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Thread: Auto cover installation questions

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    Auto cover installation questions

    My PB will be installing the auto cover in a few days, and my mason is trying to figure out how to do the coping (pavers) and concrete work at that end of the pool. I have pictures of the setup so far with the wooden box that the cover mechanism will fit into and the tracks leading to it. I'll post the pictures in a follow-up to this (I can't figure out how to initiate a new thread from Tapatalk and that's where I post photos from).

    The big question is: what happens to the skimmer cover when the auto cover is installed? I assume it must be made flush with the rim of the pool, otherwise the cover will run into it.

    I would LOVE to see some pictures from any of you who have an auto cover that show what this looks like in the finished product, especially if your skimmer is in a similar location to mine. Do you have to actually have the cover all the way open to check the skimmer?

    My mason will have detailed info from the auto cover company (PennCo) on how to do the installation (they've been great to work with so far), but I think if he has photos of successful installations to look at it will be even clearer.
    22K 16'x40' inground fiberglass pool, Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand filter, Hayward dual speed 2 hp Super II Pump, Hayward AquaRite SWG, Raypak 400K btu propane heater, Dolphin Supreme M400 cleaning robot, CoverPool auto cover. Also stand-alone Sundance Hawthorne 430 gallon hot tub.

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    Re: Auto cover installation questions

    Here are the pictures I promised where you can see the skimmer and the tracks and box for the auto cover:




    (I leaned those construction fence posts in the end of the box as a an exit ramp for the dozens of frogs that got trapped in there...)


    22K 16'x40' inground fiberglass pool, Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand filter, Hayward dual speed 2 hp Super II Pump, Hayward AquaRite SWG, Raypak 400K btu propane heater, Dolphin Supreme M400 cleaning robot, CoverPool auto cover. Also stand-alone Sundance Hawthorne 430 gallon hot tub.

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    Re: Auto cover installation questions

    Personally I don't like that skimmer location nor the wooden box for the cover pit. None of that seems like best practices. Mind you, I have a gunite pool with autocover, but I would envision a very different setup at the end of your pool for the cover pit. Is the manufacturer of your autocover comfortable with what they are doing? Just doesn't seem kosher. Wooden pit will eventually rot, bow in. The supports at the top will be removed for the cover to go in. I actually thought the box was the framing for a concrete pit that would be poured around it. Autocovers are very expensive and this installation just doesn't seem that impressive. The skimmer location is, frankly, stupid. Now you generally don't need to check the skimmer if the cover is/has been closed for a while, nothing is getting in, but I've never seen that on any installation before. To answer your question, yes the cover would have to be opened fully to check the skimmer. But also, how is the cover going to pull back over the skimmer anyway?? I think the setup is wrong, skimmer is permanently blocked by the cover.

    I'd have to see sample pics from the manufacturer showing detail of how this install is supposed to work before I'd be comfortable with it.

    You can see my build thread for reference cover pics to see where I'm coming from. Again, hopefully they have something different in mind that I'm not familiar with - could easily be so, just haven't seen any here or elsewhere.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
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    Re: Auto cover installation questions

    Well, bmoreswim, I don't know. To answer your question, the installers who were here from the manufacturer are comfortable with the installation. It's just a matter of them communicating with the mason on exactly how to pour the concrete and place the pavers at that end of the pool so the cover will work. I hear your concerns and I share many of them, but I have to trust that these guys know what they're doing. I know that they modified the design and placed the pit farther than usual from the end of the pool to accommodate the skimmer. Since I've never done this before I have no idea if a box made of pressure treated wood to house the mechanism is standard or not. Would a concrete box be more typical?

    I'll post more pictures on this thread as the installation goes on. If you or anyone else has pictures to show on how other installations were done, I would appreciate it.


    22K 16'x40' inground fiberglass pool, Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand filter, Hayward dual speed 2 hp Super II Pump, Hayward AquaRite SWG, Raypak 400K btu propane heater, Dolphin Supreme M400 cleaning robot, CoverPool auto cover. Also stand-alone Sundance Hawthorne 430 gallon hot tub.

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    Re: Auto cover installation questions

    It seems strange to have to open the cover to check the skimmer. As bmoreswim's, mine is a concrete vault right at the end of the pool, the skimmer is on the side of the pool. They prob know what theyre doing, just looks different than "normal".
    DONE, 20 x 40, inground gunite, 30" raised bond beam with 3 12" sheer descents, 8' diving board, pentair 420 cartridge filter, vs-3050 pump, intellechlor ic-40, auto cvr, Tahoe blue pebble tech, 6ea 4' x 12.5' & 2ea 1' x 12.5' helicol solar panels, legend robotic cleaner.

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    Auto cover installation questions

    Your installers may not be from the manufacturer but from a sales agency authorized to sell them and trade as them. I would be in contact with the guys who design the stuff to see what their take is.

    In fact, the company you are using is PennCo which is a third party installer that doesn't advertise what brands they install but they service them all. I would definitely find out the brand of your cover, CoverStar, Cover Pools, etc. and contact them for confirmation of the install method, showing them all of your pics and talking to them. You have to live with the trade-offs of the install not PennCo.

    All of my research on autocovers was done at the manufacturer level not the installer level. Ideally it shouldn't matter but it can.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
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    Re: Auto cover installation questions

    We are also getting an Autocover (Coverstar).
    Couple of points :

    Like the above posts, the box doesn't seem to be right. First, it is wood.. probably OK, like you mentioned, but I have my concerns.

    -- But what about the drainage from the box. Is there a sump pump to pull water when it gets flooded?
    -- If possible, I would move the skimmer to the sides or to the opposite end - we have one on the side and one on the non-motor end.
    -- The 'rails' need to be (almost) perfectly straight and parallel. In your case, they seem to be hanging - Your PB should probably lay them on a concrete bed or something more solid than just filling the void.
    -- I would also make sure that they 'bond' the rails to prevent electrolytic corrosion
    -- What's up with the cross-beams on the box? They obviously have to cut them when they put the cover. If they cut them, doesn't it affect the structural rigidity of the long sides?
    2015 build (link)| 16.5 K gal | Salt Water | IG rect | 35'x16' | 568 sf | 105 ft peri | depth 3'-5' | PV3 in-floor | 2 Venturi skimmers | MDX+SDX drains | T-CELL-15 SWG | Hayward Ecostar VS pump | Hayward 7220 DE Filter | Aqua Cal Icebreaker Heat / Cool pump SQ166 | Hayward Sense & Dispense PH Controller| Omnilogic | Pebble Sheen Blue Surf | Ultra UV | Stenner acid pump | Coverstar Automatic | TF-100

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    Re: Auto cover installation questions

    Any updates on the autocover install?
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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    Re: Auto cover installation questions

    Just adding my two cents into this. The skimmer cannot be moved a lot of fiberglass manufacturers place the skimmers there. Don't know why but usually when I order Trilogy shells I move the skimmer to the side especially for auto covers. Now on to the box not sure if they are using the treated wood to be a permanent part of this or just for forming concrete pour. I personally would rather have concrete walls to anchor into the mechanism for the cover. There should be a concrete collar poured around the pool but that would be up to the manufacturer of the shell to dictate that for the builder.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
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    Re: Auto cover installation questions

    Yes, mine is in the same position at that end of the pool too. Came that way from the factory. The difference for our cover is that it is deck mounted, and we have a long bench over the cover roll.
    Its not any problem to open the cover occasionally to check the skimmer-The pool *needs* to be opened now and then to allow it to "breath" a bit and let any pent up gasses out.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
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    Re: Auto cover installation questions

    So here's where we are with the auto cover box now. We are still a couple of weeks away from having it installed, but the concrete around the box and around the pool is poured and the coping stones are in place, embedded in wet concrete along with the bonding wire.

    My understanding is that the pressure treated wood is the box itself and not a form for concrete. The cross pieces are temporary and will be removed. I'm sure the possibility of having any other material for the box is long gone.

    We're still looking into the possibility of putting a thin tile layer on top of the blue fiberglass lip on the end of the pool, but there may not be enough clearance for the cover to pass over. We'll probably retract the cover to the edge of the pool on a daily basis and only retract it all the way to uncover the skimmer when necessary.




    22K 16'x40' inground fiberglass pool, Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand filter, Hayward dual speed 2 hp Super II Pump, Hayward AquaRite SWG, Raypak 400K btu propane heater, Dolphin Supreme M400 cleaning robot, CoverPool auto cover. Also stand-alone Sundance Hawthorne 430 gallon hot tub.

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    Re: Auto cover installation questions

    So the pavers are just "embedded" in the concrete? No construction adhesive, no mortar, no attachment to the pool shell?

    Is that concrete between the shell and the auto cover box? I think I can still see the pool lip? Shouldn't that concrete be flush with the coping to "lock" the pool in?

    ac

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    Re: Auto cover installation questions

    Quote Originally Posted by avc8130 View Post
    So the pavers are just "embedded" in the concrete? No construction adhesive, no mortar, no attachment to the pool shell?

    Is that concrete between the shell and the auto cover box? I think I can still see the pool lip? Shouldn't that concrete be flush with the coping to "lock" the pool in?

    ac
    I had a long talk with my landscaping contractor yesterday and raised some of your concerns. I'm confident that he has done a great job with the coping stones. There is a concrete ring all the way around the pool (except at the deep end) which comes up over the pool lip. It is a special mix of concrete which bonds well with the stones - sorry I don't know the technical details. The stones were laid while the concrete was still wet and he put construction adhesive between the stones and the top of the metal rails for the auto cover. Then there's polymer sand which will go between the coping stones which he says will also add some strength. At the deep end, the pool lip is now covered with paving stones. Once the auto cover is installed, no one will be standing at that end, but even if they did, there are no coping stones there to come loose and cause a problem.

    I'm satisfied that he has done this the right way. Of all of the contractors that have been on this job, he's the one I trust the most. Take a look at my other thread in the Under Construction section for some recent pictures.
    22K 16'x40' inground fiberglass pool, Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand filter, Hayward dual speed 2 hp Super II Pump, Hayward AquaRite SWG, Raypak 400K btu propane heater, Dolphin Supreme M400 cleaning robot, CoverPool auto cover. Also stand-alone Sundance Hawthorne 430 gallon hot tub.

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    Re: Auto cover installation questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Maestro View Post
    I had a long talk with my landscaping contractor yesterday and raised some of your concerns. I'm confident that he has done a great job with the coping stones. There is a concrete ring all the way around the pool (except at the deep end) which comes up over the pool lip. It is a special mix of concrete which bonds well with the stones - sorry I don't know the technical details. The stones were laid while the concrete was still wet and he put construction adhesive between the stones and the top of the metal rails for the auto cover. Then there's polymer sand which will go between the coping stones which he says will also add some strength. At the deep end, the pool lip is now covered with paving stones. Once the auto cover is installed, no one will be standing at that end, but even if they did, there are no coping stones there to come loose and cause a problem.

    I'm satisfied that he has done this the right way. Of all of the contractors that have been on this job, he's the one I trust the most. Take a look at my other thread in the Under Construction section for some recent pictures.
    So there is no concrete ring on the deep end? Is the pool manufacturer "ok" with that installation method? I've never seen that before, everything I've read said concrete was required around all sides of the pool.

    Interesting. Never heard of that.

    The results certainly look very nice!

    ac

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