Mesh Safety Cover - Max Water Level Before Winter

gmason86

Bronze Supporter
May 13, 2017
46
Ontario, Canada
I just had a quick question. With safety covers, is there a maximum height the water should be? Ours is a Latham mesh safety cover. Pool is a vinyl liner.

We've had a LOT of rain this year since the pool was closed, certainly more than last year. When I last measured it in early November, it was around 13 inches from the pool deck (and obviously a little closer to the top of the liner). I was told the magic number for this cover is 12 inches that it needs to get up to (so it doesn't stretch too much with snow on it and can rest on the water), and I have no doubt it'll have reached that (or higher!) already if I went and measured today, given there's been a bunch of rain since I last measured.

My concern is over the water level getting too high before the big freeze happens if we continue to see a lot of rain. Obviously you don't want the water to be right up at the pool deck when the freeze happens (I know that's an extreme example) so it doesn't expand over the edge and go in behind the liner. So I'm assuming there's a certain level I shouldn't let it rise above.

Is there a highest I should let it get before considering pumping out a bit of water? e.g. would 10 inches be too high? What about 9, 8, 7, etc.? Or should it be below the skimmer inlet, or something like that?

I did quickly ask the guys that installed the safety cover and they said as long as it was winterized properly, then there's no problem with it going closer to the pool deck than 12 inches because it just means the cover won't have as far to stretch.

I thought I'd just ask you if you had an opinion on that? I'd obviously rather not go pump any water out (I do have a sump pump), but I will if it'll damage the pool if it's too high).

Thanks!

Graham.
 

HiddenRiver

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 15, 2017
323
East Coventry, PA
I think the best practice is to keep the water level below the skimmer no matter how well winterized the pool is. This year it has been a challenge in PA to keep the water levels low. We have a small pump and we loosen/open the corner of the safety cover and pump water out. The previous owner would just start a siphon and this would lower the water level without a pump.
 

gmason86

Bronze Supporter
May 13, 2017
46
Ontario, Canada
Thanks!

Any particular reason why they suggest that?

I went out and measured. It's approx 8.5 inches from the top of the liner and approx 11 inches from the pool deck and safety cover. It's just above the entrance to the skimmer, so there is water in the skimmer.

Amazon Drive

The photos in the link above show where it currently is.

So it sounds like you're suggesting I should lower it a bit. I can easily do what you suggested by throwing in the little pump.

How much would you lower it by?

Would you get the water out of the skimmer? It's obviously only up to the height of the mouth. It does have the plastic bottle thing that plugs the line. The pump itself probably wouldn't fit in there... I guess with a mesh Safety cover, water could always get in the skimmer because the lid isn't water tight.

Thanks!

Graham.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
8,824
Northern NJ
With a plaster pool you want to keep the water below the tile line so that water does not freeze behind the tiles and crack them.

Liner pools do not have a tile line so less of an issue. I would keep the water below the skimmer plastic for similar reasons as tiles.
 

gmason86

Bronze Supporter
May 13, 2017
46
Ontario, Canada
With a plaster pool you want to keep the water below the tile line so that water does not freeze behind the tiles and crack them.

Liner pools do not have a tile line so less of an issue. I would keep the water below the skimmer plastic for similar reasons as tiles.
Thanks!

How much would you lower it by? A couple inches below the skimmer opening or more? Or do you mean the whole faceplate of the skimmer, rather than just the opening?

Would you get the water out of the skimmer? It's obviously only up to the height of the mouth. It does have the plastic bottle thing that plugs the line. The pump itself probably wouldn't fit in there... I guess with a mesh Safety cover, water could always get in the skimmer because the lid isn't water tight.

Thanks!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
8,824
Northern NJ
Lower the water below the whole skimmer faceplate. How much you lower it depends how much more rain you think will get in the pool.

You dont have to get water out of the skimmer. Any ice forming in the skimmer has room to rise without breaking anything.
 

HiddenRiver

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 15, 2017
323
East Coventry, PA
Thanks!

Any particular reason why they suggest that?

I went out and measured. It's approx 8.5 inches from the top of the liner and approx 11 inches from the pool deck and safety cover. It's just above the entrance to the skimmer, so there is water in the skimmer.

Amazon Drive

The photos in the link above show where it currently is.

So it sounds like you're suggesting I should lower it a bit. I can easily do what you suggested by throwing in the little pump.

How much would you lower it by?

Would you get the water out of the skimmer? It's obviously only up to the height of the mouth. It does have the plastic bottle thing that plugs the line. The pump itself probably wouldn't fit in there... I guess with a mesh Safety cover, water could always get in the skimmer because the lid isn't water tight.

Thanks!

Graham.
Graham-

The most important reason to keep water away from skimmers is due to the expansion of water when it freezes that could play havoc with potentially the inside of pipes and small cracks or spaces where expanding water/ice could be a problem. I have a plaster pool and it is winterized with plugs and such but if water is allowed to seep into the winterized pipes (unfrozen water) there could be a big problem when it freezes/expands.

You have a liner and I am unsure if the potential issues are similar, but better safe than sorry I think! You guys also won’t have the freeze -thaw cycle we have farther south so this might also be why it is more important here in PA to keep water out of the pipes and skimmers and tiles.
 

gmason86

Bronze Supporter
May 13, 2017
46
Ontario, Canada
Lower the water below the whole skimmer faceplate. How much you lower it depends how much more rain you think will get in the pool.

You dont have to get water out of the skimmer. Any ice forming in the skimmer has room to rise without breaking anything.
Thanks! Will get it done soon.

- - - Updated - - -

Graham-

The most important reason to keep water away from skimmers is due to the expansion of water when it freezes that could play havoc with potentially the inside of pipes and small cracks or spaces where expanding water/ice could be a problem. I have a plaster pool and it is winterized with plugs and such but if water is allowed to seep into the winterized pipes (unfrozen water) there could be a big problem when it freezes/expands.

You have a liner and I am unsure if the potential issues are similar, but better safe than sorry I think! You guys also won’t have the freeze -thaw cycle we have farther south so this might also be why it is more important here in PA to keep water out of the pipes and skimmers and tiles.
Makes sense!

Thank you.