Safety Cover vs Tarp - opening water condition

mixin16

Member
Mar 20, 2017
9
Grand Rapids, MI
First, let me say I have been using TFP for two years and have never been happier! My pool water has been outstanding using the system during this time. Last fall we decided to ditch the tarp and switch to a safety cover. In years past when we take the tarp off, the water is crystal clear - we do our slam and get the season going! THIS year, we took the safety cover yesterday and were greeted by this! YUCK! In response, I skimmed and then vacuumed the bottom to waste before starting the slam...12hr into the slam, the pool is looking MUCH better - amazing.

Question - if our pool service added the correct chemicals when closing the pool, is this a normal experience for opening a pool when using a safety cover?
 

Attachments

AndyTN

Bronze Supporter
Mar 27, 2019
114
Memphis
Is your safety cover mesh or solid? If it is mesh, water will seep through and small amounts of sunlight will come through, slowly allowing algae growth as the water warms. The solid safety covers are more expensive than mesh but they keep out the rain water (dirty) and all the sunlight. I just have a tarp with water bags like you used to use and my water is a little cloudy upon opening but nothing to clean out except dead worms. My wife and I decided to invest in a nice 5-ft steel fence around our pool instead of a safety cover but your house is very close to the pool so I see why you have a safety cover.
 

DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
444
Columbus, Ohio
In the past, I've used both types of safety covers (mesh and solid). The water was always clearer with the solid safety cover. However, it also depends on how good a job you did closing the pool. I close in October when the water is colder and make sure my FC level is higher.
 

mixin16

Member
Mar 20, 2017
9
Grand Rapids, MI
In the past, I've used both types of safety covers (mesh and solid). The water was always clearer with the solid safety cover. However, it also depends on how good a job you did closing the pool. I close in October when the water is colder and make sure my FC level is higher.
Thanks. It is a mesh cover. We did close in October as well and it was VERY cold at that time. We use a pool service to close the pool, and they told me that they put the closing chemicals in...I'm just trying to figure out if this is normal for a mesh cover or if the pool service did not put in the closing chemicals as they say they did.
 

DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
444
Columbus, Ohio
It could be a little of both, the mesh cover and the closing process. After I became disillusioned with pool stores I learned to close the pool myself. I had them show me how and I read the information here. What I noticed most is that the pool guys were going to close as fast as possible. They tested the water first, threw some stuff in and got the cover ready and put it on. It's all about doing it as quickly as possible and moving on to the next job. When I do it, I test a couple of days before and tweak the water balance. The next day if I'm satisfied with my numbers the cover goes on. Pretty much the same process, just a better execution.
 

mixin16

Member
Mar 20, 2017
9
Grand Rapids, MI
It could be a little of both, the mesh cover and the closing process. After I became disillusioned with pool stores I learned to close the pool myself. I had them show me how and I read the information here. What I noticed most is that the pool guys were going to close as fast as possible. They tested the water first, threw some stuff in and got the cover ready and put it on. It's all about doing it as quickly as possible and moving on to the next job. When I do it, I test a couple of days before and tweak the water balance. The next day if I'm satisfied with my numbers the cover goes on. Pretty much the same process, just a better execution.
Makes sense, I just don't have the equipment to blow the lines out. What equipment do you use?
 

DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
444
Columbus, Ohio
I have one skimmer and two returns so it's pretty simple. I put a Gizmo in the skimmer and suck most of the water out with a shop vac. The Gizmo has a hole in the top so I can suck water out from the skimmer side. There is a union at the other end of the line near the pool filter so I have access to that end as well. I pour a gallon of RV/Pool anti-freeze in each end (two gallons total). The main drain comes up next to the skimmer line so I open that union and pour a gallon of anti-freeze in that line. I reverse the shop vac and blow the water level down in this line first. That makes room for the anti-freeze in the line. You want it sitting on top of the water column in the main drain line (assuming you have a main drain).

My returns have threaded eyeballs. I take them out and screw in a threaded coupling I made from pipe I got at Home Depot. It's the threaded coupling, a 90 elbow and a short piece of pvc. Once it's all together the short piece is sitting above the water line. Use the shop vac to blow most of the water out of the returns. Put anti-freeze in both returns. The pvc is dry fitted but not glued so it comes apart easily. I reach into the water, pull the elbow off and stuff a rag into the threaded part. Unscrew it quickly so you don't get much water into the return and put the winter plug in. Do this for both returns. Go to the filter, open the union for the return lines and put anti-freeze in from that end. I usually try to make sure I add anti-freeze to both ends of each line.

It sounds way more complicated than it is. The short answer is use a shop vac, read the information here on closing a pool and watch a few videos. :)
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: mixin16

Jnet

Bronze Supporter
Mar 15, 2017
141
Chicago/Northwest, IL
I switched to a mesh safety cover, mostly because the pool is big and the tarp was too big and heavy to deal with. We did have some dirt and debris that got under or through, but I opened when the water was still pretty cold and algae didn't have a chance to get going. I think that's the key - open early.