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Thread: New pool owner needs advice for a pool cover

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    Wink New pool owner needs advice for a pool cover

    Hey all! This is my first post on TFP. We just purchased a house with a pool in Northern California and I was looking for some advice on what kind of pool cover to purchase. About the pool: It's 22x36 at its widest/longest point and irregularly geometrically shaped (think straight lines) surrounded by a concrete patio. We have a lot of trees in the area so there's often quite a bit of debris (leaves, cypress needles, etc.) in the pool which I'd love to have a pool cover help out with. I was thinking of getting some sort of a mesh/solid cover that stretches taut over the pool and anchors to the patio to make sure no leaves get in the pool when not in use. What I am wondering is do these kinds of covers provide ANY sort of warming effect and anti-evaporative effect like the bubble covers do? I'd like to extend the length of my season but the bubble pool covers don't keep any of the leaves/cypress needles out and all the reviews I've read say they don't hold up for much more than a year, so I'm hesitant to spend any money on them. Also, are those kinds of mesh/solid pool covers a hassle to remove?

    I had imagined that a dark mesh/solid pool cover might help warm the pool since the cover would absorb sunlight and radiate the heat to the pool, but I'm not sure if the greenhouse effect would just be inhibited since less light gets through the pool. If that's the case, would a bubble pool cover under a mesh cover help at all with warming?

    If we go with the mesh cover, I had also toyed around with the idea of just using neodymium magnets instead of screwed in anchors since we don't have to worry about snow out here - any thoughts?

    Thanks in advance for your advice!

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    Re: New pool owner needs advice for a pool cover

    We have not forgotten you

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    Re: New pool owner needs advice for a pool cover

    An anchored pool cover is not an option in your case (if I am understanding you correctly). What about something like this: DIY Solar Cover Roller

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    Re: New pool owner needs advice for a pool cover

    I would recommend an automatic pool cover. It would be solid and keep all or nearly all debris out of your pool. The dark colors do transfer heat to the pool as well. The automatic cover can be opened and closed easily. If you have needles then the mesh will not keep them out of the pool.

    I have moved the mesh covers and once they have been over the pool they soak in a lot of water and are very heavy and hard to move. I would only recommend using them if you are not going put it on or take it of very often. They can be very heavy and are hard to move around. I think once a week would be too much. I don't know about using the magnets but it would be a cool idea if it worked but remember there is a lot of weight added from water soaking the cover and once one magnet slides off the base then half the cover will be at the bottom of the pool.

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    Re: New pool owner needs advice for a pool cover

    Ytsmith2: are you looking for a "winter cover" or a "during season" cover? Sorry that I may not be understanding!

    Honey Badger: can you install an auto-cover after the fact?

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    Re: New pool owner needs advice for a pool cover

    Yes, you can install an auto cover after the fact. People do it all the time.

    Ytsmith2: If you are looking for a winter cover a lot of people use the mesh covers this way since you only remove it once. I know that in Utah and all along the Rocky Mountains people use the auto covers as winter covers and they handle the snow load without a problem. That way it can be used in the summer easily.

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    Re: New pool owner needs advice for a pool cover

    I have an auto-cover that I use as a winter cover. Love the option of covering the pool easily during season.

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    Re: New pool owner needs advice for a pool cover

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey Badger View Post
    I would recommend an automatic pool cover. It would be solid and keep all or nearly all debris out of your pool. The dark colors do transfer heat to the pool as well. The automatic cover can be opened and closed easily. If you have needles then the mesh will not keep them out of the pool.

    I have moved the mesh covers and once they have been over the pool they soak in a lot of water and are very heavy and hard to move. I would only recommend using them if you are not going put it on or take it of very often. They can be very heavy and are hard to move around. I think once a week would be too much. I don't know about using the magnets but it would be a cool idea if it worked but remember there is a lot of weight added from water soaking the cover and once one magnet slides off the base then half the cover will be at the bottom of the pool.
    Thank you all for your responses! Honey Badger - I'm assuming that an automatic pool cover for an existing pool would have to be installed with tracks that run alongside the pool, is that correct? If so, I'm not sure if that would work with my pool's irregular shape - see the picture in the link below and let me know what you think. The lines on the picture are the stairs. Or can the cover perhaps be installed under the lip of the existing concrete? If you think an automatic cover could work, how much $$$ would you estimate this would cost and do you have any particular vendors that you recommend?
    Image - TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing Video Hosting

    So from what you described, a mesh cover does not stretch taut over the pool like a security cover does. If that's the case, how are the mesh covers usually secured?

    I'm leaning more towards something that will provide a tight seal for the edges of the pool (to keep out frogs who keep laying their eggs) and would still allow some sunlight into the pool. Granted an auto cover would do this, I'm just not sure if it's feasible or worth the cost. Do you think the mesh material is strong enough such that I could glue nylon strips in a grid across the top of it like a security cover and fasten those nylon strips to the edges of the pool with magnets? Or would I ultimately just be better served by purchasing a security cover?

    Thanks again for your help!

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    Re: New pool owner needs advice for a pool cover

    Quote Originally Posted by MarianParoo View Post
    Ytsmith2: are you looking for a "winter cover" or a "during season" cover? Sorry that I may not be understanding!

    Honey Badger: can you install an auto-cover after the fact?
    Hey MarianParoo, I had initially been hoping to find a solution that would work all season long since I live in California and the weather is temperate throughout the year. I'd like something that fits my irregular pool shape and that can be removed relatively easily but still provides a good seal to prevent frogs from getting into the pool. The more I think about it, the warming benefits of solar cover are not as important to me at this point - I'd just like the spend less time cleaning out frog eggs .

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    Re: New pool owner needs advice for a pool cover

    Yes you can cover that with an auto cover. Any manufacturer can do it.
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    Re: New pool owner needs advice for a pool cover

    I vote for an auto cover too. Ours was installed after the pool and we love it. The tracks are barely noticeable on the concrete to tell you the truth. When stepped on they don't hurt your feet or bottom when sitting on the edge of the pool. You can self install too if you're inclined. One company out of UT sells them for owner install.

    We had a bench built over the rolled cover, and also put our deep end ladder on the pool supply hinges that allow it to be removed to close the cover. (Skippy says we didn't even need the ladder but I thought the grandbabies would appreciate it after cannon-ballin' into the deep end).

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    Re: New pool owner needs advice for a pool cover

    A winter cover will not give you the tight seal you are looking for. I think you are going to be best served by an auto cover. Auto covers do not come in a mesh fabric and the are not tight like a trampoline. They sit loose on top of the water. They do create a very good barrier on both sides but both ends are slightly open. The box where the cover rolls up is a place that will be moist and warm so if you have a problem with frogs they will probably end up there. Also the leading edge is raised to help the cover run easily but this can be adjusted.

    the tracks form a square around any shape of pool so that is not a big issue. The normal top track is rounded and sits on top of the concrete. There is also a flush track that can be recessed. I have only seen one flush track type that really works but it is only an inch wide so it looks good.

    Most of the manufacturers are based out of Utah but I would not recommend a self install. It can be done with success but manufacturers do not sell that way so someone is already marking the price up, and it will void most warranties. They are not that complicated to install but there are a lot of small things and tricks that make a huge difference in how it will perform.

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