Automatic Cover?

FOURACES

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May 27, 2020
8
Nassau County, NY
Finalizing our plans to install an inground pool. We are looking into an automatic pool cover for safety reasons. Someone who had one installed years ago said they’ve problems with theirs. I’m hoping the newer models are better. Anyone have any experiences with newer builds? Thank you.
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
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Ours is 7 years old so not so new. We’ve had a few issues, just like we do with our cars. And as with the cars, the fixes aren’t cheap. But I love having it.
 

Rocket J Squirrel

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Jun 7, 2018
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Alamo, CA
My under-track auto-cover was installed when my pool was built in 1988. It has been essentially problem-free for the 8 years I've owned the house. I highly recommend it. It keeps good stuff in and bad stuff out. Oh, and it's a safety feature. There, now I've counteracted the "someone" in the OP who reported problems.

The previous homeowners replaced the original motor and the vinyl. The vinyl will wear out over time, especially if it drags over any pool edges (coping or tile) which aren't smooth. I replaced the previously installed vinyl because it was developing pinholes which could not be patched. My auto-cover drags over the spa dam. When I refinished in 2018, I replaced the old edge tile with smooth rounded tile and haven't observed any pinholes yet.

[EDIT: above, I said previous owners replaced the motor, and now that I've looked more closely, I don't believe that was the case. Their receipt provided a quote for that, but it wasn't actually needed.]

If you have any specific questions, just ask.
 
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bmoreswim

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My under-track auto-cover was installed when my pool was build in 1988. It has been essentially problem-free for the 8 years I've owned the house. I highly recommend it. It keeps good stuff in and bad stuff out. Oh, and it's a safety feature. There, now I've counteracted the "someone" in the OP who reported problems.

The previous homeowners replaced the original motor and the vinyl. The vinyl will wear out over time, especially if it drags over any pool edges (coping or tile) which aren't smooth. I replaced the previously installed vinyl because it was developing pinholes which could not be patched. My auto-cover drags over the spa dam. When I refinished in 2018, I replaced the old edge tile with smooth rounded tile and haven't observed any pinholes yet.

If you have any specific questions, just ask.
So problem free perhaps, but for fair disclosure, I suspect a replacement vinyl was thousands and a motor probably a few also?
 

Rocket J Squirrel

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So problem free perhaps, but for fair disclosure, I suspect a replacement vinyl was thousands and a motor probably a few also?
Replacement vinyl (45' x 21.5'), including labor and all new ropes, pulleys, guides, & sliders, cost $2,191 in 2017. They basically replaced everything except the motor, reel, and vault. The new vinyl carries a 7 year limited warranty which is pro-rated during the 4th through 7th years.

Receipt from the previous homeowner shows $1,185 for cost of motor replacement in 2012. I don't believe they replaced the motor, though. Receipt says "inspect motor, replace only if needed," and the motor I inherited did not look new.
 
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bmoreswim

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Thanks for the numbers. That reminds me, I need to put some 303 Aerospace protectant on mine. I suspect the sides where it’s not in contact with the water will be the first to get brittle or get holes.
 

Rocket J Squirrel

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Thanks for the numbers. That reminds me, I need to put some 303 Aerospace protectant on mine. I suspect the sides where it’s not in contact with the water will be the first to get brittle or get holes.
Protectant will get in the water. Are you sure you want that?

In my case, pinholes developed from the bottom of the vinyl rubbing over abrasive tiles.
 

bmoreswim

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I’m not concerned about the small amount of protectant in 27K gallons. Using it makes me feel more comfortable than not.

I will look up the cost of our rope replacement as a data point for the OP. Ropes do break and need replacing. I chose not to make a DIY project out of it.
 

Rocket J Squirrel

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The only DIY I do is routine maintenance & lubrication. The worst part is cleaning out the vault. The pros handle all repairs and they're much better at it than I would be.

My biggest worry about the auto-cover is power failure during a storm. Then I can neither open the cover nor pump the rainwater off it. Rainwater weight could eventually rip the vinyl at the taut end.

And any prolonged power outage with the cover closed is problematic. There's no easy way to add chemicals and otherwise maintain the water. Maybe newer covers are easier to open manually, but mine would present a problem. For some reason, there's no hand crank. A generator would solve all this, but I don't have one.
 

FOURACES

Member
May 27, 2020
8
Nassau County, NY
Replacement vinyl (45' x 21.5'), including labor and all new ropes, pulleys, guides, & sliders, cost $2,191 in 2017. They basically replaced everything except the motor, reel, and vault. The new vinyl carries a 7 year limited warranty which is pro-rated during the 4th through 7th years.

Receipt from the previous homeowner shows $1,185 for cost of motor replacement in 2012. I don't believe they replaced the motor, though. Receipt says "inspect motor, replace only if needed," and the motor I inherited did not look new.
Great info. Thank you
 

bmoreswim

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To open a Coverstar, you use a breaker bar and a 3/4” square adapter. Then you get a workout over the next 10 minutes to crank it open. When my rope broke, I cut the other one knowing I would replace both and cranked it open.

On mine, with no power to a pump, the water would just raise up a few inches at most, pretty much fully supported by the water, until it spilled over the dam wall. The leading bar hasn’t deflected in those cases. It’s done this several times when I forgot to place the pump on it. Thankfully none the less for wear. Certainly designs and setups could be different.
 

Poolhand

New member
Jan 3, 2017
1
Winston-Salem, NC 27106
Finalizing our plans to install an inground pool. We are looking into an automatic pool cover for safety reasons. Someone who had one installed years ago said they’ve problems with theirs. I’m hoping the newer models are better. Anyone have any experiences with newer builds? Thank you.
Had automatic pool cover installed when underground pool built 2009. Have had to replace once due to tears. Current cover has a few patches. Highly recommend for safety and to keep debris out. In neighborhood there are a lot of trees and with wind blow on cover constantly, even in summer. Have city required fencing but when leaving house for a full day,etc. this is one safety feature I would not do without with a lot of young children in area. To reduce cleaning vault/well often and resulting cost my wife or I sweep off the cover before opening it. Like the oil commercial, pay be now or pay me later...Have not had to hire anyone to clean out vault yet and my go to pool person (installed cover and does minor repairs) said that if everyone cleaned off cover like I do that would be one less job & money for him. RK
 
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sean.a.hyde

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2018
114
Pittsburgh, PA
Finalizing our plans to install an inground pool. We are looking into an automatic pool cover for safety reasons. Someone who had one installed years ago said they’ve problems with theirs. I’m hoping the newer models are better. Anyone have any experiences with newer builds? Thank you.
I love my Autocover. I would never have a pool without one at this point, and that's with the track-mounted system since I installed it on an existing pool -- not even a nice under-coping system. You can find my other posts on it.
Safety. Safety. Safety. I don't ever think about my kids running the backyard. I don't worry about my neighbor's kids (even though I have a fence).
Limits evaporation.
Keeps heat in (actually heats the water too when there is a lot of sun).
Keeps UV exposure to a minimum. My chlorine demand is like 1.5 ppm even though my CYA is only 50-60.
Keeps debris out. I have a robot that I actually leave in the water all the time (not sure if this is a good idea, but 🤷‍♂️). It is usually practically empty when I check it.

I did have a coworker who had to replace is button pad after about a year. So far so good on mine.
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
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I did also replace the button Wifi keypad when it failed. Replaced with a standard momentary contact style switch. I had never used the wifi anyway.