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Thread: Help with Safety Cover vs. Winter vs. Fence, etc.

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    Help with Safety Cover vs. Winter vs. Fence, etc.

    Hello...new pool owner, just getting finished. Rectangle 16 x 32 fiberglass with stamped concrete.

    I was ALL SET to have a removable "safety" fence for our 3 year old and then of course state code, however my sister-in-law (who has a similar pool) is trying to convince me that will be a mistake and I should get a "solid safety cover" installed on rails vs. the fence.

    So then I have questions on is there a "solid/mesh" safety cover that can ALSO be a winter cover ?

    OR is there a Solid Safety Cover that is also a Solar Cover, as I really wanted a solar cover to supplement my heating.

    I know it is all personal preference, but just looking for some experience vs. my sister in law. Once a kid gets slightly older I think they can roll up the safety cover just as easily as they can figure out a way through the fence...in my opinion kids need supervised no matter what around a pool.

    Thanks in advance!
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Help with Safety Cover vs. Winter vs. Fence, etc.

    I think all solid safety covers are winter covers.
    Also, a "solar" cover does not so much ADD heat to the pool as much as prevent heat loss due to evaporation. But, if you put a solid saftey cover on in the winter, that will also block the sun and prevent the sun from adding any heat.

    You can get a mesh saftey cover to allow some heating, but also allow some evaporation, and not as good for winterization.
    or a solid one that would prevent heating, but retain the heat you have and be good in the winter.

    What is sounds like you want is a clear (all the sun to pass through), solid (retain the heat), saftey cover that can also be used for winterizing ... I do not think such an animal exists.
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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Help with Safety Cover vs. Winter vs. Fence, etc.

    I would think long and hard about using a saftey cover day in and day out in summer, maybe someone can chime in about time to take off and then reinstall...every time you want to swimz
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    Re: Help with Safety Cover vs. Winter vs. Fence, etc.

    Safety cover (loop-loc)
    This is a winter cover for use when the pool is shut down, for the most part it will prevent drowning although if you laid face down in the middle of the pool you could still technically drown (toddlers?)

    Automatic or manual cover on rails
    This cover can technically prevent drowning but they are also solid which means they aren't much for safety if there isn't an automatic pump on the cover removing any standing water. They work well for preventing evaporative cooling. Also I don't think they are as strong as a loop loc in terms of having someone walk on the cover.

    Safety Fence
    Designed specifically to prevent access to the pool from children. They are tall enough, the gates self close and the mechanisms for opening the gates are placed on top out of a child's reach. Also the fence has the ability to be removed for parties or for when children no longer require the fence. The fence can be removed or re-installed in about 15 minutes.


    Safety spider net thing.
    It's dumb.(IMO) It takes 30 mintues to take off or put on and you can't use the pool while it's in use. Also you have children suspended above the pool on a cover that can't easily be walked on as the netting holes are too far apart
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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Help with Safety Cover vs. Winter vs. Fence, etc.

    A coverstar auto cover can be walked on, we've had 5 adults at least on it rolling around at one time, if you view some of the various brands you'll see all kinds of stuff put on them to advertise the strength ....true about the on cover pump, and even with it not all water is pumped off, so young someone passed out on it face down they could drown assuming it had rained recently.....

    The weight on the cover is primarily supported by the water it is floating on....
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    Re: Help with Safety Cover vs. Winter vs. Fence, etc.

    Wow, exactly the kind of info I was look for.

    So to verify.

    auto or manual cover on rails is ONLY a summer sort of safety cover, I still need a Loop Loc winter cover (or a winter cover nevertheless)

    also, it sounds like a "safety fence" might technically be safer than a summer cover on rails due to the rain accumulation issue?

    Is my thinking clear that perhaps a safety fence with an auto gate is the "safest" approach, even though the cover companies say it is safer than a fence, or am I just hoping that is the answer as I was really leaning toward a safety fence.
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

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    Re: Help with Safety Cover vs. Winter vs. Fence, etc.

    When we moved into the house we put up a loop lock cover and a safety (mesh) fence (two toddlers at the time). The fences are a real eyesore (at least to me) but they do work great on small children. You have to be careful with the gate as they can come out of line and then they don't latch (looks like they are closed, but they aren't . Not very safe). Also by the time my son was 4 he could climb over the side of the fence and get in the pool area.

    The loop lock cover is super secure and for winter you can't beat it. It takes about 30 minutes to put on or take off ( for a 15x30' pool) and is totally impractical for swim season. It does a good job of blocking leaves but small debris does get through (we have a lot of pollen during spring and the top of the water turns yellow cover or no cover). Dust goes right through as well so there is still a bit of cleaning to do each spring

    During the summer I use a solar cover that I put on a reel. That is great for heating the pool (I get about 10 degress). It takes less than 5 minutes to take off and a minute or so to put on. Unfortunately its heavy and my wife can't do it alone.

    Sooooo. I am going to be getting an auto-cover (top track mounted system). This will be a solid cover. From talking to the companies its fine to keep them on 24/7/365. They meet all the safety standards (you do have to pump off the water but most come with the pump) and you get the same solar benefits as a standard solar cover (most of the heating is from the cover touching the water and preventing evaporation. Think about how much hotter you get when its humid and your sweat doesn't evaporate. Same principle). You also use a ton less chemicals.

    The cover will wear out eventually and my understanding is the life is mostly dependent on the amount of direct sun it gets. The covers are warrantied for 5-7 years depending on the manufacture.

    Bottom line. If I had to do it all over again I'd have gone with the automatic cover. Everyone can open and close it. Its safe, you don't have to make sure its latched and no one can climb over it. Its also way less of an eyesore (at least to me) than the fence

    P
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    Re: Help with Safety Cover vs. Winter vs. Fence, etc.

    automatic covers need to have a coverpump to drain rainwater and snowmelt or enough water can sit on them that a toddler can drown in - fyi... and you don't want to open them if a lot of water is sitting on top. They absolutely do retain heat in the pool, but I don't know if they help "heat" the water the way a solar blanket works in theory. They are great on reducing evaporation and preserving your FC when the pool is not use. I give them two thumbs up.
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    Re: Help with Safety Cover vs. Winter vs. Fence, etc.

    My opaque blue colored Coverstar cover creates a hot layer of water underneath it when the sun is shining on it. For instance today it's going to be 78 and sunny. My pool gets full sun. If i leave the pump off tonight when i get home when i roll up the cover the top 12" of water will have been super heated by the sun. My pool is currently 91, that top layer of water will be near 100. If i leave the pump running all day the top layer will still be a little warmer, more like 93. It's very noticeable when you swim, as you have to dive down to get to the cool water. In a few mins. of swimming the effect is gone because all the water got mixed up. Last summer my pool was consistently 94-96 and i had to make some coolers, i attribute this to the covered all the time status, super-heated layer of water and large surface area with relatively low water volume (shallow pool).

    I have read many times here people saying a pool with get more heat with no cover in full sun. I don't know if that is true or not i just know what i experience.

    It is similar to a hose full of water lying in the sun.

    I have looked for definitive information, comparing what i experience to that of a clear bubble wrap solar cover but have not found any. I don't think people have both to experiment with. I've though about getting some 5 gallons buckets of water and putting bubble wrap in one, blue plastic tarp in the other, and one with nothing but water as the control, but have never done it.
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    Re: Help with Safety Cover vs. Winter vs. Fence, etc.

    Wow, I am SO TORN - meaning at first I thought the fence was ideal, then someone (sister in law) freaked me out and I was going cover. Then I find water will accumulate on the cover, so after a rain if you don't drain the cover you have a problem with a 3 year old drowning, perhaps WORSE than no cover or fence because at least he has some fear of OPEN WATER.

    So then I was back to a fence thinking, OK, so at 5 years old he MIGHT be able to figure out how to get over the fence, but it will take him longer than simply walking off the back deck after a rainy afternoon. ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

    I guess I could do both, but man I am running out of $$ fast. Problems problems....
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

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    Re: Help with Safety Cover vs. Winter vs. Fence, etc.

    Where are you located?

    Do you have either pictures of your backyard/house by the pool location?

    Do you have an overhead drawing of the whole project?

    I agree with one of your earlier posts.....supervision is what really keeps em' outta trouble.

    We were either going to have our cover OR a separate permanent fence around the pool only (inside of our already fenced in backyard. Code required us to have door chimes on any door that opened into the backyard, as well as self latching gates on our fence.
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    Re: Help with Safety Cover vs. Winter vs. Fence, etc.

    Located in OH, but we live in the country and we have no "code" to follow except the state.

    Also, we live on 2 1/2 acres, so we can't afford a fence around the entire property and then pool cover, etc on top of that.

    What I was thinking was a fence around the pool area (3 ft between fence and edge of pool).

    Attached are some pics.

    [attachment=1:1k6y97rm]Pool Overhead.jpg[/attachment:1k6y97rm]
    [attachment=0:1k6y97rm]House overhead.jpg[/attachment:1k6y97rm]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Help with Safety Cover vs. Winter vs. Fence, etc.

    Does your insurance have any fencing requirements?
    Does your state code require a fence?


    Since you are building a rectangular pool it would be set up perfectly for an auto cover, have you priced them they are ridiculously expensive, that might make your decision easier....

    If you go with solar cover, you may want a little more working room (patio space) on the side of the pool furthest away from your house for the reel etc., looks like you are intending that space to be large enough for lounge chairs, might want a few more feet....
    18'x43' Sport Pool
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    Re: Help with Safety Cover vs. Winter vs. Fence, etc.

    Good question on the insurance, I will check.
    State Code does require a fence although it has a clause that if an COVER meets some SPEC, etc, the fence rule is waived.

    the auto cover is $10K, we were thinking of a "manual" cover, i.e. hand crank, etc.

    As for the side away from the house, point well taken. I think it is an 8' radius, I will lay it out and see how it feels. But yes, we will have a solar cover (assuming we go the fence route)

    I think I am freaked out about the water collecting on the cover and being just as dangerous if not more than the open pool itself. At least with a FENCE it will require a bit of effort, etc. to get around.
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Help with Safety Cover vs. Winter vs. Fence, etc.

    That price is similar to what i paid. I saw some units that can be operated with a hand drill, and another that is pneumatic operated by to lever bars you move back and forth. Do you have a link to what you are considering that is hand operated? Without some sort of mechanical leverage i could not roll mine up by hand. And nobody can open it, without using the motor (i.e. switch that is locked).

    Really it boils down to a personal decision, risks/dangers are everywhere. You planning on more kids?

    The only issue i see with some standing water on my cover would be if one of my kids decided to play on it and in the process fell and hit their head on the side of the pool coping AND knocked themselves out AND landed face down on the cover. Could that happen? I guess, anything can happen. Reality is (my son was 2.5-3 last summer at that age i'm watching like a hawk. If they are outside playing, i'm with them or my wife is. The other thing is once the cover pump has pumped off all the water it can the rest evaporates fairly quickly. So mine is dry the majority of the time and if it's raining kids are mostly inside.

    The thing about the cover pump is it doesn't weight enough to cause every last drop to run towards it. If i go out and stand beside it i can get more water to drain off. I can take a video and show you what i'm talking about if that would help you.

    How much time does your kid spend outside alone now?
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    Re: Help with Safety Cover vs. Winter vs. Fence, etc.

    Wow thank you so much - real work experience is what I was looking for.

    Nope, we are slightly older parents, so one and done. He is 3 yr old and NEVER spends time outside unsupervised (unless he escapes), and we don't even have a pool yet. Of course there are times when he "gets out of site" for a moment, as we have a big property, but that is where I am thinking a fence would be ideal...stop him long enough for us to catch him.

    In all realty, he is very good around water. Takes professional swimming lessons and he does respect water.

    This is the cover though, that has the hand crank....http://www.pcs-se.com/Portfolio/Manual-Covers.aspx

    This company is not in OH, but figured I could find a similar thing. My other issue is I do travel a bunch, and I am a bit worried about my WIFE remembering to pump the water off the cover, unless you leave it hooked up 24 x 7.

    As you can tell I am really leaning toward a fence, thinking it provides the barrier necessary for us to keep him safe. But I don't want to make a mistake, thus all the Q&A.
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

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