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Thread: (another) Winter Safety Cover Advice Please

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    (another) Winter Safety Cover Advice Please

    I didn't want to sabotage WestSidePool's question so I'm asking also.

    I'm considering the same but have a couple of questions.

    I understand that the fine mesh cover is so much lighter in weight and it can be put on and taken off fairly easy by two people. I usually do all jobs out here by myself as hubby has two bad shoulders so I might be able to do it alone. But will certainly recruit a neighbor if needed.

    My greatest concern is how a cover will hold up to a 200 lb dog playing on it. A friend of mine had a 190 lb Mastiff who was such a pool freak that she played on the solid cover in the water on top all winter until they took it off in spring. The top was covered with many, many punches from dog nails. They had no way of keeping her away from pool. I have same situation and it remains to be seen if my swimming Mastiff puppy (8 mos now) will do the same.

    Will a good mesh safety cover better handle the "nail punches" as he gets older and BIGGER (he should make 200 lbs easily)?
    Can I run the Polaris under it to handle the extremely fine silt we have?

    I plan on ordering on line but will have get a custom size for my somewhat oval pool with side steps and very narrow decking in places.

    Thanks, geekgranny
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: (another) Winter Safety Cover Advice Please

    Not sure about a 200 lb dog, but I have a 100 lb dog who will, in most cases, stay off of it, until it gets closer to opening time. He'll usually get on there just to cool off his toes. And at that point, the pool is obviously almost full, from winter melting.

    I haven't seen any damage from nails, but I believe a pool store would be able to provide patching material. My cover already has some patches on it, and appears to be the iron-on type.

    Its strength shouldn't be affected by the dog. The PB who closed my pool last year mentioned that he had just come from a house that had the same type of mesh cover, and the owner promptly parked his MG on top. A bit odd, hard to believe, but someone would probably do that.

    Greg
    Kansas City, MO
    13500 gallon Foxx vinyl sport pool--inground (1988)
    Cristal-Flo sand filter
    Ray-Pak 406A digital
    1.5 HP single speed
    400 gallon Heldor inground spa, octagon

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    Re: (another) Winter Safety Cover Advice Please

    Quote Originally Posted by gkruske
    The PB who closed my pool last year mentioned that he had just come from a house that had the same type of mesh cover, and the owner promptly parked his MG on top. A bit odd, hard to believe, but someone would probably do that.

    Greg


    Thanks Greg. I've got a lot of research to do. A few years ago I purchased a leaf net, cheapest solution, as that is the main stuff that gets into pool starting in late Nov to mid Dec when most of the trees drop their leaves en mass. BUT I had to put up barricades around the pool to keep dogs from getting in or falling in. And all of my dogs were older and didn't want to be in the pool during the coldest months, Jan/Feb. so the barriers didn't have to be that "fool proof". I've considered a safety fence, and then using a leaf net but the puppies, especially the Labradoodles puppies (a friend refers to them as "double water dogs") like to run around the pool and leap in everywhere and anywhere, usually right on top of each other, (I hope I don't have to supervise them forever. ) and there is not enough room to place the fencing very far from edge of pool. I don't know if "cold" will discourage them from trying to get in; they are retrievers, hunting dog heritage.

    I'm thinking the fine mess safety cover might be the best. This all might be moot as I probably won't be able to come up with the funds in time. So I'll have to fight the massive amounts of leaves that fill the skimmer in minutes and the Polaris leaf bag in a few more minutes plus insulating the pipes and equipment over heat cords wrapped around first. When I'm away from the house for even an hour during leaf falling/blowing time I have to turn everything off. I've fashioned a leaf guard for the bottom drain that pretty well keeps the leaves out of the main drain and works pretty well.

    I went the open-all-year route for many years, with a few burst pipes and several frozen Nature 2 vessels but I was younger, had more energy, and didn't have a torn shoulder rotator tendon. Maybe I can get my health insurance to cover the cost of a cover. Yeah, right.
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: (another) Winter Safety Cover Advice Please

    Patches can be purchased online. I did as I have a mesh cover as well and we had so much snow last year. I thought for sure the cover would break from the weight, but it didnt.

    We have two dogs and so far so good on the mesh cover, however, over time they will damage that mesh cover.

    I made a make shift fence around my pool to stop them from going anywhere near the pool. I attached a pic of it in the dead of winter. I hope you can make it out.

    One of them is during a snow storm last year and the other was in March and you can see that I started to shovel and move the snow off the cover as best I could. In that icy mess you will see a chicken wire fence that I made using a few cattle fence posts.

    Worked great for me.

    Good Luck! I hope that helped give you some ideas for your situation.
    Chad R.

    POOL SIZE: 16 x 32' Vinyl lined pool. 22,000 gallons. 8' deep. 2009 Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump. Hayward S310S 30" 500 lb Sand filter. 1 skimmer and 2 returns. Solar Blanket.

    Pics of my pool: http://s307.photobucket.com/albums/nn312/reindeerboy/

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    Re: (another) Winter Safety Cover Advice Please

    Quote Originally Posted by reindeerboy
    Patches can be purchased online. I did as I have a mesh cover as well and we had so much snow last year. I thought for sure the cover would break from the weight, but it didnt.

    We have two dogs and so far so good on the mesh cover, however, over time they will damage that mesh cover.

    I made a make shift fence around my pool to stop them from going anywhere near the pool. I attached a pic of it in the dead of winter. I hope you can make it out.

    One of them is during a snow storm last year and the other was in March and you can see that I started to shovel and move the snow off the cover as best I could. In that icy mess you will see a chicken wire fence that I made using a few cattle fence posts.

    Worked great for me.

    Good Luck! I hope that helped give you some ideas for your situation.
    Yes, it does give me some ideas. Thanks. BTW..... Lots of snow.

    How did you secure your poles?

    I had thought of using poles sunk in concrete using removable form to make the weighted bottoms, like people do for mail boxes, but I'm a little leery of handling the concrete, mixing, etc. with my torn tendon. What I settled for when we didn't have the ambitious puppies was heavy, over sized concrete building blocks stacked double, but not solid (got a good price on them at Home Depot - special order, still on pallet, that someone didn't pick up) and some large rectangular planters (lots). That worked great for the old dogs but the 'doodles will easily get over, under, or through that "barrier". Mastiff probably wouldn't go to the effort to move it. And I don't know if I'm up to that this year with my bad shoulder. When I first stacked them we had a friend"s son living here. He wasn't very athletic and preferred staying inside all the time, on the computer all waking hours except for when he ran errands for us or himself and complained royally while helping me, as he did for everything else I asked him to do (while getting free room and board) but I was used to it by that time. I'm not complaining too much, mind you, as he was the "ghost in the attic" most of the time and he and hubby got along famously and it was really nice that he didn't mind "leaving the ranch", to run errands, at any hour.

    My other consideration back then was 5 gal buckets filled with sand to hold the poles up with wire fencing attached but again I don't think I can handle that myself; shoulder.

    With old dogs strength of barrier was important because of one 200 lb, blind, old girl who we didn't want falling in (she did in Nov 07 in shallow end where I had removed barrier to work on pool - pool water down and only 18" in shallow end - took five (5) people from fire department to get her out me); now the questions is how to keep the puppies from intentionally moving a barrier because they are puppies and only go to that yard to swim at this time until I can get some fencing repairs done down the hill in woods. They are major escape artist. Neighbor's dog, staying here for weekend, the one who climbs our fence to play/swim with puppies, and one 'doodle took baby Mastiff (he may be big but he's still a baby at 8 mos) with them yesterday, through the fence to wander the woods. I was out there with them at the time. Evil Children. At least I got to see where they were getting out when they came back in.

    I'm leaning towards sturdy, net safety cover. Seems to be only sure way to keep leaves out of pool, keep the puppies alive, and with it holding up reasonably well. Have to figure out where to scrape up the funds. Otherwise I'll have to fight the leaves and equipment freezing. Last two winters have been remarkably warm and short. Wish I could count on that.

    geekgranny=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: (another) Winter Safety Cover Advice Please

    alice,

    Towards the left of the pool is the lawn and I just pounded them right into the ground like regular cattle fence posts. Then that white pole is 1 1/4" pipe that sticks into the railing for the stairs going into the pool.

    What I do is stretch the fence and then attach it to the actual fence going around my yard with a wire stretcher used for cattle ranching.

    Thing works great. Total cost was about $80 bucks. I use it over and over each year and depending how your yard is setup, this may not even be an option for you, however, for me as you can see in the picture, it works great.

    Good luck and maybe a solid cover would work best in your case
    Chad R.

    POOL SIZE: 16 x 32' Vinyl lined pool. 22,000 gallons. 8' deep. 2009 Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump. Hayward S310S 30" 500 lb Sand filter. 1 skimmer and 2 returns. Solar Blanket.

    Pics of my pool: http://s307.photobucket.com/albums/nn312/reindeerboy/

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    Re: (another) Winter Safety Cover Advice Please

    Quote Originally Posted by reindeerboy
    alice,

    Towards the left of the pool is the lawn and I just pounded them right into the ground like regular cattle fence posts. Then that white pole is 1 1/4" pipe that sticks into the railing for the stairs going into the pool.

    What I do is stretch the fence and then attach it to the actual fence going around my yard with a wire stretcher used for cattle ranching.

    Thing works great. Total cost was about $80 bucks. I use it over and over each year and depending how your yard is setup, this may not even be an option for you, however, for me as you can see in the picture, it works great.

    Good luck and maybe a solid cover would work best in your case

    I can't really set it up as you have but do have rustic pole fencing around three sides of pool. And your info has given me some ideas. I had originally planned on lining the pole fencing with sheep panels but didn't get around to it. Fourth side of pool is very close to house less than 5' for much of it. This is only one of two ways to get to yard. The other is on deep end of pool, railroad ties/rock stairs leading down the hill and under the deck where pool equipment is. I just can't imagine why they built the pool so close to house leaving so little space. It was a b**** getting our old spa out and even more so the new spa in, after I put the rail fencing in. There is just room enough between the house and end fence post to squeeze the spa through. No other way to easily access that side of house because of drop off to woods.

    I think I had, originally planned on putting safety fencing close to the pool on the house side, along with the sheep panel (rigid but that and cattle panels have always been easier for me to handle by my self rather than rolled wire) lining on post fencing. Sort of like your set up. To do it right and sturdy, and removable the only way to attach something in to concrete is by drilling in to it. Or I could set up some poles in concrete or sand buckets and use cattle panel. Or have safety fencing installed just on that side which I could remove in summer if I wanted (or sections of it). Then purchase another relatively inexpensive leaf net held down with water tubes. Before I held it in place with the heavy concrete block and plant containers.

    Things to consider and you are helping with the thought process. Thanks. I may have to break down and hire a couple of guys for a couple of days to help me, though. Main issue getting rigid panels here now is that my truck is not running right now. Mysterious electrical short that no one has been able to isolate.

    Thanks much, geekgranny=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    reindeerboy's Avatar
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    Re: (another) Winter Safety Cover Advice Please

    Looks like some good ideas that you have. The thing I tried first in my mind was what would be the qickest and less costly thing to do. I would start small with maybe materials that you had on hand. Trial and error always seems to work until you find a program that works for your setup.

    Do you have a pic of your pool yard? It would be easier to see your situation and maybe others on this site could lend some ideas by being able to see what you have to work with.

    Good luck Alice!
    Chad R.

    POOL SIZE: 16 x 32' Vinyl lined pool. 22,000 gallons. 8' deep. 2009 Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump. Hayward S310S 30" 500 lb Sand filter. 1 skimmer and 2 returns. Solar Blanket.

    Pics of my pool: http://s307.photobucket.com/albums/nn312/reindeerboy/

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    Re: (another) Winter Safety Cover Advice Please

    reindeerboy--heckuva idea with the fencing. Not generally pleasing to look at, but I would rather look at that than giant holes in an expensive cover from giant dogs.

    Glad I don't have the amount of snow you do. One of my dogs just tests it, right after I close it. He remembers the source of where he can cool his toes off. If he puts a paw down, and realizes there's no water there, then he won't bother. He'll start getting more gutsy when it gets closer to opening time, and he can see the water pooling up on the cover.

    Greg
    Kansas City, MO
    13500 gallon Foxx vinyl sport pool--inground (1988)
    Cristal-Flo sand filter
    Ray-Pak 406A digital
    1.5 HP single speed
    400 gallon Heldor inground spa, octagon

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    reindeerboy's Avatar
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    Re: (another) Winter Safety Cover Advice Please

    With that much snow in my backyard, I could care less about how the fence looks at that point. Either way, it looks great in the spring when you have no issues upon opening the pool. Thats the most important thing in my mind.

    Thanks for the nice comment. I have a good idea once and a while.

    Later
    Chad R.

    POOL SIZE: 16 x 32' Vinyl lined pool. 22,000 gallons. 8' deep. 2009 Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump. Hayward S310S 30" 500 lb Sand filter. 1 skimmer and 2 returns. Solar Blanket.

    Pics of my pool: http://s307.photobucket.com/albums/nn312/reindeerboy/

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    Re: (another) Winter Safety Cover Advice Please

    I just remembered that I have 100 ft of the heavier deer fencing, black. That is certainly much easier to work with than most other materials. Sitting at my pool last night it dawned on me that I could use three, max, posts in concrete or sand, as I do have one cut out in the concrete by the house originally for Ash trees. A couple of years after we moved here one Ash fell over into the pool. We had them all cut down as they were getting to the end of their lives and starting to look sickly. Over a couple of years I was able to get the stumps out and filled in with dirt. Couple more years I was able to get the railroad ties out, lining the interior (they were breaking down and looked terrible, then started planting a series of plants there that I was never happy with. So I tried various sizes of rocks and then last year covered it with rubber mulch which fees really nice under foot. I was hoping to DIY concrete it this fall but it will be pretty time consuming as between it and another larger cut out for more Ash trees, closer to house, with old trees gone but another tree planted there three years ago, is a concrete drain that has hand formed bowl with drain pipe hole at bottom. So I want the job to look good if I'm going to do it. And I need to fashion a removable grate over the drain bowl. For several years I've used a plastic shelving shelf (grate style) over the bowl with a planter or two on top of it.

    When and if I ever get around to concreting the smaller "cut out" I could set a post socket in the concrete. For this winter, if I haven't gotten the concrete done, I can drive a PVC pipe into the soil. Then I would only need one (filled bucket) at pool steps and two between the fixed end post at deep end.

    I could experiment with the deer fencing, to see if it will work, putting it on a couple of sections of the fixed fence. The doodles and neighbor dog jump (at amazing speeds without breaking stride) through the horizontal post while chasing each other around. Mastiff puppy steps through clumsily.

    We're getting there.
    Thanks, geekgranny=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: (another) Winter Safety Cover Advice Please

    Quote Originally Posted by gkruske
    reindeerboy--heckuva idea with the fencing. Not generally pleasing to look at, but I would rather look at that than giant holes in an expensive cover from giant dogs.

    Glad I don't have the amount of snow you do. One of my dogs just tests it, right after I close it. He remembers the source of where he can cool his toes off. If he puts a paw down, and realizes there's no water there, then he won't bother. He'll start getting more gutsy when it gets closer to opening time, and he can see the water pooling up on the cover.

    Greg
    My puppies have already "tested" my neighbor's cover. It is a year round, solid cover, light tan, with gliders built in under the coping edge, motorized to open and close. I wasn't there so I don't know how they reacted to it being a cover instead of water. I'll have to ask. Her dog, a pit mix, the one who climbs my fence to play and/or swim with my puppies, doesn't go on the cover though.
    geekgranny=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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