First Time Closing with Auto Cover Questions

Stopltracr

New member
Sep 5, 2020
4
Andover, KS
I have an in ground vinyl pool with an auto cover with recessed tracks. Is it safe to use the auto cover for the winter cover? Since it’s recessed I can’t add sand bags to it. There is a small gap at the forward side corners that will probably let a little bit of Crud in. The pool closing company said it’s up to me if I use the auto cover, or cover the whole thing with a tarp and use water tubes.
What do you all do and recommend?
 

Rocket J Squirrel

Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2018
1,509
Alamo, CA
Pool Size
36000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
It depends. Will you do a full close, including lowering the water below the skimmers? If so, you can't use the auto-cover. The auto-cover needs to be supported by water. Without that support, the cover will sag and stretch under its own weight. In this case, you need to leave the auto-cover open and use a different winter cover.

If you plan to keep the pool running over the winter, you can use the auto-cover.
 
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Stopltracr

New member
Sep 5, 2020
4
Andover, KS
It depends. Will you do a full close, including lowering the water below the skimmers? If so, you can't use the auto-cover. The auto-cover needs to be supported by water. Without that support, the cover will sag and stretch under its own weight. In this case, you need to leave the auto-cover open and use a different winter cover.

If you plan to keep the pool running over the winter, you can use the auto-cover.
They said that they leave the pool full, but blow out and cap the lines and skimmer. So the water level will be full all winter, if that makes sense.
 

JodieM

Silver Supporter
Jul 18, 2013
484
Brownsburg, IN
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Truclear / Ei
We use our auto cover as the winter cover here in Indiana. We do not lower our pool water level, we use gizmos in the skimmers to absorb the pressure of the freezing water. Our snow melt and winter rains do increase the pool water level a little bit.
You can, if it bothers you to subject your auto cover to the elements, just put a winter tarp over the auto cover for protection and use water bags to hold the tarp in place. Whatever you choose, don’t forget to use a cover pump!
 

Foxfirefx

New member
Dec 31, 2018
4
Vancouver, Canada
Pool Size
5500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-3)
With an auto cover, you can lower the water level to about 1-2” below the skimmer. There’s enough slack in the cover to accommodate this and still be support in case of water or snow on top.
 

jeflogan

Gold Supporter
May 23, 2012
121
Urbandale/IA
Pool Size
19600
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I have an auto cover and did not drain mine we used pool noodles to absorb the freeze. I am going to use milk jugs this year.
 

stevepoint

Member
Apr 29, 2021
6
Waterloo ON
I’m in the same situation this year, first time closing and going to use my automatic cover. I’m reading conflicting information on whether to keep the skimmer open or sealed with a skimmer plug. One article said to leave it open with two gallon jugs inside, so you can use the skimmer to monitor the water level during the winter without opening the cover — this makes sense to me as you always want it to keep at the right level to support the cover and the tracks could be frozen you’d never want to open it. Then other articles say to use a skimmer plug to keep the pool water level. I’m leaning toward keeping it open with a gizmo and a pool noodle in a u shape around the gizmo through the skimmer opening to hold it open.

Any thoughts? Sealed or open? Also re OP above what did you end up doing?