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Thread: Automatic Cover observations Coverstar

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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Automatic Cover observations Coverstar

    Hi Everyone,

    We've had our pool up and running for a month now and i thought i write a little about the autocover. First off I think it's well worth the money for the safety/convenience factor. I rarely put the pump on the cover unless i know rain is coming. I and the kids run all over the thing, it's like a giant water bed.

    We were really concerned about retaining heat and having a warm pool so we could use it 6+ months out of the year. We purchased a Heat Pump to help with that and I strongly considered solar heat as well.

    What i've discovered is that this autocover, my full sun, and shallow pool have combined to make this pool a borderline hot tub. I'm unsure what is gonna happen when we have our month long dry spells with 90+ degree heat. We've been in the mid 80's with sun and the pool is constantly 91 or 92 degrees without heat pump just cover. Over the weekend it was up to 94.

    I've also learned a couple things about trying to regulate the effectiveness of the cover. If during the day i leave it covered and the pump is not running and then i open it up and go for a swim the top 12" of water will be HOT, like 98-99 hot, the bottom water will be much cooler. The coverstar rep has since told me the very same info, and has suggested that in the real heat of summer if i'm covering my pool to make sure the pump is not running, as it will just circulate the hot layer of water throughout the pool causing the whole pool to heat up. Run the pump at night when i don't have the effect of the sun on the cover.

    Still I have a feeling i'm going to be reading more threads on cooling a pool as our summer heats up. Might should have sprung for those fancy heat/cool pumps (i didn't even know they existed at time of purchase).

    I also don't manually vacuum and never have anything in the skimmer basket. I throw the "shark" Polaris 280 in every couple of days for a few hours and that takes care of everything. I'm not sure if having it covered all the time is making dialing in the SWG easier or harder, but is seems to be okay at 30% for the time being.

    In hindsight i might have gone with a lighter color cover, but the royal blue sure is pretty!

    18'x43' Sport Pool
    19,000 Gallons Vinyl Liner 3'-3.5'-4'
    SWCG and D.E. Filter
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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Automatic Cover observations Coverstar

    I have a similar cover over my fiberglass pool and also note that my water *can* stay warmer than my friend's uncovered pool but nothing like you're reporting. I think so far 84 degrees is as high as I've noticed?

    I use a simple fountain when I need to drop my TA, and I understand that it can also help to drop water temps in the hot summer. Worth a try, eh? Mine is one of those triple level fountains that attach easily via the cleaner outlet, I paid $39 for it. Somewhere on here is a thread where someone said running it at night helps cool the pool the most.

    My SWG is happy running at 5% and my FC level remains about 7, with the pump running about 8 hours a day right now.

    I would *never* allow anyone to go running/playing on top of my expensive cover for fun just because of the obvious increased "wear and tear" it would impose on the cover. That the cover *can* handle it is what I depend on in an emergency.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Automatic Cover observations Coverstar

    I should/will change my sig, my pool is 3-3.5-4 feet deep, so in other words really shallow however compared to yours it's more gallons at ~19,000.

    How are your cover tracks installed? My cover touches nothing but the water, so I don't see how walking on it is causing it any problems, I or kids don't weight near what the rainwater does. In addition to that I have to walk on it to place/remove the cover pump for rainwater. Now a few years down the road when it's obvious it's starting to deteriorate I may change my mind about the wear and tear concern. If mine were installed with exposed tracks and the cover draped down into the pool rubbing up against the coping I would be really concerned about increased abrasion from people walking on it for fun, but then I'd also be concerned every time i opened it or closed it.
    18'x43' Sport Pool
    19,000 Gallons Vinyl Liner 3'-3.5'-4'
    SWCG and D.E. Filter
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    Re: Automatic Cover observations Coverstar

    I have the same issues with water temp as you do. If the water temp gets around 90-94, I also will turn the pump off, but for 24 hrs. I have a SWG, I never have issues with algae and I test regularly with the TF-100 . Usually the water temp drops to 86-88 when I leave the pump off for 24 hrs.
    36X18 Inground Pool, SWG, Hayward Pump, Hayward gas heater, Undertrack Auto Cover, Interfab basketball system, TF-100 Test kit, Polaris 9300 Robot Cleaner, Pool Completed July 29 2010

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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Automatic Cover observations Coverstar

    Quote Originally Posted by sd72667
    I have the same issues with water temp as you do. If the water temp gets around 90-94, I also will turn the pump off, but for 24 hrs. I have a SWG, I never have issues with algae and I test regularly with the TF-100 . Usually the water temp drops to 86-88 when I leave the pump off for 24 hrs.
    Thanks for the info. I've been afraid to turn the pump off for so long a period, but i think i'm going to try it and see how my Chlorine holds up. I test almost everyday as well.
    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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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Automatic Cover observations Coverstar





















    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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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Automatic Cover observations Coverstar

    I should say any red you see is georgia red clay dust, everything is either alum or SS except the drum the ropes role up on, that appears to be steel. I need to spray it with food grade silicon per the installer.
    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: Automatic Cover observations Coverstar

    My take -- auto cover goes well when used with solar for primary heating and heat pump for backup heating. Solar can also be reversed to cool pool at night. Although, generally, if the pool is getting too hot during the day - I open the cover during the afternoon even if no one is swimming so that the pool will cool down due to afternoon breezes from the nearby ocean here in San Diego...and the increased aeration helps lower TA. I find that when the cover is kept on the pool too long, that TA changes tilt upwards but if I open up for 4-6hrs/day that TA tilts down.

    The only things I hate about the cover are:
    - My pool builder decided to create 40-50lb concrete lids for the cover and there are about 10 lids....so opening up the cover trench involves moving 400-500 lbs. And even though the lids are installed properly and balanced, they do tend to slightly move over time which means I have to spend a few minutes every few weeks moving them back.
    - Cleaning -- I haven't found an easy simple way to clean the entire cover...but I've only had it for 6+ months.
    24K gallon inground gunite/pebble sheen pool, 34'x16' 4-7.5ft deep, 750sq ft solar, pentair ultratemp, intelliflow vs+, ic60, intellichem w/ acid pump, quad de 100, intellibright 5g, intellitouch i5-3s with Screenlogic2, 3" primary piping - 2.5" at equip pad, auto switched deep heating and main returns, automatic safety cover w/ electronic lock and embedded recessed undertrack, sealed stamped concrete deck, dolphin deluxe 5, started up December 2011.

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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Automatic Cover observations Coverstar

    Quote Originally Posted by MattM
    My take -- auto cover goes well when used with solar for primary heating and heat pump for backup heating. Solar can also be reversed to cool pool at night. Although, generally, if the pool is getting too hot during the day - I open the cover during the afternoon even if no one is swimming so that the pool will cool down due to afternoon breezes from the nearby ocean here in San Diego...and the increased aeration helps lower TA. I find that when the cover is kept on the pool too long, that TA changes tilt upwards but if I open up for 4-6hrs/day that TA tilts down.

    The only things I hate about the cover are:
    - My pool builder decided to create 40-50lb concrete lids for the cover and there are about 10 lids....so opening up the cover trench involves moving 400-500 lbs. And even though the lids are installed properly and balanced, they do tend to slightly move over time which means I have to spend a few minutes every few weeks moving them back.
    - Cleaning -- I haven't found an easy simple way to clean the entire cover...but I've only had it for 6+ months.
    Hi Matt, did you mean you haven't found an easy way to clean the cover? The way they told me to do it is pretty simple. Close cover, spray with Citrus cleaner from local big box store, scrub cover with nylon pool brush. Rinse cover while cover pump is on it and draining rinse water wherever it needs to go. Put old towel on brush and dry cover. Spray cover down with Aerospace 301 protectant. Done!

    Sounds simple but also a little bit of work, probably take me 1-2 hours with drying time.
    18'x43' Sport Pool
    19,000 Gallons Vinyl Liner 3'-3.5'-4'
    SWCG and D.E. Filter
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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Automatic Cover observations Coverstar

    Here ya go BQ, this is about as close as i currently have of the track.



    Pre liner


    End where it closes too


    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: Automatic Cover observations Coverstar

    Sweet. My roman end pool may become a rectangle very soon!
    20 x 44 vinyl IG 44,000 gal, Pentair 3hp vs intelliflo, intellichlor and starite heater.
    8 x 10 viking Royal hot tub
    tf100 test kit with k-1000 kit.

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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Automatic Cover observations Coverstar

    I only took those close up photos because i was unhappy with the finish work on the coping. I like the look of all types of pools, but really wanted the autocover, and didn't want to have in the deck tracks for it.

    There are several other auto cover owners here, if you made a thread asking for info i'm sure they'd eventually post in it. You could probably find them in searching however.
    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: Automatic Cover observations Coverstar

    IT's cost vs reward and I feel it's going to be the first off the chopping block for budget. Thanks again for the info.
    20 x 44 vinyl IG 44,000 gal, Pentair 3hp vs intelliflo, intellichlor and starite heater.
    8 x 10 viking Royal hot tub
    tf100 test kit with k-1000 kit.

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Automatic Cover observations Coverstar

    Every time I hear or read of a child drowning, I'm thankful we're in a position to have purchased our cover. My mind rests easy knowing children and animals can't enter the pool unattended. It is a huge weight off my mind, no worries!

    Please consider how to budget for one if at all possible.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Re: Automatic Cover observations Coverstar

    Update, replaced the cover, ropes, pulleys and bar that it rolls up on for around 4k a couple of weeks ago, it leasted 5 years in all.

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    Automatic Cover observations Coverstar

    Good to hear from you!

    Kind is surprised about the lifespan of your cover fabric? What did it look/feel like at that point? Do you use it as your winter cover? If so then the life seems much more reasonable to me.
    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
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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Automatic Cover observations Coverstar

    Used 24/7/365 for 5 years. I'll look for a picture. I never put any Aerospace protectant on it, I should, but would have to do it every 3 months or more often. A kids toe finally poked a hole in it while exiting the cover at the edge, the part that was out of water and receiving direct morning sunlight. It was grey, thin, and you could see frayed lines in the material (underneath the rubber coating). Hole turned into long rip very quickly. The cover was done on areas that hadnt been floating on the water which I thought was interesting.

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    Re: Automatic Cover observations Coverstar

    Great info. Thanks! And when I think about it, I'll probably spend the same overall. I have probably $3K in a winter cover and my autocover will probably last 10 years before replacement. But I also don't use it daily as you do.
    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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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Automatic Cover observations Coverstar

    Did you go with Coverstar replacement or a generic one? My cover still seems fine after the same time as yours (they're the same age I believe?) although mine is not a Coverstar, rather it was installed by Pool Cover Specialists out of Charleston,SC.

    Eventually I'm sure we'll need some maintenance on it but we've been slack in that department. Skippy does wash it off with car wash soap, long soft bristle push broom and rinses well with the cover pump on. And we rinse the tracks probably once a month. I dare not mention the neglect of the mechanics for fear of inviting trouble.......

    Good to hear from you Harley

    Maddie
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Re: Automatic Cover observations Coverstar

    We want with the original installer which is a Coverstar installer/franchise/company. The guy who originally installed it told me to spray the tracks and everything under the lid with spray Silicone several times a year. I did this for a couple of years but stopped when I finished the 2 cans I originally bought. I still have a gallon of 303 Protectant I only used once, a lot of work to spray it down and then wipe it dry 4 times a year minimum which is why I never did it. I never considered getting an additional winter cover. I don't close our pool, but the pump will run for freeze protection sometimes for days at a time. I've considered turning my fenced in pool equipment area into a little shed but I've got the heat pump....I wonder how often I would need to circulate water to keep it from freezeing up in the winter, every 2,4,6,8 hours for 15 min? Of course missing the target would be a disaster.

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