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Thread: Autocover with about 3 inches skew when open

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    jjslinger's Avatar
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    Autocover with about 3 inches skew when open

    In another thread about autocovers.....

    swimcmp wrote:
    "Not sure without seeing it first hand but I believe something has to be installed out of square. Measure an x from end of track to end of track. Check width on both ends, check length of both tracks."

    This was in response to my comment that the skew adjustment on my autocover has "hysteresis" and/or "backlash"; if I slide the adjustment plate about 1/4 inch, nothing might happen. Then I slide the plate another 1/4 inch, and it overshoots by 3 inches. Then I slide the plate the other way, and nothing happens. Etc. After a few months, the skew drifts a couple inches typically. I set it back to about 3 inches skew, which is about the best I seem to be able to do without opening and closing the cover several times (you can only slide the adjusting plate when the cover is closed), and I'm good for a few months. The manual seems to imply that 3 inches is okay and "within tolerance", but swimcmp and other pros think I can do better.

    So I measured the X dimensions end-of-track to end-of-track and got 32 feet 10.5 inches one way and 32 feet 11 inches the other way. Both short track-to-track widths are the same, 15 feet 9 inches, and both track lengths are the same, 28 feet 11.5 inches. So, I think it's reasonably square.

    Attached is a photo showing the 3 inches skew.

    Any ideas? It kind of makes sense to me that things will always be a little off. The cover always closes perfectly, since it is closed by two ropes which pull it, and the rope length can be set accurately; unless the rope stretches, it will stay set. But it opens by a big drum rolling up the whole cover, and getting a precise setting with all the wrinkles and folds which are necessary because the cover has to be somewhat "oversized" to work properly, well, that really does seem difficult to me. I'm surprised I can even get it to within a few inches actually.

    Thanks,
    Don
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    16K gal IG 16'x28' pebble since 2011; Pentair Easytouch; Sta-Rite Intellipro VS pump; Sta-Rite 400 sq. ft. cartridge (System 3); 6 Heliocol Solar Panels; Aquamatic Cover; Legend pressure-side cleaner with Hayward booster pump; TF100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Autocover with about 3 inches skew when open

    Don I install both aquamatic and coverstar covers and I dont ever have to adjust. That 1/2" out of square doesn't seem like much but that could be alot of the problem. Some manufacturers of covers claim that dead on is best or way out but close is always bad. I have one that is 3" out and has never been adjusted in 6 years.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
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    jjslinger's Avatar
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    Re: Autocover with about 3 inches skew when open

    Quote Originally Posted by swimcmp
    Don I install both aquamatic and coverstar covers and I dont ever have to adjust. That 1/2" out of square doesn't seem like much but that could be alot of the problem. Some manufacturers of covers claim that dead on is best or way out but close is always bad. I have one that is 3" out and has never been adjusted in 6 years.
    Thanks swimcmp. The "out of square" could have just been difficulty in the measurement; I had to measure over the "bump" of the leading edge bar while my wife was holding the other end of the tape measure. Anyway, I'm having the cover checked out later this year and I'll chat with the service guys and see if they can come up with anything.
    16K gal IG 16'x28' pebble since 2011; Pentair Easytouch; Sta-Rite Intellipro VS pump; Sta-Rite 400 sq. ft. cartridge (System 3); 6 Heliocol Solar Panels; Aquamatic Cover; Legend pressure-side cleaner with Hayward booster pump; TF100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Autocover with about 3 inches skew when open

    One other thing to measure is make sure the mechinism is squared to the tracks and is square with the pool. If everything isn't square with the pool this could cause the cover to appear crooked when it is not square with the pool
    Over 30 years in the pool business
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    Re: Autocover with about 3 inches skew when open

    Not sure if this helps or applies to your brand of cover but when my cover does that I need to adjust the brake. Either loosen the brake on the far side or tighten the brake on the near side. My cover has wing nuts to tighten or loosen the brake on each side.
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    Re: Autocover with about 3 inches skew when open

    swimcmp -- thanks again, I'll look into that this weekend.

    Paper_Diva -- thanks for the comment. I have an Aquamatic, and I'm not sure how that differs from your Coverstar. I don't know what the brakes are, but I'll pop open the manual and see if I can figure it out.

    Don
    16K gal IG 16'x28' pebble since 2011; Pentair Easytouch; Sta-Rite Intellipro VS pump; Sta-Rite 400 sq. ft. cartridge (System 3); 6 Heliocol Solar Panels; Aquamatic Cover; Legend pressure-side cleaner with Hayward booster pump; TF100 Test Kit.

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