replace mesh safety cover with solid

martypres

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 15, 2010
17
Central Maryland
I currently have a Loop Loc mesh safety cover. The cover is 7-8 years old and in decent shape. I like many things about the cover but the light penetration causes severe algae problems in the spring. The pool is located in an area with intense direct sunlight year round. Every year when I open its a Shrek swamp. I even tried closing the pool in November and opening in early April with the same result.

I think a solid safety cover would be my best option for replacement, and am open to either solid with cover pump or the mesh drainage panel version. My preference would be one with the mesh panel since my house has a well and I would like to continue to fill the pool with rain water. But I don't want to run into the same problem with algae. Given my past experience I am reluctant to have a cover with any mesh even though I hear some of the new mesh blocks most sunlight. Does anyone have experience with these hybrid type covers and can verify that they prevent algae blooms?

Another consideration is possible reuse of existing anchors from the Loop Loc cover. Could a different safety cover use the same anchors that I currently have? Not looking forward to installing another set of anchors. Does each vendor have a different anchor system in terms of type and placement of anchors? Could an Ultra Loc cover use the same anchors? Also looking at Hyper-Light covers but open to other options as well. The pool is 20X40 with roman-end center steps. Thanks for your help.
 

X-PertPool

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
1,385
Exeter, PA
I sell and install loop-loc covers. I would recommend the ultra-loc II cover with the mesh drain panels. All of the pools with these covers installed have opened completely algae free. When you remove the cover there will be a grey-ish silt on the bottom of the pool where the drain panels funnel the water, other than that it's completely clear and clean. The anchors for a standard loop-loc and an ultra-loc WILL line up. Although you will probably need to drill a total of 4 more anchors since the ultra-locs are heavier; there will be 2 more anchors along the long side of the cover. I haven't sold any ultra-locs with out the drain panels as I don't want to worry about an automatic pump breaking down, regardless the ultra-loc w/ drain panels works great at keeping the water clear. There are a couple disadvantages though, the covers are heavier which is more noticeable as you get into bigger pool sizes like yours. (2 man lift) Also since the cover works by funneling the water towards the middle drain panels you need to adjust the spring tension on the cover so that a slight dip forms in the middle of the cover. You can test to make sure the cover is working correctly by running a garden hose on each corner of the cover to make sure all the water drains towards the panels and no puddles form. Also since the cover will have a slight sag to it you need to make sure that the water level in the pool doesn't get too high and start forming a puddle in the middle of the cover as this will let leaves stick to the cover and start to spoil the water. Also, (although this has only happened twice) I have had an ultra-loc with drain panels clog. The first case the panels clogged for an unknown reason and had to be sent back for repair (loop-loc gave an option of cleaning or changing the panels, with no guarantee the cleaning would work) we eventually made the assumption that concrete construction around the pool allowed some type of cement dust to clog the panels. The other case of the panels clogging was a customer who has an extreme amount of pollen yearly; this pollen coats everything in the yard with a cotton-like pollen that clogs the panels (although in this case brushing the areas would allow the panels to drain again). To sum things up, if you want a algae-free pool opening go with an ultra-loc w/mesh drain panels
 

danbutter

Well-known member
May 3, 2009
105
I'll pretty much second what Kevin told you from my own experience.
I got the solid (no drain panels because I figured what the heck is the point of some solid, but not all.) because my neighbor had the same issue you are having with shrek in the spring. Problem I had was after only a few months my cover pump broke down so I had a good month plus of a pool on my pool that I couldn't drain while I waited for rule (company that made pump) to take their sweet time getting my replacement pump to me.
At least we had some helpful ducks come eat the mosquito larvae for us.
We opened to crystal clear water though!
 

martypres

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 15, 2010
17
Central Maryland
Thanks for the recommendation. Due to the expected ease of installation I'm definitely leaning toward the ultra loc cover. I assume that other cover brands would not be able to reuse the loop loc anchors.

It sounds like the solid covers without drain panels can be a pain and potential hazard if the pump stops working. I have small children so that's definitely a factor. Just want to make sure that the mesh panels don't allow enough light in to allow algae problems, since that's the main reason why I'm getting the new cover. The Loop Loc website indicates that only the fully solid cover blocks 100% of sunlight. Does anyone else have personal experience with the hybrid (solid w/ mesh drain) covers and can testify that they prevent algae blooms? Perhaps a better question: Has anyone had algae problems with the mesh drain panels?
 

X-PertPool

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
1,385
Exeter, PA
It's possible some other cover manufacturers could line up with the anchors you have installed but you'd have to do a lot of measuring to make sure.
 

waste

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
Coastalish 'down easter'
Welcome to TFP!!

Kevin knows the Loop locs far better than I. However, many manufacturers now make a tighter 'sunblock' mesh weave that allows the best of both the solid and mesh covers. The pools open very clean and clear.

Just throwing out another option for you (solid covers are HEAVY and have to be thoroughly dried before storing) :cool:
 

bk406

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2009
2,690
Central Massachusetts
Well, I have one of the new Loop-Loc mesh thats lets in minimal light. In fact, the weave is so tight, it takes several hours to drain water through after a rain. I closed last Columbus day and opened April 20th and had nothing but clear water. I actually thought about getting one with the solid/mesh drain panels (didnt want the totally solid because of the weight and didnt want t ohassle with a pump). But, my pool builder said that he didnt recommend it for New England, and that even Loop-loc told him that they would hesitate to recommend them to people who have heavy snow and below freezing temps for weeks at a time like we can have, and do. He said that they just dont work that well under those conditions. YMMV in Maryland, however.
 

X-PertPool

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
1,385
Exeter, PA
I wasn't actually too impressed with the new loop-loc II cover. I held an original loop-loc sample and a loop-loc II sample up to a light and didn't see a huge difference between how much light was blocked. I was pushing ultra-loc w/ mesh drain panels ever since we saw how well it worked on a pool that was closed for several seasons and the water remained clear. I sold some loop-loc II's and they had some algae in them on the opening, the water wasn't opaque green but it definitely formed on the walls and floor. I can't really speak for any other manufacturer, but I think I might grab some samples from as many companies as i can and see if I could set up an experiment to see how much light is blocked by each cover maybe by using a light meter and measuring the results in lumens. Which reminds me while we are on the topic of light blocking covers I remember seeing a special black "solar cover" that you would put on the pool when you close it that would block sunlight that the safety cover would let it, never actually used it or heard of anyone who has though.

attached are some rough light tests of the covers
 

Attachments

X-PertPool

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
1,385
Exeter, PA
Ultra Loc II w/ Mesh drain panels (very close to light) Uh Oh, could we be taking a step backwards in light penetration?


couldn't fit any more pictures on that last post.
 

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PoolGuyNJ

TFP Expert
May 20, 2007
3,192
South Central NJ
With rectangle pools, most mesh covers use a 5'x5' panel. Ultraloc II and most other solid covers use a 4'x4' panel.

With free form pools, 3'x3' panels are used for solid and mesh covers so the anchoring should be the same for a given manufacturer and designer doing the CAD.

When I do a replacement cover, rather than send the old cover in as a template, I also measure the existing anchors along with the pool. I also try to let Loop Loc know what pairs of anchors line up and what the old cover's overlap was.

Scott
 

martypres

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 15, 2010
17
Central Maryland
Thanks to all for the recommendations.

I ended up going with an interim solution to get a few more years out of my existing Loop Loc mesh cover. I purchased an inexpensive cover mate to go under the mesh. It's basically a black/opaque version of a solar cover. It worked great, stayed in place, and I had the best opening ever with only a little algae on the roman end steps that were not covered by the 40X20 cover mate. The only downside was the cover mate was a pain to clean. Even so I would highly recommend it to people in a similar situation.

In a few years when my mesh cover gives out I do plan on getting a Ultra Loc II w/ Mesh drain panels. Sounds like the best of both worlds for someone who wants minimal light penetration but needs the rainwater to fill.
 

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