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View Poll Results: What kind of winter pool cover do you use?

Voters
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  • Tarp with water bags

    23 17.42%
  • Mesh safety cover with straps to the deck

    43 32.58%
  • Solid safety cover with straps to the deck

    11 8.33%
  • Tarp with tie-downs

    15 11.36%
  • Automatic cover

    7 5.30%
  • Manual cover running in tracks

    3 2.27%
  • I don't cover the pool in the winter

    27 20.45%
  • Solar cover used in the winter

    3 2.27%
  • Safety net

    0 0%
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Thread: What kind of winter pool cover do you use?

  1. #1
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    What kind of winter pool cover do you use?

    I thought it might be interesting to see what kind of winter cover people use.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    TFP Admin. Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  2. #2
    Senior Member cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of winter pool cover do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    I thought it might be interesting to see what kind of winter cover people use.

    I use a Tarp with Clips and instead of water bags...I use my left over bleach bottles filled halfway with water and tied to the brackets for my pool fence...I go all the way around the pool, and with the clips and the bleach bottles instead of water bags, I get the same effect as the water bags...so I voted Tarp with water bags...even though I use the bleach jugs...Have done this two years in a row and no problems.
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

  3. #3
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    Re: What kind of winter pool cover do you use?

    Are you interested just in climates with an honest-to-New-England freezing type winter, or also those of us who have to suffer through "winters" with at most a day or two of frost?
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
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    Water testing instructions on one page

  4. #4
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of winter pool cover do you use?

    This is meant for everyone, to get a sense of the range of experiences of TFP members.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    TFP Admin. Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  5. #5
    Senior Member TimS's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of winter pool cover do you use?

    The closest to my actual cover is "Tarp with tie-downs" although I don't really use tie-downs. I just use the cable and winch that comes with the cover. Since the cover i have gets awfully tight in the middle of winter when it gets a lot of snow on it, I'm planning on getting a larger one next year. I'm planning to get one for a 30' pool instead of my 24' pool, thinking the extra room will allow it to sit on the surface of the water all the way to the edges.
    24' AG Round (vinyl replaced 0909) - 13500 gal - Sand Dollar Filter (150lb) - Dynamo DYNII-N1-1 1HP - Hayward HP380 Heat Pump - TF-100.
    Central Missouri

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  6. #6
    Senior Member guamguy's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of winter pool cover do you use?

    Winter???? That just means we get less rain
    12,800 gallon IG plaster kidney-shaped pool, waterslide, 800 gallon spa.
    1HP 2 speed Sta-Rite pool pump, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite spa jet pump. 2 skimmers, 1 main drain
    Purex-Triton TR-60 325 lb.sand filter. 2" Plumbing, Intex SWCG, TF-100 test kit.
    Link to pics of my pool! http://www.troublefreepool.com/my-oasis-t26558.html

  7. #7
    Senior Member ChiknNutz's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of winter pool cover do you use?

    Is it necessary to use a true winter cover? Where I'm at, it does sometimes get in the teens for a couple weeks, but it usually hovers just at or above freezing for the bulk of our winter. We usually get little snow, though the last couple years we've seen upwards of 18 inches...which is very unusual. We have no trees around our pool and it is all fully fenced. So, what is the primary purpose of a winter cover? Thanks much, still learning!
    Chris A.
    ---
    20x40 36k gal IG vinyl pool w/diving board & slide
    1HP Pentair Challenger motor & pump | 30" Triton TR100 sand filter | Stenner 45MHP2 Peristaltic Pump
    Hayward CL200 Tablet Chlorinator | Pentair SM-20-3 multiport | TF-100
    ---
    2003 Sundance 850 Altamar hot tub

  8. #8
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    Re: What kind of winter pool cover do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChiknNutz
    Is it necessary to use a true winter cover? Where I'm at, it does sometimes get in the teens for a couple weeks, but it usually hovers just at or above freezing for the bulk of our winter. We usually get little snow, though the last couple years we've seen upwards of 18 inches...which is very unusual. We have no trees around our pool and it is all fully fenced. So, what is the primary purpose of a winter cover? Thanks much, still learning!
    In a true winterization against freezing temps, all plumbing must be drained so water is not circulated nor are chemicals added once it is closed. Covers primary purpose is to keep algae creating sunlight out, and secondarily, leaves, dust, little critters, bugs, and--in the case of safety covers--big critters, kids and the drunk or stupid.
    Current: 28,000G 18'x36' I/G AnthonySylvan Plaster; Waterway 60 sq.ft. DE Filter; 1.0hp x 1.65 SF Two-Speed (B2982) WhisperFlo; 2004-Present
    Previous: 40,000G 20'x40' I/G Koven unlined WWII salvage 5/8" marine steel; Lomart Stainless Sand Filter; 3/4hp Hayward SuperPump; 1946-2003 (managed by me from about 1964)
    Ancient Taylor K-2000, upgraded with Taylor CH, TA, and FAS-DPD, and TFT CYA tests.

  9. #9

    Re: What kind of winter pool cover do you use?

    Since my IG pool is brand new, this will be the first time I am covering it. Unfortunately the budget ran out so I had to settle on a basic tarp cover with water bags this year. Interestingly, when the pool startup company came, they brought all the equipment (brushes, chemicals, Polaris, etc.) EXCEPT the tarp. They stated they would bring the tarp in the fall when they come out to close my pool. I laughed under my breath as I thought it was pretty presumptuous on their part that I'd even ask them to come close up my pool!! But actually, since I've never done it before, I probably will this year - with the intent of watching them closely so I can do it myself next year.

    But back to the cover - the guy mentioned that if I wanted to upgrade to a better cover, I could do so before they bring the other cover out. So I'm curious if anyone else has ever upgraded covers like that, and what kind of trade-in value they received for the original unused cover. I'd also be interested to hear what others have paid for mesh safety covers, and/or if anyone has a particular brand they recommend.
    20'6" X 38'6" (609 sqft)
    22,500 gal gunite/plaster IGP
    DE filter, Jandy 2HP pump, Nature2 Sanitizer (removed cartridge!)
    Raypak 39.9K BTU gas heater
    2 ColorLogic lights, Polaris 360 pool cleaner

  10. #10
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    Re: What kind of winter pool cover do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by tim_pool_newbie
    So I'm curious if anyone else has ever upgraded covers like that, and what kind of trade-in value they received for the original unused cover. I'd also be interested to hear what others have paid for mesh safety covers, and/or if anyone has a particular brand they recommend.
    I had a tarp cover with water bags the first year I closed. The pool builder did a free close the year i built the pool. The next winter, I bought a Loop-Lok. Those tarps really are not worth that much on a trade. I've never heard of anybody doing that. Most of the time you will get a hole here and there after a couple years, so they wouldnt be worth much.
    Loop-Lok cover prices will vary depending on the size and shape. My kidney was more expensive since it is an odd shape. I'm sure the more turns and twists a pool has, (lagoon, free form) the more expensive. The install can vary as well. A simple concrete deck will be a cheaper install as compared to pavers. My Loop-loc for my 16x30 kidney with install ran around 2k.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

  11. #11
    Senior Member ChiknNutz's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of winter pool cover do you use?

    All I've done so far (and was instructed to do) for the past 2 winters is to remove 4 plugs in the various pcs of equipment in the pool house, so as to drain those of water. No other draining of the plumbing or blowing out of them has been performed. My cursory look into winter covers yielded a variety of them, but most were about $200. What is the big deal about having someone come out and "professionally" close your pool...what all do they do?
    Chris A.
    ---
    20x40 36k gal IG vinyl pool w/diving board & slide
    1HP Pentair Challenger motor & pump | 30" Triton TR100 sand filter | Stenner 45MHP2 Peristaltic Pump
    Hayward CL200 Tablet Chlorinator | Pentair SM-20-3 multiport | TF-100
    ---
    2003 Sundance 850 Altamar hot tub

  12. #12
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    Re: What kind of winter pool cover do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChiknNutz
    What is the big deal about having someone come out and "professionally" close your pool...what all do they do?
    The main thing is to blow out the lines properly. In areas where there are extended periods of hard freezes, this is critical. Typical air compressors that homeowners have are not really made to do the job, either. You really need a low pressure, high CFM type of device (i.e. a mighty vac) although a simple air compressor could work in some cases. Biggest reason I pay for a close is that if lines freeze up or the heater is damaged, it's on them, not me.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

  13. #13
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    Re: What kind of winter pool cover do you use?

    Have an oversized winter cover. The one that hangs about ~1 foot over the side. Cinch it and hang water filled bleach bottles, as we can get some nasty winds in the winter.
    Mona SE MN
    24' round 48" high AG
    Meteor Sand Filter
    1.5 HP pump

  14. #14
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    Re: What kind of winter pool cover do you use?

    I wish I purchased the solid cover,I have the loop loc mesh and every spring when i open its swamp green.
    20,000 gallon viking fiberglass pool w/aqua comfort heat pump, pentair whisperflo pump 1.5hp autopilot dig-220 swg w/RC42 cell (42,000), pg2000 fiber optic lights
    hayward sand filter(medium is echoglass)
    Blue diamond robot cleaner

  15. #15
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    Re: What kind of winter pool cover do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by ethany
    I wish I purchased the solid cover,I have the loop loc mesh and every spring when i open its swamp green.
    When do you close and when do you open? What is your water temperature when you close?
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

  16. #16
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    Re: What kind of winter pool cover do you use?

    Winter in Canada = COLD and things freeze......pool company closes for me because if they open/close they also extend my warranty - cheap insurance.
    They lower water level below the returns, blow them out and plug them, remove the lights, drain pump, filter and heater, etc.....
    Cover is mesh safety cover.....cost about $2.5KCan to cover my 20x40 kidney with bumpout including install of anchors in interlocking.
    I was pleasantly surprised with a couple things about the cover that the pool company doesn't mention because it's not in their best interest......once they've built your pool their only income is from open/close/maintenance. 1) They cut the opening cost for me by 70% because all they do is reinstall and start the mechanical. 2) The tarp ends up flush with the deck in spring once the snow has melted so any leaves, paper, etc...dry up and blow away - they don't end up in the 'pit' on top of the tarp and ultimately the pool. Almost nothing to be vacuumed from pool in spring. 3) No 'tarp' to remove, scrub, clean, fold, store. No jugs/bags to store. 4) The snow over winter melts on mesh and refills pool for free. (Pool had enough extra water this spring that the little bit of vacuuming I did was to drain and it didn't impact water levels. 5) No 'critters' in the pool in spring - they (including the kids or adults) can walk across the cover.
    Only thing to watch is that you don't get too much water over winter and potentially pop your coping stone with ice from below.

  17. #17
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    Re: What kind of winter pool cover do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by GEM
    Only thing to watch is that you don't get too much water over winter and potentially pop your coping stone with ice from below.
    And how do you do that? Drain it a few times with a pump on a warm winter day? Is the cover loose enough to squeeze a hose in there when the hooks are frozen in ice?

    I used the tarp & bags last year and will do again this year but it's a pain.. on the other hand, I'm not really willing to pay 3k for a tarp since I don't need the safety feature of it (pool area is enclosed).
    19.5k gallons in ground, P4 panel with turbocell SWG, 1hp Hayward superpump II, sand filter, Heater low nox 250k btu heater, solar cover on rocky roller

  18. #18
    Member chezhed's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of winter pool cover do you use?

    It's not so much a winter cover as it is a falling leaves cover! We have lots of oak trees in the yard. I take an oversized leaf net and drape it over a cable I string between the house pergola and a tree and then over the pool and anchor the sides with water tubes. (I tried pavers once, but the weren't enough weight once the net gets covered with wet leaves.) I blow off the leaves periodically and the pump runs every day so we get our waterfall effect and this way we can still enjoy the view of the pool to some extent. It goes on before Thanksgiving and comes off about New Year's.
    It's a tent, not a cover
    11,000 gal + overflow spa, IG gunnite, Pentair 48FNS DE filter, Hayward SP3210X15 pump, CompuPool CPSC36 Chlorine generator, pool valet w/5 zones, Pentair LP heater

  19. #19
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    Re: What kind of winter pool cover do you use?

    I close my pool in sept. and the water temp is in the low 80s. I open memorial day.
    20,000 gallon viking fiberglass pool w/aqua comfort heat pump, pentair whisperflo pump 1.5hp autopilot dig-220 swg w/RC42 cell (42,000), pg2000 fiber optic lights
    hayward sand filter(medium is echoglass)
    Blue diamond robot cleaner

  20. #20
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    Re: What kind of winter pool cover do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by chezhed
    It's not so much a winter cover as it is a falling leaves cover! We have lots of oak trees in the yard. I take an oversized leaf net and drape it over a cable I string between the house pergola and a tree and then over the pool and anchor the sides with water tubes. (I tried pavers once, but the weren't enough weight once the net gets covered with wet leaves.) I blow off the leaves periodically and the pump runs every day so we get our waterfall effect and this way we can still enjoy the view of the pool to some extent. It goes on before Thanksgiving and comes off about New Year's.
    It's a tent, not a cover
    I typically don't close my pool and leaves are a HUGE issue. From late Oct. to March I have to bee here to clean out the cleaner, Pool Skim bags (2 PSs) and skimmer many times a day. I used the leaf net only, two winters and it really cut down on my work and I could easily get to the cleaner and keep water balanced. It was also fun to watch the birds going after insects throughout the winter. (During warm ups, during winter, insects come out.) I don't have a fence around the pool that will close it off from the dogs so I had to use big concrete blocks and big planters to weigh it down and keep the dogs safe all the way around the pool. That was a lot of concrete block and planters!

    chezhed, what a remarkable solution. I'm going to put on my thinking cap and rig up something like that. I can use the tubes too instead of the heavy blocks and planters. I can even open the steps area so they can still swim until the water gets too cold for them. I can tie rope from the upper story deck railings going across the pool to the park fencing. I'll use a 2 x 4 or such secured to the fence post, attached with heavy plastic ties, to raise the post height. I may have to run the rope or cable in two places but that's okay. I'm thinking two nets would be easier to work with than one big one as I have to do it all myself. Just in case anyone doesn't know the leaf netting is very light weight but pretty rugged.

    Thanks so much for the idea.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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