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Thread: Access Hatch in Winter Mesh Safey Cover?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
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    Access Hatch in Winter Mesh Safey Cover?

    If I go with a safety cover this winter, probably not, but if ..... anyone heard of putting a hatch, using super industrial velcro, near the skimmer and big enough to put in and pull out an Aquabot?

    My major issue is leaves all winter, tons, as I live in a forest. I normally keep pool "open" all winter, chems adjusted, cleaner running. Our water doesn't get really cold until Januay but the leaves start, en mass, late October. Leaves keep falling and blowing, very high winds, till March. In late March/early April water starts warming up. October through December the leaves are so bad I have to be home when running the pump and cleaner to empty the Pool Skims (2) and skimmer many times a day and clean out leaves from what ever cleaner I use many times a day.

    In addition I'll be treating all winter for scale and copper stain so I need the Aquabot to run a lot to scrub plaster surfaces and assist filter in gathering scale dust. 'bot will need to be pulled out twice a day for fine bag change outs.

    This may be moot as I'm considering doing a tent with either a big leaf net or lighter weight deer fencing to keep the leaves somewhat under control but I haven't ruled out a mesh safety cover; the tightest mesh. Mesh as I can open and close myself and if the dogs do wander onto it a puncture in mesh would be less of a problem. Besides that we get so much rain in winter I really don't want to be bothering with a cover pump constantly and worrying about the dogs going after it and the discharge hose.

    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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    Re: Access Hatch in Winter Mesh Safey Cover?

    Alice,

    A properly installed cover will not be hard to unhook.

    Loop Loc has a lockable zipper available. I don't see why they couldn't make the hatch you desire. I think it's a great idea. The number is 800 LOC LOOP. Bear in mind, they sell only through the channel so they will want to give you the name of a dealer.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Access Hatch in Winter Mesh Safey Cover?

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    Alice,

    A properly installed cover will not be hard to unhook.

    Loop Loc has a lockable zipper available. I don't see why they couldn't make the hatch you desire. I think it's a great idea. The number is 800 LOC LOOP. Bear in mind, they sell only through the channel so they will want to give you the name of a dealer.

    Scott
    Thanks Scott. I'm leaning towards Loop Loc. The more I think about it and look at where I can run lines for draping netting to make tent, using water bags on edges, the more I think it might be un-doable or a real hassle to do it. In order for it to not be too heavy (considering where I would have to attach the supporting lines) I would more than likely have to go with deer fencing or maybe bird netting. I would have to spend a lot of time attaching lengths of deer netting; too much time. I need to look into tree netting. The main problem I can see is protecting the hundreds of birds that visit our feeding stations. I'm afraid they might get hung up in netting as flying over the pool is a major flight path for many of them. (Years ago we went through the trauma of killing cardinals that were electrocuted on electric wire I had around the goat yard. I had one wire on top of fence to keep goats from jumping out and one wire on outside of fence about 18" up to keep some of my predatory dogs from getting into the goat yard. It was the lower wire that got them. On rainy days we would find a couple of dead cardinals. So I had to remove the lower and reinforce the fence.) I can just see me unraveling bunches of birds every day and then falling into the freezing water.

    I think I'll probably go with the cover, if I decide to lessen my leaves burden.

    Really great to hear about the zipper. I just can't see unhooking and hooking back one or two straps several times a day to change out bags in Aquabot. I, also, want to have access to the steps to sweep them several times a week. The Aquabot rarely goes up on the steps and when it does it only does the bottom step.

    The long term, slow treatment for scale (and copper stain), using Jack's Magenta, is creating loads of calcium dust. I ran out of Magenta and it took a while for it to come in so yesterday I added two bottles (I'm adding 32 oz every five or six days now.) After adding the 64 oz of Magenta after a backwash, the VF actually cut off last evening about 10 hours after that backwash . Just doing its job. So I'm alternating filter and recirculate as Jack, from Jack's Magic, recommended going at least 48 hours between backwashings. For the winter I'll be lowering the amount of Magenta and the cold water will slow down the process but I'll still need to keep up with the releasing scale and do some regular brushing. It's mainly the steps and access for Aquabot that I need as I can do the brushing weekly or so and unhook a couple at a time as I go around the pool. I might not even brush weekly as the Aquabot does such great scrubbing.

    Thanks, 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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    Re: Access Hatch in Winter Mesh Safey Cover?

    Once the pool is nearly free of organic debris like leaves, it gets covered. The ONLY way in for leaves is via blow under. Any leave that land on the cover, get blown off. You wouldn't need to remove the Aquabot but once a week. All you would find in the bag is the dust from the Magenta.

    The dogs will walk across the cover. Mine treated it like an extension to the yard. Keep the nails clipped and dulled. My dogs pounded on mine for 9 years. 75 Lb G-Shep and 150 lb Choc. Lab. Now I have a 70 lb black and 65 lb G-Shep. They sleep on it usually. Walk out to get a drink, etc...

    I went uncovered last year as I wasn't in a financial position for the replacement. I had a "not fun" time cleaning it. Cold water scooping is no fun. It will not be repeated by me ever, EVER, again.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Access Hatch in Winter Mesh Safey Cover?

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    Once the pool is nearly free of organic debris like leaves, it gets covered. The ONLY way in for leaves is via blow under. Any leave that land on the cover, get blown off. You wouldn't need to remove the Aquabot but once a week. All you would find in the bag is the dust from the Magenta.

    The dogs will walk across the cover. Mine treated it like an extension to the yard. Keep the nails clipped and dulled. My dogs pounded on mine for 9 years. 75 Lb G-Shep and 150 lb Choc. Lab. Now I have a 70 lb black and 65 lb G-Shep. They sleep on it usually. Walk out to get a drink, etc...

    I went uncovered last year as I wasn't in a financial position for the replacement. I had a "not fun" time cleaning it. Cold water scooping is no fun. It will not be repeated by me ever, EVER, again.

    Scott
    Sounds like your big dogs have been a good test for a product.

    I'm thinking my dogs will use it as a lounge, for winter sunning. The mesh cover is similar to their big raised beds with Coolaroo type fabric. I'm going to have to go with the sturdiest product, not for longevity per se, rather ability to withstand immediate brutal conditions. The dogs are pretty compliant once my wishes sink in but when the pack gets going it's hard to keep the excitement level down. They now have to go around the pool to get out to the yard. Once a cover is on that will be a direct route across the cover. They have to wait at the door until I release them and we are working on one at a time out the door but they can hardly stand the wait. As each goes out he/she races full speed to the back of the yard. They have to make several turns to get off the deck and around the pool, at nearly full speed. You'll probably never see an English Mastiff move as fast as Jake does. Shhhhhhhh... he doesn't know he is a Mastiff. But he stays puzzled over the world shrinking around him. They are all under two years so still a lot of puppy enthusiasm which multiplies exponentially with each dog added to the pack. They get so excited when neighbor Chaco comes in (almost daily - it never gets old) we have to hug the wall for a short period or get trampled or knocked down, not a good thing especially for 75 year old DH, although he is pretty spry. Chaco plays right into it too, snarling and barking, which excites them even more. They know she is just messen with them. She has been a great auntie teacher of doggie etiquette manners for them, I'll have to say, so we love her frequent visits and she is one of those legend-in-their-own-time neighborhood dogs, a real joy to have around; oh so smart and well mannered. She goes to the airport with us when we take and pickup DH at airport weekly.

    Chaco doesn't walk on her pool cover so maybe she'll help by setting a good example staying off of our cover. I'll only have to tell her once, if she even attempts to walk on it. They do learn by example so maybe she will help.

    There are mesh covers for high wind environments and some that are very tight weave keeping most sunlight from hitting the water. We certainly qualify as high wind area as winds frequently go higher than 50 mph. 70 mph is not too awfully unusual under certain circumstances. At times it's hard to stay upright in our winds. Keeping things battened down is a pretty permanent condition out here.

    Oh, I'm going to have to change out the fine Aquabot bag at least once daily. I've been working on this scale issue since last fall and using the Aquabot since January, Verro before that. Even without the releasing scale, in fall and winter the winds are so intense the blowing dust clogs the bag in a day. That was before the scale release treatment. After the AA treatment last fall and subsequent use of more than maintanence dose of HTH Metal Control it got to the point where I was backwashing daily from all the released calcium. That was the old 36 sq ft DE filter. And I was running the Verro 300, with fine bags many hours a day, sometimes changing out bags several times a day. The scale "dust" is very similar to our microscopic "cementous" dust except it is white and not as sticky.

    When we got warnings of the Big Freeze coming, I closed the pool, without cover as I couldn't keep the pump running for very long due to the calcium build up in filter. About that time was when I traded my Verro 300 for the Aquabot. The Aquabot is a far superior machine to the Verro 300 which only had one motor for locomotion and water movement. After a few minutes of sucking up fine particles the bag would get so clogged the bot could no longer get up to shallow end of pool.

    I ran two submersible pumps in the pool discharging through a Backwash Slime Bag and a Polishing Slime Bag, filtering down to almost 1 micron. Still lots of stuff got through the bag. Pumps running 24/7 for two months and Aquabot running many, many hours a day, with fine bags, needing change outs several times a day.

    When I got my new Intelliflo VF installed and new 80 sq ft Quad filter installed I even posted here because I was expecting the pool to clear much faster than it did...... THIS NEVER WAS NOR HAS BEEN ALGAE OR DEAD ALGAE .... Its' purely released calcium scale and our blown in dust but mostly the releasing scale. It took the pool two weeks to clear using Fiber Clear running 24/7. That's how much stuff came off the plaster and was not captured by the Slime Bags or the fine Aquabot bags; they can only do so much.

    Right now, using treatment dose of Jack's Magenta, so much stuff is releasing I can't even get a full day between backwashings and that's filtering 23/7, low flow, and running the Aquabot no less than 8 hours/day, usually more, with two bag change outs a day. I could change bags even more.

    I took some video of the calcium clouding, in front of light, days after the new filter and pump were installed. Pretty amazing. I'll look that post up and put a link here, later.

    This summer, before I started the Magenta treatment, but at "maintanence dose" of HTH Metal Control in pool at all times, I actually went four weeks between opening up the filter to clean clean cartridges well, using the Aquabot many hours a day, several bag change outs. Using the vacuum cleaner the most time I could get between opening and clean outs was one week. I was using cellulose which doesn't play well with our "cementous" dust. The mixture just doesn't backwash out.

    I could stop the treatment altogether before putting the cover on and only use a sequestrant to keep the iron from dust from staining but I would still need to run the a cleaner to keep the dust in check. Late fall and winter is when the dust is at its worst from our high winds and I don't want it to sit on the bottom for very long as it is high in iron. My neighbor, with a pretty secure automatic solid cover, gets loads of dust in her pool during the winter. She runs the Polaris daily throughout the winter and still has immense amounts of settled dust and suspended dust when she "opens" her pool in the early spring. Most of us don't fully "close" our pools down here. She is more protected from the higher winds and has far less dust as she doesn't have a pack of large dogs destroying winter grass and constantly stirring the dust up. Her dog comes over her to help my dogs do that. You can not keep this dust out of even a well sealed, closed up house. It seeps in no matter what. Mud staining can't even be bleached out of white cotton. It is a little bit of h*ll on earth.

    I could pick out a sequestrant that doesn't target calcium scale. Yes, that's it. So I would only need to clean out the bag every other day or so. The Aquabot runs well under covers and ice. I don't think the Tracker will run under a cover. That would be much less hassle but more backwashing. My options are, if using a mesh cover, the only one I would consider using, is to either run the Aquabot more and backwash less or run the Aquabot less and backwash more. At least using Aqua Pearl I don't have to open the filter to get the "cementous" dust/cellulose glue out of the filter. And having a multi-valve and filter out from under the deck makes the job far easier to do than previous years.

    I think this is coming together. Now I need to throw more bills into the "change" jar. Thanks for assisting me in brainstorming.

    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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