Help! Can't decide - Pillow? or No Pillow?

MommaHuffman

Active member
Jul 28, 2020
30
Palmyra, PA
I live in Central PA. Our winters can be very cold as we get Nor'Easters and sometimes polar vortex. I see pools around me closing and some use a pillow and some do not. I've also read various threads here where people say it's a personal choice. My pool is a AGP 30' 22K gallons. They say a pillow helps with not allowing the ice that forms to push against pool walls. If that's the case, why isn't everyone using them? TIA
 

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
4,740
Fletcher, OK
Some use pillows that move around, deflate, and usually do not work that great... Some use nothing... Some use no pillow and use a cover pump to pump any water on the cover off and then some like me do not use a cover at all :)

If it were me and I used a cover I would use a pump, plug it in and call it a day :)

 

MommaHuffman

Active member
Jul 28, 2020
30
Palmyra, PA
It has nothing to do with the ice pushing on the sides as the ice will freeze under it.
GOOGLE: Air Pillows are a winter closing essential for above ground pools in colder climates. This rugged vinyl air pillow absorbs the pressure of freezing and thawing to protect the cover and walls of your pool. When your pool water freezes, the Air Pillow compresses to relieve pressure on your pool walls.
 

matasoj

Gold Supporter
Jul 1, 2020
8
Conesus, NY
Would rubber innertubes work in place of air pillows? Just thinking that the innertubes seem like a bit heavier of material and make keep their air better...
 

Wes_Clark

In The Industry
Oct 13, 2020
2
Connecticut
There seem to be a lot of questions about the purpose of an air pillow in this forum. The main reason for a pillow is for "ice compensation" on TOP of the cover. Many people think it's for the pool water, but it's not. The water, ice and snow accumulate on top of the cover, and if there is no pillow, the weight and pressure push out like a glacier towards the sides of the pool. Since the pool water is lower, there is a gap under the cover between the edge of the pool and where the cover reaches the top of the water, and the ice and snow push out, putting pressure on the cover and side walls. With an air pillow in the middle of the pool under the cover, the ice and snow can press in, compressing the air pillow and alleviate some of the pressure on the cover and pool walls. An added benefit is water and debris management in the spring. Having a pillow in the center sheds the water and leaves to the sides of the pool making it easier to clean and pump off. To help install the pillow and to keep it centered people in this forum have talked about using The Pool Pillow Pal.
 
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MJF54

In The Industry
Jul 5, 2014
38
Southeast, WI
I have not had luck with pillows or inner tubes. I have had the best success with a large vinyl exercise ball (24-30 inch I would guess). I leave it SLIGHTLY underinflated. Wes Clark is spot on with his advice on the purpose of the ball under the cover. When there is a few inches of water I use a portable sump pump and a garden hose to pump it out. The ball helps to pond the water to where it can be reached instead of filling the whole cover. Hope this made sense.
 
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