cheapo cover advice

vapool

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 2, 2007
79
Just talked to the pool builder today -- the chemicals are all balanced, plaster's all brushed, and he says its time to close for the winter. We're waiting until next season to get the LoopLoc -- mostly because our budget was blown with the excavation -- so we just need something cheap to get us through the rest of this winter. PB suggested just tarp and cinder blocks...the only tarp large enough to cover the pool that I could find (at least on short notice) is only 5 mil thick. Is this thick enough to withstand a Virginia winter (we can have anywhere from half an inch to a foot and a half of snow, depending on the winter). I'm mostly concerned about my 40-pound dog decided to try to walk across it...would/should it hold that weight if securely anchored? I asked PB about leaving it uncovered, but he's afraid it would ruin the plaster (3M). Any insights or ideas? THanks

(I should add that PB will be opening and preparing pool in spring as well, part of the purchase, so I really don't care a whole lot about how much algae and junk he has to fight in the process!)
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
I don't know if 5 mil plastic will work or not, thought I suspect that it might last one winter. But do not use cinder blocks! What ever you use to hold the cover down is sure to go into the pool at some point and I would rather not see a cinder block in the pool.

Generally the cover is placed directly on the surface of the water and the water holds it up. You can't anchor a cheap cover the way a Lop-loc cover is anchored, it needs to sit down on the water. It wouldn't be a great idea for a dog to try and walk on it as it will just sink down under their paws and then probably get ripped by their claws.

You can get regular pool covers, along with water bags to hold them down, very quickly via the Internet. A couple of vendors have covers for next day delivery in various sizes.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,591
SW Indiana
Your dog will go through anything but a Loop-Loc style cover. If you try to use a tarp, it will get covered with water, presenting a drowning hazard, and anything that gets on top will pull the blocks into the pool. Solid covers have to be pumped off for safety. Imagine trying to free yourself from a tarp wrapped around you under water. There are mesh covers that are in the "few hundred dollar" range, but they can be tricky to get to hold in high wind at first.

Personally, I'd suck it up and go for the safety cover if you can. You'll sleep better. No worries about fishing a dead dog out of the cover, or worse yet a neighbor kid. I bought mine and installed it in a few evenings at a total cost of about $1400, which included a hammer drill and bit.
 

98xc600

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2007
148
Southern MN
You can spend a few dollars on a cheap cover now and wait to buy the right cover next year, but what's that cover going to cost next year? I'm sure it'll cost more next year, plus now you have to add the price of the cheep cover you wasted money on this year. hopefully you don't need to figure in the price of a lost pet or a lost life. Just my way of thinking??
 

joenj

Well-known member
May 10, 2007
80
Mantua, NJ
vapool said:
(I should add that PB will be opening and preparing pool in spring as well, part of the purchase, so I really don't care a whole lot about how much algae and junk he has to fight in the process!)
Are you sure the PB will be coming back after opening to fight the algae? Usually they just install hardware, remove cover and dump a startup chemical kit. The vacuum, cleanup is on you.
 

vapool

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 2, 2007
79
Thanks everyone for all of your advice. I'm really not sure what to do...as far as getting the Loop-Loc now, it's more a matter of time than $$ since it takes about 3 weeks or so to order (or so I've been told). JasonLion -- I feel more comfortable knowing that the cover will rest on the water rather than be flush with the deck, since my dog would not jump down onto a tarp (at least I don't think so, though I don't want to give her too much credit for having a brain!). Still, I think I'd be much more comfortable leaving the pool uncovered altogether.... PB is coming today, so I'll talk with him some more. Thanks again
 
G

Guest

One of my dogs almost drowned because she thought she could walk on the solar cover. even though it was almost a foot below the deck floating on the surface of the water. I am glad that I was with her and was able to fish her out as soon as she fell in. I stopped using a solar cover after that. I'd rather have a cold pool than a dead best friend!

If you are closing it up get the loop loc!
 

Hotrod30

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Dec 22, 2007
504
Central New York
waterbear said:
One of my dogs almost drowned because she thought she could walk on the solar cover. even though it was almost a foot below the deck floating on the surface of the water. I am glad that I was with her and was able to fish her out as soon as she fell in. I stopped using a solar cover after that. I'd rather have a cold pool than a dead best friend!

If you are closing it up get the loop loc!

I never thought my dog would step on the solar cover either. But something caught her eye and out she went onto the cover. I was right there also but had a heck of a time getting her out. She won't even go near the side of the pool now.


So vapool, what did you finally do? If you didn't get a LoopLoc for this winter, get one for next winter. They are worth the piece of mind; even if you have a fence.
 
G

Guest

Hotrod30 said:
waterbear said:
One of my dogs almost drowned because she thought she could walk on the solar cover. even though it was almost a foot below the deck floating on the surface of the water. I am glad that I was with her and was able to fish her out as soon as she fell in. I stopped using a solar cover after that. I'd rather have a cold pool than a dead best friend!

If you are closing it up get the loop loc!

I never thought my dog would step on the solar cover either. But something caught her eye and out she went onto the cover. I was right there also but had a heck of a time getting her out. She won't even go near the side of the pool now.


So vapool, what did you finally do? If you didn't get a LoopLoc for this winter, get one for next winter. They are worth the piece of mind; even if you have a fence.
i have a looploc but i dont see really how it helps safty wise. if enough weight ( i threw a 40 pound bag of sand on the cover) and it filled up with a foot of water. i dont see how really thats gunna stop somebody from drowning when you cant really get up since the cover is so loose., and those guys put these things on TIGHT. is somthing not right with mine, or is that normal and i need to get a safty net now too.
 

Hotrod30

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Dec 22, 2007
504
Central New York
I know when the dog went in the solar cover kind of wrapped right around her. The more the dog struggled the worse it was. I had to go in after her but luckily it was in the shallow end.

With the LoopLoc it won't wrap around you. Yes, it will sink into the water some with a persons weight; but I would think an adult could crawl off it. A young child would at least be held up and not covered by the cover.
I never believed the elephant picture.
 
G

Guest

My dog went under the cover! I had to jump in and push the cover back. She almost drowned!
 

ivyleager

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 6, 2007
496
Raleigh-Durham,NC
Rollin Thunder said:
i have a looploc but i dont see really how it helps safty wise. if enough weight ( i threw a 40 pound bag of sand on the cover) and it filled up with a foot of water. i dont see how really thats gunna stop somebody from drowning when you cant really get up since the cover is so loose., and those guys put these things on TIGHT. is somthing not right with mine, or is that normal and i need to get a safty net now too.
My rescue 45 lb English Springer Spaniel on her first day in the yard was so excited that she saw us going into the house and just had to take the shortest route back to the house. That took her directly over the loop-lock mesh cover over our IG pool. Sure, her feet got wet and she sank a bit into the water, but it held her weight enough for her to comfortably walk diagonally across a 18x36 pool.

The cost of a loop-lock cover: $1500
The look on my dog's face: PRICELESS!!!!


Either get the safety cover, or don't use anything. JMHO.

CaryB
 

vapool

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 2, 2007
79
Sorry for not posting back until now, but just wanted to update that we DID get the Loop-Loc, and it arrived just a week or two later (much faster than we thought). Am SO glad we went with it.... Until it was installed I wouldn't let my dog out unless I was right there with her to chase her away from the pool. First week that the Loop-Loc was in place she marched right out into the middle of it....and pooped. The cover sinks a little with her weight, kinda like a trampoline, but not enough to go deep into the water. I, meanwhile, have not yet gathered up the courage to go out and retrienve the poop (fortunately it's frozen)!
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,591
SW Indiana
vapool said:
First week that the Loop-Loc was in place she marched right out into the middle of it....and pooped.

:lol:

Loop-Loc (or similar safety cover)= Peace of mind in my book.

When the cover goes on, you no longer have to worry about the pool. The best part is you saved whatever money and time you'd have spent on a cheap cover.
 

19redwings

Well-known member
Apr 14, 2008
120
Late to the game here....

We have 2 labs. 75# and 65#. They see the looploc cover as their own personal play area. Had really great warm weather up until yesterday and they go out and lay down on it to get cooled off. When they are side by side in the center it dips down about 9" into the water.

Also sent our 11 yr old out on it (we were standing by) to pick up the hundred or so rocks that they carried out on it. No problems!

Should be opening 5/10. Want two weeks of sun to warm it before I hit it with heat for Memorial day!