Pool pillows

CaptBP

New member
Sep 17, 2018
3
Palmyra
I'm new to the forum so if pool pillows are already a thread please bear with me. I have a 25' above ground pool. There is a deck around the pool making the pool level with the deck. In the winter the pool cover is anchored to the outer edge of the deck, not to the pool itself. Is a pool pillow necessary and if so what size would be best? Would a stretch of 3 4'X8' pillows be a problem? Would it be a problem to pull the cover tight enough over the pillows so that water and leaves ran off of the side? Does this even sound possible?

Thanks for any input anyone can share.
 

linda1

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2010
346
Western Pa.
I have the same type of set-up with the cover anchored to the outer edge of my deck that goes all the way around. I do not use a pillow, but I have a mesh strip that the water drains into the pool instead of sitting on the cover. Before the deck was built, I used a pillow and it deflated and was of no help.
 

danpik

TFP Guide
Jun 4, 2012
1,756
western NY
I think at some point everyone has tried some sort of system to keep the cover free of water and debris with varying success. The reality is, most pool covers are not designed to be stretched that tight. I used a pillow the first year I had my pool. By the end of fall it had totally deflated and the cover sank in the middle. The following year, I went to a locally owned hardware store that sells plastic food grade 55 gallon drums with screw in bungs. I have been using that barrel now for the past 15+ years as the center float for the winter cover. I don't worry about the water on the cover any more, just siphon it off once in a while. I do use a leaf net that I tension around the edges of the pool with bleach bottles filled with water. I take that off after the leaves have fallen.

Dan
 

mariane

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2012
1,137
Metro Detroit, Michigan
We never used the pillows but have on and off used "River Rafts" tied in place to hold the cover somewhat above the water. The only thing it seemed to do is make less "space" for the water to accumulate on top of the cover. After the snow thaw in the spring, it was easier to drain it. It seemed to have no effect on the "ice expansion" that people seem to worry about.
Have not decided yet whether we will use them this winter. I am still living in denial that I will have to close the pool soon.
Way too soon. :sad:
 

danpik

TFP Guide
Jun 4, 2012
1,756
western NY
When I was a kid, a loooooooong time ago, our neighbor used truck tire inner tubes to float his pool cover. we used them as floats during the summer too. Anyway, he said he had to put them in there to give the ice room to expand when the water froze. I could never understand the reasoning as the tubes essentially floated on top of the water and the ice formed under them but, I was a kid and figured he knew what he was talking about. His info came from another friends dad who had a DIY in ground concrete pool. He would not cover for the winter but used to put empty plastic jugs in the water for expansion. When ever we were there in the winter, we would see the jugs sitting on top of the ice. Again, what did we know, we were just kids.

When I got my pool people told me that the float I put in was for expansion. I said no, it is just to hold the center of the cover up so it doesn't pull in too hard on the sides when it fills up with junk and as Mariane said, it helps to drain the water off in the spring and it keeps the junk near the edge so I can shop vac it out in the spring.

Dan
 

CaptBP

New member
Sep 17, 2018
3
Palmyra
I'm liking this idea based on some research I've been doing. I already decided on the leaf net. Since I'm surrounded by trees I don't think a mesh pool cover is going to be much good for the water quality. How did you anchor the 55 gallon drum? I'm looking into getting one of those now.

I think at some point everyone has tried some sort of system to keep the cover free of water and debris with varying success. The reality is, most pool covers are not designed to be stretched that tight. I used a pillow the first year I had my pool. By the end of fall it had totally deflated and the cover sank in the middle. The following year, I went to a locally owned hardware store that sells plastic food grade 55 gallon drums with screw in bungs. I have been using that barrel now for the past 15+ years as the center float for the winter cover. I don't worry about the water on the cover any more, just siphon it off once in a while. I do use a leaf net that I tension around the edges of the pool with bleach bottles filled with water. I take that off after the leaves have fallen.

Dan
 

phonedave

Well-known member
May 30, 2012
841
Montville NJ
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
The pillow is supposed to give expanding ice a cushion to push into (instead of your walls).

I guess it does make sense, but even in the years my pillow has deflated, I still had no problems.

As others have said, it does help to move debris and rain water closer to the edge for easier removal.

As for stretching it tight enough to act as a roof ..... My wife's family still likes to tell the story of when my father in law constructed a series of PVC arches over their ABG oval pool. It worked wonderfully to keep the rain off. Then it snowed. Then my father in law (who luckily scuba dove back then as a hobby) had to put on his dry suit and remove a bunch of PVC pipe from the pool.

-dave
 

danpik

TFP Guide
Jun 4, 2012
1,756
western NY
I'm liking this idea based on some research I've been doing. I already decided on the leaf net. Since I'm surrounded by trees I don't think a mesh pool cover is going to be much good for the water quality. How did you anchor the 55 gallon drum? I'm looking into getting one of those now.

I tie a rope around the center of the barrel and tie ropes to each "side" of it to tie it off to the sides.

Dan
 
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