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Thread: Tarp type cover with water bags ...when to pump or lave pump on the cover?

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    Tarp type cover with water bags ...when to pump or lave pump on the cover?

    Hi All,

    Sad time of year ....built the pool seven years ago. 20x40 and 10ft at the deep end with above ground side spa. Northern Virginia location.

    I considered getting a tensioned cover (looploc, mcewen, etc) this year, but, again, decided to avoid the $3500 expenditure. So, pulled out the (third and last season) tarp cover, bought a few more water bags to replace the leakers from last year, and closed her up.

    I have watched and considered and experimented over the years how best to remove water and leaves. We live in a heavily wooded area so I end up scooping leaves out a couple of times in the late fall and spring. Is this pretty common?

    My other consideration has been how and when to pump water out ...and, how the cover interacts with the water under it and the water falling onto it. My covers have always seemed to leak water through ...I can't tell how much, though. When I have left the auto pump sitting on top of the cover it causes, over time, a low area to form due to the pump and then accumulated water around it, and I suspect a "transfer area" for water to migrate from pool to surface.

    I get snow buildup at times, but it usually melts in a week or so as it warms due to weather and contact with the pool water which normally doesn't freeze ...I think because the level is about two feet below grade when I prep it for closing.

    Would appreciate advice on how to keep water off the top, or if it is even important to do so if the bags stay in place and hold the cover with the accumulated water ...install pump only when a lot builds up? Sheesh ...


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    Re: Tarp type cover with water bags ...when to pump or lave pump on the cover?

    Scoop leaves and other debris off with a deep net. Keep the cover pulled so that it lays flat on the water without bunching or wrinkling. Pump the water off once it gets any significant accumulation. Keep the waterbags about 75% full. Replace any that leak. Use a wide brush to brush water and debris to a pile for easier removal.

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    Re: Tarp type cover with water bags ...when to pump or lave pump on the cover?

    Thanks, James ...your process and men sound the same ...except I was leaving the pump on the cover. I think this created more issues. How much water accumulation do you wait for before putting the pump on? Does it appear you get any water through the tarp cover?

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    Catanzaro's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    Monmouth County, New Jersey

    Re: Tarp type cover with water bags ...when to pump or lave pump on the cover?


    Please add your signature. I have an IG Pool with a regular tarp. There is enough slack in the deep end and by the stairs (where there are a few sharp edges). This year, I did this so hopefully the cover will not rip in these areas, like it has in the past few years.

    The water level was dropped below the skimmers, again which allows more water accumulation on the cover. With me, I allow the water to build up a little bit before placing the pump on the cover (store the pump inside) and removing the water. You can leave water on the tarp during the winter. The only time everything has to come off is when you open the pool.

    In the winter, after all the leaves have fallen, I clean up the back yard and pool cover with a powerful blower. This pushes all the leaves to one area and with a large broom, and I am able to remove the leaves, etc. This year, I will even add a little bit of liquid chlorine on the cover so hopefully the water will not turn green. In the spring I will try to recycle the water back under the cover. If there are no rips, the cover will naturally come to the surface and can be easily removed. I need to bring my TA down. Any remaining dirt for the most part will stay on the cover and can easily be removed.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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    Re: Tarp type cover with water bags ...when to pump or lave pump on the cover?

    A cover pump is usually too heavy for a waterbag cover. I would leave it off. However, it can be a safety issue if a lot of water accumulates. Try to keep it as dry as possible. If wind tends to be an issue, a thin layer of clean water can help keep the cover from blowing around.

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