Auto covers - maintenance nightmare or maintenance panacea

Garet Jax

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 3, 2012
52
Bel Air, MD
#1
I have a read a lot about auto covers and they seem to offer a lot of benefits. They help to heat the pool, they reduce the need for chemicals, they provide a ton of safety and they help to keep leaves and other things out.

With that said, I have heard horror stories about the costs to not only install them, but also to keep them running. At a minimum it will be multiple thousands of dollars for the install. I have read that it also may cost a thousand or so for annual maintenance.

I am trying to get an understanding to see the real story and answer two questions:

1) what model/manufacturer do you have and how much have you had to pay after the initial install to keep it running?
2) are there things that seem to affect the maintenance cost more than others (width, length, SWG vs chlorine, manufacturer, etc...)

Thanks a lot.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,079
Evans, Georgia
#2
Re: Auto covers - maintenance nightmare or maintenance panac

Mine has cost nothing to maintain, and not had one problem since putting it on last fall.
These are the folks that installed mine-http://www.pcs-se.com/
 

jjslinger

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 22, 2011
97
Santa Rosa, CA
#3
Re: Auto covers - maintenance nightmare or maintenance panac

I have the Aquamatic. I've had it about 10 months now. So far it has cost zero dollars since the initial install. I'm having a little trouble adjusting the "skew", so far I have not managed to do better than about 3 inches, but the manual says that's within tolerance.

Even if there are some costs down the road, I'm very happy I chose to get the autocover. It helps manage the water chemistry, temperature, keeps debris out, and there's alot of "peace of mind" knowing that kids and critters can't easily sneek into the pool.

Don
 

swimcmp

In The Industry
Nov 8, 2011
1,039
Moberly,MO
#4
Re: Auto covers - maintenance nightmare or maintenance panac

You shouldn't have alot of yearly expenses. You should use a good non solvent cleaner about once a year and hand wash the cover. The only other advice pick a lighter color than a dark one as the uv won't affect it as quickly.
 

Garet Jax

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 3, 2012
52
Bel Air, MD
#5
Re: Auto covers - maintenance nightmare or maintenance panac

No one else has an opinion? Ideally someone who has had one for at least a few seasons can weigh in.
 

swimcmp

In The Industry
Nov 8, 2011
1,039
Moberly,MO
#6
Re: Auto covers - maintenance nightmare or maintenance panac

Go with a lighter color, the darker ones will give you more heat transfer but the sun eats the vinyl a little quicker. When you decide on a builder ask them how much a replacement cover would cost so you can prepare for the eventual cost.
 

Kjohnson

Well-known member
May 22, 2012
100
#7
Re: Auto covers - maintenance nightmare or maintenance panac

I've had my pool for 11 years. My cover lasted 10 years with no problems other then a broken cord which was fixed at no cost. It did however rip due to an over load of snow and ice during a bad winter. It ripped at the spot where it had worn through after 10 years. Insurance covered the expense of a replacement, which was about $3400.00 It does seem to get "off kilter" by a bit but installer will come out and adjust. The initial cost (8,000.00 or so) did seem like alot but what it saved me in chemicals (before BBB) and peace of mind was worth it. When we built our pool, our children were under 5 years old - the cover was one thing I wouldn't have done any other way. I've had my replacement for a year with no problems.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,079
Evans, Georgia
#8
Re: Auto covers - maintenance nightmare or maintenance panac

yeah, that's how I feel about the cover too- peace of mind worth every dollar! We've heard of multiple young children drowning this summer alone. Each time I hear of one it just confirms to me that this was one expense worth scrimping for.