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Thread: Help with Pool Cover Decision and Options

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    Help with Pool Cover Decision and Options

    I'm working on final bids for a new pool size about 18'x38' with a sports pool profile.

    I have asked for quotes on getting a CoverStar cover and they're coming in at around $15,000 which is a lot more than I want to spend. I have a few questions for the veterans:

    * Are there other brands that are more reasonable than CoverStar?

    * Is spending $15K worth it? The house will be rented for summer rentals so I can't see the cover being used a lot during the summer. I see it more on the shoulder seasons where either ourselves or a renter will be there maybe for a weekend and the pool will be unused during the week.

    I like the cover from both a pool cleanliness (animals/frogs/leaves, etc.) and safety point of view.

    Thanks!

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    bmoreswim's Avatar
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    Re: Help with Pool Cover Decision and Options

    See my answers below...

    Quote Originally Posted by NineAcre View Post
    I'm working on final bids for a new pool size about 18'x38' with a sports pool profile.

    I have asked for quotes on getting a CoverStar cover and they're coming in at around $15,000 which is a lot more than I want to spend. I have a few questions for the veterans:

    * Are there other brands that are more reasonable than CoverStar? When we received our pool quotes, the pool builders that used Cover Pools came in $3-4K less on that line item. Though I didn't get into details on each cover to determine if all was apples to apples because I was evalutating total builder cost. I found that it was generally best to have a PB use the network of brands/installers they are most familiar with because it leads to the most straightforward process with the least headaches. Going outside of their comfort zone regarding subs is asking for trouble. I have no idea on the relative quality/reliability of each. The main thing is to consider the installer, not the cover brand. Anyone selling an autocover (of the major brands) is probably fine. It's the local installer you will be dealing with, for better or worse.

    * Is spending $15K worth it? The house will be rented for summer rentals so I can't see the cover being used a lot during the summer. I see it more on the shoulder seasons where either ourselves or a renter will be there maybe for a weekend and the pool will be unused during the week. I found it worth it to us (ours was almost $15K for a Coverstar of the same size with stainless brackets to support bluestone coping 12x24) for sleeping at night, keeping pool clean in certain circumstances, ease of vacation maintenance and as an easy heat retention method. I will say that though they are easy to use, they can also be a little finicky. I wouldn't be at all thrilled about having renters able to open and close the pool each day. What will they do if they hear a sound that is obviously not normal? How about if the cover doesn't open because a rope or breaks, pulley gets wonky or a switch fails? I'm also the kind that doesn't like to lend out their power equipment for fear of what shape it will come back in. No one is going to care for their stuff to my standards. An automatic pool cover is a big investment (which needs maintenance akin to a car) and does need to be thought through. Would I do it again? Yes. Have had all of the problems listed above in four summers, 2 of the 3, and one not listed Honestly, we included it on our 'must have' list and never really focused on the cost of the cover too much - it was just part of the project cost if we were going to build a pool.

    I like the cover from both a pool cleanliness (animals/frogs/leaves, etc.) and safety point of view.

    Thanks!
    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: Help with Pool Cover Decision and Options

    We just put our pool in. 20 X 44 and put an Aquamatic Hydramatic cover on. We did it ourselves which was not too difficult. We went with Aquamatic for a couple of reasons. One, I liked the idea of having hydraulic motors in the vault instead of electric. Two, some of the electric covers have to be pad locked shut to be "safe" because I was told you could push the cover back if you tried. With ours, it has continuous pressure on it and is not required to be locked. I have a friend who has a Cover Pools brand and it uses electric motors. For some reason when they built his pool, the deep end ladder hangs over the side so it has to be pulled out when the cover is closed. He said sometimes his kids forget to pull it out and it breaks the shear pin. He said it was a pain to fix. Our hydraulic system has an adjustable bypass instead of a shear pin. I suppose if the bypass was set too weak, you could push the cover open. I have not tried that. So far we have been happy with the Aquamatic. Ours was $7973.40 which includes an up charge of $396.00 for a premium color my wife wanted. I did have about another $500 in freight. No fancy remote or anything, just a key switch. It seems like 15K is a little high to me. I would think a cover for your pool would be a little less due to less material. $5000 for install seems ridiculous. After installing one, I'd think $1000 - $1500 would get it. Don't get me wrong, it was some work, but 5K seems like a lot for labor.
    Vinyl, 20' X 44' in-ground, 35,000 gallons, Inteliflo VS 3HP, Triton TR-100 w/ activate, MasterTemp 400,000K LP, Dolphin Supreme M500, Hydramatic Hydraulic Auto Cover, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Help with Pool Cover Decision and Options

    I'd like to add my thoughts but it will have to wait until tomorrow, you can however search my name and autocover and find most of what I would type out. Given you are in the great white north I would think it would be a no brainer helping with heat retention. My installer told me that the most problem causing issue is not opening them during the off months, which isn't an issue down here. Additionally you need to keep a cover pump on them to pump of rainwater so they can be opened, not a big deal but if a rental they'd need to take it off, open pool, swim, close pool at end of night put cover pump back out on. I've had 15 kids playing on mine and adults playing on it like a big water bed. Occasionally I dump the 250 gallon hot tub on it and have a huge slip n slide. Tons of fun, safe, expensive, quality, time saver, chemical saver, worth it. I've had to keep my CYA down low like an indoor pool and I run my SWG at like 5 percent with about 4 hours of filitration.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh and have the installer number posted for any failures mentioned above, I've had it get out of alignment once and had it adjusted in 5 years.
    18'x43' Sport Pool
    19,000 Gallons Vinyl Liner 3'-3.5'-4'
    SWCG and D.E. Filter
    Test Kits - Pool Calculator - Chlorine/CYA Chart - Pool School

    Secret Weapon for Pool Chemistry Testing

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    Re: Help with Pool Cover Decision and Options

    Harleysilo, what kind do you have? It seems the electric models are more popular. I hope I didn't make a mistake going hydraulic.
    Vinyl, 20' X 44' in-ground, 35,000 gallons, Inteliflo VS 3HP, Triton TR-100 w/ activate, MasterTemp 400,000K LP, Dolphin Supreme M500, Hydramatic Hydraulic Auto Cover, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Help with Pool Cover Decision and Options

    I have a Coverstar, we had the money at the time, once in a life pool build. Next house will HAVE to come with a pool.....
    18'x43' Sport Pool
    19,000 Gallons Vinyl Liner 3'-3.5'-4'
    SWCG and D.E. Filter
    Test Kits - Pool Calculator - Chlorine/CYA Chart - Pool School

    Secret Weapon for Pool Chemistry Testing

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    bmoreswim's Avatar
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    Help with Pool Cover Decision and Options

    A couple of comments on the lower price mentioned above. As noted it is not installed though I believe there are other factors to be considered. The OP is in prime real estate of the northeast, which commands serious premiums on labor and materials too versus OK. I know Crashxx's was on a vinyl install but the OP doesn't state vinyl or gunite. On our gunite install in MD there is no way on God's green earth I would have attempted installation knowing what it took them to do and I'm an above average DIY guy. It took two experienced techs a full day to install it, then come back twice for adjustments. Plus separate time for the rails and for the rebar and for the gunite shaping (and gunite material). Stone lid cutting and leveling was 1/2 a day.
    I do want to make sure all is apples to apples for any price comparisons for the OP's benefit.
    Each installed price I've seen here was in the $9K-$15K price range (I could have missed one here or there though) so I'm confident the market commands that.
    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: Help with Pool Cover Decision and Options

    Thanks for the comments so far. There's no way I would do a DIY approach - I'm lucky I can change a lightbulb.

    In terms of the pool - we're looking at gunite (or shotcrete) and fiberglass.

    I think I would disable the cover during the 8 weeks where there are renters there. I don't see a big benefit from closing at night and I'd expect the renters would want to use the pool most days. It's more for the shoulder season and closing for winter.

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    Re: Help with Pool Cover Decision and Options

    Didn't think about location. I'm sure we have lower labor rates here.
    Vinyl, 20' X 44' in-ground, 35,000 gallons, Inteliflo VS 3HP, Triton TR-100 w/ activate, MasterTemp 400,000K LP, Dolphin Supreme M500, Hydramatic Hydraulic Auto Cover, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Help with Pool Cover Decision and Options

    I've also been reading about people using various solar covers for heat retention. Are there retractable covers that combine a solar element as well? Seems like these covers save a lot of money on pool heating

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    Re: Help with Pool Cover Decision and Options

    Quote Originally Posted by NineAcre View Post
    I've also been reading about people using various solar covers for heat retention. Are there retractable covers that combine a solar element as well? Seems like these covers save a lot of money on pool heating
    I have a coverstar, and it works very well as a solar cover. When we opened our new pool this spring, the water was in lower 70s. We would cover pool when not in use. We have full sun for about 9-10 hours/day. The water was up into mid 80s in a few days. Problem in summer is that it went into 90s very quickly too. So we now only close when not there or when a storm is coming (to keep rain and junk out).

    Yes it is pricey, but I am glad we purchased. Love being able to close easily, and am looking forward to the solar part as fall rolls in.
    38'x16' Fiberglass pool - 3.5' - 8' deep - 19,000 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWG (RC-52 cell), Pentair SuperFlo VS, Pentair SD70 Sand Filter, Coverstar Automatic Cover, 10' board, PAL Treo lighting, Polaris 9550 Sport robot, Lamotte ColorQ Pro 7 test kit.

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    Re: Help with Pool Cover Decision and Options

    Quote Originally Posted by harleysilo View Post
    I have a Coverstar, we had the money at the time, once in a life pool build. Next house will HAVE to come with a pool.....
    Yup - buy house get the pool for free 👍

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