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Thread: New Pool Summer 2012 - Holes in Auto Cover!

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    New Pool Summer 2012 - Holes in Auto Cover!

    Hey everyone, long time lurker, first time poster.

    First let me say how much I appreciate this site. It was a major, major help when my wife and I decided to take the plunge and have a pool put in last summer. I refer to it always and often.

    Anyway, after we decided on our builder and went through all the other pool incidentals, there was a discussion about whether we needed to purchase a winter cover since we were having an auto cover installed. The pool builder actually talked us out of it. Said there really was no need for a winter cover if a customer paid to have the auto cover installed. He did say he had some customers with both, but more and more with just the auto cover. Without ever having any real issues.

    After an extremely fun summer with very little problems, fast forward 10 months later. During this fine 67 degree day we had here in the Midwest I was out cleaning the cover and getting all the misc. dirt and leaves off. I even got some vinyl cleaner on it and got it looking brand new. It was then (after about two hours of cleaning) I noticed a spot right about in the middle that was still wet with water. Not thinking anything of it I just wrapped another dry towel around my pool brush to mop it up. That's when I knew there was trouble. I spotted not one, not two, but three little holes where the water was coming up through the cover.

    I'm planning on calling my builder this next week, but wanted to get the thoughts of you fine, knowledgeable people first. I'm inclined to think that the auto cover maybe wasn't meant to be used as a winter long cover and now we have a very expensive option that's damaged. It can be repaired of course, but it's especially disappointing that we haven't even had the pool 12 months and something like this happens. The fact that the builder sold us on this idea just adds to the frustration.

    I checked the covers warranty and of course it has an exclusion in it for the "occurrence of minor pinholes" which leads me to maybe assume they wouldn't stand behind this problem in the warranty. Though, when looking at these holes, they are much bigger than what I would define as a "pinhole".

    Anyway, what do you guys think? Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill? Should I just have it repaired and move on with my life? Or is this something the builder should definitely stand behind? What kind of response would you expect from your builder with this kind of issue?

    Thanks in advance, I appreciate everyone's thoughts and comments. I attached a pic for those interested. Of course it's pretty hard to see unless you can zoom up close. But believe me, the holes are there!!!
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    28,350 Gallon
    IG Rectangular Vinyl Lined
    1 skimmer and 2 returns.
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    Pentair Vertical Grid D.E. Filter
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Summer 2012 - Holes in Auto Cover!

    Personally, I'd have the builder patch it and then just move on. It's kinda like the first little ding on a new car. It's tough to take at first but it gets better with time. Those are very small holes, I'd class them as pin holes.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: New Pool Summer 2012 - Holes in Auto Cover!

    I had a similar problem and they gave me a new cover. Mine was caused by the cover rubbing on the bottom of the vault when retracted, at the time the "roll" of cover reaches it's largest diameter. The cover was installed 6-2011 and was replaced 10-2011. I installed some stainless sheets in the bottom of the vault so when it touches now it not rubbing on rough concrete. My holes were about 2 / 3' from the front of the cover.There was some debate about what caused them (pool people thought rats biting...), but I know what did and since the vault bottom was smoothed there is no problem in the last 18 months. I'm surprised that you have holes just from some debris on the cover unless there are very tall trees above the cover dropping branches.

    I have always wondered why the cover vaults aren't made deeper than they are so there is plenty of clearance under the rolled cover.
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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Summer 2012 - Holes in Auto Cover!

    Wow sorry you are having to deal with this. I'm getting ready to clean my cover this week and was told by the Installer to use an orange citrus de-greaser to scrub it with, then follow up with Aerospace 303 Protectant. I'm to use food grade silicon to lube the track and pulley's.

    Pool built last summer, or less than 1 year old i'd not be expecting to see holes. I would want to know why they happened. If this was caused by mother nature, ice, rubbing on trash in the pit, kids shoes etc., toys, dog etc. i'd be hopping for a patch job for free.

    If more keep forming and i suspected a bad product i'd be expecting a replacement for free. I'd also try and figure out what the manufacture considers pin-holes, and if there is any guarantee it will not leak. Another question might be how much water do they allow to build up on the cover before it will strain the motor upon opening?

    I would start by expecting/demanding a new cover. I would also be thinking about the safety of the product vs. waterproofing when dealing with them. If there is a hole in the product, and some kid is walking on the cover, and the cover fails in that location, did you sell me an unsafe product?

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    Re: New Pool Summer 2012 - Holes in Auto Cover!

    Thanks for the input so far. Haven't had a chance to call the builder yet, but hoping to today. I've been going back and forth on this in my head. Like Bama Rambler said, it's just like getting the first scratch on a new car. But then again it's a bit different in that this cover is designed for this use and pretty much failed to get through one season. When we were told it could withstand the elements as a winter cover. Then of course safety comes up as a big concern.

    I just wasn't sure if something like this should be considered "typical" and if I would be expecting too much for repair or replacement. I'm a pretty realistic guy and if this were something that happened a couple/few years down the road I understand things have wear and tear and don't last forever. But not even through our first year.....arg!

    The builders' been pretty fair thus far. I'll let everyone know how the conversation goes just in case interested.

    Consequently there is a smaller tree about 20 feet away, but there were no sticks/branches on the cover. Just dirt and leaves. The cover was made by Cover-Pools/Zodiac Pool Systems and is a "Save-T 3" model.
    28,350 Gallon
    IG Rectangular Vinyl Lined
    1 skimmer and 2 returns.
    Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP Pump
    Pentair Vertical Grid D.E. Filter
    Pentair 250,000 BTU Natural Gas Heater

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    Re: New Pool Summer 2012 - Holes in Auto Cover!

    Emathan3 I hate to hear you have holes. There are a couple of questions I have, where in the world are you located. I am in Missouri, right along I-70 and in my experience an automatic cover is sufficient for year round use. Where you are might be different as to snow load and such. I do agree with bama get it patched and go on. If you start pushing for a replacement and don't get it, which is likely to happen, you most likely will sour your relationship with your builder. Assuming you had a good one.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
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    Re: New Pool Summer 2012 - Holes in Auto Cover!

    Quote Originally Posted by swimcmp
    Emathan3 I hate to hear you have holes. There are a couple of questions I have, where in the world are you located. I am in Missouri, right along I-70 and in my experience an automatic cover is sufficient for year round use. Where you are might be different as to snow load and such. I do agree with bama get it patched and go on. If you start pushing for a replacement and don't get it, which is likely to happen, you most likely will sour your relationship with your builder. Assuming you had a good one.
    I'm in Eastern Iowa, so we're probably a bit colder and have some more snow than you do swimcmp.

    I called and talked with the builder yesterday. Since we're still pretty new to the pool we're having them come and open it up for us. They're going to be here on the 24th. So he said he would have the guys look at the holes then to get a first hand look at them. Determine from there if it is more of a defect in the liner or just bad luck on my part. Then have the guys patch it or possibly replace it.

    He sounded honestly surprised by this problem so I feel pretty good about them doing what they can to make things right. (just a matter of convincing my wife of the same ) We're a little nervous about how well a patch job will hold up over time, but we'll see where this goes.

    Like alluded to before, there's alot of first year jitters on our part. When you pay a lot of money for something you want everything to be perfect and when it isn't...... . I'm hoping this is one of those situations where you have a couple things go wrong right away so we'll have years of trouble free pooling from now on! (I'm not holding my breath though :P ).

    Thanks for everyone's thoughts, appreciate it!
    28,350 Gallon
    IG Rectangular Vinyl Lined
    1 skimmer and 2 returns.
    Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP Pump
    Pentair Vertical Grid D.E. Filter
    Pentair 250,000 BTU Natural Gas Heater

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