What happens if I don't cover my pool?

Fronzizzle

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2017
86
Augusta Township, Michigan
Hello all,

I"m a bit frustrated and unsure how to proceed. I have an oval above-ground pool, but it's surrounded on all sides by a deck, and the deck is so close that we end up closing the pool like an inground one. No big deal, except it never works due to wind.

My house is basically surrounded by giant, open spaces, and we live in a somewhat windy area. No matter what I do to the cover (high density of water bags, a PVC rig I built), the wind gets under the deck, then under the cover and lifts it up. See the attached picture I took this morning.

This is my fourth year here, and the fourth year I've had this issue. Eventually, all it takes is one big gust and an edge comes up, exposing the water to dirt and debris. I try to stay on top of it, but it's impossible when you have two straight days of high winds as we've had here lately; I can go and tuck the edges back down, but they usually come out again before I can make it back inside.

I just looked at the water and there is a lot of dirt and stuff in there, which there typically is when we open in the spring.

We moved into this house in November, when we did the previous owner winterzied the pool but didn't cover it. In the spring, it took us awhile to get the water where it needed to be, but I'm not sure if that was because it was uncovered, or because it was the first time we owned a pool and didn't know what we were doing.

The liner is already shot as I bleached it too much when doing a SLAM. In fact, the whole pool is 15+ years old and has seen better days.

At this point, I feel like covering it (at least like we are) is a net negative - it's a lot of work, the water bags are getting pricy (we have about 1/2 break each year) and ultimately, I'm not sure what good it does.
 

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Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
1,919
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
I have a deck but its only 1/2 way around & i am able to finagle my cover between it & the pool not sure if that’s an option 4 u (can u physically get under any part of your deck to pull the cable tight?)
If not what about a safety cover (loop loc) that attaches to your deck with anchors? They are pretty tight so the wind might not be an issue with that. There’s someone else on here who has one in the same situation.
Alternatively u could just do a leaf net while stuff is falling & then remove it & leave the pool uncovered. There a quite a few here that do not cover their pool.
 

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
5,806
Southern OK
I have never covered mine in 7 years... I take it to SLAM level, close it... It never turns green... close when the water temp is 50 degrees and open when the water hits 50 degrees :)

You can check the FC level on a nice day in Jan and add chlorine if you want to, last year I did and this year I did not... When I opened 2 weeks ago it was at 1FC at 50 degrees and clear... This year I did put a mesh cover on just to keep leaves out and it did a good job of that, I used bungee cords to keep it loosely on...

 
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jkayca

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2014
94
Ottawa Ontario
I haven't covered my pool in years. As you are beginning to realize, in terms or work, it can be a net negative. However, I live in a fairly leaf free area so I don't get a ton of stuff dropped into the pool.

Combined with a lot of chemical warfare, a pool robot, and some manual labor I can get the pool ready in about a week or two. To be honest, even when I did cover the pool, it still took about a week because of the balancing and salt level adjustments. Those don't change even if the pool is covered.
 

djuser

New member
Mar 20, 2021
1
MI
Hello all,

I"m a bit frustrated and unsure how to proceed. I have an oval above-ground pool, but it's surrounded on all sides by a deck, and the deck is so close that we end up closing the pool like an inground one. No big deal, except it never works due to wind.

My house is basically surrounded by giant, open spaces, and we live in a somewhat windy area. No matter what I do to the cover (high density of water bags, a PVC rig I built), the wind gets under the deck, then under the cover and lifts it up. See the attached picture I took this morning.

This is my fourth year here, and the fourth year I've had this issue. Eventually, all it takes is one big gust and an edge comes up, exposing the water to dirt and debris. I try to stay on top of it, but it's impossible when you have two straight days of high winds as we've had here lately; I can go and tuck the edges back down, but they usually come out again before I can make it back inside.

I just looked at the water and there is a lot of dirt and stuff in there, which there typically is when we open in the spring.

We moved into this house in November, when we did the previous owner winterzied the pool but didn't cover it. In the spring, it took us awhile to get the water where it needed to be, but I'm not sure if that was because it was uncovered, or because it was the first time we owned a pool and didn't know what we were doing.

The liner is already shot as I bleached it too much when doing a SLAM. In fact, the whole pool is 15+ years old and has seen better days.

At this point, I feel like covering it (at least like we are) is a net negative - it's a lot of work, the water bags are getting pricy (we have about 1/2 break each year) and ultimately, I'm not sure what good it does.
My cover does the same thing. It's mostly OK when frozen, but in the spring it does this. You could open earlier or sometimes I just leave the corners weighted and let the other parts fall in. It still mostly blocks the sun and collects gunk. I gently pull the cover out from one spot in the shallow end when opening. Some gunk comes out with the cover and the rest is concentrated in one place which I vacuum to waste. Let the snow and rain fill pool up over the winter and then add just a little water.

I gave up on water bags also. They leak/break and are too expensive. I just my fill up my used chlorine jugs and empty chemical buckets (and logs) to weight the edges. Yes, wind blows under, but usually will blow out elsewhere (and if you don't do the bags perfectly, it blows off anyway). This works fine most of the winter due to ice preventing the cover from ballooning up.

I'm considering leaving it uncovered... downside is a little extra shock and vacuuming in the spring and shorter liner life perhaps...
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I've never covered my pool, and wouldn't, but the wind is like the ocean. "Water-bagging" a tarp would be like trying to keep a docked boat from moving. So you go with the flow, instead. Seems like bungie cords that allow the cover to flex with the wind would be a better solution than trying to immobilize it. I don't see any amount of water bags keeping that big of a sail from doing what it wants to do. And tying it down tight will just cause premature stress on the cover. I think it needs to be able to flex.

They make a variety of deck tie downs. Some sit flush with the wood (after you create a cavity in the board), and others slip between the boards. Google "deck tie downs" and you'll see lots of styles. Water and UV resistant bungie cord (marine grade) is also available.

I'm projecting my ocean/lake sailing experience onto your pool, but I think a lot of the same principles apply.
 
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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,833
NY
I covered my inground pool in a heavily wooded area because the debris, even in the winter, was insane. Now that I’m on an open lot I will never cover again. Although if the kids were still little I would from a safety perspective.

The temporary semi above ground pool we inherited by moving has some debris and dirt in it from being uncovered, but no worse than what blew in under the loop lock at our old house. Probably less even. Keep us posted.