New winter cover - mesh or solid safety cover

NavyBear

Member
Jun 21, 2016
6
King of Prussia, PA
I've had a vinyl cover(s) on my pool for 20 years. The kind that you put on the water and weigh down the sides with water tubes.
It's time again for a new cover and i'm considering a safety cover - my choice is mesh or solid.

I live in south eastern PA.

I know the differences: water draining into the pool or not - clean water (with solid) - snow removal (with solid).
I have a significant pollen problem in the spring with many large maple and oak trees on my property. This creates a very thick goo on the pool cover each spring that takes forever for me and the Mrs. to get the cover off the pool and clean up everything.

If i choose the mesh cover, i know i will likely have green water and a significant amount of sediment on the bottom on opening day. This coming from a friend nearby that has a mesh cover and trees.

My question is this: with the mesh cover, when i open the pool, i'll vacuum the sediment into the sand filter.
Will i be able to backflush this sediment, sand, dirt, pollen out of the filter?

My water is crystal clear from opening day to closing day - all year long, i can't imagine opening it up to a swamp.

Any one have any comments that may help me with my decision? Mesh or solid?

Thank you in advance.
 

anotherpyr

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2007
70
Columbia, MD
You have 2 choices with solid. Solid with a drain or solid with a pump. I’ve always had the solid with a drain just because of the trees surrounding my pool. But then I tend to open my pool late and close it early.
 

NavyBear

Member
Jun 21, 2016
6
King of Prussia, PA
i saw those two choices. I'm looking at the one with the drain. just to avoid having to pump the cover every time it rains.
My concern is all the pollen getting in the water. And then getting into my sand filter and clogging that up.
 

rccarps2

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 6, 2015
118
PA
I have had a mesh since we put the pool in. Southeastern PA too. Merlin smart mesh, if I remember correctly. Never opened to a green pool. I do get a light coating of sediment (very fine) on the bottom when I open, but that is quickly picked up by my robot in a few days. I can count on one finger how many times I have actually manually vacuumed my pool. I think a lot of the sediment I get is wind blown under the edges of the cover, which I would see with any of the safety covers I went with.

In the spring, I can see the pollen collect on the cover in where the water soaks down through. Does the cover let some through? Probably. But a lot is caught on the covers surface and eventually blown away when dry.

I sit a auto on/off pump on the bench in my deep end to keep the water level under control. A few times a winter I will pop off a corner of the cover to check the water level.

If I had to replace my cover tomorrow, I would go with the mesh again.
 

NavyBear

Member
Jun 21, 2016
6
King of Prussia, PA
rccarps2,

Thank you for your post. I have a friend of the family that bought a house 3 yr ago with and pool and with a mesh cover. He's the one that alerted me with the sand/sediment/pollen story. He has a company come in and open the pool for him, but they won't touch the sediment at the bottom. He swears it takes 7-10 days to get clear water.

My floating pool cover keeps the water just fine and only takes me 2 days to be able to read the logo on the deep drain cover.

But as i said, the debris on the cover and the pollen makes such a soup on the cover that it takes forever to get the cover out of the pool without dumping the mess into the water. That and the water tubes take virtually all day (or more) for the two of us to open the pool.

i think i'll go with the solid cover with the center drain, if only for reducing the algae. It's a bit more $$ but should also cut down on the opening time a bit.

Thank you,
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
757
NY
rccarps2,

He has a company come in and open the pool for him, but they won't touch the sediment at the bottom. He swears it takes 7-10 days to get clear water.

I open to crystal clear water and an inch or so of grey silt on the bottom. It takes a good vaccum and its gone. Usually 2 passes is enough. Then i just have clear water.
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
5,327
Central MD
I have a Merlin Smartmesh cover and open to clear water with just some light debris on the bottom (and from 5 to 1000 worms on the bottom depending on the year). I run my robot with the rough filters a few times, then with both levels of filtration and the water is good to go. Maybe 24 hours of pump run time to finish it off. But it's clear to begin with and crystal clear within a day. I open in mid-April (and close late October). However I also have an autocover to keep on it when we or the dogs aren't using it early in the season. I also strongly suggest hairnets being used on your skimmer baskets during pollen season (or all year). During heaviest pollen season they may need changed daily, but it keeps the junk out of your filter.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
757
NY
I think a lot of the sediment I get is wind blown under the edges of the cover, which I would see with any of the safety covers I went with.
This is truth. I do my best to keep mine as tight as possible. Needs a few adjutments over the winter. Every last storm or Nor'Easter, all bets are off. The center raises a good 2 foot like a parachute and the edges raise a few inches while i watch the dirt from the patio, acorns, twigs, etc woosh right in. Even if im banjo tight with the springs, a 40+ mph gust will lift the cover every time.

I'm going to add this debate to the others that we are constantly re-hashing. Which brand equiptment to buy, filter style, pool build material, etc. Funnily enough, the answer is always the same. If the water is balanced properly, any of the above will work fine, with millions of people to attest for it. But we all have a cousin, or a friends neighbor, or a ..... lol yeah they probably had bad water to start and it got worse over the winter.

**obligatory best of luck with your cover of choice** (never want to see anybody fail)
 

Pool_Medic

In The Industry
Apr 1, 2018
953
Bangor Maine
Here a tip for safety cover owners. Get some 1/2” or 5/8” foam rope. Once your cover is secured down, stuff the foam rope under the cover all around the perimeter. Your issues of debris being blown under will end.
 

NavyBear

Member
Jun 21, 2016
6
King of Prussia, PA
NewDude,

Thanks for your story. So you have a lot of sediment, and you vacuum it up.
I'm guessing into your main filter.
That's another question. Doesn't that mess up a sand filter. I back wash mine at the beginning of every season and when i close. Will all that "sediment" get flushed out - along with all the pollen (that's my nemesis and my biggest fear - clogging up the filter).

Thank you,
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
757
NY
NewDude,

Thanks for your story. So you have a lot of sediment, and you vacuum it up.
I'm guessing into your main filter.
That's another question. Doesn't that mess up a sand filter. I back wash mine at the beginning of every season and when i close. Will all that "sediment" get flushed out - along with all the pollen (that's my nemesis and my biggest fear - clogging up the filter).

Thank you,

I’m sorry I don’t know. I have big cartridges so it’s different. While I don’t necessarily need to, I just clean them after a month or so at the start of the season to get rid of the opening crud and whatever pollen came down after opening. Really it’s just for my own piece of mind. Instead of draining the first 6 inches of water because I’m usually full to the brim at opening, i vacuum to waste and kill 2 birds with one stone. You could do the same and once you are at the right water level, if my understanding of your setup is correct, backwash anything that went into the filter.
 

anotherpyr

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2007
70
Columbia, MD
Here a tip for safety cover owners. Get some 1/2” or 5/8” foam rope. Once your cover is secured down, stuff the foam rope under the cover all around the perimeter. Your issues of debris being blown under will end.
Is this what you’re talking about?