I did a decent amount of searching on these forums and was disappointed to not find a good resource on the different options for covering the pool in the winter. I thought one topic to address this issue would be a valuable resource in the future.
I have a 30k gallon in-ground, two skimmers + main drain, roughly 18x36, one end is semi-circle, other end has steps. I live in northeast Ohio, south enough to be out of lake effect snow, but we get around 50"/year.
Last year I used the cover that came with the house/pool, a tarp-type cover, and water bags. This was a pain. Water bags leaked, causing cover to move, swamp collected on top of the pool, etc. Also it got some holes in it from mice. So all season I planned on getting a cover that could be anchored to the ground. Looked quickly on Amazon, saw that they ranged in price from 500-700, and I was OK with that price so I put it in the back of my mind.
Until now, when I called the local pool store who did my closing last year (really helpful people, if a bit expensive). They wanted $3500 for their best, "solid", safety cover. And $2200 for a mesh cover that wasn't a safety cover.
What is a solid cover? Is it something like a rubber material as opposed to a mesh?
Is there a significant difference between a cheaper mesh cover, like this one: Amazon.com : Water Warden SCMB2040 Mesh Safety Cover, 20 by 40-Inch, Blue : Swimming Pool Covers : Patio, Lawn Garden , vs. a more expensive mesh cover? That cover on amazon even says it is a safety cover.
Really I just want something that anchors down, the safety part is a bonus. We have dogs over from time to time and last year it wasn't a problem, but the added peace of mind would be good.
Thoughts? Is the local pool store ripping me off? I did see a couple posts saying people spent multiple thousands of dollars on their covers....why? What's the difference from the one I posted on amazon?
I did some research elsewhere, basically it boils down to mesh covers allow small debris in the pool so springtime cleanup is more involved, but solid covers require more maintenance throughout the summer (pumping off water). Is it really necessary to pump off water if the cover is tight? Just wanted to get TFP's opinion because I trust it over some other random websites...and the pool store...