Whats the Best Automatic Pump for Winter Cover?


New member
Sep 9, 2010

I am looking for the best automatic pump for the top of my solid winter cover. I have a large amount of pine needles due to the Norway Spruces lining the side of the pool (I don't want to cut them down). Also, I live in northern NJ so the water on top (mixed with leaves and debris) freezes. So the pump needs to be able to handle both debris and not get damaged when it freezes. Not the perfect pool location, but its what I have. I've tried to find reviews of pumps but they are mixed. Who here has good experience with a particular pump that would work in my conditions?


Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
SouthWest Alabama
Welcome to TFP.

I would trust what Scott says. Rule has been making bilge pumps forever and make a good unit.

You do need to check the unit once in a while to make sure something isn't hanging up the [s:28v6hcqy]float[/s:28v6hcqy] unit.

Search around for a good price.


TFP Expert
May 20, 2007
South Central NJ
The Rule doesn't have a float. The tests to see if there is water every few minutes. If the current load is increased from normal, it assumes the load is water and stays on. If no increase in current from the known no-load state, it turns itself off.


chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
San Rafael, CA USA
I have a Rule 1800 and it works great. The first version of it I had used a different bottom section that cracked and the pipe nozzle attachment also cracked but instead of replacing the nozzle and fixing it myself, I just got the newer version of the pump and bottom attachment and it's been fine so far. Note that if you get a lot of leaves or other material, the entrances to the pump (i.e. that bottom blue plastic section) can get clogged so you may need to periodically remove such debris for the pump to properly remove water.


Well-known member
Jun 14, 2007
New Jersey
I co-sign on the Rule. I went through three Little Giants my first two winters. As you know, in NNJ we get freeze followed by rain, and then back to freeze again all through the winter. So the pump has to stay out there to be useful. No bringing it in once you get to December as you would in colder places. The Rule electronics are designed to deal with this. The pump only runs if it is actually able to pump water. So if the hose is frozen downstream, it stays off. This was what killed the Little Giants.

I put the whole pump in one of those mesh bags they sell for camping and cinch the neck up on the hose and power cord. It keeps the leaves from blocking the ports. You just have to pick the pump up once in a while and shake it off and put it down in a new place, maybe 3 times a winter. That's MUCH easier than taking the strainer/base off and cleaning it. Also, Rule has a three-year guarantee, ask what Little Giant has....

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