Automatic Cover observations Coverstar

harleysilo

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 1, 2012
1,924
North Georgia
#1
Hi Everyone,

We've had our pool up and running for a month now and i thought i write a little about the autocover. First off I think it's well worth the money for the safety/convenience factor. I rarely put the pump on the cover unless i know rain is coming. I and the kids run all over the thing, it's like a giant water bed.

We were really concerned about retaining heat and having a warm pool so we could use it 6+ months out of the year. We purchased a Heat Pump to help with that and I strongly considered solar heat as well.

What i've discovered is that this autocover, my full sun, and shallow pool have combined to make this pool a borderline hot tub. I'm unsure what is gonna happen when we have our month long dry spells with 90+ degree heat. We've been in the mid 80's with sun and the pool is constantly 91 or 92 degrees without heat pump just cover. Over the weekend it was up to 94.

I've also learned a couple things about trying to regulate the effectiveness of the cover. If during the day i leave it covered and the pump is not running and then i open it up and go for a swim the top 12" of water will be HOT, like 98-99 hot, the bottom water will be much cooler. The coverstar rep has since told me the very same info, and has suggested that in the real heat of summer if i'm covering my pool to make sure the pump is not running, as it will just circulate the hot layer of water throughout the pool causing the whole pool to heat up. Run the pump at night when i don't have the effect of the sun on the cover.

Still I have a feeling i'm going to be reading more threads on cooling a pool as our summer heats up. Might should have sprung for those fancy heat/cool pumps (i didn't even know they existed at time of purchase).

I also don't manually vacuum and never have anything in the skimmer basket. I throw the "shark" Polaris 280 in every couple of days for a few hours and that takes care of everything. I'm not sure if having it covered all the time is making dialing in the SWG easier or harder, but is seems to be okay at 30% for the time being.

In hindsight i might have gone with a lighter color cover, but the royal blue sure is pretty!

:cheers:
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,005
Evans, Georgia
#2
I have a similar cover over my fiberglass pool and also note that my water *can* stay warmer than my friend's uncovered pool but nothing like you're reporting. I think so far 84 degrees is as high as I've noticed?

I use a simple fountain when I need to drop my TA, and I understand that it can also help to drop water temps in the hot summer. Worth a try, eh? Mine is one of those triple level fountains that attach easily via the cleaner outlet, I paid $39 for it. Somewhere on here is a thread where someone said running it at night helps cool the pool the most.

My SWG is happy running at 5% and my FC level remains about 7, with the pump running about 8 hours a day right now.

I would *never* allow anyone to go running/playing on top of my expensive cover for fun just because of the obvious increased "wear and tear" it would impose on the cover. That the cover *can* handle it is what I depend on in an emergency.
 

harleysilo

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 1, 2012
1,924
North Georgia
#3
I should/will change my sig, my pool is 3-3.5-4 feet deep, so in other words really shallow however compared to yours it's more gallons at ~19,000.

How are your cover tracks installed? My cover touches nothing but the water, so I don't see how walking on it is causing it any problems, I or kids don't weight near what the rainwater does. In addition to that I have to walk on it to place/remove the cover pump for rainwater. Now a few years down the road when it's obvious it's starting to deteriorate I may change my mind about the wear and tear concern. If mine were installed with exposed tracks and the cover draped down into the pool rubbing up against the coping I would be really concerned about increased abrasion from people walking on it for fun, but then I'd also be concerned every time i opened it or closed it.
 

sd72667

Well-known member
May 19, 2010
65
Evansville, IN
#4
I have the same issues with water temp as you do. If the water temp gets around 90-94, I also will turn the pump off, but for 24 hrs. I have a SWG, I never have issues with algae and I test regularly with the TF-100 . Usually the water temp drops to 86-88 when I leave the pump off for 24 hrs.
 

harleysilo

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 1, 2012
1,924
North Georgia
#5
sd72667 said:
I have the same issues with water temp as you do. If the water temp gets around 90-94, I also will turn the pump off, but for 24 hrs. I have a SWG, I never have issues with algae and I test regularly with the TF-100 . Usually the water temp drops to 86-88 when I leave the pump off for 24 hrs.
Thanks for the info. I've been afraid to turn the pump off for so long a period, but i think i'm going to try it and see how my Chlorine holds up. I test almost everyday as well.
 

harleysilo

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 1, 2012
1,924
North Georgia
#7
I should say any red you see is georgia red clay dust, everything is either alum or SS except the drum the ropes role up on, that appears to be steel. I need to spray it with food grade silicon per the installer.
 

MattM

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 14, 2011
303
San Diego, CA
#8
My take -- auto cover goes well when used with solar for primary heating and heat pump for backup heating. Solar can also be reversed to cool pool at night. Although, generally, if the pool is getting too hot during the day - I open the cover during the afternoon even if no one is swimming so that the pool will cool down due to afternoon breezes from the nearby ocean here in San Diego...and the increased aeration helps lower TA. I find that when the cover is kept on the pool too long, that TA changes tilt upwards but if I open up for 4-6hrs/day that TA tilts down.

The only things I hate about the cover are:
- My pool builder decided to create 40-50lb concrete lids for the cover and there are about 10 lids....so opening up the cover trench involves moving 400-500 lbs. And even though the lids are installed properly and balanced, they do tend to slightly move over time which means I have to spend a few minutes every few weeks moving them back.
- Cleaning -- I haven't found an easy simple way to clean the entire cover...but I've only had it for 6+ months.
 

harleysilo

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 1, 2012
1,924
North Georgia
#9
MattM said:
My take -- auto cover goes well when used with solar for primary heating and heat pump for backup heating. Solar can also be reversed to cool pool at night. Although, generally, if the pool is getting too hot during the day - I open the cover during the afternoon even if no one is swimming so that the pool will cool down due to afternoon breezes from the nearby ocean here in San Diego...and the increased aeration helps lower TA. I find that when the cover is kept on the pool too long, that TA changes tilt upwards but if I open up for 4-6hrs/day that TA tilts down.

The only things I hate about the cover are:
- My pool builder decided to create 40-50lb concrete lids for the cover and there are about 10 lids....so opening up the cover trench involves moving 400-500 lbs. And even though the lids are installed properly and balanced, they do tend to slightly move over time which means I have to spend a few minutes every few weeks moving them back.
- Cleaning -- I haven't found an easy simple way to clean the entire cover...but I've only had it for 6+ months.
Hi Matt, did you mean you haven't found an easy way to clean the cover? The way they told me to do it is pretty simple. Close cover, spray with Citrus cleaner from local big box store, scrub cover with nylon pool brush. Rinse cover while cover pump is on it and draining rinse water wherever it needs to go. Put old towel on brush and dry cover. Spray cover down with Aerospace 301 protectant. Done!

Sounds simple but also a little bit of work, probably take me 1-2 hours with drying time.
 

harleysilo

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 1, 2012
1,924
North Georgia
#12
I only took those close up photos because i was unhappy with the finish work on the coping. I like the look of all types of pools, but really wanted the autocover, and didn't want to have in the deck tracks for it.

There are several other auto cover owners here, if you made a thread asking for info i'm sure they'd eventually post in it. You could probably find them in searching however.
 

BQ

Well-known member
Jul 15, 2013
92
#13
IT's cost vs reward and I feel it's going to be the first off the chopping block for budget. Thanks again for the info.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,005
Evans, Georgia
#14
Every time I hear or read of a child drowning, I'm thankful we're in a position to have purchased our cover. My mind rests easy knowing children and animals can't enter the pool unattended. It is a huge weight off my mind, no worries!

Please consider how to budget for one if at all possible.
 

bmoreswim

Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 16, 2012
4,273
Central MD
#16
Good to hear from you!

Kind is surprised about the lifespan of your cover fabric? What did it look/feel like at that point? Do you use it as your winter cover? If so then the life seems much more reasonable to me.
 

harleysilo

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 1, 2012
1,924
North Georgia
#17
Used 24/7/365 for 5 years. I'll look for a picture. I never put any Aerospace protectant on it, I should, but would have to do it every 3 months or more often. A kids toe finally poked a hole in it while exiting the cover at the edge, the part that was out of water and receiving direct morning sunlight. It was grey, thin, and you could see frayed lines in the material (underneath the rubber coating). Hole turned into long rip very quickly. The cover was done on areas that hadnt been floating on the water which I thought was interesting.
 

bmoreswim

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TFP Guide
Jul 16, 2012
4,273
Central MD
#18
Great info. Thanks! And when I think about it, I'll probably spend the same overall. I have probably $3K in a winter cover and my autocover will probably last 10 years before replacement. But I also don't use it daily as you do.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,005
Evans, Georgia
#19
Did you go with Coverstar replacement or a generic one? My cover still seems fine after the same time as yours (they're the same age I believe?) although mine is not a Coverstar, rather it was installed by Pool Cover Specialists out of Charleston,SC.

Eventually I'm sure we'll need some maintenance on it but we've been slack in that department. Skippy does wash it off with car wash soap, long soft bristle push broom and rinses well with the cover pump on. And we rinse the tracks probably once a month. I dare not mention the neglect of the mechanics for fear of inviting trouble.......

Good to hear from you Harley :)

Maddie :flower:
 

harleysilo

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 1, 2012
1,924
North Georgia
#20
We want with the original installer which is a Coverstar installer/franchise/company. The guy who originally installed it told me to spray the tracks and everything under the lid with spray Silicone several times a year. I did this for a couple of years but stopped when I finished the 2 cans I originally bought. I still have a gallon of 303 Protectant I only used once, a lot of work to spray it down and then wipe it dry 4 times a year minimum which is why I never did it. I never considered getting an additional winter cover. I don't close our pool, but the pump will run for freeze protection sometimes for days at a time. I've considered turning my fenced in pool equipment area into a little shed but I've got the heat pump....I wonder how often I would need to circulate water to keep it from freezeing up in the winter, every 2,4,6,8 hours for 15 min? Of course missing the target would be a disaster.