Mesh Pool Cover Questions

Jun 7, 2016
6
SE PA
We are looking to purchase our first pool cover. We have an inground plaster pool, 19x44. Because of the pool's size we are leaning towards a mesh cover. We have it professionally opened and closed each year in early May and October. We are located in SE Pennsylvania so we are prone to freeze/thaw cycles and occasional heavy snows. All that said, I have two questions:
1) we are planning to have our pool renovated in a few years--perhaps two years, with new coping and maybe Ecofinish or just replastered. Right now we have the old fashioned coping with the lip and I would like to switch to a flat, flush coping. Can the cover be adjusted for this? I attached a pic of our coping shape--I think ours is a little more dramatic lip.

2) Our pool has tile around the edge. Right now we use a heavy plastic tarp with weights and drain to the first step (approx six inches below the skimmer). We are leaning towards the mesh cover because my husband hates battling with the cover pump every PA winter. Besides having to clear heavy snowfall off the cover, do you need to monitor water levels during the winter? It seems some people with mesh covers monitor their waters and pump water out to keep it below skimmers/tile level while others just let it go.
 

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wireform

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Aug 15, 2017
2,085
Spring Valley, NY
To answer the first question, renovating the pool will still have it at the same dimensions therfore this cover will work as long as the pool deck is remaining or even if pool deck is replaced then you'd need new anchors put into new deck .
For your second question, mesh covers are good and one needs to take advantage of a January thaw to pump out water that has risen up to that point making more room for the next couple of months rain and snow keeping it below the tile line if at all possible.
 
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Jun 7, 2016
6
SE PA
To answer the first question, renovating the pool will still have it at the same dimensions therefore this cover will work as long as the pool deck is remaining or even if pool deck is replaced then you'd need new anchors put into new deck .
For your second question, mesh covers are good and one needs to take advantage of a January thaw to pump out water that has risen up to that point making more room for the next couple of months rain and snow keeping it below the tile line if at all possible.
Thank you, I appreciate the reply. We have a concrete deck surrounding that will be staying (hopefully!), we would just be replacing the coping around the pool as it original from when pool was built (1980s, we suspect) and is in bad shape. I would like to switch to a flat coping but we have not even gotten quotes yet so that may not even be a possibility.

That's good to know. It isn't a problem for us to go out when we get a warm spell and unhook the cover by our steps and pump the water out down to our first step. That is about four inches below our skimmers and where we take it for closing. That seems like a fair trade off with the constant battle with the pump all winter, which as my husband says, always breaks at the worst possible time.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
2,085
Spring Valley, NY
One thing I need to make you aware of is I've seen this scenario on more then one occasion that is , when a pool is higher then the surrounding ground say a hill on one side and just picture it now. You have a pump in the pool say the floor of the shallow and then have a long enough hose that terminates at ground level which is lower then the shallow floor. So you run the pump say an hour and then just simply unplug it to stop the pump figuring you'll get back to it in a few hours or even the next day to close things back up. Well guess what you find when you look into the pool to check the water level. The water is pumpd out to the floor level regardless if you unplugged it because it continues to drain via siphoning effect till it gets air and runs out of water.
If you have this same scenario make sure the hose goes over a fence and then down this way it can't siphon when unplugged.
 

bmoreswim

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Also no need to remove heavy snowfall from the cover. Nature always removes it. Unless you need to get rid of some snow during a warm spell to open a corner and insert the pump, if water is not frozen.
 

Bperry

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Aug 20, 2020
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Knoxville, TN
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We used a mesh cover for the first time and got lots of rain during winter that kept filling it back up. I tried pumping it out at first but then realized siphoning it out would work just as good and not force me to fumble around in a rainstorm trying to plug in an electric pump. The siphon method allows you to place the end of the hose at the level where the water needs to drop to and the siphon will stop automatically once it gets down to that level.

I was able to make a cheap siphon setup with a couple garden hoses and a garden hose “TEE” that I hook up to my backyard hose that’ll start the siphon automatically by just turning on the hose water for a few seconds.
 
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Homebrewale

Well-known member
Apr 21, 2020
423
Apex, NC
I don't have any concerns with water in the winter since I have an overflow tube on the pool that will drain away excess water.
 

anthonypool89

Gold Supporter
Aug 26, 2016
644
Berks County, PA
We are looking to purchase our first pool cover.

I might suggest - as wireform alluded to - that you have anchors put in the deck with a custom-made cover that attaches to them. It's surely the most expensive option, but is so nice to work with. I'm on my second one. Used to use a solid cover with water tubes all around the pool to hold it in place. I don't miss any of that. The type of cover I'm referring to stays flat and taut across the entire pool. You wouldn't need any weights to hold it in place. Check out something like Meyco Covers. Then, when the pool is opened, the top portion of the anchors simply screw flush with the deck.

Upon opening, my cover folds up to a small enough size to easily store. During the winter, I not only monitor the water level, as has already been mentioned, but also periodically pop off enough of the spring-loaded cover straps to pull back about 1/4 of the cover and then I check the pH, TA, and CH. If the saturation index is in either the etching or scaling zone, I adjust the pH accordingly to rebalance, agitate the water around real well, and then reattach the cover. It's always a good idea to keep the water level below the tiles in case the water would freeze (doesn't seem to be happening much anymore - probably the only positive aspect of global warming, at least relative to owning a pool).

Being that the anchors are placed far enough away from the pool coping (unless you have very little decking), your thoughts of what coping to use for a renovation have no bearing on the type of cover I'm referring to. One does not interfere with the other. Our pool had the original type of coping that you refer to, and then we went with a bull-nosed edge when the pool was renovated 6 years ago (to be honest I still sort of like the look of that larger edge - but then I got used to seeing it for 25 years).

Best of luck with whatever you decide.
 
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mikefamig

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2017
314
Connecticut
I came up with a way to deal with the pool filling up with water during the winter season with a mesh cover. I install a small sump pump on the staircase of the pool just below the level that you want to maintain. The pump has a garden hose connected to it to carry the water away from the pool. Then I installed a floating sump pump switch in the skimmer cover, the float just fits in my skimmer basket alongside the Gizmo drain plug. Then just plug the pump into the switch and plug the switch into an AC outlet.

Once installed you need to adjust the float to maintain the water level that you want. The pump and switch stay out all winter and have survived a solid freeze more than once here but you want to make sure that you do not let the pump run while the water is frozen. I keep it powered up until ice begins to form on the surface and then power it off until springtime.

This system is not maintenance free but it is great in large storms or when we get days of rain. It has saved me lots of pain in the springtime here in New England.

Mike.
 

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