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Thread: Do you really need a pillow for AGP?

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    DonW's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
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    Central IL.
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    Do you really need a pillow for AGP?

    I've just closed our oval AGP this weekend, slipped in a 4 x 8 foot pillow and put on the winter cover. Drained down 4 inches below the return which is the lowest port in the pool, and discovered I have about an 18 inch void from the top rail to the water line where the cover is resting. The cover comes with "a generous 4 foot overlap" which now is not enough as it does not hang straight down from the rails to the water line. If I remove the pillow I might have enough slack to pull the cover to the ends of the pool, thereby taking strain off the end top rails as the cover fills with rain/snow water. Do you REALLY need a pillow? (Yes, it freezes hard in Central IL.) They say it takes the crush as the pool freezes over. How can it do that if it's floating on the surface? Approximately >95% of the pillow is above the water line. They say that it keeps the cover off the water and aids in spring pump-out. Who cares if the cover is touching the water? Isn't it already in contact with most of the surface already? Provided the cover pump is not on a seam of the cover, I bet with or without a pillow, the pump-out rate would be the same. I'm not going to do anything until I get some feedback, but does anyone out there have proof that a pillow is needed, or is it something we do because "we've always done it". Next year I'm going to buy a larger cover, but for this season I'm going to use the Armorkote cover that I bought, with or without a pillow!
    18' x 33' AGP
    16,715 gal.
    200 lb. Sand Filter w/Hayward PowerFlo MATRIX 1.5 H.P. 2 Spd. pump
    Stenner Injection Pump System

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    Re: Do you really need a pillow for AGP?

    Don, welcome to TFP!!

    You are showing the same questioning of what the 'pool industry' has always said that has made this site what it is

    You're right about the air pillow doing 'jack' for ice expansion!

    However, the pillow does do 2 functions I can name

    #1 The pillow reduces the stress on the top of the pool walls when the cover has water and ice on it

    #2 The pillow forces the water and debris to the outer edge of the pool for more easy removal (YES, you are supposed to drain most of the water off of the cover and try to keep ahead of the leaves, etc )

    If you choose not to remove the water and debris during the winter, #2 doesn't matter - but #1 should still be taken into account.

    I'll also remind you that having the cover fill up with 3' of water will displace 3' of water in the pool and you'll have to refill that water in the spring Also that an overloaded cover has a much larger chance of tearing and filling the clean pool with debris and scum

    It'smy opinion that the pool should still be maintained, although at a much less regular basis, when it's closed

    It's your pool and your choice - I've proffered my $.02 8)
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    DonW's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
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    Re: Do you really need a pillow for AGP?

    Waste, thanks for the "2 sense". Sometimes it takes a calm voice to bring reasoning home. After the initial posting I ordered a cover pump, knowing I'd have to be vigilant in pumping the cover off. The pillow stays under the cover, only to aid in pump-off, not ice expansion as I suspected.
    18' x 33' AGP
    16,715 gal.
    200 lb. Sand Filter w/Hayward PowerFlo MATRIX 1.5 H.P. 2 Spd. pump
    Stenner Injection Pump System

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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
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    Northwest Indiana
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    Re: Do you really need a pillow for AGP?

    I have the same problem with my 24 foot round AGP...I bought the cover for a 24 foot pool but I have 54 inch side walls with a pretty good sized top cap. What I expected in overhang...1.5 feet, was not even close. I pretty much ended with about 3 to 4 inches of overhang...and not all is resting on the water as well. So I adjusted the best I could...bought heavy duty clips to hold in place, and after all was said and done once the wind started to blow, the water ballast would shift and make one side of the cover dry as a bone and the other side opposite of the wind direction hold all the water. I readjusted again, and tied seven milk jugs half full to my safety fence brackens and laid them on top of the cover about 1.5 to 2 feet down just so they rest on the water line. It actually works like having the water tubes on top of the pool cover only free! The cover has not blown and shifted water, and I can easily adjust more to one side or the other when needed...I will try to post pictures later. But it seems to work for me.
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

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