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Thread: swimming pool covers???

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    swimming pool covers???

    We have owned a inground 18x36 pool for 8 years. We have never covered the pool in the winter
    up to this point. I have gotten tired of fighting cleaning out leaves in the pool since we have a lot
    of trees. Can anyone with some experience in swimming pool covers give a suggestion of the best type and brand of pool cover to use? I don't want to spend the money for one of those trampoline style pool covers though. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Bill :P

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    Re: swimming pool covers???

    You basically have 2 choices. The "trampoline" type safety covers (well worth it BTW) or a tarp type pool cover with water bags.
    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.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: swimming pool covers???

    I get a super cheap tarp style pool cover. My experience is that the more expensive ones don't last any longer in practice, something always comes up after two or three years to ruin the cover (branch falling, mouse nesting during the summer, etc) so the longer life of the more expensive covers are wasted.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: swimming pool covers???

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    I get a super cheap tarp style pool cover. My experience is that the more expensive ones don't last any longer in practice, something always comes up after two or three years to ruin the cover (branch falling, mouse nesting during the summer, etc) so the longer life of the more expensive covers are wasted.
    I'll +1 that. I know lots of folks with tarps and the cheaper ones are just as good, really. I like my Loop-loc for 2 reason. 1) i'm a asthetics person. I like the clean look. 2) I have a 4 yo and 1 yo. i like to let them out back after pool season and not have to worry about them falling in if i turn my back for 2 seconds.
    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.

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    Re: swimming pool covers???

    I use a safety cover year round. After scooping out dead rabbits, gophers, and other small critters out of the pool, scooping out gobs of leaves all the time, and always having a safety issue always nagging me in the back of my mind regarding pets and children, I got a safety cover. Best investment I ever made. The safety cover is on whenever we are not in it. I don't have to worry about our dog, or now our child falling in the pool. No more scooping out leaves. Peace of mind. My wife and I have the system down so we can pull the cover on and off quickly and efficiently.
    18' X 36' X 4.5' vinyl oval in-ground 17K gallons, 250K BTU Pentair Master Temp NG heater, 1HP Hayward Super Pump, Hayward S200 sand filter, Hayward Pool Vac, Extreme mesh safety cover, TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: swimming pool covers???

    I'm with Jason. Cheap tarp and replace it every few years. I have grass around my pool which complicates using a Loop-loc type and I rely on a padlocked 5-foot fence to keep kids and critters off the cover. In the Swim sells decent covers and tubes. I recommend Rule pumps, I had bad luck with Little Giant.
    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.

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    Re: swimming pool covers???

    We have a trampoline-type cover set-up, but the cover finally rotted through and we will need a new one this fall. It was a dense mesh - allowed water to filter through, but not large pieces of brush; however, decomposed leaf litter still made its way into the pool over winter with the rainwater.

    For the tarp system, I assume you need a tarp pump to pump off rainwater. How do you handle heavy snow and ice in the winter? How does cost of the water bag+tarp+pump system compare to the trampoline type cover system? The trampoline-style replacement cost is about $800.
    25 K gal, vinyl, IG, next to forest,liquid chlorine and tab chlorinator backup,55gpm sand filter,1.5hp pump

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    Re: swimming pool covers???

    Quote Originally Posted by DWSPool
    For the tarp system, I assume you need a tarp pump to pump off rainwater. How do you handle heavy snow and ice in the winter? How does cost of the water bag+tarp+pump system compare to the trampoline type cover system? The trampoline-style replacement cost is about $800.
    Tubes and cover for an 18'x36' run maybe $140-160. Just a cover around $100-$120. Pump is $150-$180 for an automatic. The Rule pump I use is built to stay out all winter, which is key in NJ as we can get rain all winter long followed by snow and back to rain. In Minnesota, you could bring it in in the cold months. The tarp lies right ON the water, so snow and ice can just pile up as high as it wants to, no worry about cleaning it off. I got six years off my first cover, and my Rule pump is on its fourth year, after I went through two crappy Little Giants--they really can't stay out all winter like the Rule can. I also have to replace a tube (or two) every year, add $15.

    The solid covers beat anything else for an easy cleanup, IMHO. I open to crystal water, and the pool is perfect every year once I vacuum up a few worms (grass surround--no way to keep them out). I can pull and install by myself, with the help of a cinder-block and a few bungee cords (never a darn kid around when you need one).

    I see you are next to a forest. I am, too, with lots of pin-oaks that keep shedding leaves until April. I use a leaf net, which I empty twice in the fall (ten-minute, one man job) and then leave on all winter because of the pin-oaks, even though you are not supposed to. This makes the Spring opening a lot easier. I think that cost $80, and it is 5 years old and going strong.
    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.

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    Re: swimming pool covers???

    Thanks for the info Durk - about $400 is better than $800, by half I will likely try that setup this year - sounds like it should also ease our opening next spring.

    "I see you are next to a forest. I am, too, with lots of pin-oaks that keep shedding leaves until April."

    What!? A forest in NJ ?? No way. Seriously, we visited a relative in NJ many years ago and I was very taken by the amount of beautiful forestland in NJ.
    25 K gal, vinyl, IG, next to forest,liquid chlorine and tab chlorinator backup,55gpm sand filter,1.5hp pump

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    Re: swimming pool covers???

    Quote Originally Posted by alben
    I use a safety cover year round. .
    Is it an electric, retractable cover?
    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.

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    Re: swimming pool covers???

    If you are willing to do a little outside maintenance through the winter you can get away with a very cheap pump. I bought a light plastic sump pump from Home Depot...less than $25 IIRC. It's battery operated but you don't need to run it very long. Toss it into the water that's trapped in the cover, turn it on until the flow starts, stick your hand into the icy cold water, turn it off and it will siphon the water away. I added a longer discharge tube so I can drain the water further away from the pool.

    Aslo stick a piece of old pantyhose, kneehigh etc. over the pump to keep leaves and other junk from clogging the impeller.
    Peter
    21' X 52" above ground
    1 HP Hayward Power Flow Matrix Pump
    Hayward EC40C DE Filter

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    Re: swimming pool covers???

    Quote Originally Posted by DWSPool
    Thanks for the info Durk - about $400 is better than $800, by half I will likely try that setup this year - sounds like it should also ease our opening next spring.

    "I see you are next to a forest. I am, too, with lots of pin-oaks that keep shedding leaves until April."

    What!? A forest in NJ ?? No way. Seriously, we visited a relative in NJ many years ago and I was very taken by the amount of beautiful forestland in NJ.
    Well, the woods on these hills were last clear-cut about 150 years ago, so these trees are still growing. But we are happy that the pretty parts of NJ are less well known. If our fall foliage were in Vermont or Virginia, we'd have tourists every fall. No, thanks!

    Peter_S's system would make for a pretty miserable Jan. and Feb. here in NJ given the distance from my house to the pool and the fact I'd have to do this at night, and might be tough on a 18'x36' IGP. But the screen idea is valid--I use one of those mesh drawstring bags for camping, and it keeps all the crud out of the pump. I don't go anywhere near the pool from December to mid-March unless I see water accumulating.
    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.

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    Re: swimming pool covers???

    Quote Originally Posted by Durk
    Quote Originally Posted by DWSPool
    Peter_S's system would make for a pretty miserable Jan. and Feb. here in NJ given the distance from my house to the pool and the fact I'd have to do this at night,
    I don't think our winters are much better than yours, Durk. One year I was breaking ice to get the pump into the water underneath my fingers got so cold and shrunk that I lost my wedding ring in the cover. But that's what make pool ownership so much fun...and I found the ring when things thawed a bit.

    I know the guys in AZ and Cali are rolling on the floor right now.
    Peter
    21' X 52" above ground
    1 HP Hayward Power Flow Matrix Pump
    Hayward EC40C DE Filter

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    Re: swimming pool covers???

    I ended up buying a Looploc solid cover. Thanks for the replies.

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: swimming pool covers???

    Thanks for all the replys. I ended up buying a LOOPLOC solid cover with center drains back in the fall and it worked
    like a charm. Should have invested in one years ago.

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    Re: swimming pool covers???

    I am sure you are going to be happy with your investment. I use the same type of solid safety cover year round for safety reasons and to keep the leaves out. Our first cover lasted 10 years, being used year round. Being that it is a $1,800 cover, that equated to $180 a year. Like I said earlier, my wife and I have the "system" down, to where we can uncover/cover the pool in a matter of just a few minutes.
    18' X 36' X 4.5' vinyl oval in-ground 17K gallons, 250K BTU Pentair Master Temp NG heater, 1HP Hayward Super Pump, Hayward S200 sand filter, Hayward Pool Vac, Extreme mesh safety cover, TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: swimming pool covers???

    Hi Alben;

    Would you be able to post a photo or link to the cover you have? Also, if you put it right back on, where does it sit when you take it off? Does it pull back under a diving board or something?

    We are trying to keep ours leaf free. The dry summer is causing leaves to fall, now. It is sad. Summer is not supposed to be over, yet.

    We have thought about one of the ones that runs in a track or something, either electric or hand turned.

    Thanks!!!!
    Donna
    18X37 Grecian Vinyl Liner, X-Stream Slide, 1 1/2HP Hayward Pump, 3/4HP Polaris Booster, AquaRite SWG, Jandy AE3000 Heat/Cool, Jandy Deck Jets, 4.0 Colorlogic Light, Polaris 280 Cleaner

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    swimming pool covers???

    Attached is a photo. As you might be able to see, there are quite a few pine needles and berries from a mountain ash. All in just 3 days. So what I do is keep a leaf blower handy and quickly blow off the cover before I pull it back.

    As for pulling the cover back, as I unhook the spring thingies on one side, my wife or daughter unhooks the opposite side. We do not unhook all springies. The ones we do not unhook are the far end and the last set widthways. Then we grab the loosened cover from the middle set of springies and pull to the end and just leave the cover on top of the wild violets and vegetation. All but the last 6 inches of the pool is uncovered. Very easy to do actually.

    To put the cover back we just grab the widthwise straps and pull. Easy to put back as well. However, both opening and closing the cover requires two people. Not a lot of muscle power needed, but it does take two people.






    -
    Attached Images Attached Images
    18' X 36' X 4.5' vinyl oval in-ground 17K gallons, 250K BTU Pentair Master Temp NG heater, 1HP Hayward Super Pump, Hayward S200 sand filter, Hayward Pool Vac, Extreme mesh safety cover, TF-100 test kit.

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: swimming pool covers???

    Quote Originally Posted by alben
    I am sure you are going to be happy with your investment. I use the same type of solid safety cover year round for safety reasons and to keep the leaves out. Our first cover lasted 10 years, being used year round. Being that it is a $1,800 cover, that equated to $180 a year. Like I said earlier, my wife and I have the "system" down, to where we can uncover/cover the pool in a matter of just a few minutes.
    I really, really appreciate the pictures and the description. So, yours is a solid cover, not mesh. Does it have the slots to let rain water drain into pool? If not, why did you decide to get one without them.

    I'm sorry to be so ignorant about them. We do have leaves and it seems our spring rains have been flood level the last couple of years. Now, we are dry as a bone.

    Thank you!
    Donna
    Donna
    18X37 Grecian Vinyl Liner, X-Stream Slide, 1 1/2HP Hayward Pump, 3/4HP Polaris Booster, AquaRite SWG, Jandy AE3000 Heat/Cool, Jandy Deck Jets, 4.0 Colorlogic Light, Polaris 280 Cleaner

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: swimming pool covers???

    It turns out, that you don't need "mesh" panels in the safety pool covers. Water will drain through even the heavy duty solid safety covers. These safety covers are not like canvas, where canvas will hold water from going through indefinitely. Instead, water will go through the cover, like a very fine filtering mechanism. I personally would not get the safety covers with mesh panels, as I see no need for it, and that could possibly be just an area that would be weaker, unsafe, or wear out faster.
    18' X 36' X 4.5' vinyl oval in-ground 17K gallons, 250K BTU Pentair Master Temp NG heater, 1HP Hayward Super Pump, Hayward S200 sand filter, Hayward Pool Vac, Extreme mesh safety cover, TF-100 test kit.

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