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Thread: Pool Cover Specialist - 14 month review

  1. Back To Top    #1
    Guest

    Pool Cover Specialist - 14 month review

    I don't often see reviews for products that are positive, and I honestly haven't felt strong enough about a product until now to recommend it.

    First off - some introduction. I have a 15x30 20k gal in ground pool. I've lived at this house for 6 years, and knew the guy who lived here before me, so I have over 10 years of experience with my pool. My daughter was born 3 years ago, and for the first year or so, we didn't get outside much where it was a huge concern for her to get in the pool. It had a normal solar cover. Last summer when she was outside and mobile, we knew we had to do something to secure the pool. This was my primary reason for getting the cover.

    After doing some digging, the local pool store recommended Pool Cover Specialists, and I had them get me a quote. I dug up some cash, and got it installed. I wasn't around to watch the install, but was very happy with the quality of work. I have the mechanism above ground, with the tracks on the deck. My initial concern was with the tracks being a trip hazard. They aren't. They stick up about 1/2" and are about 1" from the side of the pool. It just hasn't been a problem.

    Last winter when I closed the pool the process was a little different. Typically, I would drain it to below the light and cover it with the winter cover. With the PCS cover, this is not an option. My new method is to drain the pool below the returns, blow everything out, and use the "tuperware" covers for the skimmers. I then refill it to the normal level that the cover requires. Now that I've done it, the closing is a lot simpler and doesn't dump 8-10k gal of water down the drain. I was concerned about the new method, but I had no problems opening the pool this spring. I did go a little overboard, and pressurize the line to the bottom of the pool, since there was no way for me to keep the water level below the freeze line (in Minnesota).

    The best thing yet was startup this spring. I opened the pool and it looked exactly like it did 6 months before. Pulled the plugs, started the pump. Done. The chemical usage is way down, and I can basically forget about it for 2-3 weeks without doing anything (I do have a DIY chlorine feeder). What used to be about one hour per week cleaning it is now 1 hour every few weeks. This has really made my pool as close to maintenance free as possible. There is also nothing better than opening the cover with a keycode touchpad. Oh... it keeps my daughter safe too!

    Tom

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    164

    Re: Pool Cover Specialist - 14 month review

    Hello Tom, Nicely written review.
    I am also in Minnesota and we are just getting started with opening our pool. We built last fall, and used a regular winter cover. What is the reason that you drain and refill? Why not just blow the lines out, and once you have the water pushed out with air, then put the plugs in? What are the tuperware covers for the skimmers? Did you use any anti-freeze? I was thinking of not using the automatic cover for winter (and hoping it will last longer without winter use) and using a standard cover, but only draining below the returns. I am worried about the pool light conduit freezing. Ours was done in PVC instead of brass, and when we pulled the lights wires, I tried to seal the light end with silicone, but I think water will still enter the conduit.
    20x44 IG vinyl. Intelliflo, Pentair Cartridge Filter (420ft^2), Raypac 336K, Kreepy Krauly

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Guest

    Re: Pool Cover Specialist - 14 month review

    The procedure that was handed down when I moved in was to drain the pool about halfway. About to the point the shallow end was covered in 4-6" in water. I have a deep end too. The thought was that you could remove the light and then the pool would "fill" as the snow/rain got through through the late fall and winter. In the spring, you would refill it. I didn't intentionally drain and refill it completely.

    This fall with the new cover, I drained it below the returns to make it easier to blow out the lines and to be assured I got them clear. There are "duck plugs" that you can use to blow out the lines like this that can accomplish the same thing, but I'm paranoid. I then put my usually amount of antifreeze down them just cuz, and plugged them. I then refilled it the 4" or so, so the cover would be supported by the water.

    The skimmer covers I mentioned are these. They keep the water out of the skimmer when the pool is full.

    I didn't think of the pool light conduit, but I think mine is metal. Doesn't seem to be a problem, but I didn't pressure test it or anything.

    My main drain line is PVC and may have had a problem if I didn't do anything besides turn it off. I knew the 1.5" PVC valve wouldn't hold pressure all winter to keep the water down. After it got cold, I poked down the line by the pump, and there was water less than 1' below the ground that was frozen. The water level in the line makes sense as the pool was full. I unfroze it with some hot water, and built a cap with the schrader valve from a tire and a pressure gauge. I compressed the line and saw that it held about 3psi, indicating the water was mostly pushed to the bottom of the pool in the line. I checked it periodically throughout the winter. I don't know if this line would freeze, but I didn't want to take any chances.

    Tom

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    164

    Re: Pool Cover Specialist - 14 month review

    Thanks for the links. I will have to do some more research this fall.
    20x44 IG vinyl. Intelliflo, Pentair Cartridge Filter (420ft^2), Raypac 336K, Kreepy Krauly

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