps don’t usually have much pumping power, because they are usually not dealing with a large amount of water. Most of them range from about 10-30 GPM (gallons per minute), and this is usually plenty of power. How much power you need generally depends on the size of the pool as well as the amount of rain or snow expected.
Another nice feature of pool cover pumps is they don’t usually require a special discharge hose. Most pool cover pumps use a standard garden hose to discharge the water from the pool cover. Certain pool cover pump can also be used for other applications as well, such as draining standing water from basements, tubs, and spas.